Smith and Wesson M&P Pistols Adopted by 276 Police Departments

Smith and Wesson has encountered a great deal of success with their M&P line of pistols. These polymer pistols have taken the shooting world by storm, and 2008 looks like another good year for M&P sales.

Smith & Wesson M&P

Polymer duty pistols were once the exclusive domain of Glock, but no more. “To date, 276 domestic law enforcement agencies have purchased, approved for purchase, or approved for on-duty carry” the Smith and Wesson M&P line of pistols said Leland Nichols, president of Smith and Wesson Corporation.

The latest agency to place an order for M&P40 pistols is the Colorado Springs Police Department. The CSPD order of 500 M&P40 pistols is separate from the order of 850 M&P pistols made by the Colorado State Police earlier in the week.

Other departments ordering the M&P are Atlanta PD (1900 M&P40 pistols), Charlotte PD (1650 M&P40 pistols), and Syracuse PD (500 M&P45). The Iowa State Patrol issue the M&P40, while the New Hampshire State Police issue the M&P45, and the New Mexico State Police issue the M&P357 pistols.

I personally own a full size M&P 9 pistol and I really like shooting it.  It is fairly soft shooting and it is accurate with a wide range of 9mm loads.  Mine seems to like the 147 grain bullets best, though 115 and 124 grain bullets turn in respectable results as well.

I think I like the fact that the gun, overall, feels like a very refined Glock pistol the best.  Mags slip in and out lightening fast, the Melonite finish looks and feels better than the Tennifer, and the interchangeable backstraps are a real stroke of genius.  Maybe Glock will get there someday…just not today.

The M&P pistols can be had with thumb safeties.  Also the guns can be had with magazine disconnect safeties, or without them.  It all depends on your individual preference.

Update – November 2008

S&W M&P9 PRO Series

Smith and Wesson continues to sell significant numbers of M&P pistols and rifles to law enforcement.

Most recently, Smith and Wesson announced M&P15 (the S&W AR-15) sales to the Chicago Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.  275 M&P15 rifles were shipped to CPD and another 90 went out to MSP.

Smith and Wesson M&P15R

Smith also announced they shipped 7500 M&P9 pistols to the US military for distribution to the Iraqi military and security forces. According to Leland Nichols, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation:

We are extremely pleased that the M&P9 pistol was selected for use by the Iraqi government for its military and police forces. Today’s announcement reflects the first order we have received for shipment of the M&P9 into Iraq.

Nichols also said:

In addition to the M&P9s currently used in Iraq, Smith & Wesson firearms have also been used in active duty for the last two years with several security forces in Afghanistan including the Afghanistan National Army and Border Patrol as well as the Afghanistan National Police. To date, [more than] 80,000 Smith & Wesson firearms are currently being used in these two countries.

One wonders if this exposure to the M&P will influence the military’s future decisions regarding replacement of the M9 pistol.

Update – December 2008

Smith and Wesson announced that they are shipping 1155 M&P duty pistols to three state law enforcement agencies.  All three agencies were not issuing Smith and Wesson guns prior to this, but now all three issue the M&P as the primary duty gun.

While the Glock is still king, S&W is definitely fighting for police agencies, trying to regain the dominance it once had.

Update – Tampa PD to Switch to M&P from Glock

Though it has not yet been announced, it appears Tampa Police Department may be the latest law enforcement agency to move to the Smith and Wesson M&P pistol.  An insider to the deal said the contract is for “about 1,000 pistols.”

The police handgun market is, and probably always will be, a hot battleground for firearms manufacturers. Sales of dozens or hundreds of firearms to an agency is always good for the bottom line. Perhaps even more important to the manufacturer, citizens will frequently purchase the firearms they see their police officers carrying.

The strong presence of Glock in the United States stems, in part, because of the agencies that began carrying the guns. As people began seeing more cops carrying the Glock, it legitimized that firearm in their minds. Recognizing that strong power, Glock actively courted departments, offering very favorable deals to agencies. Glock has reaped the rewards of those investments, becoming one of the most popular handguns for self defense in the United States today.

Now, however, an old player in the police market is making a huge push to reclaim their former dominant position. In recent years, Smith and Wesson has been marketing their M&P line of pistols to law enforcement agencies around the world. S&W has experienced a great deal of success, managing to maintain older contracts and, more importantly, bring in new agencies that have been issuing firearms from other manufacturers.

Smith & Wesson M&P review

Tampa PD did not return phone calls, and a representative of Smith and Wesson declined to comment at this time about any possible deals.

