PCC’s have been on my radar ever since shaking up the world of USPSA. They are available in a plethora of models, with many having more bells and whistles than you are ever going to use. However, there is something to be said about keeping things simple. This is where the S&W M&P FPC shines.
The Smith & Wesson M&P FPC
Growing up, I’ve always been big into shotguns, often deep in the woods, hunting, or on a sporting clay course. Sure, guys with expensive handguns are pretty bad about keeping their safe queens locked away from the slight possibility of a scratch or scuff. However, they have nothing on high-end scattergun enthusiasts. But I digress.
I have said all that to describe my approach towards guns in general. And that is “It doesn’t have to be pretty; it just has to shoot.”
Simple Folding Design
When I got my hands on this new offering from S&W, the overall compactness of the package caught my attention. While folded, the FPC has an overall length of a mere 16.38”. This makes it extremely portable and concealable, fitting nicely into the included soft-sided case.
A perk of this model is that you can mount an optic without having to remove it after use. This is because the breech-folding design does not impede whatever glass you decide to mount atop the rifle. I would have liked the gun to ship with a simple, no-flair set of backup irons. But I fear I may be in the minority, as the industry is currently flooded with red dots galore.
Another bonus to the side-folding stock is that it can be closed with or without a magazine inserted. Not to mention the ability to be folded with the bolt open or closed. Simple features, yes. But in the name of keeping things simple, these features are very much appreciated.
Looking a little bit closer at the rearward portion of the gun, you will find a handy storage feature in the bottom portion of the buttstock meant to hold two spare magazines. The FPC ships with two 23-round magazines and one 17-round magazine. So, the extra onboard storage means you are able to carry extra rounds without having to fumble around in your range bag or navigate magazine pouches on your belt.
When you tally it all up, the FPC has a total carrying capacity of 63 rounds. M&P9 mags are cross-compatible with the FPC, meaning you can put that hard-earned money towards more ammunition instead. As a result, if you already own an M&P9 from S&W, you will also be saving money on additional magazines.
Handling the Folding PCC
Moving forward on the gun, you’ll first come across the charging handle located on the underside of the stock tube. Next up is the grip, once again a familiar feature to any M&P fans. The FPC mirrors its handgun counterparts with its magazines inserted into the grip instead of a magwell forward of the trigger guard, like a Ruger PC Carbine. Muscle memory is key here, where simple, familiar features such as these help cut down on the learning curve.
There is not much to be said about the trigger on this PCC…it works. With a crisp break at around 5 pounds, it does what it is supposed to do. No more, no less.
Sitting just above and slightly forward of the trigger, you will find the lever that actuates the folding mechanism with a simple forward push. I liked that this lever was kept very streamlined and almost flush with the overall footprint of the gun. It is not obtrusive in any manner.
Additionally, the FPC is built with a reversible magazine catch. Likewise, the bolt release lever is in the same area as the slide release on your M&P handgun.
A Minimalistic Yet Functional Approach
While Smith & Wesson opted to keep the forend rather minimalistic on the FPC, this allows for a reduced overall cost and optimal customization for the end user. The M-LOK slots on the handguard allow for attaching a wide array of accessories, including a sling. Likewise, the Picatinny rail up top is ready to accept your preferred optic or backup set of irons.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m 100% more accurate with irons than with red dots. The only reason behind that is that I simply don’t shoot them enough. In the spirit of self-improvement, by pushing through the uncomfortable, I mounted a Bushnell RXM-300 reflex sight atop the rail.
Like the S&W M&P FPC, this optic is quite the multi-purpose optic. It is capable of mounting to a multitude of rifles, shotguns, and pistols via its RMR/SRO direct connect compatibility. Correspondingly, it includes a low-profile mount and spacer, should you require such an option.
Installing the sight was quick and easy, utilizing the weaver-style low-profile mount. With the optic mounted, it was time to hit the range.
Range Time with the M&P FPC
Today’s ammunition selection included three different varieties from none other than Remington, Federal, and Fiocchi. Although a rifle, it is obvious that this platform isn’t exactly designed for long-range applications. It is more specific to self-defense.
Knowing this, multiple five-round groups from each variant were shot at our target from a distance of 15 yards. The location of the charging handle took some getting used to. However, after going through a few magazines worth of ammunition, manipulation of this control ran as smoothly as a hot knife through butter. Each round fed without any issue, and there were zero malfunctions to speak of. A telltale sign of a quality-built product.
Confident of its performance at a defensive distance, a quick run through a neighboring plate rack provided a glimpse into the competitive possibilities of the FPC. I achieved quick and smooth transitions, undoubtedly aided by the wide field of view of the Bushnell RXM-300.
All in all, the S&W M&P FPC was a pleasure to shoot. Controls were easily manipulated, the function was snag-free, and this carbine has many applications. This is true whether you are looking for your next home-defense firearm, camping gun, or even to round out your SHTF bug-out bag.
Don’t let the unassuming appearance of this high-speed, low-drag pistol caliber carbine fool you into thinking it’s too “plain Jane” to get the job done. Especially with an MSRP of only $659.
For more information, please visit Smith-Wesson.com.
Smith & Wesson M&P FPC Specs
|16.38 inches (folded) – 30.38 inches (extended)
|Folding Polymer, FPC
|None, Picatinny Rail
|Trigger Pull Weight
|5 pound 3 ounces
|Remington Range 155gr FMJ
|Federal 124gr Syntech Training Match
|Fiocchi Range Dynamics 147gr FMJ
Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in feet per second, and accuracy in inches for best five-shot groups from 15 yards shot from a rest. Range conditions during testing were 52 degrees Fahrenheit with a westwardly 7 MPH wind.
The Bushnell RXM-300
The Bushnell RXM-300 is a multi-use reflex sight lending itself to applications involving not only handguns but rifles and shotguns as well. It is compatible with handguns via a direct-connect method utilizing an RMR/SRO footprint. However, you can also utilize the included low-profile Weaver-style mount with or without an additional spacer on your preferred shotgun or rifle for use in competition, home defense, and more.
The wide viewing window, measuring 28mm wide, allows for maximum field of view. Likewise, the 4-MOA dot makes it quick and easy to get on target, with 100 MOA worth of elevation and windage adjustment.
Battery life is nothing to worry about with the RXM-300 and its estimated battery life of up to 35,000 hours. Additionally, there is no need to be concerned about forgetting to turn off the optic, as it is enabled with auto shut-off. The shake-awake technology incorporated into this sight allows for lightning-quick use upon picking up the firearm.
For more information, please visit Bushnell.com.