Introduced in late 2019, the Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Subcompact pairs the popular M&P M2.0 design with a subcompact build, all in 9mm. Offering yet another option to concealed carriers in search of a polymer pistol, I tested this gun over the course of several months to find out if the M2.0 Subcompact lived up to the Smith & Wesson name.
Boasting a 12+1 capacity with an extended mag, 11+1 with the flush fit mag, the M2.0 Subcompact measures slightly larger than the company’s popular concealed carry pistol, the Shield, coming in around 6.6-inches in overall length with a 3.6-inch barrel and weight of 25-ounces. (For comparison, the Shield measures 6.1-inches in length, features a 3.1-inch barrel, and 20.8-ounce weight.)
The M2.0 Subcompact adopts a polymer frame with a stainless-steel slide, outfitted with slide serrations for easier manipulation. The slide serrations did their job, enabling me to rack the slide with ease, despite sweaty, range hands. The gun brings four interchangeable palmswell grip inserts so shooters can dial a better, more comfortable grip. For me, I swapped the medium out for a small — as my hands are rather petite — and I immediately noticed the gun fit better in my hand. This translated to better shots on target at the range in addition to quicker follow-ups, as I didn’t have to readjust my grip as often. The palmswell inserts may not seem like a bonus feature to some, but for micro warriors like myself, they make a big difference.
The M2.0 Subcompact sports standard white dot sights, which, in an age of tritium and fiber optic, seem a little lackluster; but this is the base model, so it’s not an utter surprise Smith & Wesson opted to keep it simple. On paper, the sights can get a little lost — especially if you are shooting at white targets. My advice, invest in some nice black targets and you’ll be fine.
For those that prefer it, Smith & Wesson does offer a manual safety equipped model; though, for this review, I went with a model that didn’t have it.
On the Range
After a quick 100 round first look, I took this gun to the range for more extensive testing over the course of several months. Every time I picked this gun up, I noticed just how smooth it felt. It’s one of the most comfortably models to shoot. The controls feel like butter, everything just working fluidly together — there’s no grit here!
The controls are located well, easy to reach and manipulate. Even with a smaller stature shooter like myself behind the wheel, the M&P M2.0 Subcompact made dropping mags and slides a breeze.
I found the slightly larger size of the Subcompact, compared to the Shield, to be more advantageous when shooting. That heavier, double stack build really lends itself to recoil management, giving me more to grab onto while firing.
Speaking of firing, I put plenty of rounds down range — everything from American Eagle to Hornady Critical Defense and Winchester White Box — to evaluate this pistol. I was pleased to see that the gun handled every bit of ammo with no hiccups. In fact, I suffered no malfunctions at all during my time with the M2.0 Subcompact.
My only gripe, aside from those pesky white dot sights, was the grip texture. In my first look, I noted the texturing felt okay and didn’t bother me; but this, my friends, is why we didn’t more testing. Because after 500 rounds, my hands suddenly didn’t prefer the feel of the M2.0. The texture was a tad too aggressive for my liking, leaving my hands red and raw. Now, I will admit that I have sensitive hands and for most of you this won’t be an issue, but for those like me it’s worth mentioning. To compensate for the grip texture, I ultimately threw on a pair of shooting gloves which allowed me to continue shooting with less pain.
Concealed Carry with the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Subcompact
Though the Subcompact and Shield only differ in mere millimeters lengthwise, the double stack build does mean its width is a tad larger. The result? Concealment can be a little tricky if you prefer tighter clothes.
I ran the M2.0 Subcompact along with one of my favorite fabric holsters, the Can Can Concealment Hip Hugger. This holster flawlessly hides my Shield on the go and I was curious how well it would do with the Subcompact. For the most part, the Can Can/Subcompact pairing handled concealment well; but I prefer looser fitting apparel. I didn’t struggle in 90 percent of my clothes, but the few shirts I dug out that cling a little tighter to my curves did cause me to print — more so than I do with the Shield. Chalk this up to that double stack build.
That being said, this is still a viable option for concealed carry. As always, you might have to play around with your fashion to find options that work for you, your style, and your body. The plus side to concealing with the Subcompact, though, was the meatier grip allowed me to dig in more, resulting in a smoother draw from the holster.
After several hundred rounds down range and carrying on and off for a couple of months — where do I stand on the Subcompact? If you’re trying to hit that sweet spot between micro-compact and midsize, the Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Subcompact definitely takes the win.
With easy to reach controls, comfortable shooting, and a really nice movement to it overall, it’s an easy choice for those seeking subcompacts. The base model M&P9 M2.0 Subcompact retails for $569.