A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Smith & Wesson M&P

Plastic pistols are no longer my thing. I'm an unapologetic aficionado of guns from an earlier era. My first few automobiles had chrome plated or painted steel bumpers. By many people's standards, that means I'm on the downhill slope, I guess. I recognize that plastic pistols (and now revolvers.....) are the wave of the future, and a lot of people find them to be the tactical Tom's meow. I enjoyed shooting a few of them for a while, but the more I shot them, the more they all started to look and shoot alike.....

Bottom line, since I don't shoot 'em, you are not likely to find much written about 'em on my blog. Brigid, however does pack plastic, and she wrote an informative review on the 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P compact. If you are interested in S&W's new polymer vundergun, go give it a read. Todd G at Pistol Training.com conducted a long endurance test of the S&W M&P, eventually firing 62,333 rounds with a little help from his friends before the slide cracked. The gun kept running, S&W examined it and pronounced it safe to shoot, but then the lawyers intervened, spoiling the fun. Todd has posted updates over the course of thirty three weeks, plus a few more. Good reading as well if you are interested in this particular pistol.



Blogger Canucksvt said...

A friend of mine has a M&P9c, and I have a full side M&P45. I have to say, I love the old guns (1911's, BHP's, etc...) but I have to say the M&P series are the first polymer pistols I can honestly say I love. I would put my M&P45 up against anyones .45acp in any test you can come up with. It is quite simply the softest shooting, butt kicking .45acp I have ever fired. The new HK45 is pretty close as well.

I love 1911's but keep mine for a range gun. Short of having it worked over by Novaks, or some other reputable shop, that is where the 1911's will remain. I simply do not have the confidence in them that I require in a carry handgun. Every 1911 I have ever fired...literally dozens have had problems that I simply do not see in Glock, M&P, and SIG pistols. Just see what people shoot at intensive shooting schools, and watch the 1911's choke, irregardless of what manufacturer, or who worked on them...meanwhile the Glocks, and now M&P's just keep chucking out the empty brass.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Joe Allen said...

The current generation of polymer, striker fired pistols are marvels of engineering. They are accurate, reliable and durable.

Compared to other firearms of similar quality they are, in general, very affordable.

And I just can't bring myself to own one*. I'm a wood and steel reactionary, all the way. I don't even like plastic or rubber grips on my guns!

*Full disclosure: I do have a S&W Sigma. It was on sale for $99 if I bought it with my M&P15. Gun snob I may be, but I won't turn my back on a working handgun for less then a C note! Every once in a while, when the radio is between songs, I can hear it rattling around in my trunk.

11:15 AM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

Wood and steel is far more satisfying, but in my case that's probably due to the thought there's something of a craftsman's finite hours of life invested in that particular arm. Something that is merely assembled after being CNC-milled and injection-molded will be less expensive and uniform in production standards, but it has nothing of a human touch about it.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xav,there is a REASON it still works.
looks that slide spring get up,that "SMITH AND WESSON" is still 50% glock.

3:08 PM  
Blogger be603 said...

Kindred spirits I reckon, blue metal, wood, sigh...

Of all the tupper guns it's only the SW M&P that calls out to me at all.

O' course in a real pinch, I still reach for a wheelgun before any of my autoloaders. Yep, a real dinosaur I be.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

the only exeption I made for plastic gun was for Ruger LCP. I couldn't get anything this small in metal and wood. Otherwise I'm with you Xavier.

8:37 PM  
Blogger tom said...

This "Tactical Tom" likes custom built and issue 1911s and K-frames but gives grudging respect to the icky plastic things. I put them in the same category as modern Colt revolvers, quality usually hasn't been bad but I like the ergos of S&Ws better until we go back to the era of loading gate guns.

As to guns choking, at IDPA matches, I'm at a disadvantage, but I've NEVER had a K-frame choke.

My SIG .45 chokes on ammo more than any of my 1911s, including the 3" barrel ones that tend to be jam-o-matics in some people's hands. I have a P245 that did that for me with 230 grain FMJ.

When it comes down to it, shoot what you can shoot and what you trust. It's your wallet and life and arguments can be made both ways as to which is better. Tell you what though, I've shot a lot of sloppy fitted GI 1911s that were virtual tack drivers compared to tight brand new or broken in polymer guns over the years.

I suppose at handgun distances it doesn't really matter anyway all that much.

