Subcompacts are popular for concealed carry in part because a shorter grip makes them easier to conceal. However, many concealed carriers shy away from practicing with subcompacts because smaller guns are harder to hold and require more frequent reloading compared to full-sized guns.
Smith & Wesson’s new M&P 2.0 Subcompact seeks to overcome these challenges by accepting longer, larger-capacity magazines.
The M&P 2.0 Subcompact comes with two 12+1 magazines, one that sits flush and one with an extended finger groove. It also accepts the larger-capacity magazines of the compact (15+1) and full-sized (17+1) M&P 2.0s as well. Two included extender sleeves slip over the larger magazines to lengthen the gun’s grip smoothly to the baseplate, essentially transforming the subcompact into a full-sized gun that’s easier to manage on range day.
This gun is fairly easy to conceal at only 4.5 inches tall using the flush magazine or 5 inches using the extended-groove magazine. (The compact M&P 2.0 is 5 inches tall, and the full-sized is 5.5 inches tall). It is striker-fired and polymer-framed, with steel white-dot sights front and rear, and you can get it with or without the thumb safety. It is available in three popular carry calibers: 9 mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.
I shot the 9 mm M&P 2.0 Subcompact when Smith & Wesson recently visited the NRA Tech Range. It has a 3.6-inch stainless-steel barrel and overall length of 6.6 inches.
The 9 mm version didn’t feel too snappy, even though I have smaller hands and didn’t use the extended magazines. It is designed with a low-barrel bore axis and a rigid embedded stainless-steel chassis to help keep it manageable while shooting. As with most full-sized guns in calibers above .380, however, people with weaker hands may have trouble running this gun—managing recoil, locking the slide back or cleaning it—particularly straight out of the box. (If you have this challenge, the Smith & Wesson 380 Shield EZ we’re reviewing for the December issue of America’s 1st Freedom might be a better choice.)
Grip is always a consideration, and this one has four possible grip sizes—small, medium, medium-large, and large. Smith & Wesson describes the grip texture on this gun as “aggressive,” which some might think means “uncomfortable.” Not at all—I didn’t notice the texturing while shooting, neither in terms of comfort nor ability to keep my grip.
The subcompact’s trigger is the same as those in the rest of the M&P 2.0 line. I found the trigger pull smooth and appreciated that the reset was very easy to feel and hear. The suggested retail price of the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Subcompact is $569.