The Best M&P Shield Upgrades: Get a Little More Gun from Your Little Gun

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is one of the most popular subcompact pistols on the market. It’s a great concealed carry gun. And—although it may not be ideal—you could use an M&P Shield for other things like home defense and competition.

However, there are surprisingly few upgrades for the M&P Shield, despite the massive popularity.

The good news is that you really don’t need that many upgrades to make the M&P Shield a very capable subcompact, single stack handgun.

Our Best Choice

SPOILER—want to know which upgrades to get without reading too much? Add these 2 M&P Shield upgrades to your gun:

1. AmeriGlo Smith & Wesson Pro Glo Sight Set.

2. Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. S&W M&P Shield 2.0 Action Enhancement Trigger & Carry/Duty Kit.

Just these two upgrades will make your M&P Shield a LOT better. In fact, you could stop there and call it good.

But we’re more thorough than that. Keep reading if you want to find out about all the best M&P Shield upgrades, even the ones that are pretty much entirely optional.

Top M&P Shield Upgrades on the Market Today

The Best M&P Shield Upgrades Reviews: Not as Many Upgrades as You Might Think…

The upgrades are laid out in order of importance.

The upgrades that will improve your handgun the most are first.

The upgrades that are almost entirely optional are near the end.

1. AmeriGlo Smith & Wesson Pro Glo Sight Set - First and Best M&P Shield Upgrade

The stock sights on the M&P Shield are actually decent. It’s not like it has plastic sights or anything. So it’s kind of a toss up between upgrading the sights or upgrading the trigger.

But one of them had to be first. So the AmeriGlo Smith & Wesson Pro Glo Sight Set is up first.

There are 2 key features about these sights that make them my go-to sights for just about any handgun I have:

First, the high-visibility front sight. The front sight is bright orange and super easy to see in almost any lighting condition.

If it so happens that the situation is so dark that you need night sights, the front sight has a tritium insert. And the tritium insert glows surprisingly brightlyIt’s easy to find this front sight in the dark.

The second thing I like about these sights is the rear sights. The rear notch is plain serrated black. It’s nice because the serrations reduce glare. So you get a nice deep black rear notch that creates really good contrast with the high visibility front sight.

The black rear with the high-visibility front sight really draws your focus to the front sight as you present the gun in sighted fire. It’s about the quickest front sight acquisition you can get without getting rid of your front sight and using an optic.

Lastly, the front edge of the rear sight is pretty much verticalIt works well enough for one-handed weapon manipulations. Though, a claw or angled front edge would give you better purchase on a belt or pocket or whatever.

Even so, these sights are a big upgrade over the stock sights. And they work as well as iron sights can in all shooting contexts.

Pros

  • High visibility front sight is super easy to find and focus on during sighted fire.
  • Tritium insert in the front sight enables you to find your front sight in especially dark environments.
  • Serrated black rear sight produces a very deep black rear notch that makes it easy to align your sights.
  • Works well enough for one-handed manipulations.

Cons

  • A curved or angled front edge on the rear sight would be better for one-handed manipulations.

The Ameriglo Front Tritium Night Sight For S&W M&P Shield is a solid option if you don’t have the money for the full sight set or if you just want to keep the stock M&P rear sights.

It’s the same high visibility front sight as the Ameriglo sight set. It’s bright orange. And it’s easy to find fast and focus on.

However, there is one key difference between the sight set and this front sight: the high visibility insert is square.

The benefit of the square is that it’s very easy to align with your rear sights. The rear notch is square.

The front sight is square. Squares are easier to line up than circles. So the square insert just makes it easier to line up your sights quickly and get accurate hits.

Additionally, the square insert actually gives you a tad more high-visibility material than the circle insert. That makes this sight even easier to see than the circular high visibility front sight.

The bummer with this Ameriglo front sight is that it’s just a front sight. You may find it a bit distracting next to the circles in the rear sight. So you might end up buying a new rear sight anyway, which negates the money you saved getting only a front sight.

But, this is still a great front sight, regardless of which rear sight you use.

Pros

  • High visibility square is super easy to see.
  • Square insert gives you a bit more high visibility material than the circular insert.
  • Square insert is super easy to align quickly.
  • Tritium insert for those especially dark situations.

Cons

  • Might not match up very well with your rear sights.

The stock trigger is probably the weakest aspect of the M&P Shield.

The two piece trigger safety might not work for everyone, depending on the size of your hands and your fingers. Also, the break and reset are… Kind of bad.

So upgrading the trigger makes sense. The Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. S&W M&P 2.0 Shield Action Enhancement Trigger & Carry/Duty Kit is pretty much the only trigger for the M&P Shield that I really like. There are other triggers. But none of them produce such a good trigger press.

And this isn’t just a trigger shoe.

The kit comes with all the parts that affect the trigger press. So this kit improves all the aspects of the trigger press.

This Apex Tactical kit reduces the pre-travel, smooths out the trigger movement, and lightens the trigger break. Once the kit is installed, your trigger press is usually about 2 pounds lighter than the stock trigger. And it requires noticeably less trigger movement to break a shot.

Additionally, the trigger shoe is a single piece trigger shoe with a standard blade safety, which most shooters will find more comfortable and easier to press consistently than the stock trigger.

The installation process is a bit involved, since you must remove your rear sight to install a trigger in the M&P. But, if you’re replacing your sights too, you’ll have the sights off anyway.

It’s not the least expensive trigger on the market. But it’s easily the most improvement to your trigger you can get without getting crazy with the customization.

