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28 February, 2011

M&P Full Size 9mm

Friends,
     It has been too long since my last post.  I do apologize, but a lot of things have happened since my last entry here as I'm sure most of my fellow married-with-children types would well understand.  Without further fanfare, I give you the down-low on my latest pistol purchase.

Well, it was only a matter of time before I took the plunge and started my own little M&P family.  Face it, one M&P is just a lonely situation, like a puppy in a shelter looking for a good home.



I love the M&P mostly for its reliability.  I can't think of any other gun (especially a semi-auto) that you can take out of the box, lube up and run like a scalded dog.  The M&P does just that.  Right out of the box you can take it down, lube up all the friction points and go have a trouble-free day at the range, no matter how many or what type of rounds you run through it.  I always take all 3 palmswell grips with me so I can make adjustments if a friend wants to use the gun.  There's nothing like the look on someone's face when you check out their hand, make an educated guess, swap grips on the pistol and it suddenly fits them like a glove.  This is almost always what you call a "head-shaker" for people.  One minute the pistol doesn't fit them and then next minute it's perfect.  Once you know what you're doing you can swap grips in about 1 1/2 minutes.  See the manual if you have any questions, and check out my post on the subject if you would like some pictures.  As always, never change grips on a loaded weapon.

Now I'm generally opposed to anything smaller than a .40 S&W for a defensive handgun, so you may ask why in the world I picked a 9mm for home defense.  The reasons are several.  My number one reason for selecting the 9mm is controlability.  There are those in my family who would consider themselves "recoil sensitive".  For these family members, the 9mm chambering on a full-size pistol is about the ideal compromise between recoil and power.  Recoil is low enough that even the most sensitive shooter should be able to withstand an extended quarterly practise session, so the assumption is that the sensitive shooter will be more proficient and accurate with a 9mm than they would with a .45 ACP, for example.  Additionally, the M&P9 holds 17 + 1, so if your attacker doesn't go down right away you have plenty of followup shots.  If anyone knows of any instance of a human being surviving 18 shots from a 9mm I would like to hear it.

Some of these "recoil sensitive" family members are also in the "technically disinterested" category and don't care to learn how to operate a different safety lever for each weapon in the arsenal.  Imagine a person who doesn't give two hoots about a gun.  Do they really want to learn where to find the safety lever on your Ruger Mark II, for example?  Then explain that the lever on your 1911 is shaped completely different and placed in a slightly different spot.  I can find the safety lever on any weapon I have ever owned, in the dark by touch alone, but I love guns and love to practise with them.  Some people don't love guns, they see them as simple tools to address a certain type of problem.  Perhaps my love of guns is strange, like a love of screwdrivers or wrenches.  It's worth considering.

As for the tech specs, this M&P 9mm cost me just $524 after tax with its included 2 magazines, 3 palmswell grips, and hard case.  The nice folks over at Mid America Arms even threw in a free hat.  I don't know if it was because they see my face all the time or if it was because they could tell my wife was slightly ambivalent about spending money on yet another firearm.  For the record, they gave her the ball cap, not me.  I decided to keep it loaded with 135 grain Federal Premium Hydra-Shok jacketed hollow points.  At just over $20 per box of 20, these are not plinking rounds.  

At the range, I ran 50 rounds of white boxed Winchester FMJs through it and then a full magazine of the Hydra-Shok.  Everybody did their part and there wasn't the slightest hiccup so I'm ready to count on this gun if the need should arise.  Of course, I'll put it through a lot of paces ASAP, but knowing what I know about the M&P, I'm not loosing any sleep over its reliability.

My M&P9 is soon to be fitted with a small lazer/light combo unit, the make of which is yet undecided.  I'm hoping to keep the cost under $300, which seems realistic.  The full-size M&P offers plenty of Picatinny real estate from which to hang a light, and this is yet another plus in its favor for use as a home defense weapon.

-Gun Guy