Smith & Wesson® Introduces 2nd Generation M&P® 15 SPORT™ Rifle

Market Leading MSR Delivers Expanded Features, Added Value

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 11, 2016) — Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced that it has expanded its popular M&P family of Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) with the introduction of the M&P15 SPORT II — a 2nd generation M&P15 SPORT rifle. Backed by the company’s reputation for high quality components and consistent, proven reliability, the new M&P15 SPORT II offers enhanced upgrades to the original, industry leading M&P15 SPORT rifle. Delivering a ready-to-go package with the additional features of a forward bolt assist and dust cover, the M&P15 SPORT II provides added value to this already time-tested platform.

m&p15 sport gen 2

Dependable, accurate and engineered for a wide variety of recreational, sport shooting and professional applications, the M&P15 SPORT II provides the best combination of price and function. Manufactured on a forged upper and lower receiver constructed of 7075 T6 aluminum, the new M&P15 SPORT II is as rugged as it is capable. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the new rifle has been fitted with a 16-inch barrel comprised of 4140 steel with a 1 in 9-inch twist. For added longevity, the rifle features a durable corrosion resistant Armornite® finish along with a chrome-lined bolt carrier, gas key and firing pin.

The M&P15 SPORT II comes with an adjustable, folding Magpul® MBUS® rear sight and an adjustable A2-post front sight. The standard rifle has been furnished with a six-position telescopic butt stock and a 30-round PMAG®. The MSR measures 35 inches with the stock fully extended and 32 inches collapsed. The M&P15 SPORT II has an unloaded weight of 6.5 pounds and is standard with an A2-style flash suppressor and a forged, integral trigger guard.

The M&P15 SPORT II will also be available in state compliant models.

For more information on Smith & Wesson’s M&P family of products, including the complete line of M&P15 SPORT rifles, please visit

About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design, delivering a broad portfolio of quality firearms, related products, and training to the global military, law enforcement, and consumer markets. The company’s firearm division brands include Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, and Thompson/Center Arms™. As an industry leading manufacturer of shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and gun cleaning supplies, the company’s accessories division produces innovative, top quality products under Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., including Caldwell® Shooting Supplies, Wheeler® Engineering, Tipton® Gun Cleaning Supplies, Frankford Arsenal® Reloading Tools, Lockdown® Vault Accessories, and Hooyman™ Premium Tree Saws. Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and Missouri. For more information on Smith & Wesson, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to

We almost forgot about #pumpday

In all the excitement today, we almost forgot it’s PumpDay! So send those submissions in for next week to [email protected] to be featured!


Today we have one quick submission, it’s the Troy Pump Action Rifle! Designed for those pesky states that hate freedom, the Troy PAR is..well…it’s a Pump-Action AR15. And that’s pretty dope.

Smith & Wesson M&P15 MOE review

Sometimes you just need meat and potatoes. The AR15 market is so crowded right now; everything from basic entry level rifles all the way up to multi-thousand dollar high-end near custom guns. It’s quite similar to the 1911 market, to the point that the phrase “AR15” is nearly meaningless other than to describe an idea of a rifle. But what if you don’t want to build your own gun or spend $3,000 on a custom build? What if you just want a .223 caliber rifle that feeds from 30 round detachable box magazines, runs reliably, has good features, and nice ergonomics? Well, if that’s what you want, perhaps you should check out the Smith & Wesson M&P15 MOE.

m&P15 moe-1

The Vitals
What we have with the M&P15 MOE is meat and potatoes. With the exception of the mid-length gas system, it’s as close to “rifle, 5.56, generic” as you can get, and the addition of the Magpul Original Equipment that makes up the stock, handguard, and pistol grip makes the gun a lot more comfortable to shoot than a truly generic “rifle, 5.56.” A 16 inch barrel, fixed front sight post, Smith & Wesson’s proprietary flash hider – everything on this rifle is set up to be simple and rugged. It weighs 6.5 pounds unloaded without an optic, which is right in the butter zone for rifles.

Unlike most of my gun tests, I didn’t test the M&P15 MOE on an isolated range; it was with me for a day in the Wyoming desert on an epic prairie dog hunt. This really gave me a feel for the rifle’s real world utility. It’s easy to say that a rifle is great when your review consists of shooting a few boxes of ammo through it on a private range; it’s another thing to say it’s great when you’ve had it bouncing around in the cab of a UTV, covered in dust, getting in and out of vehicles, and shooting over 400 rounds in hot, dusty conditions.

