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Old June 17, 2011, 06:21 PM   #1
TunnelRat
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S&W: M&P 9mm Shooting Low

Hi all,
I just recently bought a S&W M&P 9mm. In my first outing with it, it worked very well. Fed and ejected FMJs and JHPs with no issue. However I did notice I was shooting about a few inches low from POA. Now this was in the woods so the ground isn't perfectly level and I make no claims to be an expert shooter. However I didn't know if others had run into this and what I might do if this is a problem, or if I should keep shooting and see if my trigger control with the gun gets better.

Thanks,
-TR
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Old June 17, 2011, 09:41 PM   #2
KyJim
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1. Are your sights covering the point of aim? They should. If you use a six o'clock hold (sights line up below point of aim), change.

2. If this isn't a problem, get to a range where you can rest your wrist/arms (not barrel) on a surface (sandbags are great) and concentrate on placing finger pad on trigger and pulling straight back. If it shoots close to where you aim it, you know you have been pulling the barrel down when you pull the trigger.

3. If you are still shooting low, have an experienced (and good) pistol shooter try it. If it still shoots low, the front sight may need to be switched. SW might do this if it is significantly low.
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Old June 17, 2011, 09:55 PM   #3
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Echoing what Jim already said.


Run a few thru on a stable platform. Let one or two other (good) shooters try it out and if all come up low, contact SW.


My SW M&P (.40) is more accurate than I am. "A few inches" if accurate, and not of shooter fault (which is the case in 99% of situations), than it is absolutely not acceptable.
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Old June 17, 2011, 11:00 PM   #4
Don Glock
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have someone else shoot it, and see if it's low. if it is, s&w will install a lower front sight for free to compensate.
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Old June 17, 2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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Going to a nice, brand new indoor range tomorrow to check it out. That should take out a number of factors. Also bringing some other shooters with me to see if they are getting the same thing.

I don't feel like I am holding below the bulls eye but I am going to pay more attention to this tomorrow. With my revolver I tend to shoot high left about an inch, so that is why I really paid attention.

Just as a sanity check, for three dot sights where do most people recommend holding the center dot? I usually try to line them up so they are parallel, but I am thinking that I might be putting the front site so that is is low between the rear dots. In short I might be canting downward.
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Old June 18, 2011, 02:41 AM   #6
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I'm interested in this topic. Let us know what you come up with at the range. Meanwhile I intend to do the same. My M&P 9mm has come back from the factory with a supposedly replaced front sight because it was loose and would not stay in place under fire.
Now that it came back, my dad tried it and he was hitting the steel frame under the steel plates. When I shot it, it seemed like I had to aim at 12 o'clock on the steel plate to hit center. Therefore, I wonder if my M&P 9mm hits too low as well. I'll visit the range and use a bench rest or sandbags and see where it hits under better controlled conditions. We were standing up while shooting when we first had the idea the gun was too low. It was a hot and sweaty day. The grip seems to slide around in a wet hand. My Glock 22 locks into the same slippery sweaty hand like grabbing a piece of 80-grit sand paper. Come to think of it, I don't think my CZ or Glocks hit low, but we did get that idea shooting the M&P 9mm.
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Old June 18, 2011, 04:05 AM   #7
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The first time I fired my M&P 40 the right dot on the rear site popped loose and hit me in the face. No damage, obviously, it's just paint. I e-mailed S&W to tell them about it, just in case it was a problem for the entire gun line, not expecting anything more than an acknowledgement. Three hours later I received a reply e-mail stating that that was the first they'd heard of that problem and asking for my address. Within 5 days I had a replacement rear site in hand.

Do as suggested above, try a rest and have others shoot it. If it's not right, S&W is pretty good about taking care of its customers.

As for the M&P slipping in a sweaty hand, well, I've been out shooting in 105 degree heat and never had a problem. Try the next larger backstrap maybe ...
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Old June 18, 2011, 06:59 AM   #8
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Nothing wrong with gun. It's you. It's very common when one starts with an M&P, to shoot low and left. Been there,done that. And your going to say "but, I don't have this issue with my other guns". It's the trigger break and it can take some a while to mentally adjust to. It took me boxes of ammo before I "got it". My wife picked it up much faster. You might want to take a trip to http://mp-pistol.com to help you get familiar with you new toy.
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Old June 18, 2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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Practice dry firing if it does turn out to be your trigger pull. It helped me alot when I was learning to shoot my Glock and my M&P. It helps you learn the pull,break and reset without any recoil being involved.

