Why Glock? Why Not the M&P?

As a reformed M&P fan, I feel that I have to provide a counter-opinion to her opinion. Don’t get me wrong – I think that the M&P pistol could certainly be a Glock-beater. It just isn’t at this point in time, as far as I am concerned (and this is coming from someone who has carried an M&P revolver for years and previously owned multiple M&P pistols).

In order to understand why I feel this way, let’s look at why Glock is successful, and where I feel the M&P falls short. While I will attempt to be factual, there will be a number of factors that rely significantly on opinion. I hate being anecdotal, but I will have to be in this case.

Glocks are, in no particular order:

- Reliable*

- Durable

- Reasonably accurate

- Cheap

- Easy to find all factory parts for

- Easy to service

- Shipped with a borderline acceptable trigger


M&Ps are, in no particular order:

- Reliable

- Durable

- Less accurate than Glocks*

- Cheap*

- Not easy to find all factory parts for

- Easy to service

- Shipped with a borderline unacceptable trigger


Let’s discuss the asterisks and differences.

- Certain models of Glock handguns are the gold standard for firearm reliability – other models of Glock handguns are dangerously unreliable. I would stake my reputation, however small it may be, on this statement. Note the lack of an asterisk for the M&P – in my experience, all M&P models seem to function very well.

- In my experience, M&Ps are less accurate than other factory handguns, such as Glocks. This is not an across-the-board rule, but I have had discussions with professional shooters who have made similar observations. The problem generally goes away with aftermarket barrels, they say. I know that my M&P9 Pro was simply unacceptable in terms of mid-to-long-range accuracy (25 to 150 yards).

- Glocks and M&Ps are priced similarly, although “blue label” Glocks sold to law enforcement and military personnel, as well as first responders, offer a bit of a price drop. S&W has law enforcement and military rebates, but that isn’t exactly the same thing, and I am not a fan of rebates. S&W gets an asterisk because while a (reliable) Glock is a great handgun out of the box, the M&P practically requires that extra money be spent in order to fix deficiencies. At a minimum, I would want a replacement barrel and trigger/sear/etc thingy – the cost of these parts would push the “cheap” M&P dangerously close to HK P30 territory.

- You can buy any Glock small part you want for your Glock handgun, but Smith & Wesson won’t sell certain parts to regular people. This is probably the biggest limiting factor for me regarding the M&P. I have little interest in aftermarket pistol components, or, at the very least, want factory spares on hand to serve as replacements. For all the excrement I may seem to shovel towards S&W in this article, I have a good amount of respect for the way a mechanical object was intended to be manufactured, assembled, and used by its designers, and wish to maintain a supply of factory replacement parts for firearms I own.

- The stock M&P trigger is not good at all. Before anyone says “Buy the Apex kit!” – read the above paragraph. Yes, it’s better in terms of trigger pull. But if I can shoot well with a factory trigger, I’m happy with it, which is why I prefer the Glock to the M&P in terms of trigger quality. As far as competition goes, none of the top competitors are using stock triggers, so this doesn’t really matter. But for duty and carry use, it is extremely relevant.

Now, she covers stuff that makes the M&P “better,” like the interchangeable grips and the ambi slide stop – and the grip angle, although that’s one thing that has never bothered me with the Glock. I can go back and forth between a Glock and a 1911 without any real problems. I do like the beavertail of the M&P, although the interchangeable backstraps do not really matter all that much to me – the only one with real appeal is the Glock beavertail backstrap that I’ve had for over a year and like quite a bit. As for ambidextrous stuff, I think that left handed people should be shamed and humiliated for being the freaks that they are, so I don’t care about that…just kidding. It’s a nice feature, but nothing that puts the M&P over the top for me, and it hardly stands out in the crop of modern polymer pistols.

So she isn’t wrong to like the M&P, and maybe I’m not right to like the Glock. What say you?