FIRST LOOK: Shield Arms’ Sub Compact Weapon Entry – the SA-9


    Shield Arms SA-9, SCW prototype entry (Shield Arms)

    In September we reported that the US Army had selected 6 Sub Compact Weapon prototypes for testing. Contracts for test guns were placed with Global Ordnance, Angstadt Arms, B&T USA, Shield Arms, Sig Sauer and Trident Rifles. Today we have a first look at Shield Arms’ entry, the SA-9.

    The SA-9 is based on Shield Arms’ patent-pending Folding Lower Receiver (FLR), a billet lower receiver which integrates a folding stock without the need for an aftermarket stock adapter. A press release from Shield describes the FLR:

    The Shield Arms FLR is precision-machined from 7075 billet aluminum and is designed and manufactured in the U.S. The FLR ships as a stripped lower receiver with included buffer. The folding stock mechanism is preinstalled and accepts any standard aftermarket buffer tube. To complete the lower receiver, simply use a standard lower parts kit, and customize the Shield Arms FLR to your preference. Additionally, the Shield Arms FLR uses a standard bolt carrier group and does not modify the carrier in any way, nor does it require any additional parts to function properly. As an added advantage, due to the folding mechanism being machined directly into the receiver, the overall length of the lower receiver is increased by only
    5/8”, less than half the length of some popular aftermarket adapters.

    Shield tell us that they’re putting the finishing touches to the FLR and hope to have it available for order before the end of the year. MSRP is expected to be $399.99, and the system will be offered under license to other manufacturers who wish to incorporate it.

    Shield arms folding lower receiver

    Shield Arms’s SA-9 with the Folding Lower Receiver (Shield Arms)

    Shield Arms’ president, Brandon Zeider, confirmed that Shield “don’t have any plans for SIG mags at this time – the market seems to only want Glock mags. But we can engineer the lower to work with virtually any mag if there’s demand.”

    The FLR is used in Shield Arm’s new SA-9, which the US Army has purchased for evaluation. Shield confirmed that they have not yet received any feedback on their submission but did explain that, in line with the Army’s requests, they have submitted 15 guns for testing, which have been shipped with SilencerCo’s Omega 9k suppressor.

    Along with the FLR Shield will be selling a pistol variant of the SA-9, the SA-9P, which will have an SB Tactical SBA3 pistol brace. The SA-9P will have an expected MSRP of $1,499.99.

    More info on the FLR here

    Matthew Moss


    TFB – Assistant Editor – Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK, he also runs, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of, a video series on historically significant small arms.
    Here on TFB he covers current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]