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There’s innovation, and then there’s beating a dead horse. A few guns have fallen into this latter category, like John Moses Browning’s 1911 design. At over 100 years old, the 1911 has been done, redone, re-redone, and retro-redone with anniversary editions released that hearken straight back to the original weapon . . .

. I say that lovingly as an admitted “1911 guy.” More recently, the  “Modern Sporting Rifle” has begun to fit the same bill. When it comes to accessories, my Prada and Gucci-loving cube-dwelling co-worker has less choices than your average AR owner.

Some observers have gone so far as to call the AR “Barbie for men.” I couldn’t possibly comment. But I can tell you this: Smith & Wesson have introduced another AR variant called the M&P15 Sport . . .

The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport rifle is not your mall-ninja AR dripping with rails and oozing tacti-cool. It’s not meant to be. Smith’s aimed its rifle at AR newbies looking for a quality firearm at a bargain price..

Unboxing the M&P15 Sport isn’t much of an event. You open the cardboard box and strip back a layer of foam. Laying in front of you: a black rifle and Magpul 30 round magazine. Taking a closer look, you can see that Smith & Wesson shaved costs where they could. But they didn’t skimp on the important stuff.

Smith & Wesson have done away with the dust cover and forward assist. Smith Marketing Maven Paul Pluff  told TTAG that sacrificing the dust cover in the name of cost-savings was a no-brainer. The target market is less likely to need an AR to fight terrorists in sandstorms and extreme weather than use that funny shell holder thingie to eat snails [paraphrasing]. The M&P15 Sport will likely live out its days in a case or safe, with semi-regular forays to the range or the woods.

To check out the rifle’s reliability, I ran the rifle for a week out at Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona.

I spent the week putting rounds down range in arid, sandy, dusty conditions – begging the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport to show me that it needed a dust cover. I fired standing, kneeling, and from several variations of the prone position, including rollover-prone where the bolt of the rifle was less than two inches from the dust, rock, dirt, and grime the ejection process was kicking back up into the rifles action.

Did nastiness get in to the action? Ohh yeah it did. I made sure of that by peppering the rifle with a few small handfuls of Arizona high desert when the Smith and Wesson folks weren’t watching. By the end of the week I had one gritty feeling charging handle, one rough trigger, and one dirty as all-heck action. I was also holding a rifle that continued to function without a single hiccup.

The forward assist (err . . . forward “scallop”) on the M&P15 Sport is a throwback to the rifle’s original design. The cylindrical slap-assist found on most other black rifles is no-where to be seen on the M&P15 Sport.

For a beginning AR shooter, the manual assist has the same likelihood of turning a minor and easily correctable malfunction – such as a double-feed – into one that could require gunsmithy assistance. Newer users tend to follow the Hollywood example of hitting the forward assist with the force of Thor’s hammer rather than giving it the gentle smack that’s needed to bring a round into battery if it hasn’t seated properly.

So what’s an M&P15 Sport owner to do if their rifle doesn’t charge properly without a forward assist? Simple – use the scalloped section of the bolt itself and a finger on the support hand to gently nudge the action closed (demonstrated in the above video). This isn’t a new idea; it’s an homage to pre-forward assist designs. Even with dirty rifle with a gritty action, I could easily seat rounds after a manually-induced malfunction.

The M&P15 Sport’s barrel isn’t an M4 cut; if you’re looking to mount your M203, look elsewhere. The Smith sports a full-profile barrel of American 4140 Steel. The bolt carrier and gas key are chromed, and the barrel sports their Melonite coating. Smith claims that the bare bones approach has no effect on durability. They’ve fed two M&P15 Sport test rifles a combined ~170,000 rounds of various brands of ammunition without any [visible] damage to the Melonite finishing process.

The M&P15 Sport’s barrel also incorporates 5R rifling, an innovation Smith added after they acquired Thompson Center Arms. The M&P15’s 5R rifling is a 1/8” “gain twist.” The twist starts longer and tightens to 1/8” towards the end of the barrel.

In theory, the bullet stabilizes before fully engaging the rifling. Shooting Remington’s Disintegrator 45gr frangible ammunition in shoot-house drills and testing on steel, the rifle didn’t have a single failure-to-feed or fire. Given that mag failures account to many of the issues shooters encounter with their AR, Smith & Wesson “got it right” by spending a few extra dollars on the factory-standard 30-round P-mag. Gunsite instructor Dave Starin (20 years LE, 12 years SWAT) also reported—and I can confirm—that accuracy wasn’t an issue, either.

The rifle ships with a flat-top Picatinny style rail with an adjustable / removable dual aperture rear, and adjustable A2 post front sights. Removing the factory options to mount the EOTech EXPS2 (review to follow) was a breeze. The muzzle brake is standard A2 style. The M&P15 Sport’s threading is also standard; shooters can swap out for common muzzle accessories should they desire.

The rifle’s lower and upper receivers are fashioned from 7075 T6 Aluminum, fully-forged in-house by Smith & Wesson. Included with the lower: the single piece, solid-forged, non-removable, over-sized (for gloves) trigger guard. A typical six-position telescoping stock is standard, along with sling mounts allowing for single or double-point sling attachment. A bayonet lug is under slung – just in case. All of the M&P15 Sport’s parts are interchangeable with the rest of their AR product line.

For those of you living in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia – fear not. Smith’s making a California-compliant version to satisfy your political overlords. For their Cali-compliant “bullet button,” Smith & Wesson’s mag-release can be engaged with a round of .223/5.56 ammunition.

The M&P15 Sport is a perfect entry-level AR. With stock sights, the rifle is amazingly accurate. Equipped with an expensive optic like the EOTech EXPS2, gratuitous mag-dumping onto targets from 50 – 110 yards was child’s play. I engaged various targets on Gunsite’s Scrambler course while the OFWG’s decided who was going to shoot next. Point of Aim quickly became Point of Impact. I was eventually instructed to stop wasting ammo for the sake of the sweet-satisfying PING! of steel. Sad, I know.

Testing at Gunsite was less about ranged engagement or precision shooting and more about carbine drill and functionality. Maximum distance shot during the evaluation in Arizona: 50 yards (not including the Scrambler targets, which extend upwards of 100 yards). The gun’s back on the East Coast with me; I’ll be firing out to 100 yards from a rested position and beyond, and report back.

With night vision and thermal gear (hey, why not?), I was able to use the M&P15 Sport to hit pie-plate steel at 50 yards. More importantly, in head shot and non-standard failure drills extending from three and out to 25 yards, I consistently placed rounds in the T-zone within seconds of being instructed to fire.

The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport is all yours for $709 msrp. That’s  $600 – $650 in real world dollars. If the gun is as reliable as our initial impressions indicate, that’s tremendous value-for-money. It’s taken Smith a while to get here, but it looks like they’ve finally brought the same no-nonsense quality and functionality to the AR world that made their revolvers so justifiably famous.


Caliber: .223 / 5.56 NATO
Barrel: 16″ Melonite coated – 1/7″ twist according to S&W rep. Thompson Center 5R rifling.
Overall Length: 32 inches collapsed, 35 inches extended.
Weight: 6.45 pounds unloaded.
Action: Semi-automatic.
Finish: Melonite barrel, hard coat anodized 7075 T6 Aluminum receivers.
Capacity: 30+1 using standard AR magazines (ships with a Magpul 30 rnd).
Price: MSRP $709 – readily had between $640 – $690 via Brownells

RATINGS (out of five)

Accuracy:  * * * * – Final star TBD
Excellent accuracy in carbine drills. Rounds consistently placed in a 3″ T-zone from 25 yards while standing. Minute of bad guy observed during all firing events. Further accuracy testing pending.

Ergonomics:  * * * * *
It’s an AR carbine with all the controls in all the standard places, and adjusts to fit the user in all the standard fashions. Easy to manipulate, easy to bring on target.

Reliability: * * * * *
One feeding issue—traced to the cheap aluminum magazine I was using as a back-up. Not a single failure with the factory-issue Magpul. I shot well over 1000 rounds through the rifle without cleaning (with additional lubrication).

Customize This: * * * * *
It’s an AR. Kit it up! Check out The Barbie for Men.

Overall Rating: * * * * *
The price is right, the product performs, and America’s second largest arms manufacturer stands behind it. What’s not to like?

Special thanks to Manassas Guns and Ammo Warehouse for handling the transfer to bring this rifle back to Virginia for further testing. Stay tuned for updates.

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  1. I’ve been waiting for someone to review this new model for the last few months. I’ve wanted to get an AR for some time, but for the amount of money for something to shoot a half dozen times a year, as a FMAWG (Fit Middle Aged White Guy) with family, I couldn’t justify spending $1,500 for another man toy. With this good review, I now have my justification that it’s a good purchase.

