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S&W Announce New 380 Shield EZ

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February 5, 2018

New M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features easy-to-rack slide, easy to load magazine

Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced the addition of the new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol to the company’s market-leading M&P Shield pistol series.  Built for personal protection and every-day carry, the M&P380 Shield EZ is chambered in .380 AUTO and is designed to be easy to use, featuring an easy-to-rack slide, easy-to-load magazine, and easy-to-clean design.

When we set out to design the M&P380 Shield EZ pistol, our goal was to deliver an all-around, easy to use personal protection pistol – from loading and carrying, to shooting and cleaning.  Throughout the development process, we focused on key areas that customers told us were important – the ease of racking the slide and loading the magazine.  With that in mind, we reduced the amount of force required to rack the slide, and developed a magazine that is both easy and efficient to load.  We have incorporated both of these new features into the M&P380 Shield EZ pistol, allowing consumers of all statures and strengths the opportunity to own, comfortably practice with, and effectively utilize this exciting new pistol.  The new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol provides an easy-to-use personal protection option for both first-time shooters and experienced handgunners alike.” – Jan Mladek, General Manager of M&P and S&W Brands

Built for personal and home protection, the new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol is the latest addition to the M&P M2.0™ family and features an 8+1 round capacity and a 3.675” barrel.  The M&P380 Shield EZ pistol ships with two 8 round magazines that include a load assist button for quick, easy loading, as well as a picatinny-style equipment rail to accommodate accessories. The pistol also features an optimal M&P pistol 18-degree grip angle for a natural point of aim, white-dot front and adjustable white-dot rear sights, and a light, crisp trigger with an MSRP of $399.

The M&P380 Shield EZ pistol has begun shipping, and will be widely available at firearms dealers across the nation by the end of February 2018.

M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features include:

  • Easy-to-Use Design
  • Easy-to-rack slide for trouble-free manipulation
  • Tapered rear slide serrations, providing an easy-to-grasp surface
  • Easy-to-load magazine design with load assist button for quick, easy loading
  • Superior Performance
  • One-piece, single action trigger for crisp trigger pull with tactile and audible trigger reset
  • Windage-adjustable, white dot rear sight
  • M2.0 enhanced grip texture optimized to size and .380 AUTO recoil
  • Superior Controls
  • Tactile loaded chamber indicator to both see and feel if a round is in the chamber
  • Reversible magazine release that’s easily adjusted for left or right hand operation
  • Available with ambidextrous manual thumb safety
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So, a thumb safety, a grip safety and "single action." I'm curious as to what they mean by that last part. I guess with an internal hammer, it is cocked once you rack the slide? 

I'd like to shoot it.

There's sure not a lot of marketing cohesion for a launch

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I kind of like it but I am not sure why I would replace (or even augment) my P3AT with it (and, no, the P3AT is not junk before someone throws that nonsense out there as a 'reason'.)  I like that it has a barrel that is almost an inch longer than the P3AT.  It carries two more rounds in the standard mags than the P3AT but I can get nine round extended mags for the P3AT (and have one, in fact) so that really isn't that much of a motivator.  I like that, unlike the P3AT, LCP and most 'pocket' sized guns the M&P looks to have real (and even adjustable) sights.  Of course, with the higher capacity standard mags and nearly inch longer barrel will come a larger, overall footprint.  I am just guessing this will be about the same size as a PF-9.  That means it will not really be a 'pocket' gun but will need to ride in a belt holster, belly band, etc.  As I, personally, can't carry OWB that would mean carrying it IWB.  In that case I had might as well go with a bigger gun in a caliber such as 9mm (this was pretty much the same reason I got rid of my P-11, I figured if I was going to have to belt carry it anyway I had might as well have something bigger and easier to shoot.)  Still, I have wanted to try out an M&P but will not carry a striker fired pistol.  The internal hammer fired aspect appeals to me although I am not so sure about the 'cocked and locked' aspect - would rather see DAO with second strike capability.  However, the grip safety makes me feel okay about it.

All in all, though, it sounds like a good setup for the right person.  I honestly do not think that I (or most of us in the thread, so far) are it's target audience.  Private citizens with less hand/arm strength or even problems with things like arthritis in their hands who want a pistol they can actually rack and mags they can actually load with a trigger that is easier to pull and for whom the recoil of a 9mm might be downright painful will likely greatly benefit from having this pistol as an option.  People who already have a pocket .380 but who would like something a little bigger to carry, sometimes, without having to stock a different caliber of ammo would probably like it, too.  Come to think of it, my girlfriend has a LCP and isn't crazy about it because the grip doesn't fit her hand very well (she bought it before we met.)  This just might be something she would like better.


Edited by JAB
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Here's a link to a Guns & Ammo article on the new EZ. The article mentions that the grip safety pivots from the bottom and disengages an internal hammer block. That's different anyway...

Interesting concept and design for those in need. It'll certainly appeal to a certain demographic.




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20 minutes ago, bduncan1231 said:

I’m liking this for my mother (74 yrs old).  She has a hard time racking her P238.  Too bad we just got her the P238.  This is sounding like a better option. 

She is exactly the market this pistol is intended for.

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7 hours ago, MacGyver said:

Have they given any description as to how they’re making the slide easier to rack?

I did notice that there are slightly protruding "wings" at the rear of the slide for better purchase for those that slingshot the slide to rack it...at least I make that assumption.

