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03 October, 2010

How Do I Change the Grips on my M&P?

Some designs are so simple that if you're used to common firearms, especially American and European made firearms, you have a hard time understanding how simple they are.  The first time I saw an AK-47 field stripped I just stood there with my mouth open, staring in disbelief.  Many features of the Smith & Wesson M&P can leave your jaw hanging open like that.  One of them is the interchangeability of the grip inserts.  This is a quick walk through of how to change them out.  I should start by saying that I am not a gunsmith or an armorer, or any other type of qualified individual.  So If you are in doubt about anything, please seek the help of a professional, as this is purely for informational purposes only and I will not be held liable for any loss or injury incurred from following this guide (my lawyer makes me say this stuff, honest).

First remove the magazine and clear the chamber.  Take a page from my book and check it twice and you won't be sorry.  Set all ammo in a completely different area.  Any time you plan on doing firearm projects, all live ammo should be policed and placed in a separate area.

Compact (left) and Full Size (right)
Remove your ammo and put it somewhere else.

Now that you're ready to work, note the small bump at the bottom rear on the butt of your pistol.  Take this bump and rotate it exactly 90 degrees.  
Compact, with the "bump" rotated 90 degrees.

Full Size, with the "bump" rotated 90 degrees.

 It will now pull straight out of the bottom, though you may have to wiggle and jiggle a bit the first few times you remove it.  This is your take down tool.  DO NOT rotate the bump more than 90 degrees in either direction or it will get a little ugly like mine. It's not meant to spin all the way around, just 90 degrees one way or 90 the other way.


Now that your take down tool is out of the way, grasp the lower portion of the grip insert and swing it back and up.  There is a tab at the top and as you rotate the bottom up, you can pull the tab down and the insert will be completely free.


 Now take the grip insert you plan you install.  Insert the tab at the top, rotate the insert down and make sure it is completely seated.  Insert your take down tool, oriented how it came out.  

 Once completely seated, you can rotate your take down tool back 90 degrees so that your magazine can be inserted when the time comes.

CT Lazer grip on right.

That's it.  So simple you could train a monkey to do it.  This is one of the great features that really sets the M&P apart

from most other pistols.  It's so nice that Glock decided to copy the feature on their Gen 4 pistols. 

Also worth noting is the fact that there are many gunsmiths out there who are offering custom grips for your M&P. 

Stippling and other texturing work are the most common things I've seen so far, but I would imagine someone has begun resizing and reshaping the grip inserts too.  It's polymer.  The only limit is your imagination.