I'm a new member to this forum and this is my first posting. I thought I'd share with you my experience thus far with my first M&P pistol.
I've been reading other member's posts about the M&P for some time now, as I've been interested in purchasing one. I've just been waiting until all of the initial "kinks" have been worked out of a relatively new design before buying one. Thanks in part to the information and experiences posted by other members of this forum, and in larger part to a year-end bonus, I finally decided to take the plunge and get a full-size M&P .40.
I'm quite impressed with the ergonomics of the pistol, to say the least. Fit and finish are also quite respectable. The trigger needs some working in, but I'm sure it will smooth out over time. I'm very much looking forward to shooting it in the near future.
As with any new gun purchase, I try to inspect the pistol as much as possible for any visible defects or functional problems before I sign on the dotted line. I did the same when purchasing the M&P. Seeing no visible problems, I believed I had a keeper in hand and one quick swipe of the Amex and BG check later, and it was mine.
Once I bring any new firearm home, I like to fieldstrip it and clean out the factory test firing residue and lube it properly. When I inspected the bore at the gunshop, it was heavily covered in carbon from factory test firing and I couldn't really check the quality of the rifling. Once I had the bore properly cleaned, I immediately discovered a boo-boo in the rifling.
Approximately 1/2 inch into the rifling lengthwise from the chamber end, all of the lands, save one, have a hairline nick or gouge of unknown depth in them running perpendicularly through the lands, circumferentially around the inside of the bore. The adjacent groves appear to be OK. I have never seen a manufacturing defect of this sort in any other firearm I have owned or inspected. I have always been of the understanding that the rifling in a bore should always be free of such defects as they: a. form a cavity where fouling will have a natural tendency to build up; b. negatively affect accuracy; c. form a natural propagation point for a stress fracture. If it was just one gouge on one land, I probably wouldn't worry about it. Knowing that the .40 S&W is a hot, high pressure pistol round to begin with, I prefer to be on the anal retentive side and get a replacement barrel.
I called S&W yesterday and they're sending out a prepaid shipping label so they can inspect it. I'm sure they'll be interested to know how it got past their QC inspectors and what part of the manufacturing process caused this. I'm disappointed because I really would like to shoot it now, but I understand that these things happen every now and then. I feel kind of like a kid who got a new bike for Christmas but soon discovered the seat was missing from the box. Manufacturing marks and dings on other less important places in a firearm don't really bother me much, especially ones you can't see on the outside. However in this case, especially in a brand new firearm, I'm not going to accept damaged goods to begin with. Hopefully, my next post will be a my first M&P range report describing lots of .40 diameter holes through the 10x.
I'd be especially interested in any insights some experienced gunsmiths can offer on this. Am I being too anal retentive, or just prudent.