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Old 04-14-2014, 12:50 AM   #1
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Default Comparing a Glock and an M&P

I've been a Glock owner for about 9 years or so, and had shot a few M&P pistols since they came out. Now, having just acquired my first M&P I thought I'd take a few minutes to share some of the design similarities and differences between the M&P and the Glock pistols.

The M&P that I picked up is a full size .40 and is comparable in size to the Glock 17 or 22. It is a bit larger than the 19 or 23 size Glock offerings. I've got the M&P posed with a Glock 19 and 17 here for comparison. First similarities that jump to mind is that both makes are polymer framed, and striker fired pistols.





The 17 of mine has had a few customizations along the way. I have cut the grip down to accommodate the shorter G19s 15 round mags in addition to any of the larger capacity 9mm Glock mags. Most of the comparisons will be of the M&P alongside of the 17 since they are the closest in size. (pardon my dirty G17 in the pictures as it is kind of a high mileage beast and is kind of my range mule. It doesn't get cleaned after every outing, but usually once a month or so.) One thing to notice is slide length and sight radius. Very similar dimensions in both regards here. The rear beavertail on the M&P makes it just a hair longer overall.



Taking the pistols apart we can compare the frames a bit to see the fire control parts and compare some of the internals. (M&P on top, Glock on the bottom) First we can see the differences in take down levers. The M&P uses a flip down lever that is rotated downward with the slide locked to the rear. The M& P has a yellow tab inside the frame that can be pushed to decock the striker before the slide is moved forward. Or the trigger can be pulled like the Glock. The Glock uses small pulldown levers on both sides of eh frame that are pulled down with the slide retracted slightly to the rear after the trigger is pulled on an empty chamber.





Other things to note on the frames are that the triggers are different in execution of trigger block safety. The Glock uses a split trigger with a lever that must be pushed to allow the trigger to move rearward. The S&W uses a hinged two piece trigger that requires that the lower half be pulled to move the block out of the way and allow for rearward travel. Also the Glock trigger guard is kind of beefy and squared at the front, and has a deeper undercut near the point that it joins the frame near the grip, allowing for the gun to sit a bit deeper in the hand. Again this Glock has a extended mag release, and extended slide release as modifications, but both guns exhibit well placed controls that are easy to get to. The other big thing the M&P has is the interchangeable back straps for fitting different hands. Current Gen 4 Glocks have this as well, but my old Gen 2 Glock does not.



When we look at the fire control parts inside the two pistols, (Glock on the far side and M&P nearest), we can see that the trigger bars are similar in design but have located the portions that move the striker block in different locations. The protrusion that accomplishes this for the Glock is further forward and has a shallow and longer angle that goes at a constant slope. The M&P has a multi- angled protrusion that has a steeper slope. This difference is perceived during the trigger pull. In the Glock it feels like a constant build of pressure as the trigger bar moves rearward. In the M&P it is perceived as a three part series of small gritty clicks near the end of the trigger pull. Also notable are differences in sear blocks. The Glock unit fits inside the frame and inside the slide rails, which are stamped metal inserts and is made out of polymer with metal parts inserted. The M&P Uses a sear block that is cast metal and houses the sear parts an also has the slide rails cast as a part of this block. The ejector is part of the block on the Glock, and on the M&P it is a pined in part along with the sear and the sear spring and plunger. The sear is a separate small MIM part on the M&P while on the Glock it is a stamped part. Total individual trigger parts are fewer on the Glock which makes it simpler. Whether that is better or not is a matter of opinion.





Looking at the inside of the slides we can see other minor differences in execution but design concepts are about the same. Again both slides are about the same in overall length, the M&P slide is just a bit thicker at it's wides point. the biggest differences are in the placement of the striker block, safety. That safety is seen as a silver metallic circular plunger on the underside of the slide. This is what that protrusion on the trigger bar must push up and into the slide as the trigger is pulled rearward to allow the striker to move forward and strike the primer. This prevents the striker from moving forward unless the trigger is fully depressed to the rear. This can prevent discharge when dropped or with heavy impact. Of course with the trigger not pulled the striker is also not being pulled to full cock either, and is only partially set.

