S&W M&P 15 .223 Sport Review


May 3, 2014, 09:57 PM
If this has been done (to death) before, I apologize. But I thought anyone new looking at a first AR-15 might enjoy a newbies (to the AR) perspective on a truly fine choice.

When my S&W arrived it was in a plain brown box with egg crate foam protecting the rifle. A separate Magpul Gen 2 30 round magazine, the owners manual, warranty card and of course the rifle.

While the packaging was sparse, it was irrelevant as the rifle was pristine. Fit and finish was as expected and considering the relatively low cost ($566 from grabagun), beyond what I expected.

I went through the mechanics with my dealer/FFL including a nice 5 minute briefing on complete teardown which was very valuable because while the owners manual is "ok", it omits some important steps. The 5 minutes with my dealer save a ton of time later at home.

I immediately took the rifle to the rifle bays for some initial shooting. I used AMERICAN EAGLE AMMO 223REM FMJ-BT 55Gr

Loaded up the magazine with 25 rounds (didn't feel I had to max the magazine), popped it in, released the bolt carrier, safety off and proceeded to shoot. Initial targets were 50ft and move to the max for my range, 75 feet. In all cases, I was strictly iron sights and free standing.

The rifle was spot on. It took me no more than 3 or 4 rounds to figure the sight picture and I was shooting 3" to 4" groups. First 100 rounds, not a single fail to feed. Sights were spot on from the factory.

Recoil is not bad but the best part is the trigger pull. Very short take up and crisp snap of the execution - bang. Reset also seems nice and shot so double taps are a breeze.

Tear down and cleaning.
Tear down and cleaning could not be simpler. I don't need to go into details except to point out one small thing that had I not learned from my saleman, would cause some grief.

When you remove the bolt, and you go to take it apart, make note of the 11 o'clock position tab (it is a shorter tab than the others in between). Why ? Because when you go to put it back in, you need to align that at the 11 oclock position or it wont go in...you would spin and spin and not get far.

Other than that, the manual does a great job

Subsequent shooting
I have since put another 600 rounds through the rifle and only one FTF which was a ammo related. She just chugs along like a champ. Love shooting it. I have no issues to report and would have to say for the price, what more could you ask for?

The only upgrades I plan are a G-Shock stock and perhaps a red dot sight. Otherwise, I am leaving well enough alone.

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May 3, 2014, 10:03 PM
Congrats on your new AR and have fun shooting it.

May 4, 2014, 12:36 AM
Nice review. Have you tried steel cased ammo in your rifle yet? I am curious how well something like wolf or Tulammo feeds through the M&P sport.

Rusty Luck
May 4, 2014, 12:51 AM
Nice review! Good to hear you like it.

@Spec, I can't say anything about wolf(though I assume it's the same) but my friend and I put just shy of 500 rounds of Tulammo through his Sport in a short period of time at my ranch with no issues.

May 4, 2014, 01:31 AM
Picked up my m and p 15 2 weeks ago. Last weekend took her out and sighted in the irons, was pretty close out of the box, then sighted in my aimpoint knockoff red dot. She performed flawlessly, was fun to shoot, breaks down easy for cleaning and seemed flawless out of the box.
This si my first black gun, and my second semi auto, first being the old 10/22.
I am a true lever gun guy and mainly have Marlins and Brownings, but dam i am glad the prices of of these things finally dropped to realistic,otherwise i would not have picked one up.
Highly recommend the m na dp 15 sport to anyone looking for a entry level ar that has good value and quality for the buck.

May 4, 2014, 02:27 PM
No steel cased ammo yet..not sure if I will. All my shooting has been range shooting and the only allow brass.

Plus, I have had bad experience with steel case in hand guns so I am a bit put off. It may be completely different with the .223 but sticking with the brass at about .34 a round...I know what I am getting. And like I said, its been flawless.

Another thing I like about the gun. Its like a project, so customizable. I could upgrade the bolt carrier, stock, sight, etc. And I am a guy who likes to play...LOL

I HIGHLY recommend this rifle. It shoots dead on, mechanics are awesome and the only thing left to see is longevity.

May 4, 2014, 03:37 PM
why a shock reducing stock on a 5.56 ar?

also, no offense but the phrase "shoots dead on", and 3-4" groups at 25 yards (even off-hand) don't exactly go well together. find a place to stretch it's legs, i'm sure you'll have plenty of fun.

May 4, 2014, 04:04 PM
On the stock, less recoil is not a bad thing...

