HOURS OF FUN!
The editor gets his hands on a very special replica for the USA
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.
QUICK AND CLEAR
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.