First Look: S&W M&P C.O.R.E.

The S&W M&P line has been joined by the Pro Series CORE (Competition Optic Ready Equipment), a new series of optic ready pistols.  The CORE will be available with a 4.25″ or 5″ slide in 9mm and .40.  This sample, just received from my friends at Lipsey’s Wholesale Firearms Distributors, is a 5″ 9mm.

The CORE comes with 3 magazines, the set of 3 backstraps with the new texture, and an optic mounting adapter kit. Oh, and a bunch of other stuff that you won’t look at.

The distinguishing feature of the CORE is a machined pocket in the top of the slide that allows the mounting of various optics.  Taller iron sights with a 3 dot pattern are incorporated into the slide to allow cowitness of the sights through the optic.

The slide comes with a plastic cover that covers the mounting pocket. The extra tall rear sight uses a dovetail that is different than the other M&P pistols.

A kit of adapter plates and screws is included in the case.

The adapter plates for the CORE allow the mounting of the Trijicon RMR, Docter Optic, CMore STS, Leupold Deltapoint, Insight MRDS, and JPoint.

An instruction sheet is included, which helps the user match their desired optic with the correct adapter plate and screws.

The CORE uses an extra tall front sight.

The extra tall rear sight sits in a smaller dovetail to allow space for the optic mount.

Another new feature of the CORE is a new backstrap with a more aggressive texture.  Each of the three included interchangeable backstraps has this pattern, and it is fairly sticky in the hand without being very abrasive.

In dry fire and manipulation, this pistol is otherwise exactly the same as any other M&P.  As with other Pro Models, the trigger takeup and break are improved over the typical M&P, which can vary from heinous to pretty good.  The Performance Center sear makes for a very workable trigger, something I wish they did to all the production guns.

Though this pistol’s name targets a competition market, the application of the pistol mounted red dot for service use is continuing to mature.  This pistol is a strong step in the right direction to allowing users to integrate optics without expensive aftermarket machining.  At an MSRP of $729, you are optic ready without breaking the bank.

Stay tuned for a more detailed look inside the gun as well as a range report.

This entry was posted in Modern Service Pistols and tagged , by Hilton Yam. Bookmark the permalink.

About Hilton Yam

Hilton Yam is the founder of 10-8 Performance, LLC. He is a full time law enforcement officer in Florida with extensive experience working robbery and violent fugitives. He is currently assigned to firearms training and SWAT. He is a team leader as well as the lead instructor for his team, responsible for providing training in firearms, CQB, rappelling, defensive tactics, and team tactics. Hilton is also responsible for RDT&E of equipment. He has carried a 1911 extensively on duty, and has spent a great deal of time examining what makes the guns succeed and fail.

8 thoughts on “First Look: S&W M&P C.O.R.E.

  1. I’m staying tuned for future posts on this. I’m excited to see another promising factory option for a slide-mounted red dot. I think, at this point, it may only be another ~5 years before the technology is really there for a robust, reliable setup that’s widely available. +1’d, tweeted, FB shared twice, and followed your RSS feed! 😉

  2. Like Travis said, I too am looking forward to seeing the red dot technology advance. I just hope it doesn’t take 5 years. Hilton, please keep me inform on how this setup works.

  3. Interesting to see that, when choosing sides in the great “rear sight in front of or behind the MRDS” debate, S&W has chosen the latter.

    I note that S&W has included a lock on this model. Here’s hoping that a lockless SKU will be made available, as well as thumb-safety models for those who like that option.

  4. “without expensive aftermarket machining”
    Yet this gun is $135 more dealer cost and $160 more retail.
    Also, please keep in mind this is for “Competition”. Personally I would not want the loose fit if carrying for “duty use”.

    • Doug:
      Points well taken. As with all comparisons of factory “do-all” and dedicated custom work by masters such as yourself, it’s not an apples to apples comparison. The CORE is a Pro Series gun, and the standard Pro Series 5″ is MSRP $669, and the 5″ CORE is MSRP $729. The retail customer surely is getting their $60 worth, but I will be evaluating the platform critically to see if the adapters will hold up to service use. Don’t worry, the slide you cut for me is still my primary…. :)

      • Yeah, it’s just that knowing the variance in sizes of MRDS, S&W simply can not make a tight fitting mount. Therefore all the stress is placed on the 2 small mounting screws. Because of this I don’t think it’s good for duty use. Comp. sure!

  5. I have a deltapoint mounted on my 9pro and love it. I commend Smith&Wesson for taking the next step. Looking forward to getting my hands on one of these.

  6. I kinda want this in an “L” instead of the Pro, with a thumbsafety, and teh Apex FSS trigger kit. I like the texture on the back, glad to see smith keeping up.

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