One can also see that both pistols use a flat wound recoil spring. The M&P uses a Steel guide rod while the Gen 2 Glock uses a plastic one. The barrel of the Glock uses polygonal rifling, which is easier to clean, and contributes to higher velocities slightly. The down side is that it is not tolerant of lead bullets, and hand-loaders often will replace the barrel or skip Glock all together. The M&P barrel uses conventional rifling, and will readily use lead cast bullets. Slide construction is similar, but Glock uses a tennifer treatment to their slides to inhibit corrosion under their coating. The S&W uses a Stainless steel slide and protective coating.





As can be seen the M&P slide, (with the green on the recoil spring or on the left in the bottom picture), has the striker block plunger further to the rear. Both the Glock and M&P plunger have compound angles, or sloped sides to make the upward push into the slide go smother. However, the Glock plunger sits a bit deeper and does not have as much vertical surface exposed beyond the surface of the slide, while the M&P has more of the vertical surface exposed. If we go back to the pictures of the slide, and look at the trigger bar protrusions that engage these plungers, you can see that the multiple angles on the M&P and steeper angle help contribute to the crunchy feel of the end of the trigger pull. Having a radiused plunger may help this smooth out.

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Old 04-14-2014, 02:59 AM   #2
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(Continued)

In handling characteristics bore axis, or height of the center of the bore above the hand, contributes to how severe muzzle flip can be as well as how controllable the gun can be under rapid fire. This can also affect perceived recoil. The Glock and M&P seem to be almost identical in this regard.



As I had mentioned before the undercut of the trigger guard is a bit deeper on the Glock than on the M&P. this lets the pistol sit a bit deeper in the hand and can also contribute to recoil control.



OFten people will state that the reason that they do not like Glock is because of the grip angle. The grip angle on the M&P and Glock are very similar, but the overall contour of the M&P grip along with the interchangeable back straps make getting the most comfortable grip easier for the buyer right out of the box. The cut of the frame back strap up under the slide is about the same on both guns, which helps again with how deep the gun sits in the hand.



Both guns will detail strip using only a punch. The M&P includes this punch as a part of the gun as it is also used to retain the interchangeable back strap inserts. Both guns are similar in price. Both guns are similar in capacity in same caliber and corresponding model, such as full size, compact, etc. The Glock does have a 33 round mag available in 9mm that was intended for use with the full auto Glock 18 model. Glock magazines are metal lined with polymer coating, that helps them wear a bit better than some all steel mags, and protects them from bending when dropped. Ive had no feeding problems from either model's mags. The M&P mags have witness holes for capacity on the sides, While the Glock has witness holes on the back of the mag.



Over all I like both guns,and find them both very shootable. Accuracy is very similar. Price is similar. Engineering is similar, though execution is different.

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Old 04-14-2014, 05:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc View Post
The Glock does have a 33 round mag available in 9mm that was intended for use with the full auto Glock 18 model.
Please note there are 30 round 9mm magazines available for the M&P line, with +6 extensions available.

I have no experience with either product so I cannot speak to their reliability. The price seems reasonable.

32 Round 9mm Magazine:

http://m.sportsmansguide.com/Product.aspx?a=575772&tab=1

25 Round .40 S&W Magazine:

http://promagindustries.com/smith-wesson/135-s-w-mp-40-40sw-25rd-blue-steel-magazine.html

Extension 9mm / .40 S&W:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/691014/arredondo-extended-magazine-base-pad-s-and-w-m-and-p-9mm-6-40-s-and-w-5-nylon-black

As I understand it there are several companies putting out "fun sticks" for the M&P line nowadays.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:25 AM   #4
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And Doc, thank you very much for the write-up. It was very excellent and thorough. A good look at both firearms.

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Old 04-14-2014, 05:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JW357 View Post
Please note there are 30 round 9mm magazines available for the M&P line, with +6 extensions available.

I have no experience with either product so I cannot speak to their reliability. The price seems reasonable.

32 Round 9mm Magazine:

http://m.sportsmansguide.com/Product.aspx?a=575772&tab=1

25 Round .40 S&W Magazine:

http://promagindustries.com/smith-wesson/135-s-w-mp-40-40sw-25rd-blue-steel-magazine.html

Extension 9mm / .40 S&W:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/691014/arredondo-extended-magazine-base-pad-s-and-w-m-and-p-9mm-6-40-s-and-w-5-nylon-black

As I understand it there are several companies putting out "fun sticks" for the M&P line nowadays.

