S&W M&P Full size 45, What kind of accuracy, groups are you getting?


October 18, 2010, 08:27 PM
For those shooting the full size MP 45 what kind of accuracy or grouping are you getting? I realize many factors are involved such as skill, ammo etc but just trying to get an idea of how accurate this gun is compared to others.

If you could lock it in a Ransom Rest how tight would the groups be?

Anyone shoot one in competition?


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October 18, 2010, 08:48 PM
My 4.5" M&P45 with light trigger and polish job is producing 0.5"-0.75" groups at 7-10 yards consistently and 1.0"-1.5" groups at 15-20-25 yards at increasing frequency. Double taps are 1.0"-1.5" apart at 7-10 yards.

My loads are Missouri Bullets 200 gr SWC with 5.0 gr of W231/HP38 at 1.25"-1.27" OAL and 200 gr RN with 5.0 gr W231/HP38 at 1.195" OAL.

I was planning on shooting USPSA limited 10, but I am looking at permanent pay cut soon ... Darn state of California. With the pay cut, I may be shooting matches with G22/LW conversion barrel and lead MBC 9mm rounds. :eek:

October 18, 2010, 08:53 PM
Well, we shoot the same bullets, same powder and load you must be a way better shooter than I am.:)

October 18, 2010, 08:57 PM
Yeah, 15+ years of trigger time. The trigger job really does help - well broken in factory trigger was giving me 2" at 10-15 yards and 3" at 20 yards before. If you are not up to it, I highly recommend the APEX hard sear (essentially what the trigger job is all about, reshaping the sear front and back).

October 18, 2010, 09:59 PM
Most of this comes down to the shooter. I had three 45s: Glock 30, Remington R1, and M&P full-size. Of the three, in my hands, the M&P was the least accurate of the three. Not by much, mind you. I did the Apex trigger job, too. Maybe this is a result of my shooting 1911s competitively for years in the Army, but that's how it has shaken out over hundreds of rounds fired. Mind you, this is "combat" accuracy, not "mach" accuracy. These are not match pistols

October 18, 2010, 11:39 PM
Most of this comes down to the shooter.
Well, not entirely. Get comfortable, you guys are in for a treat. :D

Some of us match shooters buy guns a little differently than most.

How do you pick your pistols at the gun store? By how it looks or feel in your hand?

Not I. I make my selection based on whether the front sight moves when I "press" the trigger. I pick up the pistol and use my "usual" grip (two hand isosceles) and press the trigger as though I was shooting at the firing line. If the front sight moves, I reset the striker/hammer and press the trigger several more times. If the front sight continues to move, I will not buy that pistol.

Even though they are the same model of pistols, some front sights will move and some won't. I will continue to check the front sight of the pistols until I find the one that won't move. Once I find the pistol with front sight that won't move, I will vary my trigger pressing and see if the front sight moves. Some brands/models have inherent tendency for the front sight to move more than other brands/models.

When I selected my two match Glock 22's, I went through about 10 pistols before I found two whose front sights did not move regardless what I did with the trigger. Same with the M&P45, except it was the first one I picked up. On the first "press" of the trigger, nothing. It got my attention immediately. I pressed the trigger several more times and still the front sight did not move. I varied the speed of the pressing and nothing. Just like that, I selected my pistol and told the range sales staff, "I will take this one."

I have posted previously about practicing dry firing until your front sight don't move. Well, if you start out with a pistol that won't move your front sight, this practice is not necessary (it is only for pistols that move the front sight when you press the trigger). At the range, shooting test shot groups with pistol that moves the front sight is like shooting at a moving target.

When we do a trigger job for match shooting, we don't just do it for lightening and crisp feel of the trigger. We also do it so the front sight is rock steady, which ultimately will produce the smallest shot groups and tighter double taps.

Now take out your most accurate and least accurate pistols. Compare whether the front sight moves when you press the trigger.

I bet you will now check the front sight of every gun that you are interested in buying and press the trigger. I hope THR members/lurkers will have the most accurate pistols from now on! Hooah! :D

OK, back to OP.

