Rifleman Review: Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P9 Shield M2.0

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posted on October 13, 2021

Back in 2012, Smith & Wesson ushered in a new era for the concealed carry market with the introduction of the M&P 9 Shield series of striker-fired, micro-compact handguns. Since then, Smith & Wesson continued to improve and introduce new variations of the Shield series as it does with many of its other handgun lines. This included the enhanced Performance Center versions and later models incorporating the improvements found on the M&P M2.0

A close-up, left-side view of the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 9 Shield M2.0.

In 2019, Smith & Wesson blended the features of the enhancements of the Performance Center alterations with the modified aspects of the M&P 2.0 line into a new version of the M&P9 Shield, resulting in the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 9 Shield M2.0. One of the biggest alterations to the design of the new M&P 9 Shield was the extension of the barrel length from the 3" standard to 4". This extension gives greater sight radius and allows for a more complete burn when using defensive +P ammunition, though it does increase the overall weight to 22.8 ozs.

A closer look at the green fiber-optic front sight and the compensating ports cut into the barrel and slide.

Another aspect of the stainless-steel barrels on the Performance Center M&P 9 Shield M2.0 is the addition of two compensating ports cut into the barrel near the muzzle, with accommodating port cuts added to the slide as well. This addition is meant to help tame muzzle rise, venting upward and thus pushing the muzzle downward when fired. Another Performance Center feature found on the Ported M&P 9 Shield M2.0 are the iron sights, with fiber-optic inserts. The front fiber optic is colored in bright green, while the rear two are in red, providing good contrast for sight picture acquisition.

A close-up view of the red fiber-optic rear sight and 4 m.o.a. micro red-dot optic.

But that's not all, as the Performance Center M&P 9 Shield M2.0 also features a pre-cut slide for micro red-dot sights, and even comes with a 4 m.o.a. red-dot sight already installed. Other features include M2.0 style upgrades to the frame, including the improved M2.0 grip texture added to the grip surface. The trigger is also the M2.0 style, with a smoother and cleaner break. However, the size of the frame remains the same as the earlier M&P 9 Shields, and so also feeds from seven- or eight-round detachable box magazines. Like other M&P handguns, it is also offered with or without and thumb safety.  

Firing the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 9 Shield M2.0 on the range.

Since its release in 2019, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 9 Shield M2.0 has been superseded in the catalog by the Performance Center M&P 9 Shield Plus, which share many of the same attributes, but with some minor improvements. to learn more about the current catalog lineup for the M&P 9 Shield series, visit smith-wesson.com.

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.

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