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Thread: S&W M&P vs. SD

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    S&W M&P vs. SD

    First of all... first time poster (YEAH!!!)

    Secondly, can anyone give me some insight as to some of the differences between Smith & Wessons SD models vs. the M&P models? I used their website compare feature and was still left asking... "NO really, what's the difference?"

    Thanks,

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO!!!! Stick around and you will learn a lot!!!!

    You should check out the Maine forum here.

    As for the SD, my understanding is that it is the "economy" model pistol. I believe it is made using cheaper parts and less machining. This lowers the price point to make it more appealing than the M&P as an entry level pistol. The SD is also an improved model of the poor performing Sigma line and incorporates some M&P features. It is essentially a hybrid of the Sigma and M&P. Can someone back me up on this or am I way off?
    Last edited by thebigsd; 08-17-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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    I don't know the difference but I have an M&P15 and it is a great rifle so if the handguns are made with the same attention then it should be a nice firearm. My cousin had a Sigma and I thought it was a piece of junk. Personally, I am partial to Glocks for polymer framed, striker fired handguns.

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    Regular Member waterfowl woody's Avatar
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    sigma series was flopping so they needed a fresh start. I like the looks on the SD a little better then the sigmas, but I already own a M&P. agree with the cross between M&P and sigma. One of the "big" features S&W used on the SD was the finger index, which is neat.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I own two M&P Smith and Wesson semi-autos. One is an M&P 40 and the other one is a very recently purchased M&P 9 Pro Series. The M&P pistols are fine instruments with excellent ergonomics. They come with three backstrap inserts for small medium and large hands. And their polymer frames have stainless steel skeletons.

    The one thing that is a negative with the M&P pistol is its trigger. Out of the box, it has a very gritty/sandpaper feel in the takeup. Even my new Pro Series with its factory "custom" trigger had this anomaly. But there is an inexpensive and simple fix. Order the Apex USB (Ultimate Striker Block) and install it, or have it installed, and the trigger instantly turns into what it should have been all along. This after market product is exactly what this pistol's trigger needs and the improvement has to be felt to be believed. I just did mine six days ago.

    The M&P is an excellent choice for a defensive arm and you could do a lot worse, but not a whole lot better.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 08-22-2011 at 07:42 AM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    I own both an M&P .40 and an SD9. I like both, but for some reason I shoot the SD9 much better then the M&P so i tend to favor it.

    The M&P is also finicky about ammo. It does NOT like the cheap 'range rounds', it tends to frequently FTF. No issues with brand name factory ammo.

    If I could only keep one.... I'd keep my SD9.

  7. #7
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    I own both an M&P .40 and an SD9. I like both, but for some reason I shoot the SD9 much better then the M&P so i tend to favor it.

    The M&P is also finicky about ammo. It does NOT like the cheap 'range rounds', it tends to frequently FTF. No issues with brand name factory ammo.

    If I could only keep one.... I'd keep my SD9.
    Interesting. I took my new M&P 9 Pro Series to the range for the first time four days ago and sent four different loads down the barrel without a hitch. All were American brands. But there were zero problems or hiccups. This particular gun likes faster moving loads as it tends to shoot the slower stuff a little high. For normal SD applications, that is not a problem. It favors rounds that run in the 1200 fps range and really liked Gold Dot 124gr Law Enforcement Duty ammo (can't seem to find anything on this load which was gifted to me by a federal agent). I did notice this Gold Dot load shot a little dirty, so I may stick to the Federal HST loads in 124 and 147gr +P configurations.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    I have read/heard that the bullet seating depth (overall length) is sensitive on the .40. I have no idea how accurate that is though. This M&P is the only .40 I own. Also, the the range rounds (reloads bought at the range) might be a bit on the light side so maybe its not enough 'umph' to properly cycle the slide? No idea... but since its not an issue with brand name ammo, I'm not overly concerned about it.

    I have no explanation for shooting the SD9 better.... both feel pretty good in my hand, and seem to point fairly naturally.

