One of the Best Polymer Pistols of 2017: S&W M&P 2.0 Compact

It has been almost a year since Smith and Wesson introduced the M&P 2.0 upgrades, and the market agrees with me it was a fantastic set of improvements. Smith and Wesson actually listened to consumers over the decade since the original M&P series, fixing every major complaint with the 2.0. I haven’t heard one bad thing about the 2.0 series, aside from fanboys of other platforms sniveling that it isn’t a Glock. Finally, Smith & Wesson has gotten around to creating a 2.0 Compact, and the results prove to be spectacular.

 

Welcome to the S&W M&P 2.0 Compact

First, in case you were living under a rock or spent time as Bo Berghdal’s cellmate, here’s an abbreviated version of the 2.0 family changes. For starters, every M&P trigger now features the same trigger as the Pro Series, and they are awesome. They’re crisp, clean, and arguably the best striker-fired trigger out of the box. Needless to say, this is a huge improvement. The SIG P320’s trigger rivals that of the M&P 2.0’s, but that debate boils down to personal preference.

Secondly, the frame now sports a steel skeleton. The original M&P polymer frames were not as stiff as rivals, which led to the argument of more felt recoil in the M&P. That has been solved, in spades. Third update: The slides have been streamlined and weight has been removed. This makes for a very thin package, that handles like a dream. Last but not least, S&W updated the frame texture. The new rough texture makes this pistol very easy to hang onto. That’s the quick hits.

SPECS

  • Type: Striker-fired semiauto pistol
  • Cartridge: 9mm; .40 S&W
  • Capacity: 15+1 rds. (9mm); 13+1 rds. (.40)
  • Trigger: 5.8 lbs. (tested)
  • Overall Length: 7.3 in.
  • Barrel Length: 4 in.
  • Sights: White three dot
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel– Armonite Finish
  • MSRP: $569
  • Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson

Click To Read More about the M&P 2.0 Updates.

So, now we have the compact. What, exactly, is the compact? The best description I can think of, it’s a Glock 19 sized M&P. I mean no disrespect to the Smith in that equation, it’s just that the Glock 19 is possibly the most prolific handgun on Earth. And the Compact is the exact same size, scaled to M&P grip and slide profile. If you like the G19, and you like M&P, you will love this pistol.

Updates from M&P Compact 1.0

The new barrel length measures 4 inches versus the 3.5 inches on the original M&P9C. The grip’s lengthened to accept 15-round flush fit 9mm magazines versus the 12-rounders in the old platform. The original M&P9C was a closer comparison to a Glock 26. Which is to say, in this author’s opinion, a stupid size. For both guns. If you already have the frame thickness and most of the barrel, why not just carry a compact?

The Compact is the do anything size. With a sight radius long enough to shoot well, it’s a great pistol for any distance. The barrel is long enough to achieve most if not all powder burn, eliminating the flamethrower short barrels can become. And since there is enough grip to actually fit most of your hand, you can shoot this gun well and quickly. Not just one or the other.

A full-sized gun is a little easier to shoot no question. But the compact is good enough, and even in a tactical set up is plenty. I assaulted half of Baghdad with a Compact sized gun on my belt, and so did most of my peers. It is maybe not the easiest gun to conceal, but it does fit that role well too. I change gun size based on my threat environment, and the M&P Compact would be an excellent choice for a step up from the 7/11 gun.

If you were only going to have one gun in your life, the M&P9C 2.0 would be an excellent choice.

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Range Time

Shooting wise, this gun offered no surprises if you are already familiar with the 2.0 family. It’s accurate, easy to shoot and handles recoil very well. I kept checking to make sure I was actually using the Compact model, certain I had screwed up and grabbed my 2.0 full size. The white dot steel sights prove functional if not sexy, and good enough you don’t want to change them before your first range session.

The 2.0 trigger proved consistently amazing. And like all its bigger brothers, the 2.0 is backward compatible with older M&P magazines. Full sized ones at least. The grip length would prevent Compact 1.0 12 round magazines from seating. I ran all my extended M&P magazines in this gun with no issue. The M&P 9C 2.0 includes two grip extensions that fit 17 round M&P magazines, meaning you can make a 2.0 Commander configuration if you like. This is a winning way to shoot the gun.

In short, it has been a great year for Smith and Wesson, and the M&P9C 2.0 is a clutch finish. This gun falls on my highly recommended list, it is worth your time to look into. I know I am going to have a real hard time letting S&W have this one back.

Check out Clay’s Christmas list and what other stocking stuffers he’d like this year.

For more information about Smith & Wesson M&P pistols, click here.

To purchase a Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Compact pistols on GunsAmerica, click here.

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