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rpm8300

M&P Full Carry Optics Setup

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Hey everyone - I just wanted to share some of my experiences setting up an M&P for CO.  Please feel free to shoot me any questions.


I started with an M&P 9L CORE Ported - it comes with a ported barrel and some relatively small slide cuts.  It also comes with a Jpoint 4MOA look alike.  Its not a bad optic but not really the best for CO.  First thing was a non-ported barrel to make it CO legal.

 

I settled on an Apex drop-in which still needs some fitting.  Out of the box, the Apex won't fit through the hole in the slide and wont lock up - they have a great video and I ended up taking a small amount of material on the front of the barrel, and then a little off the back of the hood, and finally a little off of the bottom of the ramp.  Their video explains what needs to be done perfectly and the barrel turned out to be very good product.  It is extremely accurate but I'll get to that in a bit with the load data.

 

After the barrel, I played around with springs - I bought the steel non-captured guide rod from Speed Shooters Specialties.  That fit fine and worked well, but after learning more about the gun, I figured out that it takes the old Glock recoil springs as well as a G34 tungsten non-captured guide rod.  The SSS guide rod is a little heavier but doesn't extend to the edge of the dust cover.  The G34 guide rod actually seemed to work better than the SSS, but thats because I'm running a 10lbs old Glock recoil spring.  It will work with the flat coil springs but I found the best recoil spring for my loads is this one from Shooters Connection: https://www.shootersconnectionstore.com/Wolff-Glock-RECOIL-SPRINGS-1717L-20-21-22-24-31-34-35-P3491.aspx

NOTE - this is for MY heavier softer loads - more about that later.   For factory 115 or 124, I would run a Glock 13lbs flat coil, or maybe an 11lbs.  The lighter spring is important to prevent muzzle dip - recording the gun in slow motion, I fought any heavier spring and I had dip, and any lighter, the gun wouldnt run reliably.

 

The M&P also takes Glock striker springs - if you run Fed SPP, you can run them 100% with a 2lbs Glock striker spring.  Id go with a 3 or 4 lbs if you're not willing to play the easter egg hunt for Fed SPP.  This light striker spring allows me to get 2.5 trigger break easily - more on that in a bit.

 

For mag bases the Taylor Freelance worked extremely well - good fitment and 100% functionality.  I have been running the gun with springs that came with the base pads for about 4 months with no issues.  With the TF +5 springs you can fit 22 by design, and if you cram it you can fit 23.  Depending on recoil springs and loads, you can reliably run 23+1 at the buzzer.

 

For optics theres a little bit of drama. Long story short, I took material off the front of the pre-existing cutout to fit a Deltapoint Pro.  M&P advertises that you can run a Deltapoint with its OEM plates but that is for a first gen Deltapoint.  To get a DPP to fit you need to take a little bit of material off of the front of the cutout, and take one of the plates and shave down some plastic at the end of it.  It sounds like a lot but wasn't really a big deal.  The alternatives are plates and adapters that I didnt want to fool with.  You can run other optics right of the box as advertised, but for CO, Ive found the DPP is the best with the Sig Romeo 1 taking 2nd place.  On that note, there is a 2nd gen R1 that blinks at the top of its brightness which is the one I'm referring to.

 

For trigger, Burwell has a very comprehensive powerpoint if you want to do it yourself.  I recommend buying the Apex production legal guts and then doing a little polishing work to finish it off.  Just the Apex guts made it about 80% of its final config - minor polishing and sanding, as well as some JB weld to take out of the pretravel took it the rest of the way.  It has a very nice clean 2.5 lbs break with minimal pretravel.  After shooting a G34, Walther PPQ Q5, and Sig P320 X5 all prepped for CO, I'll say I like the M&P the best.  In fairness, this is just my preferences - other guns can get 2.5 or lighter.

 

Loads - long story short here, this gun with the Apex drop-in barrel properly fitted is extremely accurate.  For lighter bullets, i.e. 115, 124, no surprises, very accurate.  For 147 and 165, this gun maintains its accuracy, whereas other guns have had issues.  I ended up settling on a 158 Berry RN plated bullet at 1.16 OAL with 2.8gr of VV310, Fed SPP.  This gives about 128-130 pf and is super soft - it also shoots 1.25" groups consistently at 20 yards.  My buddy David Wampler, who some of you know as an extremely talented GM open shooter, swears I'm crazy for running these heavy bullets - again - all about preference.  An alt load is 165 Xtreme plated with 2.7 VV310 at 1.16 which gives about the same PF, but shoots 2.25" consistently.  All of the 147 loads, from Blue bullets to Rocky Mountain plated shot very accurate and as expected velocities.  147 RN Freedom Munition reman shoots 1" consistently and chrony'd at 862 fps in cold weather in the DC area.  Great practice load.

 

If you're in the DC area and what to check this out at a local match, let me know.

 

Pictures and a vid of me running this to follow. 

