Smith & Wesson, established 166 years ago, have always been noted for their quality, attention to detail and innovative designs. Their historical contributions to modern firearm development are legend, and continue to this day. And so it was in 2005, with their introduction of the S&W M&P (Military & Police) range of polymer framed pistols.
I recently tested S&W’s recent offering in this series, the M&P 9 M2.0 Compact. On opening the very neat, lockable plastic case with the S&W M&P M2.0 logo neatly moulded into the lid, I was delighted with the package presentation. Not only is this a very good-looking pistol, but three 15-round magazines are supplied as standard. In addition there were two grip spacers, a comprehensive user manual, lock, and three additional back-strap adapters.
Finished in Armornite, both slide and barrel are machined from a single billet of stainless steel. The slide has stylish, matching fish-scale traction-cuts both front and back, offering secure purchase when racking the slide for cocking, unloading and malfunction clearance drills. The sights are all-steel, slotted into dovetail cut-outs. The foresight sports a single white dot and is slightly ramped to avoid snaring during a draw. The rear sight with two white dots is notched on its forward surface – an innovative feature for one-handed racking of the slide on your belt, holster or pocket-lip.
Even with my long reach, the rear sight provides enough light on both sides of the front blade – crucial to a tactical pistol. Sight radius is 160mm – longer than I would have expected on a compact pistol. Aftermarket ‘night sights’are available from Trijicon.
The S&W M2.0 uses a conventional barrel lock-up system and the slide is propelled into battery by a captured, coil spring. A very neat hex-bolt head screws into a steel one-piece guide rod, capturing the spring, a system becoming popular with modern pistol designs.
The magazine-release can be relocated to accommodate left-handed shooters. Magazines are steel with an array of witness holes on both sides – a nice feature on double-stack magazines, enabling you to see at a glance how many rounds remain. The pistol with magazine empty weighs 680.40 grams. The barrel is 10.2cm (4ꞌꞌ) long. There is a loaded-chamber witness hole atop the slide at the chamber mouth. The external extractor seems massive on this compact and I doubt there will ever be any extraction problems.
Fit and finish are first class: I could find no machine marks inside or out. There are three Picatinny slots moulded into the frame’s full-length dust cover for attaching tactical lights, lasers and training aids. The slide-release is ambidextrous and recessed tightly into the frame, maintaining the pistol’s slim, snag-free profile. Initially I thought this would be difficult to operate with the strong-hand thumb, but during live-fire exercises it worked perfectly.
Read the full article in the December 2018 issue of Magnum