M&P 380 Shield EZ...Anyone have?/had?/shot?/carried? etc? (Wife needs "easy rack" LOL)

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Have you given any though to The Springfield Armory XD-E? If you wanted to stick with a 9 it is much easier to rack than a striker fired pistol. Check out some vids on YouTube then try out at a store.
 

Slotheadslim

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Interesting, and thanks for the feedback. Do you carry the magazine with the pinky extension? I am not a fan of the flush magazine and in fact ordered 3 of the extended versions based solely on comfort.

I guess I’ll have to try the EZ if I get the opportunity.

I don’t carry it and I’ve only taken it to the range a couple of times so honestly I don’t remember. Usually I do prefer a pinky extension if one is offered I but I’m not anywhere near it today so I can’t try it out. I found on the P238 the grips are rather small so something like that I definitely like the pinky extension but for the EZ it may not be necessary because the grips are more of a full size . I usually wear a large size glove and I found the grips to be pretty comfortable in general.
 

cjmass

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I too love my S&W .380 EZ, which is enjoyably easy to rack and has magazines which are also extremely easy to load. Its a very sweet shooter with little recoil excellent reliability and accuracy. Great choice for anyone with weak or arthritic hands.
 

Slotheadslim

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Any problems/issues/malfunctions/(etc etc) with the Shield EZ due to the "extra" safety on the grip?...

None for me. On mine it’s the only safety. I don’t have the thumb safety and personally I wouldn’t get the one with the thumb safety now that I’ve shot and own the grip safety only model.

I think when it first came out S&W had a recall on the ones that had a thumb safety but it didn’t apply to the grip only safety.
 
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When someone has hand strength issues with racking a slide, then the double action trigger on a revolver is rarely a good solution. Usually, the same issues make double action shooting difficult. And it is very important that anyone using a revolver for defensive training focus entirely on double action.

If someone is considering a revolver as a first gun, then a medium sized steel gun is better than a snub nosed airweight. An airweight J-frame, like a 642, has stout recoil due to its light weight and small grip, a stiff trigger, a very short sight radius, and tiny sights. A 4" K-frame, like a model 10 or 15, has modest recoil due to its size and weight, good sights, and a comfortable grip. And due to the internal leverages, a tuned up K-frame can have a much better double action trigger than a J-frame.

Of course, a K-frame is much harder to carry and conceal. But the easy of carrying a J-frame is only an advantage if the user has fully functional level of control over it. Don't get me wrong. I am actually a big fan of the model 642, but I consider it a gun for experienced shooters.

I have not yet had the opportunity to shoot a Shield EZ, but I am looking forward to trying one. I have spoken to many shooters who have hand issues, and the Shield EZ appears to have been designed with their concerns in mind.
 

meh

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I didn't even think to ask about the non-manual safety version. We tried out at least a 1/2 dozen different guns, some of which she couldn't rack the slide. She's done pretty well shooting my Colt Detective Special and SP101, so I still think a revolver is for her although the 642 is lighter than both of these revolvers, so I'm still hung up on what is best for her.

Edit @sevenMMmag I have, but she hasn't so I am planning to take her to a range where she can rent one. As I mentioned it's lighter and kicks more than my other 2 guns that I mentioned (unless I sneak in a .357 round into the SP101 [laugh]).

Any other recommendations?

I was recently thinking about the 642 and rented one along with the equivalent Ruger LCR at MFS one night. Shot about 75 158 grain .38 specials at the high end of the standard pressure range. The trigger on the LCR is far better than the one on the 642. I assume that neither has had a trigger job and both are as broken in as they're going to get. I decided not to buy either one, but if I had to, I'd choose the LCR any day of the week and twice on Sunday's. Of course it costs more. Isn't that always the way. Speaking of costs more, not to mention harder to find, the .327 Federal Magnum version would be an interesting choice. Then one could shoot .32 Longs to work on fundamentals without encouraging a flinch. That's assuming you're not going to reload .327 Federal Magnum, in which case I'd never bother with the .32 Longs, just reload low-recoil .327 FM rounds.
 

enbloc

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S&W should have put the grip safety on the front of the mag-well, not the back...

180023_05_lg.jpg
iu

* I know, I know, the P7 has a "cocker", not a "safety"...
 

jkerm3

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Another choice to consider is the Ruger LCP2. It’s a .380, really easy to rack and load, very good trigger, extremely small and lightweight (~10oz) so super easy to carry, and no safety to worry about (just get a good holster). They are not on “the list” in MA but can be had (there is one right now in the classifieds for $340). I really like mine.

