Just to make sure I'm talking about the same gun: my remarks below are directed at S&W's M&P Compact .22, not the full size M&P version. According to the reviews, the Compact is 7/8 the size of the other one. So here goes.....
Before my friend brought it out of his range bag, I'd not seen nor heard of this Smith auto....the gun was unfired at the time, and we put 150 rounds of CCI Mini-Mag solids through it. We cleaned it up about half way through the session. Overall we both really liked the gun, but both of us found the trigger gritty as heck...It was a new gun and all, but this was, in a word, a truly lousy trigger.
Down in my shop, at the half way point, we cleaned it up and used a bit of grease/Kroil on all the sliding parts. That helped a lot. After the grease job and oil change, I'd judge the trigger "on the low end of mediocre", but a definite improvement.
Even with the crummy trigger, the gun was a joy to shoot. Shooting from a two-handed Weaver Stance, at the 10 yd line, on my range here on the farm, I was getting 1-1/4" groups with CCI Mini-Mag solids. Really great accuracy for a 15 oz. pistol, especially with that lousy trigger IMHO. The gun's got the accuracy, we both agreed and is only held back by the trigger.
Overall, I was so impressed, I trotted down to Glauber's in Carrollton KY this morning, and bought one. ($389 + Tax OTD). The two clerks there also noted the accuracy and reliability of these petit pistols.
On this last point, between my friend and I, we collectively ran ~ 225 rounds through the two guns with ZERO malfunctions
...none...nada. For a .22 plinker, that's outstanding...and it says a lot about S&W's engineering work up. Geez, I wish they'd just continued another 5 minutes smoothing up the trigger...enough, you get the idea....
Good/great sights...I do like the three-dot system, especially with an adj. rear. It was easy to dial it in for the ammunition we had on hand.
Accuracy: The two examples I've shot were really good for a very, very light weight plinking auto. I'm impressed so far, especially considering the trigger oddities.
Ergonomics: It's a small auto that initially I thought would be a problem for my size "L" hands...not so...it feels very similar to a Sig P365 in my use. While the reach to the trigger is a little short for me (about like a "J" frame Smith revolver with good oversize combat grips) the Compact 22 feels good and consequently my groups were not wandering due to grip issues.
Field stripping: Ok, a little different in that the slide does not come off fwd as in most autos. This one lifts off the top...sort of like a M-41 Smith IIRC. This allows good access to the barrel for cleaning from the breach and for keeping the bolt face crud under control.
Magazines (2): This is a nice touch as some .22 autos come with only one and charge half a "C" note if you want another.
Fit & Finish: Hickok45 said it looked and felt like quality...a real gun. Some of the sub-caliber uppers I've used over the years and the GSP offerings leave me with the impression that I've got a pot metal toy in my hands. Not so with this Smith Compact .22.
Manufacture: It's made entirely in the US at the Springfield Ma factory...well, I guess we could call Massachusetts still part of the USA...but you get the idea. Not China, not Russia, Turkey, Greece, Indonesia, Korea or what have you...it's "Made in the USA".
Safety: I really like this one...reminiscent of my 1911's...big enough to easily find, but not so much to be hinderance in the holster.
That darned trigger...it's manageable with some grease as is, but I sure hope it settles in with some extended use. The rest of the package is so appealing, I really have high expectations. If there's some U-tube video on it, I may be tempted to shorten the break-in period vis-a-vie the trigger and do a bit of home gunsmithing.
Best Regards, Rod