M&P Endurance Test Ends

10-Dec-08 – 15:24 by ToddG


S&W M&P9

As we reported on Monday, the M&P9 endurance test gun — pictured left, brand new still in its box back in April — finally cracked its slide at 62,333 rounds. While the gun continued to run without any stoppages, Smith & Wesson asked that we send the pistol to them for inspection.


The engineers inspected it, declared it safe, and suggested we keep shooting.

Then the lawyers intervened.

So, the test is officially at an end.

For those keeping track, the gun fired 62,333 rounds beginning on 22-Apr-08 and ending on 5-Dec-08, a total of 228 days, or 273.4 rounds per day.

104 total range trips, for 559.4 rounds per range day.

344 total hours on the range, for 181.2 rounds per hour.

The gun traveled through twenty U.S. States as well as British Columbia (go Abbotsford!). More than fifty people shot the gun during the test.

But all good things, as they say, must come to an end. Thanks go out to everyone at Smith & Wesson, especially product manager Joe Bergeron, Senior VP for Sales & Marketing Leland Nichols, Consumer Program Manager & Champion Shooter Julie Golob, and most of all Dir. of Military Sales Ernest Langdon who first brought all of the players together to make things happen. All four of them took their turn adding to the test gun’s round count, too:

Joe Bergeron (#50,001)

Leland Nichols (#50,000)

Julie Golob (#40,000)

Ernest Langdon (#30,000)

So, what’s next? Stay tuned and find out …

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 48 Responses to “M&P Endurance Test Ends”

  2. sad to see it end, but looking forward to its clone coming to market 😀

    By lindertw on Dec 10, 2008

  3. Lawyers!!?? Since guns are inherently dangerous anyway, and S&W signed off on continued shooting . . . what’s the beef? Curious to know the specific issue they didn’t like.
    But, it’s really none of my biz . . . just being nosey.
    Great run this year though. Thanks for sharing the journey.

    By Blurboy on Dec 10, 2008

  4. Using a $500 price for the pistol, that’s $.008 per round (just under a penny).

    By upstateshooter on Dec 10, 2008

  5. it was a good run Todd – nice work.

    By Bryan W on Dec 10, 2008

  6. ToddG,
    Thanks for doing the endurance test. I was impressed with the test and the abilities of the gun. I saw that you did used the aluminum Blazer round and the Federals. Is that all you used or did you use other brands? I also wonder the difference between a 9mm and a 40cal or even a 45cal. The more energy produced by the 40 and 45 would (in my mind) cause quicker breakdown.

    By tablestar on Dec 10, 2008

  7. i’d think that since the 45 (m&p) uses a different striker, slide stop, trigger, trigger return spring, sear, locking block, etc than the 9, 40 & 357 i’m not sure you can draw any conclusions from this test and apply them to the 45. i may be wrong though.

    By David on Dec 10, 2008

  8. So, what is going to happen to the gun? There were hints of something interesting happening to it in the end. Were those hints just about the celeb shooters firing off the rounds culminating the origionally planned 50k rounds?

    Or are you going to continue with the same gun and a replacement slide (presumably with original barrel, recoil rod, spring, striker assembly)?

    By Mort on Dec 10, 2008

  9. Even though when I re-read things you say it’s ‘over’ and the ‘end’ I would have been interested in seeing how it would fair with a replacement slide and continued abuse… err testing.

    By Mort on Dec 10, 2008

  10. hmm I would’ve thought the lawyers could have come up with a document enabling this test to go on. strange breed those lawyers.
    Sad to this happen. this is only my second visit back here since Bali (girlfriend imposed ban from gun stuff), shitty.
    Hope to see something new in the works though dude, this has been an amazing test.

    By rob on Dec 11, 2008

  11. I personally am not super-impressed with the M&P line as being a blanket replacement for the Glock as some people have stated.

    The M&P45 is much easier to handle than a G21, but I wouldn’t trade my G19 for a M&P9 until they refine the product. Then again, Glock is on 3rd generation working on 4th, so we currently have apples and oranges.

    I’d applaud S&W continuing the test, or continuing to refine their products, but they show the same trepidation that has lost the American police market to the Europeans.

    By MHCPD on Dec 11, 2008

  12. MHCPD,
    It’s not my intention to start a blogging war, but I’m curious as to what is unrefined about an M&P? I spent a bit of time on an M&P when they first came out and couldn’t find a single thing about it that I liked less than a similar offering from Glock.

