MON | APRIL 1, 2024

Faxon Firearms is honored to announce its recent victory in the highly coveted Shooting Sports Retailer (SSR) Gold Awards. Faxon Firearms has been awarded in two distinguished categories: Aftermarket Barrel and Favorite New Product.
ZeroTech Optics announced Alix McFarland's achievement as the Top Woman Shooter at the opening match of the 2024 Australian Precision Rifle Series tournament, held in Monarto, South Australia.
Luth-AR announced Henry T as the lucky winner of the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun Giveaway Grand Prize. Henry is now the proud recipient of the very first 1-8 1/2 Fractional Twist complete upper barrel assembly.

High Speed Gear® (HSG) proudly announces its 25th-anniversary milestone alongside the highly anticipated release of the Gen 2 TACO® Line. This revolutionary update to the iconic TACO® series marks a new era of sleekness, lightness, and versatility.
MKS Supply and Full Forge Gear proudly presents the latest innovation in personal protection: the Full Forge Gear 10x12 shooter style cut Extreme-Lite NIJ Rated 3A Body Armor Plate.
Safariland announced the release of new fits for the redesigned, RDS compatible IWB IncogX holster. The IncogX, developed in partnership with Haley Strategic Partners, now accommodates the Smith & Wesson Shield, Shield+, Shield EZ, and M&P models.

Walther Arms, Inc., along with premier parts and accessory manufacturers in the industry, brings you the Walther Custom Gun Giveaway based on the exact models used by Walther Division members around the country.
Primary Arms Government s proud to announce its recent award of the Purchasing Cooperative of America (PCA) Contract OD-402-24, encompassing Tactical Equipment, Technology, and Related Products for Law Enforcement Outfitting.
A brigade from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell was the first unit equipped with the Army’s new Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) system. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, accepted Next Generation Rifles and Automatic Rifles in preparation for New Equipment Training (NET) in April.

The SIG SAUER ROMEO Series has once again received a top industry rating in the recently released 2023 Hunting & Shooting Equipment Brands Report from Southwick Associates as the most frequently purchased brand in the red dot and reflex sights category.
The Stinger Fireball has been announced a few times over the past year with advancements in the design. Recently, the .22 Magnum has hit its stride and found its place in the legacy list of Bond Arms.
ERGO announces the launch of the left-handed version of the Foxbat “ Retro” Grip. This old-school rigid plastic grip was crafted for precision shooting.
Following their introduction of the 1-8 1/2 Fractional Twist barrels, Luth-AR announces the availability of 1-8 1/2 Fractional Twist Complete Uppers, featuring either MLOK or Keymod 15" Palm Handguard.
Fiocchi has developed a dedicated crow shotshell to maximize crow mortality with a wad that delivers an incredibly dense pattern in a shorter shot string than traditional shotshells. Another unique feature of Fiocchi’s new Caw Caw Cawtridge is the integration of an App-based crow call built into every Caw Caw ammo box. Hunters can bring the box with them into the field and select one of three popular calls: Feeding Crow, Fighting Crows, or Dying Crow.
Introducing an advanced security system for firearms, the AR Gun Locker. This system from Hornady Security ensures top-notch protection and access control. Unlocking is effortless with RFID technology, activated through a wristband, key fob, or sticker.

Introducing an innovative and lightweight security solution – a 1.5-pound TrekLite® Lock Box XL that challenges traditional security concepts. With a sleek design, it provides robust protection against various threats at a third of the weight of similar steel lock boxes.
Magpul marks its 25th year in 2024, and Jon Canipe of the company joined the No Lowballers to talk about the brands origin, its evolution and the guiding principles that drive them to this day.
Viridian Weapon Technologies expands its extensive line of custom E SERIES™? green laser sights with the addition of a Taurus TX22 fit. The popular E SERIES collection has been engineered to seamlessly fit the trigger guard of the industry's most in-demand pistols.

Boasting dense patterns, deep penetration, and unparalleled long-range performance, Fiocchi’s Golden Turkey TSS raises the bar for turkey hunters seeking superior results. Available in three-inch offerings for 12-gauge, 20-gauge, 28-gauge, and .410 bore, this ammunition is engineered to provide hard-hitting knockdown power.
Armasight kicks off Q2 with a bang, unveiling two sensational dealer promotions. Available exclusively through participating Armasight dealers, these promotions promise unmatched value and enhanced performance for enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Many were caught off guard by Henry’s Big Boy .357 Magnum revolver design, including FMG Special Projects Editor Roy Huntington. Curiosity sufficiently piqued, he went hands-on with the full grip frame version and the “Birdshead” frame to share his findings in the cover feature of American Handgunner’s May/June issue.