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    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    I suspect the big difference is length and force of trigger pull. The M&P uses a striker action comparable to Glock, XD, and others, usually with a pull force of about 6 pounds. I haven't handled a SD, but I'll bet its trigger is closer to the double-action pull of the Sigma--longer and heavier (~12 lbs)--as a "safety feature."
    Last edited by Eeyore; 08-22-2011 at 11:26 AM. Reason: typo
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    I have read/heard that the bullet seating depth (overall length) is sensitive on the .40. I have no idea how accurate that is though. This M&P is the only .40 I own. Also, the the range rounds (reloads bought at the range) might be a bit on the light side so maybe its not enough 'umph' to properly cycle the slide? No idea... but since its not an issue with brand name ammo, I'm not overly concerned about it.

    I have no explanation for shooting the SD9 better.... both feel pretty good in my hand, and seem to point fairly naturally.
    I completely understand the idea of different guns delivering different results on the range when logic might dictate otherwise. I have several guns like this myself.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Regular Member Cossack54's Avatar
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    I have been shooting my M&P 40c for a few months now and have been shooting several different types of ammo including lead reloads. I have never had a problem with any ammo to this point . The reloads were run at 980fps and ran flawlessly thru it. I had another pistol that did not want to even chamber these reloads but the M&P ate 'em up.

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    Between the 2 go with a S&W M&P. I carry the 9C, and it is great. comfortable, and easy to shoot.

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    Ive held both the M&P9 and SD 9, the SD 9 is a nice gun and has a good price on it, but its a cheaper gun. It doesnt have the same grips as the M&P, and what I mean is its essentially "plastic-y" It feels cheaper in your hand too. The grips on the M&P are rubber and give a great grip, the back strap can be changed on the M&P for different sizes. The SD pretty much is what another poster said, the "Economy" gun. If thats whats in your price range though you cant lose, but if you can afford the extra money, go with the M&P, I have my M&P on layaway right now.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yance View Post
    Ive held both the M&P9 and SD 9, the SD 9 is a nice gun and has a good price on it, but its a cheaper gun. It doesnt have the same grips as the M&P, and what I mean is its essentially "plastic-y" It feels cheaper in your hand too. The grips on the M&P are rubber and give a great grip, the back strap can be changed on the M&P for different sizes. The SD pretty much is what another poster said, the "Economy" gun. If thats whats in your price range though you cant lose, but if you can afford the extra money, go with the M&P, I have my M&P on layaway right now.
    Interesting. I have three M&P's and none of their grips are rubber. The changeable backstrap is a hard rubber compound without being tacky which is desirable when wearing clothes that can catch on such finishes. M&P's are great guns.

    When you get yours, you might want to give some serious consideration to fixing the one flaw with the M&P; their infamous gritty/sandy trigger. The fix is simple and VERY well worth it. Look into the Apex USB (Apex Tactical Specialties). You will not be disappointed.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  15. #15
    Regular Member Billy D's Avatar
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    After researching what would become my home defence/carry pistol, I shot alot of rental guns, glocks, S&W M&P's, sigs, taurus etc, but settled on the M&P hands down. Ive fired a few types of ammo through it since, from Winchester HP's, cheap blazer ammo, even range loads, never had any issues. Pull trigger, gun goes bang every time. I find the gun shoots low and to the left, but thats me, my wife shoots it better, but the rounds are in a tight group which is the most important thing.
    Id say go for the M&P, while its a bit more expensive, it is after all, mission critical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Interesting. I have three M&P's and none of their grips are rubber. The changeable backstrap is a hard rubber compound without being tacky which is desirable when wearing clothes that can catch on such finishes. M&P's are great guns.

