When it comes to firearm manufacturers, few are comparable to Smith & Wesson. It is one of the oldest weapon companies in the country, founded in 1852. For more than 165 years, Smith & Wesson has been one of the leaders in pistol production.
The company has deep roots with the U.S. military going back as far as the Civil War. It continues to be a favorite choice with modern law enforcement and civilians.
The Smith & Wesson M&P line is the manufacturer’s most recent additions to its brand, and it is one of the top-performing semi-auto pistols currently on the market. Since its introduction in 2005, the M&P has been the standard for firearms that Smith & Wesson produces.
Smith & Wesson specializes in creating top-quality pistols that offer superior safety, durability, and control, and the M&P series is no exception. This Smith & Wesson M&P review will discuss in detail the M&P 9mm and the latest iteration of the line, the M&P 2.0. It will provide a better understanding of what makes this product line a favorite among law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians, and how the second-generation M&P 2.0 stands apart from its predecessor.
Smith & Wesson M&P
The military and police are the inspiration behind the design for the Smith & Wesson M&P, but it is a popular choice among civilians as well. The M&P 9mm is a full-sized, striker-fired, semi-auto pistol with a polymer frame and stainless steel chassis for lightweight yet sturdy support. It is a formidable rival to the Glock, the preference of many law enforcement agencies for years.
Other features of the M&P 9mm features include:
- 4.25 inch barrel length standard
- 17-round magazine capacity, plus one in the chamber
- Low bore axis to manage recoil and allow for faster repetitive shots and faster aim recovery
- Stainless steel slide with rust-resistant Amornite finish
- Six-and-a-half-pound trigger pull
In addition to 9mm, the M&P is also available in .40S&W and .357SIG calibers. It also works comfortably in both the left and right hands because the slide lock is accessible from both sides, and you can reinstall the magazine release to fit a left-handed shooter.
Advantages of the M&P
The ergonomics of this weapon are top-tier. Its natural grip angle allows right-handed and left-handed operators to hold it comfortably and includes three palm swell grip sizes to maximize the user’s comfort when carrying the firearm. The magazine release is readily accessible without moving your hand, so you will not inadvertently shift the pistol away from the target when you reload.
The M&P line comes with plenty of accessories like sights, holsters, and triggers to customize how you use and store this pistol. With a Picatinny rail beneath the muzzle, you can easily add a laser sight or tactical flashlight to the firearm.
Smith & Wesson took great care to ensure the M&P 9mm’s reliability. Using top-quality materials like stainless steel for the barrel and slide and treating it with Armornite to harden the outer surface, the pistol is highly resistant to corrosion. There is also little contact between the slide and the frame, so it does not collect much dirt, making it easier to clean.
Disadvantages of the M&P
The M&P 9mm is a full-size pistol that features a 4.25-inch barrel length and 1.2-inch width. It is slightly bulky, making it less than ideal for concealed carry.
Cleaning Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm
Cleaning and maintenance are simple for the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm. Take it apart by removing the magazine, shifting the slide back, rotating the takedown lever, releasing the slide, and pulling the trigger. Smith & Wesson recommends using a basic firearm cleaning kit to:
- Clear away firing residue beneath the chamber and bore with a brass brush and a quality gun cleaning solution
- Wipe the pistol’s exterior using a clean microfiber cloth
- Add a thin layer of gun oil onto internal and external metal components
Smith & Wesson advises against immersing your 9mm metal components in solvent for too long to prevent damaging the pistol. They also suggest avoiding strong ammoniated solvents because it can strip the firearm of its protective finishes.
This version of the M&P was launched in 2017. It has the same high performance as the M&P 9mm but with a few enhancements. Upgrades in the M&P 2.0 pistol include:
- 4.25 inch barrel length
- Weighs two ounces less than its predecessor
- Better textured grips for improved traction in wet conditions
The improvements to the M&P M2.0 pistol’s size and weight make it a better choice for concealed carry over the standard M&P 9mm.
Smith & Wesson also took the time to enhance the slide by making it thinner and easier to conceal the pistol. Despite this slimmer feature, the pistol’s stainless steel chassis is larger than the standard M&P 9mm, and it extends to the firearm’s dust cover at the front of its frame. This change significantly reduces stress on the frame when firing the gun.
The new textured grips are one of the most significant improvements to the M2.0. The grip has deeper grooves to prevent your hand from slipping, even if it is clammy or wet. The texture’s appearance is subtle, but you will undoubtedly feel the difference.
Smith & Wesson’s successful M2.0 is available in two variances: the M&P Shield 2.0 and the M&P 2.0 Compact.
M&P Shield 2.0
This variation of the M2.0 is perfect for concealed carry, thanks to its size. With a length of 6.5 inches, a barrel length of 3.3 inches, and a weight of 20.5 ounces without a magazine, this is one of Smith & Wesson’s best concealed carry firearms.
With a textured grip similar to the M2.0, the Shield 2.0 has significant traction. It is slim enough to fit snuggly in the shooter’s hands, regardless if they are left or right-handed.
