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If you read our Q4 2015 report, you may have noticed that number four on our most popular post hit parade was our review of the Smith & Wesson M&P Sport. And why not? It’s a reliable, affordable modern sporting rifle…perfect for a shooter’s first foray into the AR pattern world. Now Smith is out the the new M&P Sport II. The new $739 MSRP model adds a forward assist and a dust cover. Here’s their announcement . . .

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced that it has expanded its popular M&P family of Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) with the introduction of the M&P15 SPORT II — a 2nd generation M&P15 SPORT rifle. Backed by the company’s reputation for high quality components and consistent, proven reliability, the new M&P15 SPORT II offers enhanced upgrades to the original, industry leading M&P15 SPORT rifle. Delivering a ready-to-go package with the additional features of a forward bolt assist and dust cover, the M&P15 SPORT II provides added value to this already time-tested platform.

Dependable, accurate and engineered for a wide variety of recreational, sport shooting and professional applications, the M&P15 SPORT II provides the best combination of price and function. Manufactured on a forged upper and lower receiver constructed of 7075 T6 aluminum, the new M&P15 SPORT II is as rugged as it is capable. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the new rifle has been fitted with a 16-inch barrel comprised of 4140 steel with a 1 in 9-inch twist. For added longevity, the rifle features a durable corrosion resistant Armornite® finish along with a chrome-lined bolt carrier, gas key and firing pin.

The M&P15 SPORT II comes with an adjustable, folding Magpul® MBUS® rear sight and an adjustable A2-post front sight. The standard rifle has been furnished with a six-position telescopic butt stock and a 30-round PMAG®. The MSR measures 35 inches with the stock fully extended and 32 inches collapsed. The M&P15 SPORT II has an unloaded weight of 6.5 pounds and is standard with an A2-style flash suppressor and a forged, integral trigger guard.

The M&P15 SPORT II will also be available in state compliant models.

For more information on Smith & Wesson’s M&P family of products, including the complete line of M&P15 SPORT rifles, please visit

About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design, delivering a broad portfolio of quality firearms, related products, and training to the global military, law enforcement, and consumer markets. The company’s firearm division brands include Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, and Thompson/Center Arms™. As an industry leading provider of shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and gun cleaning supplies, the company’s accessories division produces innovative, top quality products under Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., including Caldwell® Shooting Supplies, Wheeler® Engineering, Tipton® Gun Cleaning Supplies, Frankford Arsenal® Reloading Tools, Lockdown® Vault Accessories, and Hooyman® Premium Tree Saws. Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and Missouri. For more information on Smith & Wesson, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to

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    • Exactly!

      S&W must have lost a ton of their M&P15 Sport market share to the Ruger AR-556.

      As someone thinking about buying my first AR, these two are both near the top of my list. That said, I’d clearly buy the Ruger over the Gen. 1 M&P Sport just because it has all the features ARs are suppose to have.

      This is good news. Now the M&P Sport Gen. 2 is back under my consideration.

      Still, I think it was kind of crummy of S&W to intentionally scrimp on features in the first place. I understand why they did it. They didn’t want the low end M&P15 Sport to cannibalize sales of the higher level M&P15s.

      Ruger showed up S&W once again! (Disclaimer: I own and love both S&W and Ruger products)

      • Love my Ruger AR. All you need nothing you don’t. And this will drop Ruger’s already competitive price a bit more.

        • Well… I “need” a good scope, a free-floating hand guard, and a better trigger.
          For… you know… detonating tannerite and winning bets at the range.

          But if you start with a $600 gun, you can add those things and still have everything you “need” with a few bucks left over for ammo.

        • I still think this is the way to go for the AR newbie. I took this approach back when finding something like this was impossible. You learn your gun that much better, you get the features you want and if you have cash flow problems you can build as funds are available.

        • For the trigger, I highly recommend a Velocity 3# curved trigger. Absolutely incredible the difference between my mil-spec trigger and the Velocity on my built SPR.

          As soon as I come back from deployment I’m putting a Velocity in my carbine. Nothing is as enjoyable as a smooth gun, a good trigger, and clean glass to let you hit the target repeatedly.

