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  #1  
Old 03-19-2009, 07:09 PM
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Default Updated 6 years later: Initial Impressions: S&W M&P 45

From 3-19-2009:

I recently ordered a M&P 45 "mid-size" (4 inch barrel, SKU 109307). Cost was $619.00 delivered, from a first class local dealer; greater than some internet prices, but I got exactly the model (no magazine interlock, no safety) I wanted and the purchase is totally backed up by dealer service and support.

The fit and finish of this pistol are excellent.

The pistol appears to be well-designed. The take-down is ingenious and enhances safety. The requirement to move the sear deactivation lever before moving the slide forward and off the frame eliminates the typical procedure of pulling the trigger prior to moving the slide of a striker-fired pistol forward.

The captive recoil spring is an excellent design, virtually ensuring the spring is re-assembled correctly.

One minor flaw: During re-assembly, the plastic slide endcap can easily strike the sharp beak in the magazine well above the sear deactivation level, causing marring of the plastic. In fact, my pistol came from the factory with a cut in the plastic, presumably from original initial assembly.

I fired 120 rounds (100X ball of two types and 20X JHP) on my first trip to the range with this pistol without any failures or problems. The 10 round magazines offer excellent capacity, in practical terms for a .45 not bested by many (e.g., the FNP-45, with a much fatter grip, and the XD-45). I could load easily only 9 rounds in the two mags that came with the pistol -- I have two free mags coming from S&W as part of a special deal through 30 April -- but I think I will be able to get 10 in them after the springs relax a bit.

The trigger pull is smooth and relatively light. It qualifies as having a "long trigger pull" for safety's sake, but it is not unduly so. I got no sensing of what some reviewers call a "gritty" feeling in the trigger. With the striker-fired design, every pull is consistent.

The pistol appears to be very accurate - shot placement at 20 feet offhand was all within 3 inches, my practical best with any pistol. The pistol's absolute accuracy is unknown, but exceeds my ability to aim it consistently (old eyes!).

The pistol is a pleasure to hold. The various backstraps (S, M, L) allow tailoring of the pistol to the user. Despite the fact this is a large pistol, it feels comfortable in my medium sized hands.

Recoil in .45 seems controllable (this is entirely subjective). Few handguns feel as natural and perfect as a M1911A1 or a Kahr P9, but the M&P 45 is very, very close. However, the pistol jumped in my hands a bit, which I attributed to the grip being somewhat smooth despite the stippling cast into the polymer frame. I have added several patches of skater tape to the gripstock, but I'm not sure how well they will adhere to the stippled grip material. I may have to smooth out a small segment along the front strap (1/4 inch X 2 inches vertically) to ensure the skater tape adheres well to that key area (under the pads of the fingers, at the front of the grip).

Overall, from my initial experience I would rate this pistol as an "A". If a horde of VC hit the wire, this is the pistol I would grab.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:57 PM
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Great review! I have tried Tru-grip grit tape on my PD issued MP9, and found it wanting. I bought a "sharkskin" textured grip insert from Dan Burwell, and liked it very much. It is very secure in the hand without being abrasive to my hand or my shirts, either in my duty holster or IWB. I went ahead and textured the frontstrap myself in a matching pattern, and did front and back of my personal MP9c. I used a cheap woodburning tool after practicing on an old airsoft pistol and the case the MP9c came in. I really like the texture, it is firm and secure, and unlike grip sleeves, adds no bulk. Again, it does not abrade my hand or my shirts, just keeps the piece firm in my grasp.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:11 PM
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I looked at the mid-size gun too, but ended up buying a full-size. They're both nice guns, but since I didn't anticipate carrying the gun, the longer gun appealed to me. My gun was ordered with night sights. Unfortunately, it shoots a bit high for me, with 230-gr. loads, but I would rather have it shoot a bit high than a bit low. With 200s or 185s, it might be right on.

