Ported M&P Shield… I Don’t Get It

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I must be grouchy or something, but another product caught my eye as one that I do not understand the existence of. While the Apex Glock Magazine Plates were and are, in my opinion, utterly stupid, a larger name in the firearms industry put out a product that seems to be an answer searching for a problem.

Smith & Wesson, specifically their M&P Shield Performance Center Ported model.

Before I go on and on, I actually get the benefits of a few of the upgrades. The fiber optics sights are sincerely appreciated and any upgrade to the trigger of a striker-fired handgun is usually a welcome upgrade and on a Shield, which is known for having a generally excellent trigger (relatively speaking), an upgrade may just make it fully usable.

But, I can’t get over the ported barrel. Here’s my logic:

  • Subcompact handguns are typically purchased for concealed carry and similar scenarios.
  • They are normally small by nature, which limits barrel length.
  • Short barrels are bad, as they limit velocity which is needed for penetration and for hollow-points, expansion.
  • Taking an extremely short barrel and addition ports reducing actual acceleration distance is even worse. In this particular example, porting makes it only a 2″ or less effective barrel.
  • This is combined with increased flash, especially in low-light when the handgun would be used for its intended purposes.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand porting on long(er) barrel handguns and for those typically used for competition, but for a subcompact carry gun, the choice to port the barrel seems odd, especially at its location. The supposed reduced muzzle flip so close to the axis of rotation would be minimal.

Now, if they increase the barrel length by 1/4-1/2″ and added porting past the slide, I would understand, but I just don’t get this offering. Doing so would keep critical velocity and put porting father down the handgun away from the axis of rotation.

Of course, to each their own and I love the market’s ability to sort winners and losers quickly, so time will tell if Smith & Wesson found a niche or missed the target on this one. 

 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Markbo

    Nathan have you actually done any velocity testing on THIS gun with and without porting?

    • Gambler X

      that you are calling out the author makes my head hurt more than the existence of a ported carry gun…

      • mcameron

        because he deserve to be called out when he makes claims about a gun he hasnt shot?………

        hes the author of an article on a gun blog…..honestly, his opinion is no more valid than any other guy on the internet…….

        • Gambler X

          claims? plenty of testing of ported and non ported barrels on the internet. They have this thing called Google….you should try it some time.

          The author doesnt have to shoot a gun with rusty thumbtacks in the grip to know that would be painful and dumb. Same with a ported carry pistol. A good portion of those that read this faceplamed at the idea, then there is you and Markbo.

          Have you ever shot a ported handgun? Im guessing no.

          • mcameron

            ive shot plenty of ported handguns…..never once really had a problem……never been “burned”…and ive never experienced “blindness” in low light conditions that everone seems to complain about……..

            the fact is, the authors obviously have run out of actual content to write about……because they have resorted to griping about products they have no actual experience with.

            if they actually want to review the product and give it a negative review, that would actually be helpful…..

            but this is no different than any other arm chair commando griping on gun forums about products they have no experience with.

          • Gambler X

            Nowhere in your long incoherent, pause break……. riddled rant were you close to presenting any actual fact or anything that could be construed as a rational thought.

            And what facts? I told you to use google and you apparently didnt. Do you work for S&W or are you just another armchair commando calling someone else an armchair commando on the internet? Defending a product you’ve never shot versus someone critiquing features on a gun hes never shot(i dont know if the author has shot a shield or not)

            I’ve owned a Shield, does it need to be ported? No. Seems like a tremendous waste of money. I dont need to shoot the ported version to know that. Fixing that crap trigger must have been much harder than drilling holes in the slide and barrel.

          • MR

            So you’re saying Nathan S. just told us stuff we already knew, or could readily get from previous sources? How is that beneficial?
            But he obviously has his fans, I guess some people enjoy that sort of thing.

          • Gambler X

            No what im saying is that you should probably just post under one name instead of 3 or 4.

          • MR

            Odd, I didn’t get anything like that from anything you posted before. Regardless, it’d be interesting to see any evidence you have for this figure of your imagination. Go ahead and call me out, what names do you think I’m posting under? Though I really shouldn’t feed the trolls, willful ignorance like yours is one of my pet peeves.

