For a while now I’ve been wanting to sample the Smith & Wesson M&P, specifically the M&P45 Compact, as a possible replacement for my Springfield XD45 Compact. Nothing wrong with my XD, just wanting to try something else. Well, the M&P45c is hard to come by, not sure why, but it is so when I found one last week, I purchased it.
Today I was finally able to take it to the range for a little trigger time. Let’s talk about the triggers. The XD and M&P have completely different triggers. Yes, they’re both striker-fired and therefore “not a 1911” (against which they’re constantly, yet wrongly, compared), but they feel completely different. The XD trigger, with which I am more familiar, once the slack is taken up, sort of squishes through the end of the process. Some people hate it but it never bothered me. On the other hand, the M&P trigger, once the slack is taken up, has a definite catch before releasing. Compared to the XD, the M&P could be called “crisp” but it also felt heavier.
Here is my honest report on my first shoot with the M&P45c. I have heard/read that the M&P would have less felt recoil than the XD. The recoil spring felt lighter on the M&P than my XD, but when shooting I really didn’t notice too much of a difference.. The M&P felt slippery in my hand, meaning the grip texture didn’t seem to grab me as much as my XD’s grip texture does. The gun was constantly turning in my hand. Also, I was shooting chronically 3-4” low at 7 o’clock, which means I was anticipating recoil and pushing the trigger.
I may have found a couple of reasons for these results, however. First, like I said, the trigger is different. It will take some getting used to. Even though I knew mechanically what I was doing wrong, I just couldn’t seem to stop pushing the trigger. Too much trigger finger, you say? Using solely the pad of my finger, my grip felt funny and the gun felt more slippery. This led me to understand what my second problem may be. I was shooting the M&P with the small grip insert installed. As you may know, the M&P comes with three different-sized back straps which can be easily swapped out to better fit the shooter’s hand. At home when I was dry firing the M&P the small back strap felt best to me. With the small back strap the grip measured the same circumference as my XD (scientifically discovered via the use of my wife’s sewing tape. Yes I know that just because circumference was the same doesn’t mean that dimensions were the same in all places). Like an idiot, I hadn’t taken the other two back straps to the range so I couldn’t swap them out to see if one made a difference. Oh well, that just means more range time
At this point the jury is still out. I really, really want to like the M&P but I need to get the grip size figured out as well as the trigger. I’ll spend some time over the next few days dry firing so as to work the seer a little bit. I’ve read on the internetz that the M&P trigger can have a “break in” period. We’ll see.