Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ | First Shots

Where does the M&P 380 Shield EZ have a place in the shooting world?

USA – ( The new Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ coming as a surprise to most gun owners, I don't think that any of us expected to see a larger single stack .380 ACP from a large manufacturer. Many of us that digest gun content thought that the M&P 380 Shield EZ was a gun that no one had asked for and was a solution to a problem that didn't exist.

How wrong we all were.

There are a ton of gun owners that aren't interested in the latest door kicking gun or even a large gun like the full-size M&P 9 M2.0. There is a growing segment of female shooters that are clamoring for a pistol that can be easily manipulated as well as countless others that just flat out can't run a gun like those of us that digest gun content on a regular basis.

So yes, this gun has been asked for, the rest of the gun industry just hasn't been listening.

The new M&P 380 Shield EZ is the gun that we never knew we needed as a choice.

M&P 380 Shield EZ Specs:


  • Easy to rack slide.
  • Crisp, light trigger with tactile and audible trigger reset.
  • Includes (2) Easy to Load 8-Round M&P380 Shield magazines.
  • Grip safety – grip pistol to fire.
  • Windage adjustable, white dot rear sight (tool included).
  • Can disassemble without pulling trigger.
  • Grip texture optimized to size and recoil.
  • Tactile loaded chamber indicator (TLCI) – can see and feel if there is a round in the chamber.
  • Available with or without ambidextrous, manual thumb safety.
  • Picatinny-style equipment rail for lights or lasers.
  • Perfect size for nightstand or carry, or a day at the range.
  • Reversible magazine release.
  • Thin and lightweight – can be comfortably carried all day.
  • Optimal 18-degree grip angle for natural point of aim.
  • Armornite durable corrosion resistant finish.


  • SKU: 11663
  • Model: M&P 380 SHILD EZ Manual Thumb Safety
  • Caliber: .380 Auto
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • Barrel Length: 3.675″ / 9.3 cm
  • Overall Length: 6.7″
  • Front Sight: White Dot
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable White Dot
  • Action: Internal Hammer Fired
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 18.5 oz / 524.5g
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Purpose: Concealed Carry, Home Protection, Personal Protection
Out of the Box Impressions

The first thing that I did when I got my hands on the new M&P 380 Shield EZ was checking the chamber, just like anyone that displays good gun handling skills should. To my surprise, I could have sworn that I was pulling the slide back on a .22 lr pistol and not a .380 ACP. Yes, it really is that easy.

Overall fit and finish on the pistol that I was able to shoot was very good given its sub $400 price point MSRP and should make most people happy. Several of the features really hone in on that consumer group that has largely been ignored and been forced to accept the J frame revolver as their mascot. What features could that be? Glad you asked.

The M&P 380 Shield EZ features an internal hammer to keep the trigger pull light and easy to shoot.

The pistol comes equipped with an internal hammer that provides a crisp, easy to pull 5-pound trigger pull on a solid trigger that does not have a trigger safety like all other M&P pistols. Smith also added a grip safety to the gun to make sure that the gun is not only drop safe (yes I checked), but also ensure that when the gun is inevitably dropped into a purse, sock drawer, or even a diaper bag without a holster. Like it or not, some people just aren't going to practice safe gun handling with their carry piece and those people are more often than not in the demographic that would really appreciate the M&P 380 Shield EZ.

The grip safety is probably one of the most under-appreciated features.

Shooting the M&P 380 Shield EZ

While I saw a real use for the M&P 380 Shield EZ, I was almost sure that I was going to hate the thing on the range. Wrong again. Not only is the magazine easy to load, but the gun shoots flat as hell! Normally .380 ACP pistols care snappy, flippy little pistols that just aren't fun to shoot. I wanted to keep shooting this thing all day but sadly had to put it down to do some other things.

I could go on, but I think the video above or below really does say it all.


REALLY want to get one of these for teaching new shooters and for my wife to carry. Badly. I also secretly really enjoy shooting it and would love to see Smith & Wesson develop a full-size M&P 380 EZ. I would be the first in line at the gun store to order one since it is probably the most fun I have had shooting centerfire pistols in a long time.

