New Rifle: Smith & Wesson’s Economical M&P10 Sport

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New Rifle: Smith & Wesson’s Economical M&P10 Sport

Smith & Wesson is giving budget-conscious shooters plenty to consider with the release of the M&P10 Sport.

Why should shooters consider the S&W M&P10 Sport?

  • The Smith & Wesson M&P10 Sport has an incredible $1,049 MSRP.
  • This makes the Sport more competitively priced than other AR-10s on the market.
  • The rifle has a 16-inch medium-contour barrel and 5R rifling.
  • It also features a mid-length gas system and ambidextrous controls.
  • The A2-style handguard and M4-style buttstock are more Spartan but still functional.

It’s indisputable that the AR-15 has captured the fancy of a wide swath of the greater shooting public. And while the semi-automatic provides a deadly accurate and very manageable system (especially in .223 Rem/5.56 NATO), it is not a panacea for every situation a shooter might encounter.

There are operations that demand riflemen go big. And when faced with these larger tasks, the AR-10 platform is usually the solution — at least when it comes to semi-autos.

M&P10 Sport -Lead -1

Beefier in receiver and bolt, the bigger brother of the AR family opens up larger calibers, including the popular and ubiquitous .308 Win/7.62 NATO. Whether it’s tracking big game that require a larger bullet coming out of the bore to bring them down or a fast-shooting sniper rifle that reaches out, the AR-10 is generally the preferred platform.

Since 2013, Smith & Wesson has offered a solid selection of AR-10 options, and it recently continued to show its dedication to the platform with the introduction of the new M&P10 Sport.

At an initial glance, the new rifle does not appear to veer drastically from the original M&P10. Outside of a medium-contour, 16-inch barrel (with 5R rifling), the Sport boasts nearly the same features as Smith & Wesson’s original .308 Win/7.26 NATO. But there is one other important spec on the new model that should catch shooters’ eyes almost immediately: price. With an MSRP of $1,049, a price that should be below the $1,000 mark coming off a store shelf, it is by far the most economical AR-10 the company offers.

“The M&P10 SPORT rifle offers consumers a top performing modern sporting rifle at a competitive price,” General Manager of Smith & Wesson and M&P brands Jan Mladek said in the rifle’s press release. “[It] is well suited for target, hunting and competitive sport shooting.”

M&P10 Sport -Feat

Common to S&W’s AR-10s, and handy as all get out, are the M&P10 Sport’s ambidextrous controls. The company has gone the extra mile, making not only the magazine release and safety right- and left-hand friendly, but also the bolt catch/release. And with a mid-length gas system, the M&P10 Sport should prove a very manageable shooter, with less felt recoil.

Helping along in this direction is a nifty A2-style flash suppressor, which should also work as a compensator with the way it’s designed. The muzzle device does not have bottom porting; in turn, it should mitigate barrel rise, thus making the .308/7.62 more accurate shot to shot.

The handguard and furniture are Spartan, yet enough to get those who aren’t looking to doll up the gun on target. The M&P10 Sport is dressed in a standard mid-length A2-style handguard and handgrip. It also boasts Smith & Wesson’s six-position M4-style telescoping buttstock.

M&P10 Sport -First

The rifle comes without sights, but is optics ready with a Picatinny top rail and gas block. The rifle is finished with Armornite on the exterior and interior of the barrel. And the M&P10 Sport ships with one 20-round PMAG.

Smith & Wesson’s M&P10 Sport doesn’t really break any of the rules or blow shooters away with bells and whistles. But from all appearances, given the price, it should intrigue many who have been tinkering with making a jump to the AR-10 to go ahead and add one to their gun safe.

Specifications:

M&P10 Sport
Caliber: .308 WIN/7.62×51 NATO
Capacity: 20 (ships with PMAG)
Safety: Ambidextrous Manual Safety on Lower
Barrel Length: 16 in.
Overall Length: 34.0 in.
Front Sight: None
Rear Sight: None
Action: Gas Operated Semi-Auto
Stock: 6-Position Telescopic
Grip: Synthetic
Weight: 128.0 oz. / 3,628.7g
Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
Barrel Twist: 1 in 10 in. – 5R Rifling

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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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