Why is nobody using M&P pistols?

Erick Gelhaus

Staff member
Tom Givens, of Rangemaster Firearms Training, tracks the guns & the carry method used in the match at his yearly conference. For the 2018 conference, of the 186 shooters, 70.5% shot Glocks, 23.2% shot M&Ps, the other 6.3% shot 1911s, Beretta, H&K, Canik, or CZ. No Walthers though ;)

Been using one flavor or another of M&P since ’10. All of mine have been thumb safety versions. I went back to them on and off duty at the start of last year. While they are carried by a decent percentage of people, there is just a lack of after-market support for them outside of Apex and a few other places.

While we issue Gen 4 G17s and G19s, we have a pretty decent number of 9mm, .40, and .45ACP M&Ps.

As an example of the support issue, Raven just made Perun holsters for a couple Glock pistols that haven’t been released yet (and Glocks with several different lights) but they still haven’t made them for the M&P and the M&P/WML.

I’ve spent a fair amount of money with Apex and the one other company that early on made M&P stuff. Now, I am s-l-o-w-l-y seeing more companies making after-market M&P accessories; yesterday I saw that Overwatch has entered the M&P market.

Unity developed a version of their Atom mount for the M&Ps, Doc Roberts among others has slides with it. Unfortunately, they never went commercial with it. Agency Arms has something similar in the works. Getting it into production would be helpful. Faxon now has after-market, optics cut 1.0 slides available. 2.0 full-size and compact versions would be most welcome.

Coming from a couple decades of 1911 platform use on and off-duty plus training and some competition, I prefer a frame mounted thumb safety – especially on a work gun. As PatMac is fond of saying, the safety is always an enabler, never a disabler. Seriously, it may aid in the event of a weapon retention scenario. When working for a ready position, it serves as a final conscious step.

Others have mentioned the grip size, shape concerns about Glocks. Going back to the pre-Sigma days S&W had done a bunch of hand size and shape research. To me, that showed in the design of the M&P frame especially with the adjustable backstraps.

’10 – I switched from twenty years’ worth of 1911 to a 5” M&P45 with a PC action job for duty use. Carried their Commander size pistol in plain clothes and off-duty. Liked it, 10 to 14rd magazines were nice, just didn’t like it enough to dump the 1911s for.

’12 – switched to the M&P9 fulltime with a MRDS on the work gun. After a year as a beta tester, I dumped the MRDS and kept the M&P9.

In mid ’14, I did start carrying a Gen 4 G17 on-duty and a G19 off-duty. It was a work issue as we switched from Gen 4 G22s (having replaced our Gen 3 G22s with them) to G17s and G19s. Did it in case there were concerns about switching to issued 9mm pistols.

Anyway, start of last year, I went back to the M&P9. After I picked up a full-size 2.0, I ran it through Todd Green’s 2K round count test. Clean it, lube it before you start and go two thousand without any cleaning or lubrication. Record all of the stoppages. Over several days during a teaching stint at Gunsite, I ran the test. Zero stoppages. It’s posted over on Pistol-forum.

The 1.0 9mms did have some issues – mag release failing, trigger feel (gritty & lack of reset), and accuracy. The mag release was fixed really quick. Apex Tactical solved the trigger problem early on. But the perceived accuracy issue hurt them. It wasn’t all of the guns, but it seemed to be enough. Then Apex started making barrels as did others. Additionally, one manufacturer who was working on mag wells stopped due to inconsistent frame dimensions.

The 2.0s do not seem to have any of those issues.

Now, oddly enough & Bob Moran mentioned it, a whole shit load of people forget / forgot the issues Glock had (has). I can clearly recall Peter A Kasler, an early glockpohile, in my Office training room doing mandatory product upgrades – RECALLS – on personally owned Glocks while Waco came to its fiery conclusion on the TV in the background. Then there are the .40cal debacles – Gen 3 & all its internal variations and WML failures as well as the Gen 4 recoil springs problems. Btw, just how many versions of G22 magazines are there? As well as extraction, ejection, and recoil spring problems with the early Gen 4 9mms.

Looking at the state of this pistol and its supporting items, I’d really have to be seriously impressed (with significant advantages) by another new platform to consider switching.

Oak City Tactics

Staff member
As kinda hinted at here it’s more than just getting a Glock near peer. To switch from Glock to MP would require more inertia than that. If you were in legacy Sigs and wanted to change them we are talking a big and justified change up. The MP fits better in my hands, feels better ( wish they kept the beavertail), etc. Its an improvement in those respects but it’s not enough to swing a lot of Glock agencies. Cost plays a factor and so does support gear costs when changing. I some mention Sims as well. I waited I think it was 9 months to get my MP sims guns at a rediculous $700 each. Of course they were 1.0 guns. The agency will likely next go to 2.0 Smiths. The 1.0 sims guns are as different from the 2.0’s as a Glock Sims gun is. So now we have tens of thousands in Sims guns that will be different from the duty guns. The admin world is just simpler in the stability of the Glock platform. No major changes in shape, function, or support gear and it all works. Maybe if smith stays in the 2.0 exactly how it is now for 20 years might it be a real Glock killer.

