Laugh Out Loud Laugh Out Loud:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Report on my new shield .380ez

  1. #1
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    Report on my new shield .380ez

    Bought one today.

    This gun has been touted as the perfect – absolutely perfect – gun for people who have arthritis and/or greatly reduced hand strength due to age. My experience says otherwise.

    First thing I will say is that this gun is NOT anywhere as EASY as all of the write ups and you tube videos would have you believe. I thought it would be a good range gun for me, to replace the Bersa BP380cc which I can no longer rack to slide lock without a Handiracker, and which is a total bear to field strip. This EZ is almost the identical size as that Bersa.

    I bought the EZ this afternoon and went straight to our outdoor range with my one box of ammo that I tossed in my bag “just in case I would find one today.” This broke my former iron clad rule of never shooting a gun without taking it home to clean it first – but we were out and about and I didn’t want to miss the chance to see how she shoots.

    Before buying her, I spent over a half hour in the store playing with her, learning a couple of quirks. For instance: When you are ready to put the slide back on (like after cleaning) you CANNOT press the grip safety or the slide simply will not go on all the way. Period. This is no problem for all the men who test this gun. Figuring how to hold the base of the gun while putting on the slide without holding the grip normally is a serious problem for a woman with severe arthritis and/or weak hands like I have!

    I DID NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS GUN like I did with my first G42 or with the first SIG P238 I shot. It is not a pretty gun in any way – a bit blocky and clunky looking - but feels OK in the hand. It does not point instinctively for me. Texture is a bit aggressive, but I wear shooting gloves and an aggressive texture enables me to have a really firm grip through the glove fabric. It would be very uncomfortable for me to shoot more than a couple shots without a glove.

    But there were enough positive things that I decided to part with my Bersa and $285 (including tax and background check fee) and bring her home. I did not get a good deal financially, but that was my choice because I’m not one to run all over 3 counties looking for a better deal.

    It’s a gun with a longer sight radius than my SIGs and my Glocks and is .380 and I think it will be a good range gun, after I get better acquainted with it and perhaps have Gramps move the rear sight a teeny bit to the right. (Yes, I was shooting almost every round consistently about 1 ” to the left through the whole box of 50 this day.) To be fair to this gun, I also shoot to the left with other guns if I don’t really concentrate.

    The EZ is larger than a Shield 9mm, but an ounce and a half lighter. It is about the size of a G19 but with a single stack grip, so it fits my hands well. It is heavier than the SIG238 with the aluminum alloy frame and heavier than a G42. As a range gun this is not an issue for me.

    NOTE: The model I bought was the one without the manual safety. All models come with the grip safety. I didn’t care if I got one with a manual safety or not because even though it shoots SA, (internal hammer is cocked once the first round is loaded in the chamber) this will not be a carry gun, and the one this store had was without the external safety. That was fine with me. And they took my Bersa BP380cc in trade even though they gave me way less than half of what I had in it with the extra magazines I had for it. I expected that to happen so am not grouching. I do not think I could ever have sold that Bersa privately and Gramps is super happy to get rid of it because it took him forever and much cussing to get the slide off when I wanted to clean the gun. I need guns that I can take apart and put back together by myself.

    And, comparing the Shield .380 EZ to other guns I own and use:

    I can take apart and put back together the EZ, with difficulty because I have a big problem getting a firm grip on the grip to slide the slide on properly without pushing against the grip safety. I can take apart and put back together my G42’s “all by myself, thank you!” I can not take my P238’s apart by myself because you have to hold the slide “just so” and push out the take down pin at the same time. I don’t have enough strength in my hand to do that with the P238’s.

    The EZ takes the same amount of strength to rack back to slide lock as my P238’s do. The same. No less. For a person with severe arthritis and weak hands it IS NOT A TWO FINGER PULL BACK ON THE END OF THE SLIDE THING! My Glock 42’s are the same level of strength needed as when I bought them (which was fine back then), but I can no longer rack either of them back to slide lock without using a Handiracker. The G42’s are still my most accurate shooters though and I carry them the most.

    The slide lock/take down lever is a real challenge to swing down. Perhaps this will get easier as I use the gun more. Perhaps the slide will become easier to rack back to slide lock after a few hundred times also. That would be great.

    Trigger is supposed to be amazingly light and easy. I feel no difference between this trigger and either my P238’s or my G42’s. And I know we are talking about three different trigger-pull weights – but there is a lot more that goes into perceived ease of trigger pull than what shows up on a gauge!

    AND NOW WE GET TO PERCEIVED RECOIL: There is NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL between the felt recoil of the EZ and my P238’s and my G42’s. NONE.

    Biggest advantage of this gun so far: If you get the model with the external safety you can dry fire to your heart’s content.

    Second biggest advantage of the EZ: the grip is a lot longer than the other ..380’s I own, and this makes it a much better gun for people with larger hands.

    Third advantage: You cannot fire this gun without a HIGH AND TIGHT GRIP because of the grip safety. That pretty much takes care of limp wristing problems doesn’t it?

    Final note: I do not usually write reports about brand new guns which have only had 50 rounds through them, but this one is so different in so many ways from all the other write-ups I’ve read and videos I’ve seen that I felt I owed it to all of you out there to let you know how it actually works (or not) for a real person who has bad arthritis, weak hands and is old.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; August 7th, 2018 at 01:28 AM. Reason: spelling change (per request)
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

  2. #2
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    Time ran out for changes and Gramps found a typo. In paragraph 8 it should say the rear sight - not the rear slide.
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tree Potato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    618
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    234 Post(s)
    Good writeup, thanks for the details from someone in a position to speak with knowledge and experience.

    So, if you didn't fall in love with it, did you at least fall in like with it?

    Also, have you tried manipulating the slide of a Springfield XDe? It seems they do have a significantly easier slide to rack, but I don't know if it's better or worse than the 380EZ. The XDe's DA trigger pull is awful IMO, but if carried cocked and locked in SA like a 1911 it might be an option.
    Ride hard, shoot straight, always speak the truth

  4. #4
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tree Potato View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Good writeup, thanks for the details from someone in a position to speak with knowledge and experience.

    So, if you didn't fall in love with it, did you at least fall in like with it?

    Also, have you tried manipulating the slide of a Springfield XDe? It seems they do have a significantly easier slide to rack, but I don't know if it's better or worse than the 380EZ. The XDe's DA trigger pull is awful IMO, but if carried cocked and locked in SA like a 1911 it might be an option.
    I haven't fallen into big like with the EZ yet, but I need a lot more range time with her. I think if she was prettier I could like her more already. Not fair, I know. Looks certainly aren't everything. She isn't SO ugly that I refused to buy her though.

    Right now she needs a cleaning, for me if not for her! I bought her because both Gramps and I were discouraged with the extreme difficulty of taking down the Bersa BP380cc for cleaning and because I could not rack the slide to slide lock without a handiracker. The take down was the main reason I wanted to replace her. She was a really good and totally reliable shooter.

    Not looking at the possibility of ANY MORE guns. At this point in time.
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arejay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pacific Left Coast
    Posts
    1,826
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    352 Post(s)
    Thanks for the great write up. I always appreciate your reviews. I'm curious if you would consider a revolver again. My new 2016 Colt Cobra has a very smooth DA trigger with no stacking . Great point shooting handgun with six shots. I was happily surprised by the trigger.
    Could this maybe be a solution for you ?

  6. #6
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arejay View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Thanks for the great write up. I always appreciate your reviews. I'm curious if you would consider a revolver again. My new 2016 Colt Cobra has a very smooth DA trigger with no stacking . Great point shooting handgun with six shots. I was happily surprised by the trigger.
    Could this maybe be a solution for you ?
    No one, including my own husband who knows I can't even open cans or cut raw carrots, realizes the extent of damage I have in my right thumb and wrist. I have beginning arthritis in my left hand also and greatly reduced strength. When I say "reduced" it means a lot less than I used to have and I never had very much anyway!

    I have one revolver that I can still shoot with "only one trigger finger" on the trigger, and that is my S&W 686 snubbie which went to Magnaport when I got it new for their incredible action and trigger job. It is as smooth as butter on a warm spring day! It is also big and heavy which certainly mitigates recoil but also is becoming a challenge as I continue to age and get weaker in all my parts. Twenty years ago I actually carried that 686 with no problems except needing to wear a loose cover shirt or very generously sized sweatshirt in the winter time.

    One more revolver that I "can" use but only with both trigger fingers pulling the trigger is my beloved old S&W Model 10-5 blued with pencil barrel. When I got that gun several years ago i knew it was one I would never part with and the trigger was so smooth and felt so light BACK THEN. Now I cannot pull the trigger with one only finger. All other revolvers are now the property of my nearest and dearest (or have been traded in for other things) because no way can I pull those triggers even with both trigger fingers! I sure did like that older pre lock Model 60 .357 stainless beauty that I paid way too much for on Gun Broker! She is in pristine condition.

    I know all too well what the expression "old age is not for sissies" means!

    The reason I wrote the comprehensive review of the Shield .380EZ is to point out that EVERY OTHER REVIEW and EVERY VIDEO of this gun has been written or filmed by younger, stronger people and mostly by men. The EZ is most definitely not what it is advertised to be, which is the easiest to rack and shoot of any gun out there and the perfect gun for "grandma."

    It does fill a nitch for me and I still have enough strength to rack it. I do NOT have enough strength to put the slide back on after cleaning it because you cannot do that if you press in the grip safety and I cannot hold the gun and rack the slide unless my hand is in the position to press on that safety. NOT one review mentions that little problem. The sales guy in the gun store brought it up while he was very patiently letting me check and triple and quadruple check everything involved in the care and feeding of the gun.

    Fortunately, Gramps has one of those very small workshop vise things that has rubber treads over wood, and today "we" figured how to clamp the gun in it so that the base of the butt sits on the side piece of the base of the vise and holds it securely enough that I CAN GET THE SLIDE BACK ON and my hand doesn't press on the grip safety. I was very pleased with that.
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

  7. #7
    Senior Member jttar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    253
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    42 Post(s)
    Great review SG! Thanks so much for sharing with us. Sincerely sorry that your arthritis has progressed so bad and I think of you as one of the most stoic people I have encountered for you perseverance of figuring out a way to continue to shoot. Thumbs up to you.

  8. #8
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    Fun even if a bit silly

    Background:

    Most of you know I name my new guns. It started when I got my first G42 and wondered what to call her since my G26 was "baby" - referred to as The Baby Glock by all and sundry in about everything that was written on line and off. That first G42 miniature Glock wound up with the name Skinny Minnie. And as I added more mini guns the name process went on. The second G42 automatically became MinnieToo and they are fondly referred to as the Minnie Twins.

    Then I got the P238's and my youngest little "buddy" got in on the naming process. She is hard to turn down, so when she came up with Munchkin and Bitsy for the P238's, that is what they became. And then she jumped on the M&P .22 compact after I wrote to say that my other guns go bang, bang, bang and this one goes pop, pop, pop. So she had to be Marry Poppins. Now, with Zelda in the family, and since the .22 is a compact, I've compacted that name to Poppy.

    I wanted to name ONE new gun all by myself, so I started making a list of names for this Shield .380EZ and nothing sounded right. All were lame or way too corny! Then last night it came to me!

    HER NAME IS ZELDA!

    Not only are the first two letters EZ backwards, but it the name fits perfectly.

    This morning I looked up the meaning of the name and it is Teutonic and means "grey fighting maid" or "battle maid". Taking that to the shooting range: the EZ is meant for us "grey haired old ladies" as well as anyone with limited hand strength I guess Zelda really is a good name for her. No she is not a fighting gun per se, except for those of us who cannot shoot larger calibers and then she is.

    Just thought I'd share that.

    P.S. Yes, I did used to spend hours and hours playing The Legend of Zelda on Nintendo way in the distant past, when Nintendo was a gadget you hooked up to your TV set. That's pretty distant.
    Last edited by ShooterGranny; August 10th, 2018 at 02:06 PM.
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Confidential...
    Posts
    1,236
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    217 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterGranny View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    <snip>
    P.S. Yes, I did used to spend hours and hours playing The Legend of Zelda on Nintendo way in the distant past, when Nintendo was a gadget you hooked up to your TV set. That's pretty distant.
    I thought you were going to tell us you were an English major, and read everything her husband ever wrote. (Do you have a gun named Scott...yet?)

    ;-)

    John W in SC

  10. #10
    Senior Member luvmy40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Youngstown, OH
    Posts
    569
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    47 Post(s)
    ShooterGranny,
    It should be fairly easy to make a device to place over the grip safety for assembling the pistol. It should be small enough to carry in your range bag and allow you to beak down and reassemble the .380 EZ

    Let me see what I can do for you.
    ***TANSTAAFL***
    Holsters

  11. #11
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by luvmy40 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    ShooterGranny,
    It should be fairly easy to make a device to place over the grip safety for assembling the pistol. It should be small enough to carry in your range bag and allow you to beak down and reassemble the .380 EZ

    Let me see what I can do for you.
    PM sent to you. Thanks.
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

  12. #12
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by John W in SC View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I thought you were going to tell us you were an English major, and read everything her husband ever wrote. (Do you have a gun named Scott...yet?)

    John W in SC
    Didn't know that until I looked up the meaning of the name. F. Scott's Zelda was described as glamorous and unstable. This Zelda is NOT glamorous and hopefully will also not be unstable!

    All of my guns are girls, therefore there will be no one named Scott. Although I admit I have an acquaintance called Scottie. She is about 6"4" tall. That would be one LONG RIFLE!
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tree Potato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    618
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    234 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmy40 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    ShooterGranny,
    It should be fairly easy to make a device to place over the grip safety for assembling the pistol. It should be small enough to carry in your range bag and allow you to beak down and reassemble the .380 EZ

    Let me see what I can do for you.
    There's probably a small market out there for such a device. Other people who buy that gun may have similar hand strength challenges to what ShooterGranny has shared. If it can be mass produced inexpensively S&W might consider including one with these guns when they're sold, or putting it on their website.
    Ride hard, shoot straight, always speak the truth

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Confidential...
    Posts
    1,236
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    217 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tree Potato View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    There's probably a small market out there for such a device. Other people who buy that gun may have similar hand strength challenges to what ShooterGranny has shared. If it can be mass produced inexpensively S&W might consider including one with these guns when they're sold, or putting it on their website.
    I've never held one of these pistols, nor even seen one other than in a photo. But ignorance has never stopped me from speaking out in the past, and won't stop me now.

    From looking at the photo, I do have a couple of ideas. (These ideas are for reassembling only, and not for disabling a safety at any other time.)

    First, would something like a wire bread tie be strong enough to hold it down?

    Second, how about a plastic wire tie? We normally use them so that they stay locked when pulled tight, but if you put the tail through backwards, they will hold but can be undone.

    Third, how about a strong rubber band wrapped around several times?

    Finally, how about making a very strong rubber band out of a section of bicycle inner tube?

    On the subject of bicycle inner tubes, where would you find one for cheap? At a bicycle repair shop! Several years ago I went to a repair shop in search of a tube for a project I was working on, and asked what they did with the damaged tubes they removed when fixing flats. The shop owner told me they throw them in a box and save them for people who come around looking for a tube for projects! I left with a lifetime supply of tubes in different tube diameters and thicknesses. I've used pieces of them for all sorts of things over the years, and my supply does not seem to be diminishing. (If you are a tinkerer like I am, keep a couple of different tubes on hand. You will find uses for pieces cut from them. I also have an old semi inner tube for when I need a really thick piece.)

    If my free advice doesn't work, you get a full refund for what you paid.

    John W in SC

  15. #15
    Unrepentant chocoholic ShooterGranny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    mid-SE USA
    Posts
    2,368
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    402 Post(s)

    @John W in SC
    The problem with reassembly is NOT holding the grip safety in. It is being able to hold the base of the gun firmly enough WITHOUT pressing on the grip safety - while keeping your thumb pressed up on the slide stop! If the grip safety is pushed in you can not get the slide back on.

    People with some strength in their hands can hold the base in other than a full shooting grip (no pressure at all on the center rear of the grip) and keep that slide stop up so the slide will go all the way back to slide lock. I can not.

    So, what I would need is a very strong, sturdy, non flex little "box" that would exactly fit the curve of the grip and cover the grip safety so it can NOT be depressed, and yet not slip up, down or sideways when you put pressure on it. I do not think standard holster Kydex would be strong enough because it has some give in it.

    There was one - just one - video review of the EZ that mentioned this problem/situation. However, like all reviews thus far, it was done by a man with strong hands and he had no problem holding the frame with a couple fingers with the palm of his hand out from the back of the grip and still being able to reach the slide stop with his thumb. That is NOT the marketing group this gun was designed for.

    I guess I need to let S&W know about this design flaw. And, for their target marketing group of people like me, it is a design flaw because it changes the gun from EZ to OH NO.
    If you think changes need to be made - get out and DO SOMETHING positive!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •