Top Selling Smith & Wesson M&P Firearms

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Smith & Wesson’s Model 10, .38 Special revolver started it all. Called the “Military & Police” revolver, S&W have been making the legendary line of firearms since 1899. Mostly known for the polymer-framed, striker-fired M&P semiautomatic pistols, Smith & Wesson continued growing the line of M&P firearms with the introduction of the M&P-15 rifle in 2012. The M&P-15 series of rifles have quickly become a hot contender to Bushmaster and Colt AR-15s. The latest to the M&P line up are the very popular carry guns—the .380 ACP and .38 Special Bodyguard, and the M&P Shield. There are currently almost 70 different models of M&P handguns with close to the same number of variations of M&P rifles. From full-sized to the small sub-compact, an M&P will fit your needs whether you are carrying for self-defense, target shooting, competing or training. Here are Cheaper Than Dirt!’s top selling S&W M&P firearms.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

S&W M&P Shield

What makes the Shield a top seller?

  • 8-round magazine with extended base giving you more room to grip
  • Ergonomics; fits all hand sizes comfortably
  • Upgraded sights; a low profile three-dot with a large rear notch for quick target acquisition
  • Point of aim shooting at 5 to 7 yards
  • Reliability; shoots all types of ammo without malfunction
  • Sized right for concealing
  • Price point; sells for less than $400

Functionality of the M&P Shield is identical to its larger full-sized M&P counterparts. However, the Shield is much smaller, uses a single-stack—not staggered—magazine, and does not come with interchangeable grip panels. It retains the standard M&P 18-degree grip angle, double-action only trigger and striker-fired, recoil operation. Even the smallest M&P, the M&P9c is over an inch longer than the Shield. The M&P Shield is available in 9mm or .40 S&W—both have the same dimensions: a 3.1-inch barrel, 6.1-inch overall length, 4.6-inch height, 0.95-inch width and weighs 19 ounces unloaded. The only difference is the one extra round the 9mm model holds. Out of Cheaper Than Dirt’s top selling M&P firearms, four are variations of the Shield.

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S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP Semiautomatic Pistol

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 in black, pointed to the right on white background
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380

Why should you consider the Bodyguard?

  • Available with an integrated Crimson Trace laser
  • Minimal felt recoil for quick follow up shots
  • Smaller size doesn’t affect accuracy—achieves 2-inch groups consistently at 7 yards
  • Includes an extend floorplate for better grip

The S&W Bodyguard uses the same Browning tilting-barrel design and double-action only trigger like that of other M&P pistols. However, instead of striker-fired, the Bodyguard is hammer-fired and aesthetically looks nothing like the M&P line of semiautomatic pistols. It is the smallest of the M&P line-up with a 2.75-inch barrel, 5.25-inch overall length and weighs only 12 ounces. The Bodyguard has an external thumb safety, polymer frame and the same tough Melonite finish on the stainless steel slide. The S&W Bodyguard .380 is available in two different models—both have drift adjustable sights, while one comes with an integrated Crimson Trace red laser.

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S&W M&P-15s come highly recommended from many AR shooters
S&W M&P-15s come highly recommended from many AR shooters

S&W M&P15 Semiautomatic Rifle

Why pick the Smith & Wesson over all the other ARs?

  • Tight fit between parts, made in the United States in-house by S&W
  • Unrivaled reliability
  • Staked buffer tube castle nut
  • Chromed gas key and bolt carrier
  • Price point; Sport models are priced lower than $600

Smith & Wesson entered into the black rifle market in 2006 with the introduction of the .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO-chambered M&P15 AR-15. Originally built by Stag Arms, S&W now makes all the M&P15 lowers in-house. The M&P15 series of rifles are gas-operated and have all the standard features, internally and externally, found on most traditional AR-15s. The line is available in a variety of options from A1 to M4 styles, to rifles with Magpul folding sights to optics ready carbines, to basic standard black to FDE and even pink and red camo finishes on the M&P15-22 .22 Long Rifle rimfire models. There are two chambered in .300 AAC Blackout. With nearly 70 to choose from—ranging from the standard M&P15 to enhanced and customized rifles out of Smith & Wesson Performance Center and state compliant rifles—the two top selling M&P15 rifles at Cheaper Than Dirt at the M&P15 Sport and M&P15T.