Ryan St.Jean

Regular Member
Personally I didn’t see any point to going through the expense and hassle of changing from a Glock 9mm to a slightly different but for all practical purposes super similar gun.

The cost/ hassle would exceed any advantage that would be gained.

Mr Hardy

Well, in our case, we have never been a Glock agency, and have never had a striker fired gun, though our Tactical Team is considering it for our next team purchase. We are currently running HK45's with the LEM trigger and want to switch to something that we can mount an RMR too. For some reason our department firearms team is anti-Glock, not that I would be opposed to pushing for it for our Team, and i do think it is one of the best options. I was just thinking that if we went Glock, it would be worth considering the new gen 5. I thought we would also consider the Smith as well, hence the posts above. If we do consider Glock, I just want to make sure that our Sims is compatible with our duty gun, which currently the Glock is a gen 3 Sims. I know the grip angle is slightly different and it doesn't come MOS. The Smith is still the first gen, yes, but the grip angle is the same, and they will mill it for us for the RMR.

Either option is better than what we currently use, with HK45 duty gun and Glock Sims.

Whatever we do go with, it needs to fit into a safariland RDS holster. Oh, and we won't be allowed to modify them beyond the RMR more than likely.


My impression from owning a M&P9, 357Sig, & .45 is that I had erratic accuracy out of the 9mm, ransom rested to prove that it shot shotgun pattern groups at 25 yards. Apparently this wasn't an isolated thing regarding the accuracy of the 9mm guns. The .357 was lights out accurate, and the M&P45 was built for the JCP Military trials and is as fine a weapon in the cartridge available, and I still own two and carry regularly. I prefer it over the Glock 21 & HK45. Just my two cents.


Have a mixture of Glocks ,HK and S&W M&P 2.0’s
The M&P is what I’d use if I was in an absolute need for precision ,I just shoot them better.I never have a bad day with the M&P but some days I’m not a crack shot with my Glocks or my HK pistols.Have about 5k through my first M&P and it’s had zero issues,no brass to the face like my Glocks and the triggers are fantastic but I’m not a picky shooter like some , I pick up whatever and shoot it ,not much of a whiner about something being gritty,sloppy or not pretty as long as it works consistently and is accurate in my hands


The M&P is my mandated pistol now after carrying Glocks since 1992. The m&p is 100% on par with the Glock. The 2.0 is amazing. Kyle Lamb and Frank Proctor both chose to carry M&P over Glocks. Now having said that, I would go back to Glock today if I was allowed too. The parts world is made for Glock.
I'd be interested in trying the 2.0. I've heard good things from people about it.

Thus far, my M&P experiences haven't been very good:

1. An early tan-frame .45 ACP- Pretty shoot-able, except for a trigger with a unpleasantly wandering break and reset- and a defective magazine, right out of the box.

2. A Shield in 9 mm that couldn't get through 100 rounds without some kind of malfunction, usually a failure to extract, no matter the ammunition.

3. An M&P CORE 9 mm that was super-cool, except it wouldn't shoot acceptable groups with most of the ammo I tried in it.

All three of these were purchased brand-new...and I ended up dumping them all.

Maybe I was just unlucky, and unknowingly bought guns all made on Mondays, following Superbowl Sunday.


I think it depends on when and how long you've run/carried a pistol. Sixteen years ago if they had the 2.0 compact available that may have been the route to go as that size "usp com/g19 is my preference. I tried/owned a g1 full size and compact was just wrong. I just couldn't learn to like it especially when compared to 19/17 Glock. Too me its just missing something idk. I don't consider myself a Glock fan boy, having carried CZ's and hi-powers both I enjoyed and I love my Kriss sdp-c but I always end up back at the 19. The new M&P 2.0 feels good but the aftermarket doesn't seem to care and that's one thing Glock will always have going for it at least for now.
Being a 1911 user most of my gun career, the Glock grip angle doesn't work for me. Guess my wrists are stuck at the 1911 angle, and the M&P does well for that. Installed Apex triggers in everything, but have used the original trigger spring to make them a bit smoother. I also use the 10-8 rear sight, with a standard front...no night sights. I did install one Apex kit that kept giving light primer strikes. Apex sent another sear with different geometry, and it fixed the problem.


After we wrapped filming of Art of the Dynamic Handgun, my M&P full size .45 joined my arsenal. It's a good blaster and I've had zero issues with it, probably at the 2500-3000 round mark. (At the time, I was also toying with the notion of joining the Detroit PD and their service weapon was an M&P during that timeframe.) When I worked at the gun store, I tried out the 9mm PRO competition model and liked it a lot too. My brother from another mother, and LMS Defense founding member Troy Price absolutely LOVES M&P and taught with them religiously. Pat Rogers as we all know was also a big proponent of them later in his career.

