Two New M&P Pistols: 10mm and .22 Magnum Review

Test target under a S&W M&P 2.0 10mm handgun

Smith & Wesson first attached the Military & Police Moniker to the Model 10 revolver back in 1899. The Model 10 is still being produced today, but it’s just one of many models that S&W calls M&P with the lineup now including AR-style rifles and a rather extensive line of semi-automatic pistols. The popular 9mm, 40 S&W, and .45 ACP sidearms were first introduced to compete with Glock for the law enforcement market but soon became a favorite among the concealed carry crowd.

I remember my first introduction to the M&P 9mm (2009) while attending various NRA courses to become a Texas Concealed Carry instructor. Fans of the gun touted its moderate recoil and ease of handling. Based on the recommendation of some of my fellow instructor candidates, I bought a 9mm M&P.

Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolver in a leather holster
The original M&P was what is now called the Model 10 revolver It was first issued in 1899 and is still on the books today.

As time went on, and I became a writer in addition to being an instructor and running a gun store, I found it easy to justify getting first one, then another, until I had examples of nearly all the M&P pistols in Smith & Wesson’s lineup. I even bought several used models that were police trade-ins to stash in various places around the house.

The .22 compact and full-size versions made great training tools. The Performance Center C.O.R.E. model was a great way to learn about and start using red dot sights. I used a .45 model with my first suppressor. Viking Tactical’s VTAC model made a great carry gun. Before I knew it, I had a pretty good collection of M&Ps.

Two models recently added to the product line have really piqued my interest. It just so happens, they slide in perfectly to fill a couple of obvious gaps in the lineup. On the top end is the 10mm and near the bottom is the .22 Magnum. I don’t live in bear country, so why do I need a 10mm? Because they don’t make an 11.

M&P 10mm Auto

I quit shooting .40s when the FBI did, because the recoil bothered me as it did them. So, why wouldn’t the 10mm bother me? Well, I’m not going to be shooting it all day, but it’s just different. I don’t know why, but when I shoot a .40 caliber gun it tries to twist my hand. By contrast, the 10mm guns recoil straight back. By comparison, most 10mm cartridges are stronger than a .45 ACP, but they’re not quite up there with a .44 Magnum. So, for me, if I need or want a little more punch, it’s nice to have a 10mm, but it’s not something I’m going to shoot a lot of in one session.

Previously, I wrote an article about how I thought this might be the year of the 10mm. Taurus introduced the TH10 and now S&W has its 10mm. I suspect Ruger and others will soon follow. A few years back, I sold my .45 ACP Springfield XDm and replaced it with a 10mm version of the same gun. I really like how that 10mm shoots. Let me show you a chart, then we’ll discuss it. This is for Federal HST ammunition. You can see here, for this brand, the .45 ACP is a much slower cartridge. That’s pretty much true of all brands.

Weight (Grains)
Velocity (feet per second)Muzzle Energy (foot/lbs.)
.40 S&W1801,010410

According to the chart, and looking primarily at the muzzle energy figure, the 10mm ought to be knocking the shooter on their butt. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a longer cartridge than the .40 S&W or what, but to me, subjectively, it doesn’t hurt to shoot as much as the .40 S&W does.

The M&P brings some things to the table my other 10mm pistols don’t have. Its slide is cut for an optic, and the gun is delivered with mounting plates for several common red dot sight footprints. It is available with either a 4- or 4.5-inch barrel. Mine has a 4-inch barrel. It weighs 27.8 ounces, is 7 inches long, 5.6 inches high, and 1.3 inches wide.

The fixed three-dot sights are elevated to coexist with a typical red dot. The sights are also tritium night sights. It has the newer M2.0 flat-face trigger which breaks at 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Its low barrel bore axis helps reduce muzzle rise and facilitates faster aim recovery. Like all M&Ps, it features an 18-degree grip angle for natural point of aim.

Optics cut and three dot sights on the S&W M&P 2.0 10mm handgun
Not only is the 10mm M&P cut for mounting an optic, but it also features elevated three-dot tritium sights to co-witness with the red dot.

The gun ships with four interchangeable palm swell grip inserts for optimal hand fit and trigger reach. The 2.0 grip texture allows the user to manage recoil and keep a firm grip in all sorts of weather conditions. The 1 in 10-inch twist M&P M2.0 barrel enhances accuracy.

An extended, rigid, embedded stainless-steel chassis is there to reduce flex and torque when firing. Another improvement, the takedown lever and sear deactivation systems allow for disassembly without pulling the trigger. The slide has fish scale serrations front and rear. It is also ambidextrous.

M&P .22 Magnum

The new S&W M&P22 Magnum is a polymer-framed autoloader that pairs a TEMPO gas-operated barrel system with an internal hammer-fired action — the same one used in the M&P 5.7. The M&P22 Magnum is optics-ready, fully ambidextrous, has a flat-faced trigger, and 4.35-inch stainless-steel barrel. It ships with two 30-round, flush-fitting magazines. If you’ve never owned a .22 Magnum, they are some fun to shoot. It has a loud report and spits fire (so much fire they almost blind you at night).

