M&P Carry – first week

About a week ago I started carrying the S&W M&P9 full time.

I think everything is about as dialed in as it can be, in terms of trigger, barrel, sights, and so on. I’m ringing small steel plates at 25+ yards with carry ammo (Gold Dot 124 grain +P) and with my handloads. I didn’t have a chance to see how things are behaving on paper in terms of exact POI vs. POA and grouping, since last Saturday at KRT was pretty rainy. But really, if I’m hitting that steel “hostage target” plate at 25+ yards, things are certainly good enough. I’m still hoping to get some patterning on paper tho, just to satisfy my geeky itch.

But the bigger thing is how it’s been on my hip for the past week.

I carry inside the waistband (IWB) in a Comp-Tac MTAC holster. It’s what I carried my XD-9 in for years, so I figured it was the easiest thing to get me started. I tried a friend’s Raven, and while I see the great benefits to the Raven, it just doesn’t work for my body. That said, the Raven is really cool for being an OWB holster that, as far as OWB holsters go, keeps it pretty tight to the body. That’s nice, and essential for concealed carry. So in this MTAC? Well, it’s the same MTAC as my XD was carried in (just a different kydex shell), and I am finding the M&P is carrying tighter to my body. That’s great for concealment, with the M&P concealing slightly better for me. But it’s a little more difficult on the draw, in terms of getting my thumb between the gun and my torso so I can get a grip to draw. I can do it, it’s just a bit of a tighter fit and I need to ensure a leftward lean to make space. No big deal, it’s what I do anyways, just have to continue to get used to the new feel.

Also, there was a burr on the M&P. On the polymer frame around the top of the beavertail area (and really, around the whole top of the frame but the beavertail was most noticeable) was a seam… a burr… something from where the mold parts probably came together during manufacturing. Well, while it was a tiny burr, against my side it was horrible. I wear up against my skin, so that constantly rubbing on me was going to rub me raw. I took a Scotch-Brite pad, because it was about the finest “sandpaper” I had on hand, and just spent a little time “polishing” up the top of the beavertail area, to smooth it out and remove the burr. Ah… much better.

All in all, it’s feeling fine. It actually feels a little nicer on my hip, I think due to how much closer it holds to my body. And while the beavertail makes a point that juts up, it doesn’t dig into me at all. Oh sure, it’s not 100% comfortable, but carry rarely is… as someone said, a gun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.

One thing I have noticed in shooting it… she seems to get a lot dirtier than my XD did. Same ammo, more crud to deal with. Not entirely sure why, or if I’m just having false perception here. But that’s how it seems.

When gripping the gun for one-handed shooting, my thumb wants to be right atop the magazine release. I’m not sure if this is going to be a problem, with an unwanted magazine release. So far it hasn’t happened, but my M&P experience is still young.

On reloading well… the giant “foot” of the magazine basepad is huge. I’m getting used to it, but it just feels so big, out there, and unnecessary. I’m used to my index finger resting up the front of the magazine when doing a reload; now it’s just a basepad in my palm and my finger tip touching the top of the magazine — the finger forming the hypotenuse with the magazine and the basepad. My understanding is the foot is there to help removing the magazine, but I haven’t seen nor felt it come into play. Maybe I just haven’t hit the right circumstance yet.

I do want to do more shooting with it. Hopefully one of these weekends at KRT I’ll have a little more free time and can run some drills.

But all in all, it’s carrying well, shooting well, and I’m adjusting to it just fine.

14 thoughts on “M&P Carry – first week

  1. John, only you would use the world “hypotenuse” when describing reloads!

    Oh, and if you haven’t tried a stippled backstrap yet, you should. I ordered one not expecting much, but it made the grip significantly more grippy. I’m now thinking about having the whole lower frame textured.

    • Yeah, I’ve tried those and really like them. My only wonder is how abrasive they would be against my skin all day long. Probably should just buy one and try it, but I’m expecting it won’t fly.

      • Ah yes, you might be right. When you order it, request them to do a “mild” stipple and maybe that’ll reduce irration while still providing a bit more grip?

        • Well, the stock backstraps are a lot more grippy than the XD grip ever was, so right there’s an upgrade.

          I haven’t found the stock grips to be a problem yet, but I’ve only been shooting this gun for a short while and not under “adverse” conditions so… at this point I’m just going to see how it goes. But it’s not off my radar to consider it.

    • This is terrible advice. This is what you should do, John:

      1. Buy a Lorcin or Jennings or Hi-Point, preferably chrome-plated
      2. Go to any reputable airsoft retailer and buy a RDS
      3. Use JB-Weld to affix said RDS to your new shiny pistol
      4. Buy a nice Uncle Mikes nylon holster and a couple boxes of Silver Bear ammo
      5. Bask in your utter awesomeness for being a savvy consumer

  2. My wife and I both tried the M&P 9 and a XD9 (both in the 5″ versions), and neither of us could get to liking the grip on the M&P. Something about the shape of the front strap shape made the thing awkward to hold.

    We both liked the XD9 enough that we bought one. I’ve been wanting to get a full-sized easy-to-shoot DA-like (yes I realize the XD9 is SA, internally) pistol for new shooters to try, and it doubles as a general-purpose house gun and something comfortable for her to shoot her CHL qualification with. It will likely see use as a secondary carry weapon for me at some point, though I’m not sure it can hide as well (still seems awful brick-like to me) as my beloved Hi-Power.

    • Did you try swapping the backstraps on the M&P? They make a big difference in the feel of the gun in the hand. Then for me, it took some time with the different backstraps to really judge. I have larger hands and though the large grip would work better for me, but after some time of using it, it just didn’t feel right. The small was certainly too small so I didn’t have to spend much time with it. But the more I used the medium-sized one, the better and better it felt.

      But either way, this is one of the joys of the free market: competition. No one thing is right for everyone, so it’s great to have variety and choice. The XD-9 Service served me quite well as my sidearm for many years, and I don’t deny the goodness of it. I am finding the M&P works a little better for me, but the XD still works quite well.

      I don’t think it will hide as well, because yes it is a big brick. The form factor vs. the M&P9 isn’t that drastically different, but it’s enough little details here and there that I find the M&P conceals and carries just a bit better.

      Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. It’s a good gun.

  3. Pingback: M&P, shooting drills « Stuff From Hsoi

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