Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Review – This Time they Got it Right

Smith & Wesson's M&P pistol and its variants have taken the shooting world by storm since their introduction in 2005. Although they were well-made, they left a few things to be desired. Earlier this year they rolled out a much improved and highly anticipated version known as the M&P 2.0.

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Way back in history, one of Smith & Wesson’s classic revolver designs was the 38 Special M&P (Military & Police), a bare-bones, no-nonsense version of the company’s Model 10 that was intended for military and police use in the early 20th century.

The model eventually was cast aside but nearly 100 years later, Smith & Wesson returned the model name to its lineup in the form of a short-recoil, polymer framed, striker fired pistol with a stainless steel chassis that is quickly becoming the company’s mainstay with regard to semi auto pistols.

Offered in 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 SIG and 45 ACP, the original Smith & Wesson M&P came with a number of features that have been influencing other manufacturer’s in the striker-fired arena. Most notably, the interchangeable back strap that allows a shooter to customize the pistol to the size of their hands.

Offered in 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 SIG and 45 ACP, the original Smith & Wesson M&P came with a number of features that have been influencing other manufacturer’s in the striker-fired arena.
Offered in 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 SIG and 45 ACP, the original Smith & Wesson M&P came with a number of features that have been influencing other manufacturer’s in the striker-fired arena.

The original  M&P ships with a set of three dot sights and can be ordered with or without a frame mounted safety, depending on the shooter’s preference. Likewise, a magazine disconnect safety is available for shooters that want one. Other factory options include night sights. Other, special versions like the CORE, have a removable slide plate to allow mounting of a compact red dot or reflex sight such as a Trijicon RMR.

One of our first reviews for Ammoland.com was on the M&P pistol of the first generation. We liked the pistol for the most part, but loathed the trigger. Subsequently, we acquired a 9mm M&P Compact, upgraded to an Apex trigger and use this as our carry gun whenever we travel out of state.

So we were excited when Smith & Wesson offered us a chance to try the M&P 2.0

We wanted to see what they got right, this time out.

The Good

Smith & Wesson did not exactly reinvent the wheel with the M&P 2.0, most of what we wrote previous still holds true. They retained the chassis and actually extended it. Probably our favorite (and often overlooked) feature is the ambidextrous slide stop.

We liked the slightly more aggressive texturing and the fact that the M&P 2.0 ships with 4 back straps instead of 3 will be a hit with some folks.

Probably our favorite (and often overlooked) feature is the ambidextrous slide stop.
Probably our favorite (and often overlooked) feature is the ambidextrous slide stop.

The trigger is a huge improvement over the original. It is a bit crisper with almost none of the creepiness that sent us to the aftermarket. The majority of shooters will be very pleased with this upgrade.

Like the original, you can disassemble the pistol without squeezing the trigger.

The Bad

Well, the trigger is still the worst part of this arrangement. As improved as it is, the M&P 2.0 factory trigger is still no Apex. For me, it’s not the pull weight, release or reset. It is simply the way the trigger is constructed; it feels fragile even though it is not. This is the version they install on their PRO line of pistols.

For some folks, that is good, though.

Really, the only downside we see is being part of the legion of buyers who bought the original without waiting for the enhancements in this version.

A few words about triggers

Triggers are dependent upon the user. If you’re the type who shoots less than 4 times a year and you have an M&P 2.0, this trigger will be great. It will not be so light that if you need it in a self-defense scenario that it will go off prematurely. Of course, if you only shoot a few times a year, you should try to get to the range more often and become a better shooter.

On the other hand, if you have your own shooting lane at the local range and the brass buzzards actually ask you for your empties because you have told them off a time or two and they know your truck, you may find the trigger in the M&P 2.0 a bit lacking.

Personally, Apex has ruined me for most factory handgun triggers, but most shooters will find the M&P 2.0 trigger to be a very welcome upgrade.

It is certainly miles ahead of the prior version.

Personally, Apex has ruined me for most factory handgun triggers, but most shooters will find the M&P 2.0 trigger to be a very welcome upgrade.
Personally, Apex has ruined me for most factory handgun triggers, but most shooters will find the M&P 2.0 trigger to be a very welcome upgrade.

