For more information, visit https://www.smith-wesson.com.
To purchase an M&P 2.0 on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=M%26P%20pistol.
Two weeks ago at the Smith and Wesson factory, I got my hands on something truly exciting, and the day has finally come that we can talk about it. That pistol is the M&P M2.0, a terrific new version of an already great pistol design. And, with a base price of $599 MSRP, it is extremely affordable.
It is exceedingly rare that a company listens carefully to all the wants of its consumers, and actually puts those features in its next generation of product. I am very happy to report that S&W is one of those companies.
What was wrong with the M&P 1.0? Nothing, actually. The guns ran great, lots of people loved them, and they carved a section of market away from other polymer striker-fired pistols. A significant section of market for that matter. But it has been 10 years, and we expect some things to change in that kind of time frame. And every weapons system is a trade-off. They all have strengths and weaknesses; it is inherent the game. Smith and Wesson has apparently been dropping the forum comments directly to the engineering department because just about every request for a modification to the M&P I have ever heard of has been addressed.
- Chambering: 9mm or .40
- Barrel: 4.25 or 5 inches
- Grips: Interchangeable inserts
- Action: Striker-fired
- Finish: Matte black or FDE
- Capacity: 17+1 (9mm), 15+1 (.40)
- MSRP: Starting at $599
Where It Counts
Let’s start with what I see as the most radical change. The polymer on the 1.0 M&P was not as stiff as on a Glock, and because of that, you felt more recoil on the M&P. It’s not a well-known fact, but the frame of a Glock actually twists under recoil, which absorbs some of the recoil force. Less stiff should make more twist, i.e. less recoil, but it didn’t really work out that way in the M&P 1.0. Something was slightly “off” in the equation when it came to perceived recoil. Maybe some minor element of the geometry of the frame’s shape, or something else. It was subtle, but if you held a Glock and an M&P side by side, you would feel more recoil in the Smith.
The 2.0 version now has a steel skeleton that extends the length of the frame, underneath the polymer. The frame is much more rigid now, and recoil is noticeably lessened. I am not an engineer, but I am assuming this acts like rebar in concrete. Whatever the magic, it is working. The new frame is a huge step forward. It is easy to identify the new M2.0, since the steel frame is visible via windows on either side of the dust cover near the rails. In fact, that is now where the serial number is located.
The second most radical change is the texture of the grip. The M2.0 features a grip surface that is deeply reminiscent of Glock’s RTF2, aka “rough texture finish 2”. It doesn’t look the same, but it feels the same, and I love it. The new texture is by far one of the most aggressive of any production polymer pistol on the market, and really helps you hang on to the gun. Step one for me with new guns is generally to wrap the grip in skateboard deck tape, but I feel no need on the M2.0. It is fantastic, and something I recommend you put in your hands before you decide on your next pistol.
Also involving the grip, the M2.0 retains the same style of grip inserts as before. Now, however, you have four options instead of three. Small, Medium, Large, and a mid size between medium and large, called Medium/Large. I am guessing this addressed the hand size of a big segment of the population, but it is my one complaint about the M2.0. Given my hand size and the grip of the M&P, I wish they had gone with an XL instead. Oh well … .
Next, the slide profile has changed. Lightening slides have become one of the more popular treatments for all the polymer guns, enough to create an entire cottage industry of gun shops that do just that. The M&P guys decided, “Why not ship them from the factory that way?”. The M2.0 has shaved every away every ounce of slide it seemed prudent to do, while retaining the old shape. You have to look close, but the new version is noticeably thinner. I would put in a weight difference here, but my 1.0 is a CORE version, so it is not an exact comparison.
The new trigger is going to make some people very happy. I was confused a few months ago when I was raving about the M&P trigger, and many of the readers expressed that I must have lost my marbles. My M&P 1.0 pistol is a Pro Series, and it turns out they have a different trigger than the regular 1.0. The new 2.0 series all feature the Pro Series trigger, and it is the best factory trigger of any striker-fired gun I have shot. This is a massive point in Smith and Wesson’s favor.
More of a Good Thing
What else is new? There are a few other changes, but none as radical as those mentioned above. The slide release mechanism has changed, but is in the same place and is the same shape. The ejection port now has a recessed, rounded segment taken out of the top of the slide. I never heard of an M&P with ejection problems, so this may be purely cosmetic. The front of the slide now has cocking serrations, though they don’t extend all the way up the slide like the rear ones do. A 5-inch barrel model is now available in the M2.0, which before was only available in the Pro Series. The 5-inch has a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide, which seems to be 5-inch unique. My other 4.25 inch M2.0 does not have this feature. Important to me, all the M2.0 models currently available do not have a magazine safety disconnect.
As important, what has not changed? Smith and Wesson did a real solid to the consumer on this one. Unlike future generation pistols we have seen from other manufacturers, all prior accessories from the M&P line still work. Yes, it is backward compatible. I tested this myself on magazines and holsters. Magazines still function flawlessly, and visually are indistinguishable from the 1.0. My Safariland retention holster holds the new guns just as secure as the old one, no problems. It is really nice to be able to buy a new gun without needing to invest in a pile of adds-ons, when you already spent the money once.
The new M2.0 models represent a significant improvement in the well-established M&P line, and I am excited to see how they continue to grow. The line-up has some really great weapons with a solid track record. S&W has kept the option of a thumb safety as well, should you desire one. Available from day one, most of the SKUs come in flat dark earth as well as black, to add some color to your collection. 9mm and .40 are available now, with .45 ACP slated for the near future. This is a leap forward for Smith and Wesson I am happy to have gotten my hands on it.
For more information, visit https://www.smith-wesson.com.
To purchase an M&P 2.0 pistol on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=M%26P%20pistol.