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S&W’s Performance Center® M&P®40 M2.0™ C.O.R.E. Pro Series®Part II Live fire and handloads

01/31/2021 The M&P40 M2.0 C.O.R.E. Pro Series makes time spent on the range… easy. No loud magnum barks and bites, no subcompact reciprocating slide wrist rotating, no tiny grip clutching. The M&P40 is mild mannered in every way with the exception of the bullet leaving the barrel. The handloads that follow cost effectively cover a…

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S&W’s Performance Center® M&P®40 M2.0™ C.O.R.E. Pro Series®Part I A name that says a lot...

02/21/21

My mind set when purchasing firearms has changed quite a bit over the past few years. Where once selection of a firearm system was driven by aesthetic appeal, uniqueness and curiosity, selections are now driven by: product reliability, applicability to self defense and home security, flexibility, and availability of ammunition. No, I’ve not becomes a cynic, but I have become more pragmatic in my view of the world around me and ever less dependent upon others.

Full size handguns deliver the best ballistic performance and are the simplest to master. They have a long sight radius for more precise sight alignment, they have a full size grip for greater magazine capacity and firearm control and a longer slide’s greater weight and reduced reciprocating velocity result in reduced recoil, reduced muzzle rise and reduced slide racking effort. Overall, the M&P 40 2.0 5″ requires less operational effort under stressful conditions and, as an easy shooting pistol, it tends to log more practice time at the range.

 

S&W Performance Center®
M&P®40 M2.0 C.O.R.E. Pro Series® 5″ Barrel

SKU 11829
Manufacturer Smith and Wesson
Point of Origin Springfield, MA
Type Striker
Caliber 40 S&W
Magazine Capacity 15
Barrel 5.0″
Rifling 1:10″
Overall Length 8.5″
Overall Height 5.4″
Overall Width 1.20″
Weight 29.4 Oz.
Sight Radius 6.875″
Trigger Pull – Actual 6 Lbs. 1 Oz.
Rear Sight High White Dot
Front Sight High White Dot
Barrel Material SS – Armornite® Finish
Slide Material Stainless Steel
Slide Finish Armornite® Finish
Frame Material Zytel Polymer
Grip 18° with 4 Grip inserts
Manual Safety No
Magazine Disconnect No
Loaded Chamber Indicator Yes, Slide Top
MSRP $741

Also Available in 9mm Luger and 45 Automatic

 

The Smith & Wesson Military & Police product line was introduced in 2005, formally presented at Shot 2006. During its production run, the full size M&P has been chambered for the 9mm Luger, 357 SIG, 40 S&W, and 45 Auto. M&P 2.0 was introduced in 2017 and is currently available in 9mm Luger, 40 S&W and 45 Auto, each caliber in multiple configurations.

Why the 40 S&W? The 40 S&W has significantly more going for it in terms of bullet weight, bullet mass and kinetic energy than the 9mm Luger. The 40 S&W is a little easier to shoot than the 45 Auto and the 40 S&W has 50% greater magazine capacity than the 45 Auto in comparable size firearms. The 40 S&W is one of the big three in terms of auto loader ammunition supply and popularity, with 117 factory loads from 24 brands. More popular are the 9mm Luger 227 loads from 30 brands and the 45 Auto 129 loads from 28 brands, with the 10mm Auto’s 61 loads from 18 brands trailing the pack.

A  kit gun or maybe a systems gun? Maybe both?

A “kit”, in general vernacular, is a set of articles or equipment needed for a specific purpose; camping, fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, and road trips. In my experience, a kit mostly begins with first aid items and sunscreen, then blossoms from there. A firearm of appropriate type is included in all. Especially road trips within Maine, where Constitutional carry is the law, a centerfire handgun is part of the travel kit.

The S&W makes for an excellent kit gun in most of the noted applications. More than just being a reliable, high capacity pistol with a potent cartridge, it is also flexible and adaptable. No, that does not mean it can bend, just that it can be configured with accessories to better suit many applications. In the box are: two 15 round magazines, 4 grip inserts (S,M,M-L,L), 7 optoelectrical sight adapters, a full cleaning kit, and a frame tool… the latter S&W nomenclature.

