Before I ordered my Smith & Wesson M&P in 10mm (TTAG review HERE), I did a lot of reading. I’ve had a number of guns over the years, but I’m not a collector and never have too many at any one time. I love guns, but to me, they’re mostly tools and not stamps or classic cars. One thing I’ve never messed with before was 10mm Auto, but after thinking about some of the recent mass shootings, I figured it was time to get some more power and a flatter trajectory at distance, as well as something that can take a red dot. The M&P 10mm checked all of those boxes.
Only a couple of months later, our hero Eli Dicken saved dozens of lives with a well-aimed shot from over 40 yards, starting the process of taking an active shooter with an AR out of the fight. So, my thoughts about going long obviously weren’t crazy.
But, there are some issues with 10mm that can make for problems.
When it comes to the arguments the 9mm supremacist crowd will make, I don’t have much time for those, and I’ve written about that before. I grew up shooting magnum revolvers, and I’ve been carrying and regularly shooting hot .40 S&W loads since 2009. 10mm really isn’t some tactical nuclear device that people with a proper grip and stance can’t handle just as well as anything else. If you can’t do it with 10mm, you need to work on your fundamentals instead of blaming the round (absent some disability or age-related issue, of course).
But, there is one valid concern with 10mm: the crazy range of loads that come commercially for it. The original 10mm loads were all near the maximum pressures, because the whole point was to have a level of power that Jeff Cooper recommended for a defensive handgun. But, when the FBI started using it, and agents without good fundamentals struggled, the “FBI loads” appeared on the market, which eventually morphed into today’s .40 S&W (another round that shooters who can’t put nose over toes complain about).
This lead to a problem for manufacturers. Optimize for the normal 10mm loads, and you risk malfunctions for the weaklings. Optimize for the weakling loads, and real 10mm will beat the snot out of the gun. With high-pressure 200 grain loads, some shooters have had problems with the M&P 10mm not closing back up after ejection, which made it pretty clear that the company hadn’t optimized for hotter stuff.
Because my whole point of going for 10mm was to get that extra power, and not just pay more for .40 S&W, that seemed like a deal-breaker. But, it’s a deal-breaker with a solution: put a stiffer spring in.
That’s where I figured out pretty quickly that shopping for accessories for a new gun to hit the market could be problematic. Hardly anyone has anything for the M&P chambered to shoot the full centimeter. But, smart shooters and tinkerers figured out pretty quick that most things that work for the M&P .45 ACP work for the 10mm, as they’re on the same frame. Figuring this out from forums and other sources helped me a lot with other gear I’m going to be reviewing soon.
So, I took that approach when shopping for my favorite brand of gun springs: Wolff. By looking up springs for the full-size .45 ACP M&P, I was able to find a nice, middle-of-the-road 22 pound spring. Because Wolff Gunsprings aren’t compatible with the factory guide rod, I had to get one of those from Wolff, too (no biggie).
Installation was easy, just like all Wolff springs. If you can clean a gun, you can put in Wolff recoil springs. I could feel a noticeable difference in resistance to racking the slide, but nothing that most people in their 30s can’t handle with a proper overhand grip of the slide. Plus, the M&P 2.0 cocking serrations have plenty of grip (and look cool, too).
Our fearless leader, Dan, helped me round up some hot range ammo for my M&P to put the springs through their paces, and I was off to the range.
As with all other spring upgrades I’ve done on my semi-auto pistols over the years, the beefier spring soaks up the recoil a bit and makes shooting hot loads very manageable (assuming you have your fundamentals right, of course). It also ensured that after every shot, slow or rapid, the gun always closed back up and put the next round in the chamber (an important thing, right?).
So, I’d give Wolff’s springs for the M&P more than two thumbs up, but I only have two. Mine worked just like it should, was easy to put in, and the price is great (just under $30, including guide rod), as usual. If you need springs for any pistol, check the Wolff website at www.GunSprings.com or hop on over to the recoil spring section of Brownells.