Smith and Wesson M&P 15 MOE Midlength Review

m&P By Bradley Johnson

The black rifle. Most non-shooters recoil at the sight, or very mention of it. In fact, reading reviews of local shooting ranges has lead me to believe that many people think they are out right illegal. Of course (and fortunately for me) that is not the case.

I was born and raised in California. This puts me at a disadvantage among the shooting community. However, I was determined to throw my hat into the ring.

If black rifles are illegal, then someone forgot to tell RifleGear; my local shop; they carry everything the modern sportsman could want. I entered with the intent to purchase an entry level rifle. I've shot in the past, but this would be my first "black rifle". Apparently, I was not alone in my endeavor, because the line was literally out the door!

After handling several rifles (Spikes, Daniel Defense, etc), I left with an M&P 15 MOE Midlength... well, if only it were that easy. 10 days later...

After a strip down, inspection, and cleaning I was sure that my day at the range would be a good one. My first impression of the rifle was sheer elation! It was accurate straight out of the box, and it felt great in my hands. Everything functioned perfectly, and the Magpul add-ons were light, and handled well (surprise, surprise). I thought it was odd that the magazine was a 30/10 (30 round mag modified to only accept 10 rounds), instead of a 10 round mag, but I guess Smith & Wesson leaves the "California Compliant" part up to the dealer. The "Art of the Carbine" DVDs included with the rifle were really informative. Not only do they cover tactics, but also breakdown, cleaning, malfunctions, etc.

My wife felt the same way, and since I'm not much to look at, I've included a video of her firing it at the range.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Reliability. I've put one thousand rounds through this rifle without a single hiccup. Smith & Wesson definitely delivered a product worthy of their legacy. The MOE furniture only adds to the overall experience.

Target Market: This is a solid rifle. Magpul is a leader in firearms accessories, and for good reason. Everything about this rifle feels right!

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Magpul!
  • Magpul adjustable stock, pistol grip, hand guard, folding m-bus backup sight, and vertical grip. The magwell is also flared for easy insertion of mags, and the Magpul logo is stamped on the lower receiver.
  • M4 A2 front post sight
  • "The Art of the Carbine" DVD set. The DVDs cover tactics/range practice routines, cleaning, breakdown, malfunctions, etc. In other words, everything that the Smith & Wesson manual fails to mention.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Smith and Wesson M&P 15 MOE Midlength is available in black and flat dark earth.

What others are saying?: “Testing of the M&P-15 MOE Mid began with rapid-fire drills using a randomly loaded assortment of .223 Rem. ammunition—ranging from lightweight, varmint-type offerings to those appropriate for high-power competition at Camp Perry—and not once did the rifle experience a malfunction. Although this illustrated the rifle’s ability to digest a wide range of ammunition types, it doesn’t reveal its accuracy potential. As such, we mounted a Nikon 3-12x40 mm M-223 riflescope in the company’s two-piece P-series rings, then shot five consecutive, five-shot groups at 100 yards with three ammunition types. The rifle clearly preferred PMC’s Precision 75-grain BTHP load, averaging 1.43 inches for 25 shots, and the single best group measuring slightly more than an inch. More economical loads produced respectable groups, too.

With the M&P-15 MOE Mid, S&W offers shooters an AR that, right out of the box, is well-suited to handling a range of tasks, from protection and competition to hunting. As such, it would make an excellent choice for those desiring an AR-style rifle, be it their first or simply an upgrade.” - American Rifleman

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: This rifle is available from many retailers, including Bud's Gun Shop and Cheaper than Dirt.

Our Rating: + Magpul furniture + Iron sights + 1 in 8 twist

Score: 8.5 Great85