SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (May 21, 2008) – Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 156-year old firearms maker, announced today that it is has shipped an order for 500 of the company’s M&P45 pistols to the Worcester, Massachusetts Police Department (PD). The M&P45 will be issued to each officer in the department to replace non-Smith & Wesson pistols that previously served as Worcester PD’s primary duty firearm.

Officials at the Worcester PD indicated that they selected the M&P45 because of its unique design features, modularity and reliability during testing. After a standard testing and evaluation period, Worcester PD officials noted the accuracy of the M&P45 pistol and the ability of each officer to select the grip size of his or her preference.

Gary J. Gemme, Chief of Police for the Worcester PD, said, “During our selection process, we tested a variety of firearms from numerous manufacturers. From the beginning, it was decided that a pistol chambered in .45ACP was the preferred choice. The M&P45 supplied our officers with the best combination of features to suit our duty needs while being chambered in the more powerful .45ACP cartridge. The pistol performed well throughout the testing process in both accuracy and reliability and the pistol’s interchangeable grip sizes allowed for a custom fit to each officer’s hand size. Through our relationship with Smith & Wesson, we are able to provide our officers with the tools necessary to complete their jobs while working to enhance the safety of our police force and community.”

Worcester PD joins a growing list of police agencies near Smith & Wesson headquarters that have selected firearms from the M&P Series for duty use. Other agencies in the Massachusetts area that have converted to the M&P pistol include the Brookline Police Department; West Springfield Police Department; Agawam Police Department; Swampscott Police Department; Winthrop Police Department; Sharon Police Department; Palmer Police Department and the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to these local law enforcement agencies, the M&P pistol has been previously selected as a primary duty firearm in the Waterbury, Connecticut Police Department along with the Hartford, Connecticut Police Department.

Leland Nichols, President and Chief Operating Officer of Smith & Wesson Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, said, “Smith & Wesson is committed to serving police departments and security agencies around the globe, including those that are in our own local communities. By providing these professionals with the most current and highly specialized equipment available, we are helping them to complete their jobs in the most efficient manner while continuing to deliver on our reputation for safety and security. We look forward to working with the men and women of the Worcester PD along with all of the other law enforcement agencies that have selected firearms from the M&P line for duty use.”

The M&P pistol features a polymer frame reinforced with a rigid stainless steel chassis and a through-hardened black Melonite® finished stainless steel barrel and slide for durability; a passive trigger safety to prevent the pistol from firing if dropped; and a sear release lever that eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm. A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the slide. The firearm also features an ambidextrous slide stop and a reversible magazine release, as well as an enlarged trigger guard designed to accommodate gloves. Each M&P pistol is equipped with three interchangeable grip sizes that allow the user the custom fit the gun to their preference. The M&P45 has a 10+1 capacity and the Smith & Wesson lifetime service policy is standard with each pistol. The M&P pistol series is available in 9mm, .40S&W, .357SIG, and .45ACP calibers. Compact versions of the M&P pistol are also available for concealed carry and back-up use.

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