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S&W M&P Fullsize 9mm Range Report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by mattf7184, Nov 8, 2006.

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  1. mattf7184

    mattf7184 Member

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    Smith and Wesson M&P Fullsize 9mm Review
    SN: MPJ (left factory around 10/26)
    November 8, 2006
    All photos taken on my LG 8300 Camera Phone (sorry for poor quality)

    Well, on the recommendations of those on various forums, I purchased an M&P Full Size 9mm without magazine disconnect or internal lock. For $369 from Bud’s Gun Shop, how could I go wrong?


    Box and Package
    First thought when I saw the box was how big it was. The box is a standard two clasp big plastic box with foam inside. A nice touch was the foam was cut out for the gun, magazines, and different backstraps.


    Aesthetics
    The gun isn’t the prettiest gun, but I find it more attractive than a Glock. The fishscale slide serrations are nice and have more grip than straight cut serrations. I like the contoured nose of the slide which makes holstering smoother.


    Feel and Ergonomics
    If you thought 1911s feel awesome in the hand, you have to try an M&P. The interchangeable backstraps are very well thought out. The gun has the medium on it when you take it out of the box. The small backstrap is very small with the large filling out my hand very nicely. The frontstrap is curved (not squareish like a Glock) so it does not have a 2x4 feel to it. Bravo to S&W to realizing people’s hands are different sizes. This gun allows mass adoption by large organizations and the ability to tailor the firearm to different hands.

    The only complaint I have is I wish that the trigger guard was undercut more. After hundreds of draws and shooting the gun, it starts to rub my middle finger raw. This may be due to using the Medium grips instead of larger for my hands however. I keep the medium ones on since it is thinner and seems to help it conceal better.

    One major complaint you will hear about Glocks is the grip angle. It is good news to many (including myself) that the M&P points like a 1911. I find myself faster, more comfortable, and more accurate with this grip angle.


    Sights
    Thankfully, S&W put Novak type sights on the gun. They give a clear sight picture compared to the Glock stock sights. However, the sight picture is not as crisp as a set of Heinie sights of the Warren Tactical Sights. Both companies plan on making M&P sights and the sights are in the prototype stages currently. I am not a fan of dots on the rear so I used the only thing I had near me and tried to black it out. I have found I shoot faster and more accurately with a front dot only set up.

    [​IMG]


    Magazines
    The magazines are steel 17 round magazines. Witness holes on both sides to view the rounds. The magazines are thin and really fly out during magazine changes. I have the newest version with the gray followers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]


    Initial Trigger Feel
    Like the other M&Ps I have fondled/used, the initial trigger take up is crunchy. After a few hundred trigger pulls during dry fire, it started to smooth out. The take up is light and the break is good. Slight amount of creep during the break and it breaks at roughly 5-6 pounds on my gun. I have never been a fan of Glock triggers as it feels like a dart gun. The M&P feels totally different and makes the trigger very manageable due to the sear/trigger bar set up.


    Take Down
    Well the take down is more complicated than on a Glock. However, I think this is a good thing for most shooters. To take it down, you must lock the slide back. Next, take a pen or punch and trip the sear deactivation lever. After, rotate the take down lever. Release slide and the slide comes off. Some people do not like the slide deactivation lever, but it forces the used to observe an empty chamber prior to disassembly. Also, the user does not need to pull the trigger to disassemble. I have heard and read of way too many AD/NDs from failures to clear the gun with Glocks.

    Shooting Impressions
    Now what you have been waiting for...how it shoots!

    Recoil
    What recoil? The gun is very soft shooting and with the light hanging on the front feels like a .22 handgun. I am not exaggerating either. The recoil of this 9mm M&P is softer than a Glock 34 to me. The muzzle flip is also very low allowing the shooter to track the sights easy. With a full magazine, the firearm balances great and has enough heft to tame the recoil down. Initially, the recoil spring felt too stiff, but it seems to have broken in thankfully.

    Accuracy 15-25 yards

    Wow, I love this gun. I am rusty and have not shot a firearm in about 2-3 months. It really makes me look good.

    The one complaint I have is the sights are not the best for accuracy work. The front blade is too wide and I do not feel it is tall enough.

    Reseted
    Note all groups were done with 5 rounds (2 5 rounds groups per target) from a rest/shooting table. Firearm had 85 rounds through it prior to groups and was warm, but not hot. Target unfortunately was swinging due to wire arrangement (have it on video and may post it later…got tired of waiting for it to stop before I shot for groups), but the flyers were user error and rust. I was able to call all flyers on these targets. Ammo used for groups was 115gr Blazer Brass FMJ.

    15 yard target
    1st group 2” minus called flyer 1.1”
    2nd group 3” minus called flyer 2”

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    25 yard target
    1st group 5” minus called flyers 1.2”
    2nd group 4.5” minus called flyer 1.9”

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Offhand

    100 rounds on target (20 or so rounds at 15 yards, rest at 25 yards). Rounds on white at 2 and 3 o clock were shot left handed (weak side) only at 25 yards. The rest were shot right (strong) hand only and both hands.

