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Smith and Wesson M&P Compact 9mm Review

SN: MPL (left factory around 10/28 )

November 15, 2006

All photos taken on my LG 8300 Camera Phone (sorry for poor quality)

My Fullsize Range Report can be found here:

Initial Impressions:


Gun is smaller than I thought it would be. Compared it to a Glock 26 at the funstore and it is roughly the same size.

Grip: I wear an XL glove and prefer the medium grip on the full, but on the compact I like the small. However, I decided to just leave the medium on it.

Trigger: The compact trigger is worse than the full size trigger. Much more overtravel, pretravel is STIFF (plunger spring is much stiffer on this compact), but the break is more crisp. Trigger return spring is much stiffer. Upon disassembly, the sear appears to be different on the compact. The angle the trigger bar meets the sear is closer to the one in the trigger job tutorials in my Full, but not in my compact.

Pocket Carry: I have big pockets and have no problem pocket carrying the gun if I had a pocket holster. Of course, I was able to stuff a G19 in my pockets...

Interchangeability: Full size magazines work as does my Comptac Infidel. Other full size holsters should work as well if you need to.

Roll Pin Problem: The rear roll pin slightly protrudes the back left when I received it. Fixed that issue.

Beavertail or lack thereof: I don't think I have the meatiest hands, but the beavertail from the full size feels much better in my hand.

Overall impression: Overall I am not very impressed. It is smaller, but I like my full size SOOO much more. The compact really needs Dan's magic on it and I am still saving up for both of my M&Ps to be sent to him. In hindsight I would have bought another Full size (209301) or a 1911.

Box and Package

Same as the M&P Fullsize.

Feel and Ergonomics

Generally, the compact is very similar to the full size. The full size feels much better to me, but of course the compact is a carry gun and meant to be smaller. I prefer full size firearms in general.

Like the full size, the trigger guard undercut is not enough and rubs my finger bad.


Same as the full size: Novak 3 dots.


Magazines are both 12 rounders and are blued steel like the full size. One has a pinkie extension and the other does not. Even with the pinkie extension my pinkie still does not get a good seat.

Trigger Feel after a few thousand dry fires

Trigger feels slightly heavier, yet still not nearly as good as my full size.

Take Down

Same as the fullsize. Only difference is the take down tool is easier to remove in the compact due to the larger piece of plastic on the end.

Shooting Impressions


Like the full size, the compact is a very soft recoiler. I was actually surprised how quick I could do controlled pairs and failure drills. Within 10-15 yards, I would need a timer to tell me how much slower I am on the compact, but it is not much.

Accuracy 15-25 yards

Unfortunately with the small size of the gun paired with the worse trigger and short sight radius, I could not shoot it as well at further distances as my fullsize. However, this is probably to be expected. Overall though I was disappointed with my groups rested.


Firearm had 50 rounds Remington UMC 115gr FMJ through it prior to groups and was warm, but not hot. Target unfortunately was swinging due to wire arrangement again. I used 115gr Blazer Brass FMJ and 147gr Winchester Ranger RA9T to shoot the groups.

The POA/POI was greatly different between the two weights. At 25 yards, the 147gr hit higher. POA/POI was top of sights. With 115gr FMJ, the POA/POI was the center of the dot.

These first 25 yard targets used RA9T.

15 yards using 115gr FMJ Blazer Brass

The two low shots were due to me jerking the trigger.


After my frustration at 25 yards rested, I tried to shoot off my surprise I was shooting better off hand than rested from the shooting table. Not exactly sure why though. Shot these with the Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ.

25 yards

Speed and Fighting Distances

Like the full size, the compact is very quick to shoot on targets under 10 yards. Target transitions are quicker due to the shorter barrel.


No failures of any kind.

Rounds used: 100 rounds Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ

50 rounds UMC 115gr FMJ

25 rounds Winchester 147gr JHP RA9T

Not that much through it, but I was itching to shoot my Full size again.

Also, I was shooting with a gouge in my hand, near my index finger which did bother me the whole session. It stopped bleeding by the end of the session.


Personally, the compact carries slightly better, but I don't know if it is worth the sacrifice of 5 rounds and the shorter sight radius and smaller grip. When I can, I would rather carry the full size as I have no problem concealing it. However, for those days I somehow cannot conceal it, I will use the compact. The gun will make a good backup gun to the full size as the magazines from the full size work in the compact.

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Extensive report, but my experience is quite different. I shoot a M&P9, and my wife just started shooting a M&P9c last weekend. Neither one of us have any complaints about the trigger, or anything else about either gun. Mine has a Mag Safety, hers does not, and that doesn't seem to make any difference on the trigger feel. My wife's very first shot out of her new Compact was a dead center hit on the X at 10 yards. When she finished the other 11 rounds there was just a big hole where the X used to be. At 15 yards she had a few flyers in the 9 and 10 ring, but most were in the X ring. The trigger on her gun is identical to mine, and they both have a crisp reset. The only real difference that I noticed was that the magazine springs in the compact seem to be stiffer that the full size. She used to shoot a Sigma 9VE and I really believe that helped her with trigger control. Her only complaint about our first time out was that we didn't bring enough ammunition!
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