M&P9 25yd inaccuracy: Myth or Fact?


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Jackal1
February 26, 2012, 04:38 PM
I read a S&W interview in which they stated the M&P handguns were designed to shoot groups less than 3" at 25 yards.

Pistol-Training did an endurance test of a M&P9 shooting 62,333 rds and then doing a post-test accuracy check in which the gun averaged groups of 1.83" at 25 yards with a cracked slide. http://pistol-training.com/archives/1252

The M&P's that I've shot were all more accurate than I could shoot them.

So... why are there lots of web posts regarding the M&P9 inaccuracy at 25 yards? Just do a Google search and you'll find some posts on various websites. Dig further and you'll find some more. Here's one: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=97829.

Is this just a web phenomenon where people report that the gun is trash when it is just their poor shooting, or is there some truth to this. Are there some atrociously inaccurate M&P9's out there? (One report I saw mentioned 4" groups and another mentioned 8" groups at 25 yd).

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PO2Hammer
February 26, 2012, 04:44 PM
I would suspect bad shooters, not bad pistols.

So many people write about how inaccurate their buddie's 'brand X' pistol is. They get good with their pet pistol, then try 5 shots with something else and when they don't shoot it as well as their pet pistol, they declare it a POC.

allaroundhunter
February 26, 2012, 07:50 PM
I would suspect bad shooters, not bad pistols.

Agreed. Whereas I can't shoot any better than a 3" group at 25 yards with my M&P9, I had a buddy shoot multiple sub 2" groups.

Some people don't like the stock trigger, and that could be a factor in the poor shooting as well. If an APEX kit was stock then I would expect to hear fewer complaints.

87Theworld
February 26, 2012, 08:29 PM
It's most likely the shooters I find the 25 range a problem for me with any handgun I shoot. 8-20 ft I'm bullseye good 25-30 I'm mostly in the 7 ring. past that to a 100 and I'm shooting bullseye great again. That's with 22's, 9mm, and 45. I'm just do more shooting at the distance and improve on it.

kwelz
February 26, 2012, 08:50 PM
Everyone knows I am a big M&P fan. However that doesn't mean it doesn't have issues. Inconsistent accuracy IS one of the issues they are having. I don't mean inconsistent with one gun but inconsistent from one gun to the next.

Mine has proven to be pretty accurate with a threaded barrel I can eat the center out of a Vickers target at 10 yards and stay in the black at 25. My friends is also pretty accurate. However I have seen a couple of them that shoot around 5MOA. And this is with a shooter that can drill the middle of the target on any day in any conditions.

Newer production guns seem to be better and more consistent. However with M&Ps it is hard to immediately blame the shooter.

RH45
February 26, 2012, 10:36 PM
They do put out a dog, once in a while. Out of my 3 M&Ps, 2 will do about 2" at 25 yards with ammo they like, but, the third one is more like 4-5":barf:

918v
February 26, 2012, 11:42 PM
The barrel to slide to frame fit is pretty loose. A lucky group here and there does not make the whole line 2" at 25 yards accurate.

soapboxpreacher
February 27, 2012, 12:09 AM
I have had this first hand. I pitted mine against a rental gun. Both FS 9...I bought mine after two 150 round sessions at the range with the rental gun. Then I bought mine and could never shoot it to the tune of the rental. I bought sights, sight tool, and even got new glasses...no <deleted>!! After 18+ month of screwing arounf I decided to go back and rent the gun that sold me on the M&P to begin with! So I did a test and rented the gun once again as well as took mine in to shoot side by side. I put 50 round thru each. 21', 30', 45', 60', and 75' (I Suck at anything past 45' but still..I was much better on the rental gun then my own). Same targets, same ammo, etc. The results pissed me off! My gun is not nearly as accurate as the rental. I was having a ton of issues with mine past 15 yards!!! Even closer I had almost no flyers on the rental...group was tighter and so on! This little test was the only way to get closure on how I was shooting! The insult to this is the rental gun has a significant amount of rounds on it I am sure...not to mention a broken slide release on the right side. Mine has an APEX trigger as well. I am a little pissed and do not know how to address this with smith. In general most of the M&P I have seen are a little lose...maybe mine is more so...but man does this piss me off and burn my ass!