      • I think S&W realized the only thing the regular M&P 15 was missing were the dust cover and FA. Those aren’t things you can just slap on a rifle when the upper’s not machined that way.

      • I was in the same position this past summer. I went with the Ruger primarily because I wanted a 1:8 or 1:7 twist rate (and my Ruger makes nice groups with 50 – 75 grainers) and I found it at a much lower price than the S&W.

      • I had been looking for my first AR (in civilian life anyway) and had it narrowed down to between the M&P Sport II & the Ruger 556. So I went into Bass Pro today to finally make up my mind. Looked at and held both, went thru everything short of stripping it. And it surprised me, but the M&P felt a lot more substantial and had a much better fit & finish. Now maybe this came down to both being their display models, but both seemed brand new. The Ruger had some play between the upper & lower, and the handguard had a lot of play/movement. Again I was surprised at the Ruger. I’ve owned over a dozen of each manufacturers hand guns & long guns, and have never encountered anything like what I found in the 556 today.

        That said… I came home with the M&P. Tomorrow should be a good day at the range!

  1. Ordered an M&P 15 Sport on 12/4 in case the dictator in chief was going to drive the prices up again. This rifle will for my son sometime in the future. I bought my first M&P 15 Sport in 2011 and it has been a great, very accurate rifle. I was pleasantly surprised when my local gun shop called me on 12/19 that my rifle was in and it was now the Sport II version at the same price. Never had a need for the forward assist or the dust cover on my first Sport, but will take the “free” added features anytime.

  2. Well S&W sure made it EZ for me. I complained(loudly) on a large AR FB group about not “settling” for a basic AR with no FA or dust cover-like the new Ruger AR556. I was basically shouted down and ridiculed because “no ones needs those features”. So why do ALL the expensive ones have them? Better to have and not need I guess. And these are selling for less than MSRP…good going. I’m never going beyond basic AR.

    • I never thought I would ever need a forward assist. Hunting with my daughter and an AR in 300 black, instead of slamming the bolt carrier home and making a lot of noise, I hold the bolt catch and manually slide the bolt forward with the charging handle. Sometimes the BCG doesn’t push the cartridge all the way into the chamber and a few gentle taps on the foward assist is better than a “Kwa-CHAING” echoing through the woods.

      • Interesting point….I thought the only reason to have a fa would be during times of high stress fire (as in your don’t have time to figure out why not in battery) but you make a good point regarding hunting

        • I’ve used it before. It is easier to press the forward assist than to remove the magazine, bull the bolt back, find the live cartridge you ejected, put the mag in the gun, and send the bolt home to possible have the same problem.

          Use and failures that require the forward assist are certainly rare in my experience but I still wouldn’t personally buy or build an AR upper without one unless it was a blow back PCC.

      • You mean you don’t have the rifle chambered beforehand? I’m curious to why. You’d want your rifle (hunting or not) ready to go with a round in the chamber in case you need to make a quick shot.

      • Finally, someone who knows how to use the FA,,, so tired of folks saying it, as well as dust cover, are useless. As someone that carried an M-16 on a battlefield,I will say that if they were useless the military wouldn’t have had them on em in the first place. Yea some of you guys may not need em for your “sporting” needs, but I own my weapons for when the shit hits the fan.

        • not being smart ass at all here, but what about the armornite barrel, use that on the battlefield as well?

    • If you’re not shooting ammo with ball powder you may never need a Forward Assist. My old Colt AR doesn’t have one … but I would have loved to have had one in Vietnam when my rifle quit chambering due to built up powder crud. I was lucky that I had a piece of time to clean it & get it back to working. A lot of guys died when theirs quit in the middle of a firefight. I’d rather have it and not need it …

  3. Sooooo, how is this different from the M&P Sport 15? Both appear to be direct impingement carbines. Hell, even the MSRP is the same.

    • It’s added a forward assist and a dust cover which really is not needed. I can see the Flame Deleted comments now. But,you might want to look at the James Sullivan video on In Range TV on Full 30.

