Firearm: Smith & Wesson M&P 10 mm M2.0 (MSRP: $665)
Okay, I’m not gonna lie here. When Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P 10 mm M2.0, it really took me by surprise. While the 10 mm cartridge has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance, with guns like the SIG Sauer P220 and EAA Witness joining a number of 1911s, only the Glock G20 and G29 offered a polymer-frame, striker fired handgun in that caliber. Smith & Wesson opening up the M&P line to 10 mm was an unexpected move, and brings the caliber back to the company’s line of semi-automatic pistols for the first time in over a generation.
The M&P 10 mm is considered an M2.0 variant, but it contains the trigger and other upgrades of the recent M2.0 improvements. Most notable, of course, is the bladed-safety trigger, a radical departure from the hinged version that had been an M&P hallmark since the series launched in 2005. The 10 mm also comes standard with the CORE optics-ready plate system, another feature of the updated M2.0 series. The 10 mm comes with four backstraps, an aggressive grip texture and the extended stainless-steel chassis that were all part of the original M2.0 upgrades.
So, why opt for the 10 mm over the more affordable 9 mm? For people who enjoy the outdoors, it’s a little more oomph for four-legged predators. With a 15-round magazine standard, there’s a great deal of insurance against the worst-case scenario. Folks who carry a 9 mm or .40 S&W M&P as their EDC handgun will be quite familiar with the operation of the 10 mm variant, always a good thing. While, yes, it is somewhat of a cliché these days, the whole “caliber starting with ‘4’ description” for a defensive handgun is more than adequately met with the 10 mm. The new M&P 10mm M2.0 brings a significant uptick in power with only a two-round decrease in capacity from the 9 mm chambering.
Whether you want a powerful handgun for protection in the back country or simply a little more oomph in your EDC, the Smith & Wesson M&P 10 mm offers familiar controls and generous capacity. Should you opt for another, smaller Smith & Wesson pistol for everyday use, it won’t be hard to transition from one to the other (well, except on the range, of course). Again, it’s another option to consider, and brings another 10 mm offering to the mix for those who prefer that caliber.
Holster: Tier 1 Concealed MSP Pro (MSRP: $159.99)
For a brand-new firearm like the M&P 10 mm, where there may not immediately be holsters available, a multi-fit option like the Tier 1 Concealed MSP Pro is an excellent choice. Indexing on one of three weaponlights—SureFire X300, Streamlight TLR-1 or Modlite PL350—the holster is handgun-agnostic. As long as the pistol has an accessory rail and can accept one of the three lights, you can use the MSP Pro for just about any semi-automatic handgun. This makes it an excellent choice for a handgun that might not have a lot of holster fits available, and also allows one holster to work with a variety of handguns.
Adding to this versatility, the MSP Pro can be ordered in a staggering array of combinations. Right- and left-hand fits are available;, 16 color possibilities can be chosen without incurring additional costs and even the color of the shock cord that provides tension adjustment can be changed. The MSP Pro also comes with a spare magazine carrier available in single-stack, 9 mm or .45 ACP sizes. And, lastly, the “MSP” portion of this holster? This represents the collaboration of Tier 1 Concealed and Modern Samurai Project, designed specifically with input from Scott Jedlinski, Jedi himself, to offer a superlative holster for the concealed carrier. While we haven’t equipped the M&P 10 mm with a red dot, it comes with the CORE optics-ready system should a dot be desired.
Knife: SOG PowerAccess Assist Multi-tool (MSRP: $89.95)
In keeping with the multi-purpose theme of today’s kit, we’ve included a knife that’s, well, more than a knife. SOG’s PowerAccess Assist MT (multi-tool) does have a 2.74-inch, 5Cr15MoV-steel blade with assisted opening, and a whole lot more. In addition to the thumbstud-assisted blade, there’s a strap cutter, saw and serrated-blade on the four corners of the handles. Inside the handles are a Philips-head screwdriver, several sizes of flathead screwdrives, hole punch, can opener, bottle opener and a ¼-inch driver.
Again, that’s not all. Contained in the nylon pouch are a dozen different hex, Torx, Philips and flathead bits along with a ¼-inch bit that all fit inside a two-piece polymer carrier. All of the tools inside the device lock into the open position securely, while the pliers and wirecutter functions use compound leverage with gears to open easily and stay open securely. The PowerAccess Assist MT offers plenty of utility in a multi-tool you can carry every day.