shield m2.0 vs pps m2

PPS M2 VS Shield M2.0 

Which Is Better For Concealed Carry?

Smith and Wesson sold well over 1,000,000 M&P Shields. The latest version – S&W Shield M2.0 – is even better. It’s that darn good. Walther engineered one of the highest rated Single Stack Nines in existence with the  Walther PPS M2. Which one is more worthy of your hard earned dollars?

If we could only pick one for concealed carry, which would find itself on our belt?

Because capitalism is awesome, not only is there a handgun for every imaginable purpose, there are usually multiple competing products that each proclaim they fill a given niche better than any other similar product. 

So when it comes down to the PPS M2 and the Shield M2.0, which is better? Does it matter? is the shield m2.0 or pps m2 better for concealed carry

Are there significant differences? 

And most importantly, should pineapple be on pizza? No. Wait, let’s go back to the guns. It will be easier to answer those questions. 

Now both guns are poly-framed, striker-fired pistols chambered in 9mm, and marketed towards the concealed carry market. Both have similar capacity single stack magazines, and both are fighting for identical customers. 

Each  gun is made by a well established company that is famous for high quality handguns built for real world consumers. Each company has a cult following, and a long legacy of innovation and even cultural impact. 

Lastly, each company has been working hard to grab a piece of that high demand concealed carry market, and have been tailoring products to meet the demands and desires of concealed carriers everywhere. 

So let’s take a closer look.

Walther PPS M2 grip

The Walther PPS M2: Quality & Ergonomics Perfected

Ever since Glock popularized ergonomic, polymer framed striker fired pistols with pistols like the Glock 19, the gun industry has been awash with attempts to grab some of that market. And this is where we have to face stark reality.

From a mechanical standpoint, there is precious little technical difference where it matters on these sorts of guns. There are small differences, but the technology is the same. 

The most common differences are the types of internal and passive safeties, and the quality of the trigger. A spongy trigger can ruin a good gun. 

A great trigger can make a good gun legendary.

Walther PPS M2 trigger

In this case, both guns offer great trigger feel with a good reset, so rather than engaging in nit picking over small mechanical differences, we are going to look at more important differences.

Walther lists a number of key features for the PPS M2. 

Some are styling, others are far more interesting innovations that have become in great demand in this golden age of concealed carry that we now live in. walther pps m2 loaded chamber indicator

The PPS M2 includes a red loaded chamber indicator, that can be both felt and seen, a visible chamber viewport that allows for quick verification of if the gun is loaded, a uniquely textured grip, Tennifer coating for maximum corrosion resistance, three dot metal sights, both front and rear slide serrations, and lightweight, fast resetting trigger. 

Multiple magazine options are available.

The PPS M2 ships with a six round low profile, a seven round magazine, and an extended 8 round magazine.

shield and pps with magazines

In addition, the mag release is designed to prevent accidental release and the entire gun is designed to be snag free when carried concealed.

So far, the PPS M2 looks pretty solid, so how does the Shield M2.0 stand up to it?

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield M2.0: The Next Version of Greatness

Just as Walther is a venerable old name in handguns, so is Smith and Wesson. 

S&W M&P Shield M2.0

A few years back, Smith and Wesson blew the dust off another venerable name, and brought back their Military and Police line for the 21st Century. 

The M&P line was Smith and Wesson’s answer to the booming striker fired polymer framed pistol market, and it was backed with tradition and reputation that Glock simply couldn’t match. Having created a viable full sized contender in this market, Smith and Wesson then turned to the concealed carry market, and brought out the Shield.

Many declared the M&P Shield the best Concealed Carry gun on the market.

We now have a newer version of that great pistol: Shield M2.0.shield m2.0 with integrated laser

As we’ve already discussed, there is nothing new under the sun with these types of guns, and the Shield M2.0 reads a lot like the PPS M2. 

Featuring a specially textured grip for a secure hold in all weather conditions, a lightweight, precision trigger, corrosion resistant coating on the slide, a unique take down system that does not require pulling the trigger, an optional 18 degree backstrap for a more natural hold, and a lifetime warranty, we start to see subtle and not so subtle differences between these two guns. 

Smith and Wesson ups the ante with their magazines as well, shipping a 7 round flush fitting mag, and an 8 round extended grip magazine with the gun. 

Major Differences

So, on paper, we’ve got two compact, single stack 9mm polymer frame, striker fired pistols from two of the world’s most famous handgun manufacturers. How do you choose between these two pistols?

9mm bulletWell darn. Let’s look closely. 

The Shield M2.0 is 4.5” tall with the flush fitting magazine to the Walther’s 4.4”. 

The Shield M2.0 is 6.1” long to the PPS M2’s 6.3”. 

They are nearly identical in weight as well, with the Walther PPS M2 weighing in at 21.1 ounces unloaded, to the S&W Shield M2.0’s 18.3 ounce unloaded weight.  You might be able to detect the 1.8 ounce difference but most can’t.

All these dimensional differences are really trivial.