Test target under a S&W M&P 2.0 .22 Magnum handgun
The M&P .22 Magnum is plenty accurate for most chores.

The caliber is sometimes called .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, but also .22 WMR, .22 Magnum, .22 WMRF, .22 MRF, or .22 Mag. These are all different names for the same cartridge. The U.S. military M4 rifle makes the same size hole as a .22 Magnum. Both rounds measure .224 inches at the base, but there is a significant difference in performance.

An AR shooting a 5.56 drives a 55-grain bullet at 3,200 fps, while a .22 WMR handgun drives a 40-grain bullet at something around 2,200 fps. The terminal concept of both rounds is to destroy flesh or internal organs by a tumbling action. So, although we don’t seriously recommend a .22 Magnum as a self-defense gun, in a pinch, it could become one — especially with a 30-round magazine.

Part of its potential as a defensive weapon is the loudness of the bang and the brightness of the muzzle flash. Nobody wants to get shot, and the .22 WMR does a great job of imitating a more powerful gun. It’s lightweight, has a 3-pound trigger, and is the same size as the S&W 5.7×28, but a lot cheaper to shoot. Makes a darn good varmint pistol, too. MSRP on the 10mm’s runs $669 to $749. MSRP for the 22 Magnum is $649 (at the time of this writing).

How many M&Ps do you own? What are your favorite calibers? How would the 10mm or .22 Mag fit in your collection. Share your answers or M&P review in the Comment section.

  • Collection of nine S&W M&P semi-automatic handguns in a variety of calibers
  • Field stripped Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 10mm
  • Field stripped S&W M&P .22 MAg semi-auto handgun
  • 5-inch Tempo locked-breech, gas-operated, rotating barrel assembly
  • Optics cut and three dot sights on the S&W M&P 2.0 10mm handgun
  • Smith and Wesson M&P .22 Magnum semi-automatic handgun, left profile
  • M&P 2.0 semi-automatic pistol chambered in 10mm, left profile
  • Test target under a S&W M&P 2.0 .22 Magnum handgun
  • Test target under a S&W M&P 2.0 10mm handgun
  • M&P 2.0 semi-automatic pistol chambered in 10mm, right profile
  • Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolver in a leather holster

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
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 (11)

  1. Don, I obviously mistyped on the .22 WMR Muzzle Velocity. That will run in the 2200 fps or more for most ammo. I don’t experience accuracy issues with my .22 Magnum pistols. I have several and they pretty much shoot where I point them.

  2. For the life of me, I don’t get the neverending whining about the .40 S&W. I have been shooting and enjoying it in my Glocks (22 & 23) since it’s introduction. Since then, my Beretta 96A1 has become my favorite shooter but I also love my Browning Hi Power 40. I also picked up Ruger PCC in 40 primarily because it uses Glock mags. I also enjoy the 10mm but it does have a good bit more recoil. I actually like the 10mm in my S&W 610 revolver.

  3. 1200 fps for even a 40 gr. 22 mag ? You are talking about a standard velocity 22 LR. Even 40 gr. 22 mag at low end is 1800 fps. 30 gr. Up to 2200 fps. Maybe a typo but come on. Even out of a 4.5 in. Barrel I’m sure would be well over 1500 fps.

  4. Since SIG is not building the 10mm I want, I am seriously considering the S&W. I want a SIG 227 in 10mm, ported, optic ready. I’d even have the gun ported if need be. Right now I am thinking of buying 3 S&W’s. .22 Mag, 10mm, and 5.7×28.

  5. You might want to check your FPS muzzle velocity on your 22 magnum ammo, 1200 FPS IS pretty slow . Most are around 1850 FPS and there are some even faster.

  6. The M&P .22 mag is a lot of fun, but it’s accuracy leaves something to be desired, and has reliability issues with some brands. If you want accuracy and reliability ( and considerably less $$) Try the Walther WMP .22mag 15+1 cap but way more reliable and accurate.

  7. I would like to know if a Tisas 1911, 10mm or a M&P 10mm is eligible to be shipped to CA.

  8. I love the 40 S&W and the 10mm as outdoorsmans’ guns. The 40 S&W packs a punch with way less recoil. Some people have been touting a 9mm with hard cast bullets for bears. The 40 should easily do better. I bought the delta elite way back and it did the up and twist recoil. I recently shot the TISAS 1911 10mm and it just flipped back but was quite snappy! Shooting the new M&P 10mm along side it gave a much more subdued recoil. However the trigger pull was stiffer than the TISAS and the TISAS gave 2″ groups standing at 17 yards while the M&P gave 4.5″ groups. I like shooting the M&P better so I’ll put in a new spring kit into it and see if I can reduce the trigger pull and the groups.

  9. Get some Underwood ammo for the 10mm. 567ftlbs of energy is really not 10mm power. Power loads approach 800ftlbs. Underwood 155grain jhp is around 770ftlbs and is true 10mm loading. Most all their 10mm loads are around 700ftlbs +.

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