I have been wanting to explore the AR platform beyond 5.56/.223 and took my first dive into that area with yesterday’s purchase of a Smith & Wesson M&P10. I am located an hour and a half from the nearest range that would allow me to shoot beyond 200 meters, so my first impressions of the rifle out of the box are below. But first, a little history lesson on the M&P10.
S&W got into the AR market with their M&P15 line. So far, the M&P rifles have been generally well received from those knowledgeable on the AR platform. Everyone I know that owns one has nothing but glowing reviews of it. The M&P line is marketed towards military and police (hence M&P) and the M&P line of pistols have made gains in the law enforcement market, an area S&W dominated until Glock moved onto that scene. One negative thing about the M&P pistols has been the poor trigger feel (keep that in mind moving forward).
Before I purchased this rifle, I knew I was going to be making upgrades to it in order to make it more of a precision rifle than my AR-15s. Enhancements already planned were a Magpul PRS stock, a free float rail, a bipod, a more ergonomic pistol grip, and an optic of some kind. Specific items I have in mind for these are listed at the bottom of the post.
A very light weight considering it is a 7.62mm rifle. The M&P10 weighs in at less than 8 lbs.
The rifling in the barrel is a 1:10″ 5R twist, which has had very positive things reviewed about it. I cannot speak for the 5R part, but the 1:10″ twist is the same as many high-end .308 caliber rifles.
The rifle has an ambidextrous safety and bolt release. Since I am a righty, I don’t see the need for them, but I do realize there are many southpaws that shoot. I operated the ambi controls from my left side and they worked okay I guess. The uncomfortableness I felt was probably just from me operating an AR’s controls with my non-dominant hand.
The flash suppressor looks like it will be very effective