Yes, thanks. I should have specified, factory stock mags. S&W doesn't offer them. I've had problems with aftermarket extended mags, with the exception of some MecGar extended mags for my Beretta 92FS. ProMags have been garbage. I've like the consistency of mag quality u get from Glock, and the price is reasonable. Unlike my Sig, where mags run nearly double the price ofany other, and right now I can't find a reasonable availability or price for a factory Sig 220 mag.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:52 AM   #6
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And Doc, thank you very much for the write-up. It was very excellent and thorough. A good look at both firearms.
Thank you for the kind words. I had to tear into the M&P and see what made it tick, along with what S&W did to further the design concept, besides changing the grip.

I actually did do some stoning and polishing of some of the trigger surfaces. It did seem to smooth things out a bit. The sear block still presents a bit of a challenge to improve with just stock parts.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:57 AM   #7
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When you get a polymer pistol or 10/22 magazine the first thing you need to do is wash the magazine with dish washing liquid and warm water. People have given me several 32 shot promags over the years. I fixed everyone of them by simply washing the magazine.

New from the factory the magazines still have the mold release agent and plastic sawdust inside of them. Giving the magazine a good scrubbing really helps. When you load a magazine outdoors you pick up all kinds of small debris. So you do need to wash a polymer magazine a couple times a year. YMMV

Like everyone else here I have never had a problem with a glock factory magazine. The factory Glock magazine is clean on day one and it stays clean.

My wife recently bought a M&P9 so I bought a Glock for myself. The M&P is an excellent shooter. There was no adjustment time for either of us. I would have bought another M&P but the local authorized S&W dealer really wasn't very helpful. He told me you could not get an M&P without an external safety. That was one of the things I wanted in a new gun. So I got home and mailed a check to buds for a new Glock. I bought a gen 4 G19. The best deal I could find locally was $590 plus sales tax. I got the gun from buds for $540 plus a $30 FFL fee.

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Old 04-16-2014, 01:21 AM   #8
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While many may throw in their $0.02, Glock and M&P are, (arguably), the industry standard with respect to out-of-the-box dependability. Personal preference is usually the deciding factor. I've got three M&P's, but if they morphed into Glocks tonight it wouldn't upset me much. MOH? The grip angle business is a lot of banana oil.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:07 AM   #9
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While many may throw in their $0.02, Glock and M&P are, (arguably), the industry standard with respect to out-of-the-box dependability. Personal preference is usually the deciding factor. I've got three M&P's, but if they morphed into Glocks tonight it wouldn't upset me much. MOH? The grip angle business is a lot of banana oil.
Grip angle may not be a big issue, but overall grip shape and feel is very subjective, and many people do not find the Glock grip to be comfortable. The 4th gen addresses that somewhat.

S&W just lead the way. The big evolutionary changes that they brought in the M&P were the comfortable grip, the interchangeable back straps, ambidextrous slide catch, reversible mag release, metal stock sights and recoil spring guide rod. The oval shaped slide rails allow for break-in to be less detrimental to accuracy and slide fit over time. The slide contours and serrations look nicer than the plain block look of the Glock and are better for griping and cycling the slide.

Again, the Gen 4 Glocks address some of these same improvements. Glock also has a good track record as a proven design and is still a solid choice. I'm not getting rid of my Glocks. It is nice to keep track of the evolution of the designs though. Kind of like the 1911 inspired other designs.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
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While many may throw in their $0.02, Glock and M&P are, (arguably), the industry standard with respect to out-of-the-box dependability. Personal preference is usually the deciding factor. I've got three M&P's, but if they morphed into Glocks tonight it wouldn't upset me much. MOH? The grip angle business is a lot of banana oil.
The grip makes a big difference to me. I hate shooting a G17 and the G34 is even worse. The G19 & G23 are the Glocks that fit me. I have an XD tactical that is about the same thing as a G34. I love the XD but it is not a gun that I will conceal everyday.

What is funny is the bigger a revolver is the more I like it and I will work much harder to conceal it.
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