Saturday, September 09, 2017

Guns: S&W M&P22 Compact review (threaded barrel) - Suppressor Ready, Congress Isn't


Introduction - Waiting for [Duncan-Carter]

A frustrating thing about teaching new shooters is that they usually can't understand you all that well, thanks to the hearing protection necessary for safe practice. Of course, you can tell people the basics beforehand in the classroom, or while a firing line is cold, but there's no substitute for live feedback as someone is pulling a trigger. And while there is electronic hearing protection, it usually has to be supplemented by earplugs, especially on a busy indoor range. If only there was some device you could attach to a firearm to bring the muzzle blast down to non-deafening levels...

I'm talking about suppressors, of course, and the version of the S&W M&P22 Compact for today's review is tailor-made for them, as it has a 3/8” x 24 threaded barrel and an adapter kit. So while we are all waiting for the various Hearing Protection Act bills to promulgate a technology that's been in common use for a century (including in European countries with otherwise pervasive gun control), here's my take on a training gun that is ready for when our laws change:

Features and Foibles

The M&P22 Compact is Smith and Wesson's second .22 doppelgänger, after the full-size M&P22. Unlike its bigger brother, which is a dead ringer for a full-size M&P pistol, the Compact's dimensions are not quite the same as the ever-popular Shield. That's a bit of a miss - this gun would have been an awesome trainer had it fit in all the same holsters.

The rest of the pistol's layout is very familiar. There is a usable, M&P-service-pistol-sized thumb safety, as well as an adjustable rear sight with a typical three-white-dot sight picture. The hinged trigger is much the same as a centerfire M&P, but I haven't had the opportunity to compare it to the new "2.0" versions Smith released this year.

Range Report

Sadly, I did not get the chance to test the M&P22 Compact with a suppressor. Nevertheless, I found that the pistol was mostly reliable, although not quite as problem-free as my old Ruger SR22. Accuracy was also okay for a non-target .22 of this size, but again, the groups I shot were not as good as the SR22.





Conclusion

There are a number of small .22s out there with threaded barrels out of the box, and the S&W sits firmly in the middle of the pack. It's a good choice for people who like M&P ergonomics, but maybe not a hands-down recommendation for everyone. If Congress ever gets around to removing suppressors from the National Firearms Act, I'll see about re-reviewing the M&P22 with a can in place.

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