      • I watched that video yesterday. I understand the utility of a dust cover for a combat rifle or if you live in the desert but come on guys most of us are just going to transport the gun from our cars to the firing line in a case. Even if you are going to use it for varmint hunting I doubt you will be crawling through the mud.

        • Yeah, mine doesn’t have one, has literally never been an issue at the ranges. I mean, if I was standing post in Iraq sure I’d take one but I’m not. Even if I have to use it for home defense, it’s not a huge deal

      • The dust cover is really not a big deal unless it’s very sandy/muddy outside.
        But the forward assist is an absolute necessity if you take into consideration malfunction drills.
        It’s critical to make sure the extractor is over the rim before pulling the action back, or else it’s a doublefeed waiting to happen. On an AR the extractor only snaps over the rim at the last moment. Say, if there’s debris ingress or the gun is just too dirty, after picking up a round from the mag the bolt carrier just stays short of in battery. Now you get a click, tap, rack, boom doublefeed. The current doctrine of “tap rack no matter what” is very dangerous. Tapping the forward assist, or the back of the slide if the pistol’s extractor is so designed, before working the action should always be practiced unless the gun is a very reliable controlled-feed.

  4. I happen to like and enjoy many of S&Ws products.
    My 1st carry gun was and I wont ever sell it, a 2.5 inch Model 66. I love it as much as 1 can love a piece of steel.
    This new AR is what S&Ws base gun should have been to begin with.
    It also why I bought a Ruger 556.
    Same gun features. Lower price.
    No forward assist, no dust cover??
    What could that possibly save S&W in the real world??
    It sure cost them a sale with me.

    • I’d bet it has cost them a lot of sales. Everyone (in the low end AR market) has been buying the Ruger lately. S&W basically had to do this to get their market share back.

      • Do you have hard facts and data about this? I doubt S&W lost that much to Ruger. The M&P line (both pistols and rifles) are very good firearms and many have been out much longer than Ruger’s counterparts. I’ve owned many AR’s including a Colt6920 and a M&P15 Sport, both were flawless.

    • When I was looking for my first AR a year ago or so, it was between a PSA barreled upper and complete lower “build”, the S&W M&P 15 Sport, and the Ruger AR 556. I decided against the PSA since I didn’t know anything about the AR at the time. I was then torn between the Ruger and the S&W, but couldn’t find any Rugers locally or online (still hard to find in stock anywhere) and went with the M&P 15 Sport. It’s been a great gun. I want the Sport II, but would have to sell my Sport for it. Not sure if it’s worth it considering the Sport has passed plenty of torture tests (by others, not mine). I’ve since added a Hogue overmolded grip and buttstock upgrade (in lieu of Magpul), and the gun is now really great for me – accurate and 100% reliable on any ammo fed through it. Love the gun.

  5. I have heard a lot of good reviews of the MP Sport without the dust cover and the forward assist. I think I might buy one.

    • I bought my M&P Sport from With my dealer fee and shipping, it was $604. No issues whatsoever. Easy to modify/upgrade. IMHO, the forward assist and dust cover are unnecessary do-dads from a bygone era. They might be authentic, but so what. Things can be improved even on the low end.

      • The forward assist, as said before, is for when the bolt is almost closed and just needs that little extra nudge. It is handy not only for dirty environments, but if you happen to have carbon build up on your bolt and it begins to stick. I get the argument that it is not going into a combat zone, but it would be tremendously frustrating to miss a shot due to something that could have been fixed quietly and with minimal effort.
        Anyway, it is indeed a personal preference, and if you don’t want one that’s your choice. I personally think of it as a necessity, but that is my view. More than likely you will not use it, especially if you do not shoot much or if you clean your rifle on a regular basis.
        But again, personal preference.

  6. 1) Yes, not a bad rifle
    2) what’s w/the “sport” crap for a name?

    If S&W called it the “abortion doctor for anti-constitutionalists” I would buy a crate of them and hand them out, even though they don’t have my mandatory fwd assist and dust cover (shut up it’s my mandatory I get to pick). Don’t play into the hands of your stupid neighbors needing jobs and their ATF bs regarding “sporting purposes”.