    [​IMG]

    10 rounds with TLR-1 Light on gun
    4” with 2 rounds on left (did not have much of an aiming point, just shot at spot on shoulder)
    1.6” without those 2 rounds

    [​IMG]


    Speed and Fighting Distances

    The gun was plenty accurate with light recoil to make controlled pairs and failure drills easy. There aren’t many guns I can shoot as fast as 1911s or Glocks here, but the M&P may possibly be even faster in 9mm form.

    At 7 yards…
    [​IMG]

    Result of 100 rounds on target:
    [​IMG]

    Another sight complaint here is the rear sight notch is not wide enough. I like wide race cut rear sights as I am able to track the front sight easier. However, I still was able to track the front sight fine.

    With Light
    Wow, the gun was very soft shooting with the light. The weight hanging on the end really helped tame the already light muzzle flip.


    Low Left Problems
    Some people have complained the gun shoots low left for them. I have this problems with Glocks. The gun simply does not fit my hand and even when I pay attention to breathing, sight alignment, and trigger control I am low left. Glock 9/.40s are the only guns that does this to me. The larger frames (20/21) do not do this for me. Also, no problems with the M&P. People have complained the gun shoots low left for them. If I purposely jerked the trigger, I could get the gun to go low left EVERY time…

    [​IMG]

    3 rounds in white are due to jerking. Aimed for center of head, jerked trigger and consistently made gun shoot to that area at 7 yards.


    Reliability
    Wanted to put through closer to 400 rounds, but only got through 320 before I got too tired. No problems at all in regards to reliability.

    Rounds used: 50 rounds Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ
    200 rounds UMC 115gr FMJ
    34 rounds Winchester 147gr JHP
    36 rounds assorted Winchester and Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Criticisms

    Trigger undercut
    After shooting the gun and drawing many times, the gun rubs my middle finger badly. I don’t know if there is enough material between the mag catch and the trigger guard to remove plastic, but it would be more comfortable if it was possible.

    Reset
    Coming from Glocks and 1911s, the reset is too long and not firm. A few times, I short stroked the trigger due to the reset. The short Glock reset is ingrained in my muscle memory which caused this issue. In the future, I hope to send my gun to Dan Burwell for a 3.5 lb trigger job and a shorter reset/overtravel. While I did not feel it was critical (even with my sweaty hands), it would be nice to have Dan make the grip have some more bite.

    Final Notes:
    Wish I could get to the range more and afford to shoot more often. I am convinced the M&P is the gun for me. Cannot wait to get a Compact 9mm. Also waiting on some Crimson Trace Lasergrips, Warren Sights, and some Burwell gunsmithing when I save up funds!
     
  2. treebeard

    treebeard Member

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    Nice report. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine. Like you said.....what recoil?! I will purchasing the compact version probably next week as my local dealer is getting one in tomorrow.:D :D
     
  3. possum

    possum Member

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    Great report, very detailed, I have been wondering about the m&p's, and i am especially interested, in the sub compacts. glad to hear you are happy with it. congrats and happy shooting.
     
  4. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello and thank you for the detailed report.

    Best.
     
  5. greener

    greener Member

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    Well done review. I'm one of those with one that shoots "low-left" and, after some work, I got most of the low out. Left seems to still be there. This is the first DA semi auto I've owned and it is a touch unforegiving about shooter flaws. I agree with the recoil, or lack thereof. It is easy to find the target, and when I don't mess up on mechanics will shoot very consistently. The medium grip fits quite nicely. First field strip was awkward. The next one was a easy.

    At about 800 rounds: no load failures, no fire failures. When I don't screw up, the rounds seem to go where I intended and group fairly well.
     
  6. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Interesting. As you can see by my signature, I just got my M&P, too.

    Want to try something? Take your magazines and load them to various levels (from 1 round to full capacity), and see if you can replicate the following malfunctions:

    1. Insert magazine into gun forcefully. Does the top round tip up and fail to feed when the slide falls?

    2. Insert magazine into gun normally. Drop slide. Does the gun fail to strip the top round?

    3. Insert magazine into gun with heel of palm, but allow your hand to slip off forward, as if you were performing a reload under duress and got sloppy. Can you cause the baseplate to slip off with your hand, thus causing the spring, follower, and onboard rounds to fall out?

    The only malfunctions I have seen the M&P do with any frequency are these, and some light primer strikes in the original T&E guns we got from S&W (I've had two FTFires with Blazer, but Blazer is notorious for hard primers, so I'm not sure they mean much). The latter seems to have been fixed, and the three listed malfs I have only seen when inserting mostly-depleted magazines (6 rounds or less).

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  7. mattf7184

    mattf7184 Member

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    Thank you for the kind words everyone. Usually I do not do detailed reports, but remembered I had my camera phone on me today and thought about giving it a try.

    Coronach, no to any of the above. At the range, I generally only load 5-10 rounds to make the sessions last longer, so I did plenty of reloading, etc today. I just tried what you asked every which way and no problems at all.
     
