Smith & Wesson M&P 40

The first revolver I ever owned was a Model 10 Smith & Wesson, chambered in the ubiquitous .38 special.  It was an older model with the tapered barrel, engraved down the backstrap for the Royal Hong Kong Police, and drilled at the bottom of the frame for a (missing) lanyard ring.  Once outfitted with a set of beater wooden grips, it was in my estimation a neat fit for what's broadly considered one of THE service handguns of the 20th century. 

Around 2005 or so I began to hear rumblings of a new Military & Police model.  Later, working at a gun and pawn joint, I got my first look.

I was decidedly unimpressed.

Being a twenty-something luddite, I took umbrage at this new form of marketing witchcraft.  An M&P, in my way of thinking, was a six-shot .38 special.  It could come in any number of configurations - fat barrel, skinny barrel, round or square butt, any general length - but was at heart a chunk of blued forged steel with a pedigree stretching back over a century.  Generations of police had carried one.  The American GI might have taken an M&P up the black sand beach at Iwo Jima or on cold high-altitude bombing runs over Germany.  Umpteen hundreds of thousands of Americans owned one, whether on their bedside table or in a shoebox in the closet.  The Military & Police name had a history

And this new model was none of that.  Rather, it was some kind of automatic, a polymer horror of all things, chambered for 9mm and 40 S&W, and replete with all manner of gimmicks.  Accessory rails!  Internal locks!  Multiple backstraps!  High-capacity magazines!


But in fairness the new M&P really wasn't that bad.  For a usurper to the name it really did bring a lot to the table.  People who didn't like the shape and size of a Glock seemed to take to it well.  It pointed more naturally for some.  The trigger wasn't great; mostly early models were gritty and somewhat uneven, but in time those would smooth out.  And no matter my opinion of the 9mm (or inexperience with .40 S&W) there was something to be said for that extra capacity. 

I still toy with the idea of getting one in .45ACP. 

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