Smith and Wesson (S&W) is one of the most popular firearm brands made right here in the United States. I would consider them the equivalent of one of the “Big Three” automotive brands like Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Their history dates back to 1852 when Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson founded Smith and Wesson. One hundred fifty-two years later, the first Smith & Wesson M&P polymer-framed pistol was introduced. While this pistol was aimed at Law enforcement, it took up great popularity in the commercial space with civilian users.
In 2017, S&W introduced the M2.0 Series, which included a full-length steel chassis, a rough textured grip, and the improved trigger of the Pro Series. That was the year I purchased my first S&W M&P9 M2.0, and that gun has won me countless competition titles over the last few years. These guns have the performance and reliability to defend Law Enforcement officers daily and are competitive on the sporting circuit.
One of the most important components of a firearm is the magazine. Not all magazines are created equally. They must be designed and crafted with an individual’s life in mind. There is no room for failure. There is no room for a mistake. The magazines need to be functional when someone’s life is on the line, and Smith and Wesson factory magazines check these boxes. Today we’re looking at their M&P9 17-round magazine.
The body of the magazine has a stainless steel construction which is highly resistant to rust and most types of corrosion. On top of that, it is coated in another corrosion-resistant finish. This finish also provides minimal friction to ensure that the magazine will drop free every time you hit the magazine release on your pistol. The spring is made of high-tensile steel for repeated use. I have some personal magazines that are six years old and still kicking. The polymer floor plate on the magazine mates perfectly with the grip module. This creates a flush look that is ideal for concealed carry.
Another key feature is that the magazines are made here in the USA.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 Mag — Removable Floor Plate
These magazines incorporate an easily removable floor plate. This makes it easy to clean and maintain. In a harsh environment like extreme dust or muddy conditions, keeping your magazine clean should be at the top of your list to ensure they keep running. You can take the floorplate off with any tool that will fit in the recessed area on the bottom of the floor plate.
Removing the floor plate also adds options for different magazine extensions to be attached. There is a wide variety to choose from with all different sizes. I personally like to swap my carry mags out for a +2/3 extension like Henning Group or Apex Tactical. For the competition, I like using +5/6 extensions which brings the magazine’s overall length to 140mm, the legal length in USPSA and PCSL. I usually stick with Taran Tactical Magazine extensions for this, and they are one of the most popular aftermarket magazine extensions. The Taran Tactical base pads bring my overall capacity to 23+1 in my M&P9 M2.0. That is a lot of firepower packed into one magazine. With custom tuning, you can even achieve 24+1 using an aftermarket spring, follower, and extension.
How many magazines should you have?
There is a golden equation to determine how many magazines you should have. This golden equation is N+1, and N equals the current amount of magazines you should have. I joke, but having several magazines for each platform you own is essential.
During the Obama elections and the 2021 pandemic, magazine prices were shooting through the roof, with PMAGs fetching upwards of $50 per magazine. I frequently tag an extra magazine or two onto my order when making online purchases to keep building my cache. I shoot more than the average enthusiast, so I save more magazines than usual. I like having around 10-15 magazines for my pistol platforms and 20-30 for my rifle platforms. Is this excessive? Maybe. Do you need that many? Probably not. I recommend having at least five magazines for a pistol. This gives you two fresh magazines for your everyday carry and three magazines for training. On rifle platforms, I recommend having at least 10.
Having several magazines will enhance your range experience by not needing to take breaks to load magazines as frequently. When I go out to the range for a practice session, I load all of my M&P mags before I leave. This lets me be the most efficient with my time on the range. Another point to note is keeping your magazines loaded at home. Whether for a last-minute shooting excursion or a defensive situation, having magazines loaded will ensure you are ready for anything.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shape — Reliable and Ergonomic
Smith and Wesson does an excellent job with the design of this magazine. The M&P9 full-size magazines are, on average larger than other double-stack full-size magazines from other manufacturers, which helps for several reasons. Ergonomically in your hand, it fills out your palm swell excellently. This helps with the speed and ease of reloading. Whenever I grab my magazine from a carrier, it indexes nearly perfectly.
The magazine’s larger size and robust boxy shape help with its reliability. The rounds stack up evenly, and they easily feed into the gun due to the corrosion-resistant coating on the mags. Over the last three years and over 150,000 rounds, I haven’t had a single M&P9 magazine fail. Other manufacturers are known to have finicky magazines (2011s especially) where you have to clean them after every time they touch the dirt. I have put my mags through some of the harshest conditions, and they keep feeding. If they get completely submerged in mud or other high-moisture environments, I will field strip them and clean them thoroughly. On a typical day on a grass, rock, or dirt range, you barely have to consider maintenance.
I want to ensure I have gear that can withstand the abuse I intend to put it through. Smith and Wesson can pass that test any day of the week. That is why so many officers around the country and the world trust their life with the M&P9 series guns.
Suppose you want to add more magazines to your selection, whether Smith and Wesson M&P9 or others. GunMag Warehouse has your back! They stock hundreds of magazines from various manufacturers, so you can build up your cache and be ready for any occasion.