Due to some unusual circumstances, I ended up doing a first firing of seven recent manufacture M&P 9mm pistols today. They were 2 Pro's, 2 FS with TS, 2 FS w/out FS, and 1 compact with TS. Given reports of inconsistent accuracy with the 9 mm M&P's, I decided to shoot groups with each pistol at 25 yards on a PT target. My position was sitting, which is stable for me, and I shot two five round groups with each pistol using WWB ammo. For a control, I shot a known accurate M&P 9 FS, and some other pistols.
1) M&P 9 FS, no TS, DCAEK trigger, HD sights. 8 inch group, as well centered as an 8 inch group can be, repeated twice. At that point, I started doubting my trigger control this morning, and shot a Glock 19 with HD sights I had with me. Shot two sub 3 inch groups with the 19 and HD sights. Followed up with old M&P 9 and shot two sub 3.5 inch groups.
2) M&P 9 FS, TS, stock sights and trigger. Both groups were 3.5 inches or better.
3) M&P 9 FS, TS, stock sights and trigger. Both groups were 3.5 inches or better.
4) M&P Pro. Both groups were larger than 6 inches.
5) M&P Pro. Both groups were 3.5 inches or better.
6) M&P 9 C, TS, stock sights and trigger. Group was 6 inches or larger. Elevation was good, dispersion was all in windage. Took another 9C upper I had, put it on the lower, and shot two groups 3.5 inches or smaller.
7) M&P 9 FS, no TS. Both groups were about six inches.
For control, I shot some other pistols and to verify some sights. G17 w/RMR 5 shot group well inside two inch PT dot. M&P 45 mid-size w/RMR, 230 HST, group right around 2.5 inches. G34 FO sights, 2 inch group. G26 group smaller than 3.5 inches.
Amazingly, the G26 with HD sights shot as well as the best new M&P pistol. While undoubtedly, my sitting groups were larger than shot from a bench, 4 out of 7 new M&P 9mm pistols were flat out unusable by my accuracy standards. Not sure what S&W will do when I box the four pistols up and send them back, but they need to be a lot more accurate or go away.
Sad that they managed to hose up a platform with so much potential.
My M&P 9L shoots extremely well. I've got several loads to group 2" or better, the best so far is 1.25" at 20 yards. My .40 FS is in the 3" or larger range in .40 but it will do 2" with a factory .357 Sig barrel. Just got a threaded 9mm barrel for it, but haven't shot it for group yet.
I'd be interested to see the test repeated with NATO or +P ammo.
To gather more data, for communicating with the factory, I plan to reshoot the problem pistols, and try some different ammo. I picked WWB as the M&P 9's are supposed to do better with the lighter loadings, and that is ammo that I commonly shoot training. What is odd is that 3 of the 7 pistols tested shot the WWB acceptably for my use, and the other 4 were so horrendous. Additionally, the control pistols, other M&P pistols and the Glocks shot WWB acceptably. My old Pro, which I ran the Rogers School with, was a sub 3 inch pistol at 25 yards with WWB.