Karen Hunter: Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield EZ Pistol Review
Everyday we drill home the fact that people need to carry everywhere and train. We help each other with ways to conceal and emphasize the truth that a firearm with training is the only absolute equalizer. As a strong 2A advocate I try to reinforce this as often as possible. No matter how true the reality of these statements may be, it doesn’t change the fact that there are people who simply cannot. It isn’t even a matter of location and legalities, but more so the reality of physical limitations.
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There are numerous physical reasons a person may not be able to run a firearm and conceal it for daily carry. Their mental game may be on point as they possess a thorough understanding of why it’s important, but a physical limitation limits the ability to do so. Whether it’s a lack of strength from age or a specific physical impairment, there are many people who simply aren’t able to run a gun. Sometimes just racking the slide or loading a magazine can be downright painful for them. Lack of strength, hand dexterity and limited motor skills have left people feeling helpless when it comes to being able to utilize a gun. The need for a firearm company to address this and provide a solution was clear and Smith & Wesson took the bull by the horns releasing the M&P .380 Shield EZ. This gun features and easy to rack slide, easy to load magazines and is basically overall just easier.
Smith & Wesson recently added to their Shield EZ M2.0 line with the M&P 9 Shield EZ. Just like the .380 EZ this gun is packed with hand-forgiving features. As Smith & Wesson describes it, it is “easy to rack, easy to shoot, easy to pack and easy to load and easy to clean”. This gun has an 8+1 round capacity and ships with two magazines. It’s slim and does very well for concealing, however with the limited round capacity I would encourage anyone to carry a spare magazine. The EZ 9 features a load assist tab for easy and quick loading, a picatinny-stye equipment rail to accommodate accessories and an optimal 18-degree grip angle for a natural point of aim. White dot front and adjustable white dot rear sights enable for quick target acquisition that goes well with the M2.0 tactile trigger. Features worth highlighting would also include the easy to rack slide, grip safety, easy disassembly (without pulling trigger), Tactile Loaded Chamber Indicator (TLCI), ambidextrous magazine release and a durable corrosion resistant Armornite finish.
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I believe I was most impressed with the easy to load magazines. So many people lack the hand dexterity to load magazines, especially when you’re getting down to the final two rounds or so. Many people who do not have anyone to assist them and end up carrying with only the number of rounds they could manage to load. With the load assist tabs, loading these magazines is a breeze. Anyone who suffers from anything that keeps them from loading magazines should really check this out. Going hand in hand with that in being equally impressive was the entire process of loading and reloads. The magazine release was very easy to get to and utilize causing the magazine to literally fall out like melted butter. Very smooth and easy, reloading was accomplished with the same ease.
Overall, I was very impressed with this gun. The entire function and manipulation of the M&P 9 Shield EZ truly is easier. The only point that made me question anything was the slide release which wasn’t very easy to utilize. This however isn’t exactly a big issue or a deal breaker in my book as someone with limited mobility is not likely to use the slide release. Instead, racking the slide to chamber that first round is going to be much easier as well as faster for them. The M2.0 tactile trigger was also a favorite of mine with this gun. This is a very light and crisp trigger with a audible reset. Out of the box I was able to shoot tight one to one and a half inch groups from approximately ten yards. Even being a brand-new gun, nothing was tight or difficult to manipulate. Noteworthy is that the 9mm EZ comes with the option of a manual thumb safety as well as the option for the Crimson Trace Red Laserguard.
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If you’re someone who suffers from any type of mobility or hand dexterity issue, this gun is worth trying out. The M&P 9 Shield EZ is a great option for those who still desire to be 100% independent with the operation and maintenance of their own firearm but may have a physical limitation to do so. This gun makes that a hopeful possibility. If you get the chance to try it out, you should as this gun really opens the door for concealed carry, training and protection for everyone, especially with an affordable MSRP of approximately $479.00
- SKU: 12436
- Model: M&P®9 SHIELD™ EZ® Manual Thumb Safety
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 8+1
- Barrel Length: 3.675″ / 9.3 cm
- Overall Length: 6.8″
- Front Sight: White Dot
- Rear Sight: White Dot Adjustable for Windage
- Action: Internal Hammer Fired
- Grip: Polymer
- Weight: 23.2 oz / 657.7g
- Barrel Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
- Slide Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
- Frame Material: Polymer
- Purpose: Concealed Carry, Home Protection, Personal Protection, State Compliance
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