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Smith & Wesson Performance Center Shield Versus The TALO Edition Glock 43

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Shield vs Glock 43

 

In 2012 Smith & Wesson introduced the Shield and it quickly became the "go to" gun for those looking for an easy-to-conceal, reliable and accurate pistol.  In 2015 Glock unveiled their long-awaited single stack 9mm pistol, the model 43. now Glock is poised to take the small, concealable market away from Smith Wesson... or are they?

In this review we talk a look at two enhanced editions of both pistols: the Performance Center Shield and the TALO Glock 42 edition.  

Let's start by listing the enhancements of both special edition pistols:

Performance Center Shield

  • Hi-Viz green fiber optic front sight
  • Hi-Viz red fiber optic rear sights
  • Ported barrel
  • Trigger job

TALO Edition Glock 43

  • Blaze Orange Pro Glo front night sight
  • Black serrated "U"-notch rear sight

Sight picture comparison Performance Center Smith & Wesson Shield vs Glock 43

I did have an issue with the sights on the G43.  In drawing the pistol in complete darkness I found, upon illuminating the pistol with my flashlight, that the front sight consistently wound up outside of the left sight rear post. In other words my point-of-aim was significantly to the left.  I have these exact same sights on my Glock 19 but this phenomenon does not occur.  I think the width of the G19 helps me attain a firmer grip and truer sight picture in darkness and the much thinner G43 allows for some pretty significant deviation.  Realistically though, the chances of shooting in total darkness are somewhat slim.  Between the moon and streetlights there is always some ambient illumination coming into the house along with my ever present stash of flashlights.

Another issue I have with sights concerns my aging eyesight.  Looking through the sights of the G43 I have double vision and see two blaze orange dots at the end of the slide.  On the Performance Center Shield I view the fiber optic front sight as one brilliant green dot.

Size

Size comparison S&W Shield vs Glock 43

 

Specification

Performance Center Shield

TALO Edition Glock 43

Caliber

9mm

9mm

Action

Striker-Fired

Striker-Fired

Barrel

3.1 Inches

3.39 Inches

Ported Barrel

Yes

No

Front Sight

Hi-Viz Fiber Optic Green

Blaze Orange Pro Glo Night Sights

Rear Sight

Hi-Viz Fiber Optic Red

Black Serrated “U” Notch

Weight

18.2 Ounces

 17.95 Ounces

Overall Length

6.1 Inches

6.26 Inches

Width

.95 Inches

1.02 Inches

Height

4.6 Inches

4.25 Inches

According to the specifications the two pistols appear to be about the same size.  The major difference is in the height of the pistols.  The specifications show the Glock to be about a quarter of an inch shorter than the Smith & Wesson.  But this is deceiving in how the Glock feels in my hand. Both pistols are equipped with magazine extensions to give your little finger a chance to assist in gripping the pistol.  On the Smith & Wesson that extension is present in both the front and back making the entire grip frame a little longer. The Glock extension only provides a front surface to for my little finger but does not extend the rear surface of the grip.  Hence, the base of my palm is not engaging the lower back-strap.  This tended to make me feel as if my grip wasn't exercising full control over the pistol.

Price-wise, the TALO Glock 43 is about 5% more than the Performance Center Shield.

Trigger

One of the biggest criticisms of the Smith & Wesson M&P series of pistols is the sloppy trigger pull.  They addressed this on the Shield and the pull on the Performance Center version has been worked on by the Performance Center gunsmiths resulting in an enhanced trigger experience.  The trigger pull on the Glock 43 is...well, a standard Glock trigger pull.  The battle for the better trigger pull goes to Smith & Wesson.  

Accuracy

As you can see from the comparison targets below the Shield shot slightly tighter groups than the Glock 43.  I do not mean that the Glock had poor accuracy, it's combat accuracy was just fine.  The Shield's accuracy was just a little bit better.

Targets at 21 feet:

Accuracy comparison S&W Shield vs Glock 43

 

Targets at 40 feet:

Accuracy comparison Glock 43 vs S&W Shield

 

When the Shield was first introduced four years ago I reviewed it and found it to be good, but unimpressive.  The Performance Center version is a significant step forward.  But one word of caution on the ported barrel.  The most common place for a civilian to be attacked is when getting into your car.  This is extreme close quarter combat.  Most likely you will be fending off the assailant with your weak hand while you draw and fire with your dominant hand.  This shot will be in very close proximity to your body.  As a result, the ported barrel will funnel flame and hot gasses upward.  You need to make sure that your face is not in their path.

I liked the Performance Center Shield quite a bit.  If my personal carry situation required that I carry the smallest 9mm semi-automatic pistol I would choose the Glock.  Based strictly on performance...I would choose the Performance Center pistol from Smith & Wesson.