Tachi, your sight issue is not a isolated incident. It's been common with M&P's especially the compact models. Not sure if the compact model has anything to do with it but thats most of the complaints i've been reading. It has happened to me as well on my 9c on the second outing around 150 rounds or so. I still haven't talked to S&W about it yet.
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Old June 18, 2011, 07:19 AM   #10
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I had hoped they would have fixed that by now. It was back in 2006 or 07 when I bought my M&P, shortly after they came out. That's the only complaint I've had, been a dream gun since. No problems, only jams came from out-of-round shells from the "ugly ammo" bin I use for target practice/failure drills. Heh, half those rounds are empty shells without primer or powder, just a bullet ... good practice.
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Old June 18, 2011, 07:46 AM   #11
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I'll echo what was said about the trigger break. A little more time with the gun and that should go away.
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Old June 18, 2011, 10:49 AM   #12
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Thanks for tip about the backstrap. I do have the medium in because the large felt too big. I will put the large in now during this posting. Strange though about being low for me. The gun was not shooting low before the front sight was replaced. It was just off to one side but even on the horizontal. I'll shoot it some more with the bigger backstrap and re-evaluate.
Also thanks for the tip about the trigger break. Maybe true. I can be wrong since I'm sort of a simple person. I shoot an XD45, Glock 40 cal, Glock 9mm, CZ 9mm, assorted 22 rimfire autoloaders, and I don't hit low with any of those. To me that indicates a fault with the M&P sights. But let's say it really is me and not the gun. That gives me a good opportunity to spend some more time with it to see if I can learn how to shoot it. Anyway, will follow up with a range report after a few hundred rounds or so. Or maybe after some number of more days spending time with it.
Meanwhile, could someone explain in more detail about the trigger break and "getting it"? I don't see the dot pulling or jerking around dry firing it with a lazer.
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Old June 18, 2011, 11:02 AM   #13
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@SteelChickenShooter
What I've heard is that the pull on this trigger, while consistent from shot to shot, is somewhat more than people are used to. The added pull on the trigger causes the gun to cant and shoot low. Tbh I am a little skeptical. I also have shot idk how many guns, many 9s (including Glocks, Berettas, Sigs, and CZs), and not had this issue. I am a double action revolver shooter normally, I am used to hard pulls. Still, keep me informed if you also have the issue.

I will post a range report today. I will try putting 200 rounds or so through it today. Regardless, I am shooting very nice groups with the gun. As a note, I am NOT shooting low and left. My group perfectly lines up with center on the vertical axis. If anything I feel I may not be holding the front sight at the right level. Will work on it today. I am hopeful as I really like this gun. If it is me I will work at it until I get it.

Last edited by TunnelRat; June 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM.
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Old June 18, 2011, 02:44 PM   #14
zenner22
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My MP 9 shot a few inches low at 15 yds. I sent the gun back to Smith and they put a new front sight on. Problem was solved. This was 2-3 years ago. It's probably not the trigger pull.
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Old June 18, 2011, 10:10 PM   #15
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Range Report:
Took my M&P to a beautiful new indoor range today. Went through 200 rounds of 115 gr FMJ Remington with 0 issues. Mechanics of the gun seem superb.

In addition I did NOT see the low shooting phenomenon this time. At 7 yards I was getting beautiful groupings all in center. At 15 years it opened up somewhat, but to be honest that is likely on me as I don't have a lot of practice at longer distances. Still I saw nothing to make me believe it was inherently shooting low. My friend who came with me also did not see or feel that the gun was shooting low.

Who knows? I do think I had the front sight buried too low when I was shooting last time. As others mentioned you really want to completely cover the POA with the M&P. I will keep an eye on it and if I do see a true problem will report it here. For now it's probably one of my most favorite firearms what with the speed which I have been able to get a good feel for it.

I may bring it to my gunsmith just to make sure the sights are centered. I've heard this can be a good idea for fresh from the factory guns regardless.

Thanks for all the advice,
-TR
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Old June 19, 2011, 09:30 AM   #16
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Glad you resolved your issue.

I love the M&P line - that is, everything but the factory trigger.

