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Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide in 10mm

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm (image courtesy JWT for

Sitting in the brush, snuggled tight with the ticks, I was failing to entice a tom when a single boar came running forward out of the cedar. Maybe he was hungry, or maybe he identified as a Rio, but a draw, a single shot and a short blood trail later, I had meat on the ground.

I was hunting for a turkey with a shotgun. I shot a pig with a pistol. That pistol was the new Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 in 10mm.

The S&W M&P is no newcomer. Even the M2.0 version is well proven and has been on the market for years. The pistols are extremely popular in the US, both in the law enforcement and commercial markets.

The 10mm chambering in this pistol is what’s new.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

When I first got this gun to review, I was interested, but didn’t think I would be impressed. I was wrong.

Smith & Wesson absolutely nailed the grip and overall user interface of this gun.

Stippled texturing wraps around the entire grip. This is a simple and welcome execution, lacking any particular style, other than that borne of utility. As it’s early springtime here in Texas, I got to shoot this gun in weather ranging from freezing to the mid 80’s. Regardless of the temperature, the length of the string, or whether I had gloves on or not, the shape and texturing of the grip provided a solid surface for control of the gun.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

The 10mm M2.0 comes with four different backstraps. The medium-large and large sizes come with additional material on top of the grip to further increase the length of pull, and the medium and small versions leave it off. Installation of any backstrap is simple, accomplished by a twist and pull of the grip removal tool inserted into the base of the grip.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

For me, the large backstrap put my hand in the right position, giving just enough length of pull to put the “power crease” of my index finger on the trigger.

That trigger is my only knock against the M&P M2.0 and the 10mm version is the same as it is in any chambering. That is, the factory trigger isn’t great. Breaking at just over five and a half pounds, it’s not particularly heavy. The problem with the trigger is that it’s squishy, with stops and starts until it hits the wall. After that, the break is pretty clean, but it’s kinda ugly getting there. Unlike some other models, trigger overtravel in this particular model is non-adjustable.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

There are several aftermarket triggers suitable for the M&P M2.0 series, including one from Apex and a new trigger from Timney. I haven’t shot the Timney version, but I hear good things.

The reversible magazine release is easily reached with a sweep of my shooting hand thumb. Empty magazines absolutely launch from the pistol with any solid pressure on the reversible release button.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

The 10mm ships with two well-made 15-round Smith & Wesson branded metal magazines. These are very well done, with angled baseplates and half-moon cutouts at the base of the grip for stripping a stuck magazine.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

Fifteen rounds of 10mm is no joke, especially if you’re using the heavier loads. If you’ve had an experience where one, or even several living things are shot with 15 rounds of 10mm and refuse to give up the ghost, you’ve made some very significant mistakes. The good news is there’s a solid chance you won’t make any more of them.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

The Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 includes a classic 3-dot setup. For the M2.0 10mm, Smith & Wesson includes tall sights suitable for co-witnessing an optic.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

The M&P M2.0 10mm includes no fewer than seven different optic mounting plates. Using the supplied plates, the user is able to mount the Trijicon RMR, C-More STS, Leupold Delta Point and Delta Point Pro, Docter, Insight MRDS, Nikon Spur, J-Point and the Crimson Trace 1500.

Like all of the full size M&P 2.0 pistols, the slide of the 10mm includes a 1913 rail for mounting lights or lasers, as well as reasonable scalloped texturing in the front and rear of the slide.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
(Image courtesy JWT for

Disassembly requires the trigger to be pulled prior to the slide being released from the frame. I’ve never seen this as a serious safety concern, as anyone who can’t safely unload a firearm prior to disassembly shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.

Unfortunately, with ammunition availability as it is, I was only able to put 300 commercial rounds through the 10mm M&P. These were 180gr round nosed and flat point FMJs from either Freedom Munitions or Armscor, both running about 1,000fps. The pistol proved completely reliable.

