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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 10/27/2018 in Reviews

The S&W M&P 2.0 Compact in .45 ACP

The S&W M&P 2.0 Compact in .45 ACP

Make this very clear, the only thing "compact" about the S&W M&P 2.0 Compact in .45 ACP is in the name. 

Compare the overall length of the newest M&P at 7.2 inches and a four-inch barrel to a Government model 1911 at eight inches and a 4.25-inch barrel. With a 10-round mag, the M&P is a full-sized .45 ACP. 

A better case can be made in the weight department. The M&P hits the scale at 28.2 ounces. John Moses Browning's creation in Government comes in at 39.04 ounces on average. That's close to a half-pound difference. 

The weight savings come from the polymer frame, of course, but S&W also shaved some weight by thinning the slide. Cutouts on each side took some weight, The deeply scalloped serrations on the rear cut a tiny bit more. 

Right out of the box, the gun looks like a Hollywood science fiction movie prop. On the range, well if the Star Wars Stormtroopers spent any time at the range with these guns, Episode IV would have a different ending. The shock troops would hit whatever they shot at. This gun is accurate. 


Range work for this review was done by gun journalist Ben Baker, Chief of Police Bill Ryder, weapons instructor Major Richard Purvis, from another police department, and former chief and multi-gun instructor Joe Saxon. 


The S&W M&P 2.0 Compact in .45 ACP

The gun functioned flawlessly. Even with the magazine full with 10 rounds, it cycled perfectly. 

Recoil with 230-grain hardball was very light. Part of this can probably be attributed to the grip surface and the grip angle. Polymer frame handguns are also known to be lighter in felt recoil as the frame gives a bit compared to a full metal construction. 

Chief Ryder is a S&W fan above all other handguns. His personal carry piece is a Shield, but he had it customized. Most of the work is on the trigger. He replaced the two-stage with a single trigger and did some internals work. He too started out not liking the gun, but after throwing some lead, his opinion revised. He plans to get one in the near future and will have trigger work done. 

Saxon was not a fan of the trigger. 

"If that is the one I'd tote, it would be only after I shot it until I got comfortable with it. It's a neat gun. It certainly groups pretty well. But that (trigger) reset, if you are a practiced shooter and are waiting on the trigger reset, you'll be waiting a while," he said. 

All three officers on the range that day has issues with the safety. They said it is awkwardly placed and looser than they want to have. Baker had no issues with the safety. 

"As a S&W fan, I don't like it. It's too light. It's too much to think about. It can lock forward all of a sudden. If you are not used to that kind of safety, it makes it real easy to move," Chief Ryder said. 

After the shooting was done, all said the gun is definitely a fine piece of gunsmithing. 


From S&W, "The pistol, available in three calibers, includes an aggressively-textured grip and four interchangeable palmswell inserts for optimal hand-fit and trigger reach. The striker-fire, semi-automatic polymer pistol is available in matte black or FDE – Flat Dark Earth – finishes, and includes two magazines, a limited lifetime warranty and a lifetime service policy." 

SMITH & WESSON M&P45 M2.0 45ACP 4.6" 10+1 MAG | Brownells

The grip is absolutely aggressive. The raised-dot pattern provides one of the securest grips on a handgun around. The stipples provoke enough contact without being high enough to be uncomfortable. 

Just based on the grip and the ability to rack the slide, this gun is shootable even with heavy gloves. The trigger guard won't allow heavy gloves though. 

MSRP on the S&W M&P 2.0 is $569. However, some gun shops such as Palmetto State Armory have it listed at it $479.99.

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