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Smith and Wesson 40: M&P 40 Caliber Pistols

Smith and Wesson 40: M&P 40 Caliber Pistols

In 2005, Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P as a competitor to the Glock series of handguns. The M&P is a striker-fired, polymer-framed, semi-automatic pistol available in several calibers and variants. M&P stands for Military & Police, a designation the pistol shares with the company’s Model 10 service revolver. 

The M&P 40, specifically, fires the .40 S&W cartridge, which Smith & Wesson developed in cooperation with Winchester in 1990. This round offers increased power compared with the 9mm Luger cartridge and increased capacity compared with the .45. While not the first Smith & Wesson .40 pistol, the M&P is one of the most versatile. 


Smith & Wesson M&P 40

M&P 40 M2.0

The M&P 40 M2.0 is a reliable, durable, ergonomic firearm suitable for law enforcement, competitive target shooting, and self-defense.

Frame and finish

The polymer frame consists of glass-reinforced nylon with an embedded stainless steel chassis to reduce flexion. The slide and barrel are stainless steel treated with Smith & Wesson’s proprietary Armornite® finish — a type of ferritic nitrocarburizing or nitriding. This increases resistance to wear and corrosion significantly. 

Fit and controls

The M2.0 is the second generation in the M&P series. To meet the increased demand for modularity, the M2.0 has four interchangeable palmswell grip inserts — small, medium, medium–large, and large — allowing the user to customize the fit. 

The M&P provides an 18° grip angle comparable to the 1911 platform, which many shooters find ideal. The reversible magazine catch is the push-button type, and there are two slide stops — one on each side of the frame. 


Like many FN, HK, and SIG handguns, the M&P series uses a rotating takedown lever on the left side of the frame for disassembly. 

Trigger and safety systems

M&P handguns have multiple safety systems to ensure the weapon does not fire until you press the trigger. The first is the passive trigger safety. Unlike the Glock Safe Action System, the M&P trigger does not use a safety lever but a two-part pivoting trigger. 

Many shooters find this type of trigger more comfortable to press because the face is flat and consistent. The trigger unlocks and moves rearward as you press the bottom half, firing the pistol. There’s also a loaded chamber indicator for visual and tactile confirmation of the weapon’s status and a firing-pin block safety.

In addition to the M&P’s internal and passive safeties, the series is also available with an ambidextrous manual safety catch for additional peace of mind.

S&W M&P 40 M2.0 Variants

In the M&P series, there are several .40-caliber variants available, depending on your specific requirements. 

M&P 40 2.0 Full (4.25” and 5”)

The M&P40 M2.0, in its full-size configuration, is Smith & Wesson’s answer to the Glock 22. This pistol is suitable for duty, home defense, or competitive target shooting. Available in two barrel lengths — 4.25” or 5” — the full-size M&P40 M2.0 is fed from a 15-round magazine. 

With a 5” barrel, the pistol has a frame width of 1.3” (1.5” with manual safety), a height of 5.5”, an overall length of 8.25”, and a sight radius of 7.25”. The weight of this weapon is 27.4 oz. Available in either black or flat dark earth, this variant, firing the powerful .40 S&W cartridge, is a favorite among competition shooters. 

The full-length barrel and increased sight radius provide improved control and consistent shooting performance. 

The frame width and height in the 4.25” variant remain the same, but the overall length and sight radius change to 7.4” and 6.4”, respectively. The weight for this variant is 25.9 oz. 

M&P 40 M2.0 Compact (3.6” and 4”)

Analogous to the Glock 23, the M&P 40 M2.0 Compact is fed from a 13-round magazine and has similar dimensions. The Compact is available in two barrel lengths: 3.6” and 4”. With a 3.6” barrel, the M2.0 Compact has a width of 1.3”, a height of 5.0”, an overall length of 6.8”, and a sight radius of 5.9”. The weight is a modest 26.7 oz. 

The variant with a 4” barrel has the same width and height, an overall length of 7.25”, and a sight radius of 6.4” (half an inch more). Weight is 28 oz. 

In .40 caliber, the M&P M2.0 Compact variants provide a balance between controllability, concealability, and magazine capacity. 

M&P 40 M2.0 Shield (3.1”)

The M&P 40 M2.0 Shield is a lightweight, compact, thin pistol designed for concealed carry. The M&P Shield .40 has a 3.1” barrel, an overall length of 6.1”, a height of 4.6”, and a sight radius of 5.3”. The weight of the original handgun is 19 oz., reduced to 18.1 oz. in the M2.0. The width of the frame is less than an inch — 0.95”. As a result of its low-profile dimensions, the M&P 40 M2.0 Shield is optimal for inside-the-waistband concealed carry and is less likely to print through clothing. 

However, at this weight and height, .40 S&W defensive loads are likely to have stout recoil, so be prepared for that. While the standard magazine capacity is 6 rounds, a 7-round magazine with extended base plate is available for increased gripping surface.

M&P 40 M2.0 Performance Center

The Full and Compact M&P 40 M2.0 pistols are available in Performance Center configurations ideally suited to competition. Fiber-optic adjustable sights increase target acquisition, and a ported barrel and slide reduce muzzle flip during rapid fire. There’s also a trigger stop screw for overtravel adjustment. 


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Every M&P Pistol Deserves a Holster

At We The People Holsters, we offer dozens of holsters for Smith & Wesson handguns, including the popular M&P series, in both Kydex and leather. If you’re looking for a Smith & Wesson M&P 40 holster, check out our inventory to find the best fit.