Using the lighter commercial rounds, the S&W M&P M2.0 10mm proved not just reliable, but very easy to shoot. The snappy recoil so many people are bothered impressed by when it comes to the 10mm cartridge just isn’t there, at least not in this particular pistol. And why would it? These loads are nothing more than .40 S&W +P loads offered by commercial manufacturers.

If you carry a 10mm gun, you might as well shoot 10mm loads.

Reusing the spent cases, I loaded 200gr Hornady FMJ’s behind 7.1gr of CFE Pistol powder for a book listed velocity of just over 1,123fps. I used the same powder and instead loaded it under 220gr Rim Rock flat nosed lead hardcast bullets for a book listed velocity of 983fps. (If anyone knows how Buffalo Bore gets the same bullet moving over 150fps faster, please enlighten me in the comments). These full power loads made up the additional 200 rounds I fired through the gun. Again, no issues with reliability at all.

There’s certainly a difference between felt recoil in the 180 grain rounds and the 220 grain bullets moving at essentially the same speed. Mix those different weight rounds inside the same magazine and you’ll have absolutely no difficulty telling which is which.

At a hair over 29oz, the M&P M2.0 10mm isn’t a heavyweight pistol, but manages the recoil of the stout loads like a more massive firearm. I had several shooters, two of which were relative novices, run full magazines of the 220gr loads in the M&P M2.0 10mm and none of them had any problem managing the pistol. I attribute this to a relatively low bore axis and the overall solid grip geometry.

In terms of precision, the M&P 2.0 10mm scores well enough, but it’s nothing exceptional. I wasn’t surprised to find the hardcast heavyweight rounds scored the best, printing an average of 2.2″ 5-round groups off bags at 25 yards. The 200 grain Hornady round was ballistically great, but printed a full 1″ wider groups. The Armscor round averaged 2.5″, again, as 5-shots of four shot strings at 25 yards.

With that kind of accuracy, taking a pig at 30 yards was no issue, and I’d have no qualms about stepping it out a wee bit further on white-tailed deer.

In today’s market, the $665 MSRP is a great value, and that’s borne out by the fact the guns are selling right about that price (about $650 retail), when you can find one.

It’s particularly nice to see Smith & Wesson put the 10mm back into their premier duty gun. After all, the cartridge itself was first fielded by the FBI in a Smith & Wesson semi-auto.

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Slide 10mm
He never knew what hit him. (Image courtesy JWT for

S&W did great with this gun. I’ve always been a solid “meh” on the M&P semi-autos, but not this one. The M&P M2.0 optics ready slide in 10mm has everything I’d want in a 10mm. It fits the hand well, soaks up recoil for fast follow-up shots with the heaviest loads, includes multiple sight and optics options, and is reliable and precise enough to get the job done.

How much do I like this gun? I sold my Delta Elite and bought this T&E model instead.

Specifications: Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 10mm Optics Ready Pistol

Caliber: 10mm Auto
Capacity: 15+1
Safety: No Thumb Safety
Length: 7.9
Barrel twist: 1:10˝ – 5 RH
Barrel length: 4.6″ (11.7 cm)
Weight: 29.3 oz.
MSRP: $665 (about $650 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * *
Modern utilitarian. The Armornite finish is smooth and even throughout.

Customization * * * *
The M&P 2.0 has been out for a while and it’s well served in the aftermarket. However, with a wide range of included backstraps, suppressor sights, and optics mounts, the only option you might want is a new trigger. The ambi slide lock/release and reversible magazine release is also a nice touch.

Reliability * * * * *
Perfect reliability with mild commercial rounds and top pressure reloads.

Precision * * *
The commercial rounds scored well, and the heavy hardcast scored even better.

Overall * * * *
Smith & Wesson has put out a heck of higher capacity 10mm pistol, and at a surprisingly low cost for what you get. It’s certainly my favorite of the polymer framed 10s. Points off for good, but not exceptional accuracy and the typical M&P trigger.

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