Here’s a first look at a brand-new addition to the Smith & Wesson lineup: a new CCW designed and engineered to be super-easy to operate. Read more!
SOURCE: American Rifleman Staff
In the past when a pistol manufacturer touted a new gun entry as having easy slide manipulation — even with a .380-cal. — we have taken the assertion with a grain of salt until we’ve had some hands-on experience. In the case of the just-announced Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ, we can attest that indeed, the pistol lives up to its claims.
The pistol, which offers an 8+1 round capacity, ships with two 8-round magazines that include a load-assist button, as well as a Picatinny-style rail for accessories. Barrel length is 3.675-in., and the pistol is outfitted with white-dot front and adjustable white-dot rear sights. Along with tapped rear slide serrations, a one-piece single-action trigger and audible trigger reset, it also features an 18-degree grip angle for a natural point of aim, as well as enhanced, textured grips. A tactile loaded-chamber indicator, a reversible magazine release, and available ambidextrous thumb safety round out its many ergonomically friendly features. The pistol will be available nationwide at the end of Feb. 2018 at an MSRP of $399.
“When we set out to design the M&P380 Shield EZ pistol, our goal was to deliver an all-around, easy to use personal protection pistol — from loading and carrying, to shooting and cleaning,” said Jan Mladek, General Manager of M&P and S&W Brands. “… We focused on key areas that customers told us were important — the ease of racking the slide and loading the magazine,” he said, “allowing consumers of all statures and strengths the opportunity to own, comfortably practice with, and effectively utilize this exciting new pistol“ for both first-time shooters and experienced handgunners alike.
No matter how active you might be there’s no reason not to enjoy greater security while engaged in your favorite outdoor pastime. Here’s four ideas on how!
Source: NRAFamily, Brad Fitzpatrick
Like many hunters, I love the great outdoors, but my passion extends far beyond hunting season. I like to ride bikes, run, hike, and fish, and these activities sometimes take me to remote areas. But even if you’re into the most extreme sports it doesn’t mean you have to leave your firearm behind. You can still carry concealed and still feel safe no matter if you’re hiking deep in a remote wilderness area or jogging down a city street at night. Some activities like bicycling and running don’t lend themselves to concealed carry — you’re probably going to be exerting a lot of energy and don’t want a firearm flopping on your side during the process. Unfortunately, exercise makes us vulnerable to attack, and if you have a concealed carry permit there’s no reason not to keep your firearm on-hand even when you’re involved in high-energy activities. You simply need to follow some basic guidelines on how to carry while breaking a sweat. Here are four key points to remember when carrying a concealed firearm while exercising.
One: Find a Compact Firearm That is Easy to Carry
For daily carry, I prefer a 1911 Commander .45. But when I’m out running or biking, that one can be a little bulky, so I had to find a gun that was compact and easy to carry even when I’m working hard. Small semiautos like the Colt Mustang .380, Ruger LCP, and Smith & Wesson Bodyguard are all great choices. Lightweight revolvers also work well, and they are easy to conceal under lightweight athletic clothing.
Two: Make Sure Your Firearm is Corrosion-Resistant
If you’re going to work out you’re probably going to sweat, and perspiration has a corrosive effect. This can damage your guns if they aren’t resistant to these corrosive elements, so find a gun that has a tough finish that won’t be damaged if it is exposed to perspiration on a daily basis. Tenifer, Cerakote, or Melonite finishes are very tough, and stainless-steel guns are less prone to rusting than blued firearms. Wooden grips are also prone to swelling when wet, but synthetic grips are light, tough, and resistant to the effects of moisture.
Three: Find a Carry Method That Works
Belly band holsters are a great choice, and the elastic will dry out quickly after you exercise. Other good options include fanny packs or holsters designed specifically for running like the Desantis Road Runner. Small inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters work well, too, but they must be comfortable and shouldn’t chafe while working out or expending a lot of energy. Synthetic fibers tend to hold up well and dry quickly; leather will sometimes absorb moisture, and excess perspiration may damage the holster over time. It is critically important that the gun is secured close to the body and can be carried safely, yet is quickly accessible.
Four: Perform Trial Runs
You need to break-in new shoes before a really long run to ensure that they fit and don’t hurt your feet, and the same is true for an exercise holster. You don’t want to be four or five miles into a 10-mile hike and suddenly realize that your holster is rubbing or chafing, so start with shorter workouts and make sure that the system you have chosen works for you. If you find out that your holster is uncomfortable you probably won’t wear it, and that defeats the purpose. You may have to wear something under your holster like triathlon shorts to prevent rubbing, and if the holster doesn’t fit and the gun flops while you’re moving, you need to either tighten it or find a different carry method.