In addition to the accessory rail and adjustable grip fit, the slide is milled to accommodate a variety of optoelectrical sights. The high profile conventional sights permit use even with an open reflex sight installed. With the slide top dust cover removed, the seven adapters included with the pistol will mount most brands of sights.

 

No, the C.O.R.E. Pro is not shot from the Hollywood B movie position, but if I inset the picture in the vertical position, I would not be able to fill the blank space to the right of it with a meaningful paragraph.

 

In addition to being a C.O.R.E. pistol, Competition Optics Ready…E, the slide stop is accessible on both sides of the pistol and the magazine released can be switched between left and right side. A cursory chamber check can be made through the port at the barrel tang. The trigger is refined, including audible trigger reset, as a Performance Center standard and the pistol has an adjustable trigger stop to limit overtravel.

Bottom side is clean with accessory rail and contoured, not concave front trigger guard surface.

Inside out…

An extended stainless steel chassis is secured within a Zytel grip frame. The ramped stainless steel barrel, Armornite® finish, sits low in the slide for reduced muzzle rise. Force required for slide actuation is moderate, slide fit is tight, but movement is slick. Disassembly is takedown lever easy with the only tool that might be required contained as part of the grip assembly.

Impressions – Live fire

Not the old elastic band triggered striker. It took a long time for me to enjoy shooting a striker fired pistol, outside of a last resort proposition. Smith and Wesson addressed the trigger issue with the original M&P release. The M&P 2.0 trigger is greatly improved over even the original M&P; significantly lighter pull, crisp, less creep and active pull is approximately 1/8″. Reset is short with tactile and audible cues.

The M&P 2.0 has more aggressive grip texturing, an understatement as the gripping surfaces feel like 60 grit sandpaper… but in a good way. It definitely adds to control of the firearm even under rapid fire where maintaining grip continuity is critical. Most important with this particular model is its hand filling size. Contrary to what might be gleaned from social media, every pistol does not have to be concealed in a shirt pocket and every pistol is not to be judged as to whether one or two fingers hang off of its grip.

The Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P40 2.0… catch my breath… C.O.R.E. Pro, was shot with two types of popular ammo, ahead of Part II which includes handloads. Barnes TAC-XPD 140 grain and Remington High Terminal Performance 180 grain.

The Barnes ammo, rated at 1,120 fps MV clocked 1,069. The Remington ammo, rated at 1,050 fps MV checked in at 1013. 25 yard accuracy, 5 shot groups were 2.25″ and 2.1″ respectively, reflex sight in place and shooting from a rest.

Whether grip size, heft, or low bore axis barrel, the M&P40 2.0 exhibited very little muzzle rise, making double tapping on a target relatively easy. I shot using the red dot on the reflex sight, then through the reflex sight utilizing the pistol’s metallic sights. The long sight radius made for accurate shot placement. It is a nice shooting pistol.

For folks who do not need to mount optical sights, do not want the 5″ barrel length or for those who feel the 40 S&W recoil is a little too stiff, there are derivative models. Fiber optic sights, 4.25″ barrel length and ported models are available, as are 9mm and 45 Auto chambers. I probably use fiber optic sights most frequently, but I have a growing appreciation for pistols with low profile reflex sights and there are a good number of inexpensive paddle holster that accommodate that configuration.

What next?

Part II, of course. I began by describing essential types of firearms, particularly those that are supported with the widest range of factory ammunition types and companies. Unfortunately, empty shelves and no stock online listings aren’t much help. So part II will focus on 40 S&W handloads, cast and jacketed, and potential of recycling spent casings into useful and, hopefully, good performing inventory.

SilencerCo’s Hybrid 46 & Omega 36M A two silencer solution to just about everything

02/14/2021

Invisible tools

Funny. I am always trying to think of things to write about that readers might find useful, often overlooking what is right in front of me. No, not my keyboard, monitor and cup of coffee, but rather what I often see, but do not consciously acknowledge. Yes, like TV news, critiques of my work on social media and people telling me things that are not immediately useful.

As an example… the other day at the shop, I was shelf climbing, excavating nooks and crannies and perusing the contents of desk drawers in search of 405 Winchester brass, when I stumbled upon a cache of dust laden Advanced Armament Corp. silencers. The fact that they were there is not important, but how and why they got there is of consequence. They were fired. No, not shot through or caught in the path of discharge, but rather their services terminated… pink slipped, given the boot, got the ax, etc., etc..

