I’ll start out by saying I’m not a big fan of double action only pistols. I grew up shooting revolvers and really enjoy pistols like 1911s. I started carrying a double action pistol mostly because I was given one (a Taurus Millennium Pro) Double action only pistols tend to be smaller than many other pistols and easy to carry concealed.
I bought a Smith & Wesson M&P 40 Shield last year. I actually entered the store with the intention of buying a Springfield X D subcompact, but once I held the Shield, it was smaller and more comfortable in my hand. Since then, I’ve only had the occasion to shoot it once until this past weekend.
When I first shot it, I was horribly inaccurate with it, which I wasn’t pleased about. Mind you, I had been shooting my dad’s old Smith & Wesson revolvers a lot around that time and they shoot much differently than this little pistol. What I found out over the weekend was I was the reason for the inaccurate shooting.
If you haven’t shot a double action only (DAO) pistol, here’s a tip. Hold ‘er steady. I think that applies to every gun you shoot, but the trigger pull on a DAO pistol is unusually long, and in the case of the pounds of pull, the Shield is rated for a 6.5 lbs trigger pull from the factory, which I’m sure varies a bit. What some of us don’t realize is that during the trigger pull, we tend to drift left, right, up, or down, ever so slightly, which can jumble your accuracy a lot. This was the case with the Shield.
In the picture, I’m pretty much all in the black. Ignore the holes on the bottom left of the target. Those are from a catastrophic gun failure with a different gun that I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to talk about on here. Mostly because it’s not my gun. Shots were taken at 10 yards with 180 grain Winchester jacketed hollow point ammunition. While my groups aren’t tight, it’s not bad for double action pistol with a short barrel.
Overall, I like the gun. It carries well. Once you get the trigger thing down, it shoots well. It feels solid, even though it is small and it certainly isn’t as bulky as the X D that I had planned on buying. Like any pistol, you have to play with it and get the feel for it before you can get guaranteed accuracy. It has quality fit and finish and feels as though it will hold up well in the years to come. After this weekend, I’m really glad that I purchased this pistol. I think it’ll be in the CCW rotation for a long time.
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel….out.