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What makes the Smith & Wesson M&P MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) variant different from the rest of the M&P line? The MOE is based on the M&P15 model, but its rail handguard, pistol grip and M4-type stock is replaced by MagPul’s parts that include the MOE grip, Magpul handguard, Magpul PMAG magazine along with the MBUS (MagPul Backup Sight).

So what’s the big deal? In 2008, MagPul released their MOE line, which consisted of value-priced accessories for the AR-style carbine. This offered single purchasers to get quality, ergonomic components.

swThe barrel and lower receiver had matching M4 feed ramps, a pair of cuts corresponding to cartridges from either side of the magazine. They ensure feeding in short barrel, full-auto AR-style carbines. The M&P15 has a 16-inch barrel and is semi-auto only, so are M4 ramps necessary? If you are going to produce real, military-style M4s, selector and all, you would simplify your production line so all the ARs get the same treatment. It makes sense, saves set-up time and money.

The gas key bolts are properly staked on the bolt carrier. That is a big deal in this gas impingement design. It’s a service carbine and a short, light trigger could mean trouble. The trigger pull isn’t so bad that it would affect the level of accuracy needed for a patrol rifle. It’s no bench rest gun, but like other M&Ps of my acquaintance, it could shoot better than I could hold.

All the other components are standard M&P15/M4-type carbine from the A2 flash suppressor, the 1-in-9-inch twist chrome lined chamber/barrel with a M203 cut, flattop upper and conventional lower receiver. The M&P15 logo on the right side of the lower is rendered in white. Otherwise, it’s typical aside from the MOE gear.

The MBUS is a spring-loaded flip-up sight. The locking pad holds the rear sight aperture components down until you depress the tab on the locking pad. The release tab is on both sides of the sight. Both apertures flip up together, becoming a single unit. To use the close combat (large) aperture, simply push the small aperture forward out of the way. Push the small aperture back into place and press the aperture unit back to lock it down.

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What makes the Smith & Wesson M&P MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) variant different from the…