Smith & Wesson may have made its name in wheel guns, but it is a thoroughly modern firearms company offering a broad range of weapons including an extensive line of AR-style rifles. Adding to its catalog of modern sporting rifles is a pair of updated carbines: the M&P15X and the M&P15T Tactical Rifles. Both of these new guns are shipping to dealers now. 

M&P15X

The M&P15X is a straightforward semi-automatic rifle that has a number of nice features and upgrades. Starting with the lower, Smith & Wesson uses a forged 7075-T6 receiver with an integral trigger guard. The guard is slightly oversized to make it easier to run the gun while wearing gloves. The upper and lowers have a hard coat, black anodized finish for durability.

For the barrel, the company chose to go with a 16” length. Made from 4140 steel, the free-floating barrel has a 1:8” twist and 5R rifling. The chamber is designed for the 5.56 NATO and it has M4 feed ramps. Both inside and out, the barrel has a Armornite finish. The barrel is threaded and comes with the company’s specially designed flash suppressor.

Smith & Wesson uses the new M&P slim handguard. This carbine length handguard is made of aluminum and uses the Magpul M-LOK attachment points for the addition of your favorite AR accessories. S&W includes a 2” length of Picatinny rail with the gun for attaching older accessories to the gun.

Up front, the gun uses an A2-style front sight base. The company also includes a Magpul MBUS rear sight. Should you want to add glass or a red dot, the upper has a Picattiny rail. Both the pistol grip and adjustable length stock are typical M4-style.

Unloaded, this gun weighs 6.4 pounds. It comes with a Magpul PMAG 30-round magazine and retails for $1,239.

M&P15T 

Smith & Wesson M&P15T

The new version of the M&P15T is very similar to the M&P15X, but with a few significant changes. Some of the same features include the 4140 16” barrel with 1:8” 5R rifling and forged receivers.

The significant change comes with the gas block. On this rifle, Smith & Wesson did away with the A2 FSB and opted for a low profile block instead. Then the company went with its 13” M-LOK handguard to give it a clean look from front to back.

Since the FSB was deleted, the company includes a Magpul MBUS front sight with the rear for sighting. Of course, the sky’s the limit with any other sights or optics you might want to add.

Between the two, this would be my preferred choice. The nice thing, for me anyway, is that this gun is slightly less expensive than the M&P15X. The suggested retail price is $1,190. Of course, it comes with only one 30-round PMAG also.