    • If you control the language, you control the debate. Why do you think they make such a big deal about terms like ‘common sense?’ Or made up terms like ‘assault weapon,’ ‘ghost gun,’ ‘cop-killer,’ and keep going on about people following their stupid laws and calling it a ‘loophole’ of one type or another?

      Sport is a good name for this rifle. If for no other reason than it might give someone on the other side an aneurysm. It’s not even a lie, with the rise of 3 gun and other modern types of shooting sport competitions.

    • I think the name is to distinguish it from S&W’s other 15s which can cost substantially more, aka the “everything you need, nothing you don’t” marketing mantra. I think the next model up is the M&P-15 Tactical, which I own, and includes a full quad rail, forward assist, dust cover, full MBUS system, and maybe a 1:8 twist barrel over the Sport.

      • I guess that I must have gotten an odd-ball Sport when I bought mine 3-4 years back as it has a 1 in 8 twist. Been very reliable in the thousands of rounds run through it as well. Currently have it set up for the wife to use and I use a PSA that has a blem lower I checked very carefully and couldn’t find the blem. Upper is PSA as well.

    • I think the “Sport” name is just S&W’s way of saying it’s not one of their higher-end “serious” M&P15 models. I think you’re reading too much into it.

  7. Based on what I am seeing online, S&W added the forward assist and dust cover and increased the price by $80. Grabagun has the new ones for $629, the old ones sold for $549. I don’t think the features are worth that much, but… meh.

    • It’s not just that they are ‘missing’, it’s that, they are not even “add-able” later without replacing the upper receiver.

    • The forward assist, as said before, is for when the bolt is almost closed and just needs that little extra nudge. It is handy not only for dirty environments, but if you happen to have carbon build up on your bolt and it begins to stick. I get the argument that it is not going into a combat zone, but it would be tremendously frustrating to miss a shot due to something that could have been fixed quietly and with minimal effort.
      Anyway, it is indeed a personal preference, and if you don’t want one that’s your choice. I personally think of it as a necessity, but that is my view. More than likely you will not use it, especially if you do not shoot much or if you clean your rifle on a regular basis.
      But again, personal preference.

  8. Make it mid-length gas system so the bayonet lug is not just there for looks, you reduce recoil, and improve sight radius that’s a true winner.

    • I never really understood the “optics ready” concept. If I’m gonna go through the trouble of buying an AR, I’d want it to work OUT OF THE FREAKIN’ BOX. At least throw in some MBUSs or equivalents for crying out loud.

      • Bolt gun manufacturers have been skimping on irons for years. If I’m saving $60-$100 and can use whatever sight system I want, I’m ok with that.

  9. I will keep my Ruger AR-556 with its 1 in 8 twist that digests any brand of ammo I have put through it so far without fail and is as customizable as a 10/22 if I so choose.

  10. It was snowing on Dec 13,2012, I had called Cabelas near Milwaukee and they had two M&P Sports in stock for about $675 but it was a bit of a drive in that weather so I put in off till Saturday Dec 15, 2012.
    By Saturday morning, they were gone.
    I found a S&W M&P Sport at a small LGS and paid a $125 premium for that slight delay due to the events of December 14, 2012.
    It has performed perfectly, very happy with it.

  11. Seems like a solid rifle.santa brought one to the wife for Xmas.gas key well staked,same with castle nut on this particular one.
    looking at it and a M&P-15 as I did the only real difference seemed to be no A-3 rear sight.magpul mbus is just fine.
    They must have test fired at least a full mag,it was biggy.

  12. Good for Smith and Wesson. This looks very similar to the Ruger AR-556. Choice is a grand thing. I’d consider one but I’m AR’d out.

  13. Still neither chrome-lined nor nitrided barrel. Seems like a deliberate omission to make the rest of the line-up more enticing – it’s not like nitriding is expensive these days.