October 19, 2010, 10:38 AM

Thanks for the tip. Of all my gun buying checks, I have not used the front sight moving technique. I will add it to my repertoire.:)

I took out some of the guns I shoot the best. Browning, CZ, Dan Wesson PM 7, SA XD and compared to the SW M&P. They all have different trigger pulls with the DW 1911 being the best, but none force the front sight to move. The SW actually has a lighter trigger than my Browning which is a tack driver.

Maybe I just expect to much from this gun but I think it is the barrel/slide lock up or lack of it. Sometime it will group well and then the shots go off any which way. Not real fliers but some high, some low some who knows where. I have tried factory ammo, different reloads, it makes no difference. Changed the back straps, no better. I have had a ranked IDPA shooter try it and the same results.

Maybe a trip back to it's creator and let them figure it out??

October 19, 2010, 11:47 AM
I am a revolver shooter, preferring single action triggers. I bought the S&W full size .45 and have been very happy with the accuracy of this gun. I have not measured groups but I can tell you that they are almost on par with my revolver accuracy.

October 19, 2010, 12:05 PM
I am currently using this gun in my police academy. I get a lot of crap for using a 45 when everyone else uses a 40. I digress. I am not super accurate with it because i am over coming many bad habits but i love it and it has the capacity to be very accurate. I have the apex kit in it and it is awesome. Good luck.

Thaddeus Jones
October 19, 2010, 12:26 PM
I'll be the odd man out and say that I've shot seven different M&P pistols, to include the 45 full size, and yet to find one I would call accurate. Combat accurate is as charitable as I'll go.

IMO, the lousy triggers are partly to blame, but one I shot at the local range was purpoted to have the Apex after market sear installed. It was notably smoother than the other M&P triggers I've squeezed, and the reset was almost tangible. ;)

You are not alone in your seeing a lack of accuracy. Several friends I shoot with are Guilford County Deputies. Two are sharpshooters. Both despise the M&P 45's that S&W gave the Sheriff's department in exchange for their Glock 22's. Nobody at the Sheriffs range had anything nice to say about the M&P 45....myself included. :) Good luck! TJ

October 19, 2010, 12:57 PM
Mr Jones,

Yes it is Combat accurate. I have really, really tried to like this gun. It functions great, feeds anything and I much prefer it to a Glock.(Disclaimer:nothing wrong with Glocks, they are fine, I just do not like them) I have two SA XD's (not the XDm) in 45 and they will outshoot this gun any day. They shoot almost as well as the Sig 220. I guess as a SD or Duty weapon it would be OK. As I said I just expected more. I watched the Apex Video on the hard sear. I can't see where spending $40+ on a sear for a 1lb reduction in pull will make much difference. I put SRT triggers in my Sigs and that made a big difference.

October 19, 2010, 02:40 PM
OCD, having already owned M&P40 and talked to other owners of M&P45, I knew going into the purchase (even with the pistol that did not move the front sight when dry fired) that a trigger job was in order.

I was leaning towards the SA XD45 which carries a published 0.75" shot group at 25 yards using reloads, but the grip inserts and ambi controls on the M&P45 won me and my wife over.

Not real fliers but some high, some low some who knows where. I have tried factory ammo, different reloads, it makes no difference.
Before the trigger job, my M&P45 with the factory trigger did the same thing you described, wandering inconsistent shot groups. I did my trigger job in stages so I can identify which trigger part needed to be "corrected" for other THR M&P shooters to benefit from. Referencing the trigger job posted on Dan Burwell's website, I determined that so far 50% cut of the sear and matching the angle where the trigger bar makes contact with the sear along with rounding the back part of the sear that rides along the striker (and ultimately release the striker) made the most improvement in my shot groups. Also, all the trigger contact parts have been polished and lubed.

Now the trigger is much lighter (on par with 4.5 lb trigger of my G22) and the release is crisp with shorter trigger reset. I had the pistol/trigger verified by several other shooters and their results confirm my shot groups.

So, we are indeed shooting the same load but possibly very different pistols. I would recommend a good polish job annd the Apex hard sear. Also, keep in mind that my M&P45 has several thousand trigger pull cycles done already and over 1000 rounds shot through. I consider it well broken in.

