Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Review | Here’s Why It’s a Popular Pistol With the Police and Army Forces

If you’ve been in the market for an affordable S&W 9mm, the M&P Shield 2.0 9mm might be the perfect handgun for your needs. In this Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Review, I’ll go over the ins and outs of this fine pistol. This will help you determine if it’s a good fit for your needs. I was able to spend ample time with it, so you can be sure that the information I have you will help. In the end, you will be able to make a sound buying decision. So with that, let’s find out what makes this pistol so special. Also, for home protection, check out our M&P 45 review.

Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Review

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 is a popular handgun. This striker-fired pistol is known for its use among military and police the world over (hence the M&P 9mm moniker). It’s one of the most trusted and capable handguns for a reason.

It has years of history behind, making it a solid buying choice for civilians. With its amazing handling and quality build, you’re getting a worthy contender to protect your family. But it’s also a great gun to carry concealed.

As you will soon discover, there is much more to like about this famous pistol. So let’s begin by taking a look at the specs that make up the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm.


These are the specifications that come directly from Smith and Wesson themselves. It’s a robust little pistol that can be handled by shooters of all skill levels. Let’s take a look at what goes into crafting the versatile Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 handgun.




17-round magazines (x2)


3-dot steel low-mount

Barrel length

4.25 inches

Overall length

7.3 inches

Overall height

5.5 inches

Trigger pull

6.5 pounds

Sight radius

6.4 inches


24 ounces


1.2 inches









The S&W M&P 2.0 is a polymer-framed and striker-fired pistol. It delivers a short recoil, making shooting comfortable and manageable. While older models didn’t have a thumb safety, later models would come to adopt this optional feature.

You can also opt to get a mag safety, preventing the gun from firing whenever the magazine isn’t in place. This is a huge plus, as it prevents the likelihood of accidental discharges. It’s easy to assume that the gun is empty when the mag isn’t inserted, so this is a nice safety precaution to see available.

A Picatinny rail system gives you the option to add attachments like lasers or sights. There’s also an ambidextrous lock on the slide, as well as the mag release. The tritium sights are another nice addition that I like seeing. This makes a big difference when shooting in low-light conditions. 

Other common design features include an integrated Picatinny rail to mount lasers or lights, ambidextrous slide lock, reversible magazine release, aggressive forward cut rear-cocking serrations, steel low mount “three-dot” or tritium sights, external extractor, loaded chamber indicator, and interchangeable back-straps to adjust to different hand sizes.

Special Features

The first thing that stands out on the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm is its frame. It is made with a Zytel polymer, stainless steel chassis. This goes a long way in giving the handgun added support. 

Even better, the back straps can be removed and can be switched out for different sizes. This is a huge plus that gives the M&P 2.0 greater versatility. Shooters of all shapes and sizes can comfortably wield this gun thanks to this excellent feature.

The S&W M&P 2.0 also comes with a low-bore axis, serving to keep the muzzle flip low. Why is this important? It makes a huge difference in how quickly you can fire off follow up shots. I found this feature to greatly improve my time on the range, that’s for sure.

The trigger pull weight is 6.5 pounds, making it ideal for beginners who are just learning to shoot. I found this to also enhance my time with the S&W M&P 9mm.

The Smith and Wesson Shield 2.0 comes standard with a 3-dot sight setup, which is a big improvement over the common polymer sight system. And so that you can adjust for windage, the sights can be adjusted horizontally.

And lastly, a Picatinny rail system on the frame gives you the ability to add attachments as you see fit. This is a nice addition, too, as it allows for all kinds of accessories that are supported for the Smith and Wesson Shield 2.0.

You’ll find all manner of lights, lasers, and sights that are made specifically for this handgun.


The overall build quality and design of the M&P 9mm make it a perfectly ergonomic gun to wield. I had a great time handling the Smith & Wesson M&P.

I found it to be incredibly comfortable to carry, too. I handled this firearm a few weeks ago while picking up my Beretta 1301 semi-auto 12-gauge shotgun, and I must say, I was impressed by its ergonomics.

The grip's texture is unbelievable, providing a soft, well-fitted, and relaxing feel.

The balance of the pistol gives it a great feel when firing. So if you have been holding out for a comfortable and versatile pistol to come your way, the S&W M&P is right up your alley. 

check smith and wesson gun

It’s also nicely weighted, making it easy to fire off multiple rounds without breaking a sweat. The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm is by far one of the easiest pistols I’ve used. It’s a breeze to maintain control while shooting, and never once did I have to fight with it.

The 5-inch barrel helps to give the gun a longer radius on its sight, as well as greater velocity when firing. You just can’t get these from barrels that are shorter. 

