Rifleman Review: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus OR In 30 Super Carry

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posted on August 9, 2023

When Smith & Wesson introduced its M&P Shield Plus in 2021, it took what had already been a popular concealed-carry gun and brought it to the next level in terms of magazine capacity. Now, the company has broadened its Shield Plus lineup with a model chambered in Federal Ammunition's 30 Super Carry, which enhances magazine capacity even more. Watch our "American Rifleman Television" Rifleman Review segment above to learn about this capacity-rich combination.

"The benefit of the 30 Super Carry is you've got a .30-cal. 0.313" bullet diameter, and because of that reduced diameter, you are able to put more rounds in the magazine," said Evan Brune, American Rifleman executive editor. "So for the same magazine size as the 9 mm Luger version of the Shield Plus, you're able to get 13 rounds into this magazine, and that's just the flush-fit. We've also got a slightly extended magazine here that increases capacity to 16 rounds, and that's 16 rounds in a gun that is still slim, trim and really easy to carry."

Federal 30 Super Carry cartridges loaded inside of an M&P Shield Plus magazine.

Beyond the increased magazine capacity, Smith & Wesson made a number of changes over the original Shield handgun design.

"There's a lot to talk about with the gun itself, and Smith & Wesson has really fleshed out its Shield Plus lineup since we first saw this in 2021," Brune said. "One of the standout features with the Shield Plus was the trigger design."

In its original Shield introduced in 2012, Smith & Wesson had incorporated a hinged trigger design rather than a blade-in-shoe safety commonly found elsewhere in the market. Many consumers highlighted how the hinged trigger made the trigger pull feel spongy, so the company moved to a more common blade-style safety that sits within a flat-faced trigger shoe. But that's not the only benefit found on the Shield Plus.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus flat-bladed trigger

"One of the nice things about the way that Smith & Wesson cuts its slide serrations is that, as you travel rearward, there is a progressive deepening of the slide cuts, and so that gives you just a little bit of added purchase in order to get this gun into battery," Brune said.

Additionally, Smith & Wesson also incorporated a milled slide that accommodates Shield RMSc-pattern micro red-dots, and a cover plate ships with the gun that seamlessly blends with the rest of the slide when an optic isn't mounted. For those who choose to run with the gun's iron sights, an upgraded set ships with the Shield, providing an easy-to-see sight picture along with a tactical-rack-style rear sight that can be racked one-handed off a flat surface.

Milled slide shown on top of a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus handgun.

"All in all, this is a very, very competent platform. It's very easy to carry, and it's great to shoot," Brune concluded. "And so if you're in the marketplace for a concealed carry handgun that has a tremendous amount of capability, you really can't go wrong with the Shield Plus."

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST. 

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus OR 30 Super Carry Specifications
Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Action Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 30 Super Carry
Slide: stainless steel, Armornite finish
Frame: black polymer
Barrel: 3.1", stainless steel, six-groove, 1:10" RH twist
Magazine: 13-round detachable box
Sights: steel, three-dot tritium
Trigger: striker-fired; 5-lb., 1-oz. pull
Overall Length: 6.1"
Height: 4.6"
Weight: 19.3 ozs.
Accessories: owner's manual, optics cover plate, 16-round magazine, lock
MSRP: $549

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