New Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact Launched

New Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact Launched
Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact has all the features of the popular line, squeezed into a petite package.
Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact has all the features of the popular line, squeezed into a petite package.
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact has all the features of the popular line, squeezed into a petite package.

The new Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact looks to have all the features of the popular line, but in .22LR – an ideal training pistol or small game getter.

Yeah, .22-caliber ammunition has been in short supply. But a guy can dream can’t he?

If he did have such flights of fancy, his mind just might wander off and trip over Smith & Wesson’s newest rimfire pistol. The Massachusetts manufacturer recently expanded its flagship line of semiautomatics to include what looks to be a sweet little .22.

The M&P22 Compact boasts the features that have made the tactical/sporting line one of the most popular in the world of polymer pistols. Only, it comes in a package Smith & Wesson pegs at 15-percent smaller than its M&P 9 and 40.

Much of this size reduction is seen in the .22 long-rifle pistol’s weight. Tipping the scales at just under one pound (15.3 ounces), it is nearly 10-ounces lighter than its larger-caliber cousins.

A good deal of the extra weight looks to have been trimmed by the incorporation of an aluminum slide. While the metal wouldn’t be the top choice for a larger caliber, it should function soundly with the lighter recoil of a .22.

The dimensions of the new pistol are very similar to the M&P 9 and 40 Compacts, just a hair smaller in overall length. Some of the idea behind keeping the .22 and its big sibling in the same ballpark in measurements is to give shooters a cheaper firearm to practice with – when there’s ammo to be had – and a larger one to carry for self defense.

Smith & Wesson has also aimed at giving shooters a leg up on the slim picking when it comes to rimfire ammunition. The company is offering 222 rounds of Winchester .22LR ammunition until December 2014 with each purchase of the M&P22 Compact.

The .22 pistol comes with two 10-round magazines and has a 10+1 capacity. It has the potential to win the hearts of lefties and righties, being fully ambidextrous. In this regard, it has a reversible magazine catch and ambidextrous thumb safety.

The pistol is a straight blow-back action with an internal hammer, and has a fixed barrel – which should help it shoot tight groups. And Smith & Wesson has followed the silencer trend by cutting the 3.56-inch, carbon-steel barrel with a 3/8-inchx24 thread, making the pistol suppressor ready.

The handgun is outfitted with a white-dot front sight and two-dot rear. The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation.

The pistol has a front Picatinny rail under the barrel for swift accessory attachment. It has the same aggressive rear cocking serrations as the rest of the M&P line, as well as similar grip ergonomics and texture.

The pistol appears to be a fairly affordable option with its MSRP $389.


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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