Smith & Wesson M&P15

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Smith & Wesson M&P15
M&P15 PS piston AR with standard A2 grip, DPMS stock, added Magpul MOE hand guard, and PRI flip up sights
Type Semi-automatic rifle
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designer Eugene Stoner
Designed 1957
Manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Unit cost $839–1,949 (MSRP)[1]
Produced 2006–present
Variants Smith & Wesson M&P15-22
Specifications (M&P15)
Weight 3.06 kg (6.74 lb)
Length 813 mm (32 in) (collapsed)
889 mm (35 in) (extended)
Barrel length 406 mm (16 in)

Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO/.223 Remington
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire Semi-Automatic
Feed system 10- or 30-round detachable box magazine[1]
Sights Front Sight: Adjustable Post, Rear Sight: Adjustable Dual Aperture

The Smith & Wesson M&P15 is Smith & Wesson's version of the AR-15 rifle with which Smith & Wesson reentered the rifle market in January 2006.


Smith & Wesson is a gun manufacturer and supplier of law enforcement and personal-defense firearms. The "M&P" stands for "Military & Police." The name goes back to 1899 when the U.S. Army and Navy placed orders for thousands of Smith & Wesson Model 1899 Hand Ejector revolvers chambered for the .38 Long Colt cartridge. With that government order, the revolver became known as the Smith & Wesson .38 Military & Police.

direct impingement

Design details[edit]

The M&P15 series of rifles is based on the AR-15 platform. Smith & Wesson now offers the M&P15 semi-automatic rifles in a variety of configurations tailored to specific shooting applications and styles. Each model is chambered in 5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington, with variants in .22 Long Rifle and 5.45×39mm. They come with either a melonite lined or chrome-lined 4140 steel barrel, and 7075 T6 aluminum receiver with a hard-coat black anodized finish.

The rifle comes with a fixed adjustable M16A2-style post front iron sight and a detachable BUIS (Back-Up Iron Sight) adjustable Double Aperture rear iron sight accessory that mounts on the Picatinny rail along the upper receiver. The pistol grip is the M16A2-style with finger rest ridge. The forend has a four-direction Picatinny rail mount (i.e., with rails along the top, bottom, and sides). has a CAR-15-style six-position collapsible stock.


Unveiled at the 2006 SHOT Show, the rifle debuted in two varieties: the M&P15 and the M&P15T. Both are basically the same rifle, chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO, with the T model featuring folding sights and a four-sided accessories rail fore end. Both have standard AR direct impingement gas system actions. At its debut, the M&P15's suggested retail price was $1,200, while the M&P15T retailed for $1,700. Their current line consists of twenty-four models, ranging in price from $739 to $1,989. Some of the less expensive rifles get their affordability by omitting some costly conveniences of the other near mil-spec rifles, such as the dust cover or forward assist. These rifles were initially produced for S&W by Stag Arms, but marked and marketed under the Smith & Wesson name.[2] Currently Smith & Wesson makes the lower receiver in house, while the barrel is supplied by Thompson/Center Arms, a S&W company acquired in 2007.

In May 2008, Smith & Wesson introduced their first AR-variant rifle in a caliber other than 5.56×45mm NATO. The M&P15R is a standard AR platform rifle chambered for the Russian 5.45×39mm cartridge.[3] It had a 1-in-8" [1:203mm] barrel twist. This model was soon abandoned due to poor sales. Cheaper surplus Communist Bloc AK-series weapons were already available and few shooters wanted an expensive AR-15 clone in a non-standard caliber that needed special magazines.

In 2009, S&W released the M&P15-22, chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.[4] It had a 1-in-15" [1:381mm] barrel twist, a 10- or 25-round box magazine, and weighs 5.5 lbs empty.
The Standard model has an adjustable CAR-15 stock and comes with full-capacity 25-round magazines. The Compliant model (designed for the California market) has a CAR-15 stock fixed in the open position (with an overall length of 33.75 inches) and comes with 10-round magazines.
The Performance Center target shooting version has an 18-inch bull barrel threaded to take any AR-15- / M16-style compensator, a 10-round magazine, Hogue pistol grip, and a Vltor adjustable stock; the compliant Fixed Stock version lacks the threading on the barrel and has a Vltor stock fixed in the open position (with an overall length of 35.75-inches).

short-stroke gas piston

In January 2009, Smith & Wesson announced their first short-stroke gas piston action rifle, the S&W M&P15 PS and PSX (piston AR-15).[5] The S&W M&P15 PS piston AR Model 811022 pictured above right retailed for $1,359 as of 2015,[6][7] plus the MOE handguard and sights which were added to it.

Active shooter incidents[edit]

An M&P15 rifle was one of three weapons used by James Eagan Holmes in the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, mass shooting at a movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.[8][9] The 100-round drum magazine inserted in his rifle jammed partway through the shooting.[10][11]

Official users[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Product listing". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "S&W press release on new M&P15 Rifles". Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. Jan 18, 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Smith and Wesson M&P15R: New AR15 Platform Rifle and Uppers in 5.45×39". 
  4. ^ Rackley, Paul. An AR Plinking Good Time, American Rifleman
  5. ^ "S&W M&P15 PS and PSX (piston AR-15)". January 23, 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "M&P15 PS Model 811022". Smith & Wesson. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Model 811022: Smith & Wesson M&P 15 PS SA 223 Rem/5.56 NATO 16" 30+1 6 Pt Collapsible Stock Black". Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Slosson, Mary; Francescani, Chris (July 23, 2012). "Colorado massacre suspect silent in first court hearing". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. Retrieved July 23, 2012. He was armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P .223 semi-automatic rifle, similar to an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a Glock .40-caliber handgun. 
  9. ^ More Aurora/Smith & Wesson M&P15 sources:
  10. ^ Parker, Mike (July 23, 2012). "Rifle failure that stopped yet more Batman carnage". Daily Express. Retrieved July 23, 2012. Madman James Holmes was forced to switch weapons when his Smith & Wesson M&P 15, with a special 100-round drum magazine, failed after a few shots. 
  11. ^ Dao, James (July 23, 2012). "Aurora Gunman’s Arsenal: Shotgun, Semiautomatic Rifle and, at the End, a Pistol". New York Times. Photo by Nancy Palmieri. It appears, the police say, that James E. Holmes, the man accused in the Aurora shootings, used all three types of weapons inside the theater as well, first firing the shotgun, then using the semiautomatic rifle until its 100-round barrel magazine jammed, and finishing off with a pistol. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Smith & Wesson Supplies M&P Rifles to Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Smith & Wesson M&15 Rifle". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Investors - Press Releases - Smith & Wesson". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "S&W Delivers New Sidearms to West Virginia State Police and Wyoming Highway Patrol". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 

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