From the S&W press release:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 10, 2010) — Smith & Wesson® Corp., the legendary 158-year old firearms maker, announced that the company’s Military & Police (M&P) pistol was recently named “Best in Class” for 2009 by Gun Tests Magazine. At the end of each year, Gun Tests Magazine surveys the work of its testing staff to review those firearms endorsed by the magazine’s testers. The “best of” selections are a mixture of the original Gun Tests evaluations and other information the editorial staff compiles throughout the year. For 2009, the Smith & Wesson M&P9 pistol earned the title of “Best in Class.”
“One of the things that separates our awards from many others is that we don’t accept advertising,” said Timothy H. Cole, Gun Tests Publisher. “By doing this, consumers have confidence that our Best in Class selections are the result of head-to-head evaluations and that the outcomes aren’t influenced by anything else.”
During the magazine’s evaluation of the M&P9 pistol, which was originally covered in the May 2009 issue, the test team was highly complimentary about the design and function of the polymer pistol. The evaluators cited that their first impression of the M&P9 was that it felt extremely comfortable in the hand, was well balanced and was pleasantly devoid of extraneous controls and levers.
Ray Ordorica, the magazine’s senior technical editor, who was the original author of the May 2009 article, was quoted saying “The M&P9 provided as our test gun came in a large case with two different grip inserts to make the backstrap larger or smaller. We liked it as it was, so we left it alone. The sights were fixed, and excellent in all respects. With the M&P9, there will be no cut hands from stovepipe drills. Another nice touch (there were many) was the wavy cut of the slide to form the serrations for slide retraction. The matte-black slide was stainless, and the polymer grip was hefty enough that the gun didn’t have a top-heavy feel even when empty.”
Throughout 2009, the M&P Pistol Series delivered strong results in diverse market sectors. In the law enforcement division, the M&P pistol continued positive growth with several full-department conversions including the Detroit Police Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Raleigh Police Department, Tampa Police Department, Milwaukee Police Department, Albuquerque Police Department, Washington State Patrol along with multiple state agencies and sheriff departments. Currently, over 500 U.S. police departments have approved or adopted the M&P pistol for duty use. Likewise, the M&P pistol was used extensively and with great success in numerous national, state and local sanctioned shooting matches. Engineered to become the handgun of choice for global law enforcement and military personnel, the M&P pistol design is based on input from numerous law enforcement and military organizations. The M&P Pistol Series is available in both full-size and compact models and is chambered in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.