By Dan Kidder
Managing Editor

In January, Smith and Wesson introduced the world to the upgraded versions of their popular M&P pistol line. Version 2.0 fixed everything that I felt was lacking or substandard in the otherwise excellent pistol, without sacrificing any of the features that made the gun superior to other striker fired pistols on the market.

The M&P has a lower bore axis, which makes for less muzzle rise and faster target reacquisition. This makes for quicker follow up shots. Smith and Wesson kept the low bore axis, the interchangeable grip inserts to allow shooters with different hand sizes to comfortably shoot the gun and the grip angle that feels more natural in the hand. All of these features made it an excellent striker fired pistol.

What they fixed was what was arguably the worst trigger on any gun out there. The original M&P had an 8 to 8.5-pound trigger with a rough and gritty pull and a sloppy break. A roller cam on the connector gave a false reset, that made people think the trigger had fully reset when it had not. In version 2.0, the trigger is very crisp at around 6 pounds and they have removed that false reset, so it audibly clicks when it is ready to fire the next round. A bump molded into the back of the trigger guard against the frame prevents overtravel of the trigger beyond the break and a short take-up means less movement to prep the trigger for firing. I absolutely love the new trigger enhancements. I have upgraded components in many standard M&Ps to make the trigger as good as the 2.0 trigger is out of the box.

Another modification that Smith and Wesson made is the aggressive texturing on the grip of the 2.0. It is so rough that it feels like grit tape on a skate board deck, but it is checkered into the grip and inserts so it won’t wear off. This gives you positive control of the pistol and prevents it from pivoting in your hand. This grip texture is especially noticeable when your hands are sweaty or wet. Additional stability comes from a stainless-steel chassis molded into the polymer grip to prevent flexing of the gun when firing.

On top, S&W carries their stylish and functional slide serration scallops to the front of the gun for press checks or just more options for racking the slide. Placing these just above the accessory rail allows those who find themselves in need of more gripping areas to unload and show clear, while capturing their ejected live round.

The grip comes with four different inserts, small, medium, large and extra-large, with different length of pulls and various widths, so the gun can be customized to the hand of the shooter. The inserts are easily swapped in just a few seconds by rotating the frame tool assembly at the base of the magazine well. This retaining pin also functions as an armorer’s tool for complete disassembly of the gun.

To round out the comfort and ease of operability, the M&P 2.0 features an easier to use and access ambidextrous slide lock lever that feels better ergonomically under the thumb. Locking and unlocking the slide can be more easily achieved than on the previous version.

Heavy duty steel, three dot sights in the front and back give you an excellent sight picture and will stand up to a lot of abuse without distorting or breaking.

The magazine release has been extended for easier access and all the gun’s controls are comfortable to operate with minimal readjustment of your grip. It is almost as if Smith and Wesson hired an ergonomics engineer to ensure everything was configured for your comfort.

The delivery mechanism is an Armornite coated stainless-steel barrel with a 1:10 twist. The Armornite coating is also on the slide and resists rusting, scratching and the elements, while providing a micro texture that aids in gripping. It looks great, but is also very durable and will hold up to a lot of use and abuse.

I was already a fan of everything about the M&P, pistols other than the trigger and with this latest upgrade, Smith and Wesson has made one of the best striker fired pistols on the market. It would be a great pistol for home defense, competition or daily carry and the size and weight make it very concealable without sacrificing functionality or comfort. The Compact model comes with two 15-round magazines and two extra slide-on gap fillers to allow use of full-sized magazines. It even works with first generation M&P magazines.

Check out the new and improved Smith and Wesson M&P Compact at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse and see if it would be a good fit for your defensive toolbox.

  • M&P Compact 2.0

  • Model: M&P9 M2.0 Compact

  • Caliber: 9mm

  • Capacity: 15+1

  • Barrel Length: 4” / 10.2 cm

  • Overall Length: 7.3”

  • Front Sight: Steel - White Dot

  • Rear Sight: Steel - White Two Dot

  • Action: Striker Fire

  • Grip: Polymer

  • Weight (unloaded): 24.0 oz / 680.4g

  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel - Armornite Finish

  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel - Armornite Finish

  • Frame Material: Polymer