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It’s just a pistol

So, according to every gun writer and gun blogger and anyone who writes about guns and who was also sent one, the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is the GREATEST GUN EVER IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. At least, that’s how it seems. I like the idea of a slim 9mm and, in fact, wanted them or Glock to make one for years. But, in that time, I managed to acquire and gain a fondness for the M&P 9C. It’s not substantially longer and, according the specs, is actually not as tall. It’s easy and light to carry. And, of course, the extra five rounds and the 18 round fullsize magazine I carry as a spare make it appealing.

Anyway, while I’m certain it’s a fine weapon, I don’t think the 21st century’s polymer 3913 will be a game changer since there’s already a ton of single stack nines out there. And here’s a look at the numbers comparing popular slim nines.

That or I’m just mad nobody sent me one.

16 Responses to “It’s just a pistol”

  1. Gerry Says:

    Making a Sig P-239 in plastic is inovative?

  2. SGB Says:

    Until I try it I won’t rave about it or knock it. I’m glad they came out with it though.

  3. TennGoodBoy Says:

    “Frame width: .95”. How come these “slim” guns are wider than a 1911 but fire a smaller bullet?

  4. mikee Says:

    I lived through years of hype over many things, some old, some new. I have read:

    Of the inherent perfection of 38 Special duty revolvers.

    Of 357 Magnum revolvers’ superiority over 38SPL.

    Of how grizzly bears only respect 44 Magnum, no that’s 454 Casull, no that’s a .460, or a .500, or a Howdaw black powder handcannon meant for lions shot from offside elephant.

    Of magnum revolvers minimized in size to wear on your ankle for either weight training or as a New York reload of a different caliber from your service pistol, mostly useful for deafening and blinding an opponent at close range, and perhaps setting them on fire. Also useful for 200 yard gong shooting for gun magazine writers.

    Of Wonder Nine pistols holding a gazillion, +1, rounds.

    Of 10mm POWER rivaling that of a Saturn V rocket!

    Of 40mm CONTROLLABLE! POWER! with (almost) as many bullets as a Wonder Nine! But better, despite having less power, than the 10mm they were bred from.

    Of concealable, ultra-concealable and barely even there yet still puissant .22LR micro single action revolvers by North American Arms and Beretta Bobcat pistols that you could hide in the cuff of your shirt sleeve or behind your ear lobes. For that last ditch use because nobody in their right mind would use one on purpose if a shovel or hammer were available instead.

    Of unobtainable .32ACP Seecamps, and Beretta Tomcats that cost as much as a Wonder Nine but were BETTER because you could hide them in your pocket with your wallet and keys and spare change and pens and that interesting pebble you found on the walk, yet still access in an emergency!

    Of plastic pistols from some foreign country that could not be detected (the gun, not the country) by X-rays, or even Superman’s vision, in airport security!

    Of 357SIG & 45GAP Niche Marketing for proprietary rounds never seen on the shelves of Walmart!

    Of shrinking autopistols using inexpensive polymer frames that you could shoot up to a dozen times before the springs failed. But you could carry them even betterer than a 38SPL snubby cuz they were 1/8 inch thinner.

    Of .32ACP minipistols evolving through selective breeding or engineering prowess or marketing genius into POCKET POWER .380 autos, then Pocket NINES!!!11! and even .40s that you hold with a two finger grip.

    Of pistols coming in blue or steel or black plastic, then suddenly in any anodized aluminum color under the rainbow, with PINK grips if I wanted them, or YELLOW grips for the revolver in the emergency kit.

    Of countries previously known only for internecine strife suddenly becoming successful exporters of supposedly reliable, well designed, quality controlled handguns that were neat because 20 years ago you could only get one by killing a commie in Southeast Asia and taking it off his belt.

    Of Wonder Nines going from Gazillion +1 capacity to 10+1 by law, then back after a decade, as if by magic!

    Of modern pistol round carbines becoming available, allowing one to shoot more money, err, rounds, even more accurately downrange than with your pistol, while using the same magazines. Because having a rifle and a pistol is too complex for some folk.

    Of John Moses Browing’s highest achievement, other than his mere existence PBUH, the .45ACP 1911, going from a badly made relic of history from Colt to a cheap Norinco Chinese import that (in either form) with only $1000 of work (in 1980’s dollars) by a competent, hence nonexistent, gunsmith, could be depended on to usually shoot all 7+1 of its rounds without stopping for a break.

    Of 45ACP being the only round, other than all the rest, to use in personal defense. Because Jeff said so!

    Of bullets going from “round copper shiny end points to front” (except for HK’s) to “flying ashtrays” to “exploding” to “cop killer” to “really really really fast, so fast your old gun might explode, no really!”

    Of the realization that with an extended cylinder, a 45 Colt revolver could also shoot .410 shotshells, poorly. Yet sell like pancakes to the starved masses.

    So now when a new product comes along, I realize it may be marketing, it may be technological innovation, it may be unsold parts that drove the maker to put the new gun on the shelf at the store.

