M&P Shield 2.0 Review | A Reliable 9mm Handgun From Smith And Wesson

You can't ignore the impact that the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 has had on the gun market. Demand for this pistol remains high, despite the fact that there is plenty of competition available. But is this gun all that it is cracked up to be? Read this in-depth review to find out. 

Here, you will learn what makes this pistol such a big hit, as well as any downsides that might be present in it. This is for certain: the M&P Shield 2.0 is a versatile handgun that is sure to impress both veterans and beginners alike. As for the later, check the best options for your first gun here, while to the more experienced top 44 mag revolvers or a single action revolver may be more appealing. We also reviewed Smith and Wesson 39-2, an improved version of a legendary handgun.

Is the M&P 2.0 a Good Gun?

As you will discover in this review, Smith & Wesson took their time to deliver a winner. Any complaints aside, you're getting an excellent weapon for concealed carry, similar to the one in our Shield 40 Review. So compact and comfortable is the Shield M2.0 that it is loved by both men and women.

In fact, the Shield M2.0 is one of the top handguns for women thanks to its reliability and handling. It's an absolute breeze to operate due to its lightweight design. If you're just starting out and want to find a pistol that's easy to operate, the M&P Shield 2.0 will make you happy. For more info about other compact alternatives, look into our best pocket pistol analysis, or this detailed comparison of the best 9mm, or 10mm pistols out there.

One of the things that stood out to me was the comfortable trigger pull. I'll go into more detail in a moment, but trigger pull can make or break a gun for many beginner shooters. As such, I was pleased to find just how good it feels in action.

Let's take a moment to observe the specs of this striker-fired pistol.

Shield M&P 2.0 Specifications



7+1 rounds/8+1 rounds (with extended magazine)


Black with Armornite™ finish


18.3 ounces (no magazine)

3-Dot Sights

 Front sight and rear


optional thumb lever


5.5 pounds


 9mm or .40 S&W


 6 1 inches


4.5 inches


.99 inches


3.1 inches

Critical Improvements

The first version of the Shield was a runaway hit, and for good reason. Nearly everything about the gun was perfect for shooters of all experience levels. The only thing that customers really complained about was the grip texture.

You see, it simply didn't provide the kind of high-quality grip texture that you find on a lot of today's modern guns. Smith & Wesson wouldn't be the success that they are without listening to feedback from their customers.

That's why I was so pleased to see that the grip texture was improved on the Shield 2.0. Gone is the checker pattern found on the previous Shield. In its place is an aggressive stipple that provides exceptional grip and handling.

Since there wasn't a whole lot to improve, you're getting a well-designed handgun that's made for a comfortable shooting experience. However, that's not to say that there aren't refinements present in the new M&P.

One such is the addition of scalloping located near the front of the slide. If you prefer press-checks, this is a welcome bonus. With that being said, there is already a window present in the barrel hood. This serves as a slide indicator as to whether the chamber is loaded. As such, press-checks aren't really necessary on this gun.

Still, the front scalloping on the slide is new and is sure to be appreciated by many. The slide feels comfortable on your hand and feels good in action.

New Trigger

shield 2.0 trigger

First things first. If you are familiar with the older Shield, you will immediately notice that the trigger stop on the 2 0 is now higher up and much more pronounced. That was likely done to give shooters a tactical advantage, as trainers maintain that trigger reset is extremely important due to its ability to reduce overtravel.

This tells seasoned shooters that Shield M 2.0 is primed for modern defensive techniques. It's clear to me that the Smith & Wesson Shield M 2 0 has a better trigger than the original. 

The M2.0 line is also a lot more comfortable when firing, which I'll explain in more detail shortly.

I have to admit that I was a big fan of the original Shield's trigger pull. But after spending plenty of time with this pistol, I can safely say that the M&P 2.0's trigger is much better.

Because of this, you're getting one more reason why it's such a solid personal carry weapon. Its lightweight frame and sturdy construction lend themselves to being one of the better concealed carry pistols on the market.

The frame of this gun has to be felt to fully appreciate. There is no added weight, and in fact, the frame helps to balance the Shield 2.0 better than the original.