Now I need to convince S&W of this. I could do it again and provide targets but this is getting expensive and more so inconvenient! I might see if I kept this target to send to smith...but who knows if this matters. I which I knew where to measure for tolerances on this gun. Might help but at this point I am a little burned and more then pissed! I have over 1300 round thru mine gun. So I dont really think it is me or the gun. The side by side comparison helped me understand it was not me after all. I am considering dumping it for a PPQ as I have told others. I shoot it much better and like the trigger even more on the PPQ. I am considering selling it but I have soooo much into this M&P, holster for IDPA, 6 mags, mag holster, APEX trigger, different sights (the original factory ones are back on it...and where for the side by side test). I planned on doing some IDPA but after getting my gun I questioned if I would do well. I did substantially better with the rental gun. I do tend to shoot a ton of different guns but overall have shoot mine more then the other and when you factor in all the rounds I have put thru an M&P9 it is approaching 2k...I think I have an idea of what the gun with do!

I have to date shot an XDm 9, Px4, P30, 24/7 G2, PPQ, Baby Eagle, P250, P226, 92FS, CZ 75b, and a few others. All in 9mm and all with a minimum of 100 rounds...a good chunk of them with over 250 rounds or more. I settled on the M&P after a factory shoot some years ago. I tested many leading up to my purchase and skipped the M&P. That is when I read up on it and went back and rented it. First time (150 rounds) I was very good and impressed with what I could do with it. I was actually going to buy a Px4 storm...the one my buddies has that we shoot together on a regular basis along with an XDm. The three of us and a forth shoot at least once a month in the winter and then it is off to shotguns for clays in spring and fall... occasionally in the summer in doors when it is to hot we do a few times on the pistols on the summer. All in all a lot of time on a pistol. Of all the gun at the time leading up to my purchase the M&P after (2) 150 round session at the range...I shot it better than everything I had shot prior. Now with that said I didnt at the time have any experience with the CZ 75, Baby Eagle, 24/7, P30 or PPQ. I now shoot the Baby Eagle in either polymer or all steel better than any other gun I have ever shot in my life! It is a longer barrel and based on the CZ which is considered extremely accurate but still I was no slouch on the M&P rental. All in all this might help explain something that the tolerances are not perfect and my experience now and testing have helped me draw a better conclusion. I was at a lose for words...there is an issue with this gun...I dont believe it is the shooter...I took someone with me as well to help me make sure I wasnt nuts when I did the side by side. He shot as well with his own ammo but is not an M&P shooter to begin with so I did not pay attention to his results for he was all over the map with both! I will say I am not the best shooter but I have been far better on other guns as well as other M&P9. This I believe is a tolerance issue in manufacturing.

ImReady77
February 27, 2012, 10:00 AM
This problem is talked about in depth on the m4carbine.net forum.

soapboxpreacher
February 27, 2012, 10:17 AM
Link?

kwelz
February 27, 2012, 10:20 AM
http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=97829

Also this is a problem with the 9mm and .40 but apparently not the .45.

918v
February 27, 2012, 11:20 AM
Some of these M&Ps shoot as good as my P210 using the same ammo, and I have a better rest. Truly amazing.

http://i907.photobucket.com/albums/ac279/jaxman7/IMG_20111023_163002.jpg

jawman
September 9, 2012, 10:21 PM
This is really unfortunate. I want to purchase a full size M&P9 from G&R Tactical with all of the Apex bells & whistles installed. The risk is what if I get an inaccurate/poorly manufactured lemon, how do I get it fixed through S&W under warranty when I have aftermarket parts installed, if they even choose to recognize the problem at all? BOO S&W!! :(

bds
September 9, 2012, 11:06 PM
Some people don't like the stock trigger, and that could be a factor in the poor shooting as well. If an APEX kit was stock then I would expect to hear fewer complaints.
Well, S&W did fix the M&P trigger as of this summer. Gone are heavy trigger pulls with mushy trigger reset. Pistols with new triggers I handled had around 4.5 lbs (comparable to stock Glock trigger) with much cleaner reset - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=674250