If you’re looking for a small, light, and (very) powerful CCW, that’s also manageable to shoot, this one is impressive… Read more!
Source: American Rifleman Staff
Ten years ago, Smith & Wesson introduced a line of defensive-oriented semi-automatic pistols that carried the firm’s long-used “Military & Police” (M&P) model identification. Unlike the familiar Model 10 revolver that armed Americans since the last decade of the 19th century, the new M&Ps were 21st century striker-fired, polymer-frame autoloaders with a full range of today’s essential features. The first models were full-size service pistols with double-column magazines chambered in .40 S&W, although 9mm Luger and .45 ACP followed quickly. Undeniably a successful product line, the M&P has been made in numerous variations — from compacts to long slides and, for a while, even in .357 SIG. But of all the variations that have come from the Springfield, Mass., plant, one that stands out is the M&P45 Shield.
The Shield line is a reflection of the current interest in medium-to-small, single-stack, semi-automatic pistols set up for concealed carry or police backup roles. High-capacity magazines are not essential, but serious terminal performance is. The first gun in the Shield line was a 9 mm, followed closely by a .40 S&W. It took a while longer for S&W engineers to adapt the Shield concept to the .45 ACP cartridge, but that gun is now a reality.
With a steel slide riding a polymer frame, the M&P45 Shield is recoil-operated, locking by way of the barrel’s hood engaging the ejection port and unlocking by way of its underlug camming downward after firing as it comes into contact with a steel block in the frame. A captive, dual recoil spring assembly returns the slide to battery.
The gun’s substantial .45 ACP chambering and scant 22oz. weight combine to create a pistol that might be a bit difficult to manage were it not for its superior ergonomic design, which makes the pistol eminently shootable. Most shooters, including those with smaller hands, generally take to the Shield grip shape well. In fact, it is probably the most appealing of the little pistol’s virtues. The frame is angled for natural pointability and has a deep pocket for the web of the shooting hand.
Looking at the gun in profile, the curve of the trigger is well below the curve of the pocket on the backstrap. This means that the pistol is nicely shaped for the “back and up” sweep movement of the trigger. The trigger pull is around 5 lbs., and seemed to vary just a bit, though it may level out with time. There is a minimal take-up before trigger pressure actually begins. Trigger reset distance is reasonably short.
With regard to safety features, the M&P45 Shield has an articulated trigger safety and an internal drop safety. Our sample gun also featured a manual thumb safety mounted on the left side of the frame for use by right-handed shooters, although Smith & Wesson offers a variant without the manual safety.
Each pistol comes with one 6-round magazine and one 7-rounder — the only difference is in the height of the baseplates. As is the custom with service pistols, most shooters will load the pistol by retracting the slide, inserting a fully loaded magazine and depressing the slide release to chamber the top round. They then remove the magazine to top it off with a single round and replace it in the pistol. For this reason, pistols are commonly described as having a capacity of “six-plus-one” — the magazine carries only six rounds, but after topping off, the gun has a total of seven cartridges onboard. Yet curiously, both M&P45 Shield magazines feature witness holes marked “3, 4, 5, 6 and +1.” Not only is the “+1” denotation nonsensical, it is frustrating when one unsuccessfully attempts to load the “additional” round into the six-round magazine.
Finished in a businesslike black Armornite® (slide is stainless steel), the Shield is an impressive little package. The square-notch rear and post front sights feature a three-dot pattern and are drift-adjustable. At the time of the M&P45 Shield’s introduction, the maker pointed out the improved (over earlier Shields) texturing on the gun’s gripping surfaces. S&W has gone to panels of a slightly more aggressive version of what was once termed a “crackle” finish. It works like a charm, serving to anchor the pistol firmly in the hand. This is a very light little pistol that recoils sharply when firing the larger .45 ACP cartridge.
In range testing with a variety of commercial ammunition, there were no malfunctions of any kind. In the absence of proper Ransom Rest inserts, accuracy shooting was done over sandbags on a solid bench. Results are tabulated above and are surprisingly good. Note the reduced velocities of typical 230gr. ammunition, due to the pistol’s shorter barrel.
The Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield is a good choice as a daily carry gun. At 22.7 ozs., it isn’t particularly heavy, and would be a good choice as a police backup gun, as well; it is flat and could nicely fit into a pocket or seam in body armor. The M&P45 Shield is quick into action, simple to manage and about as powerful as carry guns get.
Sturm, Ruger & Co. expects gun sales to continue to flourish during President Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, pushing back against the notion that a pro-gun administration would dampen consumer demand.