          • MR

            Here’s a thought: take a look at the Apex base pad story, see how many posts I have there. Quite a few, right? Hey, it’s a click bait article, I’ll click the **** out of it. But if I were posting under “three or four” names, wouldn’t I spread those posts out somewhat evenly amongst those names? Wouldn’t that look a little better? On the plus side, I think I figured out why you like these spoonfeeding, hand holding articles. You simply aren’t capable of doing any critical thinking of your own.

          • Gambler X

            “WHAAA WHAA LOOK HOW MANY POSTS I HAVE WHAAAAA!”

            So, because I agree with the author that its useless features for extra money Im not capable of thinking on my own. Could be worse, I could be a complete tool like you. Good day douchebag.

          • MR

            Your reading comprehension is beyond terrible.

          • Gambler X

            once again replying to something you’ve already replied to

          • Kivaari

            I shot a ported Glock 17. Indoors with conventional lighting on. The flash was extreme. Having done quite a bit of night qualifications, and appreciate the lower flash in modern ammunition. Anything done to limit flash is a good thing. Anything that increases flash is a bad thing. Porting on a typical defense handgun seems to be a bad idea.

  • Robert Brian Steely

    Then you, sir, know nothing of marketing…

  • Barrett West

    So I think the point is to make the perp think that your hand has exploded into flame with the first shot, thereby giving you the psychological advantage for follow-up shots.

    Why shoot/stab a man whose gun has just exploded, after all?

    😛

    • You can do the same at night with a NAA minirevolver.

      • Twilight sparkle

        Those things are actually pretty underrated in 22mag

        • iksnilol

          I dunno, with a 2 inch barrel the .22 mag and .22 LR are basically the same (same weight, same velocity). I am thinking of 40 grain bullets now. so I sorta find the short barreled NAA minirevolver pointless in .22 mag.

          • Twilight sparkle

            I realise this is true for the most part which is why I have both cylinders. CCI maxi mags seem to do better than expected though.

          • RA

            Ballistics for a 22LR and a 22WMR in a 2″barrel are NOT THE SAME. Not even close

          • Kivaari

            The .22 magnum gives off a large flash. Performance from any .22 rim-fire is poor.

          • iksnilol

            According to BBTI they are pretty darn close.

  • JASON B

    Agreed. Porting is silly on the Shield. I don’t think the velocity loss is as bad as you suggest above, but it will have an effect. I also don’t think the porting on this gun is going to do much for muzzle flip. This is just a little marketing gimmick to give the very popular Shield a little Performance Center love. As the owner of many S&W revolvers, sadly I have to say the Performance Center at S&W is not what it used to be.

    I do own a 9mm Shield as well. I bought one when they first came out. It is an excellent little slim 9. It may be the best one out there, especially when price is factored into the equation. I have a couple of thousand rounds through mine and it has been 100% flawless. It is also very accurate. I even went ahead and installed an Apex Competition Trigger Kit for the M&P series and a Warren tactical Fiber Optic Front Sight and Black Blade rear. With the 3.5lb trigger, it is a very sweet and slick little piece. I generally carry a full size gun, but when I need a slim little 9, I grab my non-ported Shield 🙂

  • Tr Graham

    Guess how long that fancy fiber optic front sight is going to work on a ported, short barreled pistol.

    • raz-0

      Given that the ports are behind it by at least the same distance as the muzzle is in front of it, and based on my own experience. As long as you clean the soot off of it so you light can get to it to make it work, probably about 10-12k rounds before you need to swap in some new fiber. Possibly longer. That was about the service interval on my much thinner and more delicate fiber front on my production division M&P gun. My 2011 goes longer, I’ve only had to replace it once in about 45k rounds.

  • BillC

    I didn’t get it either. Because anything to separate a fool and his money in a saturated firearms market. “Now available with wings!”

  • David

    Porting a tiny CCW is perfect for the uninformed.

    • FightFireJay

      If this is tiny, what size do you call an LCP.

      • Sub-Tiny

      • 360_AD

        Donald Trump approved.

