First Look: Smith & Wesson M&P9 SHIELD M2.0 w/Tritium Night Sights

By Randy Wakeman

Smith & Wesson M&P9 SHIELD M2.0
Photo courtesy of Smith & Wesson.

The S&W M&P9 Shield M2.0 builds on the remarkable success of the S&W Shield that has already sold over 2,000,000 units. The Shield has been on the best-seller lists all over the spectrum from Gunbroker to Bud's to essentially everywhere. It has been a consumer favorite for concealed carry for some time now. It just got better.


  • Incorporates the design features of the M&P M2.0 line of firearms.
  • Aggressive grip texture for enhanced control.
  • New M&P M2.0 crisp trigger with lighter trigger pull.
  • Tactile and audible trigger reset.
  • Extremely thin and lightweight - can be comfortably carried all day.
  • M&P's patented take-down lever and sear deactivation systems allow for disassembly without pulling the trigger.
  • Includes 2 magazines: One 7-round magazine + one 8-round extended grip magazine.
  • Optimal 18-degree grip angle for natural point of aim.
  • Armornite durable corrosion resistant finish.
  • Three-dot tritium night sights
  • Backed by Smith & Wesson's Lifetime Service Policy.


  • SKU: 11810
  • Model: M&P9 SHIELD M2.0 Tritium Night Sights
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Barrel Length: 3.1" (7.9 cm)
  • Overall Length: 6.1"
  • Front Sight: Tritium Night Sight
  • Rear Sight: Tritium Night Sight, Two-Dot
  • Action: Short recoil operation, Striker Fired
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 18.3 oz.
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Purpose: Concealed Carry and Personal Protection
  • Country of origin: USA
  • 2017 MSRP: $579

If you liked the original Shield, you will love the M2.0 model on the basis of its improved trigger and its comfortable grip texture. The Armornite metal finish is alleged to be highly corrosion resistant. There are small gripping surfaces in the front of the slide and larger, wave shaped gripping grooves at the rear of the slide.

The Shield 2.0 weighs about 18-1/3 ounces empty. This is three to four ounces lighter than the Walther PPS M2 and the Remington R51.

Little things can mean a lot and in the case of Shield M2.0, they truly do. The grip texture is very important to me and it will save many people from the aftermarket grip routine. The improved trigger will save many folks from going to the Apex Tactical Action Enhancement Trigger Kit for an additional $150.

The tritium night sights are quite good for short range shooting and will save you the expense of adding aftermarket night sights. (Of course, the Shield 2.0 with night sights is priced a cool $100 higher than the same pistol with conventional 3-dot sights.) Both the front and rear sights are mounted in dovetails in the top of the slide, so they are relatively easy to change.

The magazine release button is conventionally located directly behind the lower rear of the trigger guard. The takedown lever is located directly above the trigger and the slide stop lever is convenient to a right handed shooter's right thumb.

There is no annoying magazine disconnect safety, nor is there an external thumb safety. The last thing I would want to think about or fiddle with in an unexpected self-defense scenario is an awkward safety. As measured by my Lyman electronic trigger gauge, the trigger breaks at a crisp 5-1/4 pounds. The tested pistol came with a pair of eight round, extended grip magazines. (The S&W photo at the top of this page shows the pistol with a 7-round, flush floor-plate magazine.)

What I personally appreciate about the Shield M2.0 is that it is not one of the many "if only" firearms out there. You are likely familiar with the "if only" routine: if only it had a better trigger, if only it had better factory sights, if only it had a better grip, if only it did not have a thumb safety, if only it did not have a magazine disconnect, and so on.

This S&W Shield M2.0 is nearly perfect, right out of the box, and completely ready to go. This, in and of itself, is remarkable. A brief range session confirmed this S&W is reliable, the recoil is manageable and the accuracy is more than needed for minute-of-bad-guy.

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Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.