    I’d like to say it is all good, but it isn’t.

  5. cayton Says:

    I want to know what this guy carries.

  6. Spade Says:

    I’m getting one for the wife, probably.

    She’s tiny. Doesn’t like any of my current handguns. So she wants a very small 9mm (well, I want the 9mm part for logistical reasons). She also wants a manual safety (I dunno why, but so it goes).

    Previously, the only other option she liked was the Springfield EMP. At a shade over $1k. Which is a lot more than $450.

    The whole “small, 9mm, manual safety” was kinda hard to pair with “affordable”.

  7. TomcatTCH Says:

    I’m unimpressed with the EMP. My wife had a copy that after a few weeks of carry couldn’t be taken off safe.

    The safety plunger rusted up solid. Took both of my thumbs and a lot of breakfree to get the safety off to unload the damn thing.

    And you can’t buy stainless replacement plungers for it, cause it isn’t a 1911.

    It was a fun gun, and it shot great. But for it to fail completely as a firearm from less than a month of carry bugged the hell out of me.

  8. mikee Says:

    Cayton, you made me laff out loud. Great comeback.

    Glock 19.

  9. Critter Says:

    .44 special revolvers worked in the 19th century and they still work in the 21st.

  10. Bubblehead Les Says:

    You know, I think I figured it out. The Single Stack 9mm Trend is not a Fad. I think we are seeing the replacement of the Snub Nosed Revolver. Here’s my reasoning. Most of the U.S. Military is used to firing 9mm, so Vets aren’t wedded to the .45ACP Holy Grail. Most of the Old Cops who where Revolver Guys are retired, and Depts are used to carrying Semi-Autos. And after Gaston first came out with the Glock 30 years ago, Plastic Guns are no longer an Oddity, but are now the Norm. Add in the Fact that it’s just plain Cheaper to make Pistol out of Plastic (even though you’d think the Savings would be passed onto the Consumer!), one can carry a few more Rounds, the spare Mags are thinner than than SpeedLoaders, the Weight is about the same or LOWER than a lot of Snubbies, and the Price point is aimed smack dab at the MSRP of a J-Frame, I think the 9mm Single Stack will be “America’s Pistol” in the next few years.

    And there’s one other point to make. Those of us who had to live with the “Hi-Cap Magazine Ban” remember how much the Shysters were charging for “Pre-Ban” mags. Now, let’s say some Anti-Gun Politicians re-gain Control of the Federal Gooberment this Fall. Something tells me that if Harry, Nancy and Barry are back in Charge come next January, “Gun Control” WILL be on the Agenda. Just look at the Brouhaha going today over “Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine.” If one has a “10 rounds or Less Pistol,” then one can still be ‘Legal.” And we won’t be having to spend so much money on “Pre-Ban” magazines.

    Now, this does NOT render the J-Frame Obsolete. But I think the Single Stack is the way of the Future, just like the M1 Garand made the Bolt Action Mauser relegated to the Hunting/Sporting/Collector branch of the Gun Culture. I think the Revolver in a few decades will be used in the NightStand for Home Defense, or Hunting, or Grizzly Bear Protection. But I don’t see the J-Frame riding in too many Pockets 20 years from now.

    But YMMV, of course.

  11. JD Rush Says:

    fwiw the 40 sku is 180020

  12. J Says:

    I don’t mind the merket flooding with single stack 9mm’s. The single stack 9mm is a tough gun to get the ergonomics right. I find most of them to have such a short trigger reach I can’t shoot it accurately. Others just down right feel like a brick in the hand. If the Shield has a comfortable grip and a long enough pull, I’ll give up my Karh for it.

  13. James Says:

    S&W already sells (markets) this most awesome-est carry piece. But it’s made by Walther. In Germany. It’s reliable too. And slim. Police Pistol Slim. PPS.

    Maybe I’m not getting it, but I’m not seeing anything remotely different or new here.

  14. mariner Says:

    Bubblehead Les,

    If one has a “10 rounds or Less Pistol,” then one can still be ‘Legal.” And we won’t be having to spend so much money on “Pre-Ban” magazines.

    I just KNEW staying underwater too long messed with y’all’s brains.

    If O/P/R are still around in January, the ban will be for magazines with more than six rounds, because six-shooters were all decent people needed for over a hundred years.

    We’ll be paying too much money for 10-round “pre-ban” magazines.

  15. emdfl Says:

    Own a Smith M-3914. I shoot it more betta then my M-39 Smith. Due to the Zimm/Tray debacle, I’m probably going to start carrying it instead of the Keltec .380 that currently lives under my shirt.

  16. Mick Havoc Says:

    Retired from 28 years of big city policing. Carried everything from a Beretta .25 to a 1911 and a .44 Mountain Gun. I was issued a Service Six, a Glock 22 and an M&P .40. I no longer have the energy to be an operator or a ninja. My Detective Special allows me to fight my way to the 870 folder. Your mileage may vary.