First Look: Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 Metal

Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal shot by Bob Campbell

It seems like just a few years ago Smith and Wesson introduced a polymer frame, striker-fired pistol to give Glock serious competition. The SIGMA was a little remembered ergonomic disaster. Easily among the most difficult pistols to shoot well that I ever fired. However, the Military & Police pistols are a much different story.

Ergonomics are excellent and the styling eye-catching. The pistols have enjoyed much success and several popular handguns, including the Shield, have sprung from these handguns. Polymer-frame handguns have taken the market by storm and own the personal defense and police market.

Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal left profile gun
The pistol is finished in Tungsten Cerakote.

There is still a market for metal frame pistols. Not long ago, Smith & Wesson introduced the CSX aluminum frame 9mm. This handgun features good workmanship and has proven to be a great handling and shooting pistol.

M&P 2.0 Metal Features

Recently, Smith & Wesson made even bigger news with the introduction of the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Metal. The pistol features a T6-aluminum frame. The pistol is identical in outline to the polymer frame pistol with a 4.25-inch barrel and standard slide and sights. The pistol is supplied with two 17-round magazines and comes with a slide cut for mounting red dot sights.

The finish is a Tungsten-Gray Cerakote. The 2.0 improvements are evident in this pistol. You do not need to update your holsters or magazines. The new frame is compatible with previous M&P 9mm handguns.

The pistol weighs 30 ounces — about five ounces more than the polymer frame handgun. It feels good in the hand and offers a nice balance and heft. That is what this pistol is all about, balance. You must decide whether the balance and weight are worth the extra money.

Field Stripped Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal
Disassembly is simple enough.

When the dust settles, and the pistol is in the pipeline and readily available, the tariff over the polymer frame gun will probably be on the order of $200. That isn’t a small change, but neither is it a week’s pay for most, so the pistol’s improved frame may be worthwhile to many shooters. It is less expensive than many aftermarket Glock frames, for example. Fieldstripping is easy enough, and the pistol’s controls are crisp in operation. The manual of arms is simple. Load, holster, draw, fire.

  • Tungsten Gray Cerakote finish
  • Slide cut for optics
  • Four interchangeable palmswell grip inserts for optimal hand fit and trigger reach: S, M, ML, L
  • Textured polymer front strap
  • Wide slide stop
  • Reversible magazine release
  • M2.0 flat-face trigger for consistent finger placement that allows for more accurate and repeatable shooting
  • Includes forward slide serrations and accessory rail
  • Low barrel bore axis makes the M&P pistol comfortable to shoot, reducing muzzle rise and allowing for faster aim recovery
  • Enhanced sear for lighter, crisper trigger let-off
  • Accurate 1:10-inch twist barrel
  • Comes with two 17-round magazines
  • Accepts any 17-round 9mm M2.0 magazine
  • Fits standard M&P9-compatible holsters

At the Range

There isn’t much to add or detract to the M&P’s reputation when examining the pistol. It feels different, looks a little different, and operates the same as the polymer frame pistol. The trigger action breaks at 6.0 pounds on the Lyman trigger scale.

The proof is in the firing. I collected a good number of 9mm loads for testing. Since the aluminum frame is supposed to have an advantage in line of sight and recoil control, I included a number of +P loads. However, the usual inexpensive 9mm ball ammunition was the majority load expended.

Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal, left profile
The author found the Military & Police Metal 9mm a formidable personal defense handgun.

I also hand on-hand a few magazines worth of Winchester 9mm NATO, a 124-grain bullet at 1,180 fps. Also included in testing was the Hornady American Gunner 124-grain XTP +P at 1,184 fps. The magazines are not difficult to load and accepted a full 17 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

I locked the slide to the rear, inserted a magazine, and dropped the slide. I had placed three man-sized targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards. The pistol was drawn from a Galco Gunleather Triton holster. The Kydex Triton offered a good fit and a sharp draw.

A feature I cannot praise enough is the belt clip that positively locked in place when in use. No slippage on the belt with this gear. Drawing the pistol and quickly re-holstering is smooth and intuitive. The Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm Metal clears the holster smoothly and comes on target quickly.

Bob Campbell shooting a Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal with a one-handed grip
As the author acclimated to the pistol it proved to be a fast-handling and accurate handgun.

The trigger is smooth and breaks cleanly. Firing quickly at all three targets, I gave each target (more or less) equal punishment. After firing three magazines, the targets were evaluated. As most shooters realize, many polymer-frame handguns are slide heavy. That results in the slide’s weight pushing the line of sight down. The S&W aluminum frame 9mm has a different feel. As a result, I was firing high. I suppose I thought I was firing a polymer-frame pistol.

After replenishing the ammunition supply, I began another series of drills. This time I took firm control and fired more slowly as I addressed the targets. The result was center hits. Next up was more speed.

I found that after some acclimation, my groups were tight, and the pistol was more controllable than a lighter polymer-frame pistol. Not that the Military & Police 9mm isn’t a great handling pistol with a polymer frame. However, the new metal frame pistol was different.

After sufficient acclimation, you will find the pistol more controllable in rapid fire. Some, but not all, will find the line of sight superior in their hand. If you shoot a lot of polymer-frame handguns, you must ask yourself whether this is the addition to the stable you need.

Bob Campbell shooting the Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal for personal defense drills
This size of 9mm handgun is controllable and handles well in personal defense drills.

There were no failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. As for absolute accuracy, I fired the pistol at a 15-yard bullseye target using Hornady ammunition including the 115-grain XTP and 124-grain XTP +P. Five-shot groups averaged 2.0 inches — more than acceptable.

The Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 Metal is something that was not on the radar of many S&W fans, but is it enough of a game changer for you? Share your answer or review in the comment section.

  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal pistol in a Galco Triton Kydex holster
  • Top down view of the Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal gun's optics ready mount
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal optics ready
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal left profile gun
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal tilted down
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal, left profile
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal with a TruGlo weapons light
  • Bob Campbell shooting the Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal for personal defense drills
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal shot by Bob Campbell
  • Bob Campbell shooting the Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal 9mm handgun
  • Bob Campbell shooting a Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal with a one-handed grip
  • Field Stripped Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9 2.0 Metal

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. 73 years-old, lived here alone for 30 years. Two weeks ago this guy hit my front door trying to get in. Twenty minutes later the police show up and the man does everything to talk his way out from being arrested. I was shocked when the dispatcher told me to get my gun out, and all I said, “I have pepper spray,” She wasn’t impressed. I live in a nice area, but the reality is I’m just going to join the group. This sure stinks.

  2. Several of my friends and family members have M&P pistols and are well satisfied with their guns. I never had much interest UNTIL I saw the M&P 2.0 Metal in person and held it in my hand. I agree with the comments about “heft” and balance. Cerakote finish is a bonus and sealed the deal for me. Price is not unreasonable for the level of workmanship and performance.

  3. I must confess that I have never been much of a fan for the Polymer Handgun phenomenon, and I don’t say this without having fired a great many. (Glock, Sig, S&W, etc.)
    I, much like Max, was of the “Steel or Nothing” mindset.
    It was Walther that changed my mind. Having previously owned a “War Trophy” P-38 (that was tragically lost in a fire) I looked for a replacement and settled for a retired West German Police P-1.
    This changed my mind about Alloy Framed Pistols!
    With the advances in CNC machining and development of High Strength Aluminum Alloys the S&W 2.0 Metal is going to appeal to the vast numbers in the Shooting Community that have said No to “Plastic Guns”!

  4. Ever hear of a STEEL FRAME? Ever hear of WW2? Apparently not. Ever hear of a 1911 with a steel frame? Mine has these features.

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