    • TheMaskedMan

      There are a number of defensive scenarios in which a CCW is shot from the hip. If you have a ported gun, you can enjoy being showered with hot gases.

      • Swarf

        Or shooting across your lap at a would-be car jacker.

        • But what if you are shooting in arctic conditions, this gun just might save your life….

          • iksnilol

            By blinding you so you won’t get blinded by the snow?

            Didn’t think about that one 😛

          • Jf2mad

            And if you are shooting in arctic conditions the reduced muzzle velocity due to loss of pressure by the porting would almost make it a guarantee that the bullet will not penetrate the added layers of cold weather clothing.
            And porting a 9MM? Really? Grow a wrist or get a mouse gun.

          • Kivaari

            Like a strobe light drawing attention of search planes?

      • RA

        You’re going to get gas blow back any way even if not’s not ported

        • TheMaskedMan

          Yes, but why make it 10x worse for minimal benefit?

          • RA

            I’ve shot next to numerous people who run a compensator on AR15/M4s that are a PITA but no one minds that

          • TheMaskedMan

            I’ve never used a comp, but don’t they generally expel gases to the sides and not up? I think it’s different from a ported barrel. Besides, on a rifle it makes sense to run a comp (from my understanding, the faster the round, the more effective the comp/porting), but not so much on a short barrel 9mm.

            I’m just saying that I wouldn’t want a CCW that’s going to produce extra muzzle flash right in my face, especially considering the vast majority of defensive gun uses are at night.

          • iksnilol

            Kinda makes sense on a short barrel 9mm.

            9mm is high pressure, shorter barrel = more pressure at the muzzle. The more pressure a brake or ports get the more effective they can be.

          • Hyok Kim

            Do they shoot at night in a confined space?

          • Kivaari

            I have. No one should want flash like the S&W ads show.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            The only gun that I have owned that was ported and needed to be was a 5 shot 44 Magnum Taurus Tracker with a 4 inch barrel. I would love to get another one of those, I just would need to get a reloading press to feed it since the ammo has gone through the roof.

          • Kivaari

            The 5-shot Taurus is a very handy gun. Using .44 Special level loads can be real fun shooting. I had been shooting quite a few .44 Specials and magnums, when I decided to simply get rid of all the magnum brass and make my loads usable in all my guns. That came after I grabbed a box of ammo an headed to the range for a match. Oops, I had a special chambered revolver, and you can’t just shove the longer cases into them. The hardest kicking revolver I ever owned, and I didn’t own if for long, was a S&W M329, that super light weight Scandium .44. Even with .44 Special rounds it kicked so bad that it just wasn’t fun. The same loads in a small 5-shot Charter Arms Bulldog were fine. Porting has its place on hunting or target guns. If your powder doesn’t leave a large flame that will ruin night vision it would be OK on a defensive gun. I’ve read several comments about how the flash doesn’t ruin night vision, and call BS. It is an issue. I suspect those that did not notice it, had their eyes closed at every pull of the trigger.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            I used to have a factory compensated TZ-75 that was a tack driver. I wish I hadn’t had to sell it. I love my CZ-75, but it isn’t quite as accurate as that TZ. Full power 9mm loads had the recoil of a 22 and light loads wouldn’t cycle the action.

    • supergun

      Stop talking about the democrats.

    • Lt_Scrounge

      Agreed, it will help sales. It will stink to have to try and fire a follow up shot with your night vision destroyed by that muzzle flash, but it isn’t like the bad guys that you might actually have to use it on are going to be mugging you at night are they?

  • olivehead

    As others have indicated, really no point to this gun other than sales to those who might think it looks cool.

  • john huscio

    Jeff Quinns never met a gun he didn’t like

    • mazkact

      Sometimes He will point out that a firearm is not “lefty” friendly but other than that all are just dandy.

  • John

    OK, what you fail to realize is that there are words..very simple words, that explain the desire, no…the NEED for such a modification. These words cover any and ALL answers to the question: Is this an appropriate modification for a strictly defensive handgun that needs all the muzzle velocity it can get to achieve maximum effectiveness?…..