CBCF09FB-E26B-4FB9-BB3B-72DA0C992FC3.jpeg 3D8B25AB-5A68-4ED1-807F-57DA6938CF0A.jpeg
 

zork51

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I reached out to a forum member who sold one for his opinion post sale which I was grateful for and I bought one for GF who was intimidated at first firing my 9's. She never really shot pistol and was "awed" by the "boom" at first. I had bought a Ruger LC9s which also was a very nice little gun but sold it as it was not being carried or used and needed money for other things. GF and me both love the .380 shield. It is easy to rack AND load as it has a compression tab on top of the spring that rides in a slot while loading and it loads VERY VERY easy. The ammo costs a bit more that the 9 as it is not a mainstream caliber. Like another said on here, hope they sell MANY to drive the price down. So, thumbs up for the .380 EZ shield I also prefer the thumb safety, but there is no wrong choice for the buyer with or without for me. It's up to the individual.
 

BlacknRed

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Have you given any though to The Springfield Armory XD-E? If you wanted to stick with a 9 it is much easier to rack than a striker fired pistol. Check out some vids on YouTube then try out at a store.

I purchased one of these 9's and it is easy to rack. Has flush, pinky lip and extended mags as well. SA/DA. Nice little carry piece, but it is a bit snappy in the hand compared to heavier pieces of course.
 

enbloc

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Another choice to consider is the Ruger LCP2. It’s a .380, really easy to rack and load, very good trigger, extremely small and lightweight (~10oz) so super easy to carry, and no safety to worry about (just get a good holster). They are not on “the list” in MA but can be had (there is one right now in the classifieds for $340). I really like mine.
3d8b25ab-5a68-4ed1-807f-57da6938cf0a-jpeg.274602

I feel this would be a better concealed carry piece due to its size. The Shield EZ 380 is a little too big for most women, or must be purse-carried, which would allow for a bigger pistol anyway...
 

enbloc

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I reached out to a forum member who sold one for his opinion post sale which I was grateful for and I bought one for GF who was intimidated at first firing my 9's. She never really shot pistol and was "awed" by the "boom" at first. I had bought a Ruger LC9s which also was a very nice little gun but sold it as it was not being carried or used and needed money for other things. GF and me both love the .380 shield. It is easy to rack AND load as it has a compression tab on top of the spring that rides in a slot while loading and it loads VERY VERY easy. The ammo costs a bit more that the 9 as it is not a mainstream caliber. Like another said on here, hope they sell MANY to drive the price down. So, thumbs up for the .380 EZ shield I also prefer the thumb safety, but there is no wrong choice for the buyer with or without for me. It's up to the individual.

Great post zork. Thanks.
 

dwarven1

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Jake, EXCELLENT post.
When someone has hand strength issues with racking a slide, then the double action trigger on a revolver is rarely a good solution. Usually, the same issues make double action shooting difficult. And it is very important that anyone using a revolver for defensive training focus entirely on double action.

If someone is considering a revolver as a first gun, then a medium sized steel gun is better than a snub nosed airweight. An airweight J-frame, like a 642, has stout recoil due to its light weight and small grip, a stiff trigger, a very short sight radius, and tiny sights. A 4" K-frame, like a model 10 or 15, has modest recoil due to its size and weight, good sights, and a comfortable grip. And due to the internal leverages, a tuned up K-frame can have a much better double action trigger than a J-frame.

[snipI am actually a big fan of the model 642, but I consider it a gun for experienced shooters.

I have a P238, my wife has an LC9S, an LCPII (and an Officer's ACP and a GP100, but that's besides the point).

BUT... I USED to carry an S&W 637. Traded it in and got a 642. Now I carry the P238. Honestly, I didn't LIKE shooting the 637 or the 642 - too much recoil for my taste. Before you armchair experts start in on my size, experience, etc, old hands on NES know me and that I'm not recoil shy. Shooting since 1979, IDPA, IPSC, Steel Challenge, pin shoots - Atilla can testify that I used to blow apart pins at North Leominster every month with my .44 Mag 629. If you were at the last Pumpkin Shoot, y'all saw me hit a soda can on the berm at about 80 yards with my 2.5" Model 19 .357. If I'm open carrying, it's a full-size 1911. I'm NOT recoil shy (even if I don't like Eddie Coyle's thermonuclear 500 S&W loads - I have shot them.) So recoil isn't much of an issue for me.

The 38 snubby is a handful and it isn't an easy gun to shoot. Michael DeBethencourt's Secrets of the Concealed Carry Snubby, which I have taken, is a GREAT class on the snubby, BTW. Putting this gun in the hands of a smaller or inexperienced shooter is a great way to get dust in the action - because it's going to sit in her dresser drawer after she shoots it once.

My wife and I have a small gun business. We bought one of the EZs for the shop after we sold several of them at shows - we wanted to try it ourselves. It's larger than, say, my P238 or Alix's LCPII. BUT it's got a very good trigger, it's VERY easy to rack (that's what sells most of the guns at the table - we have a lot of older customers who just do not have the hand strength any more to deal with most semis), it's got a good comfortable grip and the recoil is very easy and manageable. Yes, it's chambered in the somewhat more anemic .380 ACP. No, it's not a 9. But the .380 that is carried and practiced with is better than a 9 in the dresser drawer.