    • Hey i’m a fmawg, but divorced, lost my house and such, but thats another story. Just bought a sport, zeroed it at the range 25 yard (i think thats what we did in basic back in 1980) ok can i say clover leaf right out of the box, tomorow doing 100 yards get back to you on that. But great gun bro, couldn’t ask for better. Had alot of guns over time but i think i’ve found my favorite. shot two kinds of ammo,5.56 and my 223 reloads with 55 grain serrias, all worked well and like i said clover leaf groups. Hope you get one, cause you’ll be happy.

    • How do you feel about your purchase now. I took the plunge and ordered one online $662 delivered. Been doing my research and hope this was a good choice…..

  2. Although the M&P 15 Sport is marketed as an entry-level AR-15, I consider this a high-end fighting rifle. Light weight and simplicity are virtues in a 5.56 weapon. When I want a heavy gun, I’ll pick up one of my M1As. Which, incidentally, don’t have a dust cover either. What S&W gives you is one slick, well-balanced, and extremely quick-pointing little bullet launcher. The targets can’t tell one 5.56 bullet from another, only how fast they’re coming in. And the M&P 15 sport is fast.

    I did add a Troy fixed rear sight to mine. The included sight is functional, but the Troy is under 2 ounces, doesn’t have a knob to disturb the sleek lines of the M&P, and uses A1 style adjustments instead of A2, making it a little harder to accidentally knock off zero. It’s a great enhancement for this particular rifle, and at only $65, won’t break the bank. I also replaced the trigger with an Armalite 2-stage tactical trigger. That’s not necessary, just a long-time personal preference. Makes any AR feel more like an M1A.

    One thing not noted in the review: the solid trigger guard on the M&P Sport receiver leaves no gap between itself and the grip. No sharp edge there to tear up your finger while the weight of the rifle is sitting on it during one-handed drills. It’s a very welcome feature, and it comes built-in on this model.

    • I would not consider an AR with no dust cover a fighting rifle. Every carbine course I have taken over several years has emphasized closing the dust cover when not actively running a drill. I personally witnessed someone in my last class running this gun have several malfunctions (his rifle became the instructors go to to show how to clear malfuctions, the first user error lack of lube but after the instructor showed him how it still malfunctioned all day) I think for the price for what you get it is a great range rifle and beginners rifle. Forward assist ehhh not a big deal that is precisely what the scallop is for but a dust cover is a must IMHO for a fighting carbine. I am not putting this rifle down in not just talkin it up what it is not. I know shortly after purchasing my first AR15 I wanted one I could train with so I started building them. So if you are looking for a fighting carbine to run high rd counts in different environments and possibly trust your life on it I would choose a too tier rifle you will end up wanting one anyway and widh you went that route first (thats what i did)If your rd count is low and you are mainly bench shooting or light drills I would say go for it

      • well i am with you on it but you can always buy a dust cover for it and they are cheap so it doesnt brake the bank besides that its an amazing gun for the price.

        • Good luck on that……you have to buy an upper receiver to have a dust cover installed……there are no provision on the sport for the installation……..

  3. No forward assist? Ow. That little pushbutton has saved me from a heap of trouble more than once. But the price? Holy cow! How can we not like that?

    • It does sound good, but does it really cost that much more for a dust cover and forward assist?

      • No. But if you want an AR-15 with all that on it, there are plenty available. For not much more money. If you don’t like the Sport, you can always buy one of them.

        Those of us who like a slick AR-15 have not had many options, and the ones we’ve had have been extremely expensive. It’s about time some manufacturer got around to making a gun for the rest of us. The modestly lower price and weight are just our little reward for having to wait so long.

    • I am new to the gun market and must admit I am clueless. I am considering purchasing the M&P 15, but the forward assist was clearly pointed out to me yesterday. Being a novice, can someone explain the pros and cons of the forward assist, other than the obvious function of it? Thanks!

      • Hey Diana,

        Go for the M&P Sport if you can. I bought one and love it. I am a former Infantry Officer and had the forward assist, dust cover, etc. on my assigned weapon. However for the cost and quality, the Sport can handle all your needs. After I bought it and took it to the range I was hitting bulls eyes at 50 m down range with the iron sights. Am looking at red dots and put UTG Quad Rails on it to attach bipod and grip and am lovin my AR. Had my wife fire it last week and my 9 year old daughter today and she had a blast.

  4. This looks pretty nice. I’ll definitely be looking into it when it’s time to finally get an AR–though it will probably between buying this and building one, if building doesn’t end up sounding too difficult.

  5. I am glad that you liked it. I was looking into getting one. My brother just was assigned one from work to try out. He has yet to actually fire it. Still in the box in his car I think. I would imagine that I will get one now.

  6. Review amended 6/13. Rifling is in fact 1/8″ gain twist. Also, the bolt is chromed – the barrel sports the Melonite coating.

    • i was told that this is not a very good gun. someone told me that after just a few rounds maybe a fast clip full) im not sure, the barrel gets hot and the bullets hit all over the place. this page sounds 99.9% positive but would like to know for sure before i order one. trying to decide between the m&p, DPMS, or a mini-14. i would mostly be varmint hunting but maybe occasionally target shooting for fun. whats your input??

      • @Levon, Go with the m&p… i own a M&P15A that i have owned for better than 2yrs putting thousands of rounds thru including over 1,000 tula cheapo steel cased with 1 single failure with the tula, the case actually split. thats y tula is my training ammo and military green tip is my shtf ammo. im very happy with my rifle and i know you would be too. cheers

        • Levon- of course the barrel is going to get hot and start to smoke after the first 30 rounds- its from all the oil the MFG puts on it- not a problem.

          Casey- I will say that I have both the Tula ammo and the green tip, but I dumped the Tula after many feeding and bad primer issues. Tula is garbage, I *might* shoot it at the range. I actually prefer Federal ammo myself. Fair priced and insanely reliable.

      • Just got mine last week. S&W MP15 sport ll and love the gun. Accurate rite out of the box. I tried to research heavily before my purchase. Lots of reading, and a friend who manages a large gun store. For under $600.00 I could not ask for more. There are several AR’s available at that price but I am certain I did not make a mistake. Eager to start putting on ad-on’s.

        • I bought one yesterday. The Sport II has been upgraded with forward assist and a dust cover. Love it.

    • Melonite is NOT a coating, its a change at the molecular level of the material resulting in a much harder substance

  7. I think it’s called ‘twist-gain’ rifling, where the rifling is a gradually tightening spiral.

    Weatherby rifles famously used it to spin their long, high-BC bullets at extreme velocity without chewing up the barrels too rapidly

  8. This sounds like a fine example of the carbine and much better than DPMS’s low end model. The over sized trigger guard is a nice touch and the inclusion of an A2 rear site ices the cake.
    A few clarifications though… when you stated the bolt was “chromed”, most of us expect this to mean the inside AND outside surface is chromed. This shows up as a nice satin-silvery coloration over the whole bolt carrier assembly. It is not so on this model as only the inside portion of the bolt carrier and gas key are chrome lined. This is not a trivial detail.
    Was this your first experience with an AR type rifle?

    Second… Melonite is more than just a coating; its more like a process in the manufacturing as it coats the entire barrel — inside and out. Very hard surfaces when done correctly. 170K rounds through two weapons is a lot, let’s hope they all do so well. As so few manufactures use this method, I’m surprised you didn’t elaborate more on this.

    third… (im being picky here )but it’s muzzle “brake”; not break.
    And…. the standard today is the A2 design, not the A1. The Vietnam era A1 was pure flash hider, the current A2 attempts to do that as well as control dust-up when shooting prone.

    • Thomas,

      Your comments are appreciated – yes, the oversized trigger guard is a great feature. Thank you for your pointers, no this isn’t my first AR type firearm. I own a few, and have shot more than plenty. This is however, a great first AR style firearm for a beginner buyer. It’s also an excellent platform to start a build off of for the old salty AR guy.

      I’ve further clarified the chromed parts to better align with the expectations you cited.

      The Melonite features of this rifle are absolutely impressive, you’re correct. The most impressive piece being the round count these rifles have been subjected to in testing. The process itself is quite involved, and possibly even deserving of its own post. I steered away from blind-siding the readers with a detailed description, but if you’d like to delve into it we’d love to see the write up.

      Thanks also for the grammatical catch. TTAG relies on our readers for this type of on-the-fly editing and feedback.

      Cheers, mate.

      • Bought one for my daughter ($459 & s&h) it should be here in a few days! We’ll see…as her and my mother always say! 😜

  9. I purchased this rifle about a month ago and have nothing but good things to say about it. It eats steel cased ammo like candy.

  10. I’ve owned an M&P15 for a number of years and love it. The upper and lower on mine has no play between them, how’s the the fit on this one?

  11. I would respectfully disagree with Paul Pluff on one point: The cutout in the AR-15 bolt carrier was not there originally to act as a finger groove for assisting the bolt closed prior to adoption of the Forward Bolt Assist. It is there simply to pop out the dust cover when the first round is fired with the dust cover closed. A quick peek at the inside of a dust cover will show you the half round bump on the cover that fits into that relief cutout. The dust cover bump also houses the plunger and spring that keeps the dust cover closed.