Pros

  • Improves every stage of the trigger press from the takeup to the break.
  • Gives you a noticeably better break and trigger reset.
  • Reduces the trigger press by about 2 pounds.
  • Trigger shoe is a single piece shoe with a standard blade safety.

Cons

  • Requires a bit of work to install.

4. S&W M&P Shield 9mm Magazine - 8 Round M&P Shield Magazine

This might be more of an accessory than an upgrade. And the M&P comes with one or two of these. But having an extra S&W M&P Shield 9mm Magazine or three is super handy for training and carry.

I’m usually not a huge fan of extended magazines on subcompact guns. It sort of defeats the purpose of a subcompact gun. Making the grip longer makes the gun harder to conceal.

However, the M&P Shield grip is pretty short. And you can add some length to the grip without giving up a ton of concealment. Actually, I can conceal a Glock 19 just fine. So an M&P Shield with an extended magazine is still totally concealable.

The main reason these S&W magazines are on the list is because they’re factory magazines. That means that you can be confident that they’ll work in your M&P Shield. And they’re steel, which makes them durable enough for rough training.

Also, these magazines come with a sleeve which gives you an extra bit of grip for your pinky finger. But you already knew that, if you have an M&P Shield.

There’s nothing fancy about these magazines. And maybe spare magazines aren’t an upgrade. But having a few extra magazines on hand will make your training and carrying much easier.

Pros

  • Adds one round to your magazine capacity.
  • Easy to conceal, even with the added grip length.
  • Steel factory magazines are pretty much guaranteed to work in your gun and are durable enough for training.
  • Includes a sleeve to give you added grip surface for your pinky.

Cons

  • Might cause you concealment issues, depending on your clothing and body type.

If you’re not into the standard M&P Shield extended magazines, the HYVE Technologies Magazine Extension Base Pad for M&P Shield 9mm is a good alternative. However, it’s not just about grip texture and hand size. This magazine extension also looks cool.

The nice thing about this magazine extension is that you don’t need to buy new magazines, if you already have flush fit magazines. Just put this baseplate on your flush fit magazines to get +1 magazine capacity.

This magazine extension is just slightly longer than the standard M&P extended magazine. That gives you a tad more room for your pinky finger and a more stable firing grip.

Additionally, this HYVE Technologies magazine extension is aluminum. It adds a bit of weight to your magazine. This ensures that your magazines reliably drop out of the magazine well for faster reloads and easier unloading.

Lastly, this magazine extension comes in multiple colors. So you can customize the look of your gun.

Installing a baseplate is a bit trickier than simply buying a pre-assembled magazine. But the installation process is simple. Overall, this is a good way to enhance your magazines and your handgun’s looks.

Pros

  • Adds 1 round of capacity to your flush fit magazine.
  • Just slightly longer than the standard extended magazine, for a bit more grip space and a more stable firing grip.
  • Aluminum construction adds a bit of weight to the bottom of your magazine to help magazines drop freely from the magazine well.
  • Offered in multiple colors.

Cons

  • Requires disassembly of your magazine to install.

6. SilencerCo Threaded Barrel - M&P Shield Upgrade Barrel

SilencerCo makes excellent suppressors and suppressor equipment. The SilencerCo Threaded Barrel is not only a threaded barrel, it’s an overall upgrade for your M&P Shield.

The stock M&P barrel is decent. However, the M&P pistols have a fairly loosely fitting barrel, which unlocks quite early in the cycling process. This causes decreased precision because the barrel actually unlocks from the breach just shy of the bullet clearing the barrel.

The stock precision is acceptable. But a barrel with a slightly tighter fit alleviates this issue and increases the mechanical precision of your pistol.

The SilencerCo Threaded Barrel is a slightly tighter fitting barrel that solves the early unlocking issue. It increases the mechanical precision of your M&P Shield.

You may not notice the increased precision without putting your gun in a vice. But the M&P Shield has a fairly short barrel. So any improvement to the precision is a good thing.

The fact that this SilencerCo barrel is threaded is kind of a bonus, since attaching a suppressor to a concealed carry gun isn’t really that important. However, the threading does give you an additional half inch or so of barrel length, which gets you as much muzzle velocity as possible from your subcompact gun.

This is by far the most optional upgrade in this article. Which might make the price a bit high. But it’s a solid barrel that will improve the overall performance of your M&P Shield, not just when you have a suppressor attached.

Pros

  • Increases the mechanical precision of your M&P Shield, albeit slightly.
  • Enables you to attach a suppressor or other muzzle device.
  • Black melonite finish is actually a bit more durable than the finish on the stock barrel.
  • Gets you as much muzzle velocity as possible from an M&P Shield.

Cons

  • A bit expensive for what is an entirely optional upgrade.

Get a Bit More from the Little Bits

The M&P Shield is a really solid concealed carry gun that’s exceptionally popular. And it’s a solid performer.

But an upgrade here or there can make your M&P Shield perform even better. And you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a really nice subcompact gun.

If you’re still not sure where to start, get these two upgrades:

1. AmeriGlo Smith & Wesson Pro Glo Sight Set.

2. Apex Tactical Specialties Inc. S&W M&P Shield 2.0 Action Enhancement Trigger & Carry/Duty Kit.

These two upgrades alone will make your M&P shield a nearly perfect concealed carry gun. Then you can go even further, with more upgrades, if you want…

If you’re still running a stock M&P Shield, you could be getting more from it. Add a few parts and get a bit more from a little bit of gun.