With six AAC silencers on hand, covering cartridges from the 22 LR through 300 Winchester Magnum, each had some minimum barrel length or gas pressure/volume limitations. Limitations that created a need to buy yet another silencer. When the project schedule included: 10.5″ barrel 308 Win chassis pistol, 16″ barrel 45-70 lever action, 14″ barrel 35 Whelen single shot, and a 338 Lapua bolt action, I threw in the towel… “No más“. And they were replaced with…

But, Joe. I can see them. They are not invisible!!…!

Yes, they are visible here, but not when they are used in a dozen projects without special consideration or accommodation. Between the Hybrid 46, left, and the Omega 36M, right, they do it all safely, effectively and without demanding more than routine time and attention. Both are flexible in adapting to cartridges and firearms, handguns and rifles alike. They protect my hearing, maintain diplomatic relations with adjacent rural neighbors and they do not degrade the performance of firearms they are assigned to service.

Hybrid 46 Universal Silencer

The SilencerCo Hybrid 46 is approved for use with pistol cartridge from 9mm Luger to 45 Automatic and rifle cartridges from 5.56 NATO through to even a short 16″ barrel 45-70 Government. The Hybrid 46 is approved for full automatic operation and it is approved for magnum rifle cartridge like the 338 Lapua with a barrel as short as 18″.

Minimum barrel length for any given cartridge is determined by muzzle pressure and case/bore capacity. SilencerCo provides a guide to remove the guesswork in selection. Full auto fire and big cartridge / short barrel approval, with noise levels below 140dB, indicates seriously robust construction.

The Hybrid 46 is constructed of durable Titanium and stainless steel. With exterior dimensions of 7.80″ x 1.57″ and a weight of 17.3 Oz it is relatively compact for a silencer that can handle the manufacturer approved cartridge range. The Hybrid is available in a number of finish colors: Sniper Grey: SU1532, Black: SU2271, White: SU2642, and FDE: SU2641. Sniper gray pictured.

The Hybrid 46 is supplied with: 0.46″ aperture front cap, rear Bravo piston housing with the spring and piston retainer, 5/8×24 Bravo direct thread mount, Bravo multi tool, Bravo basic wrench, and a comprehensive product field manual. To fit the Hybrid 46 to all of the rifles listed for review required three interchangeable direct mount: 11/16×24, 5/8×24, 1/2×28 as pictured below.

SilencerCo offers direct mounts in: 1/2″x28, 3/4″x24, 5/8″x24, .578″x28, M18x1, M18x1.5, 9/16″x24, 11/16″x24, and M13.5×1. The direct thread mounts carry an MSRP of $110, but are sold at significantly lower prices through retail outlets.

The included front cap has a 0.460″ aperture. Also available are 5.56mm and 7.62mm. Keeping the front cap closer to caliber size can additionally reduce noise levels by as much as 25 dB. Front caps carry an MSRP of $110 and are discounted at retail outlets by a similar amount. I ran all of my projects with the 0.460″ front cap in place and still experienced a major reduction in noise levels.

The Hybrid 46 has an MSRP of $999 in kit form as previously defined but, like the mounts and front caps, they are available through retail outlets at considerably lower prices. For the duration of the long list of project firearms, reviews and associated handloading projects, the rest of my silencers sat idle. One Hybrid 46 silencer and two accessory mounts replaced multiple silencers of another type and only a single $200 tax payment was incurred.

For use on tilting barrel pistols and subguns, a piston as part of a Nielson device is added to silencers to assure proper unlocking and cycling. A piston housing is included with the Hybrid46 and a variety of pistons are available with an MSRP of $86, substantially less through retail outlets. Pistons available: .578 X 28, 1/2 X 28, 13.5M X 1LH XL,13.5M X 1LH, 14.5M X 1LH, 16M X 1LH, 16M X 1RH, 5/8 X 24, 9/16 X 24,1/2 X 36, 1/2 X 36 XL, .578 X 28 XL, and 1/2 X 28 SN.

At 7.8″ x 1.57″ and weighing 17.3 Oz, the SilencerCo Hybrid 46 is compact compared to other products with this much cartridge range capacity. SilencerCo rates the Hybrid 46 as: 9MM: 125.7 dB, 45 Auto: 130.8 dB, 5.56 NATO: 130.4 dB, 7.62x51MM: 136.4 dB, 458 SOCOM: 138.3 dB, 45-70 GOV: 140.6 dB, 300 BLK: 123.7 dB. The reduction averages 30 dB to 35 dB in comparison to comparable unsuppressed firearms. dB levels do vary for any cartridge with the type of firearm, type of bullet, type of powder, length of barrel.

Some of the Real Guns projects where the Hybrid 46 was employed

Ruger 9mm Luger PC Charger and Marlin Model 1895 Dark Series. Using direct mounting for the Hybrid 46, the PC Charger functioned 100% reliably with both supersonic and subsonic ammunition and the Marlin handled full tilt 45-70 handloads without a problem.

I had reservations with this one, the Hybrid 46 used with a Ruger 77 in 17 Hornet. While supersonic and not silent, report was reduced to approximately 22 LR levels.

Used with a Ruger 77/44, both recoil and report were made moderate. Not so easy to accomplish with an 18.5″ barrel, the combination of bolt action closed breech, subsonic handloads and the Hybrid 46 made the 44 magnum incredibly silent in 200 grain, 240 grain and 270 grain bullet weights. Similar results were achieved with a 450 Bushmaster caliber bolt action.

Finally, the Hybrid 46 was installed on a Sporter weight 6.5 PRC. I was concerned with the smallish shoulder on the lightweight barrel, but this proved not to be a problem and, again, both recoil and report were reduced to moderate and manageable. Over the course of months, changing the Hybrid 46 from one firearm to another, regardless caliber and configuration was easy.

The Omega 36M

The Omega 36M, while considerably more compact than the Hybrid 46, is not down on capability. Listed for use with cartridges 22 Hornet to 338 Lapua Magnum, this one was slated for 350 Legend, 338 Lapua, 300 WSM and a number of 9mm Luger pistol projects. In terms of minimum barrel length, SilencerCo rates the Omega 36M as 10” barrel for 223 Remington/5.56mm NATO, 16” barrel for 308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO and 20” barrels for 300 Win Mag and 338 Lapua Mag.

I am not sure what I expected in terms of Omega 36 performance with this Winchester Renegade Long Range 300 WSM, but it changed the personality of this rifle/cartridge combination to one that could be shot all day without recoil/report fatigue and with maximum focus on the target. The ASM mount made pulling chronograph and target data in suppressed and unsuppressed configurations easy.

Like the Hybrid 46, the Omega 36M is listed as an all purpose silencer. Unlike the Hybrid 46, it is a modular design that permits it to be used in compact or full length forms. Where the Hybrid 46 is compatible with all SilencerCo Bravo accessories and pistons, the Omega 36M is compatible with all SilencerCo Charlie accessories, ASR mount pictured, direct thread mount, piston mount, and three lug mount.


The Omega 36 is supplied with a 9mm front cap, tools, carry pouch, field manual, and ASR mount. The Active Spring Retention system is one hand, quick on and off mount.

SilencerCo offers Charlie direct mounts in: 5/8 x 24, 1/2 x 28, 9/16 x 24, 11/16 x 24, 3/4 x 24, M13 x .75, M18 x 1, M18 x 1.5. Each carries an MSRP of $120, but are sold at significantly lower prices through retail outlets.

For use on tilting barrel pistols and subguns, a piston as part of a Nielson device is added to silencers to assure proper unlocking and cycling. A piston housing is available for the Omega 36M as an accessory, $129.  A variety of pistons are available with an MSRP of $86, substantially less through retail outlets. Pistons available: .578 X 28, 1/2 X 28, 13.5M X 1LH XL,13.5M X 1LH, 14.5M X 1LH, 16M X 1LH, 16M X 1RH, 5/8 X 24, 9/16 X 24,1/2 X 36, 1/2 X 36 XL, .578 X 28 XL, and 1/2 X 28 SN.

The included front cap has a 0.355 aperture. Also available are 5.56mm, 6.5mm, and 7.62mm. Keeping the front cap closer to caliber size can additionally reduce noise levels by as much as 25 dB. Front caps carry an MSRP of $92 and are discounted at retail outlets by a similar amount.

