Who doesn’t love a powerful hand cannon? The bigger the “boom,” the bigger the smile, right? Many of those handheld boom sticks are big, cumbersome, and have some serious felt recoil. They’re not exactly conducive for your average nature hike, though. If you’re out in the wilderness and a rather large animal decides you’re its next meal, how will you answer? Well, Smith & Wesson has decided to answer that age-old question with its newest offering to the M&P (Military & Police) line, the M&P 10mm M2.0.
The Smith & Wesson M&P 10mm M2.0
You really don’t want to have to ask a charging bear twice or have to reload for that matter. A well-placed 10mm projectile traveling at approximately 1,300 fps is a force to be reckoned with.
Smith & Wesson unveiled its newest addition to the M&P line at the annual Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Victor, Idaho. The company introduced two different variants of the new M&P 10mm. Both have a full-size frame, the biggest difference being a 4-inch or 4.6-inch barrel.
S&W also decided to offer the option of an external safety on either model. Both variants of the M&P 10mm M2.0 will ship with a total of two 15-round magazines. Each slide is also precut (cover plate included) for optics. Better to see that hungry, angry bear.
The M&P line has always been very impressive. S&W didn’t disappoint with this newest addition to its family of pistols. The M2.0 offers a flat-face trigger, allowing consistent finger placement. Likewise, the lower bore access helps to make for a better shooting experience by reducing muzzle rise. As a result, you will get back on target quicker.
Four interchangeable palm swell grip inserts are included to ensure that any size hand can comfortably reach the trigger and still take advantage of the 18-degree grip angle. The grip texture on the M&P M2.0 is “enhanced,” allowing the shooter to have a comfortable grip. This is especially true during felt recoil.
It’s a great balance of that soft rubbery, yet aggressive textured finish. It’s just enough to not let it slip in your hand, yet comfortable while carrying concealed. Notice the word “comfortable” keeps coming up. S&W did a great job of taming the 10mm beast and making their newest addition a fun, ergonomically friendly pistol to shoot.
Trigger Time at Rendezvous
Out in the rolling hills of southeast Idaho, at the annual editorial rendezvous stood a range table with all sorts of S&W goodness. I didn’t get a ton of time behind the trigger of this pistol. However, I did get enough to form a good working opinion of it.
Felt recoil was very manageable, and I was able to get back on target without issue. Shooting the new M&P 10mm M2.0 was made so much nicer with the addition of the Holosun red dot that S&W had installed on some of the examples they provided.
Banging away at the steel dueling-tree paddle targets was a genuine blast, pun intended. There is a whole lot of power packed inside of this pistol.
I was fortunate enough to shoot both variants of the new M&P 10mm M2.0, with and without an externally mounted safety. It’s a great feature if you’re a new shooter and it’s a range gun.
Other than that, personally, I have no use for an external safety on a striker-fired pistol. It’s just one more thing to switch off while presenting your firearm. That being said, it’s an individual choice that each shooter should make for themselves.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice with your firearm often. If you cannot afford a lot of ammunition, look into the Mantis Dry Fire Training System or something similar. If you plan on carrying this gun, you should safely dry-fire practice unholstering and presenting, and then reholstering without looking. This is true with any EDC firearm.
These drills should be done as often as you are able. Develop that muscle memory, and get comfortable carrying your firearm. Know it like it’s an extra appendage of your body. The Mantis Dry Firing Training System is a great tool to help you develop good shooting habits and doesn’t require live ammunition.
An interesting feature of note: The M&P’s patented takedown lever and sere deactivation allow for disassembling the pistol without pulling the trigger. That’s a great feature for most, and will give a warm fuzzy to those who want the external safety.
There are simple rules to follow when unloading a pistol. Remove the food source (magazine) first, lock the slide back, look into the chamber, and also physically feel for a round in the chamber to ensure the weapon is unloaded. If you have a friend or someone nearby who is proficient with firearms, show them the chamber to have them verify, in addition to the above steps.
There seem to be several companies coming out with a 10mm pistol right now. It almost appears to be a trend. The trick is mitigating the felt recoil, and not all companies have managed this. However, Smith & Wesson seems to have this down to a science with the M&P 10mm M2.0.
I spend much time outdoors with my dog, split between high plains and mountains. Therefore, I usually carry a .45 ACP or a 3-inch .357 Mag. due to the mountain lions, bears, and other creatures. I love my wheel gun, but I’m limited on the rounds I can carry. And trying to reload while negotiating with a pissed-off mountain lion or bear is not going to make for a good time.
Ready For the Trail
After shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P 10mm M2.0, I’m thinking of purchasing the 4-inch (non-external safety) variant for myself to wear while in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. This way I’ll have 16 reasons why my furry child (dog) and I will not make for a tasty meal.
If you’re in the market for a nice, soft-shooting 10mm semi-auto pistol, you should seriously consider the brand-new Smith & Wesson M&P 10mm M2.0.
For more information, please visit Smith-Wesson.com.
Smith & Wesson M&P 10mm M2.0 Specs
Barrel: 4 inches or 4.6 inches
Overall Length: 7.2 inches or 7.9 inches
Weight: 23.3 ounces (empty) or 28.5 ounces (empty)
Sights: Optic-height white-dot front, two-dot rear
Finish: Matte black
MSRP: $654 or $665
This article was originally published in the Combat Handguns March/April 2022 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email email@example.com.