NC Highway Patrol Leaves Sig Sauer, Goes Smith & Wesson

smithwesson_mp40The North Carolina Highway Patrol recently made a significant shift in their firearms by selecting the Smith & Wesson M&P pistols and rifles for their troopers.  Previously carrying the Sig Sauer P229 DAK, the Patrol has adopted the S&W M&P pistols chambered in .357 Sig.

The initial order is 2000 pistols, which is enough to equip all of the troopers.  According to S&W, “reliability, ambidextrous operating controls and three interchangeable palm swell grip sizes were noted by officials within the agency as key reasons for the selection of the new duty sidearm.”

Additionally, the NC Highway Patrol selected the M&P 15 rifle for the troopers.  S&W states that 1000 rifles have been ordered by the Patrol.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is one of many U.S. law enforcement agencies converting to the M&P pistols and rifles.  S&W states that 570 U.S. agencies issue or approve the M&P pistols for duty use, and more than 250 issue or approve the M&P 15 rifles.

The Smith & Wesson company has placed a lot of emphasis on the development of the Military & Police line of products.  The company introduced the M&P Shield, a small, compact pistol that is suitable for concealed carry or as a back up gun for police officers like the troopers of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.  When you talk to the senior members of the company’s staff, they will tell you repeatedly that this line of products is extremely valuable to the company.

Smith & Wesson M&P

For a bunch of plastic pistols, the M&P handguns are making a huge difference in the S&W bottom line.  The NC Highway Patrol order is definitely a win for them.  I found the prior choice of a SIG P229 to be unusual, as a P226 would seem to be a much better choice for uniformed law enforcement carry.  I carried a P226 for years and it is a fine weapon.

Going forward, I suspect NCHP will be extremely pleased with the purchase of the new Smith & Wesson handguns.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

3 replies on “NC Highway Patrol Leaves Sig Sauer, Goes Smith & Wesson”

There is a big difference between issuing and approving.

How many firearms share space with the S&W M&P on the approved list of those 570 agencies?

Heck, even the issuing agencies might not be all M&P, Houston PD issues Glock 22’s but approves a ton of different handguns, you see everything from Wheel Guns to 1911’s to Sigs and other model Glocks, I’d swear I’ve seen a Sigma.

I hope Smith keeps doing well though, maybe they’ll learn from the optional lock in the M&P and make the lock optional on their wheel guns.

It’s a good choice. The MnP is an easy gun to fit to a wide variety of hand sizes, and has both good accuracy and easy manipulation. If they’d put a trigger in it with a reset that was more like the Glock, they’d have made the perfect cop gun. I like mine a lot, but trigger work was a must to be able to run the thing.

I have the sig 226 in 40 cal and in 357 sig outstanding firearms. The 357 is much more than what I thought. I have recently purchases a smith MnP 40 and have also purchased a smith barrel that will fit in the 357 sig. I have never owned a firearm without a hammer, but it seems that the striker method is here to stay. The MnP feels good, fires well and seems to be on target every time. Not at all a glock fan, however Ive heard smith modeled this firearm after glock. keeping both, both seem to be very dependable and keeps me safe. Kudo’s to the N.C. Hwy Ptl. Great people there, keep safe and thank you for all you do for the people of North Carolina

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