Click pictures for a larger version.
M&P-10 (right) compared to 18-inch AR-15 (left).
Ambidextrous selector / safety.
Ambidextrous bolt latch and magazine catch.
Ejection port dust cover (top), empty case deflector
(center), forward assist (bottom).
Six-position telescoping buttstock.
18-inch slim-profile barrel.
Right off the bat, Iím going to jump in
with both feet and state that this Smith
& Wesson M&P-10 is quite likely the best
semi-automatic 308 AR style rifle that I have ever handled. I
own a few 308 AR-10 style rifles, and each of them is an
excellent weapon. My DPMS-SASS is
the most-accurate rifle that I have ever fired, of any caliber.
I also have a couple of other 308 ARs that handle really well.
However, that SASS is a heavy beast, and the others, while
lighter than the SASS, are still a bit heavy. This S&W is a
full pound lighter than any of my other AR-10 style rifles, yet
it wears an eighteen-inch barrel, and possesses all the features
needed and expected on a quality AR.
Another thing that endears the S&W
M&P-10 to me, and should to every other left-handed shooter,
is that S&W went to the trouble and expense to make this
rifle as ambidextrous as possible to operate. The bolt latch,
magazine catch, and selector switch (safety) are all
rifle comes with one ten-round steel magazine, but is compatible
with many other mags, such as the DPMS and the Magpul P-Mag. The
buttstock is of the six-position telescoping type, with the
overall length adjustable from 37.5 inches to 40.875 inches. The
barrel has a slim profile, measuring just six-tenths of an inch
(0.60") for most of its length forward of the gas block.
The rifle weighs in at seven pounds, ten ounces on my scale,
The M&P-10 has a mid-length gas system,
with a section of Picatinny rail atop the gas block, for the
mounting of a front sight, if desired. The forged lower and
upper receiver halves are mated tightly, with no discernable
play between the parts, The upper wears an integral Picatinny
rail. The trigger pull on this M&P-10 is better than on most
ARs, releasing crisply with just a bit over five pounds of
resistance, measured using an RCBS mechanical scale, as well as
a Lyman digital scale. The hand guard is a standard A2 style,
and is very comfortable to hold, even when the barrel gets hot.
The pistol grip is also standard A2 style. The entire rifle is
finished in an even matte black, with the steel parts matching
the anodized aluminum very well.
and accuracy results are listed in the chart below. Velocity
readings were recorded at an elevation of 541 feet above sea
level with an air temperature of seventy-four degrees Fahrenheit
and a relative humidity of sixty-one percent. Velocity readings
are the average of several shots fired, measured at a distance
of twelve feet from the muzzle, so actual muzzle velocities will
be slightly higher. Accuracy results were obtained by shooting
three-shot groups, fired on paper at a distance of one hundred
yards. For testing of varmint rifles, I like to use five-shot
groups when possible, but on a hunting/fighting rifle such as
this M&P-10, three-shot groups are indicative of the
weaponís capabilities within the likely use of such a rifle.
Accuracy was tested with the rifle rested securely in a Target
Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest. Group pictures shown
are indicative of that particular loadís average accuracy.
Bullet weights are listed in grains. Velocities are listed in
feet-per-second (fps). Group sizes are listed in inches. XLC is
a coated Barnes X bullet. SST and BST are polymer-tipped hunting
bullets. SMK is the Sierra Match King bullet. FMJ is a full
metal jacket bullet.
Point Custom SMK
Bore Sniper SMK
The accuracy of both the Buffalo Bore and the
Hornady SST loads was very consistent, with every group fired
measuring within one-sixteenth of an inch either way from the
half inch mark. This was after the barrel had been seasoned a
bit by shooting several Stryker
bulk ammunition loads through the bore. Reliability was
excellent with every load tested, with the exception of the
factory-supplied ten-round magazine. With that mag, and that mag
only, sometimes the bolt would fail to pick up a cartridge from
the magazine. Measuring the distance between the feed lips, that
ten-round magazine was tighter than any other 308 AR mag that I
own. With the DPMS and P-Mag magazines, feeding was perfect with
every type of ammunition tested in the M&P-10 rifle. The
trigger pull, as stated above, was very good for an AR, and
contributed to the rifle turning in some excellent groups from
the bench. The 5R rifling is touted to give excellent accuracy,
and I certainly canít argue with that, as again, accuracy was
superb. Recoil was about as-expected from a 7.7 pound 308; very
comfortable, making it easy to get back on target quickly.
For most of my shooting with this S&W
M&P-10, I used a Leupold HAMR
optical sight. This is a rugged and reliable etched-reticle
battle sight with the Leupold DeltaPoint mounted atop. It works
well at close quarters using the DeltaPoint, with the magnified
HAMR for longer distances.
For accuracy testing at 100 yards from the bench, I
mounted my Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to 25 power scope, set to its
highest magnification. As
listed above, accuracy varied from very good to superb, with
this M&P-10 shooting much better than I had anticipated. The
M&P-10 can shoot any 308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm NATO
ammunition, and it functioned perfectly with everything I fed
it, excepting the faulty magazine listed above.
Smith & Wesson got into the AR-15 market
a few years ago, and they did it well. I am glad to see that
with their new AR-10 style M&P-10, they got it right again.
They were successful in holding the weight down to where a
fighting or hunting rifle should be, without sacrificing
quality, features, or accuracy.
The original AR-10 rifle designed by Eugene Stoner was
meant to be lightweight and handy. Chambered for the 308, the
original weighed in at around seven and one-half pounds. Over
the past couple of decades, the execution of that design has
resulted in heavier rifles, but this M&P-10 is getting this
almost six-decades-old design back to where it should be; a
lightweight, handy, and powerful fighting rifle, but it is much
better than the original, and is one of the best executions of
the AR-10 design ever brought to market. The M&P-10 is
accurate, reliable, easy to operate, ambidextrous, and made in
the USA. I like it, and highly recommend it.
MSRP on the S&W M&P-10 shown here is,
as of the date of this review, $1619 US, but doing some
shopping, it can probably be bought for less.
Check out the extensive line of Smith &
Wesson firearms and accessories online at www.smith-wesson.com.
For the location of a Smith & Wesson
dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order the M&P-10 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
For a closer look at quality Leupold optics
and accessories, go to www.leupold.com.
order quality 308 ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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Click pictures for a larger version.
M&P-10 is supplied with one ten-round magazine.
DPMS (center) and Magpul P-Mag (right) magazines work
perfectly in the M&P-10.
Leupold HAMR with DeltaPoint.
Buffalo Bore Sniper ammunition proved to be superbly
accurate in the M&P-10.
M&P-10 exhibited excellent accuracy at 100 yards.
3Bucc Brass Catcher.