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M&P M2.0 Compact 9mm First Impressions

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Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact 9mm

I have owned a variety of M&P semi-autos since they started producing them back in 2005.  I bought my first M&P, a full-size .40SW, from Guns & Leather 12 years ago when the pistol first came out and quickly followed it with an M&P 40c and then several other versions joined them over the years.  The 40c and the 9c were never really a favorite of mine as they seemed to suffer from the same things that the Glock 26 and 27 sub-compacts did.  Namely, they weren't small enough to really be a pocket gun but they weren't large enough to be very versatile either.  Just like with Glock, if I was going to carry a double-stack 9mm, I was going to go for the Glock 19 instead of the 26 and with the M&P it meant the full-size 9mm.

The M&P Shield was a huge step in the right direction for Smith & Wesson for those who wanted a slim 9mm for deep concealment.  It also really put the spotlight on the fact that the 9c was, in my opinion at least, really not good enough at any one thing to make it a compelling option.  If only S&W would just listen to their customers and build something exactly the same size as the Glock 19/23.  We just wanted them to give us 15rds of 9mm in a package slightly shorter in the slide and grip than the full-size.

Apparently someone at S&W has finally listened.

 

i-WfF7KP6-XL.jpg

 

The new M2.0 Compact scratches all of the itches in all the right ways.  It is as if Smith and Wesson's lawyers finally relaxed and gave the engineers the green light to go ahead and build a better Glock 19 than Glock does.  And boy did they get it right.  And they kind of snuck it in on everyone.

The M2.0 Compact version really doesn't seem to have received the fanfare or enjoyed the publicity blitz that its full size brother did.  The release wasn't timed to coincide with any of the major industry shows.  The internet wasn't ablaze with rumors of the new gun until it had essentially been announced by S&W.  I only saw the "leaked" promotional slick for the new gun maybe 48 hours before the company published it officially.  And yet the paradox seems to be that the lack of hoopla over the gun is significantly the inverse of just how good it is.

 

i-CK8snqD-XL.jpg

 

The new M&P Compact no longer occupies a weirdly confusing spot in Smith & Wesson's lineup.  It no longer tries to follow in the equally awkward footsteps of the Glock 26/27 platform.  Instead, it has taken the Glock 19/23 platform squarely in its sights and blown the center out of that target with a better option.  The new Compact gives a platform that is perfect for concealed carry, with superior ergonomics, a better feel and a sexier look than its Austrian competitor.  And, just as the Glock 19/23 will fit into a holster made for the larger 17/22, the new M2.0 compact fits even better into holsters made for the larger M&P full-size.

 

i-8VqqJFJ-XL.jpg

 

Carrying the M2.0 Compact in a TT Gunleather "Mike's Special" leather inside the waistband holster made for my M&P 9mm Full-size yields an extremely comfortable and potent concealment package.  The shorter Compact fits the longer gun's holster as if it were made for it.  The slide is only 1/4" shorter at the muzzle but otherwise identical in dimension to the larger gun.  The trigger guard is exactly the same size.  The grip is of course shorter in length at the cost of giving up two rounds of 9mm, but 15 rounds is hardly inadequate and the shorter grip deftly avoids printing against a t-shirt when concealed.

 

So, how does it shoot?

 

i-djj7Ttg-XL.jpg

 

It was no problem at all to keep the first two magazines (30 rounds) that I ever fired from the gun inside the head kill zone of a man-sized target at 15 yards.  The pace of fire was slower at first but I quickly ramped up the speed to my normal cadence for defensive shooting (2-3 rounds in rapid succession) with only marginal widening of the pattern.

I found the trigger's break to be crisp and predictable.  I haven't measured the pull yet with my Lyman gauge but i expect that it is somewhere between 4.5lbs and 5.5lbs based on the way it felt.  I haven't bothered to check to see what S&W specs it at despite the ease of finding such information with Google.

The trigger reset is no more exciting than any other M&P that I have ever owned.  For those who like the extremely tactile reset of the Glock pistols, you won't find the M2.0's reset to be quite as audible or authoritative.  It's a little on the limp and soggy side, but I've never found that to be a bother or to hamper my ability to shoot the M&P platform quickly and reliably.  I tend to subscribe to Rob Latham's philosophy that if you "ride" the trigger you will find it hard to pick up an unfamiliar gun and cycle it reliably.  As a result I've spent the past 20 years learning to keep my grip firm and sight-picture correct rather than relying on riding the trigger's reset to keep my groups small.

Your mileage might vary and the soft reset may drive you nuts, but Apex Tactical Specialities has all of the trigger and ignition parts you need to make your M&P feel a little more Glock-like if that is what you are after.

 

Another thing that I noticed with the M2.0 Compact is that, with mine at least, the slide lock seems to have been improved by S&W so that lefties can finally release it with their dominant hand's thumb and not pull a hernia in the process.