 

-Tom

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40 minutes ago, rpm8300 said:

That fit fine and worked well, but after learning more about the gun, I figured out that it takes the old Glock recoil springs as well as a G34 tungsten non-captured guide rod

 

Awesome write-up!  I didn't know that the Glock tungsten guide rod would fit, and I've been looking for the same for my CORE.  I'm struggling with accuracy with my stock barrel, so I might end up doing the Apex drop-in, too.

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1 hour ago, itlogo said:

 

 

Awesome write-up!  I didn't know that the Glock tungsten guide rod would fit, and I've been looking for the same for my CORE.  I'm struggling with accuracy with my stock barrel, so I might end up doing the Apex drop-in, too.

This is the Glock tungsten guide rod that I used in my M&P:

http://www.glockstore.com/Double-Diamond-Extended-Tungsten-Guide-Rod

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On ‎12‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 11:27 AM, itlogo said:

 

 

Awesome write-up!  I didn't know that the Glock tungsten guide rod would fit, and I've been looking for the same for my CORE.  I'm struggling with accuracy with my stock barrel, so I might end up doing the Apex drop-in, too.

I hate to say it but the stock M&P barrels are....well lets just say they are less than desirable... I changed my wife's 4 1/4 out for Apex drop in and the difference was night and day so I then changed out mine ( a 5 inch ) and have not looked back 

 

This was the test old and new using the bag to rest the butt of the gun to add a touch of stability that my 70 year old hands needed.

qegisTo.jpg?1

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2 hours ago, xpierrat said:

I hate to say it but the stock M&P barrels are....well lets just say they are less than desirable... I changed my wife's 4 1/4 out for Apex drop in and the difference was night and day so I then changed out mine ( a 5 inch ) and have not looked back 

 

This was the test old and new using the bag to rest the butt of the gun to add a touch of stability that my 70 year old hands needed.

qegisTo.jpg?1

Yes, I found that the stock M&P barrels with most ammo aren't accurate enough for competition.  I'm not surprised that the 4.25" Apex appears to be just as accurate as the 5" Apex.

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"To get a DPP to fit you need to take a little bit of material off of the front of the cutout..."

 

rpm8300: How much material did you have to remove and what did you use to remove it?

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18 hours ago, ddc said:

"To get a DPP to fit you need to take a little bit of material off of the front of the cutout..."

 

rpm8300: How much material did you have to remove and what did you use to remove it?

 

I can measure it but it is probably less than 1/8 of an inch.  I put it in my vice and used various files to evenly take material away.  It took about an hour to get it just right.  Definitely not rocket science, just takes time and patience.

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Its actually easy and better (in my opinion) to take the material off the sight. Thats what I did. Its only a sliver of aluminum and a dremel going slow with a little touch up black. Buggering up the slide was not so desirable a choice, as Im more likely to change optic, or sell the pistol some day and would regret altering the slide. 

IMG_0081.jpg

Edited by mpeltier

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On ‎12‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 10:48 AM, mpeltier said:

Its actually easy and better (in my opinion) to take the material off the sight. Thats what I did. Its only a sliver of aluminum and a dremel going slow with a little touch up black. Buggering up the slide was not so desirable a choice, as Im more likely to change optic, or sell the pistol some day and would regret altering the slide. 

IMG_0081.jpg

I did this on one of my DPPs and I think it may have messed it up.  I was careful about it and used a dremel slowly, but that particular DPP had to be sent back to Leupold.  They replaced the guts and its fine now.  After I took off the material, the autoshut off sensor wasn't working - the optic would shut off at 5m regardless of movement.  FYI.

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18 minutes ago, rpm8300 said:

I did this on one of my DPPs and I think it may have messed it up.  I was careful about it and used a dremel slowly, but that particular DPP had to be sent back to Leupold.  They replaced the guts and its fine now.  After I took off the material, the autoshut off sensor wasn't working - the optic would shut off at 5m regardless of movement.  FYI.

 

I think Dremel tools should be banned from the gun room :blink:, more damage is caused by them than anything else I can think of. A file would be a better choice. I suspect the harmonic vibrations affected the electronics, nice that Leupold fixed it.

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On 12/23/2017 at 1:00 PM, rpm8300 said:

I did this on one of my DPPs and I think it may have messed it up.  I was careful about it and used a dremel slowly, but that particular DPP had to be sent back to Leupold.  They replaced the guts and its fine now.  After I took off the material, the autoshut off sensor wasn't working - the optic would shut off at 5m regardless of movement.  FYI.

Probably just a coincedance. The problem you experianced is known and not unique to your example. If the electronics were that delicate, it would never survive the battering it takes during recoil. 

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On 12/5/2017 at 7:45 AM, rpm8300 said:

Hey everyone - I just wanted to share some of my experiences setting up an M&P for CO.  Please feel free to shoot me any questions.


I started with an M&P 9L CORE Ported - it comes with a ported barrel and some relatively small slide cuts.  It also comes with a Jpoint 4MOA look alike.  Its not a bad optic but not really the best for CO.  First thing was a non-ported barrel to make it CO legal.

