Friday, July 15, 2011

Smith and Wesson M&P 40L 2,000 Round Challenge

[Posting for Mik3]

The 2000 Round Challenge: How do you start to evaluate a new gun?

In today’s "Information Age" I think there is a tendency for people to train themselves and improve their skills by reading about how someone else did it in a forum where all the information is the holy grail of perfection. And, after reading, they get the feeling that they are better because of it.

There are so many great resources out there today for shooting, but these are no substitute for applying, trying, working, and just flat out DOING the drills, the dry fire, and putting in the time pressing the trigger. Don't get me wrong, visualization has it’s place in any sports, and, one can learn from reading, but that learning must be confirmed by action.

Get out and shoot that new gun

Case in point: A lot of folks believe that a certain firearm was a good purchase simply because "ultimatesnipermaster666" said so in some forum. After the purchase, they just leave it at that and don't run the gun through it's paces at all to evaluate. Certainly, electronic resources should be used to inform the purchaser, but that is not enough.

One great place to start is's 2000 Round Challenge.

The rules are simple and paraphrased here: Using a single firearm, fire 2,000 rounds through it with no maintenance, lubrication, cleaning, etc. Report stoppages, malfunctions - both gear and shooter induced - on the forum linked above.

So I tried it with my Smith & Wesson M&P 40 L:

Pistol: Smith & Wesson M&P 40 L 5”
Caliber: 40S&W
Ammunition: Reloads of 180 LTC with SOLO 1000, WWB 165, 165 plated with Clay's and 180 plated with Clay's
Dates of testing: 5-May-11 to 9-July-11
Total rounds fired: 2,020

Stoppages: zero
Malfunctions: zero
Breakages: zero

Pistol had no rounds through it before the test began other than test rounds from factory. Cleaned it, changed the rear sight to a Warren Tactical Night sight and put in a Apex RAM carved up the sear since the L version comes with the standard sear. Polished all trigger componets and striker block, put on the grip tape, lubed it all up and that is it.

After the 2,020 rounds reported above, the gun was still relatively clean and still felt smooth, Solo and Clay's powders do burn pretty clean with Clay's a bit cleaner than Solo 1000.

I also used the 40L at a local IDPA match with the McHenry IDPA club.

It worked well, this is quickly becoming my favorite gun - not because I read about it in a forum (I still haven't seen another 40L) - but because I have shot it and I've found that it works well for me.