Replica Review: Tokyo Marui Smith & Wesson M&P9

My first experience with an M&P9 was the repairing of a friends WE pistol, Which had suffered from that well known issue whereby the striker refused to lock back into its cocked position… The other issue most of these pistols had was the inadvertent wearing down of parts until the pistol became a full auto monster. Not something that’s very useful at all despite the initial fun. I hated the cheese-like internals of the WE M&P with a passion but I couldn’t help but admire how nice the pistol felt in the hand. Luckily Tokyo Marui released theirs at roughly the same time… Or about 3 months later IIRC.

The design of this particular model has an interesting lineage, A pairing of two rather odd parents in the Walther P99 (of which I owned an air pistol version years ago) and the Smith and Wesson SP/Sigma (Again, another pistol I’d owned years ago in the ridiculously powerful, licenced KWC CO2 Sigma 40.

The Smith And Wesson M&P series is aimed at the Law Enforcement market both domestically in the US and for export throughout the world. It’s a striker fired pistol much in the same vein as the ubiquitous Glock, A similarity that has not gone unnoticed and indeed caused a fair degree of backlash with its predecessor, The Sigma. This backlash was so great that S&W were sued and agreed to drastically alter their design.

The M&P features an almost total ambidextrous design, All of which has been carried forward to the Tokyo Marui version. The magazine release can be fitted for left or right hand use, I’ve personally opted to have mine fitted for left hand use due being a southpaw myself.

The slide release is identical on both left and right hand sides, It’s very low profile in nature… Designed to not be easily snagged, Yet easy enough to activate once required.

The frame mounted safety is again a fully ambidextrous design, the travel is extremely short but is positive enough in operation.

The slide is uniquely stiff to pull back, a byproduct of its “striker fired” system. A firm grasp of its scale type serrations allows a good grip, forward serrations are a popular addition to real steel shooters (And as standard on the second generation models) but unfortunately not an option for a plastic replica.

A dummy loader chamber indicator/brass port shows that it’s ready to rock and roll… a nice touch, but I’d love to see it somehow functional (probably asking for a little bit too much but I’m a stickler)…

The stock sights that come with it are pretty standard… A triple dot design which although popular, Isn’t always the best option. There are alternatives available, In fact the only “upgrade” I’ve opted for on mine is the UAC Day/Night sights which provides a great day and low/no light sight picture.

Under the barrel, on the front portion of the frame sits a short picatinny type rail… An almost must have addition to any modern combat/duty pistol.

In fact its extremely rare to see any pistol with the space to potentially have a rail to not actually have one. Combining any pistol with a good weapon light is a great, compact option for CQB. I’ve used this pistol mostly with a Surefire X300 Ultra but other options such as the Streamlight TLR-1 or SureFire XC1/2 look fantastic mounted below this pistol.

At the heart of this pistol is its ability to shoot, A 15mm large bore cylinder paired with a light slide and a high volume gas reservoir makes this one of the most crisp performers on the market. Its an incredibly accurate sidearm and as with most Tokyo Marui replicas your able to hold your own against all opposition in the right circumstances.

I keep going over the same old ground when it comes to gas efficiency… I’m only  interested in getting a mags worth of crisp shots and a reliable slide lock on the last round fired, Anything above that isn’t something I worry about as I always take the time to re-gas when reloading my mags. These more than pass that test, A capacity of 25 rounds (Its real life counterpart being a 15 +1 pistol) gives you 25 crisp and accurate shots, more than enough as a sidearm and with a couple of spare magazines its a pretty capable weapon.

The grip is high, Providing a grip that is close relative to the bore… Not much of a benefit for Airsoft but it does feel very comfortable. Comfort is a key thing for this replica, it comes provided with 3 differently sized back straps. The medium being most comfortable for me…

I’ve owned this pistol for about 2 years now, Until recently its been my go-to sidearm, Paired with a HW Holsters holster and the aforementioned Surefire, I’ve recently swapped to the M45A1 but purely on its own merits… If I wasn’t such a pistol whore I’d happily use the M&P9 as my only pistol. There’s not many that will beat it in pure performance… The HK45 (An old favourite of mine) is around the same performance, The USP is a little harder in the kick but both at the expense of a double action trigger, thus making this one have a much snappier feel when firing. I’ll be rotating this back into the armoury pretty soon, not least because of its compact frame and ease to carry when in a roleplay event.

One final note, There’s the obvious M&P9L Ported S&W “Competition Centre” model thats been released… I’m tempted to get one and use it in a more practical shooting role, But with so many other things on my wish list it’ll have to wait until theres either a sale or a pay-rise on the cards.

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