    When you get yours, you might want to give some serious consideration to fixing the one flaw with the M&P; their infamous gritty/sandy trigger. The fix is simple and VERY well worth it. Look into the Apex USB (Apex Tactical Specialties). You will not be disappointed.
    I was referring to the hard rubber texture of it, the SD wasnt of that caliber and felt very slippery in my hands as opposed to the M&P. And I already love the M&P trigger from shooting a couple of them, I talked my gun shop into letting me fire mine even though its on layaway. I love it, but the trigger is a little gritty..Ive heard a lot of people mention the Apex kit, theres also a gentleman on another forum I'm a part of that does a wonderful M&P job so I've heard. Seems anyone who has an M&P in michigan takes it to him. We'll see where it goes once I take it home. Thanks for the advice though, its appreciated.
    Last edited by Yance; 12-20-2011 at 06:39 PM.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yance View Post
    I was referring to the hard rubber texture of it, the SD wasnt of that caliber and felt very slippery in my hands as opposed to the M&P. And I already love the M&P trigger from shooting a couple of them, I talked my gun shop into letting me fire mine even though its on layaway. I love it, but the trigger is a little gritty..Ive heard a lot of people mention the Apex kit, theres also a gentleman on another forum I'm a part of that does a wonderful M&P job so I've heard. Seems anyone who has an M&P in michigan takes it to him. We'll see where it goes once I take it home. Thanks for the advice though, its appreciated.
    Trust me on this. The Apex USB is a simple and easy fix to install. I have a sight drifter/remover and that makes it a piece of cake. Most shops will install it for you when you buy the part and/or gun there. The Apex USB completely and absolutely removes all of the gritty/sandy pre-travel. And if you are of a mind to light the trigger a little plus reduce the over-travel and significantly improve letoff, install the Apex hard sear. If you are buying a Pro Series version, you really don't need the hard sear unless you want the letoff feel of a 1911.

    I have the Apex USB in all three of my M&P's and love it.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    +1 on M&P and the Apex USB, I got the full duty/carry kit they offer and the trigger is the best I've ever shot
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwinkeler View Post
    +1 on M&P and the Apex USB, I got the full duty/carry kit they offer and the trigger is the best I've ever shot
    I have the Apex DCAEK kit installed in my M&P 45 4" barrel with standard size frame. The trigger was a bit too heavy for me with this kit, coming in at around 6 1/2 pounds, so I re-installed the factory OEM trigger spring and it dropped the trigger pull to less than 4 1/2 pounds. This kit also includes Apex's hard sear which reduces over-travel and gives a superb crisp letoff.

    I was just at the NRA range this morning with my gen3 Glock 19 and my M&P 9mm Pro Series I got last August. I put the Apex USB in this Pro Series M&P and kept the stock sear since the Pro Series uses an improved sear. I have been in the process of re-evaluating some of my primary carry guns and today I was pitting these two together again. My G19 has the smooth faced trigger, a Glock 3.5 connector (part #00135 from Glockparts.com), and a 6 pound trigger also from Glockparts.com. Once again, my M&P Pro outshot my Glock 19. I know this is me and not the gun because the fellow with me also has a gen3 Glock 19 with the same sights and he shot my G19 as well as his. It it was it is.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loffmar77 View Post
    First of all... first time poster (YEAH!!!)

    Secondly, can anyone give me some insight as to some of the differences between Smith & Wessons SD models vs. the M&P models? I used their website compare feature and was still left asking... "NO really, what's the difference?"

    Thanks,
    I own both models. I have an M&P 9mm subcompact and the full size SD9. The major difference I can see and feel so far is the weight of the two guns. The M&P is much heavier. The SD9 seems to be made of lightweight aluminum or steel. The Feel of the SD9 is a bit cheaper than the M&P. Also the SD9 comes in a cheap cardboard box. The M&P comes with nice plastic shell carrying case. Also, the M&P comes with customizable grip extensions. I have large hands, so I have switched out the medium that comes standard with the gun, for the large and it DOES make a difference. It also comes with a small for smaller hands. I have not shot the M&P yet (I hope to this weekend) but, with the SD9 I have shot a couple hundred rounds through and it is accurate and fun to shoot. Dissembling the two are very different too.. With the SD9, (remove the magazine)you need to pull back the slide about 1/4 inch and pull down the tabs on the side, then (of course do all this when your weapon is NOT loaded!!) you pull the trigger to get the slide to come off. Pretty simple. The M&P, is a little more entailed. You have to remove the magazine, pull the slide all the way back and lock it. Look into the magazine area for the deactivation lever. (you can access it with the frame tool according to Smith and Wesson) then hold the slide back and turn down the take down lever. This should release the slide for you to complete your disassembly. Assembly is of course, reverse of the disassembly. I hope this information helps clear things up a bit. I admit, if you can afford the M&P, that is the one I would recommend. However, $500 is a bit much for some, so for $299, a SD model is a good choice. I have owned, a Jimenez and a Hi Point and I can tell you I will never own either of those again. I told my wife, I am done with cheap guns.

