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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently purchase a M&P 15 Sporter. Really like it so far. The veteran M&P 15 owners: are there any upgrades you can recommend? Any spare parts to keep on hand? I’m new to the AR format and could use some advice. Thanks in advance!
 

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Recently purchase a M&P 15 Sporter. Really like it so far. The veteran M&P 15 owners: are there any upgrades you can recommend? Any spare parts to keep on hand? I’m new to the AR format and could use some advice. Thanks in advance!
It's mil-spec as far as geometry so pretty much anything that can be used on any 556/223 AR will work.

Which variant did you get?(optics ready, Magpul, standard mbus and A2 etc?)

Mine came as an optics ready version without the optic. I did a bunch of stuff to it. I really love mine too.
Air gun Trigger Shotgun Machine gun Gun barrel

Tire Automotive tire Window Camera accessory Tread

Air gun Machine gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tiribulus thanks for the response. I believe mine is just your basic M&P Sporter 223. Looking for some advice on optics and other upgrades. As far as mechanical aptitude with firearms I’ve built a few 1911’s, Glock armorer , S&W revolver armorer and Remington 870 armorer. Looking forward to learning more about the AR15.
 

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Tiribulus thanks for the response. I believe mine is just your basic M&P Sporter 223. Looking for some advice on optics and other upgrades. As far as mechanical aptitude with firearms I’ve built a few 1911’s, Glock armorer , S&W revolver armorer and Remington 870 armorer. Looking forward to learning more about the AR15.
Oh shoot! :) (pun?) You're good to go then :D

It's all the same. Meaning that the same aptitude for one will extend to the rest.

I found this video to be a great place to start with AR platform basics.

it won't take long to find out that this family of weapons is super popular for a reason. Unbelievable modularity and versatility. Including the to some, lowly M&P Sport II.

You'll pick up how everything works in no time. It has a deceivingly large number of small parts, but is a logical and relatively simple machine.

A lot of folks grab an "oops" kit with all the springs and pins for the lower receiver parts. Tiny easily lose-able objects that the dern thing just will not work without lol. (you know the drill)

The trigger and hammer pins famously have a tendency to walk a bit with the M&P Sport II. Nothing terrible, but easily fixed with something like THIS. Worked perfect for me.

By all acounts the receivers are 7075 T6 and both unspectacular and perfectly good.

However, I'm convinced that the buffer tube and castle nut are 6061. Have to cut costs somewhere.Nothing tragic about that, but I grabbed a PSA 7075 buffer tube and enhanced castle nut for like 35 bucks. You can definitely tell the difference in hardness. While I had it apart I threw on that Magpul ASAP back plate/sling mount that you see in the pic above. A personal preference thing.

The only thing that's junk on this rifle outta the box is the handguard. A real bargain piece there :)

You either have the A2 front site post/gas block or the picatinny gas block. On mine I pulled off the picatinny gas block and got a low profile one along with that free floated handguard which both looks a lot cooler and handles heat a million times better.

A Strike industries extended latch charging handle along with a Magpul CTR stock and MOE grip too. Gotta have extra mags and the Magpul Pmags, while not the only good magazines out there are kinda industry standard. Durable super reliable and inexpensive. You can routinely get the M2s for 12 or 13 bucks and 10 on sale. There's some other stuff on and in there too.

The thing is, this all just stuff I did and I'm fairly new to the AR platform myself though I've had other guns for years too. There are literally dozens (and dozens) of every single part that will work with your rifle.

There's plenty of folks whose knowledge and experience dwarf mine and I'm sure they'll have some input too.
 

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Oh yeah. One thing I would do right away (I did anyway) is to polish the working contact pieces in the trigger group. (or fire control group)

Kinda gritty and stiff outta the box. As you know they all break in eventually, OR you can break them in yourself with some polishing. Where the disconnector mates to the hammer, but especially where the sear on the stem on the front of the trigger mates with the notch on the lower part of the hammer. That of course is what determines the pull and the break. Just some standard polishing made a night and day difference for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tiribulus thanks for the replies and info. Really appreciate it. A lot of good advice. Going to review the video. Are there any AR tools you recommend to help with some of tthese mods? From past experiences basic armored tool kits (1911, S&W revolvers, etc) are helpful, sometimes necessary for mods. The cheapest armorer tool kit ever is a 3/32 punch for Glocks! Thanks aagain for the info and advice it was very helpful and will certainly help other new M&P 15 owners.
 