    By Rich Verdi on Dec 11, 2008

  13. I agree Rich, some people are just fanboys and go by brand name alone (NOT necessarily you, MHCPD…but some, you must admit)…granted, a Glock is a great pistol…but I consider it significantly LESS refined than an M&P. Glock is the pistol of yesteryear. M&P has taken the throne as better all around and is in my opinion a one up to the Glock. Feels 10x better in the hand also. I just purchased a new pistol and originally wanted a G19 but went with the M&P9 (LOVE it…flawless gun). I just couldnt get over the feel of the Glock’s grip…the angle and shape are all off in my opinion. And once I held the M&P it was over…went home with me.
    This is all, of course, just MY personal opinion. Thats why they make both…and I’d gladly take both if I could.

    By Matt Holland on Dec 12, 2008

  14. Oh yea, I forgot…Damn lawyers!!!

    By Matt Holland on Dec 12, 2008

  15. Blurboy — I think their lawyers just didn’t want the risk of someone (me) suing them if someone (me) got hurt shooting a gun they knew was “broken.”

    tablestar — The rundown of ammo was as follows:

    • Atlanta Arms 115gr TMC: 100
    • CCI Speer 115gr Blazer FMJ: 60,358
    • Federal 124gr Hydra-Shok: 241
    • Federal 124gr +p HST: 591
    • Speer 124gr +p Gold Dot: 249
    • Speer 147gr Gold Dot: 329
    • Winchester NATO M882: 150
    • Winchester “White Box” 115gr FMJ: 315

    Mort — Nope, the test is over. S&W will have the gun on display at SHOT’09 in January, then I should be getting it back.

    By ToddG on Dec 12, 2008

  16. i have skyy cpx-1 9mm my frame crack after 300 rounds, ur gun is doing great compare to mine.

    By bob jones on Dec 12, 2008

  17. Todd – Just out of curiosity – what are you carrying in the interim?

    I’ve got a spare M10 and a couple of Comp II speedloaders I could lend you…:D

    By revchuck on Dec 12, 2008

  18. Great effort Todd, and S&W crew, thanks again.This was like a big workshop on the gun I own, and I feel confident and happy with what I have.
    So, what will have now on mondays? Any other gun or product on your mind for testing? What about doing the same test but with the compact version. (S&W MP9 c) Will the shorter slide last more? just brainstorming…. Happy holidays everybody.
    Tood, Gracias y Feliz Navidad.

    By S Vega on Dec 12, 2008

  19. chuck — Thanks, you’re a pal. I’d take you up on it but the interstate transfer legalities would be so much trouble I’d feel like I was imposing. I’m carrying my other M&P9 for now.

    S Vega — We’re hoping to have an announcement about testing something new very soon. Thanks and Merry Christmas y tu tambien (three of the six words I still remember in Spanish and I have no idea how to get accent marks 8) )

    By ToddG on Dec 12, 2008

  20. Great test and contributers. Thanks!

    By MSH85CSA on Dec 13, 2008

  21. I am not a Glock fanboy by any means – I’ve spent a small fortune trying to best my Glocks with everything out there. The M&P has had hiccups – the broken strikers/firing pins, the right side slide release shearing, magazines issues, cracked slides. The guns are the best offering Smith has had in years, but I don’t see the gun as being “there” yet. A fellow officer just picked up a brand new M&P45 that wouldn’t feed out of the box. I’m just not trusting the M&P or S&W yet…

    By MHCPD on Dec 13, 2008

  22. MHCPD – Did your friend literally take it out of the box and have jams? I had a similar problem with mine. Then I cleaned and lubed it according to the manual, and that was 2k+ rounds ago with no problems…including my FMJ and RNL handloads and two different flavors of Federal defensive ammo.

    OTOH, if he cleaned and lubed it and *then* had problems, it needs to go back to the factory.

    By revchuck on Dec 13, 2008

  23. I think we can point to known issues with just about any gun out there, but one point that MHCPD brings up about the M&P is the primary issue I have experienced with them – broken strikers. I have had 3 break as of this post, with my most recent striker breaking just two weeks ago. I have at least 2 spare striker assemblies on hand. And before you guys say, use a snap cap, I was when this recent striker broke. I will admitt, however, that I dry fire a bunch. Others may have different results but these have been mine since the M&P has been released. They have been in 2 seperate guns. Now, that being said, I am still shooting the M&P because I happen to really like the performance potential with this gun. Currently, it’s just a game gun for me so I am just using it for IDAP/USPSA type stuff. I’ve been in LE for 23 years, so I carry a gun daily and have for a lot of years. I just haven’t switched my carry platform yet but if I do, I will probably look very hard at the M&P 45 4″ as a duty gun.

