This past Friday I picked up a Smith & Wesson M&P9 Pro to use as my primary competition pistol. I have been shooting Glock pistols for around 2 years and recently I’ve become interested in this particular model. I headed to Carolina Gunrunners in North Raleigh and picked it up, and decided to give it a whirl. Keep in mind that I am a Glock fanboy, so while I am going to try be as objective as possible, I’m a Glock guy.
I generally shoot IDPA SSP, which requires a pretty stock pistol. I’ve recently begun working on a higher grip, which while helping me to shoot faster with less muzzle rise, it is causing me to get some slide bite on my Glocks. I looked into the Grip Force adapter for the Glocks, however, this would require me to change divisions, which isn’t something that I really want to do. The M&P has a rather large beaver tail at the rear of the frame which keeps the web of my hand well away from the slide when the pistol cycles, saving the web of my hand from slide bite.
The M&P9 Pro offers several features that made me interested over some others that are currently on the market.
The first feature that interested me was the interchangeable backstraps. The M&P offers 3 sizes of backstrap, I’ve been going in between the medium and large, and I’m not quite sure which one I will stick with. The backstraps are changed by removing a pin that goes up through the rear of the pistol frame, then pulling off the old, inserting the new, and replacing the pin.
The next feature was that the M&P comes from the factory with decent sights for competition. The rear sight is branded as a Novak sight, and the front is a rather narrow blade with a small green fiber optic in the center. While shooting the pistol in an IDPA match on Saturday, I did find that the rear sights notch is a little more narrow that I would like it, so I’m considering attacking it with a small file to open it up a few thousandths.
The fit and finish of the M&P was not quite as nice as a new Glock. The pistol had lots of plastic flashing left over from the molding process that I had to shave off with a razor blade, and the trigger pull was very gritty. I dont think anyone has ever raved about the out of the box trigger on an M&P, however this Pro model has an upgraded trigger over the standard M&P. The initial part of the pull feels like sandpaper, but once I reach the defined break point, the trigger is pretty short and smooth. The reset is much improved over a standard M&P, but still not Glock like.
I field stripped the pistol, and gave all of the internals a good once over, and found that the nubbin on the trigger bar that engages the striker block plunger has a real nasty edge left on it which is causing the gritty feel in the trigger take-up. I will attempt to stone this edge a little in an attempt to improve the trigger pull this evening.
Saturday I took the M&P to the range for the first time. After staying up way too late trying to make a serviceable holster out of some Kydex in the garage, I headed down to H2O Fowl Farms in Dunn, NC and entered their monthly IDPA match with the new M&P that until this point I had not fired a single round through. The pistol shot well, and during the match I did not notice the crappy trigger. I did find that the notch in the rear sight is a little too narrow for my taste, but other than that the pistol shot well.
All in all I think this was a good buy, however I’m not convinced that this pistol is better than a Glock. I’m going to give it a few thousand rounds to grow on me, and we will see if I become a convert.
I ended up giving the trigger a once over with a couple stones, and it improved the pull drastically. Details here: M&P Trigger Job.