S&W M&P40

Umarex S&W M&P40 Part 1

Best Training Gun Ever!

By Dennis Adler

Were it not for the white lettering, and a .177 caliber barrel recessed just behind the .40 S&W-sized muzzle opening, it is hard to tell the Umarex S&W M&P40 air pistol from the S&W cartridge models.

If not for the white lettering, and a .177 caliber barrel just behind the .40 S&W-sized muzzle, it’s hard to tell the Umarex M&P40 air pistol from the S&W cartridge models.

The S&W Military & Police name has a storied history in U.S. military and law enforcement dating back to the first .38 Military & Police Model revolvers introduced in 1899 and carried by the U.S. Army, Navy and Coast Guard into the early 1900s. Variations of the .38 caliber hand ejector models (later 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Models) were also carried by police departments, establishing the M&P as a standard sidearm for more than a generation, through two World Wars and into the postwar 1950s. The M&P name is carried on today by the S&W M&P R8, and M&P 340 revolvers and the entire line of S&W M&P semi-autos introduced a decade ago, and currently comprised of the M&P9, M&P40, M&P45, full size, compact, Pro and C.O.R.E. series, M&P Shield and Bodyguard models; the most extensive use ever of the Smith & Wesson Military & Police name.

Why an S&W M&P40 airgun?

There are many options available to airgun manufacturers for brand name products but Umarex is especially recognized for its Colt and S&W models among American brands, as well as their legendary line of Walther products.

The overall size and weight for the Umarex is within fractions of a cartridge model with the sale handling and operation. Nothing is molded in for looks, everything you see works just like the M&P40.

The size and weight for the Umarex is within fractions of an inch compared to the cartridge model. Nothing is molded in for looks, everything you see works just like the M&P40.

The Smith & Wesson M&P in either 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP is carried by the LAPD, Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept, Detroit, Miami, and Atlanta police departments, Vermont State Police, agents for the Department of Homeland Security, the DEA, Passaic New Jersey PD, Olympia, Washington PD, and numerous state and local police departments across the country, including my own County Sheriffs Department here in Bedford, Pennsylvania. With the M&P’s extensive law enforcement use throughout the U.S. the Umarex S&W M&P40 becomes an even more attractive airgun for use in training, particularly in the civilian sector, as the first step to learning the handling characteristics of the actual M&P models.

The Umarex S&W M&P40 is nearly identical in every detail to the .40 S&W model (below).

The Umarex M&P40 is nearly identical in every detail to the .40 S&W model below.

The S&W M&P40 with ambidextrous thumb safeties (pictured) and the airgun version look and feel the same in the hand. The Umarex is distinguished by the white highlighted M&P40 and S&W logos.

The S&W M&P40 with ambidextrous thumb safeties (pictured) and the airgun version look and feel the same in the hand. The Umarex is distinguished by the white highlighted M&P40 and S&W logos.

Both the M&P40 and Umarex have matching polymer frames, and metal slides. The visual differences are minimal and confined almost solely to the white outline lettering around the M&P40 and Smith & Wesson names on the left side of the slide, and the telltale manufacturer’s information and safety warnings on the right side. Except from a straight on view that reveals the recessed .177 caliber muzzle, the variances in fit, finish and details of the M&P40 airgun and the .40 S&W models are minimal. The Umarex model of the M&P40 also duplicates the optional version’s ambidextrous manual thumb safeties, so that is not an immediate giveaway that the Umarex is an airgun.

The internal design of the airgun and its CO2-powered version of a striker fired system, takes up a little more room at the breech and the airgun’s smoothbore barrel is slightly shorter than an S&W M&P40 4.25 inch barrel, at just a fraction under 4.0 inches.

The internal design of the airgun and its version of a striker fired system, take up a little more room at the breech and the airgun’s smoothbore barrel is slightly shorter than an S&W M&P40 4.25 inch barrel, at just a fraction under 4.0 inches.

The 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP models are a fraction of an inch longer, and the rear sights are slightly different is shape and a fraction of an inch taller than the white dot sights on the cartridge-firing models. The most telling feature of the airgun’s handling is the lighter trigger pull.

Characteristics

As a training gun in place of a cartridge-firing S&W M&P40 the handling characteristics are identical including the field stripping and cleaning. Every working feature of the M&P40 is duplicated, so all training regimens can be taught and practiced with the airgun creating duplicate responses right up to the moment you pull the trigger.

Also based on the cartridge models, the Umarex M&P40 has the same takedown tool, that locks inside the grip frame, to allow removing and changing the palmswell backstrap panels. The airgun comes with three different sizes. On the cartridge models, the takedown tool is also necessary to release an internal lever that allows the slide to be pulled off the front of the frame for field stripping. This is not necessary on the airgun for removing the slide form the frame.

Also based on the cartridge models, the Umarex M&P40 has the same takedown tool, that locks inside the grip frame, to allow removing and changing the palmswell backstrap panels. The airgun comes with three different sizes. On the cartridge models, the takedown tool is also necessary to release an internal lever that allows the slide to be pulled off the front of the frame for field stripping (on models with a magazine disconnect). This is not necessary on the airgun for removing the slide from the frame.

