My Favorite M&P
My preference among the M&Ps for the purpose of pure shooting enjoyment is the pre-Depression revolver. These M&Ps have a smooth trigger, a mushroom shaped ejector knob, and Circassian walnut grips without medallions. There are no "Made in USA" or "Marcos Registradas" markings. The topstrap is rounded, with a round notch for the rear sight. It has a side swing hammer block safety. The bluing and tolerances in these guns exceed that of present day Performance Center revolvers. These were hand built pieces fabricated by master craftsmen.
Thus, when I found this M&P on a gun show table, I had to buy it. It checked out good, locking up tight with no endshake and a minimal cylinder gap. I haggled the price from $225 to $165, and took my prize home. It is serial number 3690XX. That is significant. Heat treatment of the .38 Special cylinders began at serial number 316648. This revolver is safe to use with modern ammunition. I'm estimating it's date of birth to be about 1917.
It was with anticipation that I took this new revolver to the range today. I shot it after running ammo through a couple of my 1911s. I do not think I did the old double action gal justice. I think she can certainly shoot better than she did by my hand today. Nevertheless, she kept all six shots on an index card at 10 yards. That is not too shabby for a ninety year old gun!