    Using that cutout to push on the carrier directly with your finger to close the bolt may work with a cold gun, but I wouldn’t want to try it right after firing a mag or two. You might leave fingerprints, and not the oily kind.

    If the dust cover is being eliminated, this cutout could also be eliminated from the bolt carrier, saving a machining step (and money.) Also, when the forward bolt assist was adopted, the row of scallop cutouts were added to the carrier to give the forward assist something to push against. If S&W is eliminating the Forward Assist from the upper, they could have eliminated those scalloped grooves from the bolt carrier as well, saving another machining step (and more money.)

    And if you really want a throwback to the “AR-15 Mod 0,” eliminate the brass deflector as well…

    • Removing machine operations would create a separate SKU # for that bolt.
      Big biz and stuff. Keeping the shell deflector is a definite plus for lefties. Who gives a rats — about the forward assist. I do wish it had a duct cover though. I own one and it has had no issues through 800 round of steel, brass, cheapo and high dollar ammo. Wish they’d make it in mid-length.

  12. I recently purchased the S&M M&P 15 sport and I am having problems with the buffer and spring coming out and falling down in the trigger. It will shoot about three rounds and then it comes out. What would cause this problem? I would like to know before I send it back to S&W. The sad part is I haven’t even shot one full mag out of this gun. From all the comments this seems to be a good gun I must have gotten a Monday or Friday rifle.

    • Chad,

      Have you taken down your rifle past field-strip levels before? Was there a previous owner who may have replaced parts or improperly reassembled the rifle? Do you know if the Buffer retainer is in working order?

      I’ve reached out to my contacts at Smith & Wesson with your question. Perhaps they will be able to provide some E-mail support vice you having to send the rifle in. I will let you know when they get bcak to me.

    • Chad,

      Smith & Wesson have contacted me back. Rather than speculate on the cause of your issue, they’d like to talk with you directly. I’m E-mailing you contact information with a direct extension.

  13. Mr. Shotzberger,

    Thanks for your help. I received the email with the contact info. Just my luck they can’t answer my call until the 12th, something about inventory. Well I think I have figured out why it was doing it. When I took the collapsible stock off to put on the single point sling adapter, I didn’t screw the tube portion of the stock in enough to cover the actual buffer retainer. When I went over the gun before taking apart I failed to notice how the buffer retainer was covered a bit. So long story short operator failure. This is my first AR I have owned, have shot many, but never owned one until S&W came out with one I could actually afford. I will let you know how it fires when I get a chance to pull the trigger. Again thank you.

    • Chad,

      Based on the symptoms you had described – the buffer retainer sounded like the culprit! Let us know if everything is now back in working order. Good on ya’ for figuring it out yourself. The M&P15Sport I tested and beat the heck out of ran extremely well, I’m hopefull that you’ll have the same experience now that the issue (might) be figured out.

  14. Mr. Shotzberger,

    I left work early yesterday so I could hit the range up and test fire the M&P I was having trouble with. Well nothing but good news this carbine never jamb,misfire, or had any ejection problems. I shot about 100 rounds total of three kinds of ammo not one problem. With all the good reviews I new it had to be something I wasn’t doing correctly. Problem solved, study your weapons and pay attention to detail. Good thing I caught it before I shipped it back. They probley would have laughed. Anyways just thought i would let you know.

  15. How well will this hold up to rusting? Would this shoot well in the rain or after being dropped in a puddle?

  16. Thanks for the great review. I also Just purchased one of these rifles and I love the fit and finish. I am glad that I got this instead of the bushmaster carbon-15. However, I do have a question about the upper and the lower. It seems as though they do not fit perfectly, and wiggle a bit. They don’t move around much…but it kinda bothers me a bit. I’ve read a lot about how this is normal in a lot of AR-15’s…and I’ve read about the accu-wedge..but I was wondering if your m&p 15 sport has this problem too. I saw another guy ask this question but no one responded. Thanks again for the great review!

    • I also own a S&W M&P 15 Sport and it does have a bit of wiggle room. It is quite normal and will not cause any issue in firing, or in safety. The accu wedge does help to help eliminate the wiggle, if it becomes excessive then I would contact Smith and Wesson to see what they can take a look at it.

  17. I just picked up my S&W M&P 15 Sport yesterday.

    Does anybody have any links to videos that describe the field-cleaning process?

    Do you owners have any caveats?

    Thanks . . .

  18. I just took delivery of a Sport added a tru-glo 2x red dot and went out to the range the first group at 100 yds was at least a 1″ with 2 of the 5 rounds in the same hole subsequent groups were similar not bad for a $600 rifle that is warranted for a lifetime. I researched all of the other quality arms referenced in the internet and spoke with a number of gun shop owners nobody had anything bad to say about the sport except the dealers that did not sell S&W. Based on my initial field results this rifle may be the deal of the century. I am very happy with my purchase and to tell you the truth that is very rare.

  19. Does anyone know where to purchase a good picatinny forward rail for the S&W M&P15 Sport? I want to mount my TLR-2s on the upper forward and cannot seem to find one which will fit properly.

  20. BLUF: You can’t go wrong with the M&P15 Sport

    I picked up my M&P15 from Guns and Ammo Warehouse (transfer from online purchase) on Thursday. I got it home and cleaned it and had to wait for the next day to hit the range. Day 1 at the range I used 100 rounds. No problems whatsoever. Extremely accurate as well. I had to make some adjustments to move my grouping up and to the right but that’s it. I’ve added a TruGlo Open Dual Color Sight, once sighted in, it too was causing my rounds to hit center mass. Day 2, I had to go back the next day for more. I intentionally mixed up types of ammo, used all my mags (most are magpul), and shot rapidly at times. Not one single issue.

    So far, I’ve added the TruGlo Sight and Picatinny Quad Rail Handguards. I tried out some Magpul Back Up Sights but I’m not sure if I’ll keep them or not. Next up are rail covers.

    No issues with loose fittings or any of the other items other posters have stated. This is really a great weapon.

  21. I bought this gun 6 months ago. Its a great gun for what i do with it. Like it says above unless you are in the desert fighting with it, I do not see a need for the dust cover. I do clean mine after about every 5oo rounds i put through it. My question is, what is a good website for customizing it?

    • I have used a couple of different sites to customize mine. is a good one as it

  22. So, aside from the “proprietary” lower , i.e. the integrated trigger guard and lack of dust cover, is this just as modular as any other AR? I got a chance to hold one yesterday at the range’s pro shop. seemed like a solid rifle worthy of the S&W name. The first thing I’d change is the grip…felt a bit small for me.

  23. Where can you find this for sub $700.00? Cabela’s has one for $899 after a $100 rebate.

    Planning on getting my first AR soon and this gun looks like the one for me.

      • I’d stay away from large retailers. Everywhere I looked in Houston had them for around $679 reg. price and never saw a sale price below $649. I found a Sport II at a local small gunshop for $598 reg. price! Replacing the A2 sight/gas block for a low pro gas block then adding a 15″ Key-Mod hand guard in the near future. I’m using mine for home defense so having ability to add a light fwd of the muzzle is a plus. For now I’ve added the Magpul carbine Mlok hand guard and the Magpul angled fore grip. Replaced the clunky squared pistol grip with a wider grip w/ finger grooves from MFT @ Academy for $34 (thinking of dipping it in plastidip to add some more grip). Replaced the butt stock with a Minimalist butt stock from MFT @ Academy for $45 (reduced weight AND it has the rubber butt stock pad). Added an ambi sling mount by CAA @ Academy for $30 (bonus is it can go on the buffer tube by removing the butt stock and secured with an allen screw). Added a single point bungy sling from Academy for $19. For now that’s it. FYI first range trip @ 50 yds w/ Fed American Eagle .223 55gr resulted with the first round on the upper left of the inner white ring of a standard sight in target. One front post adjustment and I had it on the inner bull ring upper left. Second adjustment to rear MBUS and I was on the bull with the following three shots landing inside a 1/2″ group (shamrock). No gripes or complaints on this rifle so far. First AR but my fifth rifle and i’m loving it!
        Oh, by the way, I decided against the “recommended” preliminary cleaning prior to first range trip. Not a single FTF or FTE, went through three 30 rd mags and a final reload of 10 using the supplied Magpul mag w/ anti-tilt follower and two MFT 30 rd mags w/ anti-tilt follower. That’s 100 rounds in first trip w/o prior cleaning and it functioned flawlessly!!

    • I recently bought the M&P Sport at Academy Sports for $659. , plus with the purchase I got a 100 buck mag loader free from Smith & Wesson…and absolutely love it….added a red dot and a torch and laser , ran the first 100 rounds with American Eagle 55 grain .223 with no glitch at all…bought some extra Magpul mags ….this is one sweet little rifle…I don’t need all that high priced fancy stuff to add to it…I have it just like I want it…simple and reliable….