    ….those simple words are….

    ….it looks pretty…

  • borekfk

    Perhaps this is kickstart a sub-compact category in pistol competitions?

  • BearSlayer338

    I agree but only for the 9mm version,the .40 version(and any .40 for that matter) needs the porting for faster followup shots.

    • Hyok Kim

      .40 SW, a gimmick

      • BearSlayer338

        Yeah I agree doesn’t it do anything better than a 9mm,.357 magnum,or .45 acp.

  • FightFireJay

    – 9mm and .40 S&W are extremely efficient cartridges. They lose less velocity per inch than most other cartridges, so the difference in velocity is not huge.

    – We have (even with a short barrel) much better terminal ballistics with a ported short barrel 9mm or .40 S&W than we get with, say a pocket .380 or a .38 snubbie.

    – I have spoken to multiple people who have trained with and used ported firearms in low-light / no-light conditions. It’s a non issue with premium JHPs and their flash suppressed powder. (all my low-light action was with the rifle, so sorry)

    – One of the biggest complaints about sub-compact guns is their muzzle flip. This handgun addresses it. And yes, it’s a compromise. There is no such thing as a concealed carry gun that isn’t a compromise is something (size for comfort, etc)

    – Just because you don’t get it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just look at all the caliber wars ever.

    • Hyok Kim

      9mm yes, 40SW, no.

  • Bill

    Porting and brakes…Unless it’s CheyTac or Barrett I just don’t get them.

    I have big hands, bigger than Trump’s, but I’d rather see a minigun like the Shield with a 4 inch barrel than holes. Except the hole in the muzzle.

    • politicsbyothermeans

      Ported mini-guns are the new hotness.

  • Gary Griffiths

    My thoughts on the matter exactly. Gives you most of the disadvantages of a 2″ barrel, with absolutely no advantages other than some negligible reduction in muzzle flip. 🙁

  • Michael Lubrecht

    You might not have a preference for porting a pistol that small, and perhaps it isn’t needed, but the arguments made aren’t really true.

    “Taking an extremely short barrel and addition ports reducing actual acceleration distance is even worse. In this particular example, porting makes it only a 2″ or less effective barrel”

    The amount of gas redirected by a small set of ports is negligible. Velocity drop would be insignificant with respect to terminal performance of the average defense load.

    “This is combined with increased flash, especially in low-light when the handgun would be used for its intended purposes.”

    Testing of small, ported pistols consistently shows hardly any flash from the ports – certainly not enough to affect shooter performance. If you’re shooting slow-burning handloads, then the fireball out the muzzle will completely obscure the puff of fire coming from the ports. If you’re using factory loads that are tailored to short barrels, you would not likely see much, if any muzzle or port flash.

    Have an opinion, but don’t pass off speculation as fact.

    • Jeremy Star

      Maybe take a look at Smith’s marketing photos which show a giant flash from the ports. Firing defensive handguns often happens in low light, and you WILL see increased flash from ports, especially on a shorter barreled handgun. (Yes, I have tried this.)

      • raz-0

        A LOT of how much flash you get form the ports has to do with the powder choice and how much of it you put in there.

        A fast burning flash suppressed powder will create a lot less falsh period. A slow burning powder loaded to drive the bullet fast will generate a ton of flash.

        Shooting indoor matches in low light, I’ve used titegroup and universal clays a lot. Not a lot of flash. The guys running comped guns would look for powders that could drive the comp better, which meant shoving lots of gas out the ports. The noise and fireballs from hs-6 and other slower powders

        Loading 124gr 9mm to ~140pf out of a 4.25″ barrel, then shooting it in a 3.5″ barreled pistol resulted in a heck of a fireball. I don’t think ports would make it any worse. It was not particularly flashy in the full sized pistol, but with the shorter barrel, all bets were off. V shaped ports that direct the flash out of the center of your vision might not be the worst plan.

        • Kivaari

          It did with Glock pistols. Shooting a couple of them having ports showed the idea was not good for a serious gun. Perhaps for competition shooters they provide value. For me, they don’t.

