Wednesday, November 26, 2008

M&P 9 Compact: Micro-Ergonomics

I picked up an M&P 9 Compact a couple of days ago as a carry piece. I am still waiting to take the class, but figured I might as well be familiar with my carry piece by the time I get to qualify.

Here are the specs as they appear on S&W's website:

Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 12+1
Barrel Length: 3.5"
Front Sight: Steel Ramp Dovetail Mount (Tritium Sights Optional)
Rear Sight: Steel Novak® Lo-Mount Carry (Tritium Sights Optional)
Trigger Pull: 6.5 lbs.
Trigger Travel: Rest to Fire .300 in.
Trigger Reset: Approx. .140 in.
Frame: Compact
Finish: Slide and Barrel Black Melonite®, 68 HRc
Overall Length: 6.7"
Material: Zytel Polymer Frame, Stainless Steel Barrel/Slide and Structural Components
Weight Empty (No Mag): 21.7 oz.
Overall Height: 4.3"
Width: 1.2"

I put 100 rounds of Winchester White Box 115gr FMJ's through it today. No hiccups at all, and I didn't expect any from shooting just 100 rounds. The pistol came with two 12 round magazines-one has a finger rest, and the other has a flat bottom which requires me to curl my pinky underneath. My wife's hand fits fine with the flat-bottomed magazine. The grip feels terribly good, especially for such a small pistol.

The sights are a three-dot setup, with the front blade nice and narrow. The dot up front is noticably smaller than the other two, and I like it. I prefer Glock's "ball-in-a-bucket" sights, but the S&W's are fine. We only shot 7 to 15 yards, so my accuracy tests aren't exactly strenuous. Either way, my wife put the whole magazine in a 2.5 inch group from 10 yards. I shot a little worse. Sorry, no pictures today, but I promise I will put one up when I out shoot the wife. (Actually, I left my camera home and trashed the targets before I could take pictures.) In any case, this little pistol will shoot better groups than I can. It is VERY accurate and surprisingly easy to control. Micro-pistols can be obnoxious, but this one is very dossile and pleasant to shoot.

A friend had the service sized M&P 9mm at the range today. The difference in accuracy from 7-15 yards was negligable. If we chucked both up in a Ransom rest, I bet we wouldn't see a difference until 25 yards. Both pistols fit together very tightly, and were very, very nice to shoot. Truth be told, it would be very hard for me to buy a Glock over an M&P--and I love my Glock 17. The M&P's are just generally "nicer".

The only downside to this pistol is that it is hard to disassemble. Inside, it looks a lot like an XD, but the trigger is nicer. The trigger pull is a little heavy, but I bet it smooths out with some use. It breaks cleanly and is still easy to shoot. Also, while this is a small pistol, it is a little too big for pocket carry. However, it is ideal for inside-the-waistband carry. The M&P compact is very easy to conceal.

The bottom line: if you want a compact pistol, look no further than the M&P 9C.

*Note: For those of you stalwarts who refuse to carry a 9mm, the M&P compact also comes in 40 S&W.

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