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Old 04-08-2014, 20:42   #1
Roger G23
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Do M&P .40s With Older Barrels Also Have Poor Accuracy Issues?

Most of us have heard the M&P9 full sized pistols with older barrels have suffered from poor accuracy. S&W has come out with newer generation "fast twist" barrels to remedy the problem. These newer barrels are identified by one or two "dimples" seen on the barrel near the locking lug.

My question is: Does this also apply to M&P40 full sized pistols?
How about M&P40 Compacts?

I thought this was strictly a 9mm full sized pistol issue.
What do you know?
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Last edited by Roger G23; 04-08-2014 at 20:43..
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Old 04-08-2014, 23:26   #2
Will Beararms
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If I was going new. I would demand the latest version.

If I were buying used, I would shoot it to see how accurate it is.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:18   #3
JBP55
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S&W is still trying to completely solve the M&P 9mm accuracy issue. The new barrel was not the total answer. The M&P accuracy issue is 9mm only.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:30   #4
attrapereves
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I don't believe the 40SW or 45ACP M&Ps suffer from accuracy issues. The pistol was originally designed for the 40SW cartridge, so that's why the 9mm had/has the problems.

One of the issues was that S&W used the wrong twist rate of rifling. The other was that the barrel would unlock before the bullet left the barrel, aiding in poor accuracy. S&W has apparently fixed these issues, but some claim that accuracy problems are still around. Fortunately, the poor accuracy is only really noticeable at 25yd+ and does not occur in the compact model.

I never got to test my M&P9 at 25yd.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:50   #5
Nakanokalronin
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The last M&P FS9 I had still had poor accuracy issues. My original FS9 was getting an 8" group at 15 yards, S&W claims 3" at 25 yards. I sent it in and they sent it back with the sight adjusted to far to the left, so I sent it back again demanding a barrel replacement. They replaced the barrel and the accuracy went to 6" at 15 yards, so I dumped it ASAP.

Second one with the "new" barrel was getting 4"-4.5" groups at 15 yards. It was better, but barely. I eventually sold it and washed my hands on the 9s. I tried 3 different bullet weights from 7 different brands of ammo in both with no luck.

I then bought a used M&P FS45, went to the range and immediately got a 2"-2.5" group at 15 yards with any brand of ammo. Make my M&Ps a 45 please.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:33   #6
Roger G23
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These replies were very helpful to me. I appreciate it guys.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBP55 View Post
S&W is still trying to completely solve the M&P 9mm accuracy issue. The new barrel was not the total answer. The M&P accuracy issue is 9mm only.
Yep, last I heard they were still working around the issue trying to further refine the 9's inherent accuracy.

The .40's & .45's have become known for surprisingly consistent inherent accuracy.

I remember when my '08 production M&P 45 was brand new, and I had to adjust to the initially heavy trigger (averaging 8.5-9 lbs on my digital scale, which put it at the upper end of the "+" end of the normal +/- 2 lbs expected variance for the standard trigger pull ). Even though the new trigger was heavy, stiff and a bit gritty, the gun easily rivaled the practical accuracy I could wring from both my Colt XSE Gov & SW1911SC 5" out to 50 yds. I just had to work at it a bit harder.
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Old 04-09-2014, 13:00   #8
Roger G23
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Thanks fastbolt.


Do you (or anyone here) know if the Shield 9mm is also affected by this issue?
As you know, the Shield was released in April 2012.
My Shield 9mm accuracy seems decent but I understand S&W is also producing "newer generation" barrels for the Shield also. These newer barrels have a machined dimple near the locking lug on the barrel to indicate they are newer, presumably with the faster twist rate.


What do you know?
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Old 04-09-2014, 15:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger G23 View Post
Thanks fastbolt.


Do you (or anyone here) know if the Shield 9mm is also affected by this issue?
As you know, the Shield was released in April 2012.
My Shield 9mm accuracy seems decent but I understand S&W is also producing "newer generation" barrels for the Shield also. These newer barrels have a machined dimple near the locking lug on the barrel to indicate they are newer, presumably with the faster twist rate.


What do you know?
Last time I asked, they were still waiting for their legal dept to sign off on the Shield armorer material. So, I haven't had a chance to see much in the way of details, yet.

Hopefully, it'll only be a supplement to the regular M&P pistol class material, and I imagine I'll have to go through it again as my former agency transitions to the M&P for issue (instead of just as an authorized/optional weapons, as it stands now).

No big deal, as I already have 3 versions of the M&P armorer manual, so what's a 4th one?

I'll email one of my factory contacts and see if anything has been generally released about the Shield 9 barrels, but when it comes to the big gun companies (regardless of which one it may be) it's not uncommon for specific details to get lost amidst the rest of the "white noise" of everyday work.

That's one of the reasons customers (and even armorers) can sometimes get conflicting or ambiguous info when talking to people ranging from reps, repair techs, armorer instructors and even different engineering staff. Not all info gets disseminated to all levels of the different companies, all the time.

My own limited experience with the early Shield 9 was very favorable regarding inherent & practical accuracy, though. The Shield 9 I borrowed from another instructor was easily able to match the demonstrated accuracy of my well-used 3913, running it through similar drills and distances. I had no trouble making "precision" shots out to 25-30 yds with the Shield (head shots), and it consistently rang steel out to 50 yds.

FWIW, last time I asked about ammo for the Shield 9 I was told that +P is okay, but not as a steady diet (accelerated wear), and +P+ is NOT approved.

I'm curious to see if this changes, as some LE customers may be working for agencies who issue 9mm +P loads for duty/secondary/off-duty (like mine), and probably some who still issue 115gr +P+ or 127gr +P+ loads.

I suspect the first couple answers I got were basic "playbook" answers, meaning safely conservative in nature, and wonder how time and continued service among LE users may (or may not) change the early recommendations heard from the factory.

I also suspect that using ammo, made by one of the major American ammo makers who have acquired experience making 9mm +P & +P+ for LE/Gov users, would hopefully involve more emphasis (and money invested) on producing duty ammo that didn't risk prematurely damaging LE/Gov user guns. Guess we'll see.
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Last edited by fastbolt; 04-09-2014 at 15:34..
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Old 04-09-2014, 22:01   #10
Roger G23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attrapereves View Post
I don't believe the 40SW or 45ACP M&Ps suffer from accuracy issues. The pistol was originally designed for the 40SW cartridge, so that's why the 9mm had/has the problems.

One of the issues was that S&W used the wrong twist rate of rifling. The other was that the barrel would unlock before the bullet left the barrel, aiding in poor accuracy. S&W has apparently fixed these issues, but some claim that accuracy problems are still around. Fortunately, the poor accuracy is only really noticeable at 25yd+ and does not occur in the compact model.

I never got to test my M&P9 at 25yd.
Well, here's what another friend of mine had to say about the matter. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this:
The M&P9 "accuracy issues" were very limited and seemed to be the result of tolerance stack-and the occasional bad barrel. There are several extremely long threads where this subject was beaten beyond death. There is/was no premature unlocking of the the action, nor was rifling twist an issue with most loads, S&W having used the 1 turn/18.75" rifling twist for 9mm since 1950 until relatively recently. 147 gr bullets at barely flying velocities may be another issue, resulting in the change to 1/10.

Having both experienced transition to the M&P series in 2006 and training a bunch of folks, the different trigger action from what most were used to had much more effect upon accuracy than any alleged mechanical cause. I know it took me quite awhile to truly master the M&P trigger and I did that mainly on my own time with my M&P9 (also 2006 vintage).

It ain't the arrow (or the bow), it's the Indian.
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