Look into the Apex Tactical DCAEK (Duty/Carry Action Enhancement Kit) and RAM (Reset Assist Mechanism). The RAM is more of an option, if you prefer that positive reset *click* that is felt in a Glock-type reset.

In my opinion, the DCAEK is a must-have add-on and really, really improves the feel of the M&P. Very highly recommended.
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Old June 19, 2011, 10:44 AM   #17
theycallmeingot
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i've always used a 6 oclock hold with my m&p .45c and it's right on at 7, 10, 15, 25 yards. this is the first i've read about using a different sight picture. interesting.
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Old June 19, 2011, 02:47 PM   #18
TunnelRat
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@Uncle Malice
I think you are referring to this:
https://apextactical.com/store/produ...php?pid35.html

You are the second person that has recommended it to me. My concern would be installation. Is it something the average gun owner can do his/herself, or will I need a smith to do it?

-TR
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Old June 19, 2011, 03:42 PM   #19
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I did the installation without any trouble. The kit doesn't require any fitting. There are videos on you tube that will walk you through the installation as well, and if you get really stock, I'm sure you can call Apex Tactical and they will help you out.

I'm actually planning on doing a video review of the kit soon. I'm just waiting on a couple of new items from Apex.

Give it a try. All you need is a hammer and punch.
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Old June 19, 2011, 04:57 PM   #20
dgray64
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It might not be you. I have a neighbor how bought two S&W Sigmas the same day. These, admittedly, are not M&Ps, but a good example. Ron is a great shot with good control. He can put shots in the same hole easily from 30'. With one pistol, he was right on, dead accurate. The other pistol shot from the same location (he just stuck the empty in his belt and putted the second one) shot low by 6". We both tried it and found that what appeared to be identical pistols, didn't shoot identically. I hope this helps.

Dave
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Old June 19, 2011, 05:18 PM   #21
TBT
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TunnelRat -

Check out the Apex install videos on youtube before buying. There's nothing there that would seem to be overly difficult as nothing needs fitting. It's a matter of popping out some pins and drifting out the rear sight and replacing a few parts.
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Old June 23, 2011, 10:51 AM   #22
SteelChickenShooter
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Range Report:Do The Math

I put the large backstrap on and went to the range. This M&P pistol hits 2 inches low at 12.5 yards and 4 inches low at 25 yards. Do the math and that tells me the front sight is .032" too high or the rear sight is .032" too low. If S&W has different choices in sights, I need to request a different one. As a control, I did use a rest and none of my other pistols hit too low. I'm leaning toward a sight issue and not operator error. I was very careful to hold on target and squeeze the rounds off. At this point I'll measure the heights of my sights then make some inquires to find out if a better choice is available. If this pistol hit too high by the same amount at the same distances, I'd probably accept that, but not when it hits too low.
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Old June 23, 2011, 11:16 AM   #23
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Quote:
Range Reporto The Math

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I put the large backstrap on and went to the range. This M&P pistol hits 2 inches low at 12.5 yards and 4 inches low at 25 yards. Do the math and that tells me the front sight is .032" too high or the rear sight is .032" too low. If S&W has different choices in sights, I need to request a different one. As a control, I did use a rest and none of my other pistols hit too low. I'm leaning toward a sight issue and not operator error. I was very careful to hold on target and squeeze the rounds off. At this point I'll measure the heights of my sights then make some inquires to find out if a better choice is available. If this pistol hit too high by the same amount at the same distances, I'd probably accept that, but not when it hits too low.

Is the formula: (inches low or high / yards) / 5

or its equivalent, of course: (inches low or high / yards) X 0.2 ?


If so, that's pretty cool, never knew there was a formula, but it makes sense that there is...
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Old June 23, 2011, 01:17 PM   #24
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@ SteelChickenShooter
Sorry you didn't have good luck. My advice would be to call S&W. You've done some work on this to prove that it's a repeatable problem. I have found their customer service to be ridiculous. Open 8 to 8 and very helpful. I had a main spring go bad (so I thought) an old Model 19 that was purchased before i was born. Called them, took my address and mailed me a new one no questions asked and got it to me in 3 days. I imagine they'd be as good to you.
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Old June 24, 2011, 12:21 AM   #25
Tachi
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@SteelChickenShooter:
Did the bigger backstrap help with the sweaty-palm/slippage issues?
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