October 19, 2010, 02:58 PM
bds, thanks for your input. Who is Dan Burell? I tried a search but no luck. Did you do your own trigger job or just drop in the Apex sear? I have done spring jobs on all my revolvers and just some minor polishing like the rebound slide and other wear points. I have AGI DVDS on most all the guns I own but not for the MP. I usually do not have too many left over parts;)

If you think the Apex sear will make a difference I would certainly give a try. Less money than selling the gun at a loss.:)

October 19, 2010, 03:11 PM

October 19, 2010, 03:15 PM
Dan Burwell is a gunsmith who works on M&Ps. He has a PDF of M&P trigger job (http://www.burwellguns.com/M&Ptriggerjob1.htm) where his disclaimer states is not his, but he posts on his website for M&P owners/shooters to benefit if they want to do it themselves like I did (I have done trigger/gunsmith work on 1911s before so I felt comfortable/competent enough). If you feel uncomfortable doing detailed precision gunsmith work on your pistol, I would suggest the Apex hard sear and polishing all the trigger contact surfaces.

Here's the thread where I outline my M&P45 trigger job. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=544667)

Here's the website of BJ Norris who holds 2009 national steel challenge steelmaster limited division title talking about the M&P trigger job and Dan Burwell (http://bjnorris.wordpress.com/equipment/sw-mp-9-pro-series/).

On the trigger reset, there are a couple things you can work on to make the reset more positive, changing the angle of the sear and/or trigger bar is one of them. You must be very careful when doing so though, as M&P’s can go full-auto with a poor trigger job, just like 1911′s. For a true custom trigger job, I suggest you contact Dan Burwell, who doe’s very nice work on M&P’s. Personally, as long as the reset is short, being able to feel it doesn’t make a lot of difference to me, as I tend to be a trigger slapper as opposed to using a trigger reset technique. It takes more practice, but overall it is faster and more consistent for me.

October 19, 2010, 03:47 PM
I was leaning towards the SA XD45 which carries a published 0.75" shot group at 25 yards using reloads

Huh . . . . where?

October 19, 2010, 03:56 PM
It was published in an article of a national magazine (I have the magazine somewhere, but it got packed when we moved last year).

Several factory and hand loads were compared with the smallest 5 round 25 yard shot group measuring 3/4". I will look for it and perhaps someone else who recalls this article can comment.

October 19, 2010, 04:02 PM
schmeky, here's one with 1.0" shot groups (http://www.gunreports.com/gow/handguns/Springfield-Armory-XD45-Compact-Tactical-45-ACP_1149-1.html?ammoland):

From the bench our test pistol averaged about 1-inch-wide groups for all shots fired.

October 19, 2010, 04:14 PM
I'll vouch for the XD's accuracy. I think it's a little funny they call the 5" slide "compact":) I actually like the "regular" size better but they are both extremely accurate and will digest anything.


Thanks for those links!. The PDF is great. I will give it a try.

Thaddeus Jones
October 19, 2010, 04:18 PM
Try the XDm 45. Thats one sweet tupperware pistol! :)

October 19, 2010, 04:39 PM
Try the XDm 45. Thats one sweet tupperware pistol! :)
They came out with it right after I bought the 5" Tactical. I do want one but there again I want a lot of other ones also.:)

October 19, 2010, 06:57 PM
OCD, from what I gathered, the essential difference between the XD45 and the XDm45 is the redesigned slide rib so the XDm45 will reliably extract/feed SWC bullets.

If you shoot RN/JHP bullets in your XD45, I wouldn't worry about replacement as it is a very accurate pistol out of the box (in my book, probably one of the most accurate polymer semi-auto on the market now).

October 20, 2010, 12:06 AM
The M version has a little better sights, exchangeable back straps for grip and a so called "match barrel" Don't know if the barrel is really any better. The gun is a little more ergonomic and not as square, but I like that about the regular version. I have it in 9 and 40 also(regular versions)

Is it worth the extra money? Probably not.

October 20, 2010, 12:36 AM
If S&W was thinking smart, they would replace the 7lb factory trigger with Performance Center sear (kinda like Apex hard sear), lighten the trigger to about 4 lbs, do a trigger polish job, roughen the texture on the grip inserts, add extended 13/14 round mags and sell them as "Pro" series.

And if they want to impress the buyers, include a 25 yard ransom rest target paper with a nice shot group.

October 20, 2010, 10:01 AM
But who's name would they put on it??:D

Production, Production we must have production!!

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