  24. I have a Sport model as well and love it.. It is well built and reliable. I have put 1000’s of rounds throught it and no malfunctions at all. It does however tend to not like steel case ammo. Stick with brass. I have also looked into an Accu-Wedge to tighten up the slight bit of movement between the upper and lower receicer. Also above the rep from TC says it has a 1 in 7 twist rate but mine is a 1 in 8 twist. UTC makes rail sections that can be added to the standard/stock forward handguard The go for about $25 and you get two approx. 6″ sections one for the top and one for the bottom. They are tapered as well which is nice so it keeps your attachments level and not at an angle (the back to front handguard tapers down). I have have one on the bottom section of the handguard so I could add a forward verticle grip but I am going to invest in a Magpul hanguard which I really like and you can customize it with different sizes/lenghts of rail attachments. And its a great deal for only $40.

    • Mine eats steel cased ammo all day long and loves it. I’ve only had one malfunction, and that was with a Winchester Silvertip that broke the ballistic tip on the feed ramp. Fed the next two rounds flawlessly, and I have the deer to prove it!

      As far as rails go, I added a Magpul handguard and three rails, one of which I mounted a vertical grip to. I HIGHLY recommend one. The difference in controllability is just amazing.

      • Same here. I shoot mostly steel cased brown bear ammo and I haven’t had a single problem with my m&p15 sport.

  25. Was recently pointed to this article and enjoyed reading through it. That said, I do see the author pointing out that this is a solid “perfect entry-level AR” – what would be the “next best” “off the shelf” AR for someone looking for the something a bit more robust and obviously pricey (not top of the line, but next step forward)?


    • I’m looking at ARs and might buy myself one for Christmas…my choice if not the M&P would be Spike’s Tactical LE carbine length…

  26. recently purchased an M&P 15 Sport and had to load it up with a Magpul stock, NcStar quad rail, laser and a NcStar reflex sight. I live in Montana so a place to shoot is no biggie. took it to our range down the road and lit up the steel. in a waord, flawless. Smith & Wesson has a winner here as far as I am concerned. I also own a couple DPMS AR’s and feel my 15 Sport is just as good. would take it into battle any day. Ranger on.

  27. I bought a sport 2 1/2 weeks ago. After takeing it apart and learning my way around it I ordered a scope mount and put and old scope on it and went to the range. 400 rounds and a week later it has been great. Nothing to complane about. As ours noted it will shoot 1″ at 100 yards even with cheap 55gr fmj ammo. Price here was just under 600 dollars for a local shop.


    • I was interested in buying one of these for a while now. I seen it on but wasn’t sure if it was good since the price was so cheap. If you don’t mind me asking, how much was the scope you bought for it, where did you buy it from, and what model/brand is it?

  29. I recently purchased a S&W M&P15 for my personal use, and have been putting the rifle through the paces. Ive fired over 2500 rounds various ammos , American eagle, wolf, remmington, surplus 5.56 nato, reloads hoping for some sign of failure and the only ammoat gave it any problems were the tulammo 5.56 an. 223 causing various issues every other round or every few round. I was firing at targets 100-150 yards using only a cheap rex optic holographic red dot without any problems. This rifle is a great value and a great weapon for civilian use. I had this weapon on range with several other AR shooters and we compared everything on them a few bushmaster owners even stated this rifle has a better trigger stock than their stock bushmasters, stating the bushmasters ” had a heavey pull and did stage as well as this smith” .Overall for $549 + tax Im very happy with this purchase and will continue to shoot this rifle and modify it as well.

    • Congratulations! and a few others have good ammo prices for it. Have fun. I love mine.

  30. Got mine today at local gun shop $665 pluse tax guy also thru in 2 used gi mags a soft case and 100 rounds. Next stop was the range thru the sights at 100 yards 30 shots in the paper plate I dug out of the trash. Then on to 200 yard another paper plate and it put over 20 shots in it. Amazing I am ordering a scope for it tonight. This low cost NEW ar style gun is a keeper. I recomend it over a used one that will cost more.

    • Check out the scope I put on mine. You might like it. Burris AR332. I paid $317 and free ground shipping on Amazon. Way cheaper than an ACOG and I love mine. When I have the money I’ll replace it with an ACOG though. (With it off, the reticle is black and very visible in light and bright sunlight.) (And the reticle is smaller than you might think by seeing pictures, but very usable.) And no I’m not paid or affiliated in any way with anyone.

  31. Are you all talking about the m&p15 sport? i looked at one today at a gun shop and it was 798. The smith website says it msrp’s at 739. I would love to get a 5.56 smith for the price i seen above but have not come across it. Let me know

  32. I just put mine on layaway hopefully ill get it out in 2 months i got it for 650 plus tax from local gun dealer i am glad that yall posted this comments because i did not want to wast my money. i use the m4 at work and always wanted to have one any way yall made it feel better for getting started on my first ar.

  33. Look at Bud’s, Mark’s Armory, or Cheaper than Dirt for prices below $600. Check regularly as they go fast! Mine was from Mark’s Armory and I could not be happier. 1K rounds without a single FTE/FTF and accuracy is awesome. I have nothing but positive things to say about this rifle.

  34. I got mine at Cabela’s right before Xmas for $599.00. Set it up with a Quad rail vertical foregrip and a Vortex Strikefire red dot optics system. All I can say is awesome firearm.

  35. I just purchased my first AR—this one– from a local gunshop for $610 yesterday, and haven’t shot it yet…it is snowing here…so…

    I have a question for you guys that have fired yours—

    How do you site your target with the factory sites ?
    I’m not sure on the recommended vertical placement of the front site in the rear view site hole. I guess you can just wing it as you site it in, but I wouldn’t mind knowing the “standard” method.

    The manual doesn’t give any direction at all, which may be normal on an AR rifle, but all my new handguns had an alignment illustration in the manual.

    Any other tips or ideas on accurate aiming would be appreciated !

    • I ended up using the top of my sight to get on point. Anywhere else was low. Then I started dialing it in by adjusting the front sight up and down. It’s my first AR style rifle too, and I am loving it.

      • Finally put some rounds downrange.
        The furthest I can place a target is about 75 yards right now (I’ll have to clear some more woods/brush come spring)
        I find that at that distance, with my trigger pull, I need to place the target over the front site, while on most of my handgun iron sites, I cover the target with the front site.
        That may be the standard, but I’m new to all this.
        But at this range I find it very accurate, I don’t see myself getting a scope for this…at this time.
        My only problem has been I don’t always catch the center front site quickly. I have to make sure I’m not on one of the others.

        • Keith, it sounds like your eye us too far back from the rear sight. You should easily see the center post and both of the Y arms

            • When I learned in the dark ages, our drill had us put our noses on the charging handle while sighting this will expose the front sight for you. Then adjust the stock for comfort. Hope this helps.

  36. Throwing a handful of sand on it is not a proper torture test.

    Have you done the truck test yet… throw it on the ground and back over it a couple of times with a passenger truck, like they do with the Saiga-12?

    Something tells me the MP 15-22 would crunch and shatter like a Fischer Price toy, considering all of it is basically polymere plastic, except for the barest places it needs to be metal like the bolt and barrel.

    • SG – do your homework FLAME DELETED. The S&W sport is NOT polymer. It is constructed of the same materials as a common AR. It is just devoid of the “features” a average shooting enthusiast does not need nor have to pay for.

  37. I just got mine last week, after shooting my friends the following weekend. Took mine to the range on Friday and put a few mags through it. I love te thing, for my first AR style rifle. It shoots so smooth. Now, time to start with the upgrades and a few extra mags. This will be fun. Have a nice day!!!

  38. I have had my M&P 15 Sport for four months. An old army guy this is my first AR and I could not be happier. I first zeroed in the old fashioned way… 25 meters using the U.S. Army settings. Easy work to zero. Rounds on target every time. Last month I added a Burris AR332 scope. I use 62 gr 5.56 x45 federal ammo. This is the weapon and ammo that the sight was designed for. Hitting three rounds in a 1in circle at100 yards every time now. This is the dream combo, fast weapon and fast sight for near and far.

  39. I recently purchased the S&W M&P Sport for $599. I was a bit apprehensive concerning the quality of the weapon for such a low price. However, having owned several S&W weapons in the past, I felt it was probably worth it.
    As a former U.S. Marine rifle and pistol instructor at Camp Pendleton, Calif. for three years, I have fired many types of weapons. I started off with the M-1 Garand, like Patton, I believed it to be the best combat weapon ever.
    This S&W is superior to any rifle I have fired to date. I highly recommend it!

    • Thanks James your post sealed the deal for me on my first ar purchase! I will be picking the S&W M&P 15 sport! Thanks again.

  40. Just got mine from for under $630.00 shipped, I heard great reviews, what acog similar scope would be recommended?

  41. Okay I am about to order the m&p 15 sport , and I looked at and it says it comes with 10 rd mag. Has anyone else ordered this gun and got a different clip for it? And if so have you had any problems with the non-stock clip?

