Not long ago we gave you a tabletop look at Smith & Wesson’s M&P 10 Sport.  If you missed it, go back and see the report by following the link.  I didn’t have much experience with rifles from Smith & Wesson and wondered if the rifle would be of any real quality, or just another sub-contracted pile of parts like other great American companies have done.  I really wanted to like the M&P 10 Sport.  Ambidextrous bolt release/catch, safety, and mag release were features that really excited me.  Even more exciting was that this rifle is an AR-10 for around the magic $1,000 price range.  It seems most AR-10s cost twice that or more if you want features better than bargain basement.  Did the massive Smith & Wesson find the magic formula?

Shots Fired: Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Sport ~ VIDEO
Adaptive Tactical stock used in testing

How did they do it?  One way Smith & Wesson kept consumer price down was by not spending money on things that consumers like to swap on their own.  Any increase in their cost of course becomes an increase in your cost.

The most common swaps for the AR platform is of course the muzzle device, furniture, and trigger.  The M&P 10 Sport is delivered with an A2-style flash hider, M4-style collapsable stock, M16A2-looking hand guard, and a trigger not sporting the latest trendy name.

We took the rifle out for a spin and quickly recognized that the M4 stock and A2 flash-hider had to go.  We swapped the stock out for the Adaptive Tactical which we had tested and proven before.  The flash-hider went back in the box in exchange for the Gamma from VG6 Precision.  Both items have proven themselves before and we trusted them to help us.

Shots Fired: Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Sport ~ VIDEO
Gamma brake from VG6 Precision

Range testing included our multi-mag and multi-load test.  With AR-10s it is important a variety of magazines are tested for fit and function as there is no official standard for lower receivers.  This is not a test of the rifle or magazine alone, rather how the two work together.

The Multi-Load test included match ammo from Nosler and Federal.  We also included a defensive load from Speer and hunting load from Federal.  Why the variety?  This is an AR-10 labeled under the Military and Police line.  It could easily be bought for the target, hunting, or defensive role.  We wanted to see how it would group with ammo appropriate to each role.  See the video below for the results.  After watching the video let us know: What would you use this rifle for?

Testing was conducted using the Nikon BLACK X1000 4-16×50 Scope.

Photos by author.