M&P CORE: Range Report

After mounting the Trijicon RMR on the slide of the CORE, it was time to hit the range.  The RMR mounted on the CORE slide was only about .050″ higher above the boreline than my ATEi setup, so presentation was the same.  The longer, heavier top end of the CORE, with the additional combined weight of its 5″ barrel and long slide made for an extremely soft shooting gun.  In comparison, my  4.25″ barreled M&P seemed sharp in recoil. 

Unfortunately for the CORE, that was the biggest tick in the the “plus” side of the scoresheet, and I had a bunch on the “minus” side.  The factory trigger had a lot of grit in the take-up, as is typical with most new M&Ps.  The trigger bar, a stamped part, bears many small marks from the manufacturing process.  Each of these marks can be felt during the trigger movement.  By comparison, the Performance Center sear broke crisply and cleanly once you worked through the takeup.  The trigger reset was above average, and the newer M&Ps have been coming through with modified trigger bars which improve the sensation of reset.  We’ll talk more about those mods in a future article.

A quick trip to the workbench to clean up the trigger bar and check the surfaces on the sear yielded a very clean 6 lb 4 oz trigger pull.  For a gun without a manual safety, and potentially evaluated as a service weapon, I consider this a very acceptable pull weight.  In conjunction with the take-up in this trigger, it is something that you could comfortably and safely shoot with gloves on.  Once the take-up was cleaned up, shooting was much more pleasurable.

The accuracy of the CORE, another sore spot with the M&P, was nothing to write home about.  M&Ps tend to be both unpredictable in their out of the box accuracy, and extremely ammunition sensitive due to issues with twist rate and dwell time in their barrels.  I have gotten most of my guns to shoot well by figuring out what bullet weight worked best with the particular barrel setup.  However, as my collection of M&Ps has grown, my patience for this has diminished.  The CORE has yet to shoot much below 4″ at 25 yards with any of my preferred 147gr and 115gr loads, though it did shoot a 2″ cluster with some 124gr NATO ball which I can’t get to group in any other gun.  Just to make sure it wasn’t me, I was able to rattle off a 3″ 10rd standing offhand group at 25 yards with my 4.25″ RMR M&P.   I’ll get the CORE out for a few more sessions, and then it’ll likely get a new barrel.

With only about 500 rounds downrange on the CORE, it is too early to make any determinations about the viability of its mounting system.  I’ll be getting it out to some matches over the holidays, and will put it into the rotation for 2013 to see how it holds up.  Stay tuned for more updates.


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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.

7 thoughts on “M&P CORE: Range Report

  1. Trying to have the different loads on hand that shot well in two M&P 9 pistols for my wife and two for me became a logistical nightmare, requiring a wider range of loads than available on the typical mail order site. Then, if there was a change like TMJ being required at the Rogers School, total chaos ensued trying to find a TMJ load that would shoot acceptably in each pistol. I was keeping more ammo notes on my various M&P pistols than for my bolt rifles, and left masking type on the slide of each pistol with ammo preference notes. By contrast, my Glock pistols more or less shoot anything acceptably that says 9mm on the box.

    Phase one, was I started carrying a Glock while shooting the M&P pistols, which I shot marginally better, at the range, so I didn’t have to worry about what pistol I had and what load. Phase two, was just to learn how to shoot the Glock pistols as well, which is an ongoing project.

    Hopefully, Smith & Wesson soon gets to step 1 of that proven 99 step process of solving all the toughest problems — with step 1 being admit there is a problem.

  2. I find it weird hearing the issues of accuracy that you both have mentioned. My M&9 9 FS has had no issues with any ammo, and that’s the same story for 9 or so other guys I regularly shoot IDPA with. To the author, how was your accuracy without the RMR?

    • Jon:
      Maybe you haven’t heard about it, but the issues are well documented if you do a web search. I know George (above comment) owns a lot of M&Ps and has diligently documented his accuracy results. I have a large collection of them and also move through a number of them for product development for 10-8 Performance, and the results are fairly consistent in that there is NO consistency. I have personally accuracy tested about 20-25 M&Ps this year, and have shared similar results with a number of other trainers and industry professionals. What kind of 25 yard groups are your IDPA buddies getting, either off a rest or offhand, with different bullet weights?

      My RMR gun is my lone anomaly in that it has a 2012 vintage stock barrel which will shoot 115 and 147 with similar accuracy of 3″ or less at 25 yards, standing offhand. It provided the same results prior to mounting the RMR.

  3. How do the taller sights work with the holster you are using? Based on the Performance Center sear would you still recommend the Apex Ultimate Striker Block upgrade? It sounds like the aftermarket barrels may still be necessary, or at least desired, for the 9mm version. I look forward to further updates on this pistol.

    • The sights work fine with the Blade Tech Sting Ray that I use. Taller sights like these are not typically an issue with current manufacture Kydex holsters. The Safariland 6004 and related duty holsters will have issues, as their sight tracks have not been updated to reflect current market trends of taller sights.

  4. Hilton,

    I just bought an M&P Core 4.25 barrel. I also purchased a insight MRDS 3.5 MOA from EOtech and I’m having difficulty trying to zero/co-witness to the sights. Is there any advice or tips you have to zero your red dot on your pistol? I would greatly appreciate it!

    • Joshua:
      Honestly, I just shoot it at 25 yards offhand and dial the dot in until it hits POA. There’s no secret to it. The dot may or may not coincide tidily with the sights – I basically look for them to be in the ballpark. I am not using the iron sights in conjunction with the dot, so it is not at all an issue to me. The irons are only there for total dot failure. Hope that helps.

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