Smith & Wesson Shield 500-Round Test


Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

My Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm has seen a lot of rounds put through it, so I thought now would be a good time to write an article about it. Normally it wouldn’t be such a big thing, since the Shield has been out for quite some time now. Many people have done reviews on it, and many have put 500 rounds through it like I have.

Reliability Requirements

Unlike most people, I’m extremely critical of how a gun operates when it’s dirty. Every gun worth having should work when clean, but any gun worth carrying should go above and beyond that. I hold all my guns to that level, whether they are for carrying or just a range toy. For that reason, when I first buy any new gun, I clean and lube it before I shoot it. After that, it doesn’t get cleaned or lubed for a long time. For a better idea of how I go about “torture testing” my guns for reliability, click here to read about it.

Ammunition Used

In summary, I ran a wide variety of ammunition through it to see how it would hold up.

Tula Ammo (Steel case)
Herters (Aluminum case)
Speer GDHP
Miscellaneous brass-cased ammo I traded for or bought dirt cheap and had never heard of

I never once had any malfunction with the pistol, which impressed me quite a bit.

Cleaning Time for The M&P9 Shield

About a month or two back my Shield had passed the 500 round mark, so I set a time to take it down and clean it out. I use this time to see how much wear and tear has occurred in the weapon, and note any areas of concern.

The Lower

I was very impressed that the lower didn’t show much wear other than the guide rails in the front and back. It was obviously dirty, but I didn’t find nearly as much residue as I was expecting.

The Slide

The slide had more residue than the lower, but the rails themselves showed very little residue. The dirtiest part was the extractor (No surprise there), which was in excellent condition considering it had been forced to eject steel and aluminum-cased ammunition.

The Barrel

Considering I had also never cleaned the barrel, it was surprisingly clean for 500+ rounds through it. A couple quick swabs with a boresnake and it looked brand new.

Final Thoughts

I was surprised at how little residue had built up inside the gun. There are lots of nooks and crevices where residue can accumulate in any gun, and the Shield didn’t seem to have that problem. After cleaning the gun, it looked like it had hardly been used at all. I will gladly use this for everyday carry, as it has proven itself to be durable and extremely reliable. If you haven’t picked one up and are looking for a quality, inexpensive pistol for concealed carry, take a good look at the M&P9 Shield. I think you’ll be glad you did.


The author

Tyler Capobres has years of experience torture testing guns, knives and gear to their limit. If he’s not writing about gun projects, reviewing products or mocking anti-gun zealots on Twitter, you’ll find him at the range. Owner of, a website dedicated to all gun and knife enthusiasts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *