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Gunsmiths ATEi will drop their Chris Costa custom Smith & Wesson M&P9 on Wednesday. And as soon as they do, they’ll be taking email orders on their new website. WYSIWYG but ATEi ain’t saying what you’re seeing. Chances are it’s got everything in their modification menu: new fishy serrations on the side, top and bottom (JK); trigger and action work; better sights, etc. They’ve also milled the slide. According to Mr. Costa ATEi’s increased the spring to a 22lb. “to stop the gun from beating itself up” and “balance it well.” Price TBA. More pics on ATEi’s Facebook page.

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  1. Decreased slide mass, and compensated for it with a stronger recoil spring? Is there a point, or did they do it just to simply do as much work on a gun as possible, since we all know price = performance?

  2. Matt the gun will cycle much faster because of that setup but it will probably not last as long as a stock M&P in the same caliber, the laws of physics cant be changed less material will weaken the gun while it still recoils with the same amount of force.

    • I know that, but why mill those cut outs in the slide if youre not using light hand loads? Will those speed holes cut a couple seconds off your 3 gun runs? Will a bad guy look at it and, omfg your gun looks bad ass, therefor you must be a bad ass, and just give up so you don’t have to pull the trigger?

      • honestly i got no clue, it will probably drop your split time for an IPSC match or a 3 gun match but that is about all i can see in the way of usefulness out of this.

    • True, Beats by Dr. Dre are pretty crappy headphones that were over-marketed to the “hip” crowd. It’s more a fashion statement than an audiophile’s choice.

      There are much better headsets out there, if you pay attention to reviews.


      I think he is saying that Sony noise-attenuating earbuds are better than Dr. Dre’s, which are all flash and no substance, as the connotation of “a good pair” would imply.

  3. Can someone tell me why everyone is sticking Costa’s name on their weapons? I don’t know what’s so great about him or why I would need his stuff over normal. If the guy was a former Special Ops guy who is in the league of Carlos Hancock in what he does and won a Medal of Honor or two for just being a badass then I could understand but there isn’t anyone like that to my understanding.

    • Because a lot of people have man crushes on him and are willing to shell out absurd amounts of money for anything remotely connected to him.

  4. I thought that Costa carries a Glock?

    Those slide cut-outs makes me think of a Beretta 92FS, and not in a good way. Hrmmm, I’d be interested to see a TTAG review of it, though.

  5. Guys-

    A little to straighten things up-I know this is an old topic…..

    But first, a disclaimer: I am a longtime personal friend of Doug at ATEi, and by that I don’t mean I hang around at his shop-I’m the kind of friend that can tell a dirty joke in front of his wife and yell at his kid. That said…..

    I just picked up a Costa gun of my own, and have fully decked out M&P’s and a 9mm Shield from ATEi. I have not had a chance to shoot my Costa gun yet but have had the chance to put quite a few rounds thru Doug’s personal gun. The reason for the slide cuts is not for faster cycling, it is for less reciprocating weight. Les weight battering back and forth means the gun has a noticeably better recovery from recoil. You won’t turn into Jerry Miculek by shooting one of these, but even Stevie Wonder would see the difference after comparing the lightened vs. non-lightened slides.

    When I shot the Costa gun, I had my ATEi’d M&P9 for a while so most of the feel and features were already familiar to me so the standout feature for me was the faster follow-up shots in rapid fire. You can absolutely staple the P!$$ out of a target’s center of mass with one of these Costa guns….

    The three big changes to the gun over stock are as follows:

    Trigger: They run between 3 and 4 lbs, have a short takeup and short reset. Here’s the important part-the reset is both loud and tactile. It’s nothing like the standard or “pro series” trigger, and as good as the APEX triggers are, ATEi’s are a little better.

    Slide serrations: You might think these are cosmetic, but they aren’t. Ok, they look cool, but the real purpose is for ease of weapons manipulation and one hand manipulation. It’s nice to be able to grab anywhere on a slide and have the friction to do a chamber check or lock the action open-makes the gun very easy to cock. If you are wounded, you can rack the slide off of your jeans, a table, car door etc. Takes very little pressure to get the slide all the way to the rear with just your jeans as your means to charge the weapon.

    Stippling-Makes the gun much easier to control in recoil, and is more comfortable in the hand. When shooting, the gun doesn’t move in your hand so there is no having to stop and readjust your grip.

    These three things alone completely change the character of a box stock M&P, they aren’t really the same animal anymore. Once the slide cuts are done, the gun is in a league of it’s own compared to other guns on the market. You’d have to be a pretty accomplished shooter to not get a benefit in your shooting from one of these Costa guns.

    There is one thing I don’t care for with the Costa guns, and that is the mag release. It has the same problem that my other gun that came with one did: The gun will drop the mag when put on a flat surface. I had the release ground down on the other gun and might do the same with this one.

    As for the sight, I prefer a full set of night sights so the 10-8’s on the Costa gun wouldn’t be my first choice. That said, they are finer than the Trijicon sights on my other M&P’s

    As for the gun’s purpose……. Guys, this is not a ‘gamer gun’. The people who are behind this gun do not do matches-this is a personal defense/combat weapon so it being illegal for this competition or that class doesn’t mean anything. Yes, dirt can get in the slots. You may notice that the gun doesn’t have a lot going on in that area and dirt that gets in easily will also get out easily. Very little, if any dirt gets into the action thru these lightened slides. And no, Virginia, the slides haven’t been weakened by milling the openings. Sure on some scale of measurement, the Costa guns aren’t as strong as stock but you have to ask yourself what the function of that part of the slide is: To give a place for the front of the barrel to move upwards. No other work is done by the slide once you are forward of the chamber, other than centering an holding the barrel.

    Is the gun expensive? Absolutely. I had to do a gut check to pony up the dough, and I did think about what I could by with that money. Bottom line is that like 99% of people who would but a gun like this, I already have the bases covered for other types of guns so one ‘special’ gun isn’t keeping me from having a fighting carbine or shotgun. In ATEi’s defense, the Costa gun is just a little more expensive than a regular custom M&P with the same work done to it. Nothing on the gun is there if it doesn’t bring some kind of improvement to to table. Yeah, you can shoot an intruder just as dead with a second hand Glock, but put one of these guns in your hand, put 4 or 5 rounds thru it after shooting a Glock or stock M&P and tell me it isn’t something special…..

    Well, take care guys. Have fun and do bad things to bad people. 😉



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