Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0: The Best Handgun for Home Defense?
Smith & Wesson recently released a new version of their very popular M&P9 handgun: The M&P9 M2.0.
It has made significant improvements to the design, handling, and ergonomics. It comes with a stainless steel barrel with an Armornite finish and includes a limited lifetime warranty and a lifetime service policy.
But the question remains: Is it worth upgrading to the 2.0? Keep reading to find out…
Mid-sized pistols are notorious for their short sight radius, which can make it difficult to fire them accurately. However, the M2.0 does a pretty decent job despite this! I’ve found it to be pretty accurate among a range of loads, and I’ve regularly shot groups less than 2” wide at fifteen yards. From twenty-five yards, my groups have all been under 3”. This is pretty good performance for a firearm of this size, thanks in part to the internal stainless steel chassis. They’ve extended it to nearly the front of the frame, which increases the rigidity to improve accuracy. Overall, I’m satisfied with the accuracy of this handgun.
The M2.0 is undoubtedly reliable. I’ve shot over 500 rounds with a wide range of ammo, and zero malfunctions, zero failures to feed. It functions flawlessly. If you’re looking for a 100 percent reliable handgun, this is the one for you.
The 2.0 is quite a step up from the original M&P! The most notable change is the improved appearance and grip. There’s aggressive texturing on the entire grip, which is rough, but not too rough. This new grip is ideal for preventing slipping, and gives you significantly more control when firing. What’s more: the 2.0 also comes with four different grip inserts (small, medium, medium-large, and large) to make this pistol easy to control for any shooter. The extended chassis reduces the muzzle rise and allows for faster aim recovery. It points naturally and gives good, consistent performance. The one downside here is that it is a bit difficult to completely disassemble. There are a few pins you may have to pound out to get a good cleaning.
The trigger is probably the biggest improvement from the original M&P. It’s a striker-fired, double-action trigger that breaks around 5 lbs even right out of the box! It’s crisp, light, and consistent, with a trigger reset you can both feel and hear—a huge improvement over the original. There’s still a significant amount of take-up, but I’m confident most people will like the new trigger. If safety is a priority for you, you can opt for the optional ambidextrous thumb safety, which is easy to manipulate with your shooting hand.
Magazine & Reloading
The M&P M2.0 has a capacity of 17+1 and comes in the box with two well-made, single stack magazines. There’s a slide lock lever on both sides of the magazine release, so it works for left and right-handed shooters alike. As a bonus, the 2.0 is completely compatible with old M&P magazines, so feel free to use any you have laying around!
Length & Weight
This handgun weighs 24.7 oz, has a barrel length of 4.25”, and an overall length of 7.4”. It’s a bit large to be ideal for concealed carry, but it can still be done if you don’t mind the extra weight. The additional weight does help control movement, however, which is good for accuracy and recoil management.
The recoil is mild, similar to the original pistol. Some of the upgraded features, including the extended chassis and grip texture, help with reducing recoil because of the increased control they offer. You should have no problem controlling the pistol when shooting multiple shots in succession.
The M&P 2.0 MSRPs for $599, but you may be able to find a used option for a lower price. It’s a relatively mid-priced handgun, and worth it for a tried and true, high-quality firearm. A lot of comparable pistols sell for $1,000 or more, so you’re getting a real bang for your buck here.
The 2.0 offers a significant upgrade from the original M&P, and if you’re still using the original, you may want to consider trading up. Here are some of the improvements that make the upgrade worth it:
New grip texture increases control and accuracy
The trigger is a clear and significant upgrade over the old version
Accuracy is the best you’ll get in a mid-sized handgun
If you’re looking for the best handgun for home or personal defense, or if you’re looking to upgrade your old M&P, this could be the perfect choice for you.
Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared in large publications like The Armory Life, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.
Image: Smith & Wesson / Julie Golob