My Opinion: The M&P is better, because I own one, it has yet to fail in any way, and because I said so. But that's my opinion
The FNP is also hammer/firing pin operated, while the M&P is striker fired. So the triggers are going to feel completely different. The FNP has a ~4lb SA trigger pull, but a ~10lb DA trigger pull. The S&W only has 1 trigger pull, and it's about 6lbs.
In terms of build quality, they seem to be equal... The FNP I tried was more accurate, for me, but the initial DA trigger pull sucks enough to cause a flyer nearly every time. The M&P would be easier to carry and maintain, due to factory and aftermarket support. Honestly, if I wanted an exposed-hammer DA/SA pistol with a polymer frame, I'd buy a Sig Pro or an H&K P2000. OTOH the M&P is near the top of its class.
The only DA/SA pistols which I am aware of which can have the same pull weight initially and after reset are the P99AS, SW99, and H&K LEM (and a few more obscure pistols a Zastava 'triple-action' comes to mind as well)... all of which could be arguably not truly traditional DA/SA. But, the action on those pistols may remain cocked while the trigger itself resets fully to a long stroke (only for the initial pull, on the P99AS and SW99). This creates a situation where the first pull is long and light, but the reset is very short. The difference is that the P99AS and SW99 can be decocked to provide a long and tight initial pull, if desired, but the LEM trigger always fully resets when the finger is removed.
But, other than those anomalies, all traditional DA pistols will require a long, tight initial trigger pull unless the user manually cocks the hammer (if equipped).
SIG's DAK trigger is similar to HK's LEM. Butter smooth and fairly light, but long stroke that is the same each time. I think the DAK has a short reset point at which time you can pull again but it is at a higher pull weight than if you let it fully reset. DAK's and LEM's are good for people who prefer relatively light DA revolver style triggers. Most either love'em or hate'em.
I've seen the FN SAO advertised, but have yet to actually see one in a gun shop or show here in the Dallas area. The one FN I was able to hold and dry fire really soured me with that long and heavy first DA pull. I am not a fan of DA/SA at all.
I have an FNP-40 and an M&P 9mm. I like the DA/SA feature of the FNP and have no problem with the DA trigger pull. In fact, I'm as accurate with the DA first shot as with the follow up SA shots and haven't had any problem making the transition from DA to SA.
Long story short, I am slightly more accurate with the M&P, but both the M&P and the FNP are more accurate and more comfortable to shoot than my Glock 23. I am more comfortable carrying the FNP because I can decock it. I love the M&P ergonomics and trigger, but its about as close to a SA without a safety as you can get.
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