The M&P Shield is a widely used sub-compact weapon, especially for concealed everyday carry. One of the most popular upgrades to the M&P Shield is a magazine extension. But people often seem confused about the benefits and drawbacks of using it.
To help clear this confusion, we will discuss the pros and cons of using an extended magazine with your Shield. We will also learn about the characteristics of a good mag extension and review the best ones on the market based upon those characteristics to assist you with your buying decision.
Comparison of the Best M&P Magazine Extensions
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Pros and Cons of Using Extended Mags on the M&P Shield
Using an extended magazine with the M&P Shield has its own pros and cons. Although when you buy an M&P Shield, it already comes with one flush and one extended magazine, you still will likely want to have some extras or some with larger capacities.
First, lets look at some of the advantages of having a magazine extension.
Extra Capacity: Using an extended magazine lets you carry more ammunition (at least one extra round) in a single magazine. This might not seem much, but it still gives you an edge for sure. The Shield is a small-sized weapon and it might take time to properly acquire a target (especially if you don’t have a laser or you are panicked), which means you can miss. Having an extra round will give you at least one extra shot before changing the mag.
Tackling Multiple Assailants: The Shield is generally carried for self-defense and you might end up in a situation where you face multiple attackers, with things escalating quickly if they are armed. Having some extra rounds in your mag will let you handle multiple targets without changing mags. Extended magazines are more tactical than regular magazines, as they add to capacity and control.
More Backup Rounds: Using Extended Magazines lets you carry more rounds for backup, meanwhile not increasing the number of magazines you carry. That’s probably the reason why S&W sells the Shield with an extra extended magazine. This will also let you save on extra weight if you tend to carry many magazines. Plus, if you are not in a situation to carry extra magazines, having an extension will probably help (like a home defense situation at night in your pajamas).
Finger Rest/Better Grip: The M&P Shield is a compact weapon and proper grip has always been an issue, especially for people with large palms. Plus, when you grab the weapon, your finger has no place to rest. An extended magazine serves as a finger rest and also facilitates a better grip over your weapon.
Now, lets look at some of the disadvantages of having a magazine extension.
Weight: Extended magazines improve the ammunition carrying capacity but it comes at the cost of extra weight. Using extensions increases the weight of the magazine, which might be a bit uncomfortable.
Balance: Due to the added weight beneath the grip, extensions can also interfere with the balance of the pistol as you shoot. However, with proper practice, you can overcome this.
Concealment: Mag extensions increase the length and size of your M&P Shield which may promote printing and cause concealment issues. Plus, some overly large extensions can also snag onto your holster, clothes, or other items.
Damage the Slide: A low-quality magazine extension can interfere with the ejector and the slide of your pistol, causing it to malfunction. Some extensions are not properly sized or machined to naturally accept the factory made spring.
Characteristics of our Top Picks
Based upon the pros and cons of using a magazine extension for the M&P Shield, we scoured the internet to handpick ones with ideal characteristics. You must have an eye out for these features whenever you are looking to buy an extension.
Prevent Over Insertion
A good magazine extension should properly replace the floor plate of the magazine so it doesn’t cause over insertion, jamming, or any other sort of malfunction due to incompatibility since this will cause the magazine to interfere with the slide which will result in serious damage.
A mag extension should be made of durable material to withstand spring tension and also rugged use. Magazine extensions are generally made from metal since they replace the magazine floor plate which, by the way, is also made from metal. Magazines tend to be dropped and dragged a lot, especially at the range, so your extension needs to be tough.
A good mag extension must not add much weight to the weapon, thus maintaining the equilibrium. All of our picks are made from lightweight and durable material, so they won’t add a considerable amount of weight to your weapon.
Proper Finger Placement
A mag extension should provide a proper rest for finger placement while you aim and shoot. This helps with countering the recoil of the weapon, by improving your grip over it.
The extension should blend in with the weapon aesthetics and should not look like a vague addition. Whether or not you are concerned with the looks of your M&P Shield, a chrome-colored extension on a black pistol will deter from the sleek, professional look f the weapon. Plus, it should also not affect the weapon’s concealability.
Review of the Best M&P Shield Magazine Extensions
You now know the pros and cons and the ideal characteristics to look for in a magazine extension for your M&P Shield. Now it's time to take a look at the best magazine extensions on the market and evaluate their features according to the above-mentioned norms.
Tyrant Designs S&W M&P Shield Plus 2 Magazine Extension
Tyrant Designs is a company out of Illinois that focuses on CNC-machined tactical products. All of their products are made in the U.S.A. and are covered by a lifetime warranty. This S&W M&P Shield mag extension works with either 9mm or .40 S&W mags. For 9mm it raises the capacity to nine rounds and with .40 S&W it gives you a total of seven rounds.
The unique design of these extensions allows you to install them in under ten seconds without the use of any tools. It is CNC machined from aerospace-grade aluminum and is designed to integrate seamlessly with the ergonomics and aesthetics of your M&P Shield.
All edges on the mag extension have been chamfered for better ergonomics and concealment. The extra weight of the aluminum mag extension makes it quicker and easier to drop the mag and reload. It works with the stock mag spring and is fully compatible with the newer Shield 2.0.