    • The M&P 15 Sport uses a Melonite-lined barrel, per this very website’s review of that gun from 2011:

      Not sure if this one uses Melonite or not, or if the Sport still has that, but given that it’s a Tenifer-type ferritic nitrocarburizing process similar to that used on the slides of guns like Glocks, I’d think it’s at least as durable as a chromed barrel, barring someone going crazy and running a hundred 30-round mags through it as fast as they can with no time for the barrel to cool.

      So unless TTAG’s reviewer was wrong in the first place, I’d say perhaps you have some inaccurate information.

      Incidentally, an unlined or Melonite/Tenifer/Ferritic Nitrocarburized barrel can result in higher accuracy, by degrees– chrome lining takes away the crisp rifling cuts and replaces it, essentially, with less “sharp” lines. Here’s an article with a good discussion of the benefits of chromed, stainless, and Melonite barrels:

      Not sure if you already knew that, but I figured I’d drop a note in case you got ahold of bad info. Of course, I might have outdated info on the M&P Sport, so I guess it’s anyone’s game.

  14. Del-Ton Industry Sport AR15 is just as good as either S&W or Ruger. It might even be better. Just another one to consider and the DTI Sport is the one in Danny McCann’s “drag test” as in dragging it down the trail through gravel, through mud, through a stream and then shooting it without malfunctions.

    • A friend of mine builds barrels for Del-Ton. My first choice is an M&P Sport for my first AR, but I’ll probably eventually pick up a Del-Ton and there are a few other options I’d consider.

  15. I had bought the M&P Sport first generation a few years ago. It was a great shooting rifle, never a hang-up or Fail to feed, nothing wrong with it. Then I found out they made the Sport 2 and that made my Sport instantly obsolete. I went to my local gun store today and traded in my old one for a new one.I love this new rifle! I do have one question that maybe someone can help me out with. The rear MBUS sight came cranked all the way to the left, are they sighted in at the factory? If so, I don’t want a rifle that is that far off. Anyway, just curious…
    Way to Go Smith and Wesson!!

  16. I attempted to buy a Ruger AR-556. However, after waiting for four months I gave up. Ruger’s distributors would not ship to a small gun shop. I had the Smith in one and half weeks! It is my first AR and I like it. It is accurate right out of the box. I don’t think I’ll be beating my shoulder with my 8mm mauser as often.

  17. My Sport II copy had rear sight cranked 2 marks left of center. I moved it center, shooting otherwise as it was out of the box. After first 10 shot group, a tight group left of the target, next 10 round group all bull’s eye ring at 15 yards. However as the first group was also low (I held up a bit from 12 o’clock) I’ll be adjusting elevation (front sight) next time out after consulting ballistic tables. My M16 days were 45 years ago and though qualifying sharpshooter I only remember it was easy to shoot. And so is this carbine!

    • To be clear, after that first group was tight left of center I immediately move the windage back to the original two marks left of the center mark.

  18. I just purchased a new S&W M&P 15 Sport a few weeks ago. I have never owned an AR15 before and thought it was a good 1st AR choice. I like the fit and finish; but there are a couple of things I’m disappointed in…

    The EP dust cover is extremely hard to close. I have to use all the finger pressure and can muster to get it to close. Opens with no problem when the bolt is pulled back; but closing it? Doesn’t seen right…

    I’ve fired one 30 round mag through it and it shoots nicely and is accurate. But some of the spent brass hit the brass deflector and chipped some of the black finish off the deflector. I read where that is somewhat normal, but I didn’t expect that shooting the rifle would mar the finish on my new gun.

    I sent S&W and email about those two issues, and they want me to ship it back to them for repair. Not sure I like the idea of shipping back my new AR within a few week of purchase.

    Oh well…

    • Added comments: I’ve decided to hold off on sending the M&P15 back to S&W for evaluation and repairs for now. I have been working with the dust cover, opening and closing it repeatedly, and it seems to be a tad easier to close, but still very stiff and tight. I’d rather it be a bit too tight than too loose.

