Tuesday, July 8, 2008

M&P15 User Review

I was in the market for an M-4 clone (or AR-15 carbine, as it is known in the civilian world), and at the top of my list was Bushmaster, Armalite, and Rock River Arms. I had used both the Bushmaster and RRA carbines, and was impressed with both. However, my favorite gun store didn't have RRA in stock (the cheapest of the three makers), they were sold out of Armalites and the Bushmaster had a price tag well over $1,000. The kind salesman pointed out that there was a fresh shipment of Smith & Wesson M&P15's. S&W makes the M&P15 in several configurations: a fixed carry handle A2 style, A3 detachable carry handle, and a flat top with front and rear flip-up sights and a quad rail handguard, just to name a few.

I selected the A3 model, as it has the utility of the picatinny rail, and the lightweight carbine length handguards. This makes for a lightweight package with nearly endless optics possibilities. It came in just under a thousand dollars. The M&P15 came with a padded hard case and a 30 round magazine. The case is okay, and the magazine seems to be very high quality.

I've had the little carbine out to the range a few times and put about 200 rounds through it. I've used Wolf ammunition, both 55 grain and 62 grain full metal jacket. The M&P chowed down on both quite happily. I have yet to sit down and to a serious accuracy test, but I have done a number of 25 yard zero and cqb "double tap" drills. I have also shot a few 100 yard groups kneeling and standing unsupported. I put up about a 6 inch group kneeling, and about a 12 inch group from standing. I'm guessing a prone supported group would come in at about 2 inches, maybe a little more. Add some match grade ammo and that might shrink down toward 1 inch.

Fit and finish are what you would expect from Smith & Wesson. The stock has a little bit of wobble to it, but so does every M-4 I've ever shot. The only collapsable stock I've used that didn't wobble was a VLTOR Clubfoot. In addition, the trigger is about what you would expect from a military rifle. It is a little gritty, and trips at about 7lbs. It breaks very cleanly, but could be better. Rock River's two stage trigger is among the best factory AR triggers.

All in all, the M&P is a very nice M4 clone. It is just a shade cheaper than Armalite and Bushmaster, and is just as high quality.

The M&P15 after a few minor changes:
Millett DMS-1, , Weaver picatinny riser, and Falcon Industries ergo grip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Smooth, nicely written article. You should consider writing for Guns & Ammo someday.