Something about the company
A part of the American gun history, Smith & Wesson has been around since 1852. Their pistols and revolvers are part of standard equipment in police forces and armies around the world, as well as part of the popular culture, made famous by Hollywood in such movies as Dirty Harry. Today they produce rifles, sport guns as well as knives, but their mainstay still boasts a line of pistols, such as the M&P45 series we will be discussing today.
Ergonomics and Recoil
The design of the new MP model is still reminiscent of the Glock 17 which S&W have copied in the past (ending up in a lawsuit), however it is changed just enough to not cause any issues. The shape now has an ideal angle between the barrel and the thin, comfortable grip, allowing for a better balance. With 158 mm in height, 205 mm in length, 35 mm in width, the gun is a standard issue when it comes to combat weapons, neither small nor large. The frame is plastic, but it is not a polymer, but Zytel (DuPont), a different, harder material, which in the end results in a somewhat lessened recoil when compared to a steel option. However, this could be the result of a thicker grip, distributing pressure more.
Trigger and Accuracy
MP 45 has a trigger pull of 3,500 daN and the trigger travel of 8mm. It is striker fired, and in tests it managed to group shots in 48 to 92 mm at 25m distance, which would make for an excellent personal weapon, and reliable in combat as well. There is a Picatinny rail on the service version which can be used for laser sights and flashlights and the Novak sights are pretty awesome, with white spots in case of poor visibility.
Reloading and Disassembly
As far as the chamber is concerned it is a little tightly cut which might prove difficult for some types of ammunition to chamber correctly. Perhaps a maximum ammunition gauge would be a wise purchase to use with this gun. On the plus side, it is adapted for both the right-handed and the left-handed people, with the magazine release on both sides. The slide break is also available on both sides, melted into frame. Apart from adjusting the grip to your hand, the long steel axis with a sling swivel serves as a tool for the disassembly as well, which is not the best solution.
Reliability and Durability
Since it is using somewhat harder plastic it should be sturdier as well, however, despite the expectations of the designers, do not expect it to last above 12,000 bullets fired. The steal parts will serve you alright and look good with black melonite protection.
There is definitely a place in the market for this gun, with the good looks and a brand name behind it. The plastic frame does not bode well for a long term use, but it will outlive the polymer versions out there and it does reduce recoil. If you pay attention to the type of ammo, you will reduce the occurence of bullets not chambering. The gun range results are pretty satisfying and the Novak sights are a nice addition, however the overly complicated disassembly drives the ranking further down.
Derek Finegan is the Editor at State of Guns and is a fan of firearms. But his favorite is the cold, cold blade. One might disagree with him, but it is tough to contradict a man with that big of a machete collection in the living room.