Mark Dix
(413) 433-0619
Email: mdix@smith-wesson.com
Fax: (719) 213-2261

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7977264#post7977264
We are in fact coming out with a cleaner, crisper trigger for the M&P pistols. The initial offering will be for the smaller calibers first- 9mm, .40, and .357Sig. The time line for a full scale production is slated for April/ May. This new trigger should be the standard for the M&Ps come summer. The reset is shorter, crisper, and smoother with none of the “false reset’ that some of the pistols have now.

The only fly in the ointment for you is we haven’t been told when the trigger will be available for the .45, as that will require additional testing as the .45 doesn’t share parts with the other calibers. We haven’t been provided pricing yet for retro-fitting current guns. This system will only be offered for pistols that have or can be setup with the thumb safety. If your .45 has a thumb safety, it will easily convert to the new trigger when it becomes available for the .45.

jawman
September 9, 2012, 11:30 PM
Thanks for the reply bds, but the spokesperson for S&W said that it was slated for April/May, which doesn't guarantee that the change has already been implemented, as in any business, there can be delays and things can change which pushes the timeframe back even later than originally mentioned, or could even be cancelled completely. Is there any current proof (not that I don't believe you, I just want to be sure) other than something one guy a S&W said 9 months ago?

bds
September 9, 2012, 11:33 PM
jawman, this is from the other thread - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=674250

While at the LGS a few weeks ago, I noticed they had received a large shipment of new pistols, including M&Ps. I handled several 9mm/40S&W models and checked out the "new" trigger.

If you are in the market for a new M&P pistol, definitely check for/absolutely ask for the new trigger model!

Before my M&P40/45 triggers were modified, they were gritty/mushy with ambiguous reset with around 7 lb pull.

The new triggers had smoother/cleaner feel than stock Glock trigger and the pull weight "seemed" slightly less which would put them around 4.5 lbs.

jawman
September 9, 2012, 11:35 PM
Ah, didn't notice the first link and only clicked on the second. My bad.
Now about the accuracy problems...has anyone from Smith mentioned this?

JTQ
September 10, 2012, 07:42 AM
Did this get linked anywhere earlier?

10-8 Performance Blog
http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2012/06/s-m-barrels.html

Hilton Yam seems to think the M&P9 inaccuracy is old news. The new barrels should have fixed any problems folks were having.

Skribs
September 10, 2012, 10:51 AM
Well, S&W did fix the M&P trigger as of this summer. Gone are heavy trigger pulls with mushy trigger reset.

Really? I just bought mine on Wed, and it is the absolute worst trigger I have ever used (although, granted, I haven't used that many). The pull is very mushy, can't even tell what is pre-travel and what is the actual pull. Feels like there's sand sprinkled in it. There are about 7 different clicks on the spongy reset and I'm not sure which one is the correct one.

I went into getting the M&P knowing I was going to be spending money on the APEX trigger, so I'm not disappointed in my purchase, but I gotta say this trigger is absolutely terrible.

mgmorden
September 10, 2012, 11:36 AM
My M&P 9L was "born" around December of 2010. I've not really shot it off a rest (except when chrono'ing but then I'm not testing accuracy) but generally it has grouped very well for me offhand with 147gr bullets (both hardcast and Bayou). Most reports seem to say that it always shot well with the heavier bullets though.

When I first got it I shot a lot with 115 and 124gr bullets and I can honestly say that I had more accuracy trouble, but I'm still not sure if that was the gun's fault or if I just hadn't warmed up to it yet (most of those rounds were also fired with the stock trigger and most of my 147gr loads have been with an Apex trigger).