One other advantage that no one has mentioned yet. Reliability. My P238 and Ali's LCP II are BOTH somewhat ammo fussy. WWB White Box .380 JHP, for example, will choke in both our pocket guns (and I'm going to stop selling the stuff because of that). The 380EZ fed EVERYTHING we put in it without a single hiccup.

I was NOT a S&W semi fan - or I wasn't. I've been very impressed with the M&P semis I've handled and shot, though, and I am now a fan. If my wife (or I) carried the 380EZ, I wouldn't be worried. In my opinion, it's a very good gun.

"Why do I get the girl gun?" - Mrs Jane Smith, on being handed a J-frame.
 

citoriguy

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Jake, EXCELLENT post.


I have a P238, my wife has an LC9S, an LCPII (and an Officer's ACP and a GP100, but that's besides the point).

BUT... I USED to carry an S&W 637. Traded it in and got a 642. Now I carry the P238. Honestly, I didn't LIKE shooting the 637 or the 642 - too much recoil for my taste. Before you armchair experts start in on my size, experience, etc, old hands on NES know me and that I'm not recoil shy. Shooting since 1979, IDPA, IPSC, Steel Challenge, pin shoots - Atilla can testify that I used to blow apart pins at North Leominster every month with my .44 Mag 629. If you were at the last Pumpkin Shoot, y'all saw me hit a soda can on the berm at about 80 yards with my 2.5" Model 19 .357. If I'm open carrying, it's a full-size 1911. I'm NOT recoil shy (even if I don't like Eddie Coyle's thermonuclear 500 S&W loads - I have shot them.) So recoil isn't much of an issue for me.

The 38 snubby is a handful and it isn't an easy gun to shoot. Michael DeBethencourt's Secrets of the Concealed Carry Snubby, which I have taken, is a GREAT class on the snubby, BTW. Putting this gun in the hands of a smaller or inexperienced shooter is a great way to get dust in the action - because it's going to sit in her dresser drawer after she shoots it once.

My wife and I have a small gun business. We bought one of the EZs for the shop after we sold several of them at shows - we wanted to try it ourselves. It's larger than, say, my P238 or Alix's LCPII. BUT it's got a very good trigger, it's VERY easy to rack (that's what sells most of the guns at the table - we have a lot of older customers who just do not have the hand strength any more to deal with most semis), it's got a good comfortable grip and the recoil is very easy and manageable. Yes, it's chambered in the somewhat more anemic .380 ACP. No, it's not a 9. But the .380 that is carried and practiced with is better than a 9 in the dresser drawer.

One other advantage that no one has mentioned yet. Reliability. My P238 and Ali's LCP II are BOTH somewhat ammo fussy. WWB White Box .380 JHP, for example, will choke in both our pocket guns (and I'm going to stop selling the stuff because of that). The 380EZ fed EVERYTHING we put in it without a single hiccup.

I was NOT a S&W semi fan - or I wasn't. I've been very impressed with the M&P semis I've handled and shot, though, and I am now a fan. If my wife (or I) carried the 380EZ, I wouldn't be worried. In my opinion, it's a very good gun.

"Why do I get the girl gun?" - Mrs Jane Smith, on being handed a J-frame.

I carried a P238 until I purchased a 365. The P238 is a great gun. I did a lot of target practice and got very comfortable carrying it. Yeah, it’s a .380, but I’m sure anything going 900+ FPS through an intruder or other criminal is going to be effective. It’s anything but a girly-gun.

I moved to the 365 for the 10+1 capacity, and many of the other pistols I have are 9mm. I kept the P238, have several hundred rounds of .380ACP, and still take it to the range. I didn’t have any issues with the WWB JHPs that you had though.
 

citoriguy

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Also, have her try racking the slide in a different manner. My wife keeps her left hand on the slide and pushes the gun forward with her right hand.
 

M60

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I shot one after it was handed to me at a range. Nice little gun. I'd own one. Easy to rack for sure and gentle to fire. Almost too gentle...

If it's this or nothing. It beats the shit out of "nothing".

I think many of us, have thought of the .380, as a better than a sharp stick load. Me included. I've changed my mind, after seeing test results, of one particular .380 load. Gel test using 4 layers of denim in front of a block of ballistic gel. We all know that that the FBI test for a good load is 12" - 16" of penetration. Below you will see the results of both a popular .380 and 9mm.
Hornady 90 gr. critical defense and Hornady 115 gr. 9mm critical defense.
.380 penetration - 13.2"
9mm penetration - 13.1"
.380 expansion - .52"
9mm expansion - .51"
So here's a .380 load that not only out performed 9mm ammo, from same manufacturer but also out performed many of the popular 9mm loads from other manufacturers. These results beg the question.
Does your present 9mm load perform as well as the Hornady, 90 gr. critical defense .380?
FYI. You can see these results for yourself at "lucky gunner .com".
 
