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Two Pistols, Similar in Concept But a Century Apart Login/Join 
That's just the
Flomax talking
Picture of GaryBF
posted
Being a recent owner of both, I was struck by the similarities and thought I would post a comparison. I am writing about the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless (officially the Colt Model M) and the new Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 380 Shield EZ.


SidebySide by GaryBF, on Flickr


Both are single action, single stack, semi-auto pistols with a concealed hammer. Both have a manual thumb safety and a grip safety pivoted near the bottom of the grip. Both have a barrel length of approximately 3.7 inches. Both can be chambered in 380 ACP, although the Colt is more common in 32 ACP, and both have a magazine capacity of 8 rounds (depending on caliber). Placed one atop the other, they are remarkably similar in size with the Shield being slightly larger in grip length and thickness. (My light-box does not allow me to get completely vertical, so there is some angular distortion in the comparison.)


overlay by GaryBF, on Flickr


Designed more than 100 years apart, differences abound due to advancements in materials, technology, and execution, yet I find it interesting just how similar they are. In actual use, however, they are vastly different, in my experience. To be fair, my Colt is chambered in 32 ACP so its mild recoil is to be expected. The Shield is very comfortable to shoot, however, and is much more pleasant than my SIG P230 and P232, which are direct blow-back. My Colt has a heavy trigger, a very strong grip safety, poor sights, and a short trigger reach, so it is difficult to shoot. Besides that, it is very hard to rack the slide if not already cocked. It wins hands down in sex appeal, however.

The Smith & Wesson Shield was designed to be easy to operate, thus the “EZ” in its name. The Shield fires from a locked breech, has a much better trigger, the slide is easy to rack, the sights are great, it feels good in the hand and has nice grip texture. It scores high in functionality, but low in appearance.

Having just lost my Colt, I can’t help but wonder how the Shield EZ will be doing 100 years from now.
 
Posts: 11623 | Location: St. Louis, Missouri | Registered: February 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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cool post.


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Posts: 5351 | Location: MS | Registered: June 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cool
 
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Posts: 558 | Location: SE Wisconsin | Registered: July 31, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think the Colt fits pockets better, if thats your thing! Cool


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Posts: 5437 | Location: Near the Metropolis of Tightsqueeze, Va | Registered: February 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Talked to a guy that shot one. He was skeptical to say the least. He said it’s a blast to shoot.

He was pleasantly surprised. He thinks the will sell them by the buttload. He liked it much better that the PK380.


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Posts: 6337 | Location: Cantonment/Perdido Key, Florida | Registered: September 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gary, enjoyed your post and photos. The new guns are more practical, but they seem pretty clunky compared to some of the svelte old designs. You hit on something I think many shooters don't give much, if any, thought to. The difference in perceived recoil between locked, and straight blow back actions. I did not care for the snappy recoil of the SIG P230 I used to own. Felt to me like recoil was all out of proportion to the actual power of the .380 cartridge. More recently, I had the opportunity to shoot a SIG P238 with locked breech. Soft to shoot like I always thought a .380 should be.

BTW, I once got to shoot a little straight blow back Detonics Pocket 9. Nasty recoil. Then I loaded and shot a magazine of 9MM +P ammo. Just saying the felt recoil was nastier is an understatementWink


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Posts: 1360 | Location: Under the Tonto Rim | Registered: August 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the post. I have looked at a couple of 380s but walked away, now I have to check out the M&P for sure. Good reason for a trip to the LGS..


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Posts: 75 | Location: South St. Louis | Registered: November 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His diet consists of black
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I have no actual need of that Shield, but I'm still digging it.
 
Posts: 22873 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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neat comparison. I still wish they made it the same size as the Shield. Doesn't make much sense to make a .380 bigger than the 9mm to me
 
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Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by Messer454:
I still wish they made it the same size as the Shield. Doesn't make much sense to make a .380 bigger than the 9mm to me


They're designed to serve two different purposes.

The Shield 9mm is designed as a subcompact carry gun. It needs to be small to be more easily concealed. But subcompact handguns are tougher to shoot well, have more felt recoil, and require stiffer recoil springs which makes the slide tougher to rack.

The Shield EZ .380 is designed for inexperienced shooters, or those with limited strength. (Think "little old lady's bedside gun".) Medium-sized guns are easier to shoot, have less felt recoil, and their slides are easier to rack.
 
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