Smith and Wesson M&P40 Performance Center Ported Follow Up

May 09, 2015



  Words By James Moss.

So, I’ve had this gun for a few months now, and while I haven’t shot as much as I would have liked, I have put around 800 rounds through the gun and that’s enough for me to pass on some more info about it.

I caught a good deal at Optics Planet on a Trijicon RMR (model RM04). It’s dual illuminated by fiber optics and tritium with a 7MOA amber dot. I didn’t want to buy an amber dot, but I couldn’t beat the deal so I took the gamble. For what it’s worth, I have no regrets. I don’t think it’s any more difficult to see than red. Install on the M&P was easy as pie, just pick the right plate and set screws, then tighten. The screws even had some thread locking compound on them which was nice; it saved me a trip to the tool box for Loctite.

I also picked up a Storm Lake 9mm conversion barrel (threaded because, why not); and a Streamlight TLR1 HL.

Reliability:

I’ve put somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 rounds of .40S&W through the gun. Every round fed fired and ejected without issue. The vast majority were FMJ, Remington UMC and Winchester White Box (165 and 180gr). But I also fired some Federal Hydra Shoks and Hornady Critical Duty rounds. 

9mm was a little different than .40. The first time out to the range about 100 rounds were put through it. I had one failure to eject, and my shooting buddy had two. This was with 115gr Winchester White Box ammo. So the next time out I tried some 124 grain ammo and it fired without a hitch (I can’t remember what brand, but we’ll call it “the cheap stuff”). Winchester Train and Defend 147gr training ammo fed fired and ejected without issue. After a few more range trips I can say that my initial hiccups with 115 grain ammo seem to have been just that; I’m willing to call them break in.

Accuracy:

Just to get something out of the way, I don’t shoot pistols in a rest or supported by anything other than my hands. As such I can only talk about accuracy in general terms, relative to my experience with other guns.

I can’t complain at all about the gun’s accuracy. It shoots better than I do and I’m aware that whatever fliers are my fault. I’ve managed to put several rounds through the same hole or touching, and torn out the center of several targets. I mostly practice at self-defense range, but I have driven a target out to 50 yards just to see. Again, I came away satisfied.

At 100 yards things got really tough. I was firing at larger sized Shoot-N-See type target and managed to put some rounds in the bottom of it but I can’t be certain that they didn’t skip off the ground and into it.

Since I’m talking about accuracy I’ll touch on the RMR here. Simply put, I think they are the way of the future. No, they don’t instantly make you a better shot, and you have to train yourself to rely on it, but they are very fast to pick up. My group size has decreased since I started using it though, probably 20-30%. It’s also making me more aware of mistakes in my form, like presentation; and during dry fire practice I can watch the dot wiggle to see what I’m doing much more easily than I can track dot sights.

Final Thoughts:

 I’m still having trouble short stroking the trigger due to the less than Glock reset so I’ve decided the next mod will be an Apex trigger kit. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll get what I need from it. As a point of comparison I have no issues picking up the reset point the reset on my Sig P239 with an SRT kit, and I’ve never had another gun that gave me issues like this one.

Firing 9mm from the conversion barrel feels just a little lighter than .40S&W, so the factory porting apparently makes a big difference in terms of felt recoil (keep in mind that’s subjective, YMMV). The added weight of the TLR1 doesn’t affect recoil in any significant way. It is nice and bright though.

In spite of my nit-pick with the trigger reset this is a great gun. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.