What We Carry: M&P Shield #3

Did we tell you about carrying the M&P Shield? Oh, we did? Well, here we go again.

It is hard to overstate the popularity of the M&P Shield, from Smith & Wesson, as an everyday carry gun. Since we make a trigger – actually, THE trigger – for the Shield, there is nothing shocking about the fact that it would be carried by people here at Apex.

But being carried by so many Apex employees is a bit surprising since we also offer triggers for Glocks, and the standard M&P models. Regardless of the popularity of those guns, the Shield is the clear ‘King of Carry’ here at the shop.

And this is a look at our third Shield in this series.

When Tim, who is our QC Supervisor, decided it was time to get a carry gun he started doing some research. He looked at both the Glock 19 and the M&P Shield. The Shield, besides being an accurate gun, was a better fit for Tim from an ergonomic standpoint.

When people look at which gun to carry, so often what you hear are arguments based on allegiance to a particular brand. Sure, there is mention of capacity, and certainly reliability, but the main thrust is “you should carry Brand X” as if any other choice is invalid.

Rarely does the key point of focus seem to be on ergonomics, which is odd considering we’re talking about something that will be carried on your body for the majority of your waking hours each and every day. In Tim’s case, ergonomics was a key decision point in selecting the Shield.

That doesn’t mean the Glock 19 isn’t a good choice for an everyday carry. It just means it wasn’t a good choice for Tim. And yes, we know that the 19 is not analogous to the Shield. The better comparison is the Glock 43, but Tim wasn’t interested in that model.

Again, personal preference is paramount.

The appeal of the Shield has a great deal to do with the pistol’s slim profile. The smaller the form factor of the firearm the easier it is to conceal – obviously. But when carrying a gun, not only do you have to take into account the width and sizing of the pistol but also the added width that comes from the holster you select.

Tim carries his EDC in a Model 135 Bianchi holster. The Model 135 Suppression is an inside the waistband holster designed for both comfort and deep concealment. It is made from a combination of leather and synthetic material.

The body facing side of the holster features a foam and anti-microbial mesh outer which helps prevent odor and germs from accumulating. Kind of an important feature in a state where temperatures reach close to 120 degrees in the middle of summer.

Of course, the primary feature of this particular Shield is, well, what’s under the hood.

There is a school of thought, populated mostly by old curmudgeonly men, that says, “you don’t need to upgrade you trigger. You just need to train more and learn to shoot the stock trigger.” This ain’t the school we attend.

Why would you ever, when put in a position of having to defend your life, want to be fighting the trigger? If or when that day comes, you want every conceivable advantage. You’re not there to fight fair, right?

So, when it comes right down to it you want a crisp, clean trigger. One that allows you a smooth trigger stroke without the grit and creep that’s found in a stock, factory trigger. And that, friends, is why Tim’s Shield is ‘running Apex under the hood.’

The Apex Action Enhancement Trigger and Duty/Carry Kit for the Shield replaces the safety plunger, the sear and that – how do we way this without being impolite? – not-so-popular hinged factory trigger. With the Apex components you get a trigger whose performance is simply a night and day difference from the factory configuration.

And you bet this includes the Performance Center models as well.

Honestly, don’t take our word for it just because we are the reigning authorities on the Smith & Wesson striker-fired pistol line. Ask any of our customers. Or better yet, find a buddy that has one in his/her gun and take it for a test drive. You will come away with the realization that the trigger is the last thing you need to worry about in a confrontation.

In other words, when upgraded to an Apex trigger you can now fight the fight and not the trigger.

One last point on the ergonomics, and this is worth considering. Tim carries his Shield in the 8+1 configuration of the factory extended mag with the flush fit mag 7+1 capacity mag as his backup. This gives him a larger grip, and thus more control from the start, should he have to ever draw his firearm in a personal defense situation.

paul / November 1, 2019 / Random Apex
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  1. Timothy Lynch - November 5, 2019 @ 10:41 am

    I have the 1st Gen shield (going on 3 years ) The first thing I did was get the Apex trigger and spring kit. I tell anyone who runs the Shield to get the trigger from you guys. Definitely a game changer. Thanks for a quality product.

  2. Mike B - November 7, 2019 @ 1:40 pm

    I daily carry the shield performance center with the Hive clip attachments along with the same red flat face trigger, spring and the service & duty upgrade kit and it is a very impressive setup with minimal trigger reset. Reaction and recovery from trigger pull is improved drastically. The single stack frame makes this beauty controllable and accurate. Very comfortable to carry concealed with no fitment issues.

  3. AlexJV - November 7, 2019 @ 2:51 pm

    I was at your Open House last Saturday and I bought a “Thin Blue Line” full kit for both my Gen 1 Shield and Gen 5 Glock 19, which you installed for me. I also brought along a Flat Forward Set Trigger Kit for my Sig P320, which I had purchased from you online the second week of October, (before the Open House was announced), which you also graciously installed for me. Thank you!

    My regular EDC is a SIG C3 (Cubed) 1911. For those not familiar, it is the SIG version of the Colt CCO: a Commander length barrel and slide mounted on a compact, alloy, Officer’s size frame. Doing a lot of hard physical work when I was a young man: climbing mountains, falling off cliffs, and generally being dashed about, I have a few back issues. Hence, the C3 rather than a full size, steel-frame 1911.

    Every now and then, the back issues really flair up and even the C3 is a little heavy to carry. I broke down and bought the Shield for times like this. Having been initially trained in combat handguns on 1911s, it has been very difficult for me to accept the trigger “feel” of your typical Striker Fired weapon, and have learned to just kind of accept it and adapt to it.

    I had debated about getting an Apex Trigger Kit for the Shield as the factory trigger felt better than most full-sized Gen 1 M&Ps I had ever tried. A friend of mine did have an Apex Kit installed in his Gen 1 M&P .45, and it made a world of difference in it! Though my Shield trigger was not as Horrible as the one in my friends .45, I took it along to the Open House, still undecided if I would get a kit installed or not.

    I have not yet had a chance to shoot my Shield with the newly installed Apex kit; however, just from Dry-Fire testing it after the install was done, I can tell a world of difference and great improvement with all aspects of the trigger feel: from take-up, to break, to reset and reengagement. Night and Day!

    Thanks again, Apex! You guys Rock!

  4. Gus Murphree - November 7, 2019 @ 11:17 pm

    I have a Gen 1 Performance center Shield. I hated the trigger but loved the Shield. I talked with someone at your company and it’s been so long ago I don’t remember his name. He told me the Performance Center Shield already had a 5 lb trigger and that all I needed to do was to replace the trigger itself. I have not been disappointed in the money I spent on the Apex trigger I bought. It is amazing and I love my Shield even more now!!!!

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