  42. There is a California Compliant version with a 10-round “fixed” magazine. I am in the process of ordering my own M&P15 Sport and look forward to doing a lot of shooting. The prices have started going up, so no time like the present . . . .

    On the scopes, I concur with those recommending the Burris AR-332. I have been carrying it on duty (LE) for the past year and have been very pleased. The magnification is just right, allowing for both CQB and medium range shooting. I’ll be adding one to my personal collection, too.

  43. I mounted a Burris 3×9 hunting scope on mine because it is the only extra scope I had available. I got moa performance out of the package (although the long scope’s ergonomics don’t fit real well with the charging handle). I’m getting moa accuracy from Federal 55gr ball ammo.

    A solid gun.

  44. I have on with a 4×32 bushnell scope. it has never jammed and never had any problems. People tell me all the time “its not a real ar” and they act like it wont perform because of the cost affective removed parts. At 150 yards shooting vmax 55gr i can shoot soda cans all day. Best gun ive ever bougth and its number 21.

  45. I have an M&P 15A (basically a sport with the forward assist and the dust cover), which has performed flawlessly though hundreds of rounds (766 to be exact). I will say that mine likes to run wet. The first time I shot it I used what I consider a normal amount of oil and it functioned ok, but it started to get way hotter than it should have. I took it apart and discovered that the oil applied was nowhere to be found. I serviced it immediately and applied a copious amount of oil (same type/brand as before) and have never had a problem since. I must also admit that I put a quad-rail on the front and replaced the pistol grip (I have big hands and the Magpul MOE just works better for me). It’s an AR, I couldn’t resist customizing it a bit. The only “malfunction” I’ve had since was when it launched a cheap rail cover downrange (with impressive force). I should also note that it is not picky about ammo. I’ve used pretty much every cheap US made .223 and 5.56 as well as a box of Silver Bear hollow-points (all fed through P-Mags) with no problems.

  46. Ordered mine 2 days ago, can’t wait. I carried an M16 in Nam but went back to my M14 Match .308 after 20 days. Now I will have my own.

  47. I live in New Yorkistan and am a newbie on a budget looking to get my first AR. M&P15 Sport seems to be budget friendly.. .Still learning the “Laws” but I hear no collapsible stock, Hi Cap mags and flash Suppressor… Out of the box M&P15 Sport runs around $739 + tax. Questions are two fold, is that a decent price and I would like to “customize” it a little so what do you “pros” recommend? Note, I’ll be a casual user hitting the range perhaps once a month unless of course the zombie apocalypse hits! Thanks all…

  48. I live in New Yorkistan and am a newbie on a budget looking to getting my first AR. M&P15 Sport seems to be budget friendly.. .Still learning the “Laws” but I hear no collapsible stock, Hi Cap mags and flash Suppressor… Out of the box M&P15 Sport runs around $739 + tax:
    Smith & Wesson M&P15FT Rifle
    Model: M&P15
    Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO / .223
    Action: Semi-Auto
    Capacity: 10 Rounds – Detachable Magazine
    Overall Length: 35″
    Stock: Fixed Position
    Barrel Length: 16″
    Barrel Twist: 1 in 9″
    Front Sight: Troy Folding Battle Sight
    Rear Sight: Troy Folding Battle Sight
    Weight: 6.5 lbs.
    Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
    Receiver Material: 7075 T6 Aluminum
    Finish: Hard Coat Black Anodized
    Chromed Comp: Barrel Bore, Gas Key Bolt Carrier, Chamber
    Other: Compliant For Sale in CT, MA, MD, NJ, NY

    Questions are two fold, is that a decent price and I would like to “customize” it a little so what do you “pros” recommend? Note, I’ll be a casual usual hitting the range perhaps once a month unless of course the zombie apocalypse hits! Thanks all…

  49. I bought the S&W M&P 15 sporter because of the price. With what I paid for the gun and the upgrades I have since made, I must say I could not be happier with it as it stands now. I have put about $300 in upgrades and am up around the $1100 range as it sits. That amount plus taxes would have gotten me, yeah I know a “real ar” in the eyes of others. That would put me at around $1500 with upgrades. The gun shoots straight, have not experianced any jams and most important fits my needs.

  50. Bought the M&P 15 Sport as my first ever AR. I did have problems with the trigger. After about 30 rounds the trigger locked up on me. I called them, they fixed it and it runs great now. No hassles, no problems. I’m a pretty reasonable guy and I understand things will go wrong sometimes, but as long as its fixed with no hassles, I’m a fan. Started buying firearms in 2009 and I now have 7. 4 out of 7 firearms I own are Smith & Wesson.

  51. I can’t wait to get mine. Waiting on the trusty irs for a tax
    I got a sw9ve 9mm a few months ago. I’ve had a S&W 44 mag for years. Smitty never let me down.

  52. Picked one of these up 2 months ago to have an extra AR. I already own an Armalite AR-10 and a BCM .556. For just over $600, I couldn’t pass this up. So far I have fed everything through it and it’s been 100% reliable. I’m actually pretty amazed. Keep it clean, and an AR is an AR. I might have to pick up a couple more.

  53. Wife and I just bought an OR model flattop. My dept seized a M&P15, destined to be destroyed, and we gave it to our rifle team. It has been a great gun. All we had to do was slap an Eotech on it and sight it in. I wanted one from that point on.

    The first thing I did was install Troy Battle Sights (with a DOA rear) and replace the Smith bolt system with a Les Baer chromed, match bolt and carrier. An Accupoint 1-4x with a LaRue quick release base is going on next. What I found was a good price on the basic OR, but by the time you set it up, it’s still going to cost you $2500 or more.

    Oh well, that’s part of the fun of having a Barbie Doll, isn’t it?

  54. had my S&W M&P 15 sport for over a year now…..pretty much did all the usual “Barbie” upgrades ergo grip, YHM free float rail, troy rear sight, magpul ctr stock, ended up picking up my friends Battle comp muzzle and picked up a trijicon accupoint w/ larue mount for cheap….the gun is AMAZING, right out the box with stock sights it was on point didn’t even have to sight it in. Never had any jams or malfunctions, put about 600-800 rnds could be more haha. HIGHLY recommend it for someone looking for a really good AR, but without the THOUSAND DOLLAR price tag, def worth the $600 i payed for it. you won’t be disappointed!!

    • Had the mp15 sport for 6 months now, run and gun and 500 rounds later…not one malfunction, running pmags and tapco gen2 mags. The rifle came out of box sighted in and ready to hit moa! Very pleased with this rifle and I suggest it to all my friends

  55. I purchased an M&P 15 Sport last week and put the first rounds through it today. The rifle appears tight, well balanced, and accurate. I ran three different brands of .223 and 5.56 ammo (Remington, Federal, and Winchester) without any problems. As I was shooting at an indoor range, the longer-range accuracy is TBD, but my first impression is that this is a great value @ $599.

  56. I bought this rifle last summer (2011) and I love it. It’s a very accurate and reliable rifle and eats every brand of ammo that I feed it. It cost me $595 and I consider it a bargain. So far, I haven’t needed a forward assist or dust cover. It’s hard to beat it for the price.

    • Yes Yes Yes!!! my buddy and I have fired thousands of rounds and its awesome! Not one jam or misfire. Make sure you keep it clean and it will be awesome.

      • i highly recomend this gun its fun to shoot very little recoil u can shoot 500 plus rounds through it in opne day and have no sore arms ts great.and the upgrades you can do to this gun is will love it

  57. Guns shoots great. Its my first AR. Fires as fast as you can pull the trigger. I have the rear battle sight mbus gen.2. Its new to me but nice has the small and large appetures. You can shoot long or short range. Zombies beware.

  58. I am new to AR’s I’ve shot a couple, one of my friends owns a nice BCM that I love, and another owns one he built himself w/ an M&P lower & a DPMS upper, both are nice rifles. I’ve wanted an AR for some time, & have been looking @ the M&P sport on my local gunshops website. they have it for $725.99, which is in my price range. I was just wondering if this model is fully accessorizable? for instance, i want to add a slidefire stock, & quad rails, would this rifle be for me? or should I look into another model? if I need to check out other AR’s do you have any suggestions, that are dependable,& won’t cost me an arm & a leg?

    • Yes, you can fully customize it. my friend has a magpul buttsock and a UTG army digital quadrail on his sport. The only difference is no forward assist and no dust cover. It is still an ar so you can customize the crap out of it.

  59. Why do u folks want an AR15…..does it have stopping power in case of self defense?

  60. what is the deal w/the AR15? Does it have the ability to stop intruders or ability to protect your family?…Just wondering…is it deadly?

    • Larry:

      Yes to answer your question, it is deadly. Most people “Oh, it’s a souped up 22 with lightweight bullets. Meh”. Well, do some research and you will that many of the top-performing 5.56 x 45 rounds actually fragment inside the body into dozens of sharp little lead fragments.

