Smith & Wesson M&P

This article is about the full-size and compact centerfire pistol line. For other uses, see Smith & Wesson M&P (disambiguation).
Smith & Wesson M&P

A Smith & Wesson M&P with a detached magazine.
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 2005–present
Used by See Users
Production history
Manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Produced 2005–present
  • M&P Full-Size (9mm, .40)
  • M&P45 Full-Size
  • M&P45 Mid-Size
  • M&Pc (Compact Size)
  • M&P Pro Series
  • M&P9 JG
  • M&P9L
  • M&P Shield (9mm, .40, .45 ACP)
  • M&P22
  • M&P Bodyguard 380
Action Short recoil, locked breech
Feed system Detachable box magazine
Sights various iron sights

The Smith & Wesson M&P (Military and Police) is a polymer-framed, short recoil operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistol introduced in the summer of 2005 by the American company Smith & Wesson. It uses a Browning-type locking system. While targeted at law enforcement agencies,[1] the M&P is also widely available on the commercial market.


The M&P is a hybrid evolution of the Smith & Wesson Sigma and Smith & Wesson SW99 design but does not share parts compatibility with the Sigma. The M&P design has an improved trigger and enhanced ergonomics that allow for end-user customization. An industry standard picatinny rail and a higher grip has been afforded with an improved grip and beavertail. Many of the ergonomic study elements that had been incorporated into the Sigma and the Smith & Wesson SW99 were brought over to the M&P. The improved trigger weight and feel and the unique takedown method (not requiring a dry-fire pull of the trigger) were meant to set the M&P apart from the popular Glock pistols.

Design details

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 became available in 2009.[2]

The pistol frame is made out of Zytel polymer reinforced with a stainless steel chassis. The pistol comes with three removable and interchangeable grips. The slide and barrel are made out of stainless steel that after hardening is treated with a proprietary nitriding process called Melonite. The Melonite process produces a matte gray non-glare surface with a 68 Rockwell C surface hardness rating. The pistol has a very low slide profile which holds the barrel axis close to the shooter's hand and makes the M&P more comfortable to shoot by reducing muzzle rise and allowing for faster aim recovery in rapid shooting sequence. The slide has four contact points with the frame. This was done to make the rail system self cleaning, by leaving room for any dirt or small foreign objects to fall out of the weapon.[3]

As the slide of the pistol enters battery, the striker engages the sear. At this point, the sear is held back in a partially cocked condition. When the trigger of the M&P is pulled, the trigger bar first engages the firing pin safety plunger, lifting it upward, and releasing firing pin safety. At the rearward extreme of the trigger bar's travel, it engages the sear. The sear is rotated downward by the trigger bar, fully cocking, then releasing the striker. The striker makes contact with the primer of the chambered round, which in turn ignites the gunpowder and propels the bullet forward. According to renowned M&P gunsmith Dan Burwell, the angle on the rear face of the sear creates a camming action against the striker. This camming action moves the striker to the rear very slightly during the trigger pull, thus finishing the "cocking".[4] This system is similar to the partially tensioned striker found in the Glock series of pistols. When the pistol cycles for the next shot, the striker will be automatically pre-set in a 98% cocked position. Because the striker is only 98% cocked prior to the trigger being pulled, Smith & Wesson classifies the M&P's action as "striker fired (double action only)".[5][6]

The M&P factory trigger is of the jointed type and has a trigger travel of 7.6 mm (0.3 in) and is rated at 29 N (6.5 lbf). The M&P45c models have a slightly higher rated trigger pull of 31 N (7.0 lbf). The competition oriented M&P40 Pro Series have a reduced trigger pull of 20 N (4.5 lbf) due to the installation of a Smith & Wesson performance center sear. Massachusetts (MA) approved models have a trigger pull of 45 N (10 lbf).[7]

Several safety features are prominent on the M&P. A sear deactivation lever permits the shooter to disassemble the pistol without having to pull the trigger to accomplish disassembly. The pistol also has a loaded chamber indicator viewing opening on top of the slide.

Ergonomics were a key focus in the design of the firearm, and as a result, three interchangeable palm swell grips are included (small, medium and large). The trigger guard is designed to accommodate gloves. The frame of the M&P has a magazine release button that can be changed from the left to the right side. The magazine drops free when the magazine release is pressed. The firearm features an ambidextrous slide stop and reversible magazine release for either right or left hand operation.