 

I am not a lefty so I am at a disadvantage any time I try to do lefty-things, but the slide lock lever is no trouble for me to manipulate with my thumb left-handed.  My hands are built like that of an ogre with shorter, stronger fingers, but I still think that almost any lefty will be able to release the slide with the lock lever and that it will only get easier as the gun breaks in.

 

Final thoughts...

None of us ever buy a handgun with the idea in mind that we are going to publicly tell the world how big of a mistake we made.  I have read many glowing reviews of handguns only to follow up with the author's writings later to see that they had parted way with that new wunderpistol once the honeymoon was over.  I guess it is just human nature to want everyone else to think that we always make good choices and aren't careless with our money.

That being said, I have bought some real turds over the years.  I have spent money on guns that were nowhere near as good as the magazine pundits or YouTube pimps said that they were.  I've taken new guns to the range and immediately knew that I had made a serious mistake, and already had an idea of how I was going to sell them before I ever got through the second magazine of ammo.  HOWEVER.  This isn't one of them.

Hands down, the M&P M2.0 Compact is a winner.  It's riding my hip right now in that TT Gunleather IWB holster.  It is replacing my Glock 19 for daily carry.  It is going to cause a lot of other guns in my library to spend lonely days in the safe.  It is really that good.

I found it to be incredibly accurate and flat shooting.  The size is perfect.  The texture on the grip is perfect.  The trigger feels just fine to me.  The only thing I changed, and I did it immediately as I do with almost every handgun for which they are made, was to install a set of Ameriglo Pro i-Dot sights with orange outlined tritium front dot and simplistic black rear sight.  In this case, the rear has the U-shaped notch that I prefer and a single dimmed tritium dot.

 

Perhaps the most powerful statement that I can make about the new Compact is that I will be buying at least one more of them to have as a backup.  And I am probably going to sell some other guns that I won't be shooting anymore.

 

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I guess I know where my Mad Money account is going next. I own the M&P .45c now and after getting over the initial dislike of the trigger am pretty happy with it. 

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Great review, David.  As the proud new owner of one myself I agree with your remarks and have only one thing to add:  it is a joy to shoot.  The recoil impulse is similar to that of an all steel or alloy 9mm; more of a nice shove than the snappiness of other polymer-framed offerings like the G19.  I assume that may be attributable to the steel reinforcement throughout the dust cover/railed area of the frame.

The M&P M2.0 Compact is definitely a winner.

Edited by Garufa
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Great write up indeed!

 

How much are you guys paying for the new 2.0 compact? I was contemplating going back to a 19 for carry but the 2.0 is intriguing!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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9 hours ago, GhstFace38 said:

Great write up indeed!

 

How much are you guys paying for the new 2.0 compact? I was contemplating going back to a 19 for carry but the 2.0 is intriguing!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

You should be able to find one under $500 based on what I'm hearing. Some shops here are around $460-475.

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17 hours ago, GhstFace38 said:

Great write up indeed!

 

How much are you guys paying for the new 2.0 compact? I was contemplating going back to a 19 for carry but the 2.0 is intriguing!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Grabagun.com had them for $409 plus shipping to your local FFL last week.  I think total shipped was around $420. 

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I handled one of these today and really like the grip and texture. It would probably be a bit abrasive after several hundred rounds but not horrible. 

I have to admit the trigger was a big disappointment. The take-up was long and gritty. That's really the only negative I could find. It's odd that S&W would improve every other aspect of the gun but still can't produce a decent trigger from the factory. I'm guessing this could be improved with an Apex upgrade..?

I'm going to hold out and see if I can ever find a CZ P10 to fondle.

 

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16 hours ago, Ahitchc4 said:

Good price...and I'm tempted, but the distance for me sort of puts it of play. Also, like Erik88...I'm really waiting on the CZ P10c.

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7 minutes ago, hipower said:

Good price...and I'm tempted, but the distance for me sort of puts it of play. Also, like Erik88...I'm really waiting on the CZ P10c.

I will admit that for $399 I could live with the horrible trigger. That's a steal. 

 

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On 10/26/2017 at 2:02 PM, jh225 said:

OK David, the real question is............ How does the S$W 2.0 compare to the CZ P-07 and the CZ P-10C ?

I like it better than the P10C.  It's a tie between it and the P-07 but bear in mind that they are somewhat different animals.  Striker fired M&P and DA/SA P-07.  I think they are among the best of breed for both categories.

 

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Good review. I haven’t looked at this yet, since some of you have done your homework I’ll just ask..

So this is length and height wise in between the Full size and Compact, with the same width?

My carry holster is open on the end so I can use it for either my full size or compact. Will it fit this new model?

I have a D.M. Bullard for my 40C that is closed on the end. Will this compact fit it?

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14 hours ago, TGO David said:

I like it better than the P10C.  It's a tie between it and the P-07 but bear in mind that they are somewhat different animals.  Striker fired M&P and DA/SA P-07.  I think they are among the best of breed for both categories.

