The gun was cleaned twice, once at zero rounds and again just after the 1,000-round mark. I did change the sights on the Smith, but unlike most handguns I shoot extensively, that is the only change I made. I had high hopes that this pistol would prove utterly reliable and be a legitimate alternative to the Glock 19 as a “perfect” duty/carry cross-over platform—right size, right capacity, reputable manufacturer. I was not disappointed, not in the least.
The Compact is probably best defined by two characteristics that are now hallmarks of Smith’s M2.0 line, namely the texture and the trigger.
So, what did I learn? Besides flawless function, using a rang of ammunition, and a high degree of accuracy, the Compact is probably best defined in my mind by two characteristics that are now hallmarks of Smith’s M2.0 line, namely the texture and the trigger. The molded polymer frame features a very coarse, gritty texture all the way around the grip. It is without question the most aggressive factory texturing I’ve encountered, and is closer to a custom stippling job, in terms of feel, than a stock molded frame. In the hand, as long as your mitts aren’t too sensitive, the texture anchors the gun, and is very effectively increases purchase and improves control and handling during recoil. There is one drawback, however, which is experienced when carrying the gun against bare skin, as in a concealed IWB holster. That grip can rub the carrier raw. This affect can be mitigated with a good holster and belt that does not have a lot of play, but incidental contact is unavoidable, and can be a bit uncomfortable. Some have suggested sanding the texture down a bit, but because of how effective it is when shooting, I haven’t been able to justify doing so. Instead, I’ve just been sure to have a T-shirt between the gun and my skin.
The second defining feature is the Compact’s trigger. It is amazing. I strongly urge anyone who owns an M&P M2.0 pistol to get out and shoot them because 750 rounds or so through the gun will take what feels like an average, striker-fired trigger mechanism and transform it into a very smooth, crisp 5- to 5.5-lb. pull, on par with custom-tuned models I’ve owned—see Part 2 of this evaluation for more specifics. You cannot gauge this gun with a few dry-fire trigger pulls in the gun shop, in my experience the reliability kicks in on round one, but this pistol only gets better over time.
For those curious, I’m still using the Wright Leather Works Predator—described in Part 1—but I’ve also been running the Torsion IWB holster from Bravo Concealment which is a slim kydex rig that is actually contoured to better fit the body, whether carried strongside or in the appendix position.
That concludes the 2,000-round review for Smith & Wesson’s M&P9 M2.0 Compact, be sure to stay tuned here for more reports from the range.