The pistols are delivered with two magazines.[3]

The standard iron sights are of the three dot type and made of steel. Both the front and rear sights are dove-tailed into the slide, and can be horizontally drifted to adjust for windage correction.[3]

An integrated Picatinny rail can be found underneath the slide on the front of the frame for attaching tactical lights, lasers and other accessories.


Additionally, there are ten-round magazine versions available of each pistol for the California, Massachusetts, New York, Australian, and Canadian markets. Novak tritium night sights are also an available option for both the full-sized and compact versions. Another optional accessory is the stainless steel lanyard pin. The new pin replaces the original solid plastic pin with one that has a stainless steel ring embedded for use with a lanyard.[8]


Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield with LaserMax CENTERFIRE LASERS.

The M&P is available in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, with barrel lengths in 5.0", 4.5", 4.25", 4.1" 4.0", 3.5", and 3.1".

The M&P Pro Series is available in 9mm Parabellum and .40 S&W with 4.25" and 5" barrels. The M&P9 Pro Series 5" and M&P40 Pro Series 5" pistols feature a Novak fiber optic green front sight and Novak reduced-glare rear sights, instead of the night sights found on the 4.25" models, since the 5" models are aimed at competition.

The M&P9 JG is a standard size Champion series variant named for Julie Golob and fitted with a Warren Tactical rear sight and a fiber optic front sight. Besides the three standard black grip inserts it comes with two small and medium-sized pink grip inserts. A portion of the proceeds from sale of these models will go to a breast cancer awareness charity and an awareness ribbon is etched on the slide of the pistol.[9]

In 2007 the full-size .45 ACP version of the M&P was introduced sporting a 114 mm (4.5 in) barrel. This model also won Handgun of the Year in 2007.[10]

In 2008, Smith & Wesson introduced new versions of the M&P: the M&P45 Mid-size, the M&P45 Compact, the M&P9L, and the M&P Pro Series. The M&P45 Mid-size sports a 102 mm (4 in) barrel and a full-sized grip, and the M&P45 Compact targets the concealed carry market with its 4" barrel and shorter grip (with eight or ten-round capacity).

In 2011, Smith & Wesson released the M&P22, a cosmetically similar handgun chambered in .22 Long Rifle. The internal construction and blowback operation of this rimfire cartridge variant is the same as the Walther P22, which Smith & Wesson used to import into the United States, and completely differs from the center fire M&P variants. Rather than the three-dot sights found on other models, the M&P22 has a single dot on the front sight and notch rear that is adjustable for elevation and windage.[11] In 2013 the scaled down M&P22 Compact was released.

In 2012, Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P Shield in 9mm and .40 S&W. The Shield is a subcompact single-stacked magazine variant of the M&P line. The Shield has roughly the same silhouette as the M&P Compact but is considerably thinner at less than 1-inch in width. The Shield is the first M&P to incorporate an improved trigger with positive reset.[12] In 2016 a .45 ACP variant Shield was added to Smith and Wesson's product line.[13] The .45 ACP Shield variant has a 0.2" longer barrel (measuring 3.3") and exhibits larger overall dimensions.

In 2014, Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P Bodyguard 380 in .380 ACP. The M&P Bodyguard is functionally identical to the previous released Bodyguard 380, which it replaces. The M&P branded Bodyguard removes the integrated laser sight of the previous pistol and brings the aesthetics in line with the rest M&P product line. Unlike the rest of the M&P pistols, the M&P Bodyguard is not striker-fired. It is a more traditional double-action-only hammer-fired pistol intended for personal protection, concealed carry or as a law enforcement "back-up" gun.[14]

Model Barrel length
(in inches)
Cartridge Capacity
(rounds per magazine)
(Width x Height x Length, in inches)
(Without magazine, in ounces)
Frame Color
M&P22 4.1.22 LR10 or 121.6 x 5.5 x 7.5
(with thumb safety, 1.2 wide w/o)
M&P22 Compact 3.6.22 LR101.5 x 5.0 x 6.7
(with thumb safety)
Compact 3.59mm
.40 S&W
.357 SIG
10 or 12
1.2 x 4.3 x 6.721.7
Black or Dark Earth
Full Size 4.259mm
.40 S&W
.357 SIG
10 or 17
10 or 15
10 or 15
1.2 x 5.5 x 7.524.0
.357 SIG Black