I always hesitate to talk about recoil here since I feel like a big sissy when I hear how fond everyone on the revolver forum is of their 4-inch (or shorter ) 44 Magnums, but I think the M&P45 is pretty soft-shooting - actually more so than a 1911, if not quite as soft as the world-champion soft-shooting .45, the 4506. It is definitely more enjoyable than the M&P40, which, with racy loads, is downright bouncy.

My gun seems to have a rather tight chamber. One of my handloads using a cast bullet that every other .45 I own feeds and shoot just fine absolutely will not work in the M&P. But it can't be faulted for accuracy. My gun has a rather gritty trigger, but even so, I can cover most of my shots at 25 yards with my hand, which is better than I normally shoot a striker-fired pistol. With the large backstrap in place, I like the gun a lot. I need to do a bit more testing with it, but it is about to get put on nightstand duty, if it continues to behave properly.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:32 AM
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Great post.

I am advocate of striker fired pistols and have both a M&P45 Mid and compact. I believe that if you have a pistol you perform well with and enjoy carrying, you should own two! I also own an HK45 & C as well as an FNP45. My M&P45's are on par from an accuracy perspective with my HK's and perform better than the FNP.

I have found my M&P's fit nicely and secure in many of my Glock holsters. These 45's are great pistols. I wish I could say the same for the 9mm variants. I owned two 9c's and that suffered from one too may FTE's to my liking and had to go. MY M&P 45's are here to stay..
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:21 PM
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I got rid of my 9mm M&Ps not long after picking up a slightly used 2013 production M&P FS45. Accuracy wise, I busted out the X ring with the first 10 shots at 15 yards from the FS45. I couldn't even come close to doing that with my FS9 or 9c, although the 9c was more accurate than the FS.

Definitely happy I made the switch. Only thing I did to mine was round and polish the factory striker block and drop in an Apex sear. When I busted out that X ring though, it was completely stock.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:20 PM
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I have no experience with the mid-size, but my full-size M&P .45 is a great shooter!!
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:25 PM
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How about a more current review on this 4 1/2 year old thread?

Do you still have the gun S&W Rover? Is it still as awesome as it was when new?

.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:12 PM
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i have the 45c M&P and love it !
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Lake View Post
How about a more current review on this 4 1/2 year old thread?

Do you still have the gun S&W Rover? Is it still as awesome as it was when new?

.
Some irony here. Over the years, I let that original M&P45 get way from me... but just today ordered another one almost like the one I bought in 2009 (SKU 109307). I ended up getting the 307607LE, very similar but with Night Sights and the magazine safety. One big difference: this one cost me $514 shipped, with an additional $50 rebate from S&W coming off that -- over $150 less than the one I bought in 2009. What was I thinking back then?

So I will take it to the range the weekend after it arrives from Bud's Guns and see how it does. Most of what can be said about M&Ps in general, and the M&P45 too, has been said over the years on this forum. So the update will just cover improvements that I can notice in the trigger (e.g., the "2012 trigger") and any other things I might be able to perceive. I intend to keep this pistol mostly "stock" and stay away from the Apex parts, good as they are, to keep the overall price down. I will delete the magazine safety lever and replace it with the S&W factory spring that fills in the space (sneaky way to get one without the warning embossed on the right side of the slide!). I have ordered a third magazine.

This will be a home-defense and travel gun that goes to the range, not a range gun. I will be reloading practice ammo (I just ordered 500 230 grain bullets from Xtreme, and still have a stash of around 2000 large pistol primers, and some new found Unique, Power Pistol, and Red Dot powder). Comments and observations to follow. Old and jaded as I am, I am pretty excited about this gun.
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Last edited by S&W Rover; 06-12-2015 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Revised info on actual model purchased
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:49 AM
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Having 2 45Cs and an FS, you can't go wrong with any of them. You can have both options by picking up a used full size slide. One of the neat features of the 45 and 45C, is the slides are interchangeable. The midsize is essentially the full size frame and a compact slide. I picked up a used full size slide, and barrel, in very good condition for a decent price. Also picked up a full size storm lake threaded barrel and added a compensator to play with.

