View Full Version : M&P 'Sport' AR-15?

chris in va
March 12, 2011, 07:46 PM
Spied one of these at the LGS. Seems to be the bargain version with a few things left off, like a forward assist, one piece trigger guard, no dust cover. Still has a chromed bolt carrier and gas key but the website doesn't list the barrel being chromed. Barrel had no cuts in it, looked blued. Still has M4 feed ramps.

This thing was under $650, any opinions?

March 12, 2011, 08:40 PM
Well, it's great if you just want an inexpensive shooter. The bore is not chrome lined, I saw that in a dealer flier we got regarding it.

It's not going to be a tough, take anything kind of AR, but it is an ar, and if you can't sink a grand plus into one, it will work.

chris in va
March 12, 2011, 09:47 PM
How critical is a chrome lined chamber though?

March 12, 2011, 09:59 PM
At least they give you a good, serviceable rear sight. I'd say it's a bargain, unless you want the chrome for running 200-300 rounds through one before cleaning. I can do without.



chris in va
March 12, 2011, 10:22 PM
I definitely intend this to be a higher-volume plinker, maybe for informal competition.

Probably should have taken a few pictures. The stock photos don't really give a good feel for how the barrel looks.

March 12, 2011, 10:28 PM

I was somewhat confused as to why they include the M4 (double) ramps, but the barrel looks like a standard light or heavy contour?:confused: At any rate, you can't go wrong with a S&W for less than $650 IMHO. It should be another one of their great guns.


March 12, 2011, 10:31 PM
I'd go for it, that is a good price. Nice rear sight.


March 12, 2011, 11:40 PM
The chrome lined barrel is something you want. Nut for the price, I say go for it. Worst case, it can be rebarreled later on if needed.

That'll Do
March 13, 2011, 01:44 AM
Well, it doesn't have the chrome lined chamber and bore, or the forward assist, but if you want an AR badly enough, go for it. The M&P AR's are alright. They're a good mid-range AR, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if that's what was available.

chris in va
March 27, 2011, 05:51 PM
Just as an update, I called S&W and after consulting his supervisor, the CS rep said the bore and chamber are also Melonite treated. This gun looks more attractive the further I research things.

March 27, 2011, 06:19 PM
Another plus in my opinion is the 1:8 twist. Gives you the ability to shoot heavier ammo.

March 28, 2011, 01:06 AM
A foward assist is a 'must have' on any AR and only costs $10-20 more between a DPMS Oracle and thier Sporticle

March 28, 2011, 01:18 AM
This gun looks more attractive the further I research things.

I don't think you would be disappointed. Some folks are saying Melonite or QPQ or nitrided or whatever they call it is a very good thing. Not equal to Chrome but very good.


April 26, 2011, 12:05 AM
I've yet to use my forward assist on my personal AR15 or military issued M4/M16.

April 26, 2011, 12:31 AM
Or... you can build one from DSA.





April 26, 2011, 01:14 AM
Ex army here, also an AR-15 owner, while i like having the option should the problem arise, in 50,000 + rounds fired I have never used the forward assist unless it was part of a marksmanship drill (I.E. wasn't needed but its part of a jam recovery process). Granted in the off chance i needed it I would want one, but i would not hesitate to snatch up a good deal for the lack of it.


chris in va
April 26, 2011, 03:06 PM
Or... you can build one from DSA.

Does that include free shipping and included FFL costs?:cool:

Ex army here, also an AR-15 owner, while i like having the option should the problem arise, in 50,000 + rounds fired I have never used the forward assist

I keep hearing that from other AR owners as well. I suspect the forward assist was a crutch fix for feeding issues when the M16 first came out, and is no longer needed with modern coatings and designs.

April 26, 2011, 06:03 PM
I have used mine... I don't think I would worry about buying an ar with or with out it. I would def. spend extra from a chrome barrel however. I abuse my AR. Shoot it till it smokes, 300-500 rounds at a time. Don't clean it often. After about 1500 or so rounds I break it down, through it all in the parts washer at work. She comes out looking great. I let it dry, spray it with EEZOX and do it all over.

AR's were meant to be abused... something breaks you replace it. People tend to baby them too much.

April 27, 2011, 10:32 AM
Ex-Army here. Used my forward assist to place the weapon back into battery probably twice. Firing from the prone while confirming my zero in Kuwait before heading downrange. The sand gets in there every time. Other than that, never truly needed it.

April 28, 2011, 07:53 PM
Bought one a few weeks ago. Three trips to the range and I'm impressed with the quality that S&W built into the rifle for the price.

Melonite treated barrel. Surface hardness comparable to chrome without the dimensional issues. More accurate than chrome-lined.

5R rifling. S&W got this capability from their acquisition of Thompson Center. Better gas seal for more velocity. Supposedly more accurate than the 6R rifling in standard AR's.

1:8 twist barrel. Perfect for me because I couldn't decide between 1:9 and 1:7. I'm comfortable shooting 55 grain out of it and can shoot heavier, longer bullets if I choose.

Chrome lined carrier and gas key. Gas key is properly staked.

M4 feed ramps, fully cut.

Lower receiver is forged and appears to be the same as the ones used on their more expensive models.

F marked front sight base.

Dual aperture rear sight, 6/3, adjustable for both windage and elevation.

