Moving Over To The Smith & Wesson M&P 9c
Long time readers of ThruMyLens and my YouTube channel will know I own a Springfield Armory XD(m) 4.5 9mm for home protection and range use, a Ruger SR9c for conceal carry, and I also just picked up a Smith & Wesson M&P 22 for practice. Three different guns from three different manufacturers. Admittedly, not a great idea – most training pros recommend a single, uniform platform for training and carry purposes. Granted, the two guns primarily used (the XD(m) and the SR9c) are both striker fired firearms and function very closely. But there are still important differences, which has made me consider selecting different models of firearms from a single manufacturer.
I first considered both Springfield Armory and Ruger, since I owned and liked both of their products. SA was out almost immediately – as much as I like how my XD(m) shoots, there is an issue with the magazine release I talk about in my above-linked review of the XD(m) 4.5 9mm. When the magazine is full or partially full, the magazine release can be painfully difficult to engage, which has been a real detriment to me while using the gun in league competition. And as much as I like and shoot well with my Ruger SR9c, I’ve never really cared for the full size SR9. It’s also received some pretty strong criticism from some folks I respect, which I talk about in the below video. Glock? Never liked Glock. Great gun – just don’t care for them personally (grip angle, trigger…). I briefly considered Sig, but I’m hearing from just about everyone that Sig no longer makes their guns with the same level of quality they used to. It was also pointed out to me that in this day and age, there’s really no good reason to own a hammer fired weapon.
That left me with good old Smith & Wesson and the M&P. A good friend of mine has been shooting with an M&P 9mm compact model for several years now and loves it. And I really have grown to appreciate the M&P form factor over the past couple of months of using the M&P 22. So I made the decision to sell my XD(m) and SR9c and purchased three S&W M&P 9mm handguns:
You may be wondering “why three??” One is intended to be my wife’s firearm, one is intended to go in my bedside table drawer, and the other is intended to be both my conceal carry firearm and my range/competition firearm. I found a smokin’ hot deal on everyone’s favorite gun brokering site on two M&P 9c models equipped with factory (Trigicon) night sights. One of these will go in my bedside table drawer, and one will go in my wife’s, since there’s a strong possibility of those two guns being used in low-light. The night sights work great in low light conditions, but the white markings on the posts aren’t as large and prominent as they are on the third M&P 9c I purchased without night sights. I’m not sure I’d recommend the factory night sights over other options from 3rd party manufacturers like Tru-Glo which have better visibility in both high and low light conditions. Here’s a comparison photo illustrating the difference between the factory sights – standard sights (left) vs. factory night sights (right):
The third M&P 9c I bought with the intention of mounting a Leupold Deltapoint optic on the slide. My aforementioned friend with the M&P 9c sent his off to Bowie Tactical for a number of modifications, including have the slide milled to accept the Leupold Deltapoint. As much as I’d love to have Bowie work his magic on my gun too (optic, trigger job, etc), Bowie is a victim of his own success – he’s so backlogged with orders that it’s currently taking about six months for the completion of these sorts of projects. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon an M&P 9c owner in the M&P-Pistol Forum community who had a Bowie customized M&P 9mm compact complete with a 7.5 MOA Leupold Deltapoint optic, and cowitnessed sites. He didn’t have the opportunity to try the Deltapoint optic out before he had Bowie do the work, and when he got it back he determined that with his particular vision problems, he was better off shooting with standard gun sites. So he was interested in trading slides with someone who had an unmodified M&P 9c. So we struck up a deal and his slide is currently inbound to me. I’ll definitely review the Bowie installed Deltapoint once I’ve had the opportunity to shoot with it.
I’ve also purchased an Apex Tactical Forward Set Sear and Trigger Kit (FSS) to replace the stock trigger. The FSS trigger is designed to not only remove the trigger pre-travel, but to also lighten the trigger pull to somewhere between 4 and 5 lbs. With the FSS installed (which I had done by my local armorer), the trigger now seems very similar to my previous Springfield Armory XD(m) trigger which I absolutely loved. Here’s a photo of my M&P 9c with the new trigger installed:
I was never crazy about the hinged stock trigger – the Apex Tactical FSS trigger is metal (aluminum) with a Glock style safety which I much prefer:
I’ll be doing a seperate review of the Apex Tactical FSS Trigger Kit soon, but I’ve already ordered a second – one for my carry gun, and one for the bedside table gun.
Here’s a video where I discuss the journey which took me to the S&W M&P platform, and my initial thoughts and impressions on the M&P 9c:
I’ve put about 300 rounds through each of the three M&P 9c models I own, and am well satisfied at my switch over to the M&P platform. Check back here often for more M&P related articles!
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.