Best Ammo for Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

The M&P Shield is not a picky handgun. Whether it is chambered for 9mm, 40 S&W or some other cartridge, it should easily run through any FMJ training ammunition. (Do take care that many handguns are likely to fail to feed, fire and extract more frequently when it comes to steel-cased ammo.)

If you want to ensure the smoothest possible performance at the range, then any manufacturer’s brass-cased FMJ ammo is a good place to start. We prefer Federal American Eagle, Winchester USA, Speer Lawman, Prvi Partizan & Sellier & Bellot’s ammunition for regular target practice.

What Weight Bullet?

The M&P Shield is not too fussy when it comes to bullet weights, either. Many shooters prefer a lighter bullet weight for a compact handgun, as it can help to reduce felt recoil. To that end, you may find it more comfortable and easy to fire 115 grain 9mm ammo (or 165 grain 40 S&W ammo). But heavier bullets are fine as well – personal preference is most important to determining the bullet weight you should pick for self-defense.

For self-defense, we always find ourselves recommending the same two brands regardless of which type or caliber of pistol we’re talking about: Speer Gold Dot and Federal HST. Both of these high-quality and reliable cartridges deliver the accuracy you need to effectively neutralize a threat, the weight retention that is necessary for deep penetration of soft tissue, and the uniform terminal expansion which deals a wide and debilitating wound cavity.

If Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST are unavailable, you’ll do just fine with any other mid to high-quality JHP ammo on the market. Hornady, Winchester, Sierra, SIG Sauer, Browning, Remington, and several other manufacturers all make perfectly serviceable self-defense ammo for the M&P Shield!