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This will probably be boring to the more experienced readers of this forum, but I hope it will be useful to other new S&W owners or people who are looking for their first handgun.

My wife and I bought our first handgun a few weeks ago. After a lot of research, testing some different models and discussions with friends (an LEO and an NRA instructor) we chose an S&W MP 9mm 2.0 full size with the five inch barrel. The model we bought has the internal safety and my wife chose the flat dark earth color since everyone seems to have black guns. We considered the Sig Sauer P320 as our other option, but in the end the feel, weight and grip of the M&P worked best for both of us. It was also a better price than the Sig and was American made so that was two more points in its favor.

I had reservations about buying it, to be honest. I bought a gun similar to what cops carry but I'm just a beginner so I wasn't sure about it. We both had rifles/shotguns when we were kids but are new to handguns. I was concerned we bought more than we could handle and that we would have problems figuring it out, maintaining it and using it. Yesterday, we finally had a day off and were able to take it to the range to fire it for the first time.

First impression - we made the right choice. This is a great gun thats not too complicated for n00bs like us. Its easy and fun to shoot... it's solidly built without being too heavy for my wife. All around, it is a great first handgun. To get ready, we took it apart ahead of time, cleaned it and oiled it with the help of our instructor friend via FaceTime. He shared a YouTube tutorial with us ahead of time and frankly, it was straightforward enough that we probably could have done it solo. The pieces fit together in such a way that its hard to do it wrong, although be careful to make sure you put the guide rod in the right way. I probably checked the manual three times just to make sure I had it right before we put it back together. We also spent time racking the slide several times over a week or two to get used to it which I highly recommend to any new user. That was a tip I learned here and it loosened it up quite a bit. Once cleaned and oiled my wife found it easy enough to rack with some practice, which was one of her main concerns. The first time she popped the clip in, she did get the skin of her hand caught because she had her grip way too low. (She won't make that mistake again.) Other than that, no problems.

At the range, we had several different types of ammo to try that we'd either purchased online or had been given by friends. Several people recommended (here and in real life) that we try a variety to see what we liked and what we didnt. We shot 115 grain Armscor FMJ, Sellier & Bellot FMJ, Monarch FMJ, CCI Blazer JHP and Sellier & Bellot JHP. We also had some 124 grain American Eagle. We shot brass only since most of our friends recommended we stay away from steel and aluminum rounds. We found that our local range doesn't allow steel or aluminum ammo, which made me glad I didn't try to save a few bucks for ammo I wouldnt be able to use there.

We ran about 300 rounds without a single problem or stovepipe. I was expecting to have a few problems since we were both new at this. I figured we'd make a mistake racking the slide or loading the clips but no problems at all. I was really impressed with how solid the M&P felt and how the grip locked into my hand. It made the kickback easy to handle for both of us. My wife was not a fan of the 124 grain AE's kick tho, so we probably wont buy that again. However, we'd use any of the others again.

Nobody is going to hang our first targets in a trophy case. However, after we got comfortable firing that first clip, we both did better than we expected. This gun shoots accurately and consistently. At 25 feet, we had very few shots I'd be embarrassed by. Of course, we also had very few I'd brag about. We didnt hit a ton of bullseyes but we were able to keep most of our shots in the center few rings of the target. That was quite a bit better than I expected.

In retrospect, I wish I had bought or upgraded to a pair of night sights. The stock sights are fine but after firing at an indoor range with smoke and not the greatest lighting, I see the value of night sights for a gun that will be primarily for home protection. I think I will upgrade to night sights sometime this year.

A quick thought about the trigger. I saw several reviewers online complaining about the trigger and talking about upgrading to an Apex. To be honest, those criticisms almost pushed me away from the M&P. Granted, I dont have a lot to compare it to but I think the trigger is fine. Maybe my opinion will change with more experience but I didnt notice any issues with it.

One last note, this forum has been a great resource for a new user. The tips I found here about practicing racking the slide to loosen it up, alternate ways my wife could try to rack the slide and ammo recommendations helped a great deal. Thank you.
 

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Congrats! Glad you made a choice you both enjoy and have confidence with it. When you're ready, I'd suggest seeing more instruction with shooting, reloading, etc. Since it's a home defense gun, consider getting either a gun mounted or handheld light and instruction in how to use it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Congrats! Glad you made a choice you both enjoy and have confidence with it. When you're ready, I'd suggest seeing more instruction with shooting, reloading, etc. Since it's a home defense gun, consider getting either a gun mounted or handheld light and instruction in how to use it as well.
Good point. We have had some instruction from friends but are planning to take a course at our local range soon.
 

