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SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield

This comparison is going to be for our Smith and Wesson fans. There is a major size difference when comparing the SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield. But they’re still close enough in size to fill a similar role for most people. We’ll cover the differences between the two guns in detail mentioning all the pros and cons for both guns.

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield T

Size

MetricsM&P 2.0 CompactSW M&P Shield
Weight No Mag(Oz)24.318.4
Weight Empty Mag(Oz)27.120.4
Weight With A Full Mag(Oz)32.623.4
Height(top of Slide to bottom of Magazine Baseplate)(Inches)4.94.45
Length (Inches)7.016.13
Width of Grip(Inches)1.230.95
Width of Slide(Inches)1.110.09
Width Across Controls(Inches)1.291.03

SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield Concealed Carry

So when you look at the guns for concealed carry, you’re looking at two completely different classes of firearms. The Smith and Wesson shield holds only seven-round and it’s a single stack firearm. So obviously it’s going to be a lot smaller than the M&P 2.0 compact. If you look at the height of the gun, it’s roughly a half-inch shorter. It’s also around six ounces lighter. That said the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact is also a great gun for concealed carry. If you want to carry a slightly larger firearm.

There’s no doubt that Smith and Wesson’s Shield is going to be much easier to conceal. But you can still conceal the 2.0 Compact, it just depends on what size gun you’re looking for. I carry a Glock 19 daily. Which is the exact same size as the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact. And I have no issues whatsoever concealing it as long as I’m using a good holster. The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is going to be easier to conceal. Depending on what you want, you’re giving up a lot of firepowers and shootability by going with the Smith and Wesson Shield.

Ergonomics 

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield grips

Frame

Now you’re going to have a lot more advantages with the frame on the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact. The M&P 2.0 compact has removable backstraps that allow you to adjust to three different sizes. The largest size increases the trigger reach as well. So if you have larger hands, that’s a major advantage.

SW Shield

In Stock Shields
New and Pre Owned

Both guns feel good in the hand, but I’m definitely going to have to give the advantage of just overall ergonomics to the larger gun. It just feels more substantial and you feel like you have a lot better control over the firearm. The Smith and Wesson shield feels a little bit like a 1 by 4 in your hand. It’s very slim, almost too slim. It doesn’t fill the hand as well. Just isn’t quite as comfortable.

A big advantage for the S and W M&P 2.0 compact is the grip length. With the Smith and Wesson Shield, half of my pinky fingers hanging off the bottom of the grip. Whereas with the larger Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact, I’m able to get my entire hand on the grip of the gun. Which makes a big difference for leverage when controlling recoil.

Texture

Now there’re still two Smith and Wesson variants. The original Smith and Wesson and the Smith and Wesson 2.0 compact. And they have very different textures. The original Smith and Wesson shield is an extremely slick pistol without a lot of texture to it. The Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 shield is very aggressive and it’s identically aggressive to the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact. 

SW 2.0 Compact

In Stock 2.0 Compacts
New and Pre Owned

Both of those have very aggressive texturing and if you’re carrying the pistol concealed, it can be quite aggressive against your skin. For some people, this isn’t an issue, but for others, it is. I would say the texturing on these pistols feels a little bit like 200 grit sandpaper in the hand. It’s great when you’re shooting, but it doesn’t work as well when you’re carrying it. It would be nice if Smith and Weston had removed that feature from the sides of the gun. But kept it on the front strap and backstrap with the firearm.

Slide

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield slides

Both these slides are fairly easy to manipulate. The Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 in both the shield and the M&P 2.0 compact have four serrations. But those four serrations are only around an eighth of an inch tall. So they might as well be useless. Now the serrations on the rear of the gun are also identical between the shield and the 2.0 compact. So I can’t really give much of a difference there except for the wider slide on the 2.0 compact. It does make the gun a little bit easier to grab and rack, but they’re still very similar.

Sights

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield 15

Stock

Both these guns come with identical sight pictures. The sights on them are metal, three-dot sights. You can get upgraded sights on the Smith and Wesson shield 2.0 performance center guns as they offer fiber optic sights with a green fiber off to the rear and a red fiber optic front. I personally don’t care for their sites. I think they’re a little too bright. And on the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0, you can get it with night sights. It’s going to have an identical sight picture to the standard three-dot sights, except you’ll have tritium vials in place of the painted white holes.

SW Shield

In Stock Shields
New and Pre Owned

Aftermarket

The aftermarket for both these pistols is very similar to each other, and there’s a lot of good aftermarket sites on the market. That’s what I would suggest going with. You can go with sites from a company like Dawson Precision, or Trijicon, AmeriGlo. There are a lot of great site companies making offerings for these guns.

Red Dot Optics

Smith and Wesson seem to be expanding this on the shield offerings.

Now, the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact is now available with a red dot cut. I would suggest probably going with that over a dot on the shield. And it’s nice knowing that Smith and Wesson offer that option from the factory. The Smith and Wesson 2.0 compact with the red dot Mount will accept multiple kinds of red dots, like your hollow sons, your treasure cons, your SIGs, and your little polled optics.

SW 2.0 Compact

In Stock 2.0 Compacts
New and Pre Owned

Controls

Safety

Now, both of these pistols are available with and without safeties. The safety of this Smith and Wesson shield is the same for the original and the 2.0 variant. It is a small piece of folded sheet metal mounted on the left side of the pistol, so you can swipe down with your thumb. It’s very low profile and stays out of the way. Almost too much out of the way. 

