Smith and Wesson M&P Compact 9mm Range Report

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Mar 3, 2004
South FL
Smith and Wesson M&P Compact 9mm Review
SN: MPL (left factory around 10/28 )
November 15, 2006
All photos taken on my LG 8300 Camera Phone (sorry for poor quality)

My fullsize range report can be found here:

Initial Impressions:

Gun is smaller than I thought it would be. Compared it to a Glock 26 at the funstore and it is roughly the same size.

Grip: I wear an XL glove and prefer the medium grip on the full, but on the compact I like the small. However, I decided to just leave the medium on it.

Trigger: The compact trigger is worse than the full size trigger. Much more overtravel, pretravel is STIFF (plunger spring is much stiffer on this compact), but the break is more crisp. Trigger return spring is much stiffer. Upon disassembly, the sear appears to be different on the compact. The angle the trigger bar meets the sear is closer to the one in the trigger job tutorials in my Full, but not in my compact.

Pocket Carry: I have big pockets and have no problem pocket carrying the gun if I had a pocket holster. Of course, I was able to stuff a G19 in my pockets... ;)

Interchangeability: Full size magazines work as does my Comptac Infidel. Other full size holsters should work as well if you need to.

Roll Pin Problem: The rear roll pin slightly protrudes the back left when I received it. Fixed that issue.

Beavertail or lack thereof: I don't think I have the meatiest hands, but the beavertail from the full size feels much better in my hand.

Overall impression: Overall I am not very impressed. It is smaller, but I like my full size SOOO much more. The compact really needs Dan's magic on it and I am still saving up for both of my M&Ps to be sent to him. In hindsight I would have bought another Full size (209301) or a 1911.

Box and Package
Same as the M&P Fullsize.

Feel and Ergonomics
Generally, the compact is very similar to the full size. The full size feels much better to me, but of course the compact is a carry gun and meant to be smaller. I prefer full size firearms in general.

Like the full size, the trigger guard undercut is not enough and rubs my finger bad.

Same as the full size: Novak 3 dots.

Magazines are both 12 rounders and are blued steel like the full size. One has a pinkie extension and the other does not. Even with the pinkie extension my pinkie still does not get a good seat.

Trigger Feel after a few thousand dry fires
Trigger feels slightly heavier, yet still not nearly as good as my full size.

Take Down
Same as the fullsize. Only difference is the take down tool is easier to remove in the compact due to the larger piece of plastic on the end.



Shooting Impressions

Like the full size, the compact is a very soft recoiler. I was actually surprised how quick I could do controlled pairs and failure drills. Within 10-15 yards, I would need a timer to tell me how much slower I am on the compact, but it is not much.

Accuracy 15-25 yards

Unfortunately with the small size of the gun paired with the worse trigger and short sight radius, I could not shoot it as well at further distances as my fullsize. However, this is probably to be expected. Overall though I was disappointed with my groups rested.

Firearm had 50 rounds Remington UMC 115gr FMJ through it prior to groups and was warm, but not hot. Target unfortunately was swinging due to wire arrangement again. I used 115gr Blazer Brass FMJ and 147gr Winchester Ranger RA9T to shoot the groups.

The POA/POI was greatly different between the two weights. At 25 yards, the 147gr hit higher. POA/POI was top of sights. With 115gr FMJ, the POA/POI was the center of the dot.

These first 25 yard targets used RA9T.



15 yards using 115gr FMJ Blazer Brass

The two low shots were due to me jerking the trigger.

After my frustration at 25 yards rested, I tried to shoot off my surprise I was shooting better off hand than rested from the shooting table. Not exactly sure why though. Shot these with the Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ.

25 yards


Speed and Fighting Distances

Like the full size, the compact is very quick to shoot on targets under 10 yards. Target transitions are quicker due to the shorter barrel.

No failures of any kind.

Rounds used: 100 rounds Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ
50 rounds UMC 115gr FMJ
25 rounds Winchester 147gr JHP RA9T
Not that much through it, but I was itching to shoot my Full size again.

Also, I was shooting with a gouge in my hand, near my index finger which did bother me the whole session. It stopped bleeding by the end of the session.



Personally, the compact carries slightly better, but I don't know if it is worth the sacrifice of 5 rounds and the shorter sight radius and smaller grip. When I can, I would rather carry the full size as I have no problem concealing it. However, for those days I somehow cannot conceal it, I will use the compact. The gun will make a good backup gun to the full size as the magazines from the full size work in the compact.
Thanks for the range report! I had the exact opposite results at 10 and 15 yards. I found the compact to be quite accurate and for me I liked the trigger on mine more than my fullsize. Like you, I had not ammo issues. As far as accuracy at 15-25 yards I can't compare because 90% of the time I shoot at 10 yards. I see absolutely no point whatsoever to shoot at a target over 15 yards. IMHO, it is a waste of ammo, unless for some reason you are shooting competitively. Perhaps I am misguided, but out of all the people I shoot with not one of them shoots past 15 yards. As far as the fullsize goes, I enjoy shooting that one too, and I am accurate with that one as well.
I generally keep my shooting within 7 yards for practice, however sometimes I enjoy throwing the target downrange and working on my fundamentals. Rarely do I shoot rested and it is usually just to see the kind of groups I can get.

The sears are different on my compact and fullsize. The full size sear has an angle similar to the one in the trigger job tutorial where the sear and trigger bar meet. This, combined with the stronger trigger return spring make the trigger not so well on my example.
I hope you don't think I was bashing your post about the 25 yard thing. I am not sure how accurate a compact 9mm can really be at 25 yards anyways. I found the recoil on the compact to be a bit snappier than the fullsize. Wait until they come out with a compact M&P .45.:what: :what: Which ammo did you find to be more accurate at 15 yards?
Didn't take it as bashing at all.

At 15 yards I only used Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ.

I have found that the gun seems to group pretty close with all the various types of ammo, with me being the limit on group size.
I found Remington UMC to be the best for me. Federal American Eagle was horrendous. I had to aim high and almost off the target to get anywhere close to the middle. I have never tried Blazer Brass. Perhaps I will give it a try when I get back. Thanks again for your comprehensive report!:D
I just shot this gun today at my local range. And so did my wife.

OMG, I actually liked it better than Glock 17/19 :what:

Now my wife wants one, and so do I... I wonder who gets one first:evil:

"Honey, I'm just gonna step out to the, eeeee, gas station for 30 minutes, I'll be right back. Love you! Byeeeee!"
I have a really stupid question about this gun. I purchased one used yesterday and I noticed that when the slide is back and in the locked position, the barrel can be moved and will even rattle if shaken. If I release the slide then the barrel is locked in place. Just curious if this is normal. Sorry for the stupid question, but I don't want to take it the range and have a big problem.
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