Home / Gear Reviews / Ultimate Shield Project: Reliability Testing

Ultimate Shield Project: Reliability Testing

After running into issues with my Springfield XDs 9mm not liking certain JHP rounds, I decided that before I do any further with the Ultimate Shield Project I should get it to the range, and run a whole bunch of different defensive loads through it.

It was an expensive night at the range, but I successfully fed the Shield a whole bunch of the following ammo:

  • Hornady Critical Defense 115gr
  • Hornady Critical Duty 135gr
  • Federal HST 124gr +P
  • Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+
  • A handful of random JHP rounds that I found in a drawer in my kitchen and the bottom of my range bag
  • A bunch of Ben’s 9mm reloads that we later found it were loaded with magnum primers
  • And I finished it off with about 150 rounds of 9mm ball ammo

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Shield eat all of this ammo without any issues. Ben sent me a message after we left the range, and told me that the reloads that he brought were loaded with magnum primers, which he has had issues with in both his S&W M&P Pro 9mm, and his S&W M&P 9c. This is good news; if the little Shield can reliably touch off magnum primers, it definitely shouldn’t have any issues with regular defensive loads.

When comparing this to the Springfield XDs, I did notice that when a round of fed off of the top of the magazine in the Shield, it doesn’t have to travel up the feed ramp nearly as far as a round does in the XDs, which most definitely leads to the added reliability. In the S&W Shield rounds are nearly lined up with the chamber when sitting in the magazine.

We shot everything using both the 7 and 8 round magazines, and the 8 round magazine we shot with and without the sleeve on the magazine. No issues, the pistol ate it all without issue.

I’m going to continue to monitor the reliability of the S&W Shield, but I don’t anticipate any issues with it in the future.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Ultimate Shield Project where we will talk about installing the Apex Tactical Duty/Carry trigger kit. You should consider signing up for the email list below:

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. James Yeager just did a video with more than 7000 rounds and no issues including taking a defensive pistol class with it.

  2. Lucas, I’ve Found No Difference Between WinchesterMag And Std Pistol Primers. They Chrono Exactl The Same And They Appear To Use The Same Cup.

  3. I purchased my Shield 9mm in April 2013. Had 10 Failures to Feed in the first 500rnds. I sent it back to Smith&Wesson. They returned it to me within 3 weeks time. Once back in my hands i fired 400rnds of consisting of 5 different loads factory FMJ and Hollow points. 115gr, 124gr, Lead reloads (mine) and Hollow point reloads (mine). After Smith returned the Shield to me it has been flawless through those 400rnds. I currently have 5 M&P handguns and this is the first one that has had any kind of issue at all. I was very pleased with Smith&Wesson’s service and the fact they made it right.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.