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It's a long story, but I don't have access to a vice. I have to do my work without one. It's possible, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

THERE ARE JIGS designed to hold especially the upper and lower receivers that any AR enthusiast would consider essential. They make working with the castle nut for the buffer tube and a barrel nut 100 times easier.

Also, there are various versions of AR specific WRENCHES that you really can't do without.

A DETAL RING TOOL will make getting that off far easier too, though it can be reasonably done without one. Mine was a royal pain.

Many handguards come with a tool specific to the barrel nut for that handguard.

It's probably best to have a torque wrench, but imho, the torque ranges are broad enough so that you can land in that range pretty easily by feel. Especially if you have a vice and the proper jigs.

There are numerous specialty tools for all kinds of things like pinning gas blocks and aligning the ports on the barrel and block for instance. Those can be convenient, but are not strictly necessary.

Other than that off the top of my head, various punches, including roll pin punches and mallets and stuff that you probably already have will be needed at one time or other.

If you are a tinker my friend, it is OVER :D

The AR platform is a tinker's dream and his wallet's nightmare lol.
 

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There's a million places that sell all this stuff as I'm sure you figured. Optics planet was just a ready example for my links.

Let me reiterate too that I am not the last word. I probably forgot something and there are folks (including some gals) with far more knowledge and experience than me.
 

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Oh yeah. It has exactly zero effect on the function or accuracy of the rifle, but you'll notice a bit of play between the upper and lower receivers. This is very common and like I say makes no difference to functionality whatsoever.

However, it drives me nuts. I got some SHIMS that did away with almost all of this.

I couldn't remember where I got mine so I posted the link from Brownells. I think they're the same thing, but I'm sure there are some non firearm specific shim/washers that will work fine. In fact, I bet the ones sold by gun outfits are not firearm specific.

Very tedious to get in until I get around to gluing it, but this instantly made the weapon "feel" higher end. Had no effect on how it runs, but it definitely feels better in my hands.

I used a bit of thick grease to kinda stick it in place on the lug while worked it around getting the upper reattached. .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Was checking out some handguard at the LGS and came across the UTG Pro Slim Carbine length MLOK rail. This is a drop in model. Looked nice but don't have any experience with this. Is this product, or something like it a good replacement handguard?
 

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Was checking out some handguard at the LGS and came across the UTG Pro Slim Carbine length MLOK rail. This is a drop in model. Looked nice but don't have any experience with this. Is this product, or something like it a good replacement handguard?
In my view, in the main, UTG is one of the better low-ish end companies. My handguard is a UTG. Some of their stuff is made in China, but my aluminum handguard is made in the USA. The fit and finish are good. It mounted up nice n solid and installation would have been a breeze for somebody with a vice :)

Some of their parts are quite good, but some others, like open sights and electronics based stuff (lights. lasers, red dots etc) I wouldn't trust.

Which one of THESE is it? And how much are they asking for it, if I can ask. You're almost certain to get stuff cheaper online. Even after shipping.

A carbine length drop in version won't require that you remove the gas block or the delta ring, which doubles as the barrel nut, but it will mean you'll have to work that delta ring to get the handguards off and on.. Some people's come off FAIRLY EASILY. Mine did not. A third very strong hand would have really come in handy.

Mlok is good. An industry standard. There are zillions of cool and useful accessories that use the Mlok system, which incidentally was developed by Magpul. However, numerous other companies make stuff that is Mlok compatible, including UTG obviously.

There are better handguards that will also cost a lot more. There are also chintzomatic junk handguards (Chinese ebay and amazon stuff) that cost a lot less. Avoid those.

I seriously would grab some extra MAGS too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The handguard I was looking at was item#MTU001SSM it was $79. Already have 6 Magpul mags but could always use more.
 

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The handguard I was looking at was item#MTU001SSM it was $79. Already have 6 Magpul mags but could always use more.
That's not TOO bad. Primary had em for 50, but they're out of stock and most other places I could find that version were 60-70 and not well known sites. That will be a huge improvement over the one you have.

There is also THIS, but I like the UTG one better myself.

I didn't realize you already had mags :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The guy atthe LGS is a AR armorer and mentioned if I bought it at the store he would install it free.
 

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The guy at the LGS is a AR armorer and mentioned if I bought it at the store he would install it free.
Oh, well that's cool then too. He'll have a delta ring tool for sure. He can do it while you wait. With the tool, it's just take the old one off, put the new one on and a few screws. Under 10 minutes. A free floater is a lot more work.

i stubbornly like to do everything myself 😇
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the link. Pew Pew Tactical has some really good articles. Learned a lot, thanks for sharing!
 
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