Smith & Wesson Updates the Big and Small for 2015
Edward Osborne 01.28.15
Smith & Wesson is no slouch when it comes to handguns. In fact, they’re the second-most productive handgun manufacturer in America—they pumped out more than half a million pistols in 2012. In 2015 they’ll be adding some new models to that long list of pistols and revolvers.
Ten years ago, if you’d said the only serious competitor to Glock would be another polymer striker-fired pistol from S&W, you would have sounded crazy. But the company has steadily built the M&P pistol line into a juggernaut, adding improvements and variants every year. This year is no exception. We’ll see new colors, new kits, and an enhanced competition model hit the market soon.
The new M&P Performance Center Ported is an evolution of last year’s M&P C.O.R.E. In addition to a built-in optic mount and elevated sights, the Ported model includes a ported barrel and slide to reduce muzzle flip. It’s also got three enhanced texture inserts for the backstrap that feature rubber stippling to improve grip. Add in an adjustable trigger stop to prevent over-travel and you’ve got a competition-ready pistol out of the box.
Threaded barrels will now be available as an upgrade for 9x19mm and .45 ACP pistols to capitalize on the ever-growing suppressor market. Americans love shooting with cans, and who can blame them? These extra barrels will cost approximately $80 when added at the factory, but will cost $175 separately. The 9x19mm barrel features a thread pattern of 1/2×28-2A while the .45 ACP thread pattern is .578×28-2A.
The M&P’s little brother is getting an upgrade too. The M&P Shield had evolved plenty since its inception, and in 2015 S&W has partnered with Crimson Trace. The new M&P Shield will feature an integrated green laser that replaces the trigger guard. The key advantage of a green laser is its improved visibility in daylight. Crimson Trace designs their lasers to be activated by your regular firing grip, and with a forward-mounted laser you won’t be obstructing the beam with your hand. S&W has already partnered with several manufacturers to produce holsters that are designed for the small-frame Shield with a little extra room for the laser.
Not one to stick with a single laser manufacturer, S&W have added a LaserMax system to their Model 642 mouse gun. The hammerless .38 Special revolver benefits from the no-snag laser, but still retains the factory sights. With an ambidextrous on/off switch, this laser doesn’t grip-activate like the Crimson Trace beam.
If they’re tinkering with the small, then they need to rework the big too, right? Well S&W took the big to heart, and produced a monster of a gun. The new Bone Collector edition of the X-Frame revolver will be a limited run of only 1,500 guns. The new five-round .460 S&W revolver was developed with professional hunter Michael Waddell. It features a 7.5-inch barrel with muzzle brake, integrated optic mount, and a fiber optic front sight.
If you’re a serious revolver hunter, the Model 460XVR is prepared to take any game in North America. Available for $1,680, the gun comes with the Bone Collector logo engraved on the fame.