I will stretch her legs when I can get out to my bro-in-laws...but still...consider this

54 years old, new to the rifle shooting, nearsighted, iron sights, 3" groups is pretty good. I see people say they do that at 100 yards but it must be age (younger) and experience..because I have seen my fellow shooters at the range...and I seem to do better than QUITE a few..which means nothing I know...so I am good against poor ? LOL

Here is the distance on multiple targets

Not a bad set of groupings


The center was one group, the 7's - other groups aiming for the 7's

May 4, 2014, 04:10 PM
less recoil is not a bad thing...

sure, i've just never heard of someone thinking that 5.56 recoil from a gas semi warranting the purchase of a new stock.

May 4, 2014, 08:14 PM
I love mine too and had similar results out of the box. Although I've heard many claim to shoot MOA with the iron sights, I've yet to see it in person. You should be able to get 3" at 100 though. Nice write up. Enjoy your S&W.

May 4, 2014, 08:15 PM
The recoil is consider "smaller" than say a .308 which the stock will also fit...but hey, I am willing to try it.

I like mechanics as the title says. My gun will always look pretty much stock (I don't need camo, attachments, etc. ) but for example, I am looking at the JP Enterprises AR-15 Tactical Bolt Carrier and Key 416 Stainless Steel and the same company BOLT.

Maybe small improvements over stock but improvements and longevity nonetheless. :D

As to the stock...

May 4, 2014, 10:44 PM
I got a S&W M&P-15 Sport this December as my first AR. I have been 110% happy with it as well, which seems to be the norm for this rifle. :cool: Only things I added were a light on a front sight rail mount and a GI Sling for Appleseed shoots.

It has had zero failures after about 600 rounds of XM193 and XM855 ammo, and has served me very well at a few Appleseed shoots and 200 yard field matches, shooting with irons and a loop sling. It's the only gun I own as a poor student, and it is a faithful tool for protecting the family too. I couldn't be happier with the gun, it's an incredible value from a stand up company.

May 5, 2014, 12:09 AM
And should hit the 1000 round mark both in my AR and my Glock..

Truly having some fun...

May 5, 2014, 01:49 AM
Only things i plan to do to my sport is swap for a A2 stock and a sling. It is just fine the way it is.

May 5, 2014, 07:44 AM
Did few mods on mine....ALG ACT trigger, Bushnell AR 1-4x illuminated reticle scope, MOE fore end, ACS-L stock, single point adapter and have since put on am MOE+ pistol grip. Now it's exactly the rifle I wanted, for less than starting out with a more expensive model.


May 5, 2014, 12:19 PM
How does your scope see past the front sight ? Is it high enough ? Did you get a special mount ?

MUCH appreciated...Nice looking rifle...very clean..

May 5, 2014, 12:20 PM
Just an odd tip... I found the standard A2 grip really comfortable once I ground the nub off. I even sold my Magpul grip off because of it.

I had a extra A2 grip laying around and I got to thinking. Doesn't look real pretty, but I'm planing on cleaning it up whenever I find a new upper for it.

May 5, 2014, 05:52 PM
I have a sport with a 3x12x40(?) scope mounted on pretty low rings. Tha scope looks right past the front sight, I know it's kinda weird. I could just make out a shadow of the front sight with my old scope at 2 power with a non adjustable objective. I did just add a JP reduced power spring set and JoBob adjustable grip screw (removes pre-travel / creep). Took my 7 lb creepy trigger and made a 4-1/4 lb creep free trigger. Now I just need range time. The one thing I did notice when I initially cleaned it BEFORE shooting it was the bbl was rough inside. Did a 40 rd barrel break in with repeated cleanings and the copper fouling went WAY down.

chris in va
May 5, 2014, 10:05 PM
I've had mine since it first came out. No issues yet, still functions fine and locks up solid.

May 5, 2014, 10:12 PM
I've been wanting as of late an entry-level AR, and have been eying the DPMS one at my local Wal-Mart. Just today, I thought of the S&W and figured it had a good price as well. I just didn't know it might be that good.

Did yours come with iron sights? The DPMS I've been looking at does not and I don't want to scope mine.

May 5, 2014, 10:48 PM
Front site is 3 blade (not sure what you call it ) rear site is dual with peep and the larger opening


I would definitely go with the S&W...and did...LOL

May 5, 2014, 11:14 PM
sport has a A2 front sight and a magpul flip up rear sight from the factory.

