The pistol under review is a Smith and Wesson Military and Police 2.0 large frame pistol, similar to the M&P .45. There are two versions of the M&P 10mm, a 4-inch barrel and 4.6-inch barrel. Each features the same full-size grip and 15-round magazine. The pistol I chose was the 4.6-inch barrel handgun. It was simply the first I was able to locate.
The 4.6-inch barrel pistol is the better choice as a go-anywhere do-anything hunting, defense, and competetion pistol, while the shorter pistol may be easier to conceal — by .6 inch. The pistol features suppressor height sights and a flat faced trigger, along with slides delivered optics ready.
My example features an ambidextrous safety. Smith and Wesson offers a total of four models — the short and longer barrel versions with/without a manual safety. I like the manual safety as I am used to the 1911. The safety falls under the thumb easily and is positive in operation. If you don’t like the safety, you may ignore it or order the pistol without a safety.
I like the Smith and Wesson 2.0 improvements. It isn’t all about looks. The pistols feature a more aggressive grip texture. The trigger action is considerably improved. Trigger compression is smooth and sharp with a rapid reset.
The pistol is delivered with a total of four grip inserts to accommodate different hand sizes. With a pistol of this size, the difference in hand fit is important, and it is worth trying the different grip inserts. All the pistols (so far) are all black with Armornite nitride finished slides. The slide and barrel are stainless steel under the finish. The pistols are shipped in a cardboard box with two 15-round magazines, manual, and grip inserts.
This isn’t a heavy handgun at just under 30 ounces unloaded. This gave me pause. A 40-ounce 1911 in 10mm offers noticeable recoil. I wanted to see how Smith and Wesson handled this. An advantage of modern polymer technology is seen in the price of the pistol, less than $700. The pistol is as attractive as the price tag.
The pistol has many features that make it perhaps the most modern polymer-frame striker-fired pistol. The grip frame itself is interesting. Near the base of the grip and the center of the long side of the magazine are half-crescent cutouts. These are designed to aid in removing a stuck magazine. A tool is located in the base of the grip.
Rotate the tool and the grip strap insert is easily removed. I used the insert marked small during firing. I like the balance of abrasion and adhesion on the grip. The abrasion doesn’t hurt the hand when firing but if you do not wear a T-shirt, the abrasion may feel rough against the skin. A T-shirt under a sport shirt and the pistol carried in an inside the waistband holster is ideal.
Makers have learned that a cutout near the juncture of the trigger guard and grip helps to lower the pistol’s bore centerline. This is a good addition. The pistol features a modern frame rail with plenty of real estate for mounting your chosen combat light.
The ambidextrous safety lever indents smartly. When drawing and firing, the safety falls under the thumb easily. Engaging the safety during tactical movement is simple enough. The slide lock is easily operated. However, since it is protected by the frame, you will not accidentally actuate the slide lock during firing.
The pistol features forward and rear cocking serrations. The front of the slide is nicely beveled, which makes for easily slipping the pistol into a holster and aids in press checks. The M&P 2.0 features raised sights that allow a co-witness with a red dot sight.
The CORE mounting system is supplied with seven polymer mounts. The polymer mount isn’t a concern, as the red dot screws into the slide. The system is well done and allows using several popular red dot sights. I did not explore the red dot option at this point.
The sights are well regulated for personal defense firing on the money with the six o’clock hold at 15 yards. Disassembly is easy. Lock the slide to the rear, clear the magazine, and check the chamber. Rotate the takedown lever, lower the slide, press the trigger, and the slide assembly runs off the frame.
Then, pull the recoil spring assembly out and slip the barrel out of the slide. The flat recoil spring assembly is one reason the pistol is comfortable to fire. The new trigger is a great improvement over older Smith and Wesson Military & Police handguns. The trigger features the usual blade-type safety that must be depressed completely to press the trigger. Compression is 5.2 pounds — excellent for a striker-fired pistol. Reset is sharp. This isn’t the clean trigger found on the SIG P210 or quality 1911, but it is a very good striker-fired trigger.
The pistol was lightly lubricated along the frame rails, muzzle end of the barrel, barrel hood, and cocking block. I had on hand the Federal 200-grain SWIFT, Fiocchi 180-grain JHP, and Magtech 180-grain loads. As with most handguns I test, I had performed a pre-range dryfire routine. Just the same, the first shots were nothing to brag about.
I noticed recoil was lighter than you would think, lighter than any 10mm 1911-type I have fired. As I concentrated on the third magazine of Magtech ammunition, I fired a magazine at a 7-yard target with all but two in center mass and then a fast two to the head. That is excellent performance.
The pistol never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. The initial range session was promising. During subsequent range work, I fired the pistol at longer ranges, fired from below eye level (an excellent test of reliability), and fired for absolute accuracy. With most loads, the Smith and Wesson Military & Police 10mm pistol will group bullets into 2.5 inches or less at 25 yards.
Among the loads tested was the Federal 200-grain SWIFT. This load is designed for high accuracy and deep penetration against deer and boar. It delivers on both counts. The Fiocchi 180-grain JHP is available in 50-round boxes. This load fragmented in water testing. It would be a formidable home defense or personal defense loading.
The M&P 10mm will slip into most M&P .45 holsters but be aware of the tall sights. I used a Galco Yaqui Slide during most of the evaluation. This is a useful belt slide adjustable to fit several handguns. I also used the Falco nylon inside the waistband holster with good results. Holsters should not be a problem for this new handgun.
|Magtech 180-grain FMJ||1,154||3.0|
|Fiocchi 180-grain JHP||1,202||2.5|
|Federal 200-grain SWIFT||1,070||2.25|
|Federal SWIFT||32 inches||.56 inch|
|Fiocchi 180-grain JHP||20 inches||Fragmented|
Caliber: 10mm Auto
Height: 5.6 inches
Overall length: 7.9 inches
Weight: 29.6 ounces (unloaded)
Width: 1.3 inches
Conclusion: M&P 10mm Auto
The M&P 10mm is going to make its presence known in the market. It isn’t often I find a handgun with such a well-defined lead over its competitors. For home defense, personal defense, hunting, or defense against dangerous animals the 10mm Smith and Wesson should be at the top of the list.
10mm fans are not the biggest cross-section of shooters, but their love for the cartridge is as powerful as the full power load. Are you a 10mm fan? How does the Smith and Wesson 10mm compare to your favorite? What is your favorite full power load? Share your answers in the comment section.