Regardless, I'll likely migrate to the Apex/Bar-sto fitted barrel once those are released, but until then mine is running ok for my purposes with the stock barrel.

9mmepiphany
September 10, 2012, 03:38 PM
Hilton's test in post #18 is a good read. He is very high on the KKM barrel and that would be the route I'd take if the stock barrel wasn't up to a nice 25 yard group.

I just had my M&P9 out a couple of days ago and wasn't disappointed in it's performance at 20-25 yards (I didn't measure). I was testing a new grip modification and the lateral dispersion was due to shooter error

rodinal220
September 10, 2012, 03:57 PM
Fact:Team S&W runs hard fitted Storm Lake barrels in their FS 9mm guns for a reason,thats a clue.

The accuracy issue is with the FULL SIZE(FS) 9mm guns only.Not compacts or Shields or 357 Sig,40S&W,45acp.

Some folks get pistols with good accuracy,some with mediocre and some with poor,its a crap shoot.Why??Well thats the mystery isn't it.

Most folks I know love their M&P pistol after they swap out to a custom barrel and replace half the pistol with APEX parts.

My personal FS Range Kit M&P 9mm(March 2012 mfg/new style barrel) shoots patterns and vertically strings from time to time.The best "grouping" I achieved is about 4" at 7 yards,after that its pointless to shoot the gun.Sent the gun to S&W and they returned it saying it was "in spec" I would like to know if their spec is one minute of garbage can lid.All my shooting was done with 115/124gr standard pressure type factory ammo.

If my other 9mm guns like Sig P226,BHP,HK USP/P7, XD/XDm,Glock shoot well out to 25 yards,and beyond,please do not tell me its me.
I expect 3-4" with a service style pistol with average types of training/duty ammo at 25 yards.

Manco
September 10, 2012, 10:09 PM
Did this get linked anywhere earlier?

10-8 Performance Blog
http://10-8performance.blogspot.com/2012/06/s-m-barrels.html

I'm not sure about other potential accuracy issues with the M&P9 (full size), but I can confirm that some of these pistols have an issue with premature unlocking. I've briefly examined one that unlocks practically as soon as the slide moves (at all), and this is definitely a problem. It is likely the cause of the cases of gross inaccuracy that we've read about, and maybe some or virtually all of the others as well.

This issue does not affect all examples of this model, and is a non-issue with the other calibers as well as the compacts and other variants of all calibers.

Hilton Yam seems to think the M&P9 inaccuracy is old news. The new barrels should have fixed any problems folks were having.

The problem seems to have become less prevalent with the new barrel, but I still hear/read about it occasionally, even with newly manufactured M&P9s.

Fact:Team S&W runs hard fitted Storm Lake barrels in their FS 9mm guns for a reason,thats a clue.

Wouldn't they use the most accurate barrels anyway? I think the kind of gross inaccuracy we're talking about here is the result of one or more defects, as opposed to a slight lack of inherent accuracy. Aside from the unit mentioned above, the M&P9s I've shot have been reasonably accurate.

Some folks get pistols with good accuracy,some with mediocre and some with poor,its a crap shoot.Why??Well thats the mystery isn't it.

It's hard to tell how accurate a pistol model is, statistically, with all of the variables involved. All I know is that some M&P9s have a poor barrel fit to the point where they unlock before the bullet exits the barrel, and that is clearly bad for accuracy. This may well be a consequence of the M&P9 design, for which a rather tight tolerance (tighter than you'll get with a service pistol) is required to ensure reasonable combat accuracy (by most people's standards) for all units, or so I've been told. I see no such issues with the M&P40 design, but the M&P9 is a bit different in how it locks the barrel and slide, and I have not had the opportunity to study it closely to confirm.

jawman
September 10, 2012, 10:18 PM
<edit>. Why is S&W ignoring this? They know this is a problem yet they are continuing to sell ineffective products that they know are inadequate.

bds
September 10, 2012, 10:26 PM
jawman, my guess is that there is still a lot of "old stock" M&P 9/40 models around that are still being sold as they are replaced by new M&P models with lighter/cleaner trigger from S&W.