May 6, 2014, 01:49 AM
My wife easily hits clays on the ground at 100 yds with a 3x Nikon on her M&P Sport and then goes after the chips she can see and gets those pretty easy. A low power scope can show you the real potential of the Smith. I don't get why people call it a beginner gun. It's solid, reliable and fairly accurate.

May 6, 2014, 05:07 AM
Congrats on the Sport. It is a fantastic rifle.

I have owned one before and it was a joy to shoot. The AR15 platform is so versatile that you can practically modify anything you want on your rifle.

Here is mine. Added some Magpul parts and a extended quadrail:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/eiji81/1%20AR15/65cf07c2-d0b4-4dc9-b697-1b751eb4eca8.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/eiji81/media/1%20AR15/65cf07c2-d0b4-4dc9-b697-1b751eb4eca8.jpg.html)

May 6, 2014, 08:12 AM
Have one too....gotta mod-it:)

Spikes tactical upper(wanted dust cover for walking my mountain property)
MIAD grip
KNS non rotating pin kit
UTG rail covers
Eotech EXPS2-O
UTG Match grade carry handle(to swap out when not using Eotech)
Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced SSA-E Two StageTrigger
Black hawk 2-point tactical sling
Tacticool22 stock and picatinny QD sling swivel attachment
Sig Sauer STL-900L tactical light/lazer
Magpul AFG2 fore grip
Battle arms development ambidextrous safety
BCM Gunfighter medium charging handle
Have an M&P 15-22 that will be modded exactly to above specs to be its twin for cheap training.I bought 25 k rounds of 22 lr before our current pres. got into office:D

May 6, 2014, 12:23 PM
Ks5, with those mods why didn't you just get a stripped lower? You pretty much just used th MP for one. Not judging, just curious.

May 6, 2014, 07:31 PM
Kentucky Gun Co is now selling this gun for $549.99 - I ordered it originally for $574.99 and then they dropped the price. I contacted them to see if I could get the lower price and they said yes. Now that's great customer service.

May 6, 2014, 09:10 PM
Last night, after expressing the interest I did in post 20, I did go to the grabagun.com site and was able to view the item. However, that was all I was able to do there; the site failed to respond to any further input. Haven't tried yet today..

May 6, 2014, 11:08 PM
Did you see this ?

Plus free shipping...

May 7, 2014, 09:04 PM
^^ I do now. Thank you.

May 7, 2014, 09:32 PM
Let us know when you get yours and what you think...

May 8, 2014, 03:19 PM
^^ Placed the order today, but prefer it not arrive before mid-June, so I paid only half and told them to keep it on layaway until I pay the second half around 01 June. :)

May 9, 2014, 10:57 PM
That's the best deal I've seen this year on the Sport. Three months ago I paid $585 shipped for mine.

May 9, 2014, 11:24 PM
You all will laugh at me here, but I bought a M&P15 Sport during the panic last year for $849.:eek:

Talk about a bargain!!!! Lol

That was the cheapest I was able to find it locally, and I was actually glad to pay it because all other AR's were selling for around $1500-2k or more...

May 10, 2014, 12:08 AM
I put a couple of hundred rounds of Tula steel case through mine one day at the range. Had one FTF and one FTE. Not a problem for shooting at the range and much cheaper than even the cheapest factory brass case. I've heard people express concerns about accelerated extractor wear with steel case ammo, so I bought a spare extractor for $16 and keep it tucked into the grip.

May 10, 2014, 10:04 AM
I've been keeping an eye out here locally for one. Glad to hear they
run pretty well on steel cased ammo.

I would mainly use one for plinking and the ability to digest various ammo is a plus. Have a buddy with a dpms and he seems to have problems with steel case running well in his. Not sure of the model though or if it may just be his particular rifle.

May 11, 2014, 03:38 PM
Can the M&P 15 be had with a 20" barrel?

September 14, 2014, 12:01 AM
Gotboostvr, I just saw your post about how much you like the standard AR grip. I too ground off the ugly knob, but I also added some self sticking anti-skid tape (3M) from our local Ace hardware. The 1" wide strips fit perfectly on the front and cover up any signs of marring from where the knob was. It gives a sure grip and can be added to the back of the grip if needed.

In a couple of days I should be receiving a new "Friends of the NRA" M&P15 Sport with 1 in 8 twist and 5R rifling. For now I will put a Bushnell TRS25 on it, install a light and modify the grip. Later I might add a Vortex SPARC II but will leave the rest alone.

Try adding the tape because I think you will really like it. If not just peel it off and and you're good to go.

Take care and good shooting.


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