Plastic vs 1911 vs revolver war's been done to death and everybody likes what they are good with and have had good luck with.

Brigid's had good luck with her .45 SIG out of the box, I got a deal on a secondhand NIB one and it took a lot of tinkering before I'd even think of carrying it...

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Joe ex PNG

Funny, I feel the same way. I've had my share of plastic wonders by Ruger, Kel-Tec, Glock and CZ- and have sold every single one of them. And yes, each one of them worked wonderfully well.
It just happens that when I find a really nice all metal gun older than I am I've got to find the funds somehow- and that usually means selling one of the plastic guns.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Brigid said...

Thanks for the link. I too am a wood and steel sort, and probably have more old bolt action rifles than I do high heels.

But I sometimes pick up different guns to add to the collection and try them out.

It won't replace my favorites but it's fun to have around.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous aczarnowski said...

We run a couple M&P9 full sizes in our household. She's a small back strap and I'm a medium. They're the hard working tools of the bunch. Like the sawz-all.

We also have a couple of beautiful Auto-5 lightweights designed by the man himself. Kinda like the set of fine chisels in another part of the tool rack.

:shrug: We like'em all for different reasons and use'em all in different ways. The differences are what make things special.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Joker23 said...

I thought about posting this the other day as a comment under "Letter from a Reader", but since it involves a S&W M&P 9c, it fits here as well. I'll leave some of the politics out, and focus more on the gun.

My wife, a lifelong Democrat, has never shown any interest in guns. I used to work at a local gun shop and asked her to come in all the time. She never did. I kept an eye out for any guns I thought would be good for her to start out with, but everything always seemed to have a drawback. Too big for her hands, too stiff of a recoil spring, too light to absorb recoil, etc...

She told me one day that if I saw a gun at the shop that I thought would be good for her, to go ahead and get it. This was right after the November 2008 Presidential election, the same election where she did not vote for a Democrat for the first time in her life.

On Veteran's Day I took her to the range with a few pistols. She liked my .45, was ambivalent towards my 9mm, and thought .22 was lame compared to the .45.

Flash forward to the other day. We got our state tax refund and headed up to the shop. I had her hold several different guns, work the actions, pull the triggers, etc... I had never really paid much attention to the M&Ps (I prefer steel to plastic) but my wife latched onto the M&P 9c. I had her try some other guns and then try everything a 2nd time and she again came right back to the M&P. We tried all three sizes of back strap and settled on the smallest one, which was what was on the gun to begin with. I had secretly hoped she'd pick the Sig P229 so that I could borrow it, but the M&P it was. She filled out her first 4473 and away we went.

I went over the standard stuff with her, safety, mechanical operation of semi autos, disassembly, cleaning, etc... A few days later we headed to the range with a 50 round box of Magtech 9mm, which was the last box of 9mm I had.

I knew we should have brought more ammo with us when we left, but 9mm is hard to find around here anymore. We had several problems at the range. Stove pipes, failure to eject, failure to go completely into battery, etc... I was really disappointed that her first trip to the range with her first gun didn't go as well as it could have. I thought maybe she was limp wristing it, or maybe the first clean and lube wasn't done as well as it could have been... I suddenly remembered a place in town that carried guns and ammo that hardly anyone knew about. I short time later we were back at the range with 2 boxes of Winchester White Box and 1 box of American Eagle.

Now THIS was how her first range trip was supposed to go! She remarked that the WWB and AE both loaded easier into the magazines. I suppose the Magtech could have been a bad batch...

We started at 7 yards and used those targets that splatter when you hit so you can see your shots. She had good grouping, a little low and right. We worked on stance, etc... and had no more problems. She told me she was never disappointed during the first 50 rounds, just assumed it was either the gun being new or the ammo.

She asked me if I wanted to try it. I walked over to the 25 yard gong (8 inch diameter steel plate suspended by 2 chains) and was delighted to hear the TINK TINK of rounds connecting. We went home and I showed her again how to clean it.

She's now Gung Ho about getting her CCW and we're looking at carry options that will work with a woman's body. We're also looking for a pink range bag...

It's nice to finally be able to share the whole "gun thing" with her.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous KarlJ said...

It's funny.... I'm at the other side of this.... I've always had classic guns of old and now I want to try playing with the world of plastic. I'm not getting rid of anything... just expanding the empire.

I think Xavier need a Luger.

7:48 AM  

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