One of the best guns to come out in some time, Smith & Wesson’s new M&P9 M2.0 Competitor from the Performance Center is a metal-framed 9 mm pistol loaded with features that action shooters will love, all for less than $1,000.
To start, the M2.0 Competitor is one nice-looking pistol. Built on the M&P9 M2.0 Metal’s aluminum frame, the Performance Center upgrades include a five-inch, stainless-steel barrel, along with speed cuts to the top and sides of the lengthened aluminum slide to reduce weight, the latter also giving the M2.0 Competitor a distinct look when compared to its M2.0 stablemates. The shed weight from the lightening cuts on the slide speeds up cycling time and reduces muzzle rise. A tritium fiber-optic front sight and blacked out, serrated rear sight setup is enhanced by the five-inch slide’s longer sight radius. In addition, the slide is milled out to be optics-ready and is compatible with many micro red-dot optics. All the necessary mounting plates are included.
While shooting the gun late last year at a Smith & Wesson media event prior to its SHOT Show debut, I found the M2.0 Competitor pistol lived up to the hype. The M2.0 Competitor, in my case equipped with a Trijicon RMR red-dot sight, shoots fast and smooth with low recoil, and stays on target for fast, accurate follow up shots. My key takeaway after shooting the M2.0 Competitor is the vastly improved trigger, which the Smith & Wesson Performance Center really knocked out of the park in this gun. It’s a flat-faced trigger but the sear enhancements are the real magic. By changing the position of where the trigger bar operates the sear from the bottom to the top, the pivot point of the sear also changed, reducing trigger pull length and providing a faster reset. Trigger pull weight is about 4¾ pounds set from the factory with a clean break.
The polymer grip uses interchangeable palmswell grip inserts, with four inserts from small to XL sizes included with purchase. There’s also a textured insert in the front of the frame. One feature I especially liked was the pair of grippy protrusions located on either side of the slide behind the rear cocking serrations; plus, there’s a good amount of forward slide serrations. The whole setup feels good in the hands.
Befitting a competition gun, four 17-round magazines come in the box with the M2.0 Competitor. The flared magazine well will accept extended magazines. As for the reversible, extended magazine release, if you don’t like it or want to set up the gun for another M&P holster, the factory one is in the box if you want to swap it out. The flared magazine well is also removable to make the gun legal for Carry Optics and Production divisions.
During shooting drills led by Jerry Miculek, one defective 9 mm cartridge failed to fire in my M2.0 Competitor, which was not the gun’s fault. In the safe area, Miculek cleared the defective round from my firearm.
Four models are available in 10+1 or 17+1 capacities with a Tungsten Gray Cerakote or Black Armornite slide finish. Each is priced at $999. An in-depth review of the Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 Competitor 9 mm pistol will be in a future issue of the digital magazine.
For more information about the new M&P9 M2.0 Competitor 9 mm from the Smith & Wesson Performance Center, go to smith-wesson.com.