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Old 07-27-2011, 04:12 PM
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Default M&P Safety Features

Just a bit of background about me. I'm a new shooter. I've been shooting about 4 months. I've taken a couple of classes, some private instruction and have my CHP. I'm currently shooting a Colt 1911-22. My shots are getting pretty tight and I've signed up for more classes that require a "modern defensive handgun'.

I have narrowed it down to the M&P 9mm and H&K P30. I'm a leftie and these seem to suit me well.

One thing I am unclear about is the safety features of the M&P. For the P30, there is an available safety and that long first DA trigger. That gives me some piece of mind (maybe it shouldn't) but it does.

Would someone please explain the safety features of the M&P? Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:53 PM
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The M&P is a striker fired semi-automatic pistol. This trigger system prevents the firearm from discharging unless the trigger is fully depressed, even if the pistol is dropped. An internal lock and/or magazine disconnect are available as options and an optional external thumb safety.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:19 PM
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Make sure you do research on the available safety features and decide what you want, but never use them as a crutch. Your brain and your trigger finger are the final defense against a negligent discharge. Also keep in mind that manipulating features such as a thumb safety will need to be incorporated in your training regimen. Personally I strongly advise against a magazine safety, and I don't like thumb safeties either.

As far as drop safety, i.e. gun going off if the gun is dropped or hit with a large force, all modern firearms including the M&P are extremely safe in this regard.

I think you are picking a good caliber, 9mm, and it's very good that you are getting training. Good luck with your purchase and enjoy your new gun.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:38 AM
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Recommend you get the M&P9 withOUT magazine or frame safeties, a good Bladetech holster, several magazines, and a case of 9mm. Take the price difference between the P30 and M&P9 and attend a good three day "basic tactical pistol" course and learn how to employ a handgun in a fight.

A safety is not needed on either pistol (unlike your M1911). Like your M1911 you have to keep your thumb on top of the safety lock 100% of the time the pistol is in your hand or it will be ON when you must have it OFF.

I consider the P30 about the least desirable HK pistol available today. A quick message doesn't provide the space for this discussion, but the HK45C, P2000, and USP Compact are better handling pistols.

Based on "demands" of the North American market the HK P30 can be obtained in a clumsy DA/SA version with an even more redundant safety lock lever, or as a LEM (law enforcement modification) trigger without dinguses (see the HK45C photo below). The LEM system, with the right springs, can be setup up to produce a very nice ~5 pound trigger every shot.

It is indisputable that a DA/SA trigger requires much more training and practice to master the first long 10 pound trigger pull followed by a short 5 pound pull for subsequent shots. You can master it, but why bother?

The M&P9 with Apex Tactical parts will produce a nice 5 pound trigger as well.

Since the "perfect pistol" is literally a lifetime quest you may want to try an HK pistol. Mechanical differences of hammer vs. striker fired pistols aside, my HK45C and M&P9 pistols have the same 5.3 pound trigger pull every time. No encumbrance levers. The HK45C is Light LEM.

It's hard to beat the M&P9 in this market though and I recommend it highly.



-- Chuck

Last edited by chuck s; 07-28-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:52 AM
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I respect Chuck's opinions on the LEM and P30 and a manual safety. For me, I absolutely hate the LEM trigger or any hammer fired DAO. Being a long time SIG Sauer shooter I am at home with DA/SA and run it very well. The P30 is an extremely desirable pistol and my hands down favorite of the many pistols I own. There is a price difference but HKs are worth every penny spent on them.

The M&P is a wonderful pistol and after working with them I will never buy another Glock. Concerning an external safety, that is an option for you to decide upon. The safety has its place in certain applications and atmospheres and I prefer them on light trigger pull striker fired pistols. The safety can be used when you want to or just left off. If you don't have the safety, you can't use it. Best of luck with your decision. Bill
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:16 AM
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I was at first concerned when my wife told me she wanted a M&P, and even more concerned when she decided to take a 4 day training class. I had never owned a striker fired pistol, and I kept having visions of her shooting herself on the draw or during reholstering. Long story short, she did great in the training, never had any AD's, and let me try her gun for a class. I now have my own M&P without the mag safety, or external safety.