        • Lt_Scrounge

          Shooting any of the slower burning powders in a short barreled firearm will increase the muzzle flash as they powders won’t be fully burned when they exit the barrel. I bought a Taurus 22 pocket pistol on a whim (Hey it was cheap) and it specifically say in the brochure NOT to use the hyper velocity ammos. It also says to load the first round via the tip up barrel or you can risk damaging the mechanism. Doesn’t make sense to me, but I don’t know that I will ever shoot it. It is truly for someone “hails from a colorful culture” and probably runs a string of hookers for a living. If you don’t get the reference, watch “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.”

    • Spencerhut

      I think I would bust out the chronograph and do an A-B test before piping up on velocity loss.

  • Dickie

    Well the main problem with it
    Is that it is a smith&wesson shield. POS. get a glock

    • John

      Ooooh, got to disagree with you there. Just because a person can take a Glock into the bedroom and do unspeakable things with it, does NOT make it better than a S&W Shield! Sorry to be a buzzkill.

      • Dickie

        Lets see the trigger sucks on the shield. Fiber optic sights on a edc gun are just stupid. Their fragile. And just about everyone i know that has shot both would much prefer the glock. Glock just cant be beat for a simplistic duty or ccw gun.

        • Homer

          – You are expressing opinion as fact.

        • Kivaari

          The use of the plastic glowing sights is a bad idea. Those sights are very fragile. I have passed up buying new guns that come with them already installed. Nice brilliant sights are good, if they are strong. None of the ones I have looked at were poorly made. We used Trijicon sights on our Glock service guns. We did that, not so much for the glowing feature, but the steel sights were stronger than the plastic. Glocks catalog showed steel non-glowing sights, but actually did not sell them.

        • iksnilol

          No offense, but complaining about a Shield trigger when using a Glock is a case of pot calling the kettle black.

          They are both striker fired with plastic triggers.

  • Pete M

    Only thing more hilarious would have been a threaded barrel option.

    • Gern Blanston

      Now there ya go, thread the little feller… lol

      • iksnilol

        I actually remember doing that in Fallout 4. I had a suppressor on a ported pistol.

        I think it worked better that way due to the porting reducing the amount of gas that the suppressor needs to trap and cool 😛

  • tropicalspeed

    Why would you? The ports themselves would allow dirt and lint into the barrel. This is a carry weapon and not a target pistol.

    • mcameron

      you do realize there is a big hole in the end of your barrel right?…..

      but its these tiny porting holes that will allow dirt into the barrel?

  • Gern Blanston

    It absolutely MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL to port this pistol, but hell, if there are enough people who will actually but it to justify building it, then i guess to springfield and you wierdos who actually want it, knock your socks off…. i wont be buying a ported one and niether will anyone I know…

    • MR

      Glad everyone you know is okay with you speaking for them.

      • Gern Blanston

        I didnt speak for anyone so go fist yourself dumbass!

        • MR

          Eloquence incarnate right there, ladies and gentlemen.

          • MR

            Oh, right, I forgot. Every year as Hitler’s birthday approaches, the 4chan trolls come out. “Come out” being the operative phrase, what with Gern and his buddies wanting to watch a dude fist himself.

  • Surfgun

    Just as silly are the S&W 1911’s with slots milled completely through their slides to allow entry of dirt within the slides! Too much gimmicky crap going on at S&W!

  • Edeco

    Meh, particularly ludicrous, but to me anything under 4″ of solid pipe in 9/40/45/357 is, well, burning the candle at both ends.

    • Matt L.

      I’d hate to be on the wrong end of of ported PC Shield that was in the hands of a skilled user, but I’m with you…

      Started with a full-size M&P9, moved to a 5″ 1911 for a while, then back to the M&P9, and now I’m about to pick up a G19. I like capacity, velocity, and shootability.