The M&P15 Sport is by far the least expensive model in the line up and does not have a dust cover or forward assist. However, other specifications and features of the M&P15 Sport are the same when compared to other more expensive M&P15 rifles, such as the Magpul MBUS folding rear sight, adjustable A2 front sight post and Picatinny rail.

The S&W M&P15T or “Tactical” model has a 10-inch patent-pending, anti-twist, free-floating rail and both front and rear sights are Magpul MBUS folding sights. Both the Sport and 15T have a 16-inch barrel, 30-round magazine, chromed bolt carrier and gas key, 6-positon telescoping stock and 7075-T6 aluminum receiver.

Buy the M&P15 Sport and Tactical here:

S&W M&P22 Semiautomatic .22 LR Rimfire Handgun

Picture shows a black .22 Long Rifle pistol made by Smith & Wesson.
Smith & Wesson has introduced a designed-from-the-ground-up .22 Long Rifle M&P made n the United States.

What makes the M&P22 so great?

  • Perfect for training—controls and feel are just like the centerfire models
  • Virtually no recoil
  • Easy to rack the slide
  • Not picky about ammo

Though externally it looks identical to the M&P semiautomatic pistols, the rimfire M&P22 deviates from the functionality more than any other of the M&P semiautomatics. It is hammer-fired and has an aluminum aerospace alloy slide, operates single-action only and has a thumb safety. Available in two different models, standard and compact, the M&P22 feels just like the centerfire models do when you grip it, and the controls are all in the same place as well. The first M&P22, introduced in 2011, is made in Germany with a 4.1-inch barrel, while the new compact model is made in the USA and has a 3.56-inch barrel. Both Smith & Wesson M&P 22 handguns are perfect for training or teaching new shooters. The M&P22 is easy to use, reliable and a lot of fun to shoot.

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For more on the S&W M&P22, read the following articles

Do you own a S&W M&P rifle, pistol or revolver? Which one and what do you like or not like about it? Share your thoughts on the M&P in the comment section.


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 (17)

  1. i have a 9c and a bg380 crimson trace. the 9c fits my hand better than any other gun ive tried, has moderate recoil and an ok trigger. i can hit very well with it and its not too bulky. i can also shoot pretty fast with it and get back on target easily. the bg 380 has helped me train better, dry firing w the laser on.

  2. Own a Glock 42. Nice shooting right out of the box. Glock however screwed the pooch without including extended finger rest. Something S&W gives you with a Body Guard 380. I own both but prefer the Body Guard. It’s smaller, easier to conceal, has a safety, shoots just as well, has a built in laser and costs a $100.00 less.

  3. I purchased the walther made full size M&P 22 when it first came out. I had been looking for a good practice and plinking 22 for a while and after trying out the ruger sr22 and the sig mosquito I fell in love with the S&W. My only complaint was the factory sights were just horrible and there are very few options for replacing them. I went with a set of XS sights with the small front dot and they are just awesome. Very accurate and super fast target acquisition. The front sight is tritium but they don’t make a rear tritium to match is all I have to complain about. With the XS sights this has become my favorite pistol. Glad to see the new compact model has really nice 3 dot adjustable sights out of the box. You can’t go wrong with the M&P 22 pistol. It is very accurate super fun to shoot and very easy to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning. Plus the single action trigger is smooth and crisp with no creep. I highly recommend a set of XS sights for the full size model and then for your center fire model as they are just awesome combat sights that make great target sights as well.

  4. I own an M&P 15 and 9c – I’ve fired the 9c but have yet to try the 15…I bought it following the Newtown tragedy out of fear of not being able to buy one later and the .223 ammo got pretty scarce shortly afterward, as I guess many folks did the same. I’d be VERY happy if .22LR ammo had come back even half as strongly as .223/5.56.

    1. Amen to that. I bought my M&P 40 and M&P .22 close to the same time. I can get plenty of ammo for my .40 but it’s really hard to get and expensive to buy .22. I also bought the M&P airgun and that is also a nice practice option. I soon getting an M&P 15 MOE. I would appreciate thoughts on good optics at around $300 to $500. In the mean time I’ll use the iron sights.