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Congrats to you and your wife on choosing a fine handgun. I am actually surprised and glad you did not jump into the "small gun" fad of late, because I'm sure that you will discover it is much easier to learn shooting skills on a firearm with some size to it... better grip and sight radius just make things much easier.

As to your issue with the sights... I highly recommend Diamond Speed Sights. The short list of reasons are these:

  • Faster target acquisition due to the larger diamond shapes
  • More precise aiming due to the tiny point of the front sight as a POA focus point
in summation, you can be faster and more precise at the same time!

I will tell you that the reflective nature of the diamond inserts is plenty bright for most lighting conditions, but if you still want night sights, you can get Diamond Speed Sights with Tritium as well. I am such a fan of Diamond Speed Sights that I have moved all of my M&Ps and PPQs to them and could not be happier! (Link to M&P DSS)





This image shows exactly why Diamond Speeds Sights are so precise. It is almost like having crosshairs on your handgun:



P.s. I would suggest that you spend the money on a decent weapon mounted light rather than night sights. For me, I want to see my target in the dark, and also have the chance of disorienting the bad guy with a bright light.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. I will definitely check out the diamonds sights. Good point about prioritizing the light. Thanks
 

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@Yankeefan Thanks for sharing a very well written first pistol experience, and congratulations on getting good professional help in the beginning, and now including an actual course.

I had to smile at your comment about not feeling anything wrong with the trigger! I shot 9mm Glocks regularly and very well for 20 years and thought the triggers were just fine, thank you, in spite of myriad forum members complaining about how gritty they are. Now that I have some other brands, I am sort of amazed at how gritty the trigger feels on the one Glock I still have. 😕🙃🙁😚

Since you are new and truly wanting to do things right, the thing you load the ammunition rounds into for a pistol is a magazine, not a clip, and what you referred to as kickback is RECOIL.

I hope you and your wife will continue to pursue shooting as a skill and as a very enjoyable activity together. You can (should) start now to save your pennies for when she wants her own gun. 🎀
 
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Great choice in handguns. When we were looking for a home defense handgun for my wife after deciding her Glock 17 was not a good fit, we ended up with the same M2.0 you have. They had just come out when we got hers and she loves it still. I had her try the P320 as well since I was all in on it back then. She did not like it at all. I am full DA/SA now (minus my M&P Shield EDC) and the only gun she likes better than her M2.0 is my CZ P09. I would look at getting a good weapon light for it. I run the Streamlight TLR-1 and it is outstanding. I did install some night sights on her M2.0 and I wient with Night Fision. They are excellent sights.
 

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Alright Yankeefan - Fair warning, I'm an Astros fan. Let me just say - We did steal the signs, and I'm glad we did it. We have never won a World Series before. So now we are the bad boys of baseball and I can live with it lololololol. It's absolutely awesome to hear someone do a write up on their first pistol shooting experience. You did a great job detailing it too. Great post ! Now - to the meat of the matter ! This is a HUGE favor to tell you. Don't call it a clip...It's a magazine. There are more than a few ppl out there who will light you up for calling it a clip lol. A clip is like what is used in the M1 Garand rifle. Pistols and most modern day rifles use magazines. Your welcome lol - It's like a huge gripe in the gun world to hear it called a clip lol. Also, it's not kick back - it's recoil. Seriously not ragging on you either - truly just good info to know - the proper gun lingo so to speak. You are spot on correct about the M&P 2.0 being a very solidly built pistol. It has a steel insert inside the front of the pistol running along inside the rail. Also, I use night sights myself too. But they aren't any easier to see inside a dimly lit range than the stock sights. It's got to be pretty dark to see the night sites. I'm not a huge fan of sights with fiber optics, but I hear rave reviews on the TFX Pros. I personally use Trijicon HD XR's. The XR stands for extended range - meaning it has a thinner front sight post so the front sight doesn't obscure your target at ranges of like 25 yards. Sights are going to be a personal preference somewhat. Believe me, if you research it, there is enough to make your head spin ha !. The Diamond Speed sights above I've herd of but never used. I'd say narrowing it down, research those - the two different kinds of Trijicons - a law enforcement favorite they are, I believe the next is called FS X8 night sights - they are pretty big sized sights with easy sight acquisition, TFX Pros - which have night sights AND fiber optics for easy daylight use. There are more worthy sights out there, a lot actually - but these are good places to start. I personally like to use an OLIGHT Mini for my weapon light. It's cheap, reliable, and not so bright that I'm going to blind myself if I turn it on and my eyes are adjusted to darkness already...and they have rechargeable batteries.There are better lights out there, but the Olight has been really reliable, and are inexpensive as lights go. Congrats on your awesome new pistol ! Sorry for such a long reply. I love the M&P pistols too, and think you've made an outstanding choice of pistols ! Get use to the recoil, and look into some decent self defense ammo. I think everyone can agree upon the Federal HST's and Speer Gold Dots in 124 grain. The plus P versions of those brands are also tried, true, and tested and used by Law Enforcement. Have your wife practice with NATO spec 124 grain 9mm ammo. Locking the wrist is the biggest key to preventing muzzle flip during recoil. Rock on Sir ! Your post was a great read !
 

