To say that the Smith & Wesson M&P is a successful line would be the understatement of the century. The S&W M&P is a short recoil-operated, locked-breech, semi-auto pistol. It was launched in 2005 and the rest, as they say, is history. It has been estimated that S&W has sold over one million M&P Shields alone since 2012. One of the things that have driven that success is the ongoing evolution of the M&P line. There are at least 18 different configurations of the M&P pistol available today, and each has done well.
Shooting the S&W M&P FPC
To some on the outside, we sit and watch S&W to see what they are going to do next with the M&P. So, I was immediately excited when I heard they did indeed have something new coming in the line. When the box arrived, and I cracked it open, I realized they had indeed gone with a different angle. The newest member of the M&P family is the M&P FPC.
The M&P FPC (Folding Pistol Carbine) is a new line inside the M&P family. Right out of the box the unique folding nature of the gun stands out. When we talk about folding carbines, people’s minds immediately go to the stock. This is where everyone else makes their gun a “folder.” Well S&W has taken a different path and has engineered the gun to fold at the base of the barrel. It is a unique design, to say the least. The horizontal folding design doesn’t interfere with top-mounted optics. The lock mechanism for the folding barrel is robust and easy to manipulate. Overall, the gun has some great features as well. The recoil and buffer system are integrated into the gun, and the stock has built-in magazine storage with a quick-release tab system.
Speaking of mags, the gun comes with one 17-round mag as well as two 23-round mags. S&W tells me that the M&P FPC can make use of M&P original series and M2.0 compact and full-size double-stack pistol magazines with or without the grip adapter spacers in place. This is a bonus for people with existing M&P pistols. It is chambered in 9mm, and I can pretty safely guess there will be other calibers coming down the road in the future. The grip position of the gun is pure M&P. In fact, at first glance, it looks like an M&P pistol merged with a rifle. The FPC has a flat-face trigger with a decent pull on it.
To help the FPC be easier to use for both right- and left-handed shooters, it has a reversible magazine catch. Moving up the gun, it has an M-LOK handguard with a Picatinny rail covering the 16 1/2-inch barrel. The end of the barrel is threaded at ½-28 to support a suppressor or muzzle device of your choice. The merging of rifle and pistol comes with a dual-sided charging handle that doubles as a retaining device for the barrel when the FPC is folded. The gun is small at 30 3/8 inches extended and a very compact 16 3/8 inches folded.
I looked forward to taking the S&W M&P FPC to the range and giving it a spin. The only change I made to the gun was the installation of a Trijicon MRO as my optic. I also brought a SilencerCo Osprey 2.0 9mm suppressor. For ammo I would run a mix of ball and personal protection ammo to check the FPC’s ability to run a variety. The three flavors I ran were Hornandy 115-grain FTX Critical Defense, Federal 124-grain Personal Defense Hydra Shok, and Ammo Inc 155-grain ball.
My first impressions of the gun were obviously curious. The design is unique, and the manual of arms is a mix of handgun and carbine. The entire gun is lightweight coming under six pounds. The gun in the folded configuration is small and opens fairly easily. The charging handle aligns with one of the M-LOK slots and holds the gun in the folded position. Once opened, the barrel and handguard section lock firmly into place. The locking mechanism is substantial and once locked, the barrel and handguard had no play. It is a unique-looking gun and as I mentioned earlier, looks like an M&P pistol on a small rifle. The fit on the gun is good with no rattle of a loose fit.
Manual of Arms
Loading the magazine was straightforward and done just as you would load your pistol. At this point, you firmly grab the charging handle and pull it briefly to the rear. The charging handle is unique in design and generally resembles an AR charging handle on a smaller scale. The bolt travels a short distance just as it does on a pistol. There are slide locks on both sides of the gun. Honestly, they have very little surface area to work with and it will take some practice to get the feel. On that note, for those who traditionally use the slide stop to also release the action forward, you will be hard-pressed to make that happen. The stops are small, tight, and flat against the gun. Your best bet is to use the charging handle to get the gun into battery.
The gun shouldered well, and I was easily aligned with the MRO. The trigger was what we get with the regular M&P pistol. The flat-face trigger felt good, and the break was decent. When fired there was almost no muzzle rise, which I expected from this 9mm blaster. The pulse was unique and unlike what we get in a traditional AR platform with a classic buffer spring. The pulse was quick, and the gun was ready to send another round downrange. It proved to be accurate as well and gave me a two-inch group off-hand at 50 yards. Function-wise, the gun ran all the different ammo I fed it without hesitation.
Running a Can
After a few mags with various ammo, it was time to try the gun suppressed. As I mentioned, I chose to use the SilencerCo Osprey 2.0. Within a minute the can was mounted, and we were back at it. While it is a personal opinion, I believe the gun was more enjoyable to run suppressed. Obviously, the sound was reduced but the gun shot smoother as well. With the can on, I once again fed the FPC the buffet of ammo in my bag. Even suppressed there were no malfunctions or issues with the gun. It was while suppressed that I ran it out to the 100-yard steel. Even though I did not spend a great deal of time dialing in my exact zero, the gun shot well. The steel at 100 yards proved to be child’s play for the FPC.
At the end of the range session, we cleaned up the brass and talked about performance. The S&W M&P FPC is a unique gun with a very familiar feel to it. The manual of arms is very similar to our standard blasters even though it may look a little different. Smith & Wesson has taken a hard right turn with this gun and opened an entirely new line at the same time. The gun checks many of the boxes that PCC shooters are looking for plus a few more. If you are looking for a small pistol caliber carbine with a familiar feel, the S&W M&P FPC may be what you are looking for.
For even more info, please visit smith-wesson.com.
S&W M&P FPC Specs
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 17+1 round or 23+1 round
- Action: Blowback, semi-auto
- Barrel Length: 16.25 inches
- Rifling Twist: 1:10
- Length: 30 3/8 inches unfolded /16 3/8 inches folded
- Stock: Fixed 14.5 inches LOP, polymer
- Grip: M&P M2.0 Compact-size grip
- Overall Weight: w/three mags – 5.78 lbs.
- MSRP: $659