Live Free Arms (LF Arms) announced a pair of new magazine release buttons for the Smith & Wesson M&P line of pistols. One release is a standard length, while the second is an extended length release button.
The LF Arms release buttons are machined metal – not plastic – and have a Melonite finish. MSRP is $26.95 for either button. The buttons will fit all of the M&P pistols except the Shield and Bodyguard models.
Smith & Wesson announced a record quarter and record year for sales and income. Here are the highlights:
For the quarter ending April 30, 2012, S&W’s sales were up almost 28% year over year.
For the quarter ending April 30, 2012, S&W’s income was $17.8 million.
For the fiscal year ending April 30, 2012, S&W produced a record number of units, generated a record amount of cash and brought in a record amount of income ($26.4 million).
For anyone who tracks Apple stock, these numbers seem anemic, but for Smith & Wesson, they are very good indeed.
According to a Smith & Wesson press release, these records were driven largely because of the popularity of the M&P line of pistols and rifles. The M&P continues to nibble away at Glock’s share of the law enforcement market, and more and more consumers are flocking to the guns. Read a few of the popular gun blogs out there and you’ll see that everyone is drinking to Kool-Aid.
Smith & Wesson announced a new AR-style pistol chambered in .22 LR: the M&P15-22P. The M&P 15-22P is a polymer framed semi-auto pistol based on the S&W M&P 15-22 rifles.
The new S&W handgun has a 6″ carbon steel barrel with a 1:15 twist, and weighs 51 ounces (unloaded). The detachable magazine holds 25 rounds of .22LR ammunition. This is the same standard capacity magazine that is used in the M&P15-22 rifle. So, if you have one of those, you can swap mags between the two guns.
The M&P 15-22P features a full-length optics rail along the top of the gun, and a mini-quad rail for lasers, lights, can openers and Romulan cloaking devices. A swivel point attachment is also included for attaching a single point sling.
Smith and Wesson is now producing all of the M&P pistols with optional thumb safety.
The ambidextrous manual safety is now available on the full-sized and compact 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig. The manual safety was originally developed by S&W for the M&P 45, which was developed for the U.S. armed forces trials that never happened. Now the safety has been carried over to the rest of the M&P line as an option.
All specs on the M&P pistols with the thumb safety remain the same as the pistols without the manual safety. The thumb safeties are large and easy to manipulate. They are designed to mimic the 1911-style safeties but are easier to operate.
While the 1911 was an amazing military gun for its time, if the military is serious about upgrading sidearms, they need to abandon the 1911 concept and go after what works. Frankly, the most reliable handguns on the market today are the polymer-framed, striker-fired handguns that do not have a bunch of switches, safeties and doo-dads. The Glock line of handguns and the M&P (sans safety) help prove that point.
I’m not suggesting the 1911 is not a fine firearm because it is. I’ve got a Colt 1911A1 in my safe right now. But it is in my safe. The gun on my hip right now is a Glock 19. Why? Because the G19 is just more reliable. And in a violent encounter, I’m not looking for style points, I want a pistol that will reliably put holes in the target and stop the threat.
MSRP runs $719 for the full-sized and compact pistols, with the exception of the .357 Sig models, which list at $727.
2009 SHOT Show Update
At the SHOT Show, I got to see the new guns. I worked with several different M&P pistols and found the safeties worked very well. I wasn’t sure I would like them, but they were easy to manipulate, clicked smartly into place, and did not interfere with my grip. I don’t know that I would order an M&P with a thumb safety, but I certainly would consider it.