Firearm: Smith & Wesson M&P57 (MSRP: $699)
In a pretty stunning move, Smith & Wesson joined the 5.7 x 28 mm fraternity with its new M&P5.7 at the beginning of 2023. Launched at SHOT Show 2023, the M&P5.7 offers familiar M&P styling but with internal hammer-fired operation along with a threaded barrel, a slide cut for optics and a flat-face trigger. Ambidextrous controls add to the utility, with dual slide-release levers on either side of the pistol along with a reversible magazine-release button, making the M&P5.7 friendly to righties and lefties alike. Rounding out the unique features of the M&P5.7 is the TEMPO locked-breech barrel system, where the barrel doesn’t cam open until the projectile has progressed beyond the gas port. It’s a slick piece of engineering.
At first blush, the M&P5.7 seems to be a little on the large side for concealed carry. Its frame is full-size, with a 5-inch, threaded barrel yielding an overall length of 8.5 inches. Width is 1.1 inches and height is 5.5 inches, which is pretty compact given the 22-round magazine. Rounding out the specs is the weight, which at 26.7 ounces is pretty much in the middle for compact and full-size handguns. Basically, the M&P5.7 is pretty close in size to a full-size, single-stack 1911. If you are comfortable carrying a pistol of that size, the M&P5.7 will work just fine.
A quick note on the optics cut available on the M&P5.7. While the standard M&P optics cut, the CORE system, contains plates for a wide variety of optic footprints, the M&P 5.7 has a slightly narrower slide, and as such is cut for RMSc/Holosun 507K footprint optics. It’s hardly a big deal, but it is something of which to be aware, especially for M&P fans who might be expecting the CORE optics system. The advantage of the M&P 5.7’s setup is that optics mount directly to the slide, with no plate needed to add extra height.
So, why look at the M&P 5.7 instead of a 9 mm version? For starters, there’s five extra rounds in the M&P 5.7 in the same overall size grip. While 9 mm and 5.7 are different rounds, there’s little question that modern, defensive 5.7 ammo will work just fine, and you’ve got more of it in the M&P5.7. It shoots a little flatter than the 9 mm variant, and the ballistics are such that if you feel like taking a poke at a 100-yard steel plate, you stand a reasonable chance of getting that hit. Now, yes, it’s for bragging rights more than anything else, but the confidence of being able to make a shot like that is pretty significant. In any case, the M&P5.7 is another option for fans of the 5.7 round.
Holster: Muddy River Tactical Inside-the-Waistband Kydex holster (MSRP: $54.95; $77.94 as configured with claw attachment and Ozark Camo print)
Now, you might be thinking that with the Smith & Wesson M&P5.7, where it’s such a new and unique pistol that finding a quality carry holster for it might be difficult. We had the same thought when putting this kit together, but the folks at Muddy River Tactical had it covered. The company’s excellent Inside-the-Waistband Kydex holster can be configured for traditional IWB carry or for appendix carry as we’ve set this kit up. Even a handgun the size of the M&P5.7 can be comfortably carried concealed.
Single-sheet Kydex construction keeps the Inside-the-Waistband holster simple and durable, while a wide variety of belt-attachment options, color and print combinations and accessories mean there are myriad ways to make this holster exactly what you want. The version we have here has a claw attachment for appendix carry as well as what Muddy River Tactical calls “Ozark Camo” print for a finish. The standard polymer belt clip can be upgraded to pull-the-dot loops, DCC monoblock clips, tuckable clips and more. There’s even the option to add a matching spare magazine carrier.
Accessory: Nebo Mini Larry 500 flashlight (MSRP: $24.95)
We’re big fans of multi-use gear, and one such item is the last piece in today’s kit, the Mini-Larry 500 flashlight from Nebo. Not only is the Mini-Larry a 500-lumen handheld flashlight, but it can also function as a 450-lumen work light. When used as a handheld, the Mini-Larry has the high setting, which can run for 1 hour, and a low setting of 220 lumens, which gives 4 hours of run time. In work light form, the high setting also lasts an hour, and the low setting of 240 lumens can run for 4.5 hours.
The Mini-Larry 500 is powered by a USB-rechargeable internal battery and is IP67-rated for water resistance up to 1 meter. A reversible pocket clip allows the Mini-Larry to be clipped to the brim of a hat for hands-free operation, while a magnetic end cap attaches it to any metallic surface, such as the hood of a car if late-night repairs are needed. Best of all, this utility comes in a flashlight that costs less than a standard box of premium ammunition.