Range Report: M&P 9mm compact
Well, last week I sold off two of my guns to fund this purchase and some accessories and ammo for it.
I ordered it from expresspolicesupply.com, which gave me law enforcement pricing. Props here for outstanding service and communication- one of their people noticed that the takedown lever doesn't stay in the down position, and he called S&W about it and then e-mailed me asking if I wanted it sent to the factory to be fixed first.
He didn't know that this is a pretty common and minor issue that works itself out pretty quickly, but I was really glad that they noticed and contacted me.
Anyway, it came with a free Serpa holster for it, which I find to be a very well-designed paddle holster. Not too concealable, but I like the solid locking positions for the adjustable cant.
So I also ordered XS Big Dot night sights, 500 rounds of Sellier and Bellot 9mm ball, 60 rounds of 124 gr. +P SB Gold Dots, and a Supertuck (Still waiting on that).
I picked it up at my LGS on Monday, had them install the sights (They didn't Loctite them, and the gun groups consistently to the left, so it wasn't a great job, but the rest of their service is pretty good).
And yesterday afternoon I took it out to the range. Ran about 200 rounds through it, a full magazine of Gold Dots through each of the three magazines (LEO guns come with three instead of two, and S&W was kind enough to include two with the finger grip extension and only one with the flat base plate) as a function check, then straight ball. Would have shot more, but I had to pick my wife up from work.
I'm not a fantastic shot by any means, and I want to emphasize here that Big Dots are NOT by any means bullseye sights. My fair-to-middling skill, the size of the gun, and the huge front sight made staying on a sheet of paper at 75 feet a little more work than usual (I had about 75% of my shots on that sheet after the first few magazines- it takes a little bit to get used to aiming with the Big Dot).
However, at 10 yards, 7 yards, and 3 yards, I found the Big Dots to be extremely fast on target. I shot much faster with the same level of accuracy that I was shooting three-dot sights with previously. All my shots went into a paper plate or sheet of paper at those ranges, and I was shooting as fast as possible.
No malfunctions of any kind occurred during this range session.
Brief comment on the ammo- my practice ammo was S&B 115-gr. FMJ. This was without a doubt the dirtiest ammo I have ever shot. Shot reliably and accurately, and I hear it's loaded a little hot, but my gun was filthy, and so were my hands. A couple times I felt particles hitting me in the face.
COMMENTS ON THE GUN:
1. It has remarkably little recoil. With the finger extension magazines, it's virtually nonexistent- not quite as little as a .22, unlike any other 9mm I've ever shot (XD subcompact was close, but subjectively, I thought the Glock 19, H&K P7 were harder to handle). I could have shot thousands of rounds through that little gun without a problem. With the flat base plate magazine, the recoil is still nonexistent, but the gun jumps around a little more and you need a firmer grip.
No noticeable difference in recoil between the 124-gr. +P GDHPs and the S&B 115-gr. ball, but this may be because S&B loads hot.
2. Maybe I'm drinking S&W Kool-Aid, but I've never had a malfunction with either of the M&Ps I've owned. (Full-size .40 and this one).
3. The modified slide release that's slightly wider on the new guns works like a charm. The old ones were really hard to operate until the gun broke in, and you would have to slingshot it for a while. The new ones- no problem.
4. Subjectively, compared to other compact guns in this category, I felt that the M&P was shorter from magazine well to slide than the Glock 26 or the XD subcompact, but the barrel is a tad longer than the latter. I like the balance there- I prefer a slightly longer slide and barrel with a shorter grip for concealability.
5. The finger grip extensions on the two mags that have them work like a charm. Slightly bobtailed, and the finger extension is hollow, so they're only a fraction heavier and still incredibly easy to conceal- but you get a lot more control out of them. I would recommend using these all the time.
6. I love this little gun very much and it now goes with me everywhere.