Lone Star Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0

Smith & Wesson is one of the biggest names in the firearms industry, especially in the world of revolvers. That said, they hold their own when it comes to polymer frame semi-automatic pistols. The debate between M&P and Glock is a hotly-contested one, and will be for ages to come. Personally, I prefer the M&P for several reasons, so there is a bias when it comes to this review. That said, I could not be more excited to have had the chance to review Smith's new M&P 2.0. If you don't care to read the details and just want the basic info, feel free to skip to the video below.

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First Impressions

If the M&P 2.0 has just one noticeable upgrade, it is definitely the grip stippling. It is VERY aggressive and there is no doubt that it is planted in my hand. In fact, if you pay close attention to the video, when I'm shooting the original M&P, you can see my grip readjust after each round. Conversely, there is no need to do so when firing the 2.0.

The second thing I noticed was the lack of a beavertail on the M&P 2.0 as compared to the original M&P. As a personal preference, I'm not huge on beavertails. I like that on the M&P 2.0 I can place my thumb on the back of the slide and know it is fully in battery. On the original M&P, my thumb has to travel over the beavertail, which is uncomfortable. This is a nitpicking item, but it is a great minor improvement.

One thing that puts the M&P over the Glock is the four interchangeable backstraps. Glock typically comes with three, making the M&P that much more custom fit to the end user.

Carrying

The wonderful guys at Texas Concealment Systems, LLC were kind enough to send me a holster and mag pouch for the M&P 2.0. One bad thing for anyone who owns the original M&P is that a new holster will be required for the M&P 2.0. The 2.0 is just a bit slimmer than the original, so it won't fit snugly in a holster designed for the original.

The OWB holster ($45 shipped) was very comfortable. The corners were beveled well and the retention was affirmed with a positive click. The IWB ($25), however, was not comfortable. This is NOT a knock on the holster. The problem was the aggressive stippling I praised earlier. Since I am an open carry guy, this is not a big deal for me. That said, if you prefer concealed carry, you will definitely need to wear an undershirt to keep the grip from rubbing your side raw. I didn't last 5 minutes before I had to take it off.

I was also sent an OWB mag pouch ($25), which was also great. The great news for the original M&P owners is that the 2.0 takes the exact same magazines, so no change is needed in this area. Texas Concealment Systems really makes great holsters and I was very happy with everything they sent me.

Breakdown Details

The breakdown between the original M&P and the M&P 2.0 is exactly the same. There are some differences in the frame. The rails for the slide on the M&P 2.0 are much longer than on the original M&P. It definitely gives me a bit of added security that I didn't know that I needed. By that, I mean that after comparing the two, I'm wondering why the rails were so short on the original.

There is also additional reinforcement in the frame just forward of the trigger guard. In the video, I state that there is a slight difference between the two in the video. I should have emphasized just how slight. It's only noticeable when the slides are removed from both.

Negatives

There are very few negatives that I have for the M&P 2.0. First and foremost is the trigger. It's the same as the original M&P trigger, which is very long and very spongy. The aftermarket triggers available are exponentially better, and are recommended.

Another negative isn't a huge deal, but it is worth noting. The backstrap pin on the M&P 2.0 seems a bit less secure compared to the original M&P. The original backstrap pin is a bit beefier and holds the backstraps much more securely, and even fits just fine in the 2.0. It actually improves the backstrap if you use the original M&P backstrap pin. I'm not sure why Smith went this route with the pin, but it is also a nitpicky item.

The last item is the reinforced slide stop. This is an upgrade, but I'm not a fan. The reinforcement is designed to prevent the slide from going forward on its own when a magazine is slammed home, and it serves its purpose flawlessly. You can bang on the magazine all day and the slide will not release until you release it. Personally, I like it when the slide releases once the mag is seated. Some may see this as a flaw, in which case Smith corrected it beautifully. I list it as a negative out of personal preference.

Final Thoughts

The M&P 2.0 is a great firearm, even right out of the box. I am going to put an aftermarket trigger at minimum. The Texas Concealment holster is fantastic and very comfortable. The M&P 2.0 is more of an open carry firearm due to the stippling. It can be concealed, as long as you use an undershirt. I highly recommend both firearms and I am very grateful to the wonderful people at Smith & Wesson for sending me this to review. If you buy it, I believe you'll love it, especially if you're an M&P fan.

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