.40 S&W & 9mm Black or Dark Earth

M&P9L 5.09mm10 or 171.2 x 5.5 x 8.2525.2Black
M&P9 Pro Series 4.259mm17, 15, & 101.2 x 5.5 x 7.524.0Black
M&P9 Pro Series 5" 5.09mm17, 15, & 101.2 x 5.5 x 8.2524.0Black
M&P40 Pro Series 4.25.40 S&W151.2 x 5.5 x 7.524.0Black
M&P40 Pro Series 5" 5.0.40 S&W151.2 x 5.5 x 8.526.0Black
M&P45c – Compact Size 4.0.45 ACP81.2 x 4.8 x 7.12526.2Black or Dark Earth
M&P45 – Mid-Size 4.0.45 ACP101.2 x 5.5 x 7.527.7Black or Dark Earth
M&P45 – Full Size 4.5.45 ACP101.2 x 5.5 x 7.7529.6Black or Dark Earth
M&P Shield 3.1

3.3 (.45 ACP)

.40 S&W
.45 ACP
7 or 8
6 or 7
6 or 7
0.95 x 4.6 x 6.1

(excluding .45 ACP)




M&P Bodyguard 380 2.75.380 ACP6.75 x 4.1 x 5.2512.0Black


Cancelled orders


  1. 1 2 "Smith and Wesson M&P Pistols Adopted by 276 Police Departments in the USA". Guns, Holsters and Gear. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  2. "S&W M&P pistols now with thumb safety (sic)". The Firearms Blog. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  3. 1 2 3 Quinn, Jeff. "Smith & Wesson’s New M&P .40 S&W Pistol" Gunblast Web site. Accessed 17 January 2010.
  4. "is the M&P striker pre-cocked??? – MP-Pistol Index". 2012-06-03. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  5. Scarlata, Paul. "Smith & Wesson M&P: A Semiautomatic Pistol Worthy Of Its Name". Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  6. "Product: Model M&P9". Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  7. "MA Compliant Trigger Pull".
  8. Quinn, Jeff. "Smith & Wesson’s 9mm M&P Semi-Auto Pistol" Gunblast Web site. Accessed 17 January 2010.
  9. Ramage, Ken (2008). Gun Digest 2009: The World's Greatest Gun Book. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media, Inc. p. 182. ISBN 0-89689-647-1.
  10. "Handgun of the Year Award 1992 through 2011". Shooting Industry Magazine. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  11. "Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review". Shooting Times. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  12. Metcalf, Dick. "Palm-Size Power: The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Review – Guns & Ammo". Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  14. "New from Smith & Wesson: the M&P Bodyguard 380". Tactical Network International. 2014.
  15. "Smith & Wesson to Equip South Australia Police Force". 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  16. Millar, Paul (2010-04-29). "Victoria Police switches to semi-automatic weapons". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  17. "New pistol chosen for Victoria Police". 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  18. "6000 pistolets de la police défectueux: "Inacceptable!" selon le SLFP (French)". 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  19. "Nieuwe dienstwapens politie blokkeren soms (Dutch)". 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Smith & Wesson Receives M&P Pistol Order From Canada's Halton Regional Police Service". 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  21. 1 2 "Smith & Wesson Receives M&P Pistol Order From Canada's Halton Regional Police Service". 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  22. "St. Thomas Police Service Annual Report 2008" (PDF).
  23. "Crown appealing decision to drop charges against S-CAP 11". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  24. "No bang in Mumbai Police's new guns". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 April 2009.
  25. "Smith & Wesson Fills M&P9 Pistol Order for Iraqi Military and Security Forces". Earth Times. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  26. 1 2 "Smith & Wesson Ships Orders for M&P Pistols To International Law Enforcement Agencies". 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  27. "Entregan más recursos a la Policía de PR, Puerto Rico". 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  28. "Taiwan Police's got New Pistols – Women Officers and Detectives will be given priority (in Traditional Chinese) 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2011-08-18". 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  29. "L.A. Sheriff Selects S&W's M&P9 Duty Pistol". Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  30. "LA Sheriff Dept. Pulls Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols From Service.". Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  31. "Smith & Wesson M&P Pistol Authorized By U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration". Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  33. "West Virginia State Police and Wyoming Highway Patrol Upgrade to New Smith & Wesson® Pistols" (PDF). December 2011.
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