Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact Torture Test: Part One

posted on February 14, 2018

The launch of the all-new Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 intrigued me. I had carried a first generation VTAC model for a few years, and from our Handguns editor’s review of the M2.0 changes, it appeared that Smith & Wesson had actually listened to original M&P owners and upgraded many of the features people were looking for in a carry/duty handgun.

When the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact model came out at the end of 2017, it pushed me off the “Hmm, I might want to check the new model out” bench and onto that “Gotta get that in!” group. With the same upgrades as the full-size variant in a size more amenable to concealed-carry, the M2.0 Compact immediately jumped to the head of the list for consideration. If we’re going to test it for concealed-carry suitability, though, why not give it a more-thorough going-over?

First, a few nods. American Rifleman Managing Editor Joe Kurtenbach was the impetus for this idea, so full credit (blame?) goes to the crack AR staff for the brainstorm. It’s hardly a new concept; our Handguns Editor Tamara Keel has been running 2,000 round torture tests for quite a while and credits Todd Louis Green for the idea.

Second, caveats. While our AR counterparts cleaned and lubricated their Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact before starting the test, we’re working straight out of the box. The Compact we’re using in this test will begin the torture test as it came from the factory. We’ll monitor performance along the way, and if it appears that grime is getting in the way of proper function we’ll discuss a field-strip cleaning at the 1,000-round mark. For now, the plan is to run it like it showed up and keep it there.

Third, ammo. We’ve selected a wide variety of bullet types, weights and profiles from a good number of manufacturers. Full-metal-jacket and jacketed-hollowpoint bullets will make up the mainstay of testing, with some frangible and novel rounds added in for good measure. A minimum of 100 rounds of any one type of ammo will be tested, with bullet weights ranging from 65 grain through 147 grains. Several varieties of +P will also be tossed into the mix. Up for testing are the following:

NOVX 65-grain ARX +P

Speer Lawman RHT 100-grain frangible

Aguila 115-grain FMJ

Barnes Tac-XPD 115-grain TAC-XPD

Sellier & Bellot 115-grain FMJ

Winchester 115-grain FMJ

Federal/American Eagle 124-grain FMJ

Hornady Critical Duty 124-grain +p FlexLock

Magtech 124-grain LRN

Remington Black Belt 124-grain +P JHP

Browning 147-grain X-Point

Magtech 147-grain JHP

SIG Sauer 147-grain V-Crown

Several other varieties may find their way into testing as time and supply allow.

For the purposes of this testing, every round will be documented, and any and all malfunctions encountered will be noted as they occur. We’ll be running periodic updates as the testing progresses, and will provide full documentation on how the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact performs.

Keep checking Shooting Illustrated to see how the M&P M2.0 Compact performs!


cartridge cases
cartridge cases

Solving Issues with Brass Casings

Recently, while shooting a Norinco SKS, I experienced a failure to go into battery. Upon removing the cartridge, I found the round to be “shrouded” by another brass casing.

Handgun Grip Vs. Hold: What's the Difference?

Grip and hold on the firearm are often viewed by handgun shooters as one and the same. However, seasoned defensive and competitive shooters break down handgun shooting stability into two distinctly but equally essential subcomponents: grip versus hold.

First Look: FN America FN 303 Tactical Less Lethal Launcher

New from FN America is the FN 303 Tactical Less Lethal Launcher with a modular chassis system that allows operators and armorers to quickly customize the buttstock, grip or sighting system.

First Look: Diamondback Sidekick Rimfire Revolver

Diamondback Firearms is introducing the Diamondback Sidekick, a 9-shot, single- and double-action rimfire revolver that has an interchangeable swing-out cylinder.

Wilson Combat Unveils Their Latest Expansion

Wilson Combat recently underwent a $10 million upgrade to its facilities, which will help the company keep pace with ever-growing demand. 

Springfield Armory Donates Firearms, Equipment to Lake Ozark PD

Springfield Armory has donated guns and equipment to the city of Lake Ozark (MO) Police Department to ensure its officers can effectively protect and serve the law-abiding citizens in its jurisdiction.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.