Discussion in 'Range reports' started by gunbunny, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I recently bought my wife a S&W M&P, the Julie Goloski competition model in 9mm, for her to carry at work. She currently carrys a Walther P-990 while on duty. She qualifies in two weeks. Previously, she came within 1 point of a perfect score on qualification several times. For some reason she likes the long, quirky trigger on the Walther.

    I have to say, I was a little hesitant to get a S&W auto. The Sigma series was just plain crap, and I never liked their first tries at autoloading pistols in the 80's. My uncle had one in 40S&W that shot well, but the frame cracked. He sent it back to S&W, and they replaced the pistol. But still, you shouldn't have to worry about something like that.

    I probably would have never considered getting the S&W, but a friend of mine that I trust, worked at a local gunshop and had a chance to shoot just about everything that came in. He really liked the M&P pistol series. So I trusted his opinion on that and when I saw the price for the competition package, I jumped on it.

    We've been shooting it on the weekends to practice for her qualification, and have a little over 1000 rounds through the pistol. The 17 round magazines are nice, getting two more rounds in than her Walther.

    Although she is not allowed to use the pink backstraps that came with the pistol for duty, the black small sized backstrap works great for her. It definetly fits the hand a better than a Glock. The angle is more raked and feels a bit more comfortable.

    The pistol has been fed an unsteady diet of 115gr FMJs, 124gr Hornady XTP with 5.0gr of Unique, 147gr Rainier TMJ with 4.3 gr of Unique (subsonic), and a few other odd boxes that I had laying around. I wanted to see how it acted with mixed ammunition.

    Her first groups averaged 4" at 25 yards. They were all 1-2 " to the left of the target. She wanted me to move the sight, but I had a feeling that she wasn't used to the gun yet. We shot some more, and her groups got closer and closer to center. I believe she was just not quite used to the new trigger, and practice makes perfect.

    The trigger is really nice. It is light, much shorter than her Walther, and feels much more consistant than a stock Glock trigger. Unfortunatly, the reset is quite a bit longer than a Glock, so double taps are a little harder to do well without more practice. Her Walther has a horrid reset- almost all the way back to the trigger's starting position (it's not a QA) before you can pull to trip it again.

    My wife keeps commenting about how much she likes the sights. The front is a red firesight, and the rear is a drift adjustable competition type sight. I've noticed that it has a slightly wider slot than what I'm used to (Glock), but it allows the front sight to be centered easily, without having to "hunt" for the sweet spot. I thought the fire sight would be distracting, but when concentrating on the front sight, it doesn't really take away from the out-of-focus target.

    One problem that we did encounter was the slide stop. It is a but small, and even inset into the frame. I even had trouble releasing the slide on a full magazine. I could only do it when I shifted my grip. It has gotten a little easier to do since 1000 rounds went down the pipe.

    After talking to several people about it (some of them certified Glock armorers) we got a lecture and better understanding about the difference between a slide stop and a slide release. My wife even E-mailed Julie Goloski (from her website) and got a answer from her! It feels good to know that there are people that actually care when their name is on a product, and will help when asked.

    Julie recommends letting the pistol do all the work; when reloading seat the fresh magazine with some force, and the slide will release on it's own. Iv'e seen my wife do this many times, but I am somewhat old-fashioned. I am not used to the pistol being designed to do this- it is usually a malfunction of the slide stop (worn out) that releases the slide when manipulated like this. Not so says Julie, and I will take her word for that. From now on, slam the magazines home we will.

    Our next problem is with holsters. I had a heck of a time finding a duty holster that would fit the 9mm M&P and my wife. Safariland makes a few Level 3 retention holsters that cost $300. That's almost what I paid for the gun. We decided to go with a Blackhawk Serpa triple retention holster to fit her duty belt. I'll have to review this later, as it is still on the way.