    I just order a new 5″ PRO and plan on shooting this one in 09….

    By Bryan W on Dec 13, 2008

  24. Bryan W — That’s the first I’ve heard of a M&P striker going south due to dry fire with a snap cap. How often do you replace your snap caps? If you’re dry firing a lot, even the high end snap caps are really probably good for around 2,500 strikes before they no longer provide the intended level of protection. That’s why it’s sometimes easier simply to replace the striker regularly than pay to replace snap caps regularly.

    By ToddG on Dec 13, 2008

  25. Revchuck,

    I bet he didn’t lube it – he likes guns, but we all know that doesn’t make you a “gun guy.”

    I’ll check with him.

    I really want the M&P line to sort out the issues that make the gun go click instead of bang. I do love how they handle and point, and the triggers seem to be getting better with more positive reset on the newer models. Hopefully S&W reads this and is working to see what they need to do to make this a gunfighter’s pistol. I’d love to have a 4″ M&P45C – Glock 19 size, 1911 capacity, in a lightweight and easy gun. Great on/off duty combo with the full size gun. Oh well, I’ll keep waiting and reading these things…

    By MHCPD on Dec 13, 2008

  26. Got a 40 S$W. Put about 500rnds through it, mostly my handloads, no problems! happy shooter!

    By Pete Roberts on Dec 13, 2008

  27. This was a great test. So far my M&P’s have been trouble free and I hope they stay that way.

    By TheReaper on Dec 13, 2008

  28. ToddG – could have been a worn down snapcap, not sure really. This recent one just broke the tip of the striker off, so I’m using it for my dry fire striker now. Works well.

    By Bryan W on Dec 13, 2008

  29. Before I bought my M&P 40c I found these on youtube:


    Although impressive, it showed me a weakness in the Glock’s guide rod. S&W took a step to fix it. I would love to see some of the “Glock Torture Tests” done on the M&P. The dirt, mud, ice, etc….

    By tablestar on Dec 13, 2008

  30. I’m a little surprised that the gun didn’t run longer. The Glock 9mm is a legit 100,000 round service life pistol; I would have expected the MnP to be closer to that number before failure. However, every gun is a rule unto itself, and every one of them extant is one round from rapidly disassembling itself. In a lot of ways, the MnP is The Answer. If monotonous reliability with little maintenance is the goal, though, the edge still goes to Glock…but at least that gap is narrowing.

    By Haji on Dec 14, 2008

  31. I’m honored that I was able to run a few mags through the M&P during the test! I’m looking forward to the Pistol-Training M&P9, especially after seeing the final results of this test.

    By MW on Dec 14, 2008

  32. I’ve had 2 M&P9’s about 1,600 rounds through the first one (Rev N) and 2,500 through the second one. No issues, even when I had to smack the second one on a bench to get the 1/4 inch layer of freezing rain (ice) off it. I took the first one directly from the store to the range and ran 300 rounds through it. The Glocks were terrific (I had sold my first one before the 40 S&W was on the market) when they were introduced, but they really need to do something about the trigger reach, I guess they’ll do that AFTER they’ve taken everyone’s money for this version. Not too inspiring.

    By Ian on Dec 15, 2008

  33. Oh yes, great job on the test, Todd and I hope you’ll be coming back to BC soon. I’ll make sure I get the time to attend. Any chance of running a test like this on my next gun (it’ll be a 45 M&P)

    By Ian on Dec 15, 2008

  34. Haji — There’s more to a service life “number” than just the number of rounds. I’ve got no doubt there are people with 100k through 9mm Glocks. But did they achieve that at a rate of 8k+ rounds per month nonstop? Were those guns only cleaned every 5-10k rounds and only lubed every few thousand rounds? Lots of variables to consider before making apples to oranges comparisons.

    Ian — I’m hoping I’ll be coming back to BC soon, too! 8)

    By ToddG on Dec 15, 2008

  35. Thanks ! Now i know why i just bought the M&P9 as my first handgun ever (i actually wanted the Julie Goloski but that’s not available in Europe).

