New M&P40c: brief range report


June 9, 2011, 12:26 PM
Well I finally got around to purchasing the M&P40c that I've been researching for a while. My primary quandary was whether or not to opt for the manual safety. Though it would have probably been a bit more safe considering the method I carry during the summer (bellybands and Thunderwear), I decided to pass.
I've carried the striker-fired K9 sans manual safety for many years without issues, so I think I'm alright there.

I found a local shop (Rex's in Hendersonville) that offered these new-n-box for $490, so that's the route I went.

I took some Winchester R40BA (Bonded Rangers), Winchester white box 165gr FMJ and some Federal 165gr EFMJ (Gov't 2nds) out yesterday primary to test function.

The Federal 165gr EFMJ experienced a failure to ignite (good primer strike) within the first couple magazines and I noticed the groups at 15 yards weren't too impressive. It's a strange thing as my Steyr M40 hasn't had any issues with this ammunition and prints acceptable groups.
Of course I wanted to put though something different before attributing the groups to the pistol.

With Winchester 165gr FMJ, the groups shrank substantially and there were no failures of any kind. These results were mirrored by the Bonded Rangers as well. No more Federal EFMJ for this pistol.

The trigger was a bit lighter than I was expecting. The last polymer S&W I had experienced was a Sigma and the trigger is far nicer. I figure they must have worked out any bugs since then.

Once I learned where the trigger would break, I moved the target out to 25 yards and took my time. Considering I'm a rifle guy and fairly mediocre with handguns, I'd say I'm doing ok with this pistol.

Overall, I'm quite happy with this pistol. It's what I now carry, though I may have to purchase a decent IWB rig for it as the trigger travel isn't as long as my K9. Considering where the muzzle is pointed during Thunderwear carry, I can't afford to take any chances.
I've ordered a 2nd magazine base plate with finger extension, but it seems I don't do so bad with only a 2-finger grip either.

Typical groups of slow-aimed fire at 25 yards... not too shabby for someone like me. This is the result of two magazines, one with finger extension, one without. I believe all 20 are there.

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BP Hunter
June 9, 2011, 02:25 PM
Nice purchase!

I have seriously considered an M&P full sized. I have had the XD9 and Glock19 and have been very happy with them. Are the M&P as accurate, comfortable and reliable as the the XD's and Glock"s?

June 9, 2011, 02:39 PM
IMO, the compact M&P's compare very favorably to similar Glocks. To me, the Smith's are more comfortable to hold, but that's purely a personal thing. Great little firearms.

June 9, 2011, 02:52 PM
I wish I could shoot my M&P40c that good. :o I'll keep practicing.

Mine has the thumb safety. I've never felt really good about safe action guns and since I have other arms that have a thumb safety, thumbing off the safety isn't a habit I want to break myself of. It is like when I was taking flight instruction in a fixed gear airplane, my IP always required I call gear down. His philosophy was someday I might be flying a retractable gear air plane and forget to lower the gear due to earlier habits.

The gun feels really good in the hand with the pinky rest on the mag.

So far the only FTF with my M&P was due to a bad handload where I shaved the bullet seating it. Can't blame the gun for not swallowing that on the first attempt.

I think you will be very happy with your choice!


June 9, 2011, 02:57 PM
Nice choice. I have the full sized M&P in 9mm and 45. Both have been wonderful.

June 9, 2011, 04:40 PM
I think the M&P fit much better than the glocks. Of course its a personal thing. My dad has a glock 19 which is nice, but not as nice as the M&P. When I was looking for a gun I didn't care for the M&P until I grabbed it. I had looked at glocks but it just didn't click.

June 11, 2011, 09:31 AM
I've carried a M&P 9C as my EDC for years now. I've shot well over 6000 rounds through mine and I still believe the M&P compacts are the best compact firearms PERIOD (my personal opinion). As far as holsters go I've carried mine primarily in a Peters Custom Holster and I really like it, but I'm switching to a Crossbreed Supertuck. They are an amazingly comfortable holster with a rigid kydex body and decent retention.

June 12, 2011, 02:50 AM
I just received another finger extension base plate yesterday, so both my magazines will be identical. I'd rather start off getting used to one "feel" rather than two. I'm not the fan of a curled-pinky-under-the-grip, either... but I'll confess it was far more controllable than I was expecting.

One nagging concern is my current carry method. Usually when carrying my K9 or UC9, it's in a belt holster, but on occasion I'll carry in a Thunderwear holster. I'm not overly concerned when carrying the K9 in this fashion as the trigger pull, though "butter smooth", is deliberate (long). With the M&P40c, the trigger feels more like a marriage between a SA and DA.
The trigger is absolutely astonishing for a striker-fired pistol and contributes to the great accuracy, but I do think it's a little on the light/short travel side to go without a proper holster. I'll certainly look into the Supertuck and similar holsters.

In a couple days, I plan to put another 200-300 rounds through it to build the same sure-fire confidence I have in my other carry pistols. If all goes well, this will most likely be my primary carry pistol for the next decade, replacing the K9 and usurping the also-excellent UC9 (that is a tad wider thanks to the ambidextrous manual safety). Of course the K9 and the UC9, both being pistols I absolutely trust, will find other roles to fill. My wife has all but claimed the K9 as a bed-stand pistol already.

I have zero regrets with this pistol. Even the potential regret of opting an M&P without a manual safety will be nullified by a proper holster. I'm absolutely thrilled with the M&P40c so far.

June 12, 2011, 05:05 PM
I really prefer a ridgid holster for the m&p and similar pistols.

June 13, 2011, 01:57 PM
I really prefer a ridgid holster for the m&p and similar pistols.

I can understand why folks would; a chambered striker-fired pistol without the benefit of a safety or heavier DA first shot should have the trigger behind some form of rigid covering IMO.

I just bought a Comp-Tac Minotaur ($77) molded for the M&P40c. It seems to be much like the Supertuck and like the Supertuck, has a great reputation. Hopefully this combination will serve me well for the next few years.

June 13, 2011, 02:02 PM
I recently got one of these too. It has been 100% reliable, but the front sight dot popped out after firing a few magazines. I painted it with some enamel paint and haven't had a problem since. Great little gun. I have the no-safety version and I have a UBG Canute holster on order for it.

June 13, 2011, 09:51 PM
I've had a Minotaur and the Supertuck. The Minotaur is much bulkier and the Supertuck has much more positive retention in my opinion.

June 14, 2011, 04:06 PM
I don't know if all Minotaurs are this way, but the one I purchased has screws (hex head?) that attach the kydex to the leather backing, rather than rivots. I believe this allows the user to adjust the level of retention.

Considering I'm currently using a cloth "Thunderwear" and all the tension comes from my belt, I'd say it's a step up either way.

June 14, 2011, 04:14 PM
I also purchased a Storm Lake .357 Sig barrel (and a hundred rounds of RS357SIGT) for versatility this morning. I'm hoping it truly is drop-in, but we'll see.

I intend to keep the .40S&W for carry, but if I can shoot the .357 Sig substantially better for whatever reason, that may change.

I'll post a range report and chrono results for the barrel/ammunition soon after I receive them.

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