Christensen Arms is now shipping the new Modern Precision Rifle Rimfire to retailers nationwide. A list of authorized Christensen Arms retailers can be found online at
AirForce Airguns and Rapid Air Worx have joined as sponsors of the 2024 Cajun Spring Classic and American Airgun Field Target Association (AAFTA) Grand Prix match set for April 12-14, 2024. The event will be held at the Bayou Airgun Club/Jean Lafitte Airgun Range in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The largest youth archery competition in Alabama, the National Archery in the Schools Program Alabama State Championship, will be held April 4-5, 2024, at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl located at 220 Hall St. in Montgomery, Alabama. The media and public are invited to attend.


Built first in 40 S&W, the Smith & Wesson M&P is a solid service pistol. Image from the roll-out of the M&P auto pistol line in December 2005.

Just over 18 years ago, I joined a number of writers on a trip to the Smith & Wesson factory for the introduction of a new law enforcement pistol. The first of a line of newly manufactured “Military & Police” branded handguns, it was a striker-fired auto chambered for the 40 S&W cartridge.

Why the 40? At the time, it was the preeminent service cartridge in American law enforcement. Not only that, it made little sense to design a gun around the 9x19mm NATO round, then use the same platform for the larger (and, at the time, more popular) 40 S&W. Build the gun around the snappier, bigger round, then go down to the smaller service round.

Image taken by Walt Rauch.

That’s what S&W did. I ended up with one of the original line – even the serial number started with “MP …” Walt Rauch took the attached image of me firing a dedicated pair – a “hammer” – with the 180 grain Winchester FMJ round at the S&W Academy. While you can see the considerable torque, the gun is just going back into battery in the micro-second before the sights are back in line.

The handgun project team at the time settled on areas of pistol design that were most criticized at the time. First was “feel” or “pointability;” people seem more interested in feel than fit. The team used the 1911-esque 18° grip-to-bore angle.

Next, it was the whole “pull the trigger to disassemble” non-issue. While it’s a non-issue to gun people, for police administrators and purchasers it was a potential pitfall. Accidents had happened with other designs – through no fault of the gun’s design, but due to a failure to unload and, in some cases, by pointing the gun in unsafe directions.

A tool was designed to attach positively to the gun, yet be easily removed to help put the striker at rest for field stripping. The tool, a thin punch-type affair, is placed inside the open ejection port to push down the striker deactivation lever. The action has to be open when this is done, absolutely preventing a chambered round from being contacted by the firing pin. This also forces the operator’s attention to the chamber and magazine well of the pistol, further helping to ensure the empty condition of the weapon.

With the pressure off, a take-down lever on the left side of the frame is turned and the top end is removed from the receiver. After cleaning and reassembly, the striker deactivation lever is reset by seating a magazine – an unloaded one if the gun is to be stored.

Simple – and appealing to bureaucrats. I have no problem with it as it compels proper procedure … like locking the slide open.

The barrel outside diameter is wider at the muzzle than it is along its length back toward the chamber. This helps the muzzle mate up with the front of the slide and reduces slide friction as the slide retracts during use.

An interesting design twist is the “rocker-“style frame rails. As you look down on the field stripped M&P, the rails appear to be oval, a football shape. It looks similarly round when viewed from the side. The shape forces the slide to travel without binding as the designer wanted it to move.

Wear is confined to the outside of the ‘bulge.’ This rail system has less bearing surface, meaning less friction. It seems that dirt and sludge would be moved out during hard use operation, making this a reliable as well as durable system.

The stainless-steel slide is through hardened and Melonite treated in a black finish, the combination yielding a hardness of 68 HRc. The rear of the slide has grasping grooves that are “scalloped” in a wave pattern. The slide’s “nose” is beveled, giving a streamlined look.


It’d been many years since I shot this early-issue M&P40. Recently, I’ve seen some of these hit the market, having formerly been issued by police agencies and replaced for newer guns. I thought shooting this through a state qual course on a target smaller than used in the official quals -- FPS-1 target, printed from the First Person Safety website – would be a good exercise. I used some old stock Winchester White Box 180 grain FMJ flat-point (flattened hardball).

The holster was an older Blade-Tech kydex rig, picked up during another S&W event – this one at Gunsite. The SG Timer (obtained from MDT last year) was used to time my progress (or lack thereof).

I found that I lost some time, likely in dealing with 40-caliber recoil as well as relative lack of familiarity with the M&P40. As noted, I haven’t shot it in some time and I have far more rounds through the same firm’s Shield line than the larger M&Ps.

Still, the accuracy was more than enough to clean the course on the mandated FBI Q-target, even with a hit low off the page from 25 yards. That was a convulsive clutch as I fired the gun trying to make the time. I went over time on both strings from ten yards. I didn’t allow any rounds to wander off the shaded part of the target until I was at fifteen yards. It was still in the target outline.

That left 32 hits in the shaded “cardiac” box on the target. With the eight hits in the less shaded area of the target, that’s 80% to pass – if I used the target scoring.

The gun’s better than that. It was clearly my shooting. As usual, the M&P40 functioned without problems. If you run across one of these, it might be the right choice for you.

— Rich Grassi

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