Standard features include ambidextrous slide releases, ambidextrous manual thumb safeties, disassembly lever and full field stripping capabilities, left side magazine release, three interchangeable palmswell grip panels, full blowback operation with a slide that locks back after the last round is discharged, and a correct two-piece trigger design with over travel stop. The airgun also has a matching 3-slot Picatinny rail on the dustcover so it can be equipped with the same tactical light or light/laser combinations used in the field.

The airgun uses drop free, self contained CO2 and BB magazines with a capacity of 15 rounds, making the airgun ideal for practicing reloading and tactical reloads (replacing a partially loaded magazine with a fully loaded magazine in an active shooter situation to assure maximum capacity). Like the cartridge models, slapping a fresh magazine into the grip automatically releases the slide and chambers the first round. This is literally as close to handing a cartridge-firing S&W M&P40 as you can get.

In Part 2 we sit down with law enforcement officers to compare their M&P40 duty guns with the Umarex M&P40 and then head to the firing range.

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

13 thoughts on “S&W M&P40

  1. I would have to rate this pistol despite its’ impressive looks and function as an 8/10. Why? In order to be an accurate understudy , it should have some decent velocity. This one is rated at just around 300 fps . Not awful , just underwhelming. A 400 fps or at least360 in a blowback would have been nice.


    • Well, you have to remember, there’s a lot going on in a blowback action semi-auto air pistol, particularly the M&P40 with its internal striker design, a serious (i.e. heavy) blowback action slide, and separate self contained CO2/BB magazines. To get all the details of this gun right, to have interchangeable CO2/BB magazines, you’re going to have a little compromise in velocity. Coming in at an average of 310 fps is right in the ballpark with many other blowback action air pistols. The 12 gram CO2 cartridge not only has to put that steel BB downrange, it has to cycle a metal slide and re-cock the hammer (or striker). A velocity range of from 300 to 350 fps is about all you are going to get. A handful of blowback action semi-autos, like the Umarex Walther P-38 are capable of up to 400 fps, but that is the exception.


      • Yup those slides burn up co2 to get that moving , still my 1911s go around 330 . The turtle is the P08.As you said the P 38 is a champ at over 400 fps. This award for not getting out of first gear is the Ppk/s at under 285 fps. Hard to understand how it is so low . My Makarov Ultra gets over 360fps as does my Beretta 84.If you carry a S&W MP pistol you need one of these.


        • Remember, that P38 uses a stick BB magazine. The CO2 is permanently installed in the grip which I think makes for more efficient use of the CO2. I think these removable CO2 magazines we all prefer are less efficient with the CO2 due to the design of the CO2 valve on the magazine which has to mate and seal in the gun.


          • That is generally correct from tests I have conducted. Semi-Auto airguns with the CO2 contained within the grip frame, vs. CO2 in a removable magazine, consistently have somewhat greater velocity than models with self contained CO2/BB magazines. But this is not 100 percent true. There are a few exceptions. I am, however, willing to give up 50 to 75 fps for the convenience and authenticity of a self contained, properly-sized CO2/BB magazine, especially when using a semi-auto airgun for training purposes.

            Dennis Adler


          • I had suggested toUmarexthat they offer an updated P38 with the co2 in the mag, also suggested a short barrel snubbie Msn FromUncle Version for baby boomers




    • I like the classic old revolvers like the Colt OfficialPolice ,and S&W frames . The two most realistic dead on replicas are the Webley and the Dan Wesson715. Have the Python in chrome and while close ,the area behind the cylinder where the valve assembly is located is overly long and takes away from the exact profile.


      • I think the Webley is the best of all since it is a Webley and copied from the blueprints used for the original gun. The Dan Wesson has the wrong cylinder latch design, but is pretty good otherwise. The Python, yep, it is a tad longer (discovered that with the Galco holster), but again very close. A new S&W model like a Model 10 would be a great addition. I think as time goes by we will see more variations. Considering how far the airgun industry has come in the last few years, it is an impressive beginning for recreating both legendary revolvers and semi-autos and carrying on with the latest in modern sidearms.

        Dennis Adler


  2. Hi Dennis and the group. I am awaiting the test of both this pistol and the actual firearm.
    I only have 2 actual firearm pistols, I have the Ruger Single Six and a little Jennings 22 semi automatic. What would be a good replica revolver to practice with to prepare myself for firing the Single Six ? I do have the S&W 327 TRR8 and I just acquired the Schofield no 3 revolver. From pictures it looks like the Colt Peacemakers would be a good choice.
    Take care
    Harvey


    • Harvey:

      I am partial to the Umarex Colt 4.5mm pellet models because they have rifled barrels and are more accurate. There are a lot of great Umarex and other brand CO2 revolvers out there, but honestly, I love shooting the Colt Peacemaker pellet models more than any other. So, to answer your question, yes, by all means get the Colt pellet model to practice for the Ruger Single Six. As for the Schofield, it is a great western airgun and I hope they eventually add a rifled barrel pellet model as well, but for now, if you want the feel of the Ruger, the same way of loading and a degree of accuracy to prepare for the .22 LR Ruger, the Umarex Colt pellet model Peacemaker is as close as you can get.

      Dennis



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