The Omega 36 has an MSRP of $1,187 in kit form as previously defined but, like the mounts and front caps, they are available through retail outlets at considerably lower prices.

 

Model Omega 36M Hybrid 46
Cartridge Coverage
5.56 NATO – 338 LM
9mm Luger
5.56 NATO – 45-70
9mm Luger – 45 Auto
Length “ 5.1 – 7.65 7.80
Diameter” 1.57 1.57
Weight Oz. 9.2 – 16.6 17.3
Construction Cobalt 6, Inconel,
Titanium, Stainless Steel
 Titanium, Stainless Steel
Finish Black Cerakote Sniper Grey, Black, White, FDE
MSRP $1,187 $999

Stoeger SxS Uplander Longfowler Shotgun A brand that would be difficult to forget

02/08/2021

Yes, I do live in 2021, but my most lasting impression were formed between the years 1957 and 1971. How does that play out? I converted all of my work and home systems from Windows to networked Linux Mint workstations and tied them to an applications server using old computer carcasses and disk drives. Why? Because the operating system and applications consume fewer computer resources, they are free of cost and free of an intrusive Bill Gates and company. Computers, networks and the Internet are components of daily life.

On the other hand, I firmly believe a supermarket selling whole chicken at more than 10 cents per pound, or new lever action rifles selling for more than $75, are acts of high crimes and consumer thievery. In fact, if a mid nap apparition of Francis Galton uttered the words “thievery” and “lever”, my spontaneous replies would, respectively, “supermarket” and “$75”. I also believe that life on the Internet is a fad, social media will never really take off and I need to have a DVD drive in my computer.

Impressions and associations die hard… which is why seeing or hearing the word “Stoeger” still makes me cough up the words, “Shooter’s Bible”. However, I do know that Stoeger has been a Beretta firearm brand, parked within the Benelli USA group of companies, since the year 2000. Located in New York City in 1924, then relocated to Long Long Island and onto New Jersey in the mid to late 1950s, Stoeger Industries is a business located in Accokeek, Maryland. The Stoeger’s publishing business, the Shooter’s Bible and a myriad of other shooting sports related titles, is a current product of Skyhorse Publishing, New York City, New York.

Stoeger – Everyday Tough

Drawing from a collective of manufacturers, the Stoeger brand manifests itself in the forms of pistols, shotguns and airguns. Stoeger’s auto loading shotguns are manufactured in Turkey, as are Stoeger’s pump shotguns and the company’s STR-9 striker fired pistol. Stoeger’s over and under and side by side shotguns are made in Brazil. I’m oversimplifying the Stoeger line up as the list of options and configurations within each product line are extensive. In fact, the Uplander Longfowler is only 1 of 31 side x side double barrel shotgun configurations Stoeger offers and there are scores more within each of the other product lines.

Real Guns received a good number of requests for a review of a value priced side x side shotgun and the Stoeger’s Uplander Longfowler 12 Gauge looked to be a good example. Stoeger’s tag line for their firearms is “Every Day Tough”.

Stoeger Uplander Longfowler Shotgun

Item # 31062
Manufactured E.R. Amantino Armas – Brazil
Type Side By Side Break Action
Gauge 12 (2¾” – 3″)
Ejector/Extractor Extractor
Barrel Length 30″
Chokes Extended IC, Extended M
Weight – Actual
8 Lbs 2 Oz
Overall Length 46“
Stocks A-Grade Walnut – Satin
Hardware* Matte Black
Length of Pull 14½″
Drop at comb 1½”
Drop at heel 2½“
Sights Brass Bead
Trigger Pull (Actual)
8Lbs 2 Oz
Safety Tang
MSRP $449

The Stoeger’s Uplander Longfowler is manufactured by the Brazilian company ERAmantino & Cia. Ltda.. The Longfowler product is sold in Brazil as the Boito A/681, the Boito name associated with Brazilian shotgun manufacture since 1921. If a company is going to entrust its reputation to a manufacturer in Brazil, why not pick one that has been successfully making firearms for 100 years?