Good luck with whatever YOU choose...
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:48 AM
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I'm a lefty too, and love the M&P platform. Mine does not have either the magazine safety (it WILL fire a chambered round with no magazine) or the external thumb safety. It does have the previously mentioned "drop" safety and the typical trigger safety (trigger is hinged - bottom half must be pulled into alignment with upper half before trigger will depress and all the gun to go boom). I'm still not a fan of the trigger safety, but understand the need for one.
A couple of random thoughts for you... #1 - The "wingnut" attached to the "boom switch" is the ultimate safety for any gun (you, the shooter, with good training ultimately creates a safe shooting environment). #2 - I own 1 handgun (for now ) and opted against a DA/SA to shorten my proficiency time. I like the idea of consistency from 1 trigger pull to the next. Plenty of others on this forum will outshoot me with their DA/SA - it's obviously a trustworthy option with the appropriate amount of training. If you can commit to that training and prefer that platform - go for it. To choose that platform because you think it's a "safer" option???? See #1.
#3 - As a lefty, I initially switched the magazine release to the other side of the M&P (VERY easily done in about 1-minute). However, I switched it back with the thinking that most guns I will shoot in the future (purchased, borrowed, or "acquired" in a time of need) will be set up for a RH shooter. So, I'm keeping it simple.
Best wishes to you regardless of your final choice.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:41 PM
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The LEM functions exactly as a Single Action, just like the M&P. Both are marketed as DAO to police agencies to meet political "safety" concerns. Standard LEM is horrible, just like a DAO pistol with a 9 pound trigger weight. Get the Light version or change the springs at home.

The trigger on my M&P9 and LEM pistols is darn near identical. Only difference is the external hammer, but neither I nor the cartridges care how the firing pin gets activated.

-- Chuck
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:28 PM
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The nice thing about magazine safeties are: 1; They give you the ability to "turn the gun off"! You can leave a round in the chamber, manual saftey off, and yet the pistol is perfectly safe, until you put the magazine back in.
2; It gives you an added retention factor in a fight! If your suddenly overwhelmed or your adversary has somehow gotten a hold of your primary weapon, you can drop the mag thereby giving he,she,they,or it a "dead gun". And it gives you time to draw your back-up and remove said problem(s)!
Between the M&P or P30: Get the one that feels best too YOU! Both of them work extremly well, and you can tailor the grip to fit your hand with either.
Go to a range and rent both and try 'em out if you can. Dale
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:01 PM
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You'll find opinions on safeties all over the map. To further confuse things the M&P is offered with options for safety features that are also all over the map. You can get an M&P with a thumb safety like a 1911, you can get them with a magazine safety or without, finally they all come with that silly flipper trigger that just bugs me. BTW, the reason that flipper trigger bugs me is that if you have skinny fingers and grab the trigger high, you won't be able to pull it.

Personally I started out shooting revolvers and prefer my guns to not have any safeties that I would have to remember to turn off. It happens that I have a striker fired semi, but it was chosen partly due to it's featuring a passive grip safety. However, my Springfield XDm is a range gun only and I wouldn't consider carrying it, IMO the trigger is just too light. I like to carry guns with what many consider to have a heavy DA trigger, which in my case is Sig Sauer. However, Sigs with the DA/SA trigger set are distinctly right handed, so my vote would go to the H&K if you intend to carry. If it's purely for range use, the M&P is a fine gun at a much more affordable price as long as you can adapt to that silly trigger.

Finally, I would advise you spend some funds on renting any of your potential choices at a range that offers rentals and try them out. Finding a handgun that fits YOUR HAND isn't something you can learn by reading about them, you actually have to try them out. By renting you avoid making the mistake of purchasing a gun that isn't a good fit and later selling it at a loss.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:45 PM
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I agree with the guys that say get the one that feels best in your hand.
If you get the M&P thumb safety model you can easily remove that safety in a few minutes if you decide you don't like it. There's a video on Youtube showing how. But if you don't get the safety I don't think it can be added later.
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