The superior ergonomics of the Smith & Wesson 9mm go a long way in giving the gun better accuracy when compared to similar models on the market. 


On the range, I found the S&W M&P Shield 2.0 to give me some of the best accuracies I’ve ever come across in a 9mm handgun. Out of 100, I scored an 80 while using the M&P 2.0 9mm. Is it the best I’ve ever had? No, but this is a 9mm we’re talking about here.

The bottom line is that the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 delivered consistent precision out of all the shots I fired. I was more than pleased with the end results. If you are planning on buying this pistol for home defense purposes, you will be more than happy with the protection it provides.

At close range, you won’t have to worry about missing your target, that’s for sure. I’m a big fan of how comfortable it is to fire. I think under normal circumstances, you will have no trouble loading the pistol and firing off a shot.

Reloading is equally easy thanks to the placement of the mag release. I found it to be very easy to access, giving me faster reloading times the more I practiced with it. I soon found myself trying to beat personal bests to see just how fast I could reload.

Is it a game-changer? Not necessarily. But one thing is for certain. It’s a reliable handgun that never once gave me trouble when I needed to quickly reload my magazine for the next shot. 

Another huge plus is the fact that the recoil is very low, which proves to be extremely advantageous when firing follow-up shots at your target. I found it remarkably easy to quickly reacquire my target after each round. This feature greatly benefits shooting at the range as well.

As I became more familiar with the M&P M2.0, my ability to line up targets improved significantly. Soon, I was achieving exceptional accuracy and efficiency in my shooting. If you're seeking a reliable firearm that won't disappoint, the S&W M&P 2.0 compact pistol is a fantastic investment.

With 1800 rounds fired through mine, I can confidently say that I love this gun. It offers superb accuracy, boasts a great trigger, and has an appealing appearance. The only aspect I'm not entirely thrilled about is the iron sights, but that's a minor issue that can be easily rectified.

Personally, I own the 4-inch compact version of this firearm, and it completely revolutionized my shooting experience. Having previously been a Glock/SIG Sauer/H&K/Beretta shooter for many years, I can honestly attest that the M2.0 M&P outperforms its competitors and provides excellent value for the money.

The Trigger Pull

At just 6.5 pounds, the trigger pull on the S&W M&P 2.0 compact is easily accessible to a wide range of shooters. While most of you might think that this weight makes it hard to keep shots lined up, the minimal recoil begs to differ.

I found the two to work well together, resulting in greater accuracy and precision with each shot that I fired. Sure, it’s not the same as past models that had a trigger pull weight of 5.5 pounds. But you have to take into consideration all of the other features of this pistol.

They play a big part in making the Smith and Wesson 9mm easier to keep steady and shoot with accuracy. The trigger pull is therefore ideal for beginner shooters who are just getting started with handguns.

This weight makes a great starting point to cut your teeth on, in my opinion. The ultimate test for me was firing off follow up shots. And as I quickly learned, I had a blast in doing so. If you are just starting out and looking for a respectable pistol to invest in, the M&P 2.0 compact will serve you well.

When considering all of its user-friendly and accessible features, this handgun proves to be an excellent choice for both first-time buyers and seasoned shooters. Personally, I found the trigger to be exceptionally comfortable, allowing me to enjoy extended periods of shooting without hand cramps or difficulty.

The comfort of the trigger greatly influences the overall quality and value of a pistol. However, it's worth noting that during a dry-fire session at a local gun store, I did notice the M&P's trigger had a slightly crunchy and gritty feeling, which detracted from the overall experience.

If the trigger were improved, this pistol would undoubtedly be exceptional. On a positive note, both my wife and I own this exact model and agree that it is one of the few sub-compact 9mm pistols that is incredibly easy to shoot and highly concealable. It's no wonder that they sold like hotcakes.

The Sights

The Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact Shield comes standard with a 3-dot sight system. I found this to be a huge advantage when shooting in low light levels. If you want to invest in a home defense pistol, a feature like this a must-have.

I fired on the range in both optimal and low light conditions and found that the Shield delivered exceptional sight visibility. I love the 3-dot system as it is, and this one is not a disappointment in the least. And remember, you can always add your own sights thanks to the Picatinny rail system that comes standard on the M&P. 

smith and wesson 9mm handgun

If you aren't a fan of the 3-dot sight system, just attach your favorite sight and you'll be good to go. However, one thing I can't seem to find is sight options for use with the RMR. It seems that the sights are too low for even a lower 1/3 view through an RMR.

On a positive note, I absolutely love the feel of my new Smith and Wesson M&P 9 2.0 full-size pistol. The overall mag capacity feels great, and the selection of backstrap grips makes it a real value. Additionally, S&W offers a lifetime warranty on their products, which is a fantastic bonus.