  5. No experience with the SIG Mosquito, but I do have a S&W / Walther P22 picked up about 5-6 years ago. Shot often and functions flawlessly on must brands of ammo. The extended barrel option is a nice mount for my suppressor. I’ve introduced a few folks new to shooting with that combo (w/ safety briefings of course). Got great feedback from them saying it was a very pleasant first experience with target shooting. And, their negative views of suppressors evaporated away once they tried them out.

  6. Hmmmm…..OK I carried the Mod 10 but when adjustable sights were available on a Mod 28–along with .357 Mag ammo the 10 was history. Then the Mod 39 came along. But 9mm was too weak. A Mod 29 took care of that. But then SS came along.

    But the list is missing anything SS. What happened to the Mod 66 or the Mod 60? Or the Mod 4566 or Mod 1066?

    If you have to shoot it is to protect yourself, a partner or family member most likely. I’ll pick the biggest “hammer” every time and let the PC dudes carry their peashooters.

  7. I have the Sig Mosquito and regret it. The decocker broke a $50 repair plus shipping and its picky of the ammunition. Wish I had bought the S&W.

  8. I have carried all kinds of hand guns for 50+ years & my M&P 45c, without external safety, is without a doubt the best concealed carry firearm you can buy!

  9. Before buying my M&P40 I read articles and studied videos. I wanted a S&W product because of word of mouth and name recognition but I being on a budget I kept an open mind researching all options. Weight, feel, options and country of origin. All of which pointed with my gut instinct. I did not settle, I was sure I wanted an M&P. I now own a full size M&P40 for home defense and a M&P40Shield for carry and after thousands of rounds between both of them I have no regrets.

  10. I have a Umarex M&P BB gun for backyard tin can shootouts with the kids. I have the M&P22 for plinking and low cost training. When I selected a full size house gun, I loved the ergonomics and features of the M&P, so I brought home the full size M&P40. It was an easy decision to go with the M&P40 compact for a carry gun, so that’s mine too. Last year, I picked up the M&P Shield .40 for my wife’s carry gun. When I decided I wanted another AR to go along with my “other brand” rifle, I examined a LOT of rifles, then chose the M&P15. My Smith&Wesson rifle was one of only a few that didn’t have problems during a 4 day run-n-gun in the windy Nevada desert. There were over 40 participants with everything from Styer, Springfield, Mini14’s, a few brought their SKS, and there were a handful of AKs. Almost all of them had problems by day 2. One other guy brought his M&P. No issues with his either. Almost any gun can function well and reliably in a clean indoor range environment. Smith & Wesson has proven to me that they build serious work tools that I can absolutely depend on and bet my life on. If they ever decide to build trucks, I’ll buy one of those too.

    1. Your story is mine. My daughter is shopping for the Shield 9 because she now understands defending her family goes beyond original ideas. My next gun is S&W M&P 15 Magpul. I had a few k-frames and regret now selling them. The revolver again has a future and S&W is the leader. They never disappoint.

  11. After the Slides cracked on 2 different s&w p22 walther pistols I abandoned S&W and got a SIG Mosquito and have never looked back…

  12. This love affair started with an M&P .22 because it had been a long time since I had a plinker. This one fit my hand so well and was so solid it wasn’t much of a decision to make to pick it even over the Walther .22. From there I went to the M&P .40, a lot different from my 1911 carry but I needed a new adventure. For economics I decided to by the Umarex M&P BB gun. I love all three, and have had a lot of fun shooting.

  13. I have a S & W Shield 40. It shoots great, However I have been having problems with the front and rear sights. The S&W sales rep. has given me several front sights because they fly off. The dot in the rear sight also pop off.

  14. I have the shield 9mm and the compact 22. I love them both. The 22 had some FTE’s during the first shooting. The next time it was 100% reliable. The 9mm is my favorite handgun. Fun to shoot, accurate, and easy to clean. Would recommend them both.

  15. I own the S&W M&P Shield in .40 Caliber, .9mm and the .380 Bodyguard (without laser). Planning on purchasing the M&P .22, as well. AWESOME reliability in a weapons platform and competitively priced.

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