Just this month, Smith & Wesson introduced their M&P M2.0 Compact 9mm handgun to supplement its M&P M2.0 full-size gun released earlier this year. It is my opinion that this new compact 9mm will directly compete with the very successful Glock 19 compact 9mm pistol, used by many for concealed carry. There are other compact 4-inch barreled guns that compete in this compact category. I shall present some later in this review.
The M2.0 Compact is intended to provide major changes from the original M&P 9 C design (especially the trigger, aggressive texturized grip, and extended stainless steel chassis for stability.) I wanted to test and evaluate the changes and improvements for this compact concealed carry gun for myself, since I already own the other variants. I was ready to especially experience the improved trigger, audible and tactile short reset, the more aggressive grip and improved ergonomics, 4 palmswell inserts, and the stainless steel chassis, etc. Thanks to Smith-Wesson I was able to receive one of the first ones produced to test and evaluate it for readers, students, and for myself.
I wondered if this M2.0 Compact would meet my preferences and personal criteria for my concealed carry or home defense guns? Are the trigger improvements and short, tactile and audible reset really “significant” improvements? Does the extended steel chassis help any with muzzle flip and felt recoil? Is the trigger press lighter, crisper, and smooth compared to the original version’s hard press? Does the grip texturing help for a more solid grip? I want to analyze, compare, and evaluate this M&P M2.0 Compact relative to some of my top 9mm guns, so I can recommend it or not in this article. Some of my students will shoot and evaluate it and give me feedback. I have reviewed several 9mm compact and full-size guns in depth recently, several on this website. I evaluate my Top 21 concealed carry guns in the recent second printing of my book “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials.” I definitely favor the 9mm for concealed carry and want to help readers and students compare this new model to my other recommended 9mms. The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm series has a reputation for quality and accuracy, so how does this improved M2.0 Compact model rate?
I use my handgun selection criteria, compare each criterion to the gun’s features, and show my range test results for the M2.0 Compact, to help you analyze your handguns and make the best selection for yourself. You can add or subtract from my criteria to meet your needs and preferences. I was very anxious to compare it factor by factor to my other quality 9mm guns and receive input from some of my students to see if it truly ranked in my top concealed carry pistols. Know that I am not on the Smith-Wesson payroll, have not been paid by them for this article, and not influenced to say certain things about the gun. I want to be honest and straight-forward with my opinions and ideas the way I see the pistol to sincerely help folks. Specifically, I want to hands-on test and evaluate to learn:
- How accurate is it out of the box, with the improvements and without modifications?
- What weight is the new trigger press? Is the trigger really light, smooth and crisp?
- Does it have a short and distinct reset that is easy to feel and hear?
- Is it a reliable gun with FMJ and JHP ammo?
- Does the extended rigid and steel chassis frame help with muzzle flip, recoil, and reduce torque when firing it? (6) Is the high grip-to-barrel-bore axis comfortable for me and does it help reduce muzzle rise and help for a faster aim recovery?
- Is the slide stop truly ambidextrous and does it freely and easily control the slide?
- Do you have to press the trigger to disassemble it or can you deactivate the sear easily beforehand?
- Which of the 4 interchangeable palmswell grip inserts work best for me?
- Does the 18-degree grip angle work for me and must I rotate my hand to operate the controls with this angle?
- Is the grip texture too aggressive for me and like gritty sandpaper or not?
- What are its pros, cons, and special features?
- Is this a 9mm compact gun I would recommend or not for concealed carry and/or home defense?
First, I will give you the M&P M2.0 Compact’s Specifications and special Features. Then, I will follow with a mini-visual comparison between the original M&P 9 C and this new M&P M2.0 Compact. Then I will present a chart comparing this new M2.0 Compact to 6 other current 4-inch barrel 9mms for concealed carry. Next comes my 10 criteria and their definitions. Following this, I will conduct my live-fire range test, show actual results, and give my opinions with ratings and support for each of my criteria, with individual one-by-one analysis and ratings. Then my final overall recommendation or not is given, based on my assigned number of points and my opinions. I hope this saves you some time and helps you make an important decision about what 9mm compact handgun to buy for concealed carry.
|Ninja Column 1||Ninja Column 2|
|Other||Limited Lifetime Warranty; Lifetime Service Policy; Steel Mag Release Button|
|Grips||Polymer; Improved Aggressive Texture|
|Safeties||No External Manual; Trigger Drop and Firing Pin Safeties; No Mag Safety (optional)|
|Magazines / Capacity||2 15-Round Mags|
|Trigger Travel||Short and Quick; Tactile and Audible Reset|
|Trigger Press||4.9 lb Crisp; Short and Smooth; Improved|
|Trigger||Striker-Fired Double Action Only|
|Slide Material||Stainless Steel; Armornite Durable Corrosion-Resistant Finish; Slim for Small Footprint|
|Frame / Finish||Polymer / Black|
|Weight||24 oz (empty mag)|
|Sights / Radius||Front: Steel; White Dot; Rear: Steel; 2 White Dots; 5.75" Radius|
|Barrel Length / Finish||4"; Black Stainless Steel; Armornite Durable Corrosion-Resistant Finish|