Smith & Wesson remains one of the longest-operating weapons manufacturers in the world. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson began their first partnership in 1852 with a lever-action pistol. That project eventually ended up in the hands of their primary investor, Oliver Winchester, and would later form the basis for the Winchester repeating rifle. Smith and Wesson then went on to produce the first revolver, known as the Model 1, with a bored-through cylinder and the ability to fire new self-contained cartridges. From there, innovation only continued, the company has grown, and today, Smith & Wesson is still on top of its game.

The company remains a premier weapons manufacturer. In fact, their plant in Connecticut is one of the few in the industry with its own foundry. Along with its legendary revolvers, Smith & Wesson now makes semi-automatic pistols, rifles and a complete line of accessories. Their latest introduction—the M&P Shield—has only brought more innovation, cutting-edge manufacturing, and unsurpassed quality to the pocket pistol market. Smith & Wesson continues to produce one of the largest lines of concealed carry pistols on the market.

Shield & Bodyguards

The M&P Shield is a modern, striker-fired pistol chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W. Its slim design and light weight make it perfect for deep concealment. Its longer sight radius, standard sights and overall feel make it shoot like a full-sized pistol. A short and consistent trigger pull allows for some of the best possible accuracy in a pistol this size. For those needing fast and accurate fire under extreme duress, several companies have begun producing lasers that can be attached. Smith & Wesson has also partnered with LaserMax to provide Shields with factory-equipped lasers.

Having tested this pistol extensively in 9mm, I can attest to its accuracy, reliability, and ease of carry. Several companies are making concealment holsters and other accessories. An extended magazine allows those with larger hands to get a good hold, and it provides for an eight-round capacity in 9mm and a seven-round capacity in .40 caliber. It’s easy to access the pistol’s controls, and a safety is provided for those using a pocket, purse, or just like the added piece of mind a mechanical safety provides.

For those in need of a smaller pistol, the Bodyguard 380 and Bodyguard 38 are just the ticket. Designed from the ground up to provide the best possible accuracy, reliability and ease of carry for deep concealment, this series is a favorite of many. As a double-action-only (DAO), hammer-fired pistol chambered in .380 ACP, the Bodyguard 380 meets the needs of a solid pocket pistol. The sights are usable yet have a snag-free design. Weighing a bit less than 12 ounces, the semi-auto 380 is about as light as it gets. With an integrated laser, it is perfect for those situations where sighted fire is just not possible.

For those in need of the same features in a revolver, the Bodyguard 38 fits the bill. Designed with state-of-the-art manufacturing, this five-shot .38 +P revolver is one the first to integrate polymer materials into a wheelgun. Coupled with a side-mounted laser, it takes a centuries-old design into the 21st century.

More Protectors

The M&P Compact line is offered in 9mm, .40 S&W and even .357 SIG. These semi-autos are offered with a variety of sight packages and include all of the features that come with the M&P line. One of the best examples is the M&P9c. This pistol is lightweight and, measuring only 6.7 inches long, it can still fit easily in a coat pocket. It also includes a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrips, making it easy to aim under the most adverse conditions. This same pistol chambered in .357 SIG offers the same compact size with the increased firepower of this formidable round. As is the case with their other weapon offerings, Smith & Wesson offers these compact pistols with various sights, with or without lasers, and even with and without a thumb safety for those states that require an external safety. There really is an M&P Compact that meets just about any need.

The company offers several styles of revolvers. Hammers can come exposed, shrouded or completely enclosed. Grips can be simply rubber or equipped with a laser. Even the caliber choices have improved. A good example is the Model 632 Pro Series chambered in the new .327 Federal Magnum. Models are made in various materials, including scandium, aluminum, steel and stainless steel. The J-frame, S&W’s smallest revolver frame and more commonly known as the Chief’s Special, is available in close to 40 different models. The options and accessory choices are almost mind boggling, suiting just about any conceivable need in a pocket revolver.

The SW1911 Pro Series Sub Compact is an excellent example of a small 1911 pistol. Chambered in .45 ACP and built around a scandium frame, it offers real-world power in a small and lightweight package. As a Pro Series gun, it fits nicely between S&W’s standard lineup and those from their Performance Center, offering excellent value for the price.

Smith & Wesson is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of Walther pistols. The PPK may be the most widely known small semi-automatic ever. Available in the original .32 ACP or as the PPK/S model in .380 ACP, there are several feature choices. The PPK/S 380CP comes with Crimson Trace grips, making it a modern version of an old favorite. When it comes to the rimfire models, the P22 may be the most popular on the market. There is also the PPS, which comes in 9mm or .40 S&W and sports a very thin profile for excellent concealability.

Smith & Wesson remains a premier weapons manufacturer. With the introduction of the M&P Shield line, they cover everything from true pocket semi-autos to traditional compact pistols. For more information, visit or call 800-331-0852.

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