That said, I just PREFER the Glock 17 & 19. Nothing personal, I definitely would not turn down an M&P if offered one or if I found one reasonably priced someplace. I'm just more comfortable with the Glock family and tend to shoot them better on average. I've had several folks tell me that Apex parts are a MUST for the M&Ps, but I have no personal experience to validate that statement.
I have used 4 m&p's. 1 shield 1.0, 1 FS 1.0 and 1 pro 1.0 and 1 compact 2.0. None of them ever had real issues. Accuracy was not the best on all but the shield. The shield was easily the most accurate pistol out of the 4. The pro had roughly 20k live fire through it and 3 years of daily dry fire on it with 0 issues still kicking to this day. All triggers were equal in my opinion with the pro having Apex comp parts and shield coming in second with stock. The shield didnt like aluminum rounds for extraction as the cases expanded in the chamber and the extractor would bend the rims back. The shield also shot 6 inches high with 147 at 25 yards.

The shield and 2.0 had 0 issues ejecting mags. The 1.0fs and pro both had issues rejecting mags, especially when cold.

Other than that, I'm really not a fan of the m&p trigger design and how much tension is on the striker. Much prefer glock in that aspect especially for appendix, and now use da/sa.

Erick Gelhaus

Staff member
Three really good sized (read Large) California agencies are all issuing M&Ps - Los Angeles SD & Los Angles PD both in 9mm and Calif Highway Patrol in .40SW.


My M&P9c Gen1 recently eclipsed 7.8k rounds. It’s been my carry pistol for the last 4 years. I really hadn’t found a reason, until recently, to shelve it. Very accurate and I’ve yet to have a single failure.

Tossed an APEX trigger in it approximately 4K rounds ago but all else is stock, except for Vickers sights.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I am an M&P 1.0, 2.0, Shield armorer. I carry a 2.0 C (3.6) for work and also have a Shield 1.0 as backup both in 9mm. I love the 3.6, tolerate the Shield.

Two of us at my agency carried 1.0 Compacts in .40 and had identical issues with the slide catch randomly locking the slide open. Replacement parts fixed it. Another guy had an out of spec backplate on his Shield .40 kept sliding down and locking up the pistol.

Another guy at work has a 43 that went dead trigger several times at last qual. Stuff happens.

I prefer the M&P line, but would be just fine with a G-19 too. Both companies make fine pistols.


Regular Member
FWIW, just finished a rather good class, 500+ rounds in two days with my 1.0 Pro 4.25, and the only stoppages were induced for class, or because I somehow managed to buy a .40 mag and it got in the mix. Even it worked 2/3rd of the time.

Didn't even clean it, just oiled, before start, and overnight between class days. Perfectly accurate, enough left in the system I improved notably during the class, and scrupulously reliable.

Would have done half the class with the CORE + JPoint but Safariland is taking their sweet time to send me a holster!
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Smith autos seem like cheap junk to me, no interest in what appear to be pistols that are on par with Taurus, quality wise.

That may seem pretty harsh but that's how I perceive current Smith and Wesson semi-auto handguns.

I have had my M&P 9 for about six years now...I've probably got about two thousand rounds through it by now...mixed hand loads ...lead hard cast and jacketed. I can honestly say the trigger in this particular gun...was absolutely JUNK... I could only describe it as a rake being pulled through gravel...it was creepy,mushy,long,and the break was never the same twice in a row....that was my first mod... The Apex kit made the gun about 90% better....I then replaced the sights with truglo tfx standard height night sights...world of difference it made for my old eyes.Then I saw Apex had an aluminum trigger for the M&P....for some reason...that stock trigger on the M&P....It just seamed to still have a mush factor that wouldn't go away... I put the aluminum trigger in and WOW...what a difference that made. Then I had the brilliant idea to buy an AAC Illusion suppressor.....well....while I was waiting for the paperwork to come back I bought an AAC threaded barrel for it and a light/lazer combo. I installed the AAC barrel and put about two hundred rounds through it...very accurate....no problems at all..when I got my paperwork back I put the lazer/light on it and I noticed the frame forward of the trigger was very "flexible"....when I was trying to sight my lazer in at 35 feet....the longest straight line distance in my house...poi was off by about three inches from poa. I wonder if S&W ever addressed this issue with there newer frames? Guns can be tuned up....but the frame is the foundation...so after a ton of money on after market parts and a LOT of work....I've got a gun that's about 95%...good enough...but not even close to the perfect pet pistol...that said I just purchased a Glock G4 model 41 MOS. to get to the point....I mounted the same light/lazer on the Glock and have no wandering lazer issues at all. I did notice on the Glock that the very top forward edge of the frame is bent up and is in solid contact with the bottom of the under side of the slide. I still like my particular M&P 9 a lot...but this Glock is really growing on me. It had a nice trigger...right out of the box...a full polish job took it from a very nice...almost creep free 5.3 pound trigger pull to a very crisp buttery smooth 4.5 pound pull. I bought suppressor height night sights that co witness the trigicon rmr and a threaded lone wolf barrel for it. The gun is way more accurate than I could ever be....Waiting for the paperwork to come back for my 45 Osprey....

Erick Gelhaus

Staff member
[QUOTE="CGZ, post: ...[/QUOTE]

Not sure what in that post is yours or was from the OP you quoted. Anyway, it looks like you had a 1.0 - which did have a deserved reputation for a gritty trigger and, very regretably, barrel/slide alignment issues. The 2.0 guns certainly seem to have fixed those problems.