      I still don’t like the idea of the ejected brass hitting the brass deflector and scaring the finish; but I have read that is not uncommon, and what the brass deflector is for. I guess I was unfamiliar with how the AR15 functions, having never owned one before. That still seems odd to me though… you fire the rifle and get nicks, dings and scars on the deflector face. I’ve read about sticking a piece of Velcro or electrical tape on the BD to help protect it or make it look better. Velcro or electrical tape? Really? On a firearm?

      Also, while I’m on a roll here with my criticism of the M&P15, the adjustable stock is a bit loose and rattles and clacks a bit. That’s another thing I didn’t expect, though I do like the adjustable stock. I’ve read they all do it (rattle and clack). Again, I read to use Velcro strips or electrical tape to help remedy.

      In all honestly I do like the M&P15 and felt like it was a good value for the price on a first AR. But using Velcro and electrical tape to remedy these issues is just something I never expected to have to do to an AR15.

      So, my expectations have been partially met, for a casual shooter. I guess I just didn’t know what I was getting into…

      Just my .02

  19. Just got my first AR a sport 2. have shot through one clip ,shot great and accurate out of the box.
    I read through the book to break it down and clean it, also watched a couple you tube videos. After taking
    it apart I noticed that there are only 2 gas rings on the bolt. the book shows 3 as did the videos. I was
    told by the dealer that the sport 2 only has the 2 gas rings, although there is room for 3. Anyone else
    aware of this?

  20. I have not taken my M&P15 apart to clean, other running a patch down the barrel after shooting, I could offer any info on the gas rings… 2 or 3. I sent S&W an email about the issues with my M&P15 and they promptly responded to my emails. They did tell me that the brass marks (scaring the finish) on the brass deflector finish was not abnormal.

    You could email them or call and ask them directly about the gas rings. I find that interesting too, although I do not know a lot about ARs. Interesting question.

    Good luck.

  21. I have held off for a long time on the AR buy but I am ready to do it now. I see many build their guns and I have a few very skilled friends that offer to help me to get the right parts to do my build. I have the ability to put these together considering I have been working on other handguns and rifles for years that are a lot more complicated and I do own the tools. I decided to go with the S&W sport II for a few reasons.

    1. It is a very familiar brand name and gets instant attention should the day come when I might want to sell this for an upgrade.
    2. I have dealt with S&W in the past and got great support from super nice people over the phone. Parts very easy to get.
    3. They are an American icon that I would like to see around for a lot longer so I will help them out by buying their product.
    4. The quality of the guns I have gotten from them in the past have held up great, shoots well and continues to increase in value.
    5. Many companies out there are building cheap stuff in order to stay competitive and the truly good items can cost you a hefty price tag. Unless you are getting legit info from someone you know that has the credentials to talk, you should stay away from internet experts that are more excited then experienced when they give advice. For the price of the S&W as a complete gun you can’t go wrong.

    I also respect the Ruger products. I have a few and consider them well built, maybe over built but they are a little older and solid as can be. It looks a few have chosen the S&W over the Ruger now that the FA is included and yes, I do want that feature and see it as a good thing. Sorry if you bought the gun before it was standard and are pissed that it is now included and it will make your gun a little outdated, but if it is ever needed once then it was worth it.

    • Very well stated Captain, a true patriot! I believe the only piece of vital information that was ommited in your summary, was Smith & Wesson’s life time warranty!! Nuff said = -)

  22. The Sport II can be had most days for $499 at Shooters in Jax Fl….on special occasions they are $479 Know a few who own them and never heard any complaints.

  23. spent 20 years in the corps…. both on the battle fields of Somalia and the first desert sandbox. many days the range and in the woods hunting pigs in texas (300 aac), deer in Missouri (300aac) , I NEVER used nor needed a dc or fa. now my brothers who served in Vietnam I can bet they needed the forward assist in that sticky ass climate. unfortunately most civilians who own and AR (well at least 80%) of the ones I know, don’t know how to properly use an FA. and believe it or not neither do most military (those who aren’t grunts). just my two cents worth… they are mere window dressing for me. so trolls and haters can be damned don’t care about their views as well as those arm chair range masters or those tacticool fools… you have safe days….. and remember BRASS at the range… Gunny


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