The Tampa deal would not be the largest agency S&W has swayed to the M&P, rather they would be just another in a line of agencies that have adopted their sidearms. Detroit PD, Milwaukee PD and Atlanta PD are just a few of the agencies that have adopted the M&P as the official sidearm of their agency.

Glock is still in the driver’s seat, but it would appear Smith and Wesson is going to give them a run for their money.

Tampa PD Update 1

Not ten minutes after I posted this article, I had a reader e-mail me the minutes from the Tampa PBA meeting on Jan 21, 2009.  The switch to the M&P 40 was discussed in the open meeting with projected delivery dates of the new pistols in 2009.  So, it would appear Tampa is getting a new pistol and new caliber, as they formerly carried the 9mm.

Tampa PD Update 2

It looks like this purchase is definite, but delayed. Speaking to one of the Tampa PD firearms instructors, I found out that budget cuts have pushed the purchase of the new pistols back to “around January” of 2010.  The instructor also told me that the department has already taken delivery of the new holsters for the M&P, and have sent their armorers to the S&W armorer school.

So, it would seem that the deal is almost certain at this point, just the timing has been thrown off due to the city’s budget woes.

The move by Tampa to the M&P 40 is away from the 9mm series of Glock pistols.

Smith & Wesson M&P for law enforcement

Click here to read the new review of the Smith & Wesson M&P series of pistols, but from the perspective of their usefulness in law enforcement service.  Video, words, pictures and all of the normal gun goodness.

About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

  • Jeff West

    I’d like to see this gun make it’s way into the military, especially since it’s an American company.

  • D.J. Grantland

    I recentley purchaced the M&P 9mm full frame pistol. After taking it to the range I was routinley hitting or coming very close to the 1 1/2 ince bullseye on my targets at 15 yards. ON THE FIRST CLIP! This pistol in incredibley accurate and a much better pistol then the S&W Sigma Series.

    I think it would be great if they finally replaced the Beretta M9 with this firearm like Jeff W. sez.

    It’s lightweight, though, and accurate, and has a standard Utility Rail for laser sights/flashlights/ect.

    Way to go Smith and Wesson!





  • Jeff in Ohio

    Nothing but praise for my M & P 40! Feels better in the hand than many other auto pistols. Is it true that the M & P is being phased out next year? Please tell me it isn’t true! I hear from dealers that it’s in their product catalogs for next year. I love my Smith & Wesson and my country. God bless the USA!

  • admin

    No, the M&P is not being phased out next year. The M&P line has really brought back a lot of interest in the Smith and Wesson line. More and more law enforcement agencies are swapping to the M&P 40. I suspect the M&P 40 will be around for a long time.

  • Scott Gaffin

    I purchased a M&P 40 last fall, what a great decision that was. I was debating the merrits of several similar pistols and I do believe I made the best choice. I have been a fan of S&W for quite some time now, I have 4 so far; 340pd, Sigma 40ve, Mod 29 6″, and origional Mod 10. The new M&P fits so nicely into my little collection. I couldn’t have asked for a better gun, every little thing has been considered when developing this weapon, it is truely mind blowing!

  • Justin Adams

    I bought a M&P 45 about 1 month ago. Since then I have put 2000 rounds through this firearm. It hasn’t jammed yet. Nice job S&W. I love how this pistol has a grip like a Colt .45. Very confortable, it fits almost every hand style.No one can do it like S&W. I would recommend this weapon to anyone seeking personal protection. It’s also easy to keep your sight radius as well.

  • Andrew Downunder

    To Justin Adams, re ” It’s also easy to keep your sight radius as well.”.

    What the …… ? What do you mean by that ?

    Sight radius does not change, or go away anywhere. It’s the physical distance from the foresight to the rear sight (or vice versa, if you like).

    For accuracy, the longer the sight radius the better, and you increase it by increasing barrel length.

    So, did you mean ‘sight alignment’, i.e. the sights are easy to reacquire after firing, due to the pistol having mild recoil ? If not, please explain.

  • Andrew Downunder

    P.S : My department is extremely likely to adopt this pistol as our new standard sidearm, hence my interest in it.

    As soon as the ‘longslide’ version is readily available here I will seriously consider adding one to my private collection, too.

    Can anyone say what they think of the trigger pull? I am fussy when it comes to that.

    I think the best trigger I’ve ever used is on my Browning Hi Power Mk III Practical.

    It’s single action and slightly ‘worked’, and is the standard by which I judge all other pistols, for crispness, weight, overall trigger travel, trigger reset , and ‘feel’.

    I’m especially interested in the S and W Performance Centre modified M and P 9mm Pro. It’s supposed to be 4.5 to 5 pound in pressure, which is pretty good, but is it crisp, or plasticky?

