M&P 2.0 Subcompact
The 2nd generation of the classic M&P series has finally made its way to the compact-sized pistol category. Although the general look and performance largely remain the same, Smith & Wesson has added a couple of new features to keep the M&P series pistols competitive in today’s rapidly changing market. Today we’re going to review the M&P 2.0 Subcompact.
M&P 2.0 – Necessary or not?
The term “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” comes to mind a lot these days. With the need to make new products in order to keep sales up, it seems that any minor new feature added to a handgun makes for a huge announcement these days. So did the M&P series really require a whole new generation added to an already superb series of pistols?
Having personally owned two gen 1 M&P Pistols, I can tell you first hand that they handle the toughest conditions. My old M&P compact was carried at my side for over half a decade in various holsters as my preferences changed and it ran flawlessly throughout those years. In that time I probably put well over 7,000 rounds through the pistol with the only major change being an aftermarket trigger about 3/4ths of the way through its lifetime. Eventually, I sold the M&P Compact in favor of the M&P Sheild which I now carry.
Smith & Wesson were kind enough to send out one of their new M&P 2.0 Subcompact pistols for testing and evaluation. I have spent weeks putting this little pistol through its paces and it lives up to its predecessor’s reputation. Let’s take a look at what Smith & Wesson have done with its second generation of M&P Pistols.
The M&P 2.0 Treatment
The M&P 2.0 Subcompact serves up a generous offering of new features. The most noticeable difference will be the new grip texture. The New M&P grip texture is extremely aggressive. The front and sides of the grip, as well as the swappable back strap, have a texture similar to Skateboard grip-tape. This offers a superior purchase over the previous generation’s grip texture which I’d describe as “orange peel” texture – not bad but nowhere near as good as the M&P 2.0 Subcompact’s revamped aggressive texture.
There does happen to be a downside to this otherwise great grip texture, however. 90% of my daily carry is done with an Active Pro Gear Belly Band Holster. While this holster does provide extremely deep concealment, it also keeps the gun up close and personal. This allows the grip of the gun to make direct contact with your skin as you move about throughout your day. I carried the M&P 2.0 Subcompact for two weeks like this and ended up with a raw patch of skin on my strong side hip.
While this may have been a problem for me, if you carry IWB with a sweat guard or OWB this may not end up being a problem for you. All things being equal, I count the new aggressive grip texture as a plus and would love to have a similar texture on nearly any handgun. Having sweaty hands in the south is a common problem for me and the super aggressive texture is a huge plus in my book.
The M&P series originally already had what I considered to be the best out of the box striker fired trigger in the industry. Smith & Wesson knocked it out of the park with this new M&P 2.0 Subcompact trigger which breaks nice and crisp and has an audible and tactile reset. The new trigger is noticeably more pleasant to shoot with than the first generation. The reset takes place a good bit before it used in the old series of pistols and this leads to a faster follow up shot time. In a carry gun, having a faster follow up shot could mean the difference between life and death and this again comes out as a strong positive for me.
The Good The Bad and the Sweaty
As previously stated I live in a nearly tropical part of the American Mid-South. This leads to almost all my carry guns being covered in sweat and the loaner pistol Smith & Wesson sent is no exception. To give it its due diligence I decided to carry the pistol as I would any of my other carry guns. The Active Pro Gear belly band was my go-to.
My current daily carry pistol is in pretty bad shape. The constant daily carry combined with the great amount of sweat it’s subjected to have started to corrode away parts of the slide. Constant oiling and cleaning are needed in order to keep the corrosion at bay. I eventually had to entirely replace the take-down lever because it had corroded so much.
Just two weeks of carrying the M&P 2.0 Subcompact and the same telltale signs of corrosion have started to eat away at the new Armornite Finish. The Armornite finish is supposed to be extremely corrosion resistant.
However, given I carry my pistols in one of the most extreme circumstances, perhaps it is fair to say that the pistol held up pretty well given the circumstances. The upside here is that it looks like the finish on the side held up just fine despite the tough circumstances I put it through. Only the parts of the controls seemed to start rusting.
The new 2.0 series does a lot for the subcompact genre. The compact frame in a double stack configuration seems to be out of favor these days but Smith & Wesson have managed to keep double stack alive. With its improved grip, lighter trigger and audible reset the M&P 2.0 subcompact makes a strong contender in the concealed carry market.
Overall I’d give the new M&P 2.0 Subcompact an A+. The new grip texture improved trigger and legacy features all make for a carry gun that is not only up for the task but also fun to shoot. I’d say that if you’re in the market for a new IWB or OWB double-stack 9mm subcompact sized pistol the 2.0 should be looked at strongly. At just $569 MSRP and with a 12+1 magazine capacity its a tempting deal for anyone looking to pick up a new carry gun.
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