  • Kivaari

    All defensive handguns should not be ported. Look at S&Ws new print ads, with a huge flash. That ruins your night vision for about 5 minutes. It is why ammo makers have worked to reduce flash for 50 years. When Super Vel ammo came out, we bought it. I bought a new S&W M19 2.5 inch, loaded with Super Vel. I stopped on the way home and fired 2 shots. I had to use the braille technique to find my truck. I would have been better equipped had I put an expandable white cane instead of a baton. The brilliant flash is not a good thing. I look at the S&W ads and think how many people will be encouraged to buy a gun that delivers less protection. I guess putting an expandable probe on the end of your gun, on the picaninny rail will help you find the target after the first shot.

    • Bill

      Or maybe it should come with a leash mount and a Golden Retriever.

    • raz-0

      You do realize that with handloads you can make it look impressive for the camera. With photohop you could make it look like there’s a small h-bomb helping tame muzzle rise. Reality and ads seldom interact with each other much.

      • Kivaari

        The reality is S&Ws advertising department used a silly image to entice non-shooters to buy a pistol because it makes cool flames. Whereas professional users do not want an increase in fire that not only ruins your night vision, but also shows your position to the opponent. After decades of developing reduced flame powders and mechanical flash hiders they introduce one more gun having features that appeal to computer gamers.
        Since non-professionals think it’s so damn cool. they will sell some of them. I never met a serious person that has a muzzle break on a real defense pistol. Magna-Porting a hunting pistol makes sense.

        • RA

          I guess you don’t know very many people in SOCOM or Spec Ops

          • Kivaari

            Why would you think that? I’ve never met a PROFESSIONAL gun user that thought increasing muzzle flash was a good thing to do. I WAS a professional gun user, and I did not want excessive muzzle flash. Just why would anyone want such negative things like brilliant flashes that ruin your night vision and gives away your location to your enemy? I met quite a few gun-ignorant while in both the Navy and Army NG. Some people were my students while serving as a cop. Too many people seem to go for the bells and whistles so they can be cool or tacticool. Ignorance sells useless products. If the buyer knows it silly junk and still wants it that’s OK by me. I prefer what has value. Porting and increased flash has no positive aspect for serious users. I do know a few former operators that are subjects in Vietnam era books, my era.

          • Kivaari

            I guess you don’t know any serious gun users.

      • Kivaari

        Yes, you can do those things, but WHY? Just impressing the gullible gun buyers that are impressed by such things seems to be wrong. I would not go out of my way to increase flash, just the opposite.

  • ColBatguano

    Obviously biased against all things tacti-kewl.

  • Swarf

    Gunblast? Let me guess: Jeff thinks it’s a “dandy little shooter” and has nothing bad to say about it?

    That dude is the Guns and Ammo of the online reviewing world.

  • Steve Milliron

    IDPA BUG category?

    Other than that, I don’t get it either.

  • Lee Attiny

    Merica!

    • Green Hell

      This spoiler was made that way so you just could open the trunk.

      • RA

        A 200MPH production car in the 1970s. How many other production cars could do that?

    • phuzz

      because racecar?

      • borekfk

        Because to get Richard Petty back into the Mopar fold in 1970 after he went over to Ford in 1969.

  • Chase Buchanan

    What I don’t get is why people insist on hiding their entire face behind baseball cap bills and sunglasses. When people can’t see your face, you look much less appealing in videos, and people have a harder time relating to you and listening to you.

  • Harrison Jones

    Because They wanted to really make the gun stand out. This is the one feature they have on that size gun that no one else offers.

  • A.WChuck

    It probably qualifies for B.U.G. pistols competitions in stock class.

  • DIR911911 .

    they thought it was the 90’s when they were porting anything with a barrel

  • Bessy

    I carry a shield, my father bought the PC version that is ported. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot them side by side.

    Shooting them side by side slow fire, I couldn’t tell the difference in muzzle flip.

    So I did a few bill drills with both of them to compare the difference with rapid fire.
    All I can say is that under rapid fire the ported gun really does make a difference. Follow up shots are MUCH quicker, and my hits tended to be better. Swapping to my un ported shield after shooting the ported version was like putting the speed breaks on.