Reliability is everything when it comes to weaponry. Whether you are investing in a handgun for defense or practice, you need to know that it will deliver consistent results with each squeeze of the trigger.

As I’m sure you’ve been able to tell in this M&P Shield 9mm review, I’m a big fan of this pistol. At no time during my time with the gun did it ever let me down. From shooting to reloading, I found it to deliver reliable results through and through.

I’m also quite fond of its weight and size. This makes it ideal for carrying. And just like any pistol, you need a comfortable weapon to keep on your person. The Shield delivers that in spades. I found it to be very easy to manage as a concealed carry, largely thanks to its 5-inch barrel.

I can safely say that this pistol is a worthy investment that won’t disappoint. It delivers consistent, safe shooting capabilities. Quickly reloading the handgun is a breeze and only gets easier the more you do it.

And thanks to its low recoil and excellent accuracy, you’re sure to find that your shooting experience with the M&P is an enjoyable one.


The great thing about this Smith and Wesson is that it has a ton of support behind it. There are numerous attachments and accessories available for it, ensuring that you will be able to deck out your new investment as you see fit. 

Upon my research, I had no trouble finding the accessories I needed. And thanks to its ability to accept these attachments with ease, you should have no issues with adding on what you need. From sights to red dots to holsters, support for this pistol is commendable.

smith and wesson 9mm gun

Concealed Carry

One of the best things about the M&P is that it is a versatile handgun. And by that, I mean that it is ideal for home defense (as you’ll see in a moment), target practicing, or concealed carrying. Its size and weight make it a great investment for personal defense.

With a barrel that measures just 5 inches, it’s true that it isn’t the most ideal handgun for concealed carrying. But because it is so well-balanced and comfortable to handle, you should have no issues keeping this on your person.

And because it’s so versatile, you can use it comfortably in just about any capacity. Keep it on you during the day, and use it for home defense at night. And when you want to better yourself using the M&P, take it to the range for some target practice.

With versatility like this, you can hit two birds with one stone. Or bullet.

Home Protection

If you want a reliable handgun for home defense, you can’t go wrong investing in the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 45. It’s a solid performer that can be easily handled by most people. Whether you have a lot of shooting experience or very little, you can safely invest in this gun for protecting the ones you love.

Its compact size and robust shooting capabilities make it the ideal pistol for home protection. There are plenty of accessories available for it, so you can get it set up in a way that best suits your needs for better shooting.

Another big plus that’s already been mentioned is the fact that it comes with a 3-dot sight system. Low light conditions are easy to manage and line up your target in thanks to this versatile sight.

When you buy a gun for protecting your home and family, you want something easy to manage and easy to shoot. The M&P delivers these with quality performance and handling. And thanks to its high reliability, you can trust that you’re investing in a pistol that’s built to last.

Range Fun

My time spent with the Shield on the range was indeed a lot of fun. The sooner I became acclimated to the pistol, the better my performance became. I soon found myself quickly nailing follow up shots like a pro.

The way that the gun is designed makes it easy to find your target in a hurry, giving you better accuracy and less recoil to fight with.

This is a big deal on the range and gives the M&P its rightful place among beginners and veterans who are looking for a reliable shooting companion.

The great thing, too, is the fact that reloading is so easily accessible. This goes a long way in ensuring that your time spent on the range is enjoyable and productive. I found it becoming increasingly easier to reload on the fly.

I was able to promptly follow up with precise shots immediately after reloading. The handling of this pistol is excellent, and its weight and feel make it a pleasure to shoot. It's definitely an excellent choice for practice sessions, as it doesn't take much time to get accustomed to its feel, enabling accurate shooting with every shot fired.

However, there are a couple of important points to note. First, the slide lock is designed to secure the slide once all ammunition has been expended, and it is not meant for loading the first round after reloading. 

range shooting

To load the round correctly, confidently pull the slide rearward and release it, allowing it to slide forward and perform its function.

Also, I crafted a load using 124gr plated bullets and 3.9gr of Bullseye powder. This combination makes for a super soft shooter that is powerful enough to reliably cycle the firearm.

Lastly, this pistol offers a great shooting experience, precise hits, and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced shooters alike.


My time spent with this Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm review gave me a lot of enjoyment. As I’m sure you can tell, this is one of the best 9mm handguns I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting. It consistently delivered exceptional results, allowing me to get better and better as time went on using the pistol.

If you have been considering a new investment, whether it’s to protect your home and those you love, or for simply plinking on the range, the M&P is sure to provide for your needs.

It’s a solid performer that never once let me down. You can customize this handgun as you see fit, and there is plenty of support for it. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced shooter. 

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