 

Thanks David.

Guess I will have to check one out.

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46 minutes ago, Danger Rane said:

David I have to ask, what are you using to get pictures of this quality? I'm guessing a real camera of some sort, not the phone variety?

Believe it or not those were all taken with an iPhone 7.  I just upgraded to an iPhone 8+ through work and it has an even better camera, so I can't wait to try it out soon.

The best advice I can give is use natural sunlight and avoid using the flash if at all possible.  Early morning, early evening and cloudy days are the best for taking photos.  Or, if you can take your photos in a shady area on a bright day, it works well too.

I do have a Canon DSLR, but I find myself using it sparingly these days.  The cameras in the iPhones have gotten really, really good.

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4 hours ago, DaveTN said:

Good review. I haven’t looked at this yet, since some of you have done your homework I’ll just ask..

So this is length and height wise in between the Full size and Compact, with the same width?

My carry holster is open on the end so I can use it for either my full size or compact. Will it fit this new model?

I have a D.M. Bullard for my 40C that is closed on the end. Will this compact fit it?

Width is the same.  Length of the slide is 0.30" shorter and the overall height is 0.50" shorter than the full size.

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49 minutes ago, TGO David said:

Believe it or not those were all taken with an iPhone 7.  I just upgraded to an iPhone 8+ through work and it has an even better camera, so I can't wait to try it out soon.

The best advice I can give is use natural sunlight and avoid using the flash if at all possible.  Early morning, early evening and cloudy days are the best for taking photos.  Or, if you can take your photos in a shady area on a bright day, it works well too.

I do have a Canon DSLR, but I find myself using it sparingly these days.  The cameras in the iPhones have gotten really, really good.

That's impressive. I just upgraded to an iPhone 7 so I guess I need to start practicing your lighting suggestions, thanks. 

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I bought a router from TGO David and was able to check out this pistol of his, I loved it and so I ordered my own I should have it next week I am really looking forward to this one!

I am hooked on the Trigicon HD sights so I know for certain I will be putting them on 

 

Awesome and very informative review David!

Edited by willis68
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On 10/26/2017 at 1:36 PM, Erik88 said:

 

I handled one of these today and really like the grip and texture. It would probably be a bit abrasive after several hundred rounds but not horrible. 

I have to admit the trigger was a big disappointment. The take-up was long and gritty. That's really the only negative I could find. It's odd that S&W would improve every other aspect of the gun but still can't produce a decent trigger from the factory. I'm guessing this could be improved with an Apex upgrade..?

I'm going to hold out and see if I can ever find a CZ P10 to fondle.

 

So S&W still hasn't fixed the trigger? :/ I purchased a Gen 1 Compact two years ago in .45ACP and was very disappointed.  Not only with the trigger (the most horrid trigger I had ever experienced on a $400+ pistol), but with the pistol as a whole.  It felt extremely clunky and unbalanced.  Not to mention that it required a tool for take down; another negative for me. I tried my best to like it, but ultimately ended up trading it away two months later for an Springfield XDs .45 ACP (which I still have, shoot and carry). Accuracy was on par for a polymer striker fired pistol and it was reliable.  Never had any issues with that at all (but just 200 rounds of mostly ball).  Honestly, my experience with this pistol has kept me away from the Shield in any caliber. 

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12 minutes ago, Moped said:

So S&W still hasn't fixed the trigger? :/ I purchased a Gen 1 Compact two years ago in .45ACP and was very disappointed.  Not only with the trigger (the most horrid trigger I had ever experienced on a $400+ pistol), but with the pistol as a whole.  It felt extremely clunky and unbalanced.  Not to mention that it required a tool for take down; another negative for me. I tried my best to like it, but ultimately ended up trading it away two months later for an Springfield XDs .45 ACP (which I still have, shoot and carry). Accuracy was on par for a polymer striker fired pistol and it was reliable.  Never had any issues with that at all (but just 200 rounds of mostly ball).  Honestly, my experience with this pistol has kept me away from the Shield in any caliber. 

I have no problem with the trigger on my M2.0 9mm Compact and requires no tool to disassemble, just like all Shields, but that stupid lever is still in there if you really want to take it down that way.

Edited by Garufa

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Just now, Garufa said:

I have no problem with the trigger on my M2.0 9mm Compact and unlike the first edition of the Shields requires no tool to disassemble, but that stupid lever is still in there if you really want to take it down that way.

So you don't have to flip the lever down or up whatever direction it called for in the disassembly instructions with some sort of pointy tool?  That's a plus!!! Having cut my teeth with pistols on the 1911a1 in the military, having to have a tool to take down any weapon for basic maintenance just sorta irked me.

Seriously, how is the trigger?  I do not want to spend another $150 for another part to make a pistol perform the way it should, straight out of the box.  I really want to like these pistols, since S&W is an American company, but once burned...

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