    I hate spongey, plasticky triggers, so can anyone comment on whether the M and P has a good / bad / average trigger ?


    See y’all Downunder one day, eh?!

  • admin

    The trigger on my M&P9 is very good compared to other striker fired pistols. Most people I have talked to say their M&P started out between average and good and improved to very good once they put a few hundred rounds through it.

    Will it be as good as your Hi Power? Probably not. A single action, mildly worked Browning is pretty hard to beat, especially by a service grade polymer pistol.

    However, as a Glock guy, I can say that the M&P has a much better trigger pull than any Glock I have ever shot. I prefer the M&P pull to my Sigs also.

    If your department goes to one of the M&P’s, I think you will be happy.

    Good luck and stay safe!

  • Thomas

    I’d been considering a glock but thought I should give the competition a try first. I borrowed my brother’s Glock 26 then rented both a subcompact springfield xd 9 and a 9 mm M&P subcompact from the range so I could try them all side by side. All I can say, regarding the M&P, is Wow! It was head and shoulders above the Glock and the Springfield as far as ergonomics, trigger pull and accuracy. I’ll be adding one to my collection soon.

  • Ironvic

    My compact 9mm M&P shoots very well and I’ve run about 300 rounds in one session down in eastern Oregon. Not a single misfire and it feels very good in the hand.

    When I bought it, I tried Glocks and a whole stack of other 9mm compacts. As soon as the S&W compact came to hand, it was the only one that felt right, bringing a grin immediately.

    There are flaws, though. The mag release sticks on mine and has to be forced back to lock the mag after releasing the spent one. The tool in the grip is next to worthless as it gets chewed up easily, being made of plastic. We need some metal here!

  • Mar

    Purchased MP45 a a couple of months back and fired more than 500 rounds. It’s easy to handle, even my 12 year old son can handle it and even put smaller groups at 15 yards than me. Only having problem in purchasing extra magazine which I intend to order soon on line. Holster is also difficult to get so I got it on line and shipped here but it was too tight and will have to heat it up to loosen the tightness at the muzzle end so that trigger retention will become useful. I envy guys there in the US where you can buy this gun cheaper. It cost’s here in the Philipiines slightly over $1000

  • Bob DAuria

    M&P 40 best of the best as far as autoloaders go.
    Smith&Wesson revolvers are great also and dealing with Smith emplyees are helpful and informative. class operation

  • Roy LaGrone

    Can you shoot the 357 in a 40 cal magazine? Will they interchange? This says a lot for the M&P auto pistol.

  • Rick

    The 40 magazine and the .357 SIG magazine are the same.
    The .357 SIG is actually a 40 case narrowed down for the .357 bullet.

  • shane

    I just want to say I love the M&P 40. I have fired a couple thousand rounds through it and have not had a single problem with it. The only thing I don’t like is the trigger reset; is there a way to adjust it?

  • Dan Robbins

    Since purchasing my Smith & Wesson M&P in .40 I have used it all through our clubs shooting season for the past two years. It’s incredible, after a thousand or so rounds with no malfunctions it still keeps on going. This pistol is nothing less than fantastic, the fire controls are excellent, accuracy is excellent and the hand fit is very comfortable. One of the nicest pistols I own.

  • Bernie, PA

    I originally purchased a Sigma .40. It was OK but the trigger was a bear. When the M&P came out I was amazed at the difference. I immediately traded up to an M&P40. I now have an M&P40 and an M&P9. Both are excellent shooters. I’ve put several thousand rounds thru both with no problems. I recently had Novak install a green fiber optic front and an adjustable wide gap rear on the 9mm. What a beauty to shoot. I will be purchasing an M&P 40c with Crimson Trace Laser for CCW in the next few days. I am sold on the M&P………

  • Paul

    Just put a down payment on a .40 M&P-I’m so excited! Here in WA, the State Patrol has recently switched to it,as are more and more local PDs. Hoo-ah!!

  • jon

    I had a m&p40, traded it for a double stack 1911 for uspsa, after shooting the 1911 for 2 years i boought another m&p pro so i can also shoot in the production division, while it might not be on the same level as a good 1911 costing thousands of dollars i forgot how great of shooters these are. These guns stock will outperform alot of the heavily modified glocks that are being used in the limited division. I am yet to find another poly gun on the same level as a m&P and i’ve shot all of the major brands

  • Paul

    Sequel to my original post is in order. I still have the full size M&P40, and have how added the M&P40c. The first does nightstand duty, the second every day concealed carry. Both of them shoot like a 9mm pistol, but give way more punch. Now if they’d just offer the Shield in .357 cal…..