However, Walther pulls ahead pretty quick in human engineering. Walther manages to add useful safety features to their gun. Being able to inspect the chamber without a press check, and having a visible and tactile loaded chamber indicator are really nice features. 

Smith and Wesson offers a Smith and Wesson Shield M2.0 with an external thumb safety, which while controversial in some circles, has been in demand on striker fired guns since the 80’s, which gives them an edge in the safety department. They also have other caliber options for the M&P Shield M2.0, which is great for fans of calibers starting in 4.

Walther ships the PPS M2 with an octagonal rifled barrel, but out of a 3” barrel gun built for close quarters work, I’m hard pressed to get terribly worked up over that nice little touch, but when looking at nearly identical guns, sometimes it is those little touches that really matter. 

So Which One is Best for Concealed Carry?

Questions like this ensure gun writers and gun manufacturers will have plenty of work. However, it is also confusing for the consumer. We are down to the point of picking over small differences in guns that may or may not even matter to you, the concealed carrier or law enforcement officer. 

Either gun excels for the intended purpose of offering a modern, easily concealed handgun. While we might all wish to be able to carry a 1911 or a big magnum revolver, the fact of modern living often means that discretion is the better part of valor, and must opt for a small, easily hidden pistol. 

Plus of course there is something to be said for a lightweight handgun, regardless of how you choose to carry it. 

If you live in a place with oppressive and irrational magazine capacity limitations, you’ll appreciate being able to buy a high quality, well designed 9mm pistol. For better or worse, either of these guns will be at home in places like New York State, or other capacity restricted jurisdictions. 

For those living in places that don’t require you to count the rounds in your gun, the compact, single stack designs offer easy concealing performance without major loss in firepower. 

Sure it would be nice to have a 19 round mag but…

Nearly every civilian gunfight will be over long before you even have to consider reloading either of these guns. 

If you like the passive safety features and Walther aesthetic, then the PPS M2 is for you. It is a fine looking gun, loaded with many small touches that make it stand out from the more utilitarian Shield M2.0. 

Add the octagonal rifled barrel, and better quality forward slide serration and it’s easy to see why so many people love the PPS M2.

Smith and Wesson brings an optional manual safety to the table.

This a deal breaker for those that require one.

If you really want a different caliber than 9mm (although out of a lightweight, short compact pistol, larger calibers start to suffer more, and recoil harder), then Smith and Wesson offers you that choice as well. 

It Really Comes Down to Personal Choice.

sight picture Shield M2.0 VS Walther PPS M2

Instead, the choice comes down to your personal preferences in brand name, styling, and the voodoo of gut feeling. 

The ultimate decision between these two would probably come down to how it feels in your hand.

If I had to pick one…

I’d reach for the Walther, but only because I like the ergonomics and have fond memories of some really insane long range shots with an octagonal rifled pistol.

Neither of these factors really declare the gun to be superior, simply different enough to be appealing to one person. You may not care about either of those, but may find when comparing the two guns in a shop, that you like the trigger of one, over the other just a little bit more. 

If you are going for pocket carry, the Walther seems a bit more snag free, but the idea of pocket carrying an unholstered striker fired gun is terrifying. 

The Comfort Cling holster from Clinger Holsters solves this issue perfectly. 

The Comfort Cling holster stays in your pocket when you draw the gun out and protects the trigger while in your pocket.

If you are going for an IWB or belt holster carry, I think either gun would work equally well here as long as they’re in a high quality holster. 

What’s the point in picking out a quality gun if you don’t get a high quality holster?

Again, Clinger Holsters really shine here. The V3 No Print Wonder or V3 Stingray holsters are both excellent choices for Concealed Carry.

Conclusion

shield m2.0 holsters

Both are good guns, and both will do the job they are designed for. Each is also designed to appeal to the broad concealed carry market. 

Both also have unique ergonomics that will appeal to different consumers. 

It is a testimony to modern manufacturing and consumer demand that we can look at two competing handguns and find them both effectively identical, but also different enough to provide variety to those who want it. 

The Bottom Line Is:

Compare how the trigger of each feels to you. Also, hold each of them and see which feels best in your hand. 

If you prefer Walther over Smith & Wesson or vice versa, the decision is easy.

You can’t go wrong with either of these great pistols.

For the best concealment possible, check out our Walther PPS M2 holsters and our S&W Shield M2.0 holsters. Clinger Holsters makes Concealed Carry easy.

16 replies
  1. William B.
    William B. says:

    Excellent write-up, Steve! I’m trying to decide between the Walther and the Glock 43 right now. I’m leaning a little more toward the Walther PPS M2 now.

  2. Johnny
    Johnny says:

    Both are nice but in my opinion Walther’s stuff is higher quality than s&w, Glock, XD, etc. I have a PPQ M2. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why someone would pay about as much for a Glock or XD. Clearly they haven’t felt Walther’s ergonomics or trigger on the PPQ. I WILL get the PPS M2 next. It has incredible ergonomics like the PPQ.

