The Smith & Wesson M&P (Military and Police) is a polymer-framed, short recoil-operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistol introduced in the summer of 2005 by the American company Smith & Wesson. It uses a Browning-type locking system. While targeted at law enforcement agencies, the M&P is also available on the commercial market.
The Smith & Wesson M&P is a striker-fired, polymer-framed, short recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol. Its basic design is based off the unsuccessful Smith & Wesson Sigma, although they do not share any interchangeable parts.
The M&P design features enhanced ergonomics that allow for end user customization of the grip frame. This includes a reversible magazine release for either left or right-handed shooters, and an optional manual safety lever on some models. The M&P features an improved trigger that prevents the firearm from discharging unless the trigger is fully depressed, a full-length industry standard 1913 Picatinny accessory rail on the dust cover, and a higher grip has been afforded with an improved grip design and integrated beaver tail at the rear of the grip frame.
The M&P can be field stripped without any tools, and without pulling the trigger by locking the slide back, and moving the take-down lever 90 degrees clockwise. Remove the frame tool out of the grip by first removing the magazine from the pistol, then by turning the protruding base of the frame tool 1/4 turn to the right or left, and then pulling it straight out. Use the frame tool to move the sear deactivation lever into the downward position (painted a yellow-ish green color) in the magazine well, accessing it through the ejection port, then move the slide forward, and carefully remove it from the grip frame rails. Remove the recoil spring and the barrel assembly from the slide, and the weapon is now field stripped into its four basic components.
Most M&Ps are virtually identical in appearance; however, the .45 ACP variant (M&P45) is proportionally bigger than the others, due to accommodation for the .45 ACP cartridge, and the M&P Shield is slimmer (utilizing a single-stack magazine, and is only 1" thick) and smaller in overall size.
Some M&Ps feature an optional frame-mounted lever safety.
The Smith & Wesson M&P stock iron sights utilize a three-dot system; two dots on the rear sight, and one dot on the front sight. The dots must be lined up to obtain a correct sight picture, with the focus being on the front sight dot. The front and rear sights are dove-tailed into the slide, and can be replaced with aftermarket upgrades - tritium night sights, fiber optic, and adjustable target sights are available for all M&P model pistols.
Manual of arms
All Smith & Wesson M&Ps are striker-fired, polymer-framed pistols. They, like most all modern semi-automatic pistols, feature a slide release that, when the magazine is emptied, the follower pushes the magazine release up and the slide will lock open, either manually, or after the last round is fired from the pistol.
They feed from box magazines with varying capacities, dependent on caliber of the model, and the state regulations they are manufactured to meet. They vary from 17 round magazines in the full-sized models down to 12 rounds in the compact frame models, and 10 round magazines in states that enforce restricted magazine capacity for all M&P model pistols.
The magazine is inserted straight into the magazine well, until a click is heard. It should be pushed firmly into place to ensure it is locked in. To chamber a cartridge, either pull the slide back and release it, or if the slide is locked open, insert a loaded magazine fully, then depress the slide release and let the slide go forward under its own inertia. Obtain a proper grip on the pistol, a proper sight picture, disengage the safety if so equipped, and squeeze the trigger to the rear to fire the weapon.
Once the magazine is empty, the slide will lock back. When the magazine release is depressed, the magazine will drop free from the weapon.
The M&P can be field stripped without any tools, and without pulling the trigger; remove the magazine, lock the slide back, and move the take-down lever 90 degrees clockwise. Take the frame tool out of the grip by turning it 1/4 turn to the right or left, and pull it downward and out of the grip frame. Use the frame tool to move the sear deactivation lever downwards, towards the bottom of the slide, accessing it through the ejection port . Once the lever has been flipped downwards, take firm hold of the slide with your dominant hand and release the slide lock lever with your free hand. While still gripping the slide firmly, allow the slide to move forward, carefully removing it from the frame rails. Remove the recoil spring and the barrel assembly, and the weapon is now field stripped. To reactivate the sear once the pistol is reassembled, simply reinsert the magazine fully into the magwell. The magazine will force the sear deactivation lever back into its original position. Test for function, and the pistol is ready to go.
A light coat of oil should be placed on any internal metal parts, and the slide rails should always be kept lubricated.
The Smith & Wesson M&P comes in the following calibers in either full size (4.25 in.) or in a compact version (3.5 in.):
- .22 LR (The compact version does not come in this caliber.)
- 9x19mm Parabellum
- .40 S&W
- .357 SIG (Though now discontinued)
- .45 ACP, introduced in 2007
- M&P9 - Full size, 4.25 inch barrel, 17+1 capacity, 9mm
- M&P9c - Compact, 3.5 inch barrel, 12+1 capacity, 9mm
- M&P9L - 5 in. barrel, 9mm, 17+1 capacity.
- M&P9 Pro Series - 5 in. barrel, 17+1 capacity, 9mm.
- M&P9 JG - Pink Grip Inserts, upgraded sights, Designed in Collaboration with Julie Goloski-Golob.
- M&P40 - Full size, 4.25 inch barrel, 15+1 capacity, .40 S&W
- M&P40c - Compact, 3.5 inch barrel, 10+1 capacity, .40 S&W
- M&P40 Pro Series - Weighs less, 4.25 oz barrel, 15+1 capacity, .40 S&W.
- M&P40 Pro Series 5" - 5 in. barrel, 15+1 capacity, .40 S&W.
- M&P45c – Compact Size, 4 in. barrel, 8+1 capacity, .45 ACP.
- M&P45 – Mid-Size, 4 in. barrel, .45 ACP, 10+1 capacity.
- M&P45 – Full Size, 4.5 in. barrel, .45 ACP, 10+1 capacity.