The Test
I drew the M&P15 MOE out of a pool of available rifles. Initially, I had some feeding problems with the gun; a quick inspection showed that the bolt was bone dry. I hosed the BCG with some available lube, and it ran like a top for 300 rounds of various Hornady .223 ammo.

m&p15 moe-3

Over the course of the day in the desert, the M&P15 MOE did everything I needed it to do. It was accurate enough to hit prairie dogs out to 250 yards, it was reliable (after being lubricated), and it was fast handling. There were a couple of opportunities to snap-shoot prairie dogs that were inside 25 yards on us. With the short barrel and collapsible stock, the MOE carbine rode along in the door pocket of the UTV like it was meant to be there. My favorite shot of the entire hunt was cruising on private property, the passenger in the UTV says “there’s one to left” – I hit the brakes in the Viking, spot the prairie dog about 20 yards out of the driver’s side door. The rifle comes up to my shoulder, safety comes off and BLAM I’m treated to flying prairie dog parts.

m&p15 moe-4

The Verdict
Do you want a reliable, accurate rifle that has all the stuff you need and none of the junk you don’t need? I’d strongly recommend giving the Smith & Wesson M&P15 MOE mid-length a look. It’s widely available, retails for right around $1,000, and will do everything you need it to do. Just make sure to keep it lubricated!

Gun Review: T/C Encore Pro Hunter .223

Sometimes simple is the best solution. It doesn’t get much simpler than the T/C Encore Pro Hunter platform; a single shot, single action, receiver which can be mated to any number of different rifle barrels in various calibers to produce anything from a modern muzzleloader to a close range brush gun in .500 Magnum. The version I spent a day with in Wyoming was chambered in .223 with a 26 inch fluted, stainless steel barrel. The rifle’s mission was simple: shoot as many prairie dogs as possible.

tc encore pro hunter 223-1

Riding on top of this rifle was a Bushnell ELITE LONG RANGE HUNTER scope, the LRHS 3-12x 44mm. Again, I was very impressed by the quality and clarity of the Bushnell optics I used, I could easily hit prairie dogs at 200 yards with these scopes and could see them all the way out to 400 yards.

The Vitals
The T/C Encore Pro Hunter starts life as a stock and frame combination. It’s important for NFA purposes to only ever put rifle length barrels on the rifle stocks, and never to put a short, pistol length barrel on the rifle actions. As mentioned above, my sample was a rifle chambered in .223 Remington with a 26 inch barrel. Every Encore features an ambidextrous, single action mechanism; the hammer is rather clever in that it can pivoted either to the left or the right to make cocking the gun easier and to avoid striking any scopes that may be mounted on the gun. The action is released by pulling the lever that protrudes from and forms part of the trigger guard, which can be clearly seen in the below photo.

tc encore pro hunter 223-2

Lacking a trigger pull gage, I wasn’t able to get an accurate assessment of the weight, however it was a very clean and relatively light trigger. I’d guess based on my Mark 1 Model 00 Index Lever Puller that it’s around 3 pounds. There are no ejectors on the gun, so each fired cartridge must be manually extracted by hand. Doing this while wearing gloves combined with the small diameter of a .223 cartridge was mildly annoying, and I found myself wishing for automatic ejectors when confronted by en masse charges of zombie prairie dogs.

The Shooting
Actually shooting the T/C Encore is a blast. There is a certain zen quality about running a single shot rifle on distant targets, it forces you to take your time and take good shots. When running an AR15 on the plains rat hunt, I frequently found myself taking a “good enough” shot, knowing that I had 29 more shots to back it up if I wanted to purse the “accuracy by volume” approach. With the Encore Pro Hunter, every shot I attempted was the best shot I could take in that moment. Plus, because the gun was a .223 with a relatively long and heavy barrel and a large, comfortable cushioned stock, felt recoil was negligible. I could easily spot the fall of rounds through the scope; and when using the T/C Encore I was treated to frequent prairie dog explosions.

Photo by Brad Howe - ATV Rider/
Photo by Brad Howe –

Even when the rifle didn’t make contact, there is something satisfying about the manual process of reloading. It’s hard to describe, but cracking the action open, pulling out the spent casing, and inserting a new round had a primitive, retro feel to it. While I know it’s not the same as reloading a Trapdoor Springfield in the face of a charging Indian horde, the act of a manual reload on the Wyoming plains just felt right.

The Verdict
I didn’t really want a T/C Encore before July 6th. Now, not only am I planning on ordering one, I understand why people buy them in such large numbers. Aside from the modular nature of the gun, which lets you play LEGO for grownups to your heart’s content, the T/C Encore just feels good to shoot. It’s everything I love in a rifle: lightweight, functional, accurate, and perfectly customizable to your mission. Would I recommend one for a tactical home defense gun? No, of course not. But a T/C Encore Pro Hunter rifle action can be successfully used for everything from a bone simple rimfire trainer all the way to a bear thumping .500 Magnum; a .223 varmint gun, or an Indiana woods deer-blaster. That’s pretty neat in my book, and now that I’ve finally spent some serious trigger time on one, I get what everyone else is saying. The T/C Encore Pro Hunter is a great platform, and in its varmint configuration was nearly perfect for eradicating prairie dogs.