The ed­i­tor gets his hands on a very spe­cial replica for the USA

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Phill Price goes out to play, with an M&P 40 from Umarex, and de­clares it to be a bit spe­cial

I’m al­ways in­ter­ested when a com­pany takes a well-proven prod­uct and re­fines it for a spe­cial pur­pose. Smith & Wes­son did just this when they de­vel­oped hand­guns for the mil­i­tary and po­lice, hence M& P spe­cials, which were de­signed to be used by elite teams in the most ex­treme and life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions. Hostage res­cue is the sce­nario of­ten cited when an op­er­a­tor might have to fire un­der huge stress, and no hu­man er­ror or tech­ni­cal fail­ure can be coun­te­nanced. The M& P 40 is a semi-au­to­matic, fir­ing the pow­er­ful .40 cal­i­bre car­tridge known to be the one that ends the fight.


The er­gonomics are su­perb; the slide and mag’ re­lease but­tons are well po­si­tioned for the thumb of the right-handed shooter, and the man­ual safety and slide re­lease are du­pli­cated on the right of the ac­tion, to suit left­ies. I found the grip shape quite su­perb, very nat­u­rally po­si­tion­ing my hand, which helps a con­sis­tent draw. There are three in­ter­change­able rear grip pan­els sup­plied to al­low the shape to be ad­justed to the in­di­vid­ual’s needs and I found the ‘small’ worked best for my medium-sized hand. Shoot­ers with small hands might want to han­dle one be­fore buy­ing.

The 12- gramme CO2 cap­sule lives in­side the dummy mag­a­zine along­side the slot for 15 BBs. The re­turn spring in the BB slot is very stiff, which aids re­li­able feed­ing, but needs a strong hand and fin­ger­nail to hold it open whilst fill­ing. There’s no notch to hold it for you, again, an aid to re­li­a­bil­ity, by which I mean you can­not ac­ci­dently leave it in the open po­si­tion as you go to shoot. Drop­ping a very re­al­is­tic mag’ and slam­ming home a new one re­ally added to the plea­sure of shoot­ing.


The sights are also well de­vel­oped, be­ing big and bold for a clear sight pic­ture. They have the now clas­sic ‘ three white dot’ en­hance­ment and I found them ex­cel­lent and quick to ac­quire. The whole pis­tol has a slick and pur­pose­ful feel­ing, speak­ing highly of the work the de­vel­op­ment team put into mak­ing such a re­fined gun.

There is no ex­posed ham­mer in this de­sign and that min­imises the chance of snag­ging on some­thing like cloth­ing, when in a hurry. Be­cause of this, it op­er­ates in what

“This is a spe­cial pis­tol, in my eyes, and one I’d hap­pily add to my col­lec­tion”

you’d de­scribe as ‘sin­gle-ac­tion’ be­cause the cy­cling of the slide re­cocks the ham­mer on ev­ery shot. My sam­ple’s trig­ger ac­tion was long, but pleas­antly light, mak­ing very rapid dou­ble-taps ex­cel­lent fun.

This is a spe­cial pis­tol, in my eyes, and one that I’d hap­pily add to my col­lec­tion. It has a good trig­ger, a nice snappy fir­ing cy­cle and er­gonomics that make it a real plea­sure to han­dle and shoot. I’m happy Umarex got S&W to li­cense this one to them be­cause it stands out from the CO2 crowd by a very long way.

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