At the 2016 National Rifle Association Annual Meeting, gunmaker Smith & Wesson announced a new single stack carry handgun for the civilian market: A .45 ACP variant of their popular Military & Police Shield, previously available in .40 S&W and 9mm only.
The new big bore Shield comes in two variants, like other M&P handguns, one with and one without a manual safety. Like the .40 S&W caliber model, the new Shield .45 ACP carries 6 rounds in its standard magazine, and 7 in its extended pinkie rest magazine. As well, the .45 model uses the same three-dot sight arrangement, but due to the larger chambering, is larger in dimensions: Compared to the 9mm Luger and .40 Smith & Wesson M&P Shields:
.45, Length – 6.45″, Width – 1.05″ (incl. slide stop), Height – 4.88″
9mm, Length – 6.1″, Width – 0.95″, Height – 4.6″
The .45 ACP Shield competes directly with the Glock 36 (against which it is slightly thinner and about half an inch shorter, but taller), and Kahr CM45 (against which it is somewhat larger in every dimension) for the .45 ACP compact concealed carry handgun segment. At the show, the M&P Shield .45 ACP handguns that were present had a smoother, cleaner feeling trigger than I am used to in the M&P series of handguns, although I cannot say whether that improvement will carry over to the production gun.
The M&P Shield .45 ACP has a suggested retail of $479.