This comparison is going to be for our Smith and Wesson fans. There is a major size difference when comparing the SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield. But they’re still close enough in size to fill a similar role for most people.
We’ll cover the differences between the two guns in detail mentioning all the pros and cons for both guns.
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Now you’re going to have a lot more advantages with the frame on the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact. The M&P 2.0 compact has removable backstraps that allow you to adjust to three different sizes. The largest size increases the trigger reach as well. So if you have larger hands, that’s a major advantage.
Both of those have very aggressive texturing and if you’re carrying the pistol concealed, it can be quite aggressive against your skin. For some people, this isn’t an issue, but for others, it is.
I would say the texturing on these pistols feels a little bit like 200 grit sandpaper in the hand. It’s great when you’re shooting, but it doesn’t work as well when you’re carrying it. It would be nice if Smith and Weston had removed that feature from the sides of the gun. But kept it on the front strap and backstrap with the firearm.
Both these guns come with identical sight pictures. The sights on them are metal, three-dot sights. You can get upgraded sights on the Smith and Wesson shield 2.0 performance center guns as they offer fiber optic sights with a green fiber off to the rear and a red fiber optic front. I personally don’t care for their sights. I think they’re a little too bright.
And on the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0, you can get it with night sights. It’s going to have an identical sight picture to the standard three-dot sights, except you’ll have tritium vials in place of the painted white holes.
Now, both of these pistols are available with and without safeties. The safety of this Smith and Wesson shield is the same for the original and the 2.0 variant. It is a small piece of folded sheet metal mounted on the left side of the pistol, so you can swipe down with your thumb. It’s very low profile and stays out of the way. Almost too much out of the way.
I would like to see it a little bit wider. So that you could ride your thumb on top of the safety when you’re firing similar to a 1911. Having that kind of feel of safety just makes me feel a little more secure and it would be nice to see it be ambidextrous. In case you ever had to use the gun with your left hand, then you could swipe the safety on and off easily.
Now the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact, in my opinion, has a better set of safeties. The safeties on the Smith Wesson M&P 2.0 compact are positioned like a 1911. At the rear of the gun. They’re very wide and ambidextrous. It’s very natural to run these safeties and it’s just an excellent design on Smith and Wesson’s part.
Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 Series Trigger
Again, these are identical features between the two guns. There’s no real difference. If you have smaller hands, it might be easier for you to reach the magazine release on the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 Shield. That said, I can reach both of these magazine releases just as easily as the other, and I don’t have to break my grip. But again, if you have smaller hands, you’ll find the magazine release on the shield a little easier to use.
It’s well proportioned and it has some nice little features. It is a little bit busy on some of the characteristics. Like some of the cutouts in the frame and some of the details on the frame itself. But overall, it’s a very clean-looking gun, a bit busy, but still attractive. It’s like a car that’s been souped-up, maybe a little too much for the average person’s tastes, but it’s still attractive and people are going to dig it.
Shooting SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield
Shooting these two guns, there’s no comparison between them. It’s much easier to shoot the larger Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact. The gun has a better texture than the original shield, and it’s just larger, has softer recoil, the slide really dampens a lot of the recoil, the longer barrel everything about it is just easier to shoot.
The Smith and Wesson shield is going to be better if you want a smaller carry gun, but in every other aspect, the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 compact is a better gun. It just comes with size. With size, you have limitations.
It’s always hard to write about the pricing of Smith and Wesson M&P products as they tend to fluctuate greatly. As I’m writing this we’re experiencing the highest demand the firearms market has ever seen so prices are much higher than usual. Due to that, I’m not going to state the actual prices but the differences between them.
As we covered earlier Smith and Wesson still produce the original generation of the shield as well as the newer 2.0 version and they come in at roughly $70-$100 difference in price. If you’re comparing the price of the SW M&P 2.0 Compact vs Shield 2.0 this is around a $50 price difference.
If money is tight then the shield will be the better value but if it’s not then it’s going to come down to which size gun you prefer.
SW M&P 2.0 Compact ProsCapacityShootabilityM&P Shield ProsPriceSizeSW M&P 2.0 Compact ConsCostSizeM&P Shield ConsCapacityRecoil