This is copied from the G&A article I linked above:

The “EZ” in the M&P 380 Shield’s model name indicates that this is easy to rack — very easy. That’s partly because it is a pistol with an internal hammer system. Just because it has a hammer system doesn’t translate to a slide that’s easier to make ready. We found that the hammer assembly was positioned lower into the frame, so the slide has more leverage on cocking the internal hammer. When the slide must cock a hammer with a pivot point that’s positioned higher to the slide’s base, more force is required to overcome the mainspring’s resistance to the hammer being cocked. (Very clever.)

Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/first-look/first-look-easy-to-rack-sw-mp-380-shield/#ixzz56Ppu3vkR

Edited by prag
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I'm not repulsed by it but in some ways it does remind me of a SA XDs 9mmP. I'm curious as to what its ergonomics are going to be and why S&W chose to go with .380ACP instead of a 9mmP. Hopefully someone will be posting a picture of one of them soon laying alongside a S&W Shield  9mm P and superimposed over a 9mmP Shield.  While I'm not enthused over all of the safeties it would be interesting to see what someone with arthritic or injured hands has to say about the pistol. Some of us are already dealing with problems with arthritis in our hands. 

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1 hour ago, TNWNGR said:

I'm not repulsed by it but in some ways it does remind me of a SA XDs 9mmP. I'm curious as to what its ergonomics are going to be and why S&W chose to go with .380ACP instead of a 9mmP. Hopefully someone will be posting a picture of one of them soon laying alongside a S&W Shield  9mm P and superimposed over a 9mmP Shield.  While I'm not enthused over all of the safeties it would be interesting to see what someone with arthritic or injured hands has to say about the pistol. Some of us are already dealing with problems with arthritis in our hands. 

The little old ladies and arthritic types this is geared toward will probably say this is much nicer to shoot than a 9mm.

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On 2/7/2018 at 4:18 PM, Garufa said:

The little old ladies and arthritic types this is geared toward will probably say this is much nicer to shoot than a 9mm.

I agree.  I believe that by placing such emphasis on the 'ease' of operating the slide and the dual mechanical safeties, etc. S&W made it obvious that the target audience is not hale and hearty gun enthusiasts.  Also, I would almost lay odds that many, many people who are interested in carrying a firearm for SD or even having something manageable for HD aren't nearly as caught up in the 'oh, a 9mm is barely adequate and anything less might as well be spitting spitwads' nonsense that many of us sometimes get caught up in.  I mean, yes, there is something to be said for increasing the chance of instantly incapacitating an attacker by using a larger and/or more powerful caliber.  However, there is also something to be said for the fact that getting shot is getting shot.  After all, a .380 is the same diameter as 9mm Luger albeit lighter in bullet weight and with less velocity.  I would think that a larger-than-pocket-sized gun with good sights should increase potential accuracy and make the pistol more controllable than 9mm Luger even if one does not have hand strength or pain issues and certainly if one does.  This would also probably increase the likelihood that the end user might actually practice with the pistol rather than saying, "I don't like shooting it - it hurts my hands too much," when the subject of target practice comes in to play.  It kind of goes back to the idea  that a hit with a .380 is better than a miss with a 9mm.

Edited by JAB
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2 hours ago, TNWNGR said:

Yep, which is why I'm interested in seeing actual size comparisons just to see how feasible that'll be. 

I'd like to see something to give an idea of scale, too.  My gut feeling is that it is about the size of a Kel Tec PF9 - at least in length and height.  Even fans of the PF9 say that it is pretty painful to try and run more than a couple of mags through.  I don't think my P3AT is particularly painful to shoot but many folks do.  I will be interested to see if and how much the combination of a PF9 sized (maybe) pistol with the .380 caliber results in reduced felt recoil as compared to the PF9 and the P3AT (or LCP.)   I am also interested to hear if the extra length of nearly an inch in the barrel as compared to pocket guns like the P3AT (and, therefore, the Little Copied Pistol, as well) will result in gains in velocity that might produce noticeably more consistent results from .380 SD ammo when it comes to expansion and penetration, combined.  There are some rounds on the market that I believe to do okay for doing both even out of the pocket pistols.  I'm wondering if the slightly longer barrel won't yield even better/more consistent results.

My ex wife has had issues with possible arthritis and with hand strength since she was younger.  When I sat out to teach her to shoot and help her work toward getting her carry permit she had trouble racking the slide on most pistols.  She could do it using the Cornered Cat method but not smoothly - it was pretty awkward.  She also had trouble pulling the trigger on many guns, both semis and revolvers and when she did the recoil often hurt her hand (she could rack and fire my P3AT but could only stand putting about two rounds through it before the pain from the recoil became too much.)  She ended up going with a Kel Tec P32 because she could rack it, could pull the trigger and the recoil didn't hurt her hands.  My mom also went with a P32 for a carry gun because my P3AT hurt her hands, as well.  Mom also wouldn't carry the P32 with one in the chamber because it 'didn't have a safety' despite me trying to convince her that, because it was DAO it was like carrying a revolver in that aspect.  My mom is deceased and my ex wife really doesn't shoot much, anymore but I can't help but wonder how well the new M&P might have worked for either of them had it existed when they were looking for a carry gun.

Edited by JAB
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None of these questions will be resolved until we actually get one in had. Then the buying public will make a choice yay or nay.

I'm still riding the fence on this one. But just how many pocket nines can we have to choose from? Seems the number is ever changing.

And to JAB, I owned the P3AT, the P32, and the PF9. Sold the first two sadly, should have kept them. I preferred them to the Ruger LCP.

Now as to the PF9...I absolutely hated that little bugger. JMO

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