View Full Version : M&P Shield - 9mm vs 45 ACP

Jerry R
30 October 2016, 07:45
Interesting comparing the 45 Shield against the 9mm. All the measurements below are mine except the weight; that is taken from the S&W Product Page online.

Grip thickness measured at the widest point - 9mm 0.960 / 45 0.971
Muzzle to back of slide - 9mm 5.950 / 45 6.269
Grip to top of slide (both with a +1 magazine inserted) - 9mm 4.790 / 45 5.105
Slide width at ejection port - 9mm 0.901 / 45 0.955
Trigger to backstrap (Closest point) - 9mm 2.718 / 45 2.740
Safety lever width - 9mm 0.175 / 45 0.242 (I really like the wider safety)

Now the weight - a puzzler for me. From the S&W web site - 9mm 20.8 ounces / 45 20.5 ounces ... not a typo, they list the 45 as being slightly larger, yet lighter. Defies physics. When I find our food scale I will weigh them and update this thread with actuals.

So the two Shield offerings that I have are very close in size and weight. When the six round magazine is in the 45 Shield, it is almost identical in height to the 9mm with a +1 magazine inserted.

The 45 Shield carries the same work load as a full size 1911 that has a "standard" seven round magazine in the chute; with the ergonomics of a pocket pistol.

The 45 Shield does NOT fit a Blackhawk Serpa CQB Shield holster, so I will "assume" it will not fit any 9mm Shield kydex holster. It does however fit a DeSantis leather holster marked "9/40 Shield". Snug due to difference in slide width, good retention, but still has an easy presentation.

Street pricing is already excellent on the new pistol. I picked this one up for $400 plus tax.

I will also update this thread with a range report.

The 9mm Shield ... one with TruGlo TFO sights, the other with a TLR-6 (wife's pistol)

https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8798/18390552522_2157ca7d62_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/u27oxL)IMG_0648 S&W Shield Size 1280 (https://flic.kr/p/u27oxL) by Jerry R (https://www.flickr.com/photos/9663868@N05/), on Flickr

https://c6.staticflickr.com/6/5519/30566544285_ff361430ca_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Nz4wGe)IMG_1441 Shield w-TLR-6 Size 1536 (https://flic.kr/p/Nz4wGe) by Jerry R (https://www.flickr.com/photos/9663868@N05/), on Flickr

The 45 Shield

https://c6.staticflickr.com/6/5499/29821637533_5c5faa09e3_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/MreFSn)IMG_2195 S&W 45 Shield (https://flic.kr/p/MreFSn) by Jerry R (https://www.flickr.com/photos/9663868@N05/), on Flickr

Some comparison shots

https://c5.staticflickr.com/6/5694/30546430812_ed5418bd6b_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NxhrEd)IMG_2200 Shield 45 v 9mm Side (https://flic.kr/p/NxhrEd) by Jerry R (https://www.flickr.com/photos/9663868@N05/), on Flickr

https://c7.staticflickr.com/6/5786/30627111606_9847650f54_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NEpXfo)IMG_2201 Shield 45 v 9mm Top (https://flic.kr/p/NEpXfo) by Jerry R (https://www.flickr.com/photos/9663868@N05/), on Flickr

30 October 2016, 07:58
Edit: After re-reading the OP, I delete my comment on weight.

I was thinking about how a Springfield XDs 9mm weighs more than the XDx 45 due to the lighter barrel of the 9mm (same OD for each barrel). But the firearms are otherwise the same. That's not the case here.

30 October 2016, 08:49
Thanks for the info, Jerry. Still not feeling compelled to replace my 9 mm in the compact size range. Got any observations that makes the .45 stand out as the superior of the two? I'm one of those guys who sees value in smaller caliber for cc, simply because in a charged situation your adrenaline tells you to pull the trigger now and aim later; as with a rapidly closing assailant/knife/< 20' and closing scenario. A friend was assaulted while sitting in his vehicle. He was armed wtih a .45 ACP 1911 and fired 7 shots. None of them hit the assailant. Drills are great, but there's no way to simulate that "Oh f@ck, I'm gonna die right now!" adrenaline rush other than to be in that situation. That indicent has me mostly carrying a full size 9mm pistol when I can, and my shield only when I have to. I'd never owned a compact before the shield, and its great at what its made for, which to me is getting me to carry something as often as I can, but I've also had some recent bad experiences with 9mm vs. White Oak target frames, ie: the round hit the brace and bounced off! So now, I'm not sure which round is better, I'm doing good to hand onto the better than nothing mindset.

Anyway, sorry to hijack your thread; it just seems the debate is no more clear cut than when .40 hit the scene and then handed the crown back to 9 mil. Just interested in hearing your thoughts.

Jerry R
30 October 2016, 10:24
I have to agree with you on the scenario / adrenaline complications vs "square box shooting" and even the best of drills. I am not dumping my 9mm Shield. I purchased the 45 version because I like the caliber, and thought it was an excellent price.

Now ... missing with a 9mm is no more effective than missing with a 45 - hitting with a specific caliber may (or may not) be more effective. Everyone touts bullet placement over caliber, very true, if you can under stress. Honestly, my considered opinion is that a "marginal" hit with a 45 MAY slow a determined assailant more than a marginal hit with a 9mm. Not sure if existing data will support that though.

I started with a 45 as my first pistol, and remain a fan only because of familiarity; I actually like them both and will still drop the nine in my pocket for a night-time milk run.

You make excellent points on both sides of the discussion.

31 October 2016, 08:20
With the slightly deeper grip, I prefer the feel of the Shield .45 in my hand.
Also, I appreciate the new stippling texture. I MAY buy a new Shield in 9mm when they come out with the stippled option.

Good write up Jerry.

31 October 2016, 18:08
I prefer a 9mm in small grip pistols. I had a Glock 36 that wasn't too bad (better than the XDS .45), but I just prefer a larger frame for the larger caliber.

Frank 67
14 April 2017, 18:58
I love my 9mm Shield, but if I want to shoot a .45, I'll pick up my 1911 [:D]