10-8 tall rear sight, mounted to rear of Trijicon RMR on ATEi customized slide.
With the growth in popularity of the mini red dot optic on handguns, much thought has been given to the options of where and how to mount back up iron sights on the slide. It comes down to a few basic options for consideration:
The M&P CORE (Competition Optic Ready Equipment) seems to be trickling out into more holsters, and we have been seeing more questions about it. I have one of the very early CORE Pro 5″ 9mm guns, and wanted to share some candid thoughts on the system. I have some older articles with a first look at the gun, the mounting system, and a quick range report, and it may help to check those out if you are unfamiliar with this gun. Apologies for whatever mysterious code gremlins that squished the pics in the first article. Continue reading →
Ok, in reality it has been a few weeks with the M&P Shield, including a couple range days. I am generally a proponent of carrying as close to a full size service pistol as possible, even for off-duty/plain clothes work. But I also understand that there is reality, and sometimes it is just too impractical to attempt to conceal a Glock 19 and still be appropriately dressed. In this role, and that of a second gun, the M&P Shield is certainly a viable choice. Continue reading →
New production M&P slide stop, with welded pads for structural reinforcement and tactile reset.
One of the main areas of complaint with the M&P has been with the lack of Glock like tactile reset. As documented in one of my previous posts, the mid 2013 production guns started to have what I now refer to as a Gen2 slide stop with a stamped flange on the right side to push the trigger bar during reset. The Gen2 slide stop was a big leap forward, and in conjunction with the new machined sear, created a trigger pull that pretty much eliminated any complaints that could be had about the M&P trigger. Continue reading →
This was one of of the most popular photos posted on the 10-8 Performance Instagram, so I figured it was worth another look here. A 2011/2012 vintage VTAC M&P 9mm that I had previously reviewed, with our new plain black 10-8 rear sight, new FDE base pads, and Apex sear/USB with a trigger job. The FDE theme is cool looking for sure, but you can see it gets dirty pretty easily, if that’s something you obsess over. The thumb safety was added after the fact, an armorer level parts swap that is easy to do if you have access to the parts. The FDE frames have slots for the safety, and come plugged from the factory. I’ve been training with this gun a bit recently, look for more updates as I continue to tinker with it.
A little gun porn for your Friday enjoyment. Here’s a close up of the textured frame on one of the limited run 10-8 M&Ps. This run is the very first batch to feature my texturing work.
They are slated to be released for sale by the end of the month via the 10-8 Performance email newsletter. You can sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of the home page of the 10-8 site, and check out the site’s M&P page for more information about the run.
From TOP: MIM sear, current production sear, Performance Center sear
In my last few installments, I looked at the production upgrades to the M&P barrels and slide stops. The next big area of improvement is the sear. The newest guns received at our office in late spring of this year have all been outfitted with the new sear, which is a machined part with a few geometry changes. Continue reading →
The S&W M&P pistol has undergone a great deal of evolution since its introduction in 2006. In a previous installment, I discussed the recent barrel changes, which improve overall performance with different ammunition types. One of the weakest points of the M&P that shooters really disliked was the lack of a perceptible trigger reset. I do not “shoot to reset” in that I do not hunt for the click prior to pressing the trigger to the rear, and I actually did not realize there was no tactile reset until someone told me. Regardless of your personal preference, Smith has listened to customers and has made a change that gives the M&P an extremely tactile reset sensation. Continue reading →
If you have struggled with installation of sights on your M&P, check out our new video. Please note that all of our newest generation of sights for modern service pistols now feature a black ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC, aka QPQ, or brand name Melonite) finish equivalent to the factory finish on M&P and Glock slides. Our 1911 sights remain in the traditional black oxide, in order to facilitate the fitting and customization that is typical for 1911 work. The surface of the FNC/QPQ finished sights is extremely hard and resistant to corrosion. Your typical steel file will not cut the surface of these sights, and we recommend the EZE-Lap Diamond Hone, Medium for any fitting of the sights. M&P and Glock rear sights typically do not require any fitting. The M&P front dovetail sights will require fitting as they are made oversized and S&W has changed the dovetail dimensions at least 3 times, requiring us to increase our dimensions to ensure that our sights don’t just fall through the dovetail. Glock front sights may also require light fitting. A Glock sight install video is in the edit process as we speak.
The S&W M&P barrels have been one of the main weak points of the gun, as the original barrels with the 1:18.75″ twist were often quite ammunition sensitive, shooting some bullet weights better than others. The second generation of barrels (above, top) changed the transition geometry between the chamber and barrel for improved durability. This apparent third generation of barrels (above, bottom) now has a faster twist, and appears to be approximately 1:10, similar to what CZ and Glock use. In a limited survey of 10 new production full size 9mm M&Ps from this spring, the guns all included this barrel. Initial test firing with 115, 124, and 147 grain ammunition seems to show that these new barrels now provide Glock-like performance and accuracy with the various weights, not showing a preference for any one weight. It is still too early to provide a sweeping endorsement, but this initial testing is quite positive.
Let us know if your barrel has different markings, and when it was produced.
Our friends at Apex Tactical Specialties are working on a polymer version of their popular Forward Set and AEK Triggers. Here’s one of the prototypes in our SHOT Show demo gun. The polymer version has a more rounded face than the current machined aluminum Apex triggers, providing a more traditional feel.
Stay tuned here and on the Apex website for more information as these get closer to production.
The S&W M&P utilizes the same extractor for all of the models, in all calibers – 9, .40, .45, and .357 (does anyone shoot those?). The .40 was the original caliber of the M&P, and those guns and the .45 seem to work fine with the existing extractor. I have never even seen a .357 Sig M&P, so I have no idea about those. However, the 9mm has been known to have some extraction issues with certain types of ammunition. I have found that a few of my 9mm M&Ps have less than ideal extraction/ejection (see my results with my VTAC model HERE), exhibiting somewhat random ejection patterns. In a recent training session, my 9L got a stovepipe. I know a lot of users would write off a lone malfunction as bad ammo or whatever, but that is not an ideal way to go. I had been observing the ejection pattern of the 9L and found it a bit weak prior to the stovepipe, which came as little surprise. It was time to hit the workbench and replace the extractor with an Apex Tactical Failure Resistant Extractor, my go to fix for all my M&Ps. Continue reading →
After reconfiguring the M&P VTAC, I hit the range to see how it would work out with the 6 dot Viking/Warrior sight system. Being a proponent of a one dot system, I was pretty sure it would be more busy than I preferred, but I went in with an open mind. Continue reading →