  61. I just got a M&P sport and couldn’t be happier, Larry who doesn’t want an AR, and to ask if they are deadly is just silly…:'(

  62. i first bought the m&p 15-22……what a fun CHEAP gun to shoot!!!!! it is accurate,fast and fun….i ran 2000 shells through it with no…not one problem!! so i purchased the m&p15 sport, so i have 2 ar’s for under a grand!!! what a bargain, and both guns are great shooters and dependable and very accurate!!! would def. do it again. CUDOS

  63. Spent a lot of time researching the ar-15 for my first black gun purchase. The more I read the more I was set on purchasing the s&w mp ar-15. I got mine a week ago and took it to the range, all I can say is I will never second doubt the purchase. What a great rifle for the cost. Accurate and dependable. GREAT JOB on this one.

  64. I purchased mine for $589 (below dealer cost). I have had it for just about a year and I have nothing but good to say about this weapon. It shoots everything you feed it and does so accurately. Accessories fit with no issues. It points very well in CQC situations. I started out with a green AR-15 (M-16) back in the day and have shot all of Uncle Sam’s toys up to today. I’m impressed.

  65. i just got this gun its my first AR15 and i love it very little recoil but semi loud i love that.i have lots of guns i love my 870 express 12g but this AR is by far my fav gun to shoot very accurate very easy to take apart and clean.i love this gun so much i have my dirtbike up for sale to buy another one.i have upgrades on ofcourse like a scope with green lazor switched out the buttstock and pistol grip to fol-green mag pull and switched out the plastic foregrip and put on aluminum quad rail with the fol-green pannels i love the looks now i also have a great l.e.d flashlight mounted very bright.again the s@w m@p 15 s a great gun and i highly recomend it to anyone.i will be puchasing another one in the next few weeks but im goin big on the next one its goin to have all the goodies.

  66. I got super lucky today and as soon as I went into my local gun store, they got a shipment of these in. They usually sell out really quick. I got it for $750 which is more than most people pay but I wanted the convenience of getting it without waiting for shipping. With all of the wonderful reviews on this page and online, I can’t wait to shoot it!

  67. i was just wondering i live in NJ and i saw the M&P 15 i loved 10 round magazine fix stock i was just wondering is the M&P 15 picky with the magazines you put in it or will it accept any magazines

  68. Bought the m&p sport in may 2011. Put a magpul moe fore arm & added 4″rail to bottom & mounted magpul vfg. Added 1 3″ rail to right side of forearm & added hell fighter x8 weapon light with gooseneck mount & pressure switch. Put vortex red/green dot sight on upper rail of top receiver. Sight comes with 2x screw in magnifier. Have ran over 2000 rounds through the rifle & couldn’t be happier. It will shoot steel case, brass case or zinc coated steel case. This rifle refuses to quit. With the 1/8 twist & 5r I will shoot against any $1500 rifle equipped the same way. Can consistently hit soda cans @ 200 yds with magnifier & fmj ball ammo no matter what the brand. Great rifle, recommend it to anyone.

  69. I love my S&W15 Sport. I have added all of the MOE parts that I wanted & all fit perfectly. It shoots 100%. Yes the EOTech fits with no issues. It’s a bit overgassed as with most commercial AR’s. I put a Spikes Tactical ST-T2 buffer in it to help with that. Great AR!

  70. ok, so this is going to sound crazy, but I need some information. I am in the U.S. Army, and my father recently purchased an M&P15 at a gun show. I am trying to get more information from him, so i can help him build up the rifle with optics, rails, etc, to get looking more sexy and more functional to use. here is all he could tell me: It’s a S&W M&P Ar-15…it came stock with a flip up rear sight, but hard sight on the barrel; no rail system; and no flash surpressor! can someone help me decipher which model M&P he bought? i keep asking him for pictures to help me figure it out, but he just keeps saying it’s an M&P. I tried explaining that there are about 15 different models, but it didnt help.

  71. I don’t see all the hype regarding the lack of dust cover/forward assist. The forward assist would be nice to have if you were in a fire fight and failed to properly be a man with the charging handle, but for an avid target shooter for the price this has to be one of the best rifles out there for the money. As far as the dust cover unless you are lugging this thing around in Afghanistan and need to stow it under your rack then I don’t see a concern with it, I have never seen infantry concerned with closing it while foot mobile nor do I need to it when it is going to and from the case at the range/woods.

  72. I was debating M&P 15 or Bushmaster. I went with M&P 15 i liked them Troy back up sites and tactical rails plus a free magpul 30 round magazine/clip ha ha that came with it and rubber protect pieces that you put over the rails. Only thing that bad about, is that trigger pins are weak on it and might pop out, its what happend to my buddie’s, easy fix for 25$ from midway we ordered trigger pin holders, which did the job never happend to mine but i still added them. Its a definatly a great weapon for the $$$$ that stands up to big overpriced overated brands like Colt and Armalite.

  73. Best $600 plus tax I have spent on guns in a long time. Gun is accurate, runs like a sewing machine and is/was affordable. Wish I had bought 2 at the time. The 1:8 twist loves 62gr ball. 2″ difference in point of impact from 25 to 100yds (all the distance I need to cover at local 3 gun match). Will shoot sub moa with match grade ammo. I put an Eotech on mine just like in the pics above. Shooting off hand, rapid fire, 20 shots in 20 seconds, all shots in the black on the NRA reduced HP target. Love this set up. Like peas and carrots…

  74. I was happy with my purchase after much research and then searching to find one. Now I am upset. I got my Sport a few weeks ago, ordered a lot of magpul accessories and had gunsmith ad it. He mentioned the barrel was 1/9 twist. I was suspecting 1/8 and 5R rifling. I since learned that it DOES NOT have 5R rifling now. That is a signature element on the gun and mine has the same sku and model number as ones from last year, that I could not get my hands on to buy. That is bait and switch and I am not happy.

    • Just got mine a few months ago. Also did not realize until I got it home that they changed the twist rate and rifling. Found out this was done at the beginning of 2013. It is now 1:9. It is still melonite coated inside and out. The original 1:8 5r barrel was a selling point and I should have paid attention at the time of purchase, but I was just happy getting it for msrp of $839.00 in this current atmosphere. What stings is for $200.00 more I could have gotten a nicer mil-spec Spikes AR that was right next to it but I figured the good reputation the 1:8 5r Sport had was worth downgrading, but I got stuck with the more common 1:9. Live and learn I guess, it’s still a good entry AR, but my SHTF gunwill be my Arsenal AK over this.

  75. Well, I wish they could still be found for $600. Last I saw, they were pulling $1100. Pesky supply & demand… I should’ve bought stock in S&W as well as every other gun mfr.

  76. Just a question, from your comment it sounds like it has reliable range? All the other comments are about close range shooting, how is the grouping/accuracy at 100-150 yards?

    • Doubt the OP will reply so I will, my M&P 15 Sport will shoot sub MOA (less than an inch at 100yds) with 60 and 69 grain match ammo. 62grain M855 mil spec ball will hold inside 4″ at 100yds.

  77. I actually just bought this rifle today after several weeks of waiting for the right gun to present itself. The price was too good to pass up. I was unfamiliar with this particular model but am very familiar with S&W as a company and know their reputation. I was extremely happy after buying this gun, but after reading this review I am ecstatic and I am confident I made the best choice for me and my particular shooting needs. Thank you for this review.

  78. IGM! Bought a 3x Nikon Carbine scope but the initial ring/mounts, the Blackhawk 1″ extra high, did not allow for clearance of the scope and folded down rear sight. Just ordered Nikon P series mounts which I have read are high enough to clear. We will see in about a week. Iron sights are spot on but can’t wait for the glass

  79. For Valentine’s day the hubby gave me a handgun…Okay not really, he told me he wanted me to pick out the handgun I wanted. After a couple months of looking at guns, I walked into the local gun shop and saw an M&P 15 Sport hanging on the wall and said “I want that one”. I love this gun!!! It’s a great uncomplicated rifle and fun to shoot without issues.

  80. Excellent review and just what I needed to help me make up my mind. I have been researching now for two months. LGS has the Sport packaged with a 4X scope, two extra mags and 100 rds for $997. If the rifle alone is priced at $700 I will probably get that and put the saved money towards an EXPS2.

    • Correction regarding the LGS package deal that I mentioned. It includes a S&W AR15 T, not a Sport.

  81. I’m an OIF veteran with extensive experience with Army issued M4’s and the M&P 15 is my first personally owned AR style rifle. It feels so much more solid than the ones they have us in the army but I’ve had a few issues with it yesterday taking it out for my first shooting session… About a dozen times per magazine I experienced seating issues with the rounds I was using. I found myself reaching for the forward assist but as you know by reading this, it’s nowhere to be found… I really do think it’s a handicap for the rifle. Performing corrective action isn’t an issue for me but its an unnecessary step that shouldn’t need to be taken with a brand new rifle. But maybe that’s it, maybe it just needs to be broken in more…

  82. lightweight quality gun at a great price, everything functions perfectly, the only upgrade I might make is a gunfighter charging handle. s&w got this one right

  83. Just bought my mp15 and would like to add some optics of some kind. Maybe the Burris AR 332. Will I need a riser to clear the front sights?

