“S&W anchors its M&P line with its base model, the M&P15 Sport. Fully equipped with a flattop rail, flip-up rear sight and M4 handguards, it is an excellent base rifle,” says Bahde. “Available in configurations that meet most state requirements, the M&P15 Sport is a fantastic entry-level rifle. ”
For shooters interested in tactical features, Bahde recommended the M&P VTAC II, a 6.2-pound rifle featuring a variety of aftermarket accessories. “The M&P VTAC II…meets the needs of those requiring specific aftermarket features. A mid-length gas system is covered by a VTAC forend. The barrel is 16 inches with a 1-in-8-inch twist configuration. Made with 4150 CMV steel and coated with Melonite, it is built to last,” says Bahde. “S&W’s enhanced flash suppressor is also attached to reduce recoil. Geissele Automatics Super V trigger provides a quick reset, light trigger and increased precision. A VTAC sling, Vltor IMod stock, light mount and low profile sling mount are also featured on the rifle.”
The M&P10 also proved to be a standout in Bahde’s roundup, as it is an all-business 7.62mm ready for competition or defense. “AR rifles chambered in .308/7.62x 51mm are amongst the most popular this year. S&W offers one of the best this year in the M&P10,” says Bahde. “Completely ambidextrous controls allow for operation in any condition from either side. Weighing in at just under 8 pounds, it remains light and maneuverable, and it is perfect for tactical operations.