Smith & Wesson Unveils New M&P Shield™

by Editor 12. April 2012 14:06
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S&W M&P Shield

Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced the introduction of the company’s new slim, concealable, lightweight, striker-fired polymer pistol with the unveiling of the M&P Shield™.  Available in 9mm and .40 S&W, the new M&P Shield features a slim design combined with the proven and trusted features found in the M&P Pistol Series. From the pistol’s easily concealed one-inch profile to its optimized 18-degree grip angle, the M&P Shield offers professional-grade features that provide simple operation and reliable performance.

“Throughout the industry, there has been a progressive demand for a reliable, accurate self defense firearm,” said Mario Pasantes, Smith & Wesson’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Global Professional Sales. “Whether used as a backup for police personnel, an undercover firearm for plain-clothes officers or a dependable carry gun for private citizens, the M&P Shield expertly fulfills the need. Built to professional standards and backed by Smith & Wesson’s reputation for innovation and quality control, the M&P Shield adds another high performance option to our company’s broad line of purpose built firearms.”

Chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W for proven stopping power, the M&P Shield features a high-strength polymer frame with a black, Melonite® coated stainless steel slide and barrel. Both models are standard with a 3.1-inch barrel, which contributes to an overall length of 6.1 inches and an unloaded weight of 19 ounces. For fast tracking and smooth target acquisition, the M&P Shield is standard with a 5.3-inch sight radius and has been enhanced with a short, consistent trigger pull measuring 6.5 pounds. Featuring a quick and audible reset made possible by the striker-fired action, the M&P Shield allows multiple rounds to be placed on target both consistently and accurately.

The accuracy of the pistol has been further refined with a white dot stainless steel front sight and a white two-dot stainless steel rear sight. The M&P Shield retains familiar operating features on the left side of the frame, including a simple takedown lever, flat profile slide stop, magazine release and thumb safety. The flush mounted safety allows users to carry the pistol comfortably and confidently. For improved firearm control, the M&P Shield is standard with a fixed textured backstrap and additional texturing at the forward portion of the grip. An extended trigger guard has also been added for operation of the pistol with or without gloves.

Internal features of the new M&P Shield mirror the standard M&P Series. Its stainless steel internal chassis reduces flex while providing a stable shooting platform and its low-bore axis helps maintain ease-of-use and a comfortable feel. Other familiar features include a passive trigger safety that prevents the pistol from firing if dropped and a sear release lever that eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm. A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the slide.

The M&P Shield is shipped with both an extended and flat magazine offering users the ability to customize the length of the grip. The 9mm M&P Shield offers an 8+1 or 7+1 magazine capacity while the .40 S&W M&P Shield is standard with either a 7+1 or 6+1 magazine capacity. The M&P Shield will also be introduced in a California compliant model. Both the 9mm and .40 S&W M&P Shield have an MSRP of $449 and are available now.

As an added bonus, Smith & Wesson has worked with the industry’s top holster, laser and after-market sight manufacturers so that owners can personalize their M&P Shield with high quality accessories that are immediately available from various providers.

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St. Louis Here We Come...

by Editor 11. April 2012 19:20
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The whole of NRA Nation is gathering this weekend in St. Louis for the 2012 National Rifle Association Annual Meeting & Exhibit. And IDPA will be there too.

Joyce Wilson and some key IDPA folks – think Tiger Team Facilitator Terry 'Bubba' Burba – will be roaming the show floor meeting with industry leaders, IDPA sponsors and Tactical Journal advertisers. There might even be a little time spent checking out new guns.

The NRA Show, as it's known, is one of the largest trade shows in the firearms industry, second only to the world famous SHOT Show. Attendance estimates range anywhere from 'Holy Cow' to 'Oh. My. God.' but with local St. Louis weather calling for rain all weekend, it's likely there will be well over 60,000 attendees.

