Iowa DPS Returns M&P Handguns, Initiates Inquiry

Smith & Wesson M&P9

The Iowa Department of Public Safety recently returned all of its M&P duty pistols and placed three “high ranking” officials on administrative leave according to an Associated Press article.

According to the article, the state contract used to purchase the pistols is “the subject of an internal investigation.” No specific information has been released regarding what in the purchasing process may have violated the state regulations on the handgun purchase.

Nearly 800 pistols were returned to Smith & Wesson.

While there is reference to an unspecified safety concern with the new pistols, the article clearly suggests that irregularities within the purchasing process are the cause for the investigation and return of the pistols.

Additional information on this can be found here and here.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • SD3

    It’s because they’re black, isn’t it?

    • Y-man

      The pistols? Or the three “high ranking” officials placed on administrative leave? LOL!

    • High Horse Rider

      Or not black enough – may have also been purchased through the use of white privilege

  • BattleshipGrey

    [quote] “The investigators — Ron Mower and Kirk Nielsen — were asked to look at how the state’s requests for proposals were drafted and how submissions were evaluated and awarded.

    On April 20, three veteran, high-ranking Iowa State Patrol officials were placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of the inquiry. Among other questions, the review is looking into whether employees showed favoritism to Smith & Wesson, the brand that state troopers have long carried.” [/quote]

    This is along the lines of what I heard from a fellow LEO. Though I don’t know what his source was. We have several State Troopers that work out of our county but I don’t know if that’s where he heard it from. They hadn’t mentioned it to me but I don’t see them very often.

    • This really has nothing to do with the guns being bad it has to do with some possible inside deals.

      • BattleshipGrey

        I never suggested the guns were bad, only the possibility that there was favoritism towards S&W enough to submit faulty paperwork.

  • john huscio

    The Belgians returned like 6,000 of their M&Ps over malfunctions/parts breakage a year or two ago…..just goes to show no platform is without its bugs (even a decade after its rollout)….

    • Frank

      There’s a good reason the M&P is cheaper than the glock. Remember there was that one that somehow got through QC, finishing, and shipping that didn’t have slide serrations cut!

      • DIR911911 .

        that was a lottery promotion , instant collectible!!

  • John

    Those APEX trigger and part kits are looking more and more like necessary upgrades now.

  • mlk18

    Should not have pictured a 9, as it is the .40 they are having issues with. Glock .40’s break and fail, M&P .40’s break and fail, etc., etc., etc. 20 years as an LEO armorer and I have never seen a 9 or 45 disintegrate but I have seen dozens of polymer 40’s go the way of the parts bin.

    • Will

      I, too, was an armorer and instructor for a major mid west sheriffs department. We trained over one hundred deputies, plus mandated qualification every three months. Each deputy fired an average of 750 rounds per year, minimum.
      We trained with duty ammunition. Winchester 180 grain, JHP, Ranger XST .40 S&W, after the Black Talon fiasco.
      We carried Glock 22 and 27 pistols. The ONLY problem I had, in twenty five plus years, was one broken trigger return spring on a G22.
      We did have a rigid inspection and detail cleaning program in which every firearm in the inventory was detailed and inspected and cleaned by an armorer every twelve months.
      Just my experience with .40 caliber pistols.

      • Andrew Tuohy

        750 rounds per year is practically nothing.

        • iksnilol

          A pistol has to be able to fire 10k rounds (without loss of accuracy) to be accepted by NATO IIRC.

        • It’s not a lot but these days with PD budgets as they are it’s more than average per year.

        • Will

          As an instructor I agree. That number should have been quadrupled but budget, manpower, range time limitations etc, in that order, were MAJOR factors in limiting our training. I kept harping on the “Failure to train” law suit possibilities with the politicians who simply said they would deal with that on an individual basis. I digress.
          My point is that with proper maintenance and inspection Glock .40 caliber pistols are HIGHLY reliable and durable. I single out Glock because that’s what we carried. Cannot speak for the other “Plastic Pistols”.

  • Vitsaus

    Didn’t some Youtube channel determine that it was possible to fire them out of battery? Might that have something to do with this?

    • Not that I’m aware of—-

    • Bill

      Pretty much any gun can fire or be fired out of battery given the right, or wrong, circumstances.

      Except revolvers.

  • Bob

    I believe from other reports on it Smith may have bribed some higher ups for the contract. Not as much of an actual performance issue although it could be both. Just have an approved list and call it a day.

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      When it comes to a gvmt contract, it’s not just coke and hookers anymore, it’s who has BETTER coke and hookers.

  • tazman66gt

    Living in the state, it is a question of improprieties in the purchase not in the performance of the firearm.

  • Bal256

    Even though this article is about the M&P and a purchasing issue, you can bet that at least half of the comments will be about Glocks and about their reliability.

  • Budogunner

    Found this on Bud’s Gunshop website today. Coincidence?

  • Ghost

    Ad-Block Plus is your friend.

  • Treiz

    Fine by me, I’ll be on the hunt for some great M&P deals. I still need to get one for my mom, my brother, his wife, …..

  • AK™

    Firearms not politics?

    Inquiries into how the gun was procured sounds like politics to me.

    My nephew has a S&W M&P 9. He doesn’t shoot it much,but it works great for him. He hasn’t done any aftermarket upgrades. He did change out the backstrap for the other one that was in the box.
    I had bought a S&W SD9VE and used it as a CCW for awhile. Only problem I ever had with it was the ZQI brand 9mm ammo.It didn’t like it,but it fired Tula and everything else just fine.
    At least they weren’t using re-branded HS2000 pistols.

  • n0truscotsman

    M&Ps work

    *keep in mind, this is hardly “scientific”, as it is a single sample size. Although my experiences parallel when it comes to the 9 variant.

    But their biggest weakness, imo, is their triggers. I dont know what the hell S&W was thinking there. The glock trigger is better in every single way.