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In my 2.0 5" FDE 9MM the Winchester 124 grain NATO ammo is the best shooting stuff I've run through it so far.

I love the feel of the grip in my hand.

I like the look of the slide.

But even my wife's little Shield PC 9MM shoots groups as good or better than the bigger pistol. It's the one thing that keeps me from buying for a 9MM or .40 M&P for carry - groups. I have 1.0's, and 2.0's in both calibers. Now, the 2.0 .45 is different. It may end up being worth a trip to Primary Machine for milling/cerakoting for anotehr RMR pistol. Sure with the 5" 9MM shot like that .45 does.

I have one gripe about the TLR 1 (mine is on a P09 9MM) and that's replacing the batteries. I hate taking that light off the rail to get the battery door open, batteries replaced and the door closed again. I had a TLR 3 for awhile (take a single, smaller battery vs. the TLR 1) and ended up giving it to my youngest son. I've got (whoops, miscounted) five Olights. Two on P01 Omegas, one on an FNS Compact and two on big pistols (P09 .40 and the 2.0 5" FDE 9MM). So far I've not had an issue with the Olights. All mine are the rechargeable models. Two minis, one mini with the adjustable clamp (on the FNS Compact) and two of the bigger ones about the size of the TLR 1.

Get some extra magazines. Buy some practice ammo and practice. Buy some personal defense ammo and shoot enough of it to know the pistol will function with it and you know where it hits vs. where you aim. Keep it clean/lubed.
 

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This will probably be boring to the more experienced readers of this forum, but I hope it will be useful to other new S&W owners or people who are looking for their first handgun.

My wife and I bought our first handgun a few weeks ago. After a lot of research, testing some different models and discussions with friends (an LEO and an NRA instructor) we chose an S&W MP 9mm 2.0 full size with the five inch barrel. The model we bought has the internal safety and my wife chose the flat dark earth color since everyone seems to have black guns. We considered the Sig Sauer P320 as our other option, but in the end the feel, weight and grip of the M&P worked best for both of us. It was also a better price than the Sig and was American made so that was two more points in its favor.

I had reservations about buying it, to be honest. I bought a gun similar to what cops carry but I'm just a beginner so I wasn't sure about it. We both had rifles/shotguns when we were kids but are new to handguns. I was concerned we bought more than we could handle and that we would have problems figuring it out, maintaining it and using it. Yesterday, we finally had a day off and were able to take it to the range to fire it for the first time.

First impression - we made the right choice. This is a great gun thats not too complicated for n00bs like us. Its easy and fun to shoot... it's solidly built without being too heavy for my wife. All around, it is a great first handgun. To get ready, we took it apart ahead of time, cleaned it and oiled it with the help of our instructor friend via FaceTime. He shared a YouTube tutorial with us ahead of time and frankly, it was straightforward enough that we probably could have done it solo. The pieces fit together in such a way that its hard to do it wrong, although be careful to make sure you put the guide rod in the right way. I probably checked the manual three times just to make sure I had it right before we put it back together. We also spent time racking the slide several times over a week or two to get used to it which I highly recommend to any new user. That was a tip I learned here and it loosened it up quite a bit. Once cleaned and oiled my wife found it easy enough to rack with some practice, which was one of her main concerns. The first time she popped the clip in, she did get the skin of her hand caught because she had her grip way too low. (She won't make that mistake again.) Other than that, no problems.

