Editor’s note: Tactical Weapons magazine prides itself on bringing operators up to speed on the latest hardware available that will ensure safe arrival home to their families at the end of a shift or deployment. Our writing staff is comprised mainly of those with military and/or law enforcement experience—the guys that have “been there and done that.” When new products become available to be wrung out, TW writers are the first to sign up for testing and evaluating. Recently, the author, along with Editor-at-Large Michael Humphries, headed to Gunsite in the high Sonora desert in Arizona to get their mitts on Smith & Wesson’s new duty ready M&P15 MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) and a host of other S&W guns and related tactical gear that’s worthy of mention.
Smith & Wesson teamed with Magpul to help end users achieve that now famous “unfair advantage” over the bad guys on the battlefield and in the mean streets. The 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle is fed by a near-indestructible 30-round detachable Magpul polymer magazine. The 16-inch 4140 steel barrel sports a 1 in 9 inch twist rate. An M4-A2 front sight and a folding MBUS (Magpul Back-up Sight) provide for a clear sight picture from CQB-range out to 200 meters. The Magpul MOE stock provides six positions of collapsible adjustment and excellent ergonomics. With upper and lower receivers made of 7075 T6 aluminum, the MOE carries at an empty weight of 6.5 pounds.
Although it’s no secret, the M&P’s MOE is far and away superior to any standard M4 sliding buttstock, pistol grip and handguards, which comprise the stock furniture components it replaces. Offered in black or flat dark earth, the MOE includes Magpul’s “MOE” stock, its pistol grip and its equally ergonomic FAL type handguards. The MBUS sights are constructed of the same rugged polymer as Magpul’s P-MAG. These fully adjustable pop-up sights weigh nothing and cost next to it compared with any other back-up sights on the market. Another noteworthy piece of Magpul gear was its dual-purpose sling that can be quickly changed from a two-point to single point and this sling is available in the same two colors as the rest of the equipment.
The M&P15 MOE clearly builds on the strengths of the basic M&P15 platform—a solid AR carbine that has taken the market by storm since its introduction a few short years ago. Recognizing that the M4 Carbine configuration is far and away the most popular AR configuration today, the bulk of the M&P15 follows this pattern—albeit in semi-automatic-only form with a longer 16-inch barrel for civilian legality.
And the MOE variant takes it a step further—and at minimal price increase over a standard M&P15. The addition of the Magpul MOE gear added significant enhancements to not only the ergonomics but also the potential performance on the M&P15, and all with a negligible difference in overall weight.