I currently carry a 3rd generation G19. Prior to that I had a 2nd generation G23. I've never been able to get the Glock line to feel good in my hand -- even after trying grip-tape, Agrip, and a Hogue slip-on. The gun just feels blocky in my hand. When I first held an M&P a few months back I had noticed that the gun felt much more natural in my hand and it pointed very easy. I wanted to shoot one to see if it shot as well as it felt.
It turns out that I can hammer a target quickly with both the M&P9 and M&P9c. I know that both M&Ps are slightly heavier than my Glock but I think the biggest reason that I found them more controllable was that I was able to get a good thumbs-forward grip on those guns - something that I've struggled with with my Glock. The guns point very naturally and the sights come right back on target faster. In fact, I found that I was noticeablly faster with the little M&P9c than I was with my G19. The muzzle-flip was that much better.
I experienced one FTE with the M&P9. I don't worry much about that with range guns but it's always a little discouraging to see that. Although, my Glock did that too inside the first 100 rounds. The trigger on the M&P9 was fairly smooth while the one on the M&P9c was nice and crunchy -- probably because it had been shot less. I didn't experience any mag drops (I'm a lefty) or slide-closure after inserting a magazine but I wasn't loading more than about 5-10 rounds at a time.
Here's the impressions I had when I left:
1. Great ergonomics -- much better than my Glock
2. Finish on par with the XD and close to the Glock
3. Soft, broken in trigger with a barely noticeable reset. Not a big deal as I don't ride it anyway.
4. The default grip attachment was perfect.
5. Much easier to get a good thumbs-forward grip on the M&P vs. the Glock
6. Acceptable sights (I was mostly point-shooting anyway)
7. Overall very enjoyable to shoot
8. Probably about the same size as a G17...for CCW considerations.
1. Numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 above
2. Crunchy trigger not a big deal
3. Pinky extension on the magazine was an absolute must. It makes the grip of the gun the same length as my G19 but that's still acceptable for CCW.
On a related note, I also shot a Beretta PX4. It only took one magazine for me to realize that the gun just wasn't for me. It was a nice gun - just didn't fit me well. The shooter next to me invited me in to test-drive his Sig P220 with a worked over trigger and that was niiiiiiiiiice.