During a conference call Thursday, one Wall Street analyst suggested that Trump would have a negative impact on the consumer firearms market, citing record-breaking sales during eight years of the Obama administration. In recent years, sales spiked when consumers sensed an elevated threat of new gun-control measures. Trump has been a vocal advocate for the gun industry, and his choice of Neil Gorsuch to join the Supreme Court calmed fears that existing gun rights could be curbed.
Ruger CEO Michael Fifer said other factors, such as owners buying multiple firearms, will keep the industry going strong.
“I think that’s kind of a pretty harsh one to say that the levels will revert back to 2008,” Fifer told analysts on Ruger’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “Firearms ownership is much more socially acceptable. It’s much wider than it was before. There are more states that have adopted laws enabling concealed carry.”
Fifer also said media criticism of police officers is causing crime rates to spike in some cities, thus driving Americans to purchase guns because “they want to defend themselves.” He added that firearms are more widely available, and gun makers such as Ruger are offering “exciting new products.”
“There are more reasons to have guns now than ever before. And so, I’m not going to read too much into the current situation,” Fifer said.
Ruger’s fourth-quarter sales rose 6.2% to $161.8 million. Earnings climbed 22% to $20.8 million.
For the full year, Ruger booked a 21% increase in sales.
Investors, however, are bracing for a slowdown in gun sales. While the broader market has rallied, shares of Ruger and its competitors have declined since Trump’s victory in November. Ruger is down 22% since the election, while American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), the renamed parent company of Smith & Wesson, is down 32%.
Cabela’s, the hunting and outdoor megastore, saw gun sales taper off at the end of 2016.
Looks like a great presidential win for gun owners was a loss for some in the firearms industry…. Ruger, Smith & Wesson stock prices fall sharply on Wednesday following the election.
Firearm stocks opened high Wednesday, but just a few hours into the trading day, began steadily dropping, and by the close of the day, two major manufacturers saw sharp declines in their share prices. Newly-renamed Smith & Wesson took a major hit, falling 15% in value. Sturm, Ruger & Company showed a 14% decline in market value.
Even though Smith & Wesson and Ruger shares fell, some ammunition and defense corporation prices climbed. Olin Corporation (Winchester Ammunition) saw a 3% increase, General Dynamics climbed 8%, and Lockheed Martin ended Wednesday with a substantial 14% gain.
Overall, the Dow skyrocketed 257 points Wednesday, following an initial, but brief, price plunge. Market analysts credit president-elect Trump’s assuring acceptance speech for the soaring end to the day.
A note Wednesday from analyst Gil Luria (Director of Research for Wedbush Securities) stated that the election results are good for the “long-term viability of the [gun manufacturing] industry.” But. The Trump victory bundled with a Republican Congress, could be a net-negative for Smith & Wesson and others as it “eliminates any realistic fear of gun regulation,” Luria wrote. According to the note, threats of restrictive gun regulations had been a major force driving higher volume firearms sales over the last eight years.
The Trump victory was no doubt assisted strongly by efforts by NRA supporters. Given that the NRA has been accused of having “morphed from an advocacy group for hunters into a radical mouthpiece for its largest benefactors, the gun manufacturers” (from a letter published in the LA Times) looks like individual rights and profits might for a time better exist higher and lower, respectively. What matters is the long run.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, announced that Smith & Wesson has joined NSSF’s #GUNVOTE Chairman’s Club with a $500,000 contribution to the association’s critical voter registration and education campaign. This is the largest contribution the #GUNVOTE campaign has received to date.
“Smith & Wesson has set the bar high with this unprecedented half-million dollar contribution to our #GUNVOTE campaign,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “It is exactly that kind of commitment that will help ensure that our history and our rights will remain intact not just for us today.”
James Debney, CEO of Smith & Wesson, said, “We are honored to support this effort on behalf of our employees and especially the law-abiding firearm owners of Massachusetts, who have so recently been denied their fundamental rights through arbitrary government action that threatens to turn lawful gun owners and dealers into criminals. To stop this from happening elsewhere, it is imperative that citizens across our nation are informed and knowledgeable about their rights, their candidates and the importance of their vote in this critical election year.”
NSSF’s #GUNVOTE — www.gunvote.org — is a voter registration and education platform for use by firearms industry manufacturers, wholesaler distributors, retailers, ranges and media members that helps gun owners, hunters and target shooters to register to vote, to become informed on where the candidates in 2016 stand on gun control and conservation issues, and encourages them on election day, armed with the facts, to #GUNVOTE so they do not risk their rights.