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 M&P 15 rifles are shipping to dealers now.
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.
The new version of the M&P 15T 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 M&P 15 rifles, 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.