I would like to see it a little bit wider. So that you could ride your thumb on top of the safety when you’re firing similar to a 1911. Having that kind of feel of safety just makes me feel a little more secure and it would be nice to see it be ambidextrous. In case you ever had to use the gun with your left hand, then you could swipe the safety on and off easily.

Now the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact, in my opinion, has a better set of safeties. The safeties on the Smith Wesson M&P 2.0 compact are positioned like a 1911. At the rear of the gun. They’re very wide and ambidextrous. It’s very natural to run these safeties and it’s just an excellent design on Smith and Wesson’s part.

Trigger 

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield trigger

The triggers on the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact are identical to the 2.0 shields. But the original shield has a slightly different trigger. So I’m going to cover the 2.0 series versus the standard shield.

Shield Trigger

The standard original shield trigger has a very similar feel to the new triggers. It’s not quite as improved. The original Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 trigger have a light take-up and then we’re going to reach a wall. We’re going to feel the pressure build until you get a fairly hard brake. The reset on the trigger resets right back at the wall, where you feel that break again.

SW Shield

In Stock Shields
New and Pre Owned

Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 Series Trigger

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield compact trigger

The trigger of the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 series has an improved sear. It still has the standard hinge trigger on the Smith and Wesson M&P shield. But it does have an improved feel. You have some very light taken before you reach the wall. Once you’ve reached that wall, the brake is similar current characteristic but just feels a little bit lighter and cleaner. It’s much improved over the original Smith and Wesson shield series of triggers.

Slide Lock SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield

The slide locks on all these guns are identical in shape and placement. One advantage of the M&P 2.0 compact is that it’s ambidextrous. Overall, I’m going to have to give the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact an advantage because of that. But if you’re a right-handed shooter, it’s really not going to make much of a difference.

SW 2.0 Compact

In Stock 2.0 Compacts
New and Pre Owned

Magazine Release

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield compact magazine release

Again, these are identical features between the two guns. There’s no real difference. If you have smaller hands, it might be easier for you to reach the magazine release on the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 Shield. That said, I can reach both of these magazine releases just as easily as the other, and I don’t have to break my grip. But again, if you have smaller hands, you’ll find the magazine release on the shield a little easier to use.

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield magazine release
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Quality

There is a slight difference in the feel and quality of the 2.0 series versus the original. The polymer on the original Smith and Wesson shield feels a little bit higher quality than the polymer on the 2.0 series. And in the 2.0 series, there’s no difference in build quality between the shield and the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact. That said I prefer the features on the 2.0 series to the 1.0. I think the difference in quality is somewhat perceivable. it’s likely not any worse quality. It’s just something that feels like it’s lower quality.

Aftermarket

The aftermarket options for both of these guns are very similar. There might be a few more aftermarket options for the shield. Just because there are so many of those guns out on the market. But overall, you’re going to be able to find most of the OEM accessories for each firearm.

SW Shield

In Stock Shields
New and Pre Owned

Aesthetics 

Personally, I’ve never cared for the look on the Smith and Weston M&P 2.0 Shield. The outline of the gun just seems to not be proportional and it looks very back heavy. The nose looks very short. Now the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact on the other hand, in my opinion, is a very attractive-looking firearm. It just looks great. 

SW M_P 2.0 Compact vs Shield X

It’s well proportioned and it has some nice little features. It is a little bit busy on some of the characteristics. Like some of the cutouts in the frame and some of the details on the frame itself. But overall, it’s a very clean-looking gun, a bit busy, but still attractive. It’s like a car that’s been souped-up, maybe a little too much for the average person’s tastes, but it’s still attractive and people are going to dig it.

Shooting SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield

Shooting these two guns, there’s no comparison between them. It’s much easier to shoot the larger Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact. The gun has a better texture than the original shield, and it’s just larger, has softer recoil, the slide really dampens a lot of the recoil, the longer barrel everything about it is just easier to shoot. 

SW 2.0 Compact

In Stock 2.0 Compacts
New and Pre Owned

The Smith and Wesson shield is going to be better if you want a smaller carry gun, but in every other aspect, the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact is a better gun. It just comes with size. With size, you have limitations.

Price/Value

It’s always hard to write about the pricing of Smith and Wesson M&P products as they tend to fluctuate greatly. As I’m writing this we’re experiencing the highest demand the firearms market has ever seen so prices are much higher than usual. Due to that, I’m not going to state the actual prices but the differences between them.

As we covered earlier Smith and Wesson still produce the original generation of the shield as well as the newer 2.0 version and they come in at roughly $70-$100 difference in price. If you’re comparing the price of the SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield 2.0 this is around a $50 price difference. 

If money is tight then the shield will be the better value but if it’s not then it’s going to come down to which size gun you prefer.

Pros/Cons

SW Shield

In Stock Shields
New and Pre Owned

SW M&P 2.0 Compact Pros

  • Capacity
  • Shootability 

M&P Shield Pros

  • Price
  • Size

SW M&P 2.0 Compact Cons

  • Cost
  • Size

M&P Shield Cons

  • Capacity 
  • Recoil

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