Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC), a leader in firearm manufacturing and design, today announced that it has supplied the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona with rifles from the company’s Military & Police Series. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has taken possession of 400 M&P15 Magpul® Original Equipment (MOE®) Mid rifles and is currently in the process of converting deputies to the new rifle system.

Serving in the largest sheriff’s office in Arizona and the third largest sheriff’s office in the United States, Maricopa County deputies provide generalized and specialized services for local citizens as well as other criminal justice agencies. The M&P15 MOE Mid rifles, which were purchased through seizure funds, were previously tested and evaluated against firearms from various competitors. Following a detailed examination period, the Smith & Wesson M&P15 MOE Mid semi-automatic rifles were selected based on their performance during testing and their professional-grade features.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, often referred to as “America’s Toughest Sheriff”, was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the same town in which the Smith & Wesson manufacturing plant is located.  Sheriff Arpaio’s office secured the M&P15 MOE Mid rifles after a number of violent incidents involving his patrol deputies.  This order means that every patrol deputy in Maricopa County will now be armed with a Smith & Wesson rifle.  “It is critical,” Arpaio said, “That deputies have equal or superior firepower to the criminals on the street, and these days that means outfitting them with these duty rifles.”

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office joins a growing list of national and international law enforcement agencies that have chosen firearms from Smith & Wesson’s Military and Police Series for official and off-duty use.  A partial list of additional Arizona agencies that have converted to Smith & Wesson firearms includes the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, the La Paz Sheriff’s Department, the Sahuarita Police Department and the University of Arizona Police Department.

James Debney, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson, said, “We consider it to be both a privilege and a responsibility to provide our nation’s law enforcement officers with the most advanced equipment possible as they work diligently to protect and serve the citizens of our communities.  Our innovative line of M&P firearms continues to meet the high expectations of these professionals and it is our steadfast commitment to these men and women which has allowed the Smith & Wesson brand to share an iconic place in law enforcement history. We look forward to expanding our relationship with the deputies of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and assisting them with their tireless pursuit of justice.”

The M&P15 MOE Mid is a 5.56mm NATO rifle that features an official Smith & Wesson/Magpul co-branded lower receiver and a mid-length operating system.   Based on the proven M&P15 platform, the M&P15 MOE Mid incorporates original Magpul equipment while delivering the accuracy and dependability that professionals have come to expect from Smith & Wesson.  Due to lower recoil, the M&P15 MOE Mid allows the opportunity to more accurately make consecutive follow-up shots.  The lower receiver features a flared magazine well to ease reloading. For improved handling, the lower is also standard with a forward serrated edge on the magazine well and an ambidextrous finger shelf that allows proper indexing of the trigger finger prior to firing. The M&P15 MOE Mid features a solid one piece integrated trigger guard and comes standard with a 16-inch 4150 CMV barrel with a 1 in 8-inch rate of twist and 5R rifling for improved accuracy. For extended durability, the rifle’s barrel has a durable, corrosion-resistant barrel finish and both the bolt carrier and gas key are chrome-lined. At the end of the barrel, Smith & Wesson has added its patent-pending enhanced flash hider which directs gases and sound forward away from the shooter while helping to eliminate secondary flash. The M&P15 MOE Mid is standard with a MOE six-position, collapsible buttstock; a modular MOE mid-length handguard; and a folding Magpul MBUS rear sight along with a traditional A2-style front sight.  For an improved grip both near the firing control and on the forend, the rifle is setup with a comfortable MOE pistol grip and a removable MOE vertical grip (MVG).

Image courtesy Smith & Wesson

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