Comparing a Glock and an M&P

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by SSGN_Doc, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
     

  3. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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/69...-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.
     
  4. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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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.
     
  5. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  7. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  8. Donn

    Donn Active Member

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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.
     
  9. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    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.
     
  11. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Perfect illustration of how feel becomes very important in deciding what gun fits. No one else can say what will feel "right" for someone else. In the case if a 34,17, or 19 model Glock the angle and basic shape of the grip are the same, except for how far down the rear hump extends. In the 34 and 17 they are the same, and in the 19 it is shorter. The leverage from the longer slide may make a perceivable difference in feel as well.

    But, I can't say what will feel right to you.

    In revolvers I like a 4-6" barrel best. I find a 8" too long and a 2" too short.
     
  12. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    This definitely is an advantage for the M&P. While the Glock was my choice and I still believe it is the better design, the slide serrations of the M&P make it easier to rack the slide with sweaty hands. I have a Gen 2, Gen 3 and Gen 4 and the Gen 3 has a very slick finish so I can lose my grip when racking the slide. The aggressive serrations of the M&P are superior. This could make a difference in a life or death situation.

    Glock tested the "fish scale" serrations that probably improved the situation (even with the slick finish) but discontinued them. I think the serrations should have been improved in the Gen 4 upgrades.

    Excellent comparison & review, Doc!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  13. jjones45

    jjones45 New Member

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    I have both glock and m&p and prefer the m&p even though it is definitely glock inspired. S&W listened to all the glock complaints and made a glock minus the complaints. However what s&w did with the interchangeable back straps was not evolutionary as walther had already did this in the mid to late 90's with the p99 and hk did this as well with the p2000 in 2001, as the m&p was introduce in 2005. My personal experience tell me the only place the m&p falls short of the glock is the stock trigger. While neither is great, the m&p's trigger just sucks IMHO. A firearms instructor I know just told me that some students in his last class had some brand new m&p's and the trigger was substantially better than the previous m&p's he shot in the past. I haven't pulled the trigger on any brand new m&p's lately so I have no say there. Every company has their version of glock like pistol these days and all are making them with glock complaints in mind. Given the success of glock you can hardly blame them. I'm just waiting for HK to jump on the band wagon and make their modern poly striker fired pistol.



    Never enough guns or ammo
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  14. kryptar19

    kryptar19 New Member

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    The evolutionary part of the M&P "back straps" is the fact that they are not "back straps", they are "palm swells". (as I like to call them)

    Where most other polymer guns have changeable back straps that change the grip in one direction(straight back), the M&P's change the grip in three directions (left, right, and back). Just my 2cents
     
  15. jjones45

    jjones45 New Member

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    I can go with that . The p30 just took that to a new level then I guess.


    Never enough guns or ammo
     
  16. kryptar19

    kryptar19 New Member

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    Also, don't forget about the steel chassis that is unique to the M&P.
     
  17. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    I've never had the opportunity to fire a Gen 4 Glock, but I do own a full size M&P .40. My honest opinion? Being able to change the grip size isn't that big a deal for me. I can barely tell the difference in my hand, and I can't tell the difference at all on the target.

    I can imagine that it might make a difference to someone with smaller hands, but to me it's not that big a deal. With that said, if it was a single stack it would make a world of difference to me. It also makes a big difference whether or not my little finger is on or under the grip. With paced fire I have much tighter groups if my little finger is under the grip.
     
  18. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No it is not. I have been shooting MANY glocks over the last 15+ years and I have to work at shooting them because of the grip angle. I can take a 5906/03 and shoot it MUCH better and when I started shooting the M&P I found it had a grip angle which was much easier to shoot than the MANY glocks I have be required to carry/shoot. To add to that I have had many other (LEO's) who are required to carry glocks shoot my new and old S&W's and all but one of them shoot the S&W's much better.:)
     
  19. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Point taken. Thanks.
     
  20. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Anyone remember the Sony Walkman? You know... Played cassettes as you walked down the street. That's a Glock.

    Fast forward to the M&P... and think I Pod.

    Yeah... They both do the same thing but the later is MUCH MUCH better

    Tack