    I actually shot both through a chono as well. There was little loss in fps comparing the average of 5 shot strings the loss from the ports was about 20fps, with a 135gr bullet loaded to 132 power factor. (Just under a 1000fps)

    I’m not buying that it will destroy your vision in lowlight any worse than any other snubby will. I’ve shot ported, and unported guns in darkhouses before, the flash seems to me to a function of barrel length rather then porting. I know it’s not definitive but reports I’ve read from other users claim it’s really not an issue, or distracting.

    Also the fiber sights are quite good, and the PC version’s trigger is much improved. Those two features alone are likely going to attract some folks, as the price difference between the PC and the Base model is only 70 bucks or so.

    My background in shooting is primarily as USPSA/3-gun shooter so that of course is going to color my world view.

    YMMV but before you throw it under the bus, I’d shoot one, back to back with the unported shield. The porting really does work.

    • garcia96099

      Nice post. I’d like to see how much the slide could be lightened, beyond just the porting. Also, has anyone ever tried to put a Delta point on this Itty bitty?

    • Dave Hamer

      Imagine that! An opinion from someone who actually used the weapon. Thanks for your review.

    • Shawn Shahan

      Thanks for posting this. I carry a Glock 23c and have been told numerous times that the porting will blind you in low light conditions. I have shot it probably 20 different times in low light and no light at indoor ranges and even tried to concentrate on the flash and as you stated, the flash is no worse or not much worse than my sig 229 in those instances. Shoot what you want, but just keep shooting.
      SS

      • Kivaari

        That is a result of using better ammunition specifically engineered to lessen flash. Go back 45 years and no one seemed to care about flash from handguns. Then there wasn’t much choice in ammo. When serious minds looked at the issue we started seeing very effective flash reduction in powders. If you can find some old Super Vel .357 ammo, give it a go in the dark. The very bright yellow-green flame will shut down your night vision for minutes. It is even impressive in daylight.

    • Aardvark

      Couldn’t the better accuracy and speed be at least partly from a better trigger and sights?

      • Bessy

        Trigger on my stock shield has been worked on and is no not stock. It’s slightly better the then the PC shield IMHO, but they are very close.

        The sights are certainly more visible on the PC gun, but I have no issue seeing them on the stock shield.

        The difference I noticed was actually in muzzle flip. So the time from when I saw to the the sights lift to when my sights were back on target, and the physical effort needed to correct the gun the after each shot. In this specific case that’s really attributable to the porting.

  • SGT Fish

    anyone else want to see a long slide shield?

  • Mcameron

    oh look, more “lets crap on products we have no actual experience with”…..really struggling for material arent you?

    • Kivaari

      Does one have to use a ported gun to know it is a bad idea? I learned I didn’t like flash long before it was common in handguns. A S&W M19 2.5 inch with ammo in the 70s, showed flash to be a problem.

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    Not as effective as on a longer barrel is all that can be said here. Going on and on about how you don’t get it, not so much.
    Not as effective, but more effective at minimizing muzzle flip than no porting maybe? Now you have to test it. This is all your fault. LOL.

  • Marcus

    I totally agree with all of your points, and have felt this way about porting sub-compacts (and snubs for that matter) for quite some time. It is clearly just a marketing gimmick. Also, if you happen to shoot in a confined area and/or with the gun close to or below you face, you stand the chance of getting some nasty flash residue in your face/eyes.

  • El Duderino

    It gives the counter jockeys at the LGS another selling point to the clueless.

  • Gregory

    It is all about marketing. Useless porting sells to the fools that need the latest and greatest.

    • Kivaari

      Many products exist to fill a “need”. The need to make profit.

  • MR

    Must be reverse psychology. Now I want one. Prolly get a standard barrel, too, for comparison and carry use. But that just looks cool, in a late 90s sort of way. And muzzle flash is awesome at parties.

  • MR

    Wow, you’re stupider than I thought. Suffice it to say, I’m not mcameron, or anybody else, just MR.

    • Gambler X

      Says, the idiot replying to a comment he already replied to….

      • MR

        So now I’m replying to some other post that I’ve already replied to? Better ease up on whatever it is you’re smoking, don’t wanna run out in the next eleven days.

        • Gambler X

          Yeah, id hate for your mom to make you come out of the basement and make a delivery to my house….

  • Croak

    Makes for a cool movie gun. And movie guns sell.

