The Smith is on top in the Pic and the Taurus on bottom.
IMO they are both visually attractive guns but in slightly different ways with the Smith looking a bit more elegant and the Taurus looking a bit more brutal kinda like a Glock only perhaps in a better way.
The Taurus looks like the grip is longer but that is due it wearing an extended mag (this extended mag brings it to 17+1 rds like the Smith).
While the G3 is a new design I felt is appropriate to pit them against each other as the M&P Gen 1 can still be had used unfired or slightly used for about the same price as the G3.
I bought this M&P 9 Gen 1 about the same time the Gen 2 came out and was able to buy it used unfird for 300 USD approx the MSRP of the G3.
My particular M&P 9 is not just a Gen 1 but an early tranche and does not have the upgraded extractor.
The last tranches of M&P Gen 1s had the improved extractor of the M&P9 2.0, this one does not.
Smith will, for free, install the new extractor, or send you the part on request.
Now to the comparison:
I just shot 140 rds of Tula 9mm through the G3 and 120 rounds of same through the Smith.
I have previously owned a Smith and amassed probably 2000+ rds through one.
I previously owned Taurus G2 which reminds me a lot of this G3 and have thousands of rounds through that.
That was also a M&P9 1.0. only one number different in the serial number actually.
Starting with the G3:
No stoppages of any kind however one of the reloads of chambering a follow on round was a tad slow.
Some of you may recall that the gun had failures to feed with its original two mags during previous (and its first) outing.
Mags are replaced and problem as disappeared as far as I can tell.
The Smith had 3 stoppages in 120 rds, all due to failure to extract. I was not surprised as the Tula being steel, challenged extraction in a gun and the M&P being a Gen 1 is known for weak extraction. (there is a reason an improved extractor come out)
I might rate reliability a near draw since I was planning to get the improved extractor for this gun and my other Gen1 runs perfect with the improved extractor.
+0.5 for both, a draw (if I hadnt already run a Smith with the new extractor so much, I would call this a win for the G3 but I think we all know these are not really enough rounds to judge reliability yet anyway)
I call this a win for the Smith. The sights simply are better. Even though the Taurus sighs are now Glock configured and can be freely changed for anything that fits a Glock we are comparing stock-to-stock.
This particular one even comes with Tritium sights which incredibly still shine!
M&P 9 1.0 +1
Neither gun has an outstanding trigger but the G3 has a slight edge.
+0.5 for G3
Even though the Smith has 3 grip options (palmswells that can be replaced), the superior deeper stippling of the G3 simply grips better. I find my grip slipping on the Smith all the time, never on the G3. The G3s stippling is by all accoutns even better than the M&P 9 2.0 , which has improved stippling.
+ 1 for G3
5) Magazine ejection and control
The Mag release button on the M&P 9 1.0 seems a bit larger. but the G3 ejects it mags with more authority. Draw
+0.5 both guns
The G3 has an external safety none of the M&P 9 1.0 had one.
Many do not care about this but for me this is a huge win. I will but the point in parenthesis.
+1 for G3 ( for some)
7) general ergonomics and pointability. This is a very important feature so I weigh it double. A clear win for the G3. IT almost seems like the M&P9 1.0 was designed for single handed shooting a la WW2 doctrine and the G3 for double handed shooting.
I shoot much better with the G3, no doubt due to a combination of several ergonomic factors.
Examples are the deep dimples on the frame, the curved and serrated trigger guard and the wider trigger itself
+2 for G3
8) fit and finish
The M&P 9 1.0 feels more solid like it would last forever. The G3 does not have a track record on this yet and like I said the Smith feels super solid somehow.
+1 for Smith
3.0 points for Smith
5.5 for G3 (or 4.5 for those who dont care for external safeties)
The M&P 9 2.0 would have likely done better.
But in order to compare apples to apples IMO one must compare price equivalent.
The value of a used unfired or slightly used M&P9 1.0 is about the same as G3.
PS: As an experiment I will clean neither before the Next outing.