S&W M&P pistols now with thumb safety

S&W have launched a series of polymer M&P pistols with a thumb safety. The non-thumb safety models are still available.

Mp Pistol

From the press release:

“Soon after the introduction of the full-size and compact M&P45 pistols, we began receiving requests from law enforcement professionals and recreational shooters asking for a frame mounted thumb safety on other M&P calibers,” said Leland Nichols, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Smith & Wesson. “The optional external safety provides an even broader range of choices to the M&P line, adding flexibility in order to meet the needs of our customers.”

The M&P9 (9mm full size) thumb safety model has an MSRP of $719 and the non-thumb safety is going for $679. That is a $40 premium. I suspect many will pay the premium.

UPDATE: To clarify, I think all the models (calibers) now can be bought with a thumb safety.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • I was looking at the S&W M&P, and considering the purchase of one chambered in 9mm.

    Two issues held me from doing so.

    The first was the lack of a manual safety on the 9mm. It was available on the 45. And I found it very easy to operate. It was almost natural for me the way I gripped the gun and flipped up the manual safety.

    The second issue was the discovery that flipping up the safety made the gun “safe”, instead of ready to fire. And with my short stubby hands, I’d have repeatedly engaged the safety – not good.

    So if S&W will release a M&P in 9mm with a reversed function on the manual safety – I’ll buy one. But I wager that’ll never happen.


  • Brent

    This not new, check your info, When they introduced the m&p line they had thumb safety models

  • Wally

    In reference to N.u.g.u.n’ s comment about the operation of the safety, I prefer to have the safety flip down to fire, it seems to be more natural, just like the 1911. I never liked having to flip the safety up to fire, just like the S&W models 39/59 series or the walther pp/ppk/ppks. I am glad S&W is providing the option to users, just like springfield is doing on there XD’s.(which also flip down to fire like the 1911) I guess manufacturers are trying to court all us 1911 owners I guess.

  • Jim

    I’m interested in a M&P Compact in 40 S&W as a carry alternative. Any experience out there that can shead some light on the issue. I currently carry a 9mm Kahr and want to step up to a compack 40. Glocks don’t fit my hand and my Sig (239) is only 7 shots, and my 250 is a bit big for summer carry. Any input is appreciated. Thanks.


  • Where do I get the thumb safety for my gun

  • yamalink

    I’m a Glock and XD user and had no issues with a sans-safety, but when I felt the S&W I actually wanted a manual safety. This is a nice option!

  • Perry

    I own one each of the M&P 9mm compact units. Carry one daily and a smaller PPK/S as a backup piece. The only issue I have with the new thumb safety model is that the safety makes using Crimson Trace grips impossible on that weapon. The safety is quick to flip and doesn’t effect holstering or draw efforts. Both are excellent to carry concealed or if you prefer, in a paddle holster. A radical modification is necessary using a dremmel tool to shave off 99% of the safety lever thickness and a small section of the laser unit housing to allow for free movement.
    NOT recommended if you plan on selling the weapon as it drops the value considerably. A little more time on the drawing board would have been better spent making a single safety lever switchable from right to left side as needed. My local gunsmith cringed when I explained what I’d done!
    Hey … ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I didn’t buy it for looks, I bought it because it’s DEPENDABLE.

  • Perry

    One thing I forgot to add before is the you don’t get both safety features …. the 1st generation of the M&P 9mmc has a safety feature of once the clip is removed the weapon WILL NOT fire. Military and Police specs require this. Nice feature should you have it taken away from you in a scuffle. Manage to pop the mag out and you’re safe from being shot with your own weapon.
    The second generation (thumb safety model) DOES NOT have the above mentioned feature. This weapon WILL fire a chambered round WITHOUT the mag inserted.
    Maybe the 3rg generation of this model will have BOTH, who knows.
    Be safe, be aware of your surroundings and remember … Good Guys carry guns too.

  • I recently purchased a MP9c. It has the the ambidextrous thumb safety. I didn’t know it was even an option. My immediate concern is that because this gun is for concealed use the safety “ears” add to the width. Also it might snag on gloves. With the manual safety the gun is wider than the Glock 26.

    I called the S&W customer service line and the respondent didn’t seem very knowledgeable about the mechanics of the weapon. Is this a drop safety that prevents discharge if the gun is dropped ?

  • I just purchased a S&W MP 9mm Compact. It does not have an external safety and it WILL fire with the mag removed. Says it right the side.

  • The first M&P compact 9mm I received had 10 round magazines, the will not fire with magazine removed feature, and a trigger pull of about 12 lbs., no external safety. It was quite a different weapon from the one I test fired at the store. It turned out that they sent me a model that was intended for sale in Mass. only. Since this weapon has a double stack magazine, I saw no reason to limit the capacity. After all it is a wide profile gun and has reduced concealment compared to single stack weapons.

    I returned the weapon and received the regular version. After firing about a 1000 rds. through it without a failure to feed or failure to eject I am satisfied with the reliability. The only fault I have with the M&P 9c is the protruding manual safety. Oh also I have never received the two free magazine that were part of the promotional offer.

  • Jeff

    Just got a M&P 40 compact and kinda wish i got a thumb safety is it possible to add one

    • Because the S&W MP 9compact is a trigger-cocking/ self decocking pistol it will not fire if dropped and it will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. For this reason a manual safety is redundant.

      I suspect that a manual safety is offered as an option for nostalgic reasons. Yet the safety lever works just the opposite of my model 39-2 which even back then was a piece of junk.

      I had a gunsmith remove the manual safety from my MP compact 9mm. I am so glad I did. It slips out of my IWB holster ever so smoothly and I don’t have to worry about whether the safety is on or off in the case of an emergency.

      • Paul

        Well, its going to be interesting to see what comes out of the latest Detroit PD “accident” since it looks like it was a S&W .40 M&P without a thumb safety that went off while in concealed carry. Apparently NOT when he was trying to draw it from the holster either.



    • jimmythesaint

      Yes it dose (sic).

  • Howard Martin

    Would like to get a M&P 9mm with a thumb safety. Looking on the S&W web site they only come in the 17 round mag. I live in NJ were the max mag. is 15 rounds. They have a 10 round mag. model , but with on thumb safety. Can the 17 round model be ordered with eather the 10 round or a 15 round mag. ?