The retail packaging is simple, but well done. So between factory handling and good packaging, the shotgun looked good coming out of the box. The metal pieces have a uniform matte black finish. A magnet sticks, other than at the buttstock and forearm, where ever the shotgun is poked. No hidden bits of aluminum or polymer.

The walnut is nice; good color and figure on both forearm and buttstock and with a matching finish. Not something always found even on much higher priced two piece stock shotguns and rifles. Stock fit to receiver is tight, fore and aft, with no noticeable gaps. The buttstock carries a little extra width, but still very good for a mass produced firearm.

The recoil pad is appropriately resilient, but not clothes or shoulder sticky. Clean, 12 lines per inch checkering patterns embellish the Longfowler’s appearance, however, greater wrap around on the beavertail forearm, and a little more tooth overall, would improve gripping surfaces.

The Stoeger Uplander Longfowler has a bit of heft. Listed with a nominal weight of 7 Lbs 10 Oz, certified scale weight was 8 Lbs 2 Oz. I did not check point to locate point of balance, but the gun has a very good swing, it does not feel heavy in carry and I was able to shoot throughout the day with 2 ¾” and 3″ ammo without recoil fatigue.

The Uplander Longfowler shotgun was received with a flush set of improved cylinder and modified chokes and a set of the same in extended versions included in the box with a choke wrench. Accessory chokes, flush and extended, are also available in cylinder, improved modified and full are also available. Modified, Improved Cylinder and Cylinder are recommended for steel shot. Chokes should be checked for tightness at least every 50 shots and removed, cleaned and thread oiled at least every 100 shots.

The tang safety is two position, on – off, and automatically engaged when the action is opened and closed.

The trigger is non-selective and always fire right, then left barrel. If the right barrel is discharged and the action is opened and closed without reloading the right barrel, the right firing pin will still strike with the first trigger pull, then left. Removable/replaceable firing pin bushings protect the gun’s breech face from firing pin wear.

The barrel to receiver fit is tight, but smooth and lock up is solid. Normal wear from opening and closing tends to reduce the break and close effort even after moderate use. The Long Fowler is an extractor rather than ejector gun which is my preference.

Performance

The Stoeger Uplander Longfowler was shot with a variety of 2 ¾” and 3″ ammunition, both lead and steel, #9 to #4 shot with good results. I did not put up pattern targets, but I did pop a few clay targets and the squirrel who kept damaging the shop’s propane lines. No, not while in the act of gnawing, but out near the compost pile while scampering away. For a long barrel gun, it certainly didn’t feel muzzle heavy. Might have been the hand filing forearm that seemed to provide so much control.

The Longfowler recoiled straight back, with little muzzle rise, which made for quick follow up shots. The brass bead from sight was enough, although I am not sure how much I used it. I have lousy shotgun technique, probably because I shoot rifles and handgun the overwhelming majority of the time. Still, awkward personal form or not, I could hit with the Longfowler. I also just liked the feel of carrying a side by side.

I was looking at some You Tube videos where a good number of Dremel wielding DIY gunsmiths were attacking the same model shotgun, from numerous angles, to correct a number of perceived problems. I have nothing against Dremels or DIY gunsmithing, however, sometimes a “fix” is just not necessary, yet it becomes a standard assault on a firearm.

Personally, I see no good reason to render the auto engaging safety inoperative. I can, however, see many reasons to leave the safety as it ships from the factory.If practicing with a firearm and learning how to use it safely is too much of a mental challenge, perhaps interests other than firearm should be considered?

In regard to grinding away at lugs and pivots to take the stiffness out of opening and closing the action. An alternative is to use the shotgun for a while, pump enough ammunition through it to become a proficient shooter and the action will become slick in operation.

During all of the live fire effort, there were no misfires, no difficult extractions. Just a reliably functioning double barrel shotgun. I like Stoeger Industries SxS Uplander Longfowler shotgun and I am okay with it just as it left the factory. Nice shotgun and available in 20 gauge for those with that preference.

Ruger’s Precision Rifle in 338 Lapua Part II Enjoyable range time

12/20/2020 I find myself at a crossroads in life. On one hand, I really want to build a’65 Falcon with a 460 CI Boss Block Ford and race on Street Outlaws. On the other hand, I want to make a sandwich, but the kitchen is so far from the sofa. Living in a state of…

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Please either Sign inorJoin Real Guns.