200+ rounds through it so far without an issue. Haven't needed the forward assist or dust cover. Nothing to complain about and certainly can't complain about the price.

chris in va
April 28, 2011, 09:21 PM
Thank you Fabius, good to hear some actual field reports.

April 28, 2011, 10:38 PM
No problem, Chris. Barrel is melonited, not blued. Same finish as on the M&P pistol slides. It has a smooth, deep black finish. Similar (if not identical) to the tenifer finish used on Glock slides. I have three M&P pistols and the melonite finish has proved to be very wear and corrosion resistant.

The chrome lined barrel is something you want.

I was considering doing an inexpensive build, but worried about using a non-chrome lined barrel. The S&W melonite coating, from the research that I did, performs the same function as chrome lining - increased wear and corrosion resistance. That made it easier for me to make the leap and buy the M&P.

April 28, 2011, 11:22 PM
Chrome lined is more durable, less to worry about... but less accurate. But then again... most people are running .223 bulk ammo (myself) included out of a 5.56 chambered rifle, from a 16 inch carbine.... not really the set up I would be worrying about group size in, so the minimal loss in accuracy doesn't really affect me. If I want'ed to worry about group size id build a 20 inch bull barrel upper and cook up some nice Handloads for it.;)

I think it is preferable to have the chrome. Less chance to damage it with steel cased bulk ammo (so I've been told;)). As far as the weather here... its never perfect but never that bad:rolleyes: I just don't agree with babying an AR. I've smacked mine off barricades in competition, its been dropped numerous times (ironically never by me:rolleyes:). It usually resides in a sniper drag bag in the trunk of my car and I would imagine rattles around back in there seeing is I drive not so slow. I usually wait for around 1500 rounds down the pipe before I clean it. Cleaning consists of taking the plastic furniture off, breaking it down, and leaving it in the parts washer at work over night. Then I let it dry and spray with EEZOX. I run it pretty dry, EEZOX is supposed to be more of a dry lube anyways. I shoot it till the barrel starts to smoke... then melt ice blocks (in the winter) on the barrel lol.

They are cheap erector sets for adults, you break something you replace it. Luckily I work at a gun store with a few gun smiths.. so I always have random parts that were taken off other guns, and I squirrel away AR parts the smiths don't need. Minus the receivers, I can probably build a few more rifles.

I MIGHT order a M&P Sportline actually (which is what brought me to this thread) for my girlfriend... because now that we had to get her her own 1911... shes been taking a liking to my AR. I know hers will only be a range plinker for her, so I'm not gonna go crazy with it.

Then again I have been considering a BCM 14.5 Mid length build... so maybe she will inherit my current AR.

Nice to hear good reports about the sport line however.:cool:

April 29, 2011, 10:51 AM
I tried to get one from Cabelas but they were sold out. It was on sale for $599. Had to special order it and hopefully they honor the in-stock price plus the 10% off coupon. That would really make the price! If I have to pay the non-sale price of $699, I'd probably skip on it as you can grab an M&P15 OR for a little more ($750-$850) from various retailers.

April 29, 2011, 07:00 PM
Got mine for $599 plus tax from a local gun shop. Stopped by a couple of days ago and they had raised the price to $699.

At $599 its a deal. Less so at $699. MSRP is $709, so it really should be selling for less than $650 in stores.

If I had to pay $699 I might have passed in favor of building a middie. I really wanted a mid-length gas system, but couldn't pass up the price on the Sport.

I can always buy a mid-length upper later, put that on the S&W lower and then put the Sport upper on a cheap Plum Crazy lower. This is my first AR, and I'm really getting drawn in by the modularity. I just ordered a carry handle to put on it (I like the look). All sorts of possibilities once you have the basic rifle with a decent quality lower receiver.

April 29, 2011, 07:12 PM
A foward assist is a 'must have' on any AR ... IF you want to ensure that the round that won't quite chamber will be jammed in so tight you'll never get it out at the range then yes, you really, really need a bolt assist.

April 29, 2011, 08:04 PM
I agree COSteve. I figure if I need the forward assist, then the gun has bigger problems that need to be addressed.

April 29, 2011, 08:22 PM
I would tend to think that, since the market is saturated with AR15s and clones, that you could get a genuine lightly used Colt for not much more.

chris in va
April 30, 2011, 09:10 AM
I've looked...the cheapest used Colt is around $900. Some people don't see $300 as much money, but for others it means 2000 reloaded 223's.:cool:

April 30, 2011, 10:08 AM
I went through the same analysis. I don't find used guns to be much of a value. You might save $100 - $200 off the price of a new gun, but you don't know what you're getting and how its been cared for. In the end, for my first AR, I was more comfortable going with something new from a reputable manufacturer that wouldn't break the bank.

My first and most important quality in any firearm is reliability. I want it to go "bang" when I pull the trigger. I figured that I could count on Smith and Wesson to make a gun that is in spec where it matters. M4 feed ramps, mil spec bcg, bcg looks like an LMT and the gas key is properly staked, S&W marked collapsible 6 position stock with standard buffer. All the important parts seem to be high quality. The melonite treatment of the barrel should make it more wear and corrosion resistant than a non-chromed barrel that most AR's in this price range come with.