If you are one of those 60,000+ attending this year's show then be sure to be on the look out for Joyce, Bubba and the others. And be sure to stop them and say 'Hi.' Also, don't be shy about visiting the many generous sponsors and advertisers that have helped make IDPA the fastest growing shooting sport in America....and the best.

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IDPA Capitalizes on Growth by Expanding Marketing and Communication Efforts

by Editor 11. April 2012 19:02
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is proud to welcome one of the firearms industry’s leading communications experts, Paul Erhardt, to expand the organization’s social media, public relations and marketing efforts.

Since founding marketing and communications firm Erhardt & Associates in 2007, Erhardt has built a consistent, proven record of providing creative solutions to marketing challenges. He is recognized as one of the most prolific public relations experts in the industry having recently led the effort in spotlighting the practical shooting sports. Erhardt’s work is innovative and often goes viral within the industry. His campaigns have regularly expanded beyond the world of firearms, sparking the interest of mainstream media.

“Paul’s work is well known throughout the industry. He has crafted literally hundreds of press releases, handled multiple social media accounts and shares a passion for shooting in his columns for The Shooting Wire. His work has generated exposure not only for the industry, but for shooting sports as well. We have already seen rapid growth fueled by the interest Paul has cultivated among shooters,” said Joyce Wilson, executive director of IDPA.

“IDPA is experiencing explosive growth with 800 to 900 new members joining monthly. With Paul’s help, IDPA will work to maintain this growth. We aim to capitalize on the social nature that has made IDPA so popular and we are thrilled to have Paul as part of the IDPA team.”

With the popularity of firearms ownership and concealed carry licensing at an all-time high, the International Defensive Pistol Association membership rolls have grown by 40% since 2007. The organization now has nearly 20,000 members. With 320 affiliated clubs around the country, IDPA is a shooting sport that is both accessible and in demand.

Working with Wilson and the rest of the IDPA staff and leadership, Erhardt will help develop a comprehensive marketing strategy focused on recruitment and retention while greatly expanding the organization’s communications effort to members, clubs and sponsors all while preserving the unique culture and brand that has made IDPA so successful.

“The number of new gun owners in America has been skyrocketing and many are looking for opportunities to get active. IDPA is a great place for them to start as a truly new shooter friendly sport. At the same time there is also a deep loyalty among the membership. Both headquarters and current members are dedicated to sharing IDPA. It’s exciting to be able to contribute to those efforts and further grow this fun and dynamic sport,” said Erhardt.

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Welcome to Down Zero... IDPA's Official Blog

by Editor 11. April 2012 18:25
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Step on to almost any range across the United States and you're likely to find an IDPA shooter. Since it's founding October of 1996, the International Defensive Pistol Association has become the home to recreational shooters looking to hone their gun handling skills through challenging defensive scenarios.

Back in 1997 there were just over 1,000 members. And probably more than a few in the shooting community that looked at IDPA and didn't see much of a future for this fledgling organization. Talk about a failure to do right.

Well, today the International Defensive Pistol Association is in all 50 states, as well as active in 54 foreign countries. There are 321 affiliated clubs. And as as of the end of March, the total membership stands at a record 19,937, having grown an incredible 5.82% in the first three months of 2012 alone.

For those nay sayers that had their doubts back in 1996 and 1997 there is just one thing we can say....

How do you like us now?

As IDPA's Executive Director Joyce Wilson will tell you, “we couldn't have gotten here without the tremendous support and dedication of IDPA members. You have helped to make us the fastest growing pistol sport in America, and certainly one of the most fun to participate in.”

With the incredible growth comes the need to establish stronger communication with clubs, match directors and, of course, members. So welcome to the new Down Zero blog where you'll find the latest news, match information, updates from headquarters, shooters profiles, and the occasional random thought (though not subject to a procedural).

Along with @OfficalIDPA on Twitter, ShootIDPA on Facebook, and IDPA TV on YouTube, the Down Zero blog gives you one more way to connect with fellow shooters so you can keep up to speed on all things IDPA.

Blogger ready? Standy By....

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