Handling the new trigger M&P models was good enough for me to make me sell off my M&P40/45 to replace with new models. Front sights of several models I tried did not move when I released the strikers (which is the final criteria I use for buying a new pistol). In comparison, when I tested new Glock models (and I am a Glock fanboy), some of the front sights "jumped" when I released the strikers.

I really think S&W did the right thing by fixing the M&P triggers.

jawman
September 10, 2012, 10:42 PM
Yes, but how are we as consumers able to sniff out the "good" versions? It would be nice to know what serial number range to look for in order to identify the more recent revamped models.

CZ57
September 10, 2012, 10:49 PM
My Shooting Partner has researched this pretty extensively and has found that there are accuracy issues with the older M&Ps but that they are limited to 9mm. S&W is supposed to be addressing this but as has been posted, there doesn't seem to be a definitive date of manufacture as seems to be the case with the "improved" trigger.

He recently bought an M&P .45C and it is a tackdriver. It has the Apex kit installed. He would very much like to have a companion 9mm other than the Shield he also bought recently and BTW, the Shield is an excellent performer for what it is designed for. He very badly wants an M&P 9mm but has a lot of trepidation about ever owning one and he has not warmed up to the idea of buying one and then needing to buy an aftermarket barrel to correct the accuracy problem. ;)

jawman
September 10, 2012, 11:01 PM
He very badly wants an M&P 9mm but has a lot of trepidation about ever owning one and he has not warmed up to the idea of buying one and then needing to buy an aftermarket barrel to correct the accuracy problem. ;)

BINGO! Same boat that I'm in. I'm very leery about spending my money on a company that knows it has problems but refuses to admit it or recall the defective products.

9mmepiphany
September 10, 2012, 11:42 PM
Much of the M&P's inaccuracy is due to a combination of some poorly fitted barrels and the 9mm barrels unlocking prematurely.

The M&P was designed around and optimized for the .40 cartridge...due to LE contracts. Most 9mm models function satisfactory for 80% of their customers. It doesn't make economic sense to go through a major redesign (barrel timing) for a small segment of their customer base. They even use the same extractor for both calibers and you hardly ever come across reports of that issue...it exist and there is an aftermarket fix, it just isn't common.

S&W did address some of the early problem such as the strike tips fracturing, sear float from the smaller sear spring plungers, magazines disassembling themselves

jawman
September 11, 2012, 12:04 AM
Not sure if it's worth it to get an M&P9 now.:(

9mmepiphany
September 11, 2012, 01:04 AM
That is, of course, your choice.

For my purposes, the M&P9 has been great, responded well to little tweaks and is quickly becoming my favorite

bds
September 11, 2012, 01:36 AM
All it would take is to call/email S&W customer service and they should be able to tell you the serial numbers that have the new lighter/cleaner M&P trigger.

Darn, now S&W will probably hate me for having their customer service inundated with emails/calls! :eek:

jawman
September 11, 2012, 08:12 PM
All it would take is to call/email S&W customer service and they should be able to tell you the serial numbers that have the new lighter/cleaner M&P trigger.

Darn, now S&W will probably hate me for having their customer service inundated with emails/calls! :eek:

I guess I'll have to try that. What are the odds they will admit to their faults and give me the information I'm looking for?

Old Dog
September 11, 2012, 09:26 PM
Sigh. I'm issued this weapon. I've shot hundreds of these pistols, mostly in 9mm, but also in .40 S&W and .45 ACP. We've had phenomenal success with the platform. Qual scores went up considerably after replacing our expensive German pistols with these American pistols. We had minor issues with a very small number of the 9s, and initially with the .45s. S&W fixed the problems post-haste.

I personally have not detected any accuracy issues (and I'm a firearms instructor) over the past four years with the M&Ps that I'd blame on the pistol.

But if some of you want to jump on the internet bandwagon and believe bunk over the word of someone who's been shooting, and supervising the shooting, of this pistol for the past four years, have at it.