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M60

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I too love my S&W .380 EZ, which is enjoyably easy to rack and has magazines which are also extremely easy to load. Its a very sweet shooter with little recoil excellent reliability and accuracy. Great choice for anyone with weak or arthritic hands.

If you love it, why did you sell it here in the NES classified ads?
 
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I'm a .380 fanboy. Primarily because I carry and want the smallest possible pistol along with reliability and reasonable power. I started with the Sig P238. Loved the pistol but hated the 45 carry.
Switched to a Kahr P380. Loved the gun, became my EDC. Bought a Glock 42. (because it's a Glock) Loved the gun. Very close to P380 so I haven't switched. Have a Bodyguard 380. Hate the gun. Way too snappy.
The Kahr and Glock are striker fired. Decent triggers. Bodyguard and Shield EZ are DOA. I'm not a fan of DAO.
As far as racking, the Kahr, Glock, and Bodyguard are about equal. They all require just about the same force. The Glock has the edge because it's bigger and there's more to grab onto.
Haven't tried the Shield EZ yet. It's DAO and bigger so no incentive to try it.

I have a S&W 642 and Ruger LCR. They are simple, easy to operate, accurate, but are larger than the 380 pocket pistols so they print more. I don't see them as being contenders but if I had trouble racking I would have them on the list.
My wife hates guns but likes the S&W 66 because she can drive tacks with it. She sticks with MACE.
 

ScottS

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I'm a .380 fanboy. Primarily because I carry and want the smallest possible pistol along with reliability and reasonable power. I started with the Sig P238. Loved the pistol but hated the 45 carry.
Switched to a Kahr P380. Loved the gun, became my EDC. Bought a Glock 42. (because it's a Glock) Loved the gun. Very close to P380 so I haven't switched. Have a Bodyguard 380. Hate the gun. Way too snappy.
The Kahr and Glock are striker fired. Decent triggers. Bodyguard and Shield EZ are DOA. I'm not a fan of DAO.
As far as racking, the Kahr, Glock, and Bodyguard are about equal. They all require just about the same force. The Glock has the edge because it's bigger and there's more to grab onto.
Haven't tried the Shield EZ yet. It's DAO and bigger so no incentive to try it.

I have a S&W 642 and Ruger LCR. They are simple, easy to operate, accurate, but are larger than the 380 pocket pistols so they print more. I don't see them as being contenders but if I had trouble racking I would have them on the list.
My wife hates guns but likes the S&W 66 because she can drive tacks with it. She sticks with MACE.

Where did you get the idea the Shield EZ is DAO? It's a classic single action automatic in every sense. The trigger only releases the trigger; it has no part in cocking the hammer. In fact, if you didn't pull the slide and look, you'd think it was exactly the same action as the rest of the (non-22 cal) M&P line.
 

M60

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I'm a .380 fanboy. Primarily because I carry and want the smallest possible pistol along with reliability and reasonable power. I started with the Sig P238. Loved the pistol but hated the 45 carry.
Switched to a Kahr P380. Loved the gun, became my EDC. Bought a Glock 42. (because it's a Glock) Loved the gun. Very close to P380 so I haven't switched. Have a Bodyguard 380. Hate the gun. Way too snappy.
The Kahr and Glock are striker fired. Decent triggers. Bodyguard and Shield EZ are DOA. I'm not a fan of DAO.
As far as racking, the Kahr, Glock, and Bodyguard are about equal. They all require just about the same force. The Glock has the edge because it's bigger and there's more to grab onto.
Haven't tried the Shield EZ yet. It's DAO and bigger so no incentive to try it.

I have a S&W 642 and Ruger LCR. They are simple, easy to operate, accurate, but are larger than the 380 pocket pistols so they print more. I don't see them as being contenders but if I had trouble racking I would have them on the list.
My wife hates guns but likes the S&W 66 because she can drive tacks with it. She sticks with MACE.

Your wife and the 66. That sounds like a tough act to follow.
 
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Wife found every semi auto hard to rack ,
Until she took some time to practice and get some skills .
Now she thinks nothing of it with the
1911, 4013, chief special , SW 52 , CZ 82 ,52 , 41 and p38
How she would do under stress?
This is why when she carries its a revolver.
Her choice
 
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Where did you get the idea the Shield EZ is DAO? It's a classic single action automatic in every sense. The trigger only releases the trigger; it has no part in cocking the hammer. In fact, if you didn't pull the slide and look, you'd think it was exactly the same action as the rest of the (non-22 cal) M&P line.

I stand corrected. Shield EZ is SA hammer fired.
 
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