At the range, we had several different types of ammo to try that we'd either purchased online or had been given by friends. Several people recommended (here and in real life) that we try a variety to see what we liked and what we didnt. We shot 115 grain Armscor FMJ, Sellier & Bellot FMJ, Monarch FMJ, CCI Blazer JHP and Sellier & Bellot JHP. We also had some 124 grain American Eagle. We shot brass only since most of our friends recommended we stay away from steel and aluminum rounds. We found that our local range doesn't allow steel or aluminum ammo, which made me glad I didn't try to save a few bucks for ammo I wouldnt be able to use there.

We ran about 300 rounds without a single problem or stovepipe. I was expecting to have a few problems since we were both new at this. I figured we'd make a mistake racking the slide or loading the clips but no problems at all. I was really impressed with how solid the M&P felt and how the grip locked into my hand. It made the kickback easy to handle for both of us. My wife was not a fan of the 124 grain AE's kick tho, so we probably wont buy that again. However, we'd use any of the others again.

Nobody is going to hang our first targets in a trophy case. However, after we got comfortable firing that first clip, we both did better than we expected. This gun shoots accurately and consistently. At 25 feet, we had very few shots I'd be embarrassed by. Of course, we also had very few I'd brag about. We didnt hit a ton of bullseyes but we were able to keep most of our shots in the center few rings of the target. That was quite a bit better than I expected.

In retrospect, I wish I had bought or upgraded to a pair of night sights. The stock sights are fine but after firing at an indoor range with smoke and not the greatest lighting, I see the value of night sights for a gun that will be primarily for home protection. I think I will upgrade to night sights sometime this year.

A quick thought about the trigger. I saw several reviewers online complaining about the trigger and talking about upgrading to an Apex. To be honest, those criticisms almost pushed me away from the M&P. Granted, I dont have a lot to compare it to but I think the trigger is fine. Maybe my opinion will change with more experience but I didnt notice any issues with it.

One last note, this forum has been a great resource for a new user. The tips I found here about practicing racking the slide to loosen it up, alternate ways my wife could try to rack the slide and ammo recommendations helped a great deal. Thank you.
Three things real quick.

Congratulations on buying your first handguns and actually using them. Spend a few dollars on a reliable trainer (not YouTube experts) and sharpen your skills.

As to not hitting all bulls-eyes at 25'. Take the target you used and hold it up against your body, long story short if its a defensive gun and you hit the paper, you hit the bad guy. That doesn't mean stop training, it means you are doing good and not to beat your self up.

Also you mentioned the M&P being US made but didn't mention that about the Sig, isn't the 320 made in New Hampshire?
I don't own one but thought those were US made, just asking.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. A few of you mentioned getting more training. We went to another range this week. We went with our NRA instructor friend who gave us some individual coaching and are planning to take his classes. He echoed a lot of what you’ve recommended. We ran through target ammo and the critical defense ammo we’ll use as our home defense load. We also did a disassemble and cleaning afterwards, getting some tips in thprocess.

We’ve also picked up a couple extra magazines and have been grabbing ammo when we can find it. Turns out there’s an outdoor range a few miles from our house at a state conservation area/park so we plan to practice there regularly.

By the way, Super Trucker, I hit the google and you’re right about Sig manufacturing in the US. Since they’re a German company, I assumed they built there. We looked at a lot of manufacturers, like Canik, Beretta and FN. It was the features and the feel of the M&P that sold us. If I’d realized Sig was also American made, we’d have made the same decision.
 

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. A few of you mentioned getting more training. We went to another range this week. We went with our NRA instructor friend who gave us some individual coaching and are planning to take his classes. He echoed a lot of what you’ve recommended. We ran through target ammo and the critical defense ammo we’ll use as our home defense load. We also did a disassemble and cleaning afterwards, getting some tips in thprocess.

We’ve also picked up a couple extra magazines and have been grabbing ammo when we can find it. Turns out there’s an outdoor range a few miles from our house at a state conservation area/park so we plan to practice there regularly.

By the way, Super Trucker, I hit the google and you’re right about Sig manufacturing in the US. Since they’re a German company, I assumed they built there. We looked at a lot of manufacturers, like Canik, Beretta and FN. It was the features and the feel of the M&P that sold us. If I’d realized Sig was also American made, we’d have made the same decision.
Thank you.
 
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