If I had the choice of only owning a single M&P45, it would be the compact. I essentially turned one of my compacts into a full size by slapping on the extra full size slide and using a 10 rd mag w/ X-grip adapter. The X-grip adapter actually gave it a bobbed/rounded grip similar to what a lot of 1911s now have.

Last edited by ultratec00; 06-11-2015 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:25 AM
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I shot the new M&P45 Mid Size last night -- over six years since buying and reviewing the one mentioned in the first post on this thread. I shot around 200 rounds of fairly stout handloads, both FMJ and JHP. Strong recoil, a bit more than I remembered, but quick recovery. Accuracy was very good and consistent. This is a nice pistol, as good as I remembered it.

Total reliability - everything fed, fired, and ejected. Remember when you used to have to shoot ball ammo in the 1911, because JHP would get stuck on the feed ramp. No such issues with the M&P.

The pistol's striker leaves a solid impression in the primer, with a slight "tail" mark from the shell's ejection. This pistol's reliability right out of the box is a great thing and means a lot to me. I recently purchased a top brand name 9mm striker-fired pistol that I enjoy shooting but it is finicky with ammo and while still new is perplexing in that it has failures to feed and eject periodically. In the long run, anything less than total reliability makes a pistol a candidate for "gun trader" on the web.

The trigger on the M&P45 is heavy with a relatively short and smooth (not "gritty") takeup and an emphatic break. My guess is that it is around 8 lbs. I will leave it this way for now. Often M&Ps lighten up a bit and smooth out more after some use.

Fit and finish on the M&P45 are superb. This model has the magazine safety, which means no safety warning printed on the right side of the slide. I will replace the safety lever with a spacing spring (Mag Safety Deactivation Spring, part #1787, $4 from Speed Shooter Specialties). The magazine safety is unnecessary and complicates takedown.

The 500 bullets (230 grain round nose plated) arrived from Xtreme, and a reloading session is next. The goal will be to make a number of different loads, maybe 20 rounds in each, to see what works and what the gun likes, starting with lighter loads. My guess is this pistol will shoot everything well, unless too light in power. Powders to be used include Unique, Power Pistol, and TiteGroup.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:46 AM
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If you find the trigger on a stock M&P relatively "smooth and light," I am very interested in hearing what guns that comparison is being made in relation to.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
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If you find the trigger on a stock M&P relatively "smooth and light," I am very interested in hearing what guns that comparison is being made in relation to.
McE, its not light, but it is smooth. What I wrote: "The trigger on the M&P45 is heavy with a relatively short and smooth (not "gritty") takeup and an emphatic break."

The break seems to be around 8 lbs. Again, that's pretty heavy.

To add a comparison, I think the trigger on this M&P is smoother, but heavier, than my M&P9 when it was stock. Certainly a lot heavier than that the M&P9 after I installed the FSS and improved striker block from Apex.

One option is to go to Apex parts to make it lighter, and that is tempting. I have the firing block apart right now, and am considering doing a Burwell job on the sear.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:11 PM
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I wrote that response about the first post, saying "The trigger pull is smooth and relatively light."
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
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I wrote that response about the first post, saying "The trigger pull is smooth and relatively light."
Got me there. Maybe it was lighter on that one in 2009, but more likely I was (at that time) comparing it more to revolvers.

When I had this one apart today to remove the magazine safety and install a S&W replacement spring, I looked through a box of old parts and found a sear with a more tear-drop shaped ellipse shape (rather than oval shape) and replaced the one that came with it. The M&P 45 seems to have a little lighter trigger now. I had to open up the piece at the end of the trigger bar a bit for it to work correctly.

The goal for this gun still is to not spend a lot of money on it by adding Apex parts. It will be a SD and truck gun. A heavier trigger is acceptable.

ADDED: Put some 3M floor tape (aka skater tape) around the front strap of the grip, giving a better surface for holding on to the M&P45 -- not a small pistol.
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Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols Thread, Updated 6 years later: Initial Impressions: S&W M&P 45 in Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols; From 3-19-2009: I recently ordered a M&P 45 "mid-size" (4 inch barrel, SKU 109307). Cost was $619.00 delivered, from a ...
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