  3. Steve Johnson
    Steve Johnson says:

    Good comparison. I’m still not sure which one to buy though. They both seem so awesome! I’m also considering the Honor Guard.

  4. Jruff2
    Jruff2 says:

    My Shield doesn’t have a laser but it’s the best pistol I’ve ever carried. I do have a Clinger holster too btw. The Shield and my Stingray are the perfect ccw package. Nobody knows I’m carrying my little Shield but I have more than enough 9mm rounds to stop a bad guy.

  5. Brett Wilson
    Brett Wilson says:

    I’m sure those German guns are just fine but I buy American when I can. You can’t tell me the Smith and Wesson Shield M2.0 isn’t every damn bit as good as that Walther. I’m not nit-picking between slight differences in this case.

    I’m going to buy the gun that one of my countrymen built rather than one that a german built.

  6. Gary L
    Gary L says:

    M&P Shield for CCW. I have put in excess of 1000 rounds of FMJ and hollow points through both and had zero malfunctions with the M&P but a few double feeds with the Walter. Could just be a fluke but whatever. I also have had great customer service with the folks in Springfield MA so it nice to know I can always send my firearms there to be worked on by expert gunsmiths there. Finally I also have the M&P 2.0 compact so it’s nice to have two pistols that are similar in ergonomics.

  7. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    I own the Walther PPS (the original 1.0 if you will) and love the ergonomics of it. It’s a great shooting pistol and very accurate, conceals very nicely even with the Crimson laser I have on it. The Shield just didn’t fit my hand and for that reason I decided against it. The only thing I didn’t care for on the PPS is the trigger guard mag release which they rectified in the M2. It seems more accessories are available for the Shield for some reason, especially laser mounted holsters but maybe that will change as more people find out just how awesome the PPS M2 is.

  8. herbster
    herbster says:

    I own a PPS M2 and all I can say is, awesome pistol. Roughly 1,000 rounds down range without a hiccup. EASY takedown, which is an important point for me. I thoroughly clean the pistol after all range visits. Great carry firearm. Cannot recommend the PPS M2 highly enough.

  9. Bill K.
    Bill K. says:

    Great comparison Steve! I carry a PPS M2 LE in my V3 No Print Wonder. I love the ergos on the gun and how easily it carries and conceals in the Clinger. The trigger isn’t as good as a PPQ but for its intended purpose it’s more than fine. I rotate between the PPS and a Kahr CM9 (also in a No Print Wonder).

  10. Tony B
    Tony B says:

    I prefer American made and love shooting both of my M&P Shields – 9 & 40. I carry one nearly every day and just alternate between the two and both fit perfectly in the same holster. Just recently, I bought the new M&P 45 Shield M2.0 w/CT Green Laser and can’t wait to put that into the carry rotation, but first I must find a holster for it.

  11. RQ
    RQ says:

    I used both for CCW. Short story, I wanted to like the PPS M2 more because it has better esthetics, feel, and perceived quality….the Shield is more plain and common. They carry the same, they shoot equally well. But the trigger on the Shield actually feels better, to me….with a sharper break, and a shorter more audible/tactile reset. The PPS has a long reset, which bugged me more….and it is not as audible/tactile.

    It’s all moot though, as I sold both in favor of a Glock 26. 10+1 rounds beats 6+1, 7+1, and 8+1….simple as that. The G26 carries just as well, even on my 150 lb. body. Balanced the G26 out with a G30S for 10+1 rounds of 45acp, too.

  12. JungleCogs
    JungleCogs says:

    As one who prefers (and trains with) a manual safety, one issue I found with the Shield was the little (dinky) safety lever… it’s just too small. Under high stress conditions (when tactile sensitivity is reduced), one might swipe right over it and simply not feel it.

  13. ROD KLOMP
    ROD KLOMP says:

    I have both the Shield 2.0 green laser and the Walther PPS M2, I have Clinger Stingray holsters from Clinger, which I feel are fantastic kydex holsters, I conceal carry, and the Stingray never lets me down, it stays put and keeps my gun secure , it has good hardware and is quality finished, being a holster maker myself, I can appreciate the detail and finish they put into each and every holster they make, I think as of now I own over a dozen of these holsters, and as for these two guns, they’re both great, never a single problem with either one, both feel good in hand and shoot straight and are reliable, I can’t ask more than that from an EDC gun,

    Nice write up…

  14. Shane
    Shane says:

    I owned both of these guns and they are both great guns but that being said I did sell one of them and it was the Walther PPS M2. I shot it well but not as well as my Shield or my G43. Maybe I just got a fluke but the PPS M2 trigger pinched my finger every time I shot it. It really bothered me. I have shot my dads PPQ and I don’t get that with his gun and it shoots awesome. I’m not going to go back though. I will save my money for more Glocks and Smith & Wessons.

  15. jon
    jon says:

    I got the P365 1000 rounds no problems. It takes out both guns. I have the 2.0 MP shield good gun but not a P365. Need holster for P 365.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *