I wouldn't exactly call the Shield a "pocket pistol", per se, but it's substantially smaller than the compact. And it's the same design and format as the rest of the M&P line.
I imagine it depends how big your pockets are? Cargo pants will hold it fine. Seriously, the Compact M&P's are nice shooters but not exactly carry conceal material in warmer weather. The Shield could also be carried in an inside the waste band holster under an untucked shirt and be hidden; as long as the shirt wasn't a light color and or could be seen through. I carry my Kahr MK40 like that in the summer months, it's roughly the same size, a little smaller but weighs more. Another thing to consider, is that a 40 loaded w/180 grain bullets will weigh more than a 9 with 147's, even if the 9 holds 1 or 2 more rounds. To some people every ounce counts. I'm waiting for the M&P Shield 40 too! The M&P 40C is really nice; issue free so far. The only issues I've had with S&W's have been with pinned in sights (on revolvers) that came out (they were repaired within 14 days roundtrip for free) and a laser on the Bodyguard 380 that wouldn't actuate properly. The pinned sight issues have not reoccurred since being repaired. Keep us posted on the Shield 40 once you find one.
Got the 9mm Shield today. I talked myself out of a 9mm pistol, until I saw this one :) It is about the same size as my Walther P22 and I really love the feel of it. Since I carry at 2:00 I feel better with the safety it has. Still carry my 38 special revolver for defense, hopefully after I have practiced enough with this I will feel confident carrying it for defense.
I've read all the post above , Ive been a shooter for 40 plus yrs. . I've shot them all and there is alot of nice pcs. made and in the average shooters mind they have choosen the best ever . I've had many a handguns and it comes down to What fits you hand ,this alone will help in you shooting ablity ! I well tell ya that I've come to the end of my journey and have the M&P Pro 40 , W/2000 plus rounds throw it , it's the final keeper ! I am plaining for the shield 40 to replace my 380 BDA (which is very sweet) . I am very pleased w/ Smith & Wessons engineering they hit the tack on this one !!
I will second that comment; the Browning 380 BDA very nice looking, shooting and feels good to boot. For a 380 it's probably one of the best, due to it's 13+1 capacity! It was slightly pricey and I wish the front sight could be replaced; I suppose if I want to spend the money I could have it done. I don't think there are many if any, smaller all steel pistols with that much capacity at that caliber or larger. I modified mine: rounded the beaver tail, hammer, took the bevel off the decocker/thumb safety and lowered the slide release, it's now slightly lower than the grip panel.
Called around for the Shield 40, not out there yet; did find a store with a 2 - 9's in stock and another with 1; going for $419.
I consider myself fortunate working for a large FFL because I get to play with so many guns. I don't NEED anymore handguns but I was anticipating adding a Dan Wesson Guardian 1911 in 9mm to my safe next. Being a big Kimber fan I was also thinking about the elusive Solo at some point down the line but I have yet to see the Springfield XD-S in real life. Since you can't have enough 1911's, and I haven't been overly impressed with anything bigger than "micro" and smaller than an XD sub-compact, the Wesson was going to be next. That plan was immediately altered when the M&P 9 Shield arrived. The moment I put it in my hand it happened-that special moment when you feel like you've discovered something unique, ergonomically perfect and you instantly know it will fill a special void that you didn't even know existed. A feeling so exquisite, you don't need to do any further research or rationalizing. You just reach for Form 4473 and do it. It feels that damn good people! Now I can't wait to get a good quality IWB holster for this thing that I didn't know I was going to buy!
I got to practice with my new Shield 9mm today and I thought I was a die hard revolver person. Well guess what after shooting this gun I gave my husband the 642. I love this gun. Already ordered my white hat zebra holster for it :) Great trigger pull, not much recoil, feels great in my hands and had no trouble hitting the target. I am a happy lady today.