I’ve been enjoying my original M&P M2.0 Compact for a couple of years now, but when the optics-ready version was released that also included Smith & Wesson’s new flat-face trigger, I knew it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on one. Thankfully, Smith & Wesson was kind enough to send me this one, and I’m very glad they did.
UNBOXING & FIRST THOUGHTS
Smith & Wesson made sure to include many of the accessories that you’d use to make the pistol suit whatever task is at hand. In the box, you’ll find four different backstrap sizes, two 15-round magazines, seven optic-mounting plates, and two magazine sleeves in case you want to use 17-round full-size M&P magazines.
Picking the pistol up out of the box, the grip texture feels great. The grip itself is just long enough to have my pinky securely rest on it and gives it almost a full-size feel. Aesthetically, it’s a great-looking gun in my opinion. Clean slide serrations, tall white dot sights, and a Picatinny-style accessory rail contribute to the aesthetics.
FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS
Many manufacturers are making the switch over to flat-face triggers, and I’m all for it. Smith & Wesson hit the nail on the head with this trigger. It has a lighter trigger pull than the previous model and a smooth uptake with a crisp and clean break. Overall, it’s a big improvement over the previous model, and I found a noticeable positive difference in my follow-up shots.
The other top feature is the optics-ready slide. Whether you’re looking to mount a Trijicon, Vortex, or another top-rated red dot, you’ll be able to do so thanks to the seven included adapters. I’ve yet to come across one that I couldn’t mount (that at least fit the footprint of course). If you choose not to mount an optic right away, you can simply keep the provided cover plate on for a clean finish.
Attention to detail can also be seen in the smaller parts of the gun, such as the slide stop and magazine release. The slide stop is ambidextrous and the magazine release is reversible. S&W even has a patented takedown lever and sear-deactivation system that will allow you to dissemble the firearm without having to pull the trigger. Not having to pull the trigger to disassemble is a much-appreciated safety feature.
I know that specifications can be found all over the internet and can be quite boring, but some of you enjoy the granular details, so here you go.
Having a lot of fancy features is great, but only if you can shoot the gun well. Next, I’ll talk about what I’ve experienced from a reliability and accuracy perspective.
RANGE REPORT: RELIABILITY & ACCURACY
While ammo prices still haven’t stabilized completely, I have not been able to stop shooting this gun every time I’m at the range. I now have just over 1,100 rounds through it, and it’s been promoted to one of my top carry guns. I always try to have at least 500 rounds through a gun before I consider carrying it, but this one performed so well after 350 or so, that it made the cut. I’d estimate that out of the 1,100 rounds roughly 20 percent have been defensive rounds, mostly Federal HST and Punch. I would venture to say I’ve had no more than 10 failures, most of which were with some questionable ammo.
When it comes to accuracy, I can honestly say it’s one of the best-shooting guns I own. With that being said, I’d like to remind you that I’ve had the previous M&P for years and have put a ton of rounds through it. This pistol, while different and upgraded, is still familiar to me, which helps. When shooting indoors, I can usually maintain 4-inch groupings out to 10 yards, and when outdoors I can consistently place hits on an 8-inch gong out to 25 yards. For my skill set, I’m happy with those numbers.
Whether you currently own any M&Ps or not, this is one I highly suggest you check out. I would even suggest upgrading if you have the previous M2.0 so you get the new trigger and optics-ready slide. There are not many features left that I could see being upgraded from the factory, so I imagine this specific gun will remain in my EDC rotation for a very long time.