Gun Review: My S&W M&P Pro Custom Build

Phil White
by Phil White

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to purchase an M&P Pro from a friend who attended the S&W armorer course for M&Ps. This pistol was the one he built in that class. Knowing how particular he is about his guns I had no qualms about buying this Pro model.

I did have plans for it when I bought it, wanting it to be both a defensive pistol and a competition gun, which is not really not as hard as it may sound. After firing a few hundred rounds through it it was time to purchase the parts I had in mind.

Since I had Apex Tactical springs left over from a previous build I still had to order the Apex Forward Set Sear & Trigger Kit (flat trigger), a 5.01″ match grade barrel from Wilson Combat and Vickers magazine baseplates for the magazines.

Wilson Combat Match Barrel
Apex Parts Kit

Installing the barrel turned out to be a drop in with no fitting needed. The Apex parts took about an hour to install. After completing the mods I took the pistol out to the range and checked for function, trigger pull weight. The initial setup had a trigger pull of 2.8 pounds. Of course this is for competition. I changed one spring out in the trigger mechanism and got a 4 pound trigger pull. Both felt wonderful as Apex intended it to feel much like a good 1911 trigger. This video from Apex explains the purpose of the design and how it came to be.

This was the easiest improvement I’ve ever done to any pistol. The cost was $169.00 for the Apex kit with the flat faced trigger. The Wilson barrel was $169.95. The base plates for the magazines were $19.95 for five.

These modifications turned an average pistol into a great pistol for competition or defense with the change of one spring. This flat faced trigger is great and feels better than any trigger I’ve ever used period. It was certainly worth the money!The barrel change also made my groups shrink by approx. 50%.

Wilson Combat

Apex Tactical

Smith & Wesson

Flat Faced Apex Trigger

Wilson Combat® Match-Grade Barrels are known for their unsurpassed quality and accuracy. Now your M&P handgun can have this superb accuracy without sending your pistol off to a master pistolsmith and waiting for months.

Wilson Combat® match barrels are fully machined from aircraft grade stainless steel blanks and heat-treated to R/C 40 for maximum service life. Critical manufacturing tolerances are held to less than .0005″ (one half thousandth of an inch!).

To give you phenomenal accuracy, extreme care has been taken to assure that the chamber is glass smooth and perfectly concentric with the bore. In our barrel test fixture we routinely obtain test groups of 1/2″ @ 25 yards!

Throughout the manufacturing process each barrel undergoes multiple quality-control checks, with a detailed final inspection prior to receiving the Wilson name. You can be sure that if your barrel bears the Wilson name, it’s the best there is!

Match-Grade – Superb Accuracy (2″ Or Less At 25 Yards With Match Ammo is typical)
Polished feed ramp, bore and supported chamber
1 in 16″ twist conventional broach rifling
Fully Machined From 416R Stainless Steel
Heat-Treated To R/C 40 For Maximum Service Life
Critical Manufacturing Tolerances Are Held To Less Than .0005″ (One Half Thousandth Of An Inch!)
Glass Smooth Chamber And Perfectly Concentric With The Bore
In Our Barrel Test Fixture We Routinely Obtain ½” At 25 Yard Groups
Detailed Final Inspection Prior To Receiving The Wilson Name On The Hood
Critical Lock-Up Contact Areas Cut To A Dimension That Provides A Good Lock-Up in most guns
Compatible with Smith & Wesson M&P Pro Series handguns in 9mm caliber

Phil White
Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I'm retired as associate editor since December 14th 2017. My replacement is my friend Pete M email: you can reach Pete for product reviews etc.

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2 of 25 comments
  • ManBear ManBear on Jul 22, 2015

    Nice pistol ... I just use a stock Glock 17 - I shoot SSP in IDPA and its my CC gun.

  • Dave Dave on Jul 22, 2015

    Be advised, those wilson barrels for the m&p don't improve accuracy at all.
    I bought one and they wouldn't take it back after I tested it.