  84. Shot a turtle off a log at 80 yards with the first shot out of the box. Have shot 1k rounds with no problem. A friend bought a DPMS and has had many problems. Some guns may look cool but my M&P 15 works and is very accurate.

  85. I bought the Sport about 3 weeks ago and carried go the range last Tue. During the trip the rifle fired several rounds then it would click, like the firing pin would strike the bullet but it would never fire. It would not let me place it on safety either. At this point I ejected the magazine and ejected the round with the charging handle, which was hard to do. After retrieving the round there were marks on the side of the brass and the casing was bent. I reinserted the magazine and fired a several more rounds with no issue. I was firing a mixture of 223 ammo that I had been collecting from the local gun stores. I have sent emails to S&W but no response from them yet. Does anyone have an idea why this may happen? I can email pictures of the bent rounds.

    • Dean,
      If your rifle was firing without issue with factory ammo; second hand ammo could be the issue.
      weapons leave distinct tool marks on the brass as extracted and ejected. If you can look at the brass you originally fired and compare it to the ammunition that was damaged. I read a similar post about someone who had an issue with reloaded ammunition not seating properly; that was due to the brass not being properly re-sized when reloaded. Additionally, if the primers are only slightly marked when you attempted to fire them; the primers may have been set too deep. I hope this provided some assistance.

  86. My son and I both bought the M&P Sport two weeks ago. We’ve had them out 3 times so far. The only time I had a problem was when I fed it a hand load that I had not properly sized, and it stuck part way into the chamber. I have fed it a mixture of .556 and .223, and am very pleased. Had it out yesterday and was hitting a man sized metal target at 300 yds with the sights that came with it. Then I was hitting clay pigeons at 100yds sitting on the side of the hill. This rifle is consistent, accurate, and a blast to shoot. Would love to have one for my wife. Two shots to get used to it and she was hitting the clay pigeons too. Well done S&W.

  87. I bought my sport from academy about nine months ago since then five of my friends have bought there own. Yeah you can buy a more expensive rifle but this one acts like one without the price tag. I have a 300yard rang at my house and bare minimum I shoot a magazine a day and most weekends get a lil more trigger happy. I love my m &p and want to purchase a another just to play dress up with again. Damn fine rifle made me a s&w man!

  88. I have been reading and researching the AR rifles. I also carried one in Nam. First, all the original models by Colt did have the dust cover, however, we spent most of our time in rain and mud and as soon as the first round was chambered or fired this cover was opened and believe me many did not bother to close it anyway. Don’t get hung up on initial jams as we were initially told this arm never needed cleaning, which was the real culprit, which changed when cleaning kits were finally issued with instructions in what we called the comic book. The charging button was insisted upon by the Army, the Airforce did not want it and it was seldom found on theirs, the Marine Corp was indifferent about it, so some had it and some did not. Eugene Stoner, the desighner did not want it at all thinking many would try to seat an unsafe round when all they had to do was eject it and chamber a safe round. Having carried the original I find all this talk about a dust cover and charging button is really a very moot point.

  89. After reading the excellent review on the M&P 15, & all of the great comments i decided I’d get one for myself. So i went to my local gun shop & traded a shotgun
    & a SCCY CPX 2 plus $200 cash & went home with my new carbine. Tomorrow
    my buddy & i are heading to the hills & we’re going to try out the new toy. This is my first AR & i can’t fool anyone — i’m excited. Let y’all know how i do.

  90. Colt M4 Commando 11.5 this was my primary weapon as a United States Marine 0311 Infantry. Having said that I bought this M&P 15 for the price at Impact Guns for $629.99. Having served in desert environments,mountains, snow and ice all over this.little planet I can say it measures up the the most expensive weapons out there. Like Michael Jordan use to say it is not the shoes, so likewise it is not the rifles. The men behind it, the dedication and maintenance of the weapon is key. Overall a great weapon constant training, target acquisition and proper maintenance will keep you and your rifle very happy. Semper Fi!

  91. what all clips will fit the Smith and Wesson MP15 .223 caliber? do they have to be S and W or will AR clips work??

    • They come with a PMag, which are one of the most popular and reliable AR15 magazine. Any AR mag will fit.

  92. Just bought my M&P15 for $650. I think it’s a great deal. I’m prior military and trained on the original M16A1. As far as I’m concerned the dust cover and forward assist are very overrated. I never once needed the assist even back then. As far as the dust cover it may be nice for long term storage in certain situations, but I didn’t buy this weapon to go diving into swamps and deserts. I’m a fan of S&W and none of their weapons have ever let me down.

  93. I’ve had my M&P15 sport for three months have over 1,000 rounds through it never cleaned it other then adding some oil here and there and never had a single misfire jam or failure to feed , and yes I have used steel cases as well as brass . I paid $629.00 out the door . Best gun I ever bought .

  94. I bought my wife the M&P 15 ORC with a red dot sight; she loves it. I pick up my M&P 15 Sport this week.
    A high quality rifle; durable and dependable

  95. I bought one of these last week and haven’t had a chance to get to the range yet.

    What I would like to comment on is S&W’s outstanding customer service.

    Since this is my first AR I wanted to keep it pretty much stock because I like how light this rifle is, yet still wanted to mount a vertical grip. To do this I purchased a rail section from Midwest Industries that is designed to specifically mount to M4 style handguards. After deciding where I wanted to place the rail on my handguard, I mounted the rail and used loctite to secure the mounting bolts of the rail section. Unfortunately there was an unacceptable amount of wobble with this rail. When removing the rail section, one bolt was stuck on and I could not get it off. Believe me, I tried EVERYTHING. I ended up cracking the bottom half of the handguard in half.

    I called S&W customer service today and explained exactly what I did and asked if I could order a replacement part. Much to my surprise, the customer service rep said he found the part and was shipping it to me FREE OF CHARGE!. Now that is some outstanding customer service.

    I am confident that my rifle will function flawlessly and if I do have a problem, S&W will not hesitate to take care of me.

  96. I finally took mine out about a month ago, had shoulder socket surgery so I have been playing (read that drooling over) mine for several months. I posted in January about my experience with the M-16 in Nam so everything was very familiar. What surprised me the most was that I fired 5 different brands of ammo (Federal ball ammo, Wolf, Ultra, Hornady, and Black Hills Match) and 3 different style bullets (Full metal jacket, hollow point and soft point of 52 to 62 grains), usually the point of impact may vary a bit, but at 50 yds (further will probably show more variation) everything printed to the same point of impact and all at less than 1 inch groups. This was a real eye opener. The weapon never skipped a beat and was very comfortable to shoot. I do like my telestock two positions from the rear. Because of my experience our local VFW Post is raffeling one off in November and our ticket sales have been through the roof. There are a lot of brands out there, but you will not go wrong with this one.

  97. I live in billings MT. I just got my sport at Big R for 499.00!!! Obviously a great sale. For that price I now have 200 bucks for accessories or probably just ammo. Any suggestions for good online ammo deals?

  98. March 2 ,2015

    I purchased my Sport 15 just about a year now, fired over a 1000 rounds on the range, Never a hiccup, love it.

  99. I purchased my s&w m&p sport mid feb 2015 in Al. for 589 plus tax. It came with the front post site and a magpul rear pop up. I saw a video on you tube a while back on converting an AR to a flat top. They cut the front post off with a 4inch grinder but I juat want the reg length for stock with the rails to add a front pop up site. Can anyone advise if I do that if the magpul pop up front site will be accurate or problem free. My email is [email protected]. I am afraid I will not find the advice back o. This thread. Any advice is greatly appreciated…tks COLT

  100. Dust covers and forward assists are pretty much pointless additions on the AR anyway, especially the dust cover. Even if your rolling around in dust the gun will function 99% of the time without a dust cover as long as its reletivley clean and oiled. I can see why they added the forward assist to the AR platform (the original to my knowledge did not have these) to clear jams, but there are other just as easy ways to clear jams or rounds that dont go full into battery. I mean for the price and just having these 2 rarely used features gone this gun is a no brainer

  101. This is the only AR I have ever shot. I rent it at my range on the regular. It’s a pretty fun gun to shoot!

  102. Got mine for $549 from Grabagun. Shipping added six dollars for $555 and $25 FFL transfer fee for a total of $580. After I bought it I saw it for $549 on with free shipping. So far it looks well made. Hopefully I can get to the range soon.

  103. Has anyone had a problem changing there stock? Im having a problem changing mine. It says the buffer tube is mil-spec which has a smaller diameter then a commercial tube yet I had a commercial stock and it was way to tight to fit on it. So if a commercial stock is too tight how could a mil-spec one even fit? Help!

