Improved S&W Shield Base Pad

Plan B base pad

If there is one problem with my Smith & Wesson Shield, it is the spacer sleeve the company uses on the extended magazine. It can slide up the magazine to foul the reload and/or pinch the hand. However, my biggest complaint with it is that the back of the sleeve catches on the meaty part of my hand so that it will not drop free when I press the magazine release button.

I’ve experienced the same thing with the magazine sleeve used on the extended mag for the Springfield XD(s).

Plan B base pad

At the SHOT Show, I sat down and talked with Paul Carlson, the owner of Safety Solutions Academy. Carlson showed me his patent pending base plate for the Shield pistol. The machined prototype he had on hand has a captured spacer that prevents the magazine from going too far into the gun and damaging the ejector. Since the spacer sleeve is attached to the base plate, the sleeve will not accidentally ride up the magazine body.

For me, the best part is the rear of the sleeve is recessed so that it does not hang on my hand when I try to eject it.

Plan B base pad

The initial run of base pads and sleeves will be hard anodized aluminum with a probable move to polymer at a later date. The pads and sleeves are being machined by one of the top firearm outfits in the US, and the first sets should be available in March.

Additional information is available on the Safety Solutions Academy website here.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Andy B

    I’m in! Any word on cost?

  • Drew

    Would definitely buy. Cant stand the factory sleeve.

  • Capybara

    Or you can do what MAC recommends, just throw away the stupid spacer. This looks better but functionally, the spacer is not needed.

    • I believe the concern is that without a spacer, when run hard (in training or self defense) the magazine can make contact with the ejector causing damage and ultimately a failure.

    • Richard is right on the money here. We were having students toss the spacer and just run it ugly, then we started to break guns. Mag goes in to far, hits the ejector and it bends and keeps the slide from cycling.

    • OfficetJo

      Not true . The spacer is very much needed to top the mag from breaking off the ejector when slapping a mag in .

  • I’m waiting on MagGuts to finish up their Shield magazine conversion.

    • FightFireJay

      WHAT! A free extra round? I’m there!

      • Jay – this is not a plus one basepad. At least not yet. The Plan B works with the factory +1 magazine.

  • WasThere

    I did the same thing with a few drops of superglue.

    • Andy B

      I thought about that. How’s that hold up?

    • Taylor TX

      Not a bad solution, I hadnt thought of this one. How long have they been glued and hows it working so far?

    • Super glue is certainly an option and one that we have run with for a while. the challenge we ran into was our mags end up on the ground. A lot. they got dirty and this lead to haveing to cut pieces apart to get them clean.

      • Ken

        What about a very thin bead of silicone to keep it in place and the elements out?

        • Ken, I think the thin layer of silicone makes a lot of sense. Keep it in the outside and it will be easier to cut it apart when you need to disassemble.

    • Duck Tape Worm Hero

      Super glue…DUCT TAPE, Bubba!

  • DIR911911 .

    “spacer that prevents the magazine from going too far into the gun and damaging the ejector” . . isn’t that what the magazine catch already does? are you holding the mag release while you put in a new magazine? this really seems like a non problem.

    • Dir911911 – On some guns like Glocks for instance, the mag catch has such a positive stop that overinsertion isn’t an issue. I used to tell my students to toss the sleeves, and then guys started to bend ejectors. More than 1. That’s when that idea became a bad one.

      If you are always gentle with your gun, the mag catch will probably do fine and even if you contact the ejector probably no harm. There is very little that is gentle about the defensive use of a handgun, so I prefer to avoid a catostrophic failure.

  • Marmot

    After carefully examining my Shield 9 and its extended magazine I have to ask: what the hell are you talking about?

  • Hotairbill

    Ahhh! A better “mouse trap.”. Another solution to a problem, I didn’t know I had!

  • Jay

    1000 plus rounds through my shield, I gave not had any issues with the original clips or spacers.

    • A Clip is NOT a Mag

      Stripper clips? Are they 9mm or 40 S&W…dummy?

    • A Shoe is NOT a Sock


  • Aaron E, Thanks for the order!

  • Harold Leist

    $39.95? JUST for ONE base pad? That’s absurd!
    I can buy almost two magazines for that! Get it into polymer and 3D print the things. Get the cost down to $10.00 ea. and I might buy three of them!

    • Sorry you feel that price is absurd Harold. I have kept all the work in the U.S. and although the product would be less expensive in polymer, I simply couldn’t justify or afford the $10,000-$15,000 cost of getting a mold set up for injection molding.

      It would be awesome to be in a position to design a product and then have the resources to give it to people that need it, that isn’t my position at this time. I scrape by as a firearms instructor I make a reasonable living, but not the kind that would allow me to give products away.

      It’s pretty cool to think that I might be able to actually profit in the second run. At 39.95 I will just cover my expenses of design, production, shipping etc. So basically, if the project goes no further, in will have donated a ton of time and energy to bring a product to market.

      I hope that helps you understand why the price is what it is.

      Have a great day!

      • Vic


        Do not worry so much about “made in the USA”.. If you can turn the idea into a successful product then develop a line of similar products or products in the same field..and make some decent money. Then bring it back here with jobs for folks here. What I suggest is you do a online search and locate one of the numerous online parts manufacturers who do spec work (some are foreign some are US.).. (specifications and quantity).. Produce and market a number .. look at your figures then take it from there.. You do not need to start out with your own mold injection machines or manufacturing facility that way.

        I have developed products and offered product lines. I tried to build one particular item exclusively here in the US.. I literally could not buy the components let alone pay to assemble them for less than double the cost of purchasing a similar finished product and shipping it here from in that case Vietnam..

        So take your profit and donate a portion of it it to support liberty

        Do that, you will be doing more than most Companies/Corporation s do now..


  • Thanks for Posting Harold. I’ll head over there and see what folks have to say. I’ll also chime in with the information above about why the part is priced where it is.

    I hope you had a chance to read my comment and if you have any questions, let me know.