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The Shield Project


So way back in 2012, I purchased and reviewed the then just released S&W M&P Shield:


You can click here if you’d like to go back and read that review.  I liked it well enough, but it was deficient in a few areas which I consider critical to any defensive or “fighting” handgun.  Still, I’ve searched long and hard for a good striker fired polymer handgun that could be pocket carried.  The list of firearms which fit in this category is an extremely short list – and I’ve tried them all and don’t care for them.  So I came back around to the M&P Shield and decided I try to modify one to make it the perfect pocketable defensive handgun.  Thus, “Project Shield” was born.  🙂

Having sold my first M&P Shield to a friend, the first order of business was to buy another from my local gun store.  I also ordered a few of the extended 8 round magazines – my preferred magazine for this firearm – two for the range, and one extra for carry.

One of the first thing I looked into was improving the handle grip texture – the stock Shield is, in my opinion, a little slick.  There no short of third party gun smiths that perform “stippling” which alters the texture of the polymer surface.  I’ve got stippled components on my M&P 9c, like the removable back strap.  The Shield however doesn’t have a removable back strap.   If you stipple the gun, it’s a permanent alteration – one that a future owner might not particularly care for, making the gun potentially harder to sell.  Since I sold the Shield once before, I wasn’t 100% certain that the modifications I had in mind would entirely suit me, so stippling my Shield wasn’t my first choice.  Then I learned about Talon Grip Tape for the M&P Shield.  The tape is manufactured and cut in such a way that it perfectly fits the M&P Shield.  Here’s a photo of what it looks like applied to my Shield:


Note that the Talon Grip Tape for the M&P Shield even is applied to the base of the magazine for a truly integrated appearance that also GREATLY improves the grip traction on the M&P Shield.

The next item to address on the Shield is the lack of luminous night sights.  The criminal element tends to work in the dark, so chances are, if I’m involved in a defensive shooting situation, it would be in low-light condition.  Night sights on a defensive handgun are an absolute must.  I generally prefer Trijicon night sites, and I greatly debated with myself on whether or not to get the Trijicon HD Night Sights for the M&P Shield, or the Trijicon Bright & Tough Night Sites for the M&P Shield.  I opted for the Bright & Tough sites because they come with rear sights that are easier for me to see in daylight conditions.  They also provide an excellent sight picture in low-light conditions:


The last thing I needed to complete this phase of the project is to get a good pocket holster for the M&P Shield.  For this purpose, I chose the Desantis Superfly for the M&P Shield:


I chose the DeSantis Superfly for several reasons.  Firstly, who DOESN’T like saying “SUPAFLYYYYY!!!”  Beyond that, the Desantis Superfly provides excellent, safe (the trigger is completely covered) retention of the firearm and has a textured exterior that ensures the holster will stay in your pocket when you draw the firearm.  It also is designed to ensure the firearm doesn’t shift around in your pocket, and it does a nice job of concealing the “print” of the firearm in your pocket.

With these modifications completed, I need to spend some time with the Shield to see how well I like it.   So far, I’m really liking it a lot more than I initially did.   One thing I’m still not sure about is the trigger – it’s an improvement over M&P triggers of the past, but not nearly “1911” like enough for my taste.  So I MIGHT decide to get an Apex trigger kit for the Shield installed.  I’ll update this article once I’ve made that decision, and with any additional modifications.

Here’s a video I recorded which details the modifications I’ve made to date on my M&P Shield:


About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.


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