Range time

At 25 yards (75) feet we achieved 3 five-shot groups measuring about 4” in size using American Eagle 115 grain FMJ. We moved back to 15 yards and tightened this up to 3” to 3.5” groups. Out of 250 rounds we had no malfunctions, failures to feed, etc. Outside of two fliers on our target that was probably shooter error, the M&P 2.0 performed well.

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Compact
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Compact

The Reality

Smith & Wesson put a lot of thought into upgrading the M&P platform to the 2.0. Just about every complaint with the original design has been addressed and improvements made. Although the trigger is not how we would like it, the majority of those who complained about the original should be happy with it.

In our opinion, they made a mediocre to good handgun into a great one.

Smith & Wesson M&P2.0 Pistol
Smith & Wesson put a lot of thought into upgrading the M&P platform to the 2.0.

New for 2017: Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0


Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Specs:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Barrel Length: 4.25 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.4 inches
  • Weight: 24.7 ounces
  • Front Sight: Steel, white dot
  • Rear Sight: Steel, white two-dot
  • Action: Striker fired
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Barrel Material: Stainless steel with Armornite finish
  • Slide Material: Stainless steel with Armornite finish
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Price: $599

About Mike SearsonMike Searson

Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.

Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

  • 12 thoughts on “Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Review – This Time they Got it Right

    1. Just bought and M & P 2.0 in 9mm. My third polymer pistol, the other two were recalled and went back to the manufacturer for refund/replacement. I am familiarizing myself with the pistol before heading to the range. Field stripping is very easy once you do it one time an reassembly is a snap. Kudos to S & W for that. One question. My version came with four grips and what appear to be two finger rests which slip over the mags – at least they do that. However, after fitting them to the mags and inserting the mag into the well, the slide is not automatically held back. That is a no-no. What exactly are these things and what function do they serve?

      1. They are spacers so that you can use full sized 17 rd mags in the compact frame. These spaces fill the gap of the longer mags.

        1. Thank you for clarifying that. I bought a 17 round mag a few days ago and the light bulb clicked on when I inserted it in the gun. Good to have confirmation though. Like you review very much.

    2. Just checked out the M&p 2 and it has to be de cocked before you can disassemble the barrel. How is it you can break down this fun without dry firing it? The dealer could not do it.

      1. With the slide locked to the rear, rotate the takedown lever then use a pen or small rod to lower the silver lever inside the weapon. As you are looking down with the weapon pointed away, it is located to the left/rear of the opening. Release the slide and it comes forward and off without dry firing the weapon.

    3. My 2.0 Compact has about 500 malfunction free 40 S&W through it’s barrel so far and no complaints … well there is one complaint. There is no 357 SIG barrel available from S&W, BarSto or anyone else!

    4. M&P M2.0 Replace the sear with Apex two-dot-sear and the required trigger force will drop to about 4.5 pounds, or slightly lighter. Eventually, Apex may have a set of competition parts as they have for M1.0.

    5. The 2.0 is a nice gun and good shooter with improved trigger and grip, although it is very aggressive in texture and might not feel great to some, but will keep your grip in place, and for a carry gun that’s important, sights are good too, my only gripe is the ambi slide stop, and lack of RELEASE , I was hoping S&W would have done a much better job on this, like HK and the new Glock GEN5’s, which work the way they were meant to, a slide release is an important feature on an EDC GUN, and it needs to work and work well, there can be times when using the sling shot method isn’t an option, and either hand needs to be able to function with mag release and slide release, maybe S&W will work on this , because for now my 2.0 won’t be in my EDC rotation…

    6. I have this gun and love it did not have the original sodo not have that to compare to but found trigger to be just fine with a short reset and a lite enough pull am going to use it for idpa will let you know how it does would recomend it 17+1 is not bad either.

    7. DEAR Mr. Searson,
      I am just curious about my M9A1. I like the trigger, safety and weight of the gun. How do you think it stacks up against the S&W M&P 2.0?

      Also, I am 59 and disabled, currently use a walker until I get through all my chemo, but normally use a cane. Do you teach to people with physical limitations?

      William Boyd

      1. Depending on where you are located you might want to contact Pat Goodale at Practical Firearms Training (PGPFT.com). He has two locations, WV & MT and is, arguably, one of the finest Instructors in the world. I trained under him for several years.

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