  104. I bought my Sport from local gun shop, for $519. It is my first rifle, other than old Savage 22 pump. Put Magpul MOE Handgaurd, and cheap BSA Red Dot. I have about 300 rounds at 25 yard indoor range. With bench support and after several tightening of Red Dot screws, I’m putting 6 or 7 rounds in center 1 1/2 inch bull’s-eye.
    I also bought a Limbsaver butt pad, and it really helps with the slight recoil. I’ve only been shooting for 60 years but this will be a great way to keep me in the game. Sadly, I have lost a lot of interest in shooting my sig pistols. But I’ll get back to them shortly. Waiting for the BAD lever, and will probably add the M-Lock APG. Was thinking about adding a light, but having been shot at before, I feel shining a light in a “situation”, will make me a perfect target. But for now, this Sport is a blast!! Metal sights are right on also. If I had time, ”in a situation”, I would reach for this before my handgun.

  105. I purchased the MP-15 Sport 2 months ago here in Macon Ga. I’ve owned others and this ONE!! is just about the best one I’ve shot. I put a Sight Mark sight on it and where ever the dot goes, goes the round:} I purchased it because of all this crap that’s going on. IF, THEY COME TO GEORGIA, they’ll see what true patriots there is in GEORGIA!! EVERYONE has a weapon!! Mess with one, you mess with ALL!! One of the best rifles I’ve shot. No problems at all.

  106. all i can say is I bought this rifle in 2015… purportedly after smith may have “cheaped out” on something or other. my experience thus far is that in basically stock configuration with an american made affordable redfield low power scope it outshoots most AR’s at the range. my groups are tight. and i mean like less than 1moa out of the box at 100 yards with quality ammo. i can only attribute this to the fact that smith machines all their own important parts so they all fit together right. in the beginning i did have a few tumbling rounds at 50 yards but after breaking in the action for a hundred rounds its never happened again. so stop talking about how the AR you built for 1200 bucks is so great. its not unless a professional gunsmith fit everything together for you right… don’t waste your money buying whatever brand name upper and other brand name lower that everyone thinks is so great. this $500 dollar gun will most likely outshoot it. spend the extra money on a decent scope of your choice, go to wal-mart and get some perfecta 223 ammo thats cheaper than the junk federal and winchester and much more consistent and go drill holes at 100 yards all day. and you don’t need a dust cover or forward assist… thats just tacticool unless you’re headed to the middle east or vietnam.

    • at 100 yds off a rest with 6 power scope. keep in mind i’m a new shooter with less than 1000 centerfire rounds of any kind under my belt. in experienced hands this gun is plenty accurate. usually i’m not a fanboy but smith and wesson knows their shit, so i’ll rep them here.

      oh yeah one other thing… why screw with a factory assembled gun this accurate if you don’t have to… IE.. unless you’re planning on free floating the barrel don’t pound away at the front sight pins unless you know which direction they come out. if you need to get the front iron sight out of the way just cut it down leaving everything in place. file it smooth and blue it.

  107. I just bought this rifle as an impulse buy while looking at AK-47’s because of the price being cheaper then the AK, I am glad to see this positive review, and I just want to throw in there that they now come with a Forward Charge and a dust cover. Good Job S&W.

  108. These smiths are known to have issues. There are much better values to be had for an entry level ar 15 IMO. I was just at my LGS yesterday and another sad sap was there with his mp15 that will not feed properly. Same reported problem that a lot of other mp15 owners have had. All of my ar rifles eat any 5.56 or 223 i feed them and so should yours. I do not understand why any reasonably researched buyer would want to own one of these over a proper mil spec ar 15 which can be purchased (or assembled easily) for around the same price. Also, i just do not understand why smith and wesson would choose to design and manufacture a proprietary upper and fcg for this rifle while suitable mil spec uppers and fcgs are commonly available from a number of reputable domestic manufacturers. Perhaps it was an attempt to cut costs while circumnavigating the supply chain. The ar platform has had a lot of kinks worked out of it during half a century of development. I assure you that the dust cover and forward assist are there for good reasons ( and no you may not simply install an aftermarket cover and assist as others have suggested because there are no provisions for installation of these parts on the mp15 and its proprietary receiver). I wonder if the bolt and carrier steels are to spec. When you have proper parts the ar is hard to get wrong because almost all manufacturers stick to the same spec. Smith and wesson should have done the same. Essentially they reinvented a cheaper version of the wheel. This is baffling considering how cheap wheels are these days. The mp15 reminds me of an american made ak. They will continue to fly off the shelves as long as we have lots of uninformed first time buyers. I would not recommend an mp15 to any of my friends.

    • I suppose some people just want a good value and are not concerned with bragging about mil-spec this or that. Also why does an AR need something that many other firearms do not need such as dust cover and forward assist…are they really that finicky that someone that just likes to plink or hunt or use for home defense that they would need it? Not everyone that gets an AR is wanting to play GI Joe and go running around trails and rolling in the dirt with it. As fun as it looks I am too old for that.

    • Uninformed buyers…you are kidding right? Spent months researching ARs and chose the MP Sport. The barrel alone beat most if not all barrels costing twice as much or more. The twist, rifling and melonite treatment were way ahead of the curve. Now, most MFGs are using melonite.
      “These Smiths are known to have issues…” sounds like a democrat quoting unnamed sources. They are known to have NO issues! NONE!
      There is nothing proprietary about the MP 15 sport. Where are you getting your information? Are you schilling for some one?
      BCG and barrel fully tested not batch tested. Your remarks are the most ignorant I have ever seen for any thing, any topic!
      Too many (young) people want the roll mark to feel part of a group. I am older and trying be act cool was abandoned in my teen years. You do a disservice by making up the generic “issues” comment and questioning the lack of testing or mil-spec compatibility. You are factually wrong on those point. I did my research.He is misinformed and making up stuff as he goes along.

  109. The Smith & Wesson website product pages currently show the barrel twist for both the Sport, and the newer Sport 2 as a 1 in 9″ twist. This review lists the twist as 1 in 7″ twist (which would be preferable for heavier grain bullets). However, this is not the case at this time.

  110. I just purchased The M&P yesterday for $699.99, but it does have the forward assist and dust cover. I must have the tactical model. I didn’t know about the sport model until I read this article.

    • That would be the second generation M&P Sport II it has the cover and forward assist. You cant get that version any more now you get the Featureless version…. ugly….. if your so lucky to live in Cali…

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  112. Bought a M&P15 Sport today at a Point Blank $499.00. can’t go wrong at this! Fin Fur & Feathers had them for $499.00 including 5 extra mags. How’s that for a price?

  113. From the ex military perspective… I bought this rifle because I wanted something that I am familiar with but without spending 1500$ plus on Colt. Had it for many years now. Never had issues. I will admit that the absence of forward assist and dust cover were a concert at the beginning. With that being said… When you are shooting in sandy, dusty circumstances the dust cover is always open and will collect debris no matter what. The time it comes in handy is if you have to walk miles with your weapon in a dusty condition, lots of debrie will definitely got stuck in the .
    bolt. As far as forward assist… Better know what you are doing or you run a risk of getting 2 rounds stuck and instead of just pulling uour receiver handle and clearing the round you just made your gun unusable and have to quickly and manually open it and clear. Now I know that this is old thread so I would like to point out that sport II has both and is still priced reasonably.
    Will I get rid off my original sport: no. Will I purchase new sport 2. Probably.
    I actually can afford a 2000+ AR those days but I really see no need. For everyone that has the old sport I am sure you were satisfied with it and for people trying to buy their first are will repeat myself. The sport II has both: dust cover and forward assist. At the price point is a no brainier.

  114. Got this very rifle very cheap new but “used” from my local pawnshop. Anyone know how to date it and determine if it’s 1/8 twist and 5R rifling??? Or 1/9 which is fine…I realize no one will see this😏

  115. I purchased a Sport 15 almost 6 years ago. It is still new in the box and it has never been shot. My life changed when my wife had 2 heart surgeries in 2 days and I became her caretaker ever since. My gun activity has almost totally ceased. So should I keep the Sport 15? Or does someone else have a need for it?

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  118. Firearms have turned out to be the most critical resource. Ever since COVID-19 arrived, it has been chaos all over the place.It can be used to fire the projectiles at high speed. Some scenarios might be rare, but you can find weapons for that too.Guns are a top priority when it comes to home defense. Several people have bought rifles and pistols for their cause.Custom Firearms is all about your creativity. It creates an authentic identity. In the case of guns, Looks matter as well.Some dudes love to apply Cerakote, and that’s always fine.

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  120. hi:
    Great information about the M&P15 Sport. I like to read about firearms.
    But I would like to say something that the barrel gets hot and the bullets hit all over the place. this page sounds 99.9% positive but in the reality, this gun is used online for some shot.

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