  8. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    Matt, you should do them more often. :p

    It's a lot of gun for $370 NIB. And with the 4th-gen GLOCKs not really making any changes (besides making people pay for new mags :eek: ), I think S&W really has a chance to gain a lot of plastic fans.
     
  9. mattf7184

    mattf7184 Member

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    I do too. Plus it would be nice to see an American gun in American holsters.

    I also wanted to add that the M&P carries better in a Comptac Infidel than my G19 in a CTAC. For some reason it feels thinner, but I cannot decide if it is more the gun or holster. The mag pouch is definitely thinner for the M&P magazines which makes less printing as well.
     
  10. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I recognize that you have a 9 and not a 40, but could you do me a favor, if you get a chance? Take pics of the magazine, particularly the baseplate and the follower...I'm wondering how many different iterations there are of this magazine design out there.

    Mike
     
  11. mattf7184

    mattf7184 Member

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    Here are the requested magazine pictures:

    [​IMG]

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  12. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Interesting. The baseplate looks identical, but the mag body is different (likely just the difference between the 9mm and .40 versions).

    Another thing to test: drop the empty magazines on a hard surface (if you don't mind scuffing them a little). Do the followers ever jam in the "up" position? It seems like they slip ever so slightly forward, enabling the follower to catch on the edge of the magazine body. The solution is to just wiggle them a little and they'll pop loose.

    Mike
     
  13. mattf7184

    mattf7184 Member

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    Gunna wait until I get some mag bumpers or extra mags before I start dropping them on cement.
     
  14. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, I can understand that. Truth be told, that particular glitch is a non-issue, anyway. Who cares of the follower sticks on a discarded, empty mag?

    Mike
     
  15. cbsbyte

    cbsbyte Member

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    Thank you for the report. Your review sounds like another postive experience with the Smiths. I have yet to shoot one but I handled a well used .40 M&P & 9mm demos at S&W Performance center shooting range not too long ago, I did notice the the slide rattled alot on the frame. Those guns probably had thousands of rounds through them, at that point and where not well maintained. I am very intrigued by the M&P series pistols, and really thinking of buying one once they are approved for sale by the Mass State Attorney General.
     
  16. mattf7184

    mattf7184 Member

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    Interesting about the amount of play. Never seen a rattling M&P or Glock for that matter. Mine has a slight amount of horizontal play at the front and rear slide rails, but no vertical movement. Like you said, it could be because it was an abused demo gun.
     
  17. markformac

    markformac Member

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    Is the M&P 9mm the same size as the Glock 21 or 22?

    I am a police officer and was recently issued the M&P 9mm. I have had the Bianchi model 7135 holster for awhile now and love it. Problem is, they don't have a size to order for the M&P 9mm. I was told by a friend the M&P has the same dimensions as the Glock 21 or 22. Can anyone verify this with a duty holster?
     
  18. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    The M&P40 has the same external dimensions as the Glock 20/21, at least as far as holsters are concerned. I have no idea about the M&P9.

    Mike
     
  19. Omaney

    Omaney Member

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    I have owned my M&P40 for about 2.5 months. I was impressed with it while fondling it at the gun counter and even more impressed upon firing the thing. I do not have the opportunity to shoot it as often as i would like but I have put about 500 rounds through it with 0 malfunctions. Wow...40 S&W ammo is expensive! Next purchase is a reloading rig (yay more research:banghead: ). I too have the "lefties" and I swear it's the sights!:rolleyes: I am almost to the point of replacing my trusty S&W 5904 (thousands of rounds fired with 0 malfunctions) as my CCW with the M&P40.
     
  20. robertbank

    robertbank Member

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    For those of us stuck with 10 rd mags, one complaint up here has been how fragile the base pads are in their 10 rd mags. Guys who live in States with the 10 rd limit care to comment if S&W has solved this problem or if it has been a problem south of the border.

    Take Care

    Bob
     
  21. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    My son and I each have a M&P9c. With 3 shooters, his pistol shot dead straight. Mine shot 2" left. So, I moved my rear sight and now both pistols shoot straight.
     
  22. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    I keep looking at the S&W M&Ps, handling them...dreaming. I like the mid-size & full-size in .40 S&W. The prices seem right, but I guess I need to rent one first. The grip is just something incredibly comfortable. Watching from the sideline with interest. :) Edit to add, can't believe I didn't add this, the other factor I'm mulling over is the caliber: 9mm or .40 S&W. This range report makes me lean to 9mm.

    Doc2005
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  23. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    Don't forget the rebate: $50 and 2 more magazines.
     
  24. wally

    wally Member

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    Offer is only good thru Jan 2008, so don't wait too long to try one!

    I've the .40 and find it very plesant to shoot. If I remember, .40 was the first on the market, and the 9mm guns had some problems initially, but S&W's outstanding customer service seems to have left few complaining.

    --wally.
     
  25. delmardel

    delmardel Member

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    Can someone please tell me if The M&P's trigger pull can be adjusted like the Glock's? I want a short trigger pull but i'm stuck between the M&P and The Glock 17. Thanks!
     
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