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Smith & Wesson just dropped their latest AR pattern rifle, the M&P Sport III. It’s a 5.56mm rifle with a 16-inch barrel and mid-length gas system. It has a free-float handguard with tons of M-LOK slots. It also features a 16-inch, 1:8 Twist 5R rifled barrel and A2 flash hider. Luckily, the press release explained what 5R means. Apparently 5R rifling makes consistent contact with the projectile and makes the rifle more accurate than one with standard rifling. Who knew? Well, apparently the engineers at S&W!

The M&P Sport III uses a forged lower with integral trigger guard and has the S&W logo engraved on the right side of the mag well. The left side has basic, discrete caliber and model markings, and the fire and safe selector markings are present on both sides of the lower.

The Sport III comes with an A2 pistol grip and M4 style waffle stock. The barrel, firing pin forward assist and dust cover have an Armornite finish and it looks like the upper lower and rail are black anodized finishes.

The M&P Sport III isn’t fancy but it looks well thought out, and offers a solid looking starter platform for a a fairly reasonable $799 MSRP.



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  1. 5R rifling is what the original Sport has. I knew. I have a slightly later Sport with 1 in 9 twist,no forward assist & no dust cover. This looks exactly like my buddies S& W he got from Cabelas months ago(dunno if it IS).

    • All my lowers have the forward assist. I want it as insurance when cycling the bolt manually that the action is fully closed.

      To me, that’s important since I have a ‘Kali-Key’ toggle-action that may be used in one of them. I like having the option available…

      • Good to know! Thinking about getting a Kali Key for my ILLANNOY rifle. Or I just may 🙄get a Savage Axis bolt rifle. I hate ILLannoy

      • This rifle looks alright, the price is ok, and the gun is a slight upgrade from the M&P gen II.

        I’d prefer it to have the Magpul grip, stock, and MBUS fold down sites like PSA offers. You can get a little better rifle for a little less from PSA, especially if you are willing to buy an upper and lower separately, or do a build kit and a stripped lower.

        I’ve always thought the M&P15 (and Ruger AR556) were good “first AR15’s”, and then moving on to building PSA’s for later guns.
        That’s what I did, Ruger first, then PSA build.

  2. BTW, a 2A case is right now being argued in front of the SCotUS, the ‘Cargill’ bump-stock case :

    • Lever actions are fun and cool, but dang, they are spendy. It’s hard to justify $1000+ lever actions when I know I can throw together perfectly acceptable and ballistically superior PSA AR15s for around $400, AR10s for around $700, or get Ruger and Savage bolt guns for around $400.

      • Hey, Art – Regarding lever guns, might I suggest that you check out Rossi? The ones I have (.45 Colt, .44 Mag/Spl, and .357 Mag/.38 Spl) are well made, reliable, accurate, and actually quite attractive. Granted most of their models are pistol caliber but they have recently come out with a 30.30 model. Mine are all fun to shoot AND the prices are very agreeable

        • I concur, I have a stainless Rossi lever in .45LC. Use it for Cowboy action shooting and not one issue in about 2000 rounds.

        • LazrBeam,
          I’ve been seriously considering a Rossi for a long time. I’d really like to get one in .357 to go with my revolvers. I also reload for 38/357. The price on the Rossi’s isn’t too bad (around $600ish sometimes).

          The only lever gun I currently have is a Henry H001 22lr. I like it, but would love to add something bigger.

  3. The A-2 pistol grip is a stupid idea. It annoys the knuckle of my middle finger. I have a couple of Randall knives with finger grooves, but they are subdued.

    • All of mine including .308 have the bullet proof A2 pistol grip that came with the LPK, replacing every grip so everything in the corral would look and feel the same is costly, unnecessary and really stoopid.

      As for the rifle/carbine the closed trigger lower caught my eye and looks like the no forge mark Andersons, it would be nice know how well the upper and lower fit. Most everything about the rifle sounds decent however the buyer won’t know how well an if desired front sight attached to the float handguard will align with the receiver sight which is why all of mine have gas block mounted detachable front sights. I only use A1 length rifle stocks so collapsible got to go, charge handle looks like it could be better, etc. In other words it’s a fair MSRP and a good rifle for the Do It For Me Crowd to start learning how to do it themselves.

  4. Oh, look. Another AR15.
    Between market saturation, and all those home builds do we really need another AR15?
    And the 5R rifling, been around for what? A few decades now?

  5. I posted the following at SNW yesterday:

    “I bought my Sport II model on a whim for around $500 plus tax, after watching IV8888’s meltdown video. He put the complete upper onto a full auto lower and shot it at full auto as quickly as he could change mags, including a couple 100 round mags. It went something like 800 rounds before it plugged up–I think the gas tube failed. It’s not as refined as a lot of others on the market, but that was impressive and I found it on sale at The Fin. Got me started with ARs.”

  6. $800 rifle that a well known outfit in SC is selling for $500 and it comes with Magpul furniture instead of the plastic crap shown here. I went sour on S&W AR’s when I bought an originial Sport and the “Melonite” started coming off the very moment I took it out of the box.

  7. I have an original Sport abd it has been real solid and real accurate. I do also like PSA but on thing to consider with S&W vs PSA is that the resale value will be better on an S&W sport ii or III for sure


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