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Smith and Wesson M&P (Military and Police) 9mm review

Updated on August 6, 2012

Smith and Wesson M&P

Deadly Tupperware

Call them Tupperware, plastic pistols, toy guns, but don’t call them late for supper, because the polymer framed pistol has come into its own in every way. Safe, reliable and accurate; this class of pistol has to overcome a lot of bias to become the most popular pistol for law enforcement and civilians. Within this class one pistol has stood out in my opinion as one of the most comfortable, reliable straight-shooting pistol I have ever shot. The pistol I am speaking of is the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm.

I have personally never been a fan of Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistols. Loved the revolvers though, and for years I put S &W in that category through the development of the Sigma and the M&P. I didn’t much care for either until one day I wondered into a Fabrique Nationale and Smith and Wesson marketing semi-trailer. This is the greatest idea the company ever came up with. When I entered the trailer there were pistols and rifles hanging on the wall, secured of course but still accessible to play with and dry fire. I had handled an M&P when they first came out years ago and didn’t like it. I was older and more mature now and could appreciate the pistol more. The second I gripped the M&P 9mm pistol, I thought “Wow! This feels like it was custom built for me.” It immediately became an extension of my arm. I was debating between the XDM and Glock, but now there was another contender, and this was love at first sight. As smitten as I was, I didn’t want to get to head-over-heels in love until I took her for a dance. I had already shot the XD and Glock and was leaning toward the Glock 17 practical/tactical. Although I must say it is really neck and neck between these three pistols, they are all fantastic to shoot. After renting an M&P 9mm, I was locked in. It was very accurate and I loved the grip angle and texture.

The M&P is a descendant of the Sigma design. However, they are two different animals and don’t share parts. On an evolutionary scale the Sigma would be a Neanderthal and the M&P would be homo-sapien. I have shot both and for a $300 pistol the Sigma is not bad at all… I wouldn’t advise anyone not to buy one either, it has never malfunctioned and has adequate accuracy and high-capacity. The only draw-back with the Sigma is the heavy trigger, however with training this becomes less of a factor. I am also not a fan of the way the Sigma disassembles. The M&P has a high-grip design which brings the hand of the shooter higher up on the bore axis. This enables the shooter to better control muzzle-flip and allows the shooter to get quicker sight acquisition for a follow up shot. This is crucial in handgun defense since most attackers are not stopped with one-shot. The M&P is a pleasure to shoot in failure to stop drills. A failure to stop drill (also known as Mozambique) is a method taught to law enforcement officers. The philosophy is that if you have shot your assailant twice center-mass (chest area) then you can assume they are either on drugs, wearing a vest or are highly motivated and dedicated to cause you harm. In any case, they are not stopping so a head shot is in order. Two to the chest, one to the head, very simple.

M&P Disassembled


M&P Nomenclature

The Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm semi-automatic pistol is a short-recoil operated pistol. Standard size barrel is 4.3 inches. Overall length is 7.5 inches. Overall height is 5 1/2 inches and is 1.2 inches thick. The M&P has a magazine capacity of 17 + 1. Weight with magazine removed is 24 oz. Trigger pull on the pistol is rated at 6.5 lbs. and is classified as a striker-fire trigger (double-action). It comes in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

Military and Police are choosing the M&P

Belgium recently purchased 20,000 M&P pistols to replace the Browning Hi-power. The DEA has acquired the M&P as its duty pistol. Also, India, France, Iraq, Pakistan and Australian police and military forces are a few others that have adopted the M&P.

At the range the M&P is a pleasure to shoot. I like that it doesn’t have a safety on the trigger like the Glock. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Glock trigger pull and reset but I could do without the wear and tear I feel on the pad of my finger, although I am a rather soft handed fellow and many others may not have this issue.

Could the M&P be the next U.S. Service Pistol?

“It’s kind of hard to beat the Smith and Wesson M&P right now,” said one industry insider from a competing company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It is a polymer gun with high-capacity steel magazines. It has a positive safety and ambidextrous controls ... they simply came out of the gate with the right gun.” By Lance M. Bacon - Staff writer, Army Times “Pistols with a shot at replacing the M9”.

In a previous article I held the opinion that the FNP .45 should be the next U.S. service pistol. After shooting my Glock 21 more I came to the conclusion that the muzzle flip on the FNP is bordering on ridiculous in comparison. I am starting to think that the M&P would be a better choice for a military pistol mainly for this reason. Many still believe the 9mm is underpowered. I am on the fence, however my defense pistols all begin with a .4, and I do take stock in the fact that bigger bullets make bigger holes, although I do understand expansion and velocity. With the M&P,Smith and Wesson, in my opinion has completely redeemed their reputation as being a so-so maker of semi-automatic pistols. They are now considered one of the premiere company’s in the ever so popular 9mm combat pistol arena.


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