Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact: 15,000 Rounds Later

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact: 15,000 Rounds Later

    Five years ago I decided to purchase what would be my first true silencer host.  I decided to take a friend’s advice and start small with a dedicated rimfire silencer, ultimately choosing the budget-friendly SilencerCo Warlock II.  While the Warlock was in NFA jail, I was scouring the internet for a 22 pistol that could reliably run any standard velocity ammo I could find.  After a lot of searching, I finally settled on the Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact.

    The Right Tools

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

    M&P 22 Compact Silencer and Tools

    Over the years I’ve found that it’s all about having the right tools to routinely disassemble the M&P 22 Compact.  Rather than highlight the pistol’s features I’ve put together a quick how-to guide for servicing the M&P like a pro.

    SilencerCo Adapter Removal

    M&P 22 Compact Adapter Wrench

    To attach a silencer you’ll need to remove the factory barrel nut and purchase a thread adapter.  This particular adapter is a Delta series that I purchased from SilencerCo.  More importantly, you’re gonna need a wrench, and I mean like a REAL wrench.

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

    M&P 22 Compact Takedown Adapter Removal

    EWK Arms makes a wrench out of bar stock specifically for the factory barrel nut on the M&P 22.  If you want to suppress this little pistol, it’s absolutely worth the $30.

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

    M&P 22 Compact Takedown Removing Slide

    With the adapter removed, and takedown lever pushed down, you simply slide the slide rearward and up to remove it from the frame.

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

    M&P 22 Compact Disassembled

    As you can see this little M&P is pretty filthy, and only gets cleaned roughly every 1,500 rounds.  Pretty impressive when you consider that the only stoppages it’s recently had were failures to lock the slide open on an empty mag.

    The Silencer

    SilencerCo Warlock II

    SilencerCo Warlock II Front Cap Removal

    Next up is the Warlock II, which is incredibly light and easy to take apart for service.  Using the takedown tool supplied, you simply insert it into the grooves on the front cap, and twist counter-clockwise.

    SilencerCo Warlock II

    SilencerCo Warlock II End Cap Removal

    From there you flip the tube over and use the large end of the takedown tool to remove the mount.

    SilencerCo Warlock II

    SilencerCo Warlock II Takedown

    The Warlock II uses a Click Together Assembly (CTA) to connect the baffle stack.  The CTA stack does a great job of keeping carbon trapped in the baffles so baffles fall freely out of the tube when disassembled.


    Hindsight is always 20/20, and if I could go back in time I would’ve opted to spend the extra money and buy the heavier Stainless Steel SilencerCo Spectre.  I’m not discounting how awesome the 3oz Warlock II is, but for a heavy use its aluminum baffles are difficult to clean.

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

    M&P 22 Compact Slide Release Wear

    As for the M&P, it just keeps on running.  To this day the only real wear I’ve noticed on the gun has been on the slide release.  Occasionally it’ll fail to hold the slide back on the last round, but this hasn’t been enough of an annoyance for me to want to fix it.  The gun just works and shows no signs of stopping.

    The Verdict

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact

    Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact and SilencerCo Warlock II

    I can’t say enough nice things about the M&P 22 Compact.  Its short barrel means that standard velocity ammo is rendered subsonic, and the gun is just an all-around blast to shoot.  I started keeping track of how many rounds I shot through this gun just so I could remember to clean the silencer.  Undoubtedly if I hadn’t, the Warlock would surely be fused together by carbon and lead at this point.

    If you’re in the market for a 22 pistol that isn’t picky about ammo, is easy to clean, and performs well suppressed, you absolutely need to look at the M&P 22 compact.

    Would I buy it again?  Absolutely, and there isn’t another 22 pistol I’d rather own.

    Note:  At the time of this article, the M&P 22 Compact has 15,220 rounds through it.

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    Austin R

    The author is a military contractor who enjoys conducting independent firearms research and reloading. Article inquiries and suggestions are welcome at austinjrex at