Tyrant Designs offers excellent quality products that are all built, designed, and assembled in the U.S.A. Their designs always have outstanding functionality and style. The top features of this mag extension are the ease of installation, the feel, and the quick reloading it offers. This is definitely one of the better options on the market today.
Samson Manufacturing Corp - M&P Shield Magazine Extension
This M&P Shield magazine extension from Samson Corp has been made from high-grade aluminum, to provide strength and durability. The extension adds one more round to the factory seven and eight round magazines, hence increasing their capacity.
The relief cuts aid in the extraction of the magazine to clear Type III (double-feed) malfunctions and enables one-handed malfunction clearing. The edge of the extension is contoured and acts as a groove to rest your finger, thus improving your control over the weapon.
The mag extension has been designed to work flawlessly with the factory magazine spring. It won’t interfere with your hand while shooting and drops freely when the release is pressed.
The mag extension from Samson is a durable addition to your magazine, available at an affordable price. It provides a comfortable finger rest and also helps you tackle the recoil of the weapon.
Best for the Money:
HYVE Technologies Smith & Wesson M&P9c Magazine Extension
HYVE Technologies is a San Diego company that has been in the machining business for over thirty years. Producing everything from aerospace to automotive parts, the company got into firearms out of passion. This is a plus-three mag extension exclusively for the Smith & Wesson M&P 9C.
It features an innovative snap-in design. For extra security, there is also a set screw to ensure that the extension cannot come off. The correct size of Allen wrench is included. The extension is completely manufactured and assembled in the U.S.A. It is made of aircraft-grade 6061 T6 aluminum, which is the standard material for modern sporting rifle receivers.
They are available in eight colors, black, grey, blue, tan, green, red, copper, and violet. The S&W M&P 9C is an outstanding concealed carry gun, but the capacity is wanting. If you need a reliable and stylish mag extension for your M&P 9C, this possibly the best option available. Plus it's always nice to buy U.S.-made products.
If you have chosen a Smith & Wesson M&P 9C it means that you have high standards for your concealed carry piece. This magazine extension from HYVE Technologies will live up to those standards. The best features are the snap on design and the aluminum construction. You can't go wrong with this extension.
4. True Precision Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2-Round Magazine Extension
True Precision is a company out of Atlanta, Georgia that focuses mainly on barrels, which are the heart of any firearm system. Their experience with barrels gives them expertise in precision machining, which is evident in the quality of these mag extensions. The design of these mag extensions is based on input from the U.S. military. They needed an easier way to remove the magazine spring and follower for cleaning and removal of git and grime.
Each mag extension is designed to remain fixed to your magazine indefinitely without wearing out the lower edges of your mag. The sliding floorplate and locking screw give you easy access to the interior of the mag for cleaning or maintenance. You never need to remove the mag extension from the mag itself.
Every extension comes with an enhanced, high-power magazine spring. This mag extension constructed of type III anodized 6061 aluminum. It offers you plus-two capacity in a single stack 9mm mag. The version for double stack mags gives you plus-five rounds in 9mm and plus-four for .40 S&W. All the set screws are steel and the kit comes with the necessary Allen keys.
This is a great mag extension because it takes a lot of the frustration out of disassembling your mag for cleaning and maintenance. The tough aluminum material is also a nice touch.
5. Taylor Freelance - S&W M&P Shield Extended Magazine Pad
This M&P Shield Magazine Extension pad has been made from high-grade, machined aluminum with a satin black anodized finish, to be durable and aesthetically pleasing at all times.
The solid metal body of the extension can withstand drops and stomping without compromising with function. The base pad adds one round to the capacity of both seven and eight round magazines. It is also quite easy to install, as all you have to do is to simply remove the base pad. No sophisticated tools or gunsmith required.
The extension works really well and creates no problems with cycling. The base pad has the initials TF etched on it, along with a glossy black finish, which makes it look appealing.
The mag extension by Taylor Freelance is a durable and aesthetically pleasing upgrade, which also increases the capacity by one round. It is easy to adjust and lightweight. Plus, it functions flawlessly with sustained shooting sessions.
6. Pearce Grip - S&W M&P Grip Extension
This one here is just a magazine extension for your M&P Shield which doesn’t increase the round capacity. Made from high-grade polymer, it easily attaches to the base of your magazine and blends in with the contour and shape. The magazine extension helps with attaining better control over the weapon as you shoot.
The M&P Shield is not very big in size, so adding this accessory to your weapon will allow you to grip it more firmly. The extension features a slight shelf-type protrusion on the forend, which lets you wrap your finger around with ease. Being made from polymer, the extension doesn’t add any weight to the pistol.
Additionally, it is cut properly to ensure the magazine won’t catch or get obstructed while being pushed-in or dropped-out of the weapon. Considering its usability and in comparison with it with its minimal price, this is an enticing and worthy deal to capture.
The Pearce Grip magazine extension is for you if you don’t want to disassemble and upgrade your magazine for an extra round. The extension is easy to install and improves your overall grip on the weapon, thus affecting accuracy.
Having a magazine extension installed with your M&P Shield is a simple and affordable addition which improves the capacity, accuracy, and control over your weapon. This extra capacity gives you an edge in serious situations and also lets you carry more ammunition without adding much weight.
A good magazine extension should be made of durable material, provide a proper grip over the weapon, and prevent over-insertion of the magazine. Adding an extension to your M&P Shield magazine will make a good gun even better.