FIRST 100 ROUNDS: A LOOK AT THE SMITH & WESSON M&P SUBCOMPACT
03/26/20 5:00 AM | by Jacki Billings
The Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Subcompact is slightly bigger than its sibling, the Shield, but looks to compete in the concealed carry market. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Firearmns.com)
Smith & Wesson is near synonymous with concealed carry and for good reason. With a variety of models, from revolvers to polymers, the company has built its reputation on quality guns perfect for packing.
In late 2019, the manufacturer pushed its concealed carry series further, introducing the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Subcompact. Rivaling the company’s own Shield pistol, the Subcompact M2.0 brings a slimmed-down, easy to manage approach to the concealment arena.
Always on the lookout for new CCW pistols, I tackled the Smith & Wesson M&P Subcompact M2.0 to find out how well it performs.
The gun sports an accessory rail for lights or lasers. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Firearmns.com)
The Subcompact features a 12+1 capacity with an extended magazine and 11+1 with a flush fit. Measuring 6.6-inches overall, the barrel comes in at 3.6-inches – only slightly longer than the Glock 43. Rounding out its numbers, the S&W features a height of 4.98-inches with a grip sitting at 1.52-inches. Using a polymer frame with a stainless steel slide, the pistol weighs 25-ounces – again, slightly edging out the Glock 43 but that extra junk in the trunk proves useful on the range.
The sights aren’t my favorite and I would have preferred Tritium or another luminescent style. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Firearmns.com)
The handgun brings some versatility to shooters with the addition of interchangeable palmswell backstraps. Shipping with the medium size, I quickly swapped out to the Small for a better fit for my petite hands.
Standard white dot sights line the slide and a small accessory rail adorns the muzzle so lasers or lights can be added as needed.
AT THE RANGE
The texture on the grip is a little aggressive and left my hands a tad sore. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Firearmns.com)
As a lover of the Shield platform, I anticipated the Subcompact M2.0 to perform well but I was honestly shocked at just how well it handled on the range. My Shield, though a faithful companion, is snappy and its recoil takes some getting used to – not uncommon among compacts and subcompact 9mm pistols.
The engineers at Smith & Wesson have seemingly solved this problem with a slightly heavier, larger build. While this might impinge on concealed carry – we’ll discover that as we head further into the testing process down the road – for now, the larger size works well for shooting purposes. My groups were good, follow-up shots were manageable and I really enjoyed sending lead downrange with this gun.
First rounds out of the box and straight on target. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Firearmns.com)
At my local indoor range, a few months ago, I put 100 rounds total through the S&W as a preliminary test of its capabilities. The Smith & Wesson ran 50 rounds of Fiocchi FMJ as well as 50 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense to get a sense of how it would munch on both styles of ammo. In the course of testing, I had no issues or malfunctions. The gun performed flawlessly regardless of the ammunition brand or style.
Not to mention, the gun feels buttery smooth. From the internal mechanics to the trigger, everything works together offering a pleasant, fluidity while shooting. By far, the trigger on this model supersedes that of my Shield and as I shot the M2.0 Subcompact I couldn’t help but wonder if I should trade in my Shield for this model.
The trigger is nice and smooth. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Firearmns.com)
The M&P9 M2.0 Subcompact comes chambered in 9mm. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Firearmns.com)
I’m not nearly done testing and evaluating the Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Subcompact. We still have a ways to go before I can officially declare it a winner, but, initial 100 round impression is good. I enjoyed my range time with this pistol and can’t wait to dive into its features – and especially its capabilities as a carry gun – in the future.
The Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Subcompact retails for $569.
Stay tuned to Firearmns.com and keep an eye for a follow-up review as I unpack more about this platform.