By Dave Bahde
The best out-of-the-box M&P for concealed carry that Smith & Wesson has offered to date
Handling the new Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 pistol is clearly different. I have been using M&P’s since they came out, still one of my favorites. Many features previously dealt with using aftermarket parts were included in the 2.0. The trigger is lighter and includes the tactile and audible reset so many prefer. Take up remains a bit long, but for a factory trigger it was much improved. More aggressive texturing is featured on the frame and interchangeable grip straps are included. Accuracy with the 9mm is much improved. The 18-degree grip angle is retained, along with a shorter (compared to my Pro Series) beavertail for concealability. Front cocking serrations are included at the bottom of the slide. Standard models hold 17 rounds using either a 4.25 or 5.0 inch barrel. After testing a few it wasn’t quite enough to warrant replacing my M&P9 or 45. That all changed with the addition of the Compact 2.0.
I understand how enamored people have become with the “compact” pistol, generally a 4-inch barrel and a grip slightly shorter than a full-sized version. Given large hands I trade two rounds (generally) for a marginal increase in concealability and the inability to get a full grip. With the difference in barrel length meaningless, it’s just not worth it. That remained my mindset, that is until I actually used the new Compact 2.0. Two rounds remain lost using the compact magazine, but it’s accuracy, smooth operation, lack of recoil with hot loads and overall fit changed my mind.