The M&P 22 Compact by Smith & Wesson is the perfect tool for teaching new shooters. The price is right, ammunition is cheap and the low recoil of a .22 caliber firearm makes it the perfect teaching tool. The M&P has the quality and feel of a full size gun making the transition to defensive calibers simple and intuitive.
I was in the market for a .22 pistol. My local gun shop, Grays Harbor Guns brought the M&P 22 compact by Smith & Wesson to my attention. This gun fit the bill for what I was looking for and Grays Harbor Guns priced this made in the USA pistol, with the Smith & Wesson lifetime service policy, for an amount I couldn’t refuse. The suggested retail price of this pistol is $389.00.
My first observation of this pistol was the similarity to it’s big brothers. The fit, feel, and function to this pistol are very comparative to the larger caliber models. It is a reduced scale version of the full-size M&P pistol. My personal purpose for this gun will be teaching basic pistol courses of fire.
With that in mind, I like the manual thumb safety and adjustable rear sight. The adjustable rear sight allows for quick and easy adjustment of both windage and elevation with the use of included 1/16” Allen tool. After a few adjustments to the windage, I was able to ring steel on a six-inch plate at 25 yards with ease.
The grip angle and texture felt natural and solid in my hands. My only disappointment on the grips was that it didn’t come with changeable palm-swells like the big brother of this gun. I like the M&P’s extended backstrap. I have rather freakishly large hands that often get “slide-bite” from smaller pistols, not with this pistol.
The trigger surely isn’t comparable to that of a competition target pistol, but I think that’s a positive thing for this gun. While it is a “nice” tripper press, it’s more like that of the full-size larger caliber M&P’s, not a target shooter .22.
This M&P is suppressor ready with a threaded fixed-barrel and raised sights; the thread barrel is 3/8”x24 takes 3/8”x24 to 1/2”x28 adapter. While I didn’t have the opportunity to try out a suppressor on it, I can imagine that it would be a pleasure to shoot with one on.
The left and right-handed shooter were kept in mind when they designed this pistol. It comes ready with a reversible magazine catch and an ambidextrous manual thumb safety. I’m not a huge fan of external safeties on duty or conceal carry guns but on this pistol, with my intended use of the gun, it makes sense and I’m grateful for them being on the gun and accommodating both lefties and righties.
MODEL: M&P®22 COMPACT
CALIBER: .22 LR
SAFETY: MANUAL THUMB SAFETY
BARREL LENGTH: 3.6″ / 9.1 CM
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.7″
FRONT SIGHT: WHITE DOT
REAR SIGHT: WHITE 2-DOT – SCREW ADJUSTABLE
ACTION: SINGLE ACTION
GRIP: POLYMER, FIXED BACKSTRAP
WEIGHT: 15.3 OZ / 433.7G
BARREL MATERIAL: CARBON STEEL
SLIDE MATERIAL: ALUMINUM ALLOY
FRAME MATERIAL: POLYMER
SLIDE FINISH: ARMORNITE®
FRAME FINISH: BLACK
Another thing I was pleased to find that this gun had was the Picatinny-Style Equipment Rail. Again, I didn’t purchase this gun with an expectation of carrying a .22 for personal defense. My intended purpose for this gun is teaching basic pistol skills. Having the equipment rail is going to allow me to install my MantisX training tool and let technology help me diagnose students.
The gun also features an internal key-operated lock and a magazine disconnect safety. Neither one of these features really excite me but I will be sure to use the opportunity to show new or inexperienced shooters these features so they know what to expect when out on their own.
For my intended purpose, I’m thrilled with this gun and look forward to spending time on it. For just going out and enjoying shooting, I think I’m going to like this gun for that too. I know my wife and 15-year-old daughter do already!