 

I settled on an Apex drop-in which still needs some fitting.  Out of the box, the Apex won't fit through the hole in the slide and wont lock up - they have a great video and I ended up taking a small amount of material on the front of the barrel, and then a little off the back of the hood, and finally a little off of the bottom of the ramp.  Their video explains what needs to be done perfectly and the barrel turned out to be very good product.  It is extremely accurate but I'll get to that in a bit with the load data.

 

After the barrel, I played around with springs - I bought the steel non-captured guide rod from Speed Shooters Specialties.  That fit fine and worked well, but after learning more about the gun, I figured out that it takes the old Glock recoil springs as well as a G34 tungsten non-captured guide rod.  The SSS guide rod is a little heavier but doesn't extend to the edge of the dust cover.  The G34 guide rod actually seemed to work better than the SSS, but thats because I'm running a 10lbs old Glock recoil spring.  It will work with the flat coil springs but I found the best recoil spring for my loads is this one from Shooters Connection: https://www.shootersconnectionstore.com/Wolff-Glock-RECOIL-SPRINGS-1717L-20-21-22-24-31-34-35-P3491.aspx

NOTE - this is for MY heavier softer loads - more about that later.   For factory 115 or 124, I would run a Glock 13lbs flat coil, or maybe an 11lbs.  The lighter spring is important to prevent muzzle dip - recording the gun in slow motion, I fought any heavier spring and I had dip, and any lighter, the gun wouldnt run reliably.

 

The M&P also takes Glock striker springs - if you run Fed SPP, you can run them 100% with a 2lbs Glock striker spring.  Id go with a 3 or 4 lbs if you're not willing to play the easter egg hunt for Fed SPP.  This light striker spring allows me to get 2.5 trigger break easily - more on that in a bit.

 

For mag bases the Taylor Freelance worked extremely well - good fitment and 100% functionality.  I have been running the gun with springs that came with the base pads for about 4 months with no issues.  With the TF +5 springs you can fit 22 by design, and if you cram it you can fit 23.  Depending on recoil springs and loads, you can reliably run 23+1 at the buzzer.

 

For optics theres a little bit of drama. Long story short, I took material off the front of the pre-existing cutout to fit a Deltapoint Pro.  M&P advertises that you can run a Deltapoint with its OEM plates but that is for a first gen Deltapoint.  To get a DPP to fit you need to take a little bit of material off of the front of the cutout, and take one of the plates and shave down some plastic at the end of it.  It sounds like a lot but wasn't really a big deal.  The alternatives are plates and adapters that I didnt want to fool with.  You can run other optics right of the box as advertised, but for CO, Ive found the DPP is the best with the Sig Romeo 1 taking 2nd place.  On that note, there is a 2nd gen R1 that blinks at the top of its brightness which is the one I'm referring to.

 

For trigger, Burwell has a very comprehensive powerpoint if you want to do it yourself.  I recommend buying the Apex production legal guts and then doing a little polishing work to finish it off.  Just the Apex guts made it about 80% of its final config - minor polishing and sanding, as well as some JB weld to take out of the pretravel took it the rest of the way.  It has a very nice clean 2.5 lbs break with minimal pretravel.  After shooting a G34, Walther PPQ Q5, and Sig P320 X5 all prepped for CO, I'll say I like the M&P the best.  In fairness, this is just my preferences - other guns can get 2.5 or lighter.

 

Loads - long story short here, this gun with the Apex drop-in barrel properly fitted is extremely accurate.  For lighter bullets, i.e. 115, 124, no surprises, very accurate.  For 147 and 165, this gun maintains its accuracy, whereas other guns have had issues.  I ended up settling on a 158 Berry RN plated bullet at 1.16 OAL with 2.8gr of VV310, Fed SPP.  This gives about 128-130 pf and is super soft - it also shoots 1.25" groups consistently at 20 yards.  My buddy David Wampler, who some of you know as an extremely talented GM open shooter, swears I'm crazy for running these heavy bullets - again - all about preference.  An alt load is 165 Xtreme plated with 2.7 VV310 at 1.16 which gives about the same PF, but shoots 2.25" consistently.  All of the 147 loads, from Blue bullets to Rocky Mountain plated shot very accurate and as expected velocities.  147 RN Freedom Munition reman shoots 1" consistently and chrony'd at 862 fps in cold weather in the DC area.  Great practice load.

 

If you're in the DC area and what to check this out at a local match, let me know.

 

Pictures and a vid of me running this to follow. 

 

-Tom

 

Didn't know that about the non-flat recoil springs, I need to try one

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Nice! I have the PC 9L that came with the Jpoint mini sight. I'm on the fence about it , I find it easy enough and it stays zero-d very well, but it hasn't been all that reliable.

I may go with a Trijicon RMR 6 MOA as I'm using this to shoot steel for the most part.

You may want to think about dropping in the Apex flat faced forward sear trigger set.  .....what a difference it made in mine. almost zero take up, fast follow up

shots are so much easier now.Nice crisp  3# pull, I almost sold this thing, the stock trigger was frustrating me that much ...(even thought it's a cough cough Performance center)

If I do end up keeping it I will be dropping in the apex barrel too, too many people say it makes a big difference.

I'm kind of leaning towards going all CZ these days now , my shadow 2 has really spoiled me

 

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