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).
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.
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.