Manco
September 11, 2012, 11:19 PM
Yes, but how are we as consumers able to sniff out the "good" versions?

I'm not sure whether there are any "good" versions, although it appears that one's chances are improved with the latest barrels and frames.

As for checking individual pistols, I don't know whether there is a definite method, short of test-firing, but I'd sure feel better if the slide and barrel would stay locked together for some distance when I pull the slide back. So how long is enough? Conservatively, I'd guess that 1/8th of an inch should be more than sufficient to ensure that bullets will exit the barrel before it unlocks from the slide. My M&P40 has about that much, albeit I don't know whether it is fair to expect that much from the M&P9. You could get away with less, but without more data I'm not sure exactly how much.

Sigh. I'm issued this weapon. I've shot hundreds of these pistols, mostly in 9mm, but also in .40 S&W and .45 ACP. We've had phenomenal success with the platform. Qual scores went up considerably after replacing our expensive German pistols with these American pistols. We had minor issues with a very small number of the 9s, and initially with the .45s. S&W fixed the problems post-haste.

Lots of people have had no trouble with their M&P9s, but with all due respect, premature unlocking and its significant impact on accuracy is a known issue in the M&P community at large, and I've actually seen an example myself. It isn't talked about much anymore, which probably means that it is even less common than it had been before, but apparently it still happens and S&W still claims that the guns are within specifications (which is probably true--the flaw seems to be in the design that allows some in-spec guns, in rare cases, to shoot 12" groups at 25 yards), which means that they won't fix the problem (maybe they would for law enforcement?). This is what I've gathered from discussions over time, anyway, some of which involved gunsmiths.

I personally have not detected any accuracy issues (and I'm a firearms instructor) over the past four years with the M&Ps that I'd blame on the pistol.

I hadn't either, until recently (although the gun in question was an older one).

But if some of you want to jump on the internet bandwagon and believe bunk over the word of someone who's been shooting, and supervising the shooting, of this pistol for the past four years, have at it.

Well, you may not have seen it (yet), but as the old axiom goes, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Old Dog
September 11, 2012, 11:24 PM
Lots of people have had no trouble with their M&P9s, but with all due respect, premature unlocking and its significant impact on accuracy is a known issue in the M&P community at large,So this would be the internet M&P community vice the M&P community that carries them for a living? We've shot more'n a few of these, but ... hey ... whatever ...

jawman
September 12, 2012, 12:02 AM
Manco everything you stated was very well said and articulated. Very good points you make in your post. Old Dog, don't you think it may be possible that you just never came across one of the lemon M&Ps, and like Manco stated, it isn't discussed as much as it used to be because maybe it is less common than before?

Old Dog
September 12, 2012, 12:04 AM
jawman, I'd concede that ... but my sample is fairly large, and we've been using 'em for the past four years ... And yeah, we've had lemons, for sure, but I guess my point is, the percentages are wildly in one's favor for getting a good one; I think one can buy with confidence, and if for some reason, it isn't a shooter, S&W will make it right.

I should add -- we shoot every gun right out of the box when we get new ones, watch hundreds of line staff quals a year, thousands of rounds downrange, and our people have to shoot for score, to particular standards, not just Joe Sixpack picking one up at the LGS for a nightstand pistol or range plinker, so my experience has been practical, not simply what I've read on various forums or internet websites. I'm fairly confident that I've seen the accuracy of this platform amply demonstrated.

jawman
September 12, 2012, 12:17 AM
jawman, I'd concede that ... but my sample is fairly large, and we've been using 'em for the past four years ... And yeah, we've had lemons, for sure, but I guess my point is, the percentages are wildly in one's favor for getting a good one; I think one can buy with confidence, and if for some reason, it isn't a shooter, S&W will make it right.

...my experience has been practical, not simply what I've read on various forums or internet websites. I'm fairly confident that I've seen the accuracy of this platform amply demonstrated.

You make a good point. Practical, real world experience is the best experience.

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