Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bought a M&P 9 Pro

My original M&P review

Okay, I did get to try an M&P with a trigger job, a S&W Performance Center pistol. It was a lot better. 

I liked it enough that I decided to get my own M&P 9 Pro. The trigger pull is lighter, and the reset is shorter, and distinct enough to be noticeable.  There is still a lot of mushy take-up, and the reset is a little weak, but it's still a big improvement, and better than a lot of similar striker-fired pistols, although perhaps not at this price level.

I’ve also noticed that the handle of the tool housed in the grip of the M&P kinda guides the magazine into the pistol, about the same way the plugs that I use for Glocks do.

Also took a good look at a new M&P 9 Pro. The contact areas of the trigger bar and sear are nice and smooth. Glock trigger bars, all of them, come as-stamped with rough edges. The feel of the M&P Pro trigger is very Glock-like, with a short and distinct reset, two stages, and a crisp break. Much better than the first M&P that I test fired months ago, although the reset is softer than a Glock. My M&P Pro trigger breaks at 4 pounds, 14 ounces, which is almost exactly what my Glock does with a polished trigger bar and stock 5 pound connector.

The only thing that kind of bugs me is the slide to frame fit, which is pretty sloppy. Not a big deal with iron sights, as the barrel is locked up pretty solid in the slide, but I wouldn’t go making an Open-class race gun out of it.

Although it shoots pretty good, I went from the M&P back to my G17, and immediately noticed that I was shooting noticeably better, even though I was shooting full-power Gold Dot loads rather than the softer practice loads that I was shooting through the M&P.

The M&P was chucking the brass back at me most of the time, which is distracting at best. Not a big deal for me because I've got lots of Glock recoil springs that will probably fix this, but it might be an issue to someone who's not used to tinkering. The guide rod is captured steel unit, by the way, and can be disassembled (although the screw was really tight).

I'm wondering if I shouldn't have bought this one. I'll give it some more time, but it may get traded for something else.

EDIT, 11/22/09: Still have it. It's still hitting me with about 80% of the brass, despite everything I've tried to do with it. I've tried filing the ejector at an angle. I've tried several different recoil springs. I've tried stretching and shortening the ejector. I inspected the extractor, but haven't removed it yet, because it's pinned in place. I'm about ready to give up and send it back to S&W.

UPDATE, 12/11/09: I gave up trying to fix the M&P, and had the shop send it back to S&W for warranty work. It seems to be an extractor problem, and the extractor isn't meant to be worked on (or cleaned for that matter, apparently) by the end user.

UPDATE, 1/10/10: The 9 Pro is back from S&W, and ejection is much better.  Details can be found here.  I'm looking forward to doing some serious testing with this thing.

UPDATE, 2/10/10:  I've put enough rounds through it now, that I'm confident that the ejection problem has been fixed.  It shoots a little bit low, but has been 100% reliable, and is now running like it should.


DaveG said...

My M&P 9 Pro was shooting low too; part of this was caused by the complete misalignment of the sights as delivered by the factory.

After sight alignment (I do all my own sight work using magnifying glass, micrometer, sight tool, and laser boresighter), it was still shooting low.

So I installed a standard Hi-Viz green FO front sight. This sight, which is designed for the M&P 9 standard, is lower than the M&P 9 Pro front sight (.160" vs. .190") and it solved the problem perfectly.

Now I'm hitting 2" groups at 15 yards and 3-4" groups at 25 yards with a combat sight picture (all freestanding and with Federal, Winchester, and CCI ammo; both FMJ and JHP)

Suburban said...


Your handle looks familiar. I've probably read your posts in forums, or something.

Anyway, thanks for the tip. I'm not crazy about the FO front sight, so maybe what I really want is just the plain vanilla M&P front sight, with the dot blacked out, or installed backwards? I was considering putting in an order with Brownells shortly, so I'll look into it.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed actually. I was hoping for something much more accurate. Mind you it ain't bad. But switching back to my 226, I actually am shooting better with my SIG. Any benefit to getting a match barrel?

Suburban said...

Is the M&P 9 Pro supposed to have a special "match barrel." I'm not sure that there's anything really special about it.

You may get some improvement with an aftermarket match barrel. I'm not sure if KKM does M&P barrels, but their 9mm barrels are known for accuracy, and the one I have in one of my Glock 17s is very good.