The M&P Shield 2.0 comes with two magazines. The standard magazine holds six rounds plus one in the chamber, and the extended clip comes with seven rounds plus one. The extended clip provides a longer grip, making the firearm more comfortable for a large hand to hold compared to the flush fit seven-round magazine.
You can purchase it with or without an external thumb safety depending on how much protection you prefer against accidental misfires.
Additional features of the M&P Shield 2.0 are:
- 3-dot sights
- Striker fire
Advantages of the M&P Shield 2.0
One of the best aspects of the M&P Shield 2.0 is its concealability. It works well as an everyday carry, and it is reliable enough to shoot over a thousand rounds without encountering a malfunction. Its single-stack design also allows it to pair well with holsters, whether you prefer one that sits outside the waistband or one that fits close to your body, like an appendix carry.
Another advantage of this pistol is its larger trigger guard, which is ideal for glove-wearing operators. The trigger has the same pull weight as the original 9mm, but it requires the shooter to pull the trigger by squeezing near its bottom instead of its base. With this feature, you will be less likely to discharge the weapon accidentally, making it a safer product to carry.
Disadvantages of the M&P Shield 2.0
This pistol has significant stopping power, but its 3.3-inch barrel may negatively impact its accuracy if you attempt to shoot a target more than 25 yards away. Also, the M&P Shield 2.0 does not include a rail system.
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Compact
The M&P M2.0 Compact 9mm is the most recent addition to the M&P series. It is a direct competitor to the Glock 19 compact 9mm firearm, a popular choice for concealed carry.
This firearm is a striker-fired semi automatic pistol with a lightweight stainless steel and polymer frame. It is highly ambidextrous and ergonomic, maximizing comfort for all users. It will fit snuggly in your hand or holster, and it is small enough not to poke into chairs or car seats while in its sheath.
Thanks to the slight redesign of the grip texture and trigger, the M2.0 Compact is a top choice for law enforcement. It has aggressive stippling to maximize traction across a wide surface area. Some models like the M2.0 Compact 9mm Luger come with four interchangeable palm swell inserts so that the operator can customize the pistol grip to match their preference and hand size.
The trigger improvement makes it a top choice for defensive carry. When you pull the trigger, it will have an audible click. You will hear and feel the mechanism resetting. The M&P M2.0 Compact 9mm has a trigger break of a little over five pounds and a smooth pull with minimal stack.
Other features included with the M&P 2.0 Compact are:
- Durable Armornite rust-resistant finish over black stainless steel
- Low bore axis to reduce muzzle rise
- Steel white dot front sight and steel white two-dot rear sights
Advantages of the M&P 2.0 Compact
The Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact is ideal for home and personal protection, but there are several variations with specific designs to match law enforcement needs. Its reliability is exceptional, and because you can carry it every day for emergency protection, you can be confident the pistol will flawlessly fire whenever you pull the trigger. You can fire over a thousand rounds without incurring any problems.
The M&P M2.0 Compact is a striker fire pistol, so it uses a striker rod to discharge the weapon, not a hammer and firing pin. You must first chamber a round and cock the firearm by racking the slide and pulling the trigger to discharge the weapon.
Because the gun cannot fire without pulling on the trigger after racking the slide, the M2.0 Compact is considerably safe to carry with a round in the chamber. It also aids in defensive measures because you can engage the gun quickly when necessary.
Disadvantages of the M&P 2.0 Compact
The grip’s aggressive stippling is excellent for keeping your hand firmly on the firearm, but it can be problematic if you prefer to holster your gun in your waistband close to your body. The rough texture is comparable to sandpaper, and it can irritate bare skin if it rubs against the body frequently. You can mitigate this issue with a belt and holster that does not keep the grip in constant contact with your skin.
So What’s Our Final Verdict?
As one of the pioneers of American gun manufacturing, Smith & Wesson is a brand that understands the power of innovation, making it one of the industry’s leaders. For over 165 years, this company steadily introduces superior, top-performing products, and the M&P series is no exception.
Since its introduction, the first generation M&P 9mm has been a staple for individuals in law enforcement and the military. Still, the second generation improvements make this product line beneficial to everyone, including civilians who seek home or personal protection.
Whether you like the look and feel of the standard Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm or the thinner M&P 2.0, M&P Shield 2.0, or the M&P 2.0 Compact, you can be confident you have a comfortable-to-hold firearm by your side that will not let you down. These pistols boast the same performance level, high quality, and durability that make Smith & Wesson one of the country’s best manufacturers.
Converting Your Smith & Wesson M&P With An MCK
The Smith & Wesson M&P is an excellent 9mm handgun on it’s own, but can be an even more impressive firearm when used in conjunction with our Gen 2 MCK Micro Conversion Kit.
Our MCK 2.0 allows you to convert your Smith & Wesson M&P into the ultimate Smith & Wesson submachine gun. This lightweight platform features a barrel shroud made of aluminum and a polymer body.
The MCK Gen 2 also features an extended stabilizer, which enables one-handed firing for better shooting performance. The MCK is cost effective, easy to assemble and disassemble, and most importantly, can dramatically improve accuracy allowing you to shoot up to 200 yards.