Another Eye-Opener

My Shield .45 didn’t get too much use until June 2019. My favorite match, The Pin Shoot — known in the 20th Century as the Second Chance Shoot — had been resurrected and now included a Concealed Carry event. The contestant’s pistol had to have a barrel no longer than 3.5", but still be powerful enough to blow a heavy bowling pin back off a table.

I was miffed the year before when I shot it with a 3.5" ParaOrdnance LDA .45. Host and match director Rich Davis likes to sing a little ditty to the tune of “Camptown Races” — “It worked all year but not up here, doo-dah, doo-dah.” I fit the profile when my little Para, which had run flawlessly until then, choked on three of the six runs in the 2018 match.

For 2019, I wanted striker-fired reliability for the event, but was stymied. One of my favorite GLOCK 30 .45s? Their barrels were 3.8" long. Then it hit me: My M&P Shield .45’s barrel is only 3.3" long! Its 6-lb. trigger sits just right for me to get the crease of the distal joint of my index finger on its center. I took it to the range one more time and was sold.

Long story short — the Shield .45 ran 100 percent, and I came in third in Concealed Carry with a score that would have won the year before. The 21-oz. pistol, totally out-of-the-box, had handled Federal HST 230-gr. +P hollow points with aplomb and actually beat my score with the custom, long-barreled compensated 1911 that I used in the Pin Gun and Space Gun categories. It was the first time I had shot a .45 Shield in a match and it won a prize for me. This more than paid for its purchase price. Hard to argue with that.