I've gushed, I've bragged, and I've boasted about the M&P's superiority long enough... time to talk about real-world performance.
Unbeatable, especially for a full-size double-stack .45 and my goofy paws. I will forever preach about the ergonomics of the M&P handguns... any of them. At the heart of the amazing fit are the palmswells Smith & Wesson provides. I personally prefer the Medium but can comfortably shoot all three. Even those with truly small hands will find the M&P a good fit. Out of the Glock, XD(and 'M'), HK, Sigs, FNH, Taurus, Bersa, 1911-pattern pistols I've held, shot, and owned, the M&P keeps rising to the top of the milk barrel.
A few easily-fixed niggles aside, it's familiar, consistent, smooth, and accurate. Through 250 rounds of Winchester "white box" and Blazer (aluminum) ammunition, it's been flawless. Accurately launching 230gr Golden Sabers was easy and 185gr Hornady Critical Defense shot downright soft and fed with absolutely no complaints. Accuracy is equally impressive - the M&P45 is an instinctive pointer, thanks in part to a familiar 18-degree grip angle. The stock 3-dot sights (I always black my rear dots) were dead-on accurate, and while the takeup on the definitely-ready-for-duty trigger is admittedly rough, I have been able to find the reset point just fine and can quickly deliver rapid follow up shots with very great accuracy.
Those loooooooong "full size" base pads. Compact models will be on order before I go to sleep tonight and are drop-in replacements. I don't have problems with my reloads, but I prefer a closer grip on the mag tube. After a couple dozen matches indoor on polished concrete, I have yet to see one break.
Down the Road:
I easily expect to break the 1,000-round mark with boring reliability, and have no reason to think otherwise. The more I shoot it, the better it gets. It's not even broken in and the trigger is smoothing out. Even with out the Apex parts, it's duty-ready and I will not hesitate to carry it.
I WILL be pulling the thumb safety out and inserting the frame plugs, replacing the sights with a u-notch rear and tritium front, and will upgrade internals to Apex components. That's not going to improve a "bad" gun, it's going to make a very good gun MY very good gun.
Haters Gonna Hate, but the M&P is tried, true, and finding converts all across the law-enforcement, competitive, and civilian personal defense spectra. I am among them and urge my friends to give one a shot.
With the exception of my EDC handgun, we will be standardizing our household to the M&P platform for the majority of our defensive, competitive (Production, SSP, CDP), and recreational shooting. Soon.
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