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    Warning~Warning Necro thread alert!!!
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    M&P full size vs SD

    M&P owner, no experience with SD, but here's what I see.

    Barrel:
    mp 4.25
    sd 4.0

    grip:
    mp 3 interchangeable back straps/S-M-L
    sd not so

    Standard Magazine:
    mp 9 =17 mp .40 = 15
    sd 9 = 16 sd .40 = 14

    Mag release:
    mp can be configured on either side
    sd right handed only

    Slide lock lever:
    mp both sides
    sd left side only

    Slide breakdown release lever:
    mp left side/large metal lever rotates down
    sd 2 tiny plastic buttons slightly recessed like glocks, require pushing both, reviews indicate it can be a PITA to depress both tiny buttons simultaneously

    Trigger:
    mp 6.5 lbs, trigger reset .300 in. to fire again
    sd 8.0 lbs, no trigger reset spec, assuming full release required for reset to fire again. Reviews indicate trigger pull is long and stiffer as specs would indicate

    MP cost more $670 with plastic hard case, 3 mags, blade tech 2 mag belt holder, Blade tech holster, Uplula magazine speed loader.
    SD cardboard box, 2 mags?

    I agree the mp trigger feels gritty and spongy when new. Its recommended to clean the firearm when new, before firing. I did so and after putting 400 rounds thru it, and cleaning/lubricating a few times, the trigger feels much smoother and I have no problems with it.

    The interchangeable grips on the mp are a plus if you desire adding a laser sight. The Crimson Trace laser grip pops right into the grip in 2 minutes and requires no special holster unlike adding a rail type laser sight. Cabella's sells an Mp with Crimson Trace laser grip included $780. Seems a decent deal since the CT laser grip costs $280.

    Either firearm can have the trigger modified if a lighter/smoother pull is desired.
    Last edited by USNVet; 10-23-2014 at 02:35 PM.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Held off on posting in this thread because of it's age but...

    A major selling point to me regarding the M&P .40 is that you can swap out the .40 barrel and replace with a .357 barrel, keep the existing .40 mags and suddenly, you have a M&P .357. Or you can swap out the .40 barrel and replace with a 9mm barrel, purchase 9mm mags and again, suddenly you have a M&P 9mm. You cannot do this with any of the other M&P handguns. S&W with not sell you just the barrel but you can get after market barrels.

    As for the "gritty" trigger pull, it's been stated before and I will confirm, this is only an issue when the firearm is new. After firing a few hundred rounds downrange and cleaning it a few times, the "gritty" feel goes away.

    As for after market parts, I have the CT grip mounted laser sight and after some practice, it can be removed and reinstalled while the firearm is still in my Blackhawk Serpa holster in less then 30 seconds, one handed and without even looking at the firearm. The CT grip mounted laser sight is about mid range between the medium and large stock backstraps and seems to fit my hand just fine.

    I did a great deal of research before purchasing my M&P .40 and it was ultimately the one I decided to go with. It has a nice heft to it, feeds most types of ammo with no issues, breaks down very easily and safely (with the seer release lever), is easy and simple to maintain and clean, and all around just feels like a quality firearm for daily carry. These are all important things to take into account when it is your every day carry and has to be reliable every single time.

    My roommate has an SD 9mm and I can't stand the thing. It feels cheap, is a pain to break down for maintenance, and just does not have anywhere close to the same features as the M&Ps.
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