Going hard in the M&Paint

One of the interesting side-effects of my poor performance at the S&W BUG Nationals is it actually made me want to train hard for the shooting sports again. It also made me want to shoot a gun that’s relevant again, because as much as I love revolvers, they are definitely not what most people are buying and carrying. Because I’m a gunspaz and I love buying new guns, I started shopping around for a good 9mm carry gun that I could also compete with, because hey, who doesn’t love buying new guns? But then I realized that I didn’t need to spend money on new guns, because thanks to GunUp the Magazine editor Shelley Rae, I have a bunch of great guns literally laying around the office.

M&P9 with Viridian C5L on top
M&P9 with Viridian C5L on top

That’s right, we have M&Ps for days. In the safe there are the following M&P variants: Pro Series, CORE, JG, Compact, Shield, and .22. Pictured is the JG, which has been topped with Sevigny Performance sights, had the slide cerakoted snakeskin, and on the inside has a sooper-seekrit trigger. I also ordered a 4 inch thumb safety model, because I have a slide that’s been cut for an RMR (not a CORE slide) which had the negative side effective of disabling the striker block. So I figured an extra layer of safety for that gun would make some sense.

Going with an existing platform that’s already in the office makes way more sense than buying something new, and since I’ve never really used any of these guns it’s like having a new gun anyway. I do have some trigger time with the M&P Platform, I ran the M&P40 Pro Series in L10 for a while nearly 4 years ago in USPSA and in ESP for IDPA. In fact, I shot my ESP Master classifier with an M&P40 Pro. I like the platform, I like the fact that it’s nearly as well supported in aftermarket as Glocks, and I like the way that most of the ones I’ve handled can shoot. My plan for the guns I have right now is to take them all to the range, shoot them for groups, and pick the one that shoots the best. Then I’ll shoot, carry, and train with that until my next match, and see how we do. Should be fun. It’s nice to have a project, and it’s interesting (for me at least) to see how a terrible range performance has motivated me to start caring about my training again.


  1. Whenever I start to lose motivation to shoot, shooting a match generally gets me back interested so I can sympathize. I also think the M&Ps have a whole lot going for them from a competition perspective compared with a Glock (the best thing to compare it to). The main downside for me is the stock trigger which for me has always caused me to shoot left. Something about breaking the stiff wall just always throws off my shot. On the other hand, with Apex kits I believe the trigger is better than a Glock can ever be. The way the parts fit together in the trigger group allows for a superior trigger, mechanically, because of the way they engage with the sear. Even a Glock with a Glockworx wundertrigger is inferior to the Apex M&Ps.

    Advantage of the Glocks is they don’t rust, whereas M&Ps sometimes do (after extreme neglect). If you want a gun you can treat like a lawnmower the advantage remains in the Glock.

    Right now I shoot a CZ in competition, which I love, and have a shield for carry (Apex of course) but I’m starting to think an M&P Pro may need to be in my future…

    1. I think the point is that it’s more important to pick something that’s good enough and practice with it. That’s more effective than picking the “perfect” gun platform du jour.

  2. Caleb, with that much M&P experience what’s your take on the 9mm accuracy issues the platform has/had?

  3. ………and don’t be a-feared to stipple the front strap as well. It’ll add balance to that dangerous slide. And it’s functional to boot! Besides, S&W provided such a purdy outline for it that your bed will be burning until it’s done.

    Admittedly, it takes a pair of swingers to munch on a perfectly good frame but then you don’t want to end up like the ‘Stones’, who ain’t gettin’ no Satisfaction.

    Jus my two centavos.

    (feel free to edit my stream-of-consciousness)

  4. What company Milled your RMR slide? It shouldn’t have taken out your FPB. Most dont. Kinda alarming.

    1. Idk, I bought it second hand from a friend. Also, it looked fine and seemed to work fine, but when I gave the gun to Apex they noted that the striker block was disabled and not performing its function.

      1. I can’t say that I’ve monkeyed around with RMR’d M&P pistols that much, but all the right parts were there in my brother’s slide when I changed the battery last year. His was milled by OST/TSD.

  5. Andrew: I suffer from “pushing to the left” due to small hands having trouble reaching around my STI or Glock. Best solution came from Jerry Miculek. Got lucky enough to get a quick lesson from him. Took my normal slide-in-line-with-forearm grip he asked why I was holding the gun that way. Had me square up to target and roll my hand farther around the gun to extend more trigger finger over the trigger. Helped a bunch.

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