Survival Think Tank just picked up a new Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9mm pistol, so naturally it was time to get to the range to see how it would hold up. All it all it was a solid shooter. There were no failure to feed or failure to eject malfunctions noted. 500 rounds were shot through this weapon on this visit to the range.
New S&W M&P 9mm
The very first mag produced the following group at a range of 21 feet. Not bad for the first mag and for not having visited the range since January. I was a little rusty and the groups improved as I warmed up and familiarized myself with the M&P.
M&P In Front of 4x6 Notecard
The things I liked about the pistol:
- Metal sights standard out of the box
- 3 grip choices with easy 5 second change (I like large)
- Ambi slide release
- Can switch mag release for left hand accommodation if you desire
- Visual chamber indicator (not mechanical), you actually see brass
- Smooth trigger
Things that I think could be improved, but I'm just being really picky:
- Long travel on trigger reset (in the video you see me pull on one of the shots because I'm used to the Glock 34 reset).
- Could enable me to shoot dime sized groups every time...oh wait, that's just my lack of practice!
The M&P was not the only firearm I brought to the range today. I also brought my trusty Glock 34 and my Ruger Mark III. I never go to the range without a good .22 pistol. They are lots of fun and CHEAP to shoot.
From left: M&P, G34, Ruger Mark III
I was also at the range with my best friend. He purchased a Generation 4 Glock 17 on the same day I bought my M&P. He didn't have my same luck as he experienced multiple FTFs (failures to feed) and one FTE (failure to eject). Photos follow.
Gen 4 Glock 17 Failures to Feed
Gen 4 Glock 17 Failure to Eject
Despite the bad day for his Glock, he's optimistic that it is just going through a break-in period and that these malfunctions will cease after a few hundred more rounds. I don't share his optimism. I might be compelled to send this back to Glock if it were my pistol. That many failures could either indicate a lemon or a larger production issue. This is strange as I've never owned or known anyone that owned a Glock that malfunctioned like this. He used multiple magazines and multiple ammo types. Malfunctions occurred with more than one type of ammo.
UPDATE on the Gen 4 Glock FTF/FTE problem:
Nah, [industry expert] predicted it would happen with the more lightly loaded ammo I was using. Much domestic ammo is loaded to traditional 9mm specs which would NOT blow up your grandaddy's Luger or Browning Hi Power. Modern NATO spec is hotter stuff, higher velocity. He recommended I use European ammo like Fiocchi or Sellier and Beliot (S and B).
This is happening fairly often with the new Gen4 G17s. Obvious (and most agreed upon) cause is the stiff new recoil spring. Many competitors use soft springs with custom handloaded ammo to get the softest recoil possible, therefore faster back on target, less muzzle rise, etc. More powerful ammo needs a more powerful spring to counteract all of that rearward momentum of the slide.
Clear as beer? I can send you a link from M4carbine.net but I figured you'd like it in officer dummy talk ;)There is a thread discussion on this issue at m4carbine.net here. You don't need to register but you can and the forum is full of good info.
In summary I really enjoyed the M&P. I'm hesitant to recommend it until I put it through all it's paces but so far, it's doing really, really well. I can say that I might wait a little bit and do some deep research before thinking of purchasing a Gen 4 Glock 9mm. After what I saw my friend go through, I want to make sure it was only his pistol before investing my money (and maybe my life) in a weapon with multiple malfunctions from day one out of the box.
In the following video you'll see me shooting the M&P and there is even some footage of my friend shooting his Gen 4 G17. Good stuff!