    Take-down was not a problem with the M&P. There is one more step than usual- you have to pull a little wire out of the way. This is the sear engagement release. You don't have to pull the trigger like a Glock (although I don't have a problem with that) you have to take a little hook like tool and put it in the ejection port and pull it down out of the way. You can do it easily with your fingernail, too. The rest is like any other ploymer pistol- pull slide back, rotate take-down lever, pull off slide, remove the captured spring and guide, remove barrel, and wipe down. Assembly is reverse, and just as easy.

    I was on the S&W website the other day, and seen that there are several interesting kits and variations to the M&P line. There is a full size .22lr version of the M&P with a 12 round magazine. S&W makes a version of the M&P with a factory extended and threaded barrel. I really had to look at this closely. I might be buying a threaded barrel from S&W in the near future. Gemtec makes a wonderful 9mm suppressor with multiple tread adapters- so one suppressor can be used on pistols with the nelson device adapter, or carbines with a regular 1/2x28 tpi thread. Other oddballs are available, like MAC threads and the metrics for those out there that just HAVE to have their HK's.

    Overall, I can say that I am impressed with the M&P. It is NOT a redesigned Sigma; it has nothing in common. This is a quality duty pistol that just took over 1000 rounds and still looks new in the box. It was shot in the rain, cleaned and put away for a week. No corrosion was found anywhere. I feel pretty confident that it will serve my wife for many years to come.
  2. ISplatU

    ISplatU Monkey+

    Yep, I am happy with mine! Had it now for 3 plus years. My first pistol. M&P is great.
  3. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    A friend of mine has both the M&P 40 (new) and the M&P 40 Compact (from a retired policeman). He had a tough time deciding between that and the XDm (which I have).

    After shooting about 30 rounds from his M&P, it feels very much like my XDm. I can see why they're popular; if I had to start over, it would be a great choice - although my personal choice would still be the XDm because I'm more accustomed to it.

    The M&P 40 is 2 full ounces lighter than my XDm 40 when both are empty (we weighed them on my kitchen scale). The XDm slide is about 2mm taller than the M&P, which is probably where the weight is saved.

    Congrats on a great tool!
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Since an American company now owns S&W, they seem to be making a lot better choices. I'm going to be picking up one or two of the S&W MP-15's soon. I do like their M&P pistols, but I love the XD's almost as much as 1911's.

    Thanks for the review!
    Brokor likes this.
  5. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    love my M&P's
    actually bought a second one off a buddy who needed to part with his
    the safariland holster is great too, easy to use, good support
    and the hood is an easy arm rest lol
    my daughter has taken to asking me to go to shoot pistol so it wouldn't surprise me to see another pink firearm in my safe.
    good to hear good reviews of the Golowski model.
  6. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I think Smith & Wesson has a great product in the M&P line-up. I have a full size .40 and recently picked up the M&P Shield in 9mm. The Shield makes for a good conceal-carry firearm with its smaller frame and single stack magazine.
  7. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I forget that I wrote this review.

    It's been a year and a half, and I can add a little to the review for the long term. My wife still carries it every day on duty, and has to qualify two times a year with it. She still likes the pistol, and although it has gotten it's share of hard knocks (doorjambs, chairs and whatnot while she maneuvers around wearing this big, clunky duty belt), it still looks really nice. The baseplate of the magazine seems to take the brunt of the hits and scratches, leaving the grip relatively unscathed. The baseplates are easily replaced.

    The Blackhawk Serpa triple retention holster works well for her, she hasn't had any problems or hesitation when practicing drawing. The holster, though, has taken a few door jam hits and is scratched up a bit. I did buy the S&W M&P CO2 pistol for her to practice drawing with her Serpa. I have a small pellet and BB trap set up for her in the basement. I wouldn't want her to be out of practice for the draw...

    Other than that, the pistol and holster combo seems to fit her really well, she hasn't complained to me about it at all- and if there was a problem, I would have heard it from her- believe me.
    kellory and Yard Dart like this.
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