  • Kafir1911

    I own, shoot and usually carry a Shield 9MM. I too see no need for porting. Just another gimmick to sell a few more guns. But that is why S&W is in business, right?

  • supergun

    The main purpose of this gun is to blind everyone, including the shooter. That way you don’t have to hit anything.

  • uisconfruzed

    Dope has found its way back into S&W’s R&D dept, again.
    “Let’s take a minimal velocity .380, add ports on a stubby barrel to slow it down even more!! Plus we’ll make sure there’s an upward blast of flame and bits of copper in a close quarters situation!! It’ll be great!” “That’s awesome dude!! Don’t Bogart that joint my friend!”

  • RA

    To all the doubters explain why this is not functional. The weapon isn’t for long range shooting. Realistically 5-10yds in a real world scenario. Instinctive and body point shooters will appreciate reduced muzzle flip for multiple shots.

  • itsmefool

    I don’t understand the existence of all these gun blogs, either, but…

  • machgman

    IMHO, even the addition of 1″ or 2″ of more barrel length will not provide any real world demonstrable or tactical benefit when porting a barrel due to the miniscule differences in the pressure and dwell cycles.

    Of course porting an already short barrel is another bad idea by S&W, but other than their no-brainer decision to copy the Glock design, once Glock’s patent expired, to make their S&W Glock clones (along with Sig, Ruger, Taurus, etc), S&W has not produce any real innovarive firearms design cred.

    BTW, has anyone tried S&W’s clone of the Taurus Judge? Same, bad, or better?

  • maodeedee

    I’ve fired the 9mm shield and I don’t see that recoil or controllability is an issue. maybe for the 40 caliber shield but not for the 9. and I’ve never shot the 40. But I don’t agree with the premise that porting reduces velocity to any significant degree.

    I had a Glock G20c in 10mm that was ported and I got a non ported lone wolf barrel for it and chronographed both. There was very little difference. But barrels are tricky. Very small differences in tolerances can make a huge difference in terms of velocity. that’s why it is said that there are ‘fast’ barrels and ‘slow’ barrels and this is true of both rifles and handguns Two different barrels rolling off the same assembly line on the same day can produce velocities that show a 100 fps differential in velocity or more.

    Before I can accept a blanket statement that porting reduces velocity significantly I want to see some comprehensive real world test results with more than one gun using an accurate chronagraph and a variety of ammo.

  • Hyok Kim

    Plenty of ambient light, not pitch dark.

  • Hyok Kim
  • BenjiMac

    My wife has a revolver like it – 2-1/2in bbl, ported, S&W PC. With 357 Mags, it gives me a headache in one shot. Excellent with 38 short-barrel special ammo. With the same barrel length, the revolver is at least 2 inches longer after adding the cylinders. This 9mm has the first port right at the end of the cartridge case. I am surprised to see little difference in measured velocity compared to same length non-ported.

    • 2ThinkN_Do2

      I have a ported barrel S&W 632 .327 Magnum; it has a heck of a percussion field and personally, it still has a lot of smack to boot; but it is a J-frame. It does depend which rounds in .327 you shoot. I find the Federal American Eagle 100 gr JSP’s to be the worst, the 85 gr Federal Hydra Shoks are fine.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    Well the 40 isn’t bad either with regard to recoil, but I just don’t really care for the grip feel on the Shield, it’s too narrow. I prefer to carry my 40 or 9 Compact over the Shield. As for the ports being beyond the slide; how is that possible? I suppose what was meant was: the ports being far enough up the slide, to not cross the open chamber . . . but then how much good would they be? In a pistol, the ports are actually in the barrel of course. These seem to be more like fender ports on a car that are non-functional. They are more about look than useful.

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    Just silly, but I suppose there is always the weekend commando market that will see this as “tactical” and ubercool.

  • Mike

    Why in the world would S&W build such a stupid gun? Porting a small defense gun like this is just not a well thought out idea!

  • jng1226

    Old post, but I just got this is in the mail and made me think THIS is the gun that should have been the subject of this article. There is so much wrong with this I don’t know where to start.