    By PJ (The Netherlands) on Dec 30, 2008

  36. ToddG, it appears that the slide “split” at the impact side of the slide lock notch. Is this correct? Not having one of these in stock to check, I have to ask. To many slide lock reloads? VBG Jeff would have been drinking for years from just this run! Just kidding, but that is a lot of mags to run thru a gun. How deep did the crack penetrate into the vertical side of the slide? Since it’s a bar stock slide (or is it a forging from cast?!) might be a metals glitch, or they may need to re-engineer the contact angles or just radius the upper corners. Interesting! Thanks for the test and for publishing the results.


    By Blasternaz on Jan 9, 2009

  37. Blasternaz — Yes, it cracked just forward of the slide stop notch. It did not propagate to the vertical (side) of the slide, but I have no idea whether the gun was fired a few rounds or hundreds of rounds between when the crack formed and when it was discovered.

    By ToddG on Jan 9, 2009

  38. Todd, well dangit. I found your sight as you were starting this test back in April. Since then 2 viruses whiped my comp, and here I am finding you again after the test is done. Well, it looked like a success to me. I am looking into a 9mm as my next purchase. I just purchased a Ruger P90, and love it. I liked the M&P, but the .45 didn’t fit well, even with the grip panels. Ohh well. Good job dude, and I have your site saved and re-saved.

    By Col. Angus on Jan 16, 2009

  39. Slide cracked!? At around 60K rounds!?

    I’m gonna need at least two of ’em then.

    By MSO on Feb 20, 2009

  40. Refined?

    Glock had been in the USA 5 – 6 yrs when they failed the DEA test and had slam fire problems w Nassau county PD that led to the 6 part product upgrade of 1992. Then there was the Phase Three gremlin that beset NYPD and others a few yrs after that. A few yrs after that there was the rear frame rail problem/upgrade, not to mention the Illinois and Indianna state police problems…

    Everybody has bad hair days, even people w “perfect” hair. Glock has changed/upgraded just about every part on the pistol since it came out.

    Still a great gun, but no longer state of the art. Needs an adjustable grip and reversible/ambi controls to reclaim that title.

    By MSO on Feb 20, 2009

  41. Just bought a 4th gen 22. Did’nt change much but the rear serrations and the grip texture price was $625 with tax

    By Yankee on Feb 22, 2009

  42. Thank you for this great endurance test, and the regular detailed posts. Along with a few other resources, this series of posts was a deciding factor in my own agency changing their policy, and permitting the use and carrying of the full-sized .40 model, as an optional carry.

    By Trevor on Jun 13, 2009

  43. Trevor — That’s great to hear! Thanks …

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2009

  44. I am surprised that it died that fast. I have a colt commander that has in excess of 240K rounds thru the weapon, barrel was replaced at about 190K when it was hard to find rifling when held to a bright light. recoil springs are changed about every 5k rounds, mainspring about every 10K. I have had the gun for over 30 years, and shoot it twice a week 50 weeks a year.

    By PF on Feb 23, 2010

  45. That would be, on average, 1600 rounds per week for the last 30 years…..not buying it!

    By JohnS on Oct 26, 2011

  46. Sorry, my bad. That would be 160 rounds per week! I might buy that!

    By JohnS on Oct 26, 2011

  47. I know this is old, but I’m hoping for a response. I was told by someone not to look at the M&P 40 because they have slide cracking problems.

    You put over 60 000 rounds through your model before it happened. Is slide cracking inherent with these guns, or is this whole thing being blown out of proportion?

    By JaredV on Dec 12, 2011

  48. JaredV — A number of people were cracking slides with early M&P pistols. That number was small but at the same time few people had very high round count guns in the beginning. Right before this endurance test began in ’09, Smith made a change to the way the slide rails were machined that was intended to alleviate the problem.

    As more people get pre-’09 guns up to the 20k+ round count, I expect we will see more people who crack slides. Unless something has changed, Smith has always been incredibly quick to address the issue and replace the slide.

    It’s very important to keep in mind that the gun runs fine even with the crack forming. You’d probably have to ignore it for hundreds if not thousands of rounds before it would affect function… if it ever did. As long as you check your slide once in a while, you should be able to catch it well in advance even if yours does happen to be one that develops this crack.

    By ToddG on Dec 14, 2011

  49. I don’t understand why Glockites want to come in and squirrel away a discussion about the M&P to be about Glock.

    By CCPacker on May 21, 2012

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