January 27, 2011
In mid December 2010, Smith & Wesson made a momentous decision to begin packaging their M&P15 rifles with mag lock devices and captive 10 round magazines so that they may be sold in compliance with California regulations. S&W is not the first manufacturer to make this decision, but they are by far the largest manufacturer to do so. This decision has been debated for some time and there have long been rumors of middle men modifying, packaging and distributing such rifles in our state. So, we are excited to see a company like S&W support California and supply their ever popular rifles to its citizens.
Also, new from Smith & Wesson is the M&P15 Sport line of rifles. This rifle was built for the price conscious user who is looking for a good quality and inexpensive AR15 style rifle for range practice and/or home defense. S&W has priced the models at $709 MSRP (even for their California model). They were able to do so by changing some features that should NOT upset the majority of target shooting users out there. The barrel used is made in house – 16″ without m203 cuts, melanite coated inside and out, 1:8 twist rate, and 5R rifled. The 5R rifled barrel designs have been in use by Thompson Center, a S&W owned company, for a long time in order to produce an inexpensive and very accurate product. Those looking for a milspec rifle, this isn’t the one for you, but melanite has proven itself a durable, corrosion resistant, uniform coating that can be considered more accurate than chrome lining. Other differences on the Sport models include: an upper receiver lacking a dusk cover and forward assist, a lower receiver with integral enhanced trigger guard, LMT style removable rear sight and A2 style front sight, chromed gas key and bolt carrier and other standard A2 styled parts.
For those budget conscious shooters out there looking for a rifle that offers good quality with a low sticker price, the M&P15 Sport rifle may be just what you’re looking for!
Here are the stats:
Model M&P15 Sport™
- Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO
- Capacity: 30 round Magpul Pmag or 10-Round Fixed Magazine for California compliance
- Action: Semi-Auto
- Barrel Length: 16″ / 40.6 cm
- Barrel Twist: 1 in 8″ 5R Rifling
- Front Sight: Adjustable A2 Post
- Rear Sight: Adjustable Dual Aperture
- Overall Length: 35″ Extended / 32″ Collapsed
- Stock: 6 Position Telescopic
- Weight: 6.5 lbs. / 2,948.4 g
- Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
- Barrel Finish: Melonite®
- Receiver Material: 7075 T6 Aluminum
- Receiver Finish: Hard Coat Black Anodized
- Chromed Components: Gas Key, Bolt Carrier
- Other Features: Bullet Button
- MSRP $709