Laser Integration

Smith & Wesson acquired the Crimson Trace Corporation, paving the way for an optional laser sight on the Shield M2.0. This is a nice bonus, to be sure. And for only $20 more, you're greatly improving your shooting experience without breaking the bank.

Bottom line: you are getting a high-quality, integrated laser from one of the leading laser manufacturers on the planet. And it's all at a price that is more than reasonable.

m and p laser

And as a defensive weapon, you can easily see targets if you're faced with a home intruder. The subcompact construction combined with a superior laser sight gives you an immediate advantage over the original Shield.

Slick Finish

Thanks to the corrosion-resistant stainless steel Armornite finish, you can safely take this 9mm pistol out in the elements and not worry about damaging it. This is one of the single most important features a pistol can have if you often shoot outside.

What's more, if you want to hunt with the new Shield M2.0, you will have no worries. Smith & Wesson certainly did their homework, designing the Smith & Wesson Shield M2 0 to be a versatile concealed carry that can be used in a variety of situations.

Not just for self-defense, you will find the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 to serve you well in just about any capacity. It's one of the single most versatile

Shield M2.0: Perfect for Self-Defense

And speaking of which, there is no arguing that the subcompact Shield M2.0 makes a great personal defense weapon. I like its small frame and comfortable grip, as they justify the purchase of a new handgun. Even shooters with small hands will like the overall design of the M&P Shield M2.0. Unlike the original Shield, which was difficult to find a holster for, Smith & Wesson improved the construction of the M&P Shield M2.0 in a way that is much more holster-friendly. The only time you might struggle is when using the optional 8+1 round magazine.

The extended round mag adds only slightly more the height of the gun. Other than the additional magazine height in a holster, you shouldn't have any other issues with it.

Other than that, this 9mm subcompact is a joy to carry on your person. And when it comes to handling, you will love the difference the 18-degree grip angle makes.
great gun

Better Handling

Finding your natural point of aim is made easier thanks to the improved grip angle. I had no trouble handling and maneuvering the Smith & Wesson Shield M2.0, and a large part of that goes to the comfortable design of the grip.

I found it exceedingly easier to find my target when shooting rounds thanks to how comfy the gun is in my hands. You're getting a model that is lightweight and well-balanced, with or without magazines. I get the feeling that even veteran shooters will be surprised how snug the Shield M2.0 feels in-hand.

Accuracy is top-notch, allowing you to aim and fire quickly and efficiently. The sights are 3-dot and make for clear firing. I always prefer these types of sights and it's no different here. With an added single laser, you will like firing this gun.

What's even more surprising is the fact that there is minimal recoil when shooting. For such a lightweight pistol, you would think that there would be significant recoil present.

But that is simply not the case here. Instead, you are treated to a holster-friendly gun that provides a smooth, comfortable shooting experience all the way around. With that being said, I feel it's important to note that you may need some time to get used to the action of the trigger.

It isn't necessary to insert your finger too far into the trigger guard, so try to keep this in mind when firing the Smith & Wesson Shield M2.0.

Pulling the trigger on this low-profile pistol is an absolute cinch once you get used to it. Just be sure to give it some time. There aren't many pistols that are this lightweight that handle so well. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect given its plastic and steel construction.

But after successfully unloading magazines many times over, I'd like to report that you're investing in one of the best pistols on the market today. It's light, comfortable, and ideal for concealed carry.

Does the M&P Shield 2.0 Have a Safety?

Smith & Wesson offers the Shield 2.0 with or without a thumb safety. Most seasoned shooters prefer pistols without this feature, but the choice is completely yours. Using the slide lock, I found it to be incredibly easy to operate.

Wrap Up

First of all, this is a good gun all the way around. It's not often that you find pistols to provide such a solid experience. The price is respectable for this mighty subcompact model. I have to hand it to Smith & Wesson. They have once again produced a commendable firearm that is built for reliability.

If you need a weapon for personal protection that offers exceptional accuracy, you will be pleased with this pistol. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 is an excellent buy that won't let you down.

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