You can learn more about the Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ on the Smith & Wesson website.

About Patrick R.Patrick Roberts

Patrick is a firearms enthusiast that values the quest for not only the best possible gear setup, but also pragmatic ways to improve his shooting skills across a wide range of disciplines. He values truthful, honest information above all else and had committed to cutting through marketing fluff to deliver the truth. You can find the rest of his work on as well as on the YouTube channel Firearm Rack or Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.

  • 13 thoughts on “Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ | First Shots

    1. Mr. Walker,

      With respect to the M&P .45 ACP, PC version, I agree totally with all your points!

      At 71, I’m having to consider what Smith has addressed in this firearm.

      And Mr. Patrick, I also agree with you because my .380 reloads maxed with W231 will reliably drop full sized plates hit in the upper half.

      They are accurate MFs to boot.

      W!ugh regard,


    2. The .380 cartridge is not “9X18,” that would be the Makarov round. It is a “9X17.”

      In addition, it is not the case length that governs the ballistic potential of a bullet’s effectiveness, it is the working pressure of it, as well as the mechanism designed to handle it. Most .380s and all Makarovs are straight blowback actions, and they simply do not have the beans to provide the FBI requisite 12+ inches of penetration, AND expansion of approximately 1.5X to 2.0X the original diameter of the bullet, in this case, 0.355″.

      Such a cartridge as 9X19 typically requires some sort of short recoil or gas delayed action to function properly. This is why it is difficult to design a very light slide retraction effort into the pistol. On a straight blowback, e.g. Makarov and Walther PP/PPK, the mainspring powering the hammer also provides some mechanical retardation which is why you do not want to mess with the coil spring strength in an attempt to lighten the slide retraction effort. That may also cause ignition unreliability due to the also lightweight hammers having insufficient mass to detonate the primer percussively.

    3. This is just my personal preference but, I don’t want an EDC gun with a grip safety. I’m not even pro manual safety for a gun that will only be needed in a stressful situation. You just added two more things to worry about when milliseconds can be the difference between life or death. Once again, this is just my opinion. You make your own choice because, it’s you who will have to live with it.

      1. Mike, the best thing about a grip safety IMO is the fundamentals of a firm grip from the holster to trigger pull. Glock owners especially understand the double feed result of a light grip and or limp wrist. Practice practice practice is key with any new purchase of a different firearm than one is use to. In fact the MAJORITY of accidental handgun discharges occur while not shooting. IMO.

        I can’t wait to get one myself!

    4. Actually, this is a smart move on S&W’s part. These reasons are why the Walther PK380 is so popular with the ladies. Hopefully, they will get them out to the market asap.

    5. Not everyone can handle bigger calibers….some people have different slide retract parts to pull the slide back…..some have palm gel gloves or even grips maybe even arthritis or are unable to handle the recoil….not everyone can handle what you can, do remember it is a sport that a lot of enjoy. Help each other and be thoughtful. If it is a .380 or smaller does it really matter if the plate is knocked down? Enjoy the past time handed safely down from generations to generations. Think safe, Be safe, Shoot safe.

      1. A 380 is just a 9mm with a case that is 1mm shorter. Its a 9×18 as opposed to a 9×19. With the technology of today’s bullets, there are plenty of 380 rounds just as potent as a lot of 9mm rounds.

    6. Trustworthy, dependable, reliable and accurate, If this New M&P .380 is anything like their .380 M&P Body Guard, or the full size M&P ACP45, as expected, it will perform like all the other Smith and Wesson Firearms in which I am a proud owner of. My very simple analysis looks like this: “When I pull the trigger it goes bang, and the chambered round/bullet goes where the barrel is pointed, accurately, reliably each and every time. For me, when shopping for a reliable Firearm, I have looked at so many other Brands of Pistols, that inadvertently I default back to the M&P line up, Why? Best value,Great Customer Service and ease of use makes the M&P line up an excellent choice. In addition to being a “Great Reliable Pistol”, the Smiths hold their resale value slightly better than others, mostly due to Brand Name Recognition.

    Leave a Comment 13 Comments

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *