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Education / Training Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 1

Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

I showed you a picture of the Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol in Part 4 of the 2008 SHOT Show report. At that time, I predicted this would become a popular BB pistol. Today, we’ll start a look to see if I was right.

A tremendous number of BB pistols have come to market over the past few years. Where does this one fit in the long list? For starters, it’s priced well below $40, which will be attractive to many shooters on a budget. The entire outside of the gun is synthetic, which is the norm for this price range. The pistol closely copies Smith & Wesson’s popular new service pistol, though most of the controls are molded into the body and don’t function. Only the magazine release on the left side and the safety on the right side move and operate. The slide is also molded in and immobile. A short Picatinny rail forward of the triggerguard can accept a compact laser or tactical flashlight mount.

Another attraction to this gun is the S&W M&P tie-in. The polymer-framed service pistol has attracted a very large audience since its introduction in 2005. When you hold the BB gun, you get the same tactile feedback from a gun that was designed to become a part of your hand. I hate to make comparisons, but it really feels like a cross between a 1911 and a Luger. It’s a double-action only pistol with no visible hammer. The BB pistol has a stick-type magazine that holds only the BBs. The CO2 fits separately into the grip.

Charging with CO2
The M&P uses conventional 12-gram cartridges that install in the pistol grip. The grip panel is a single molded piece that slides straight back to expose the place for the CO2 cartridge. After putting a drop of oil on the tip of the new cartridge (the manual recommends RWS chamber lube, but lacking that, I used Crosman Pellgunoil), install the cartridge with the tip up and tighten the winding key at the bottom of the grip. The cartridge will be pierced after several turns and you’re done.


To install a CO2 cartridge, pull the grip panel straight back. It’s captive and doesn’t leave the gun.

Loading BBs
Usually, loading a BB pistol is difficult, but not with this one. Pull the sliding follower all the way down and it catches and stays back. Drop BBs through the hole in the magazine. A groove guides the BBs and it’s hard to drop them anywhere but where they’re supposed to go. Once loaded, the follower is released to do its job. BB pistols don’t load any easier than this. One thing to remember, though, and this holds true for most BB pistols made today: when the magazine is inserted, the top BB is released from the magazine. If you remove the mag for any reason, one BB will fall free from the grip, as well.


The stick mag is very easy to load. The follower stays down and out of the way, and the magazine assists you in loading 19 BBs.

Being all-synthetic, the pistol is very light. Fully loaded and charged, it weighs just 18 ozs.!

Nice safety
The safety switch is on the right side of the frame and can be applied or disengaged with the trigger finger while holding the pistol in a shooting grip. It’s as quick and easy as a 1911 safety, which is legendary among pistols, so the M&P has something very nice going for it. When it’s applied, the trigger swings freely and you can tell in an instant the safety is on. If the firearm works the same way, I can see why S&W is doing so well.


The safety can be operated by the trigger finger while holding the gun in one hand. It’s positive and gives tactile feedback through the trigger.

The sights are a fiberoptic rear (two green dots) and a post front with a white dot. For combat shooting, you align all three dots and shoot. They will be quick to acquire, but there will be no bullseye precision. Minute-of-pop-can will be the best to hope for, I believe.

The grip is somewhat wide and rounded – sculpted to fit most hands. A deep overhang in the back gives it that Luger feel I mentioned.

On our next look, I’ll check the power, which is supposed to be high.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

36 thoughts on “Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 1”

  1. bb
    i have a question that probably has a very simple answer, but after a lot of thought and a quick web search im still no wiser.
    Why do all guns (inc firearms, air, pistols and rifles) recoil upwards? At 1st i thought it may be a desired effect which was built in to the arms, but then i rememebr that very high power guns have muzzle breaks that try to reduce the upwards recoil. So, any ideas?


  2. Paul,

    The direction any gun recoils is related to the force it generates and how it is restrained. Change the restraint and you can change the direction of recoil.

    Put simply, the force (recoil) is above the restraint (where the gun is held). Hold it upside-down and see what happens.


  3. B.B.

    I will be buying a 6-24×50 scope.

    There are two by pyramydair. The one is from leapers and the other from centerpoint. I trust leapers because of their testing platform, but I don’t know anything about centerpoint. The CP scope is a few oz. lighter but $16 more expensive. I am willing to pay those $16 extra for the ligher weight, but is the quality equal to leapers’?

    Thanks a lot

  4. B.B.

    Yes, the pistol safety is critical. I have given up on practicing a fast draw with the Walther CP sport because of its awkward safety which is kind of unfortunate.

    Can you give a reasonable price for a scope mount and rings for my Savage sniper rifle? Isn’t $230 a bit high?


  5. Matt61,

    Which 10 meter trigger? Pick pretty much any good match rifle from the last 25 or 30 years. The Feinwerkbau 300 or newer, Diana 75 TO1 or newer, Anschutz, Steyr, Walther… They’re all light years apart from most of the triggers encountered in sporters. Match triggers are built like fine precision instruments. Many have separate adjustments for the first stage length, second stage length, front to back position, rotation of the blade, weight of the first stage, weight of the second stage…
    Unfortunately, they can cost like the dickens, too. You can often find a nice used match rifle for about $500 or so if you can get to an airgun show.


  6. BB,

    I’ve bought several Leapers scopes and two Centerpoints from Pyramid. Very good quality for the money. The 3-9X 40mm AO’s seem to be exactly the same. The sunshade from the Leapers even fits the Centerpoint. Are they from the same manufacturer? My experience would suggest that they are.


  7. B.B.

    I meant the price of just the mount and rings which, unfortunately, I have to buy special to fit the Savage rifle. I’m actually planning to use the Leapers 6-24X50mm scope on the rifle for all of about $100 to see what kind of results I can get. Tell me that $230 for just the mounting is too much!

    On another subject, doesn’t the angle in minute-of-angle subtend 5 feet at 100 yards? If that’s true then minute of pop can or even bad guy is not that bad strictly speaking.

    Derrick, aha that’s why I’ve never experienced a real match trigger.


  8. Matt61,

    Sorry that I misunderstood you. Yes, $230 is exorbitant for mounting a scope.

    A minute of angle subtends approximately one inch at 100 yards. Five feet at 100 yards would be approximately 60 minutes of angle.


  9. Santa Rosa,

    You are referring to Beeman guns made by Weihrauch. The Beeman Company was located at several different places in Norther California, before Robert Beeman sold the company and SR Industries moved it to Huntington Beach.

    The first location was Robert’s home in San Anselmo. Santa Rosa was the last location of the company, prior to the sale in 1994.


  10. B.B.

    Thanks. Now I go to the mount dealers armed with conviction. By the way, I read on a website called 6mmBR about a guy who mounted a scope worth $2500! If the Leapers 6-24X50 scope gets results at 100 yards like I’ve heard about for the Savage rifle, I think that would be a real validation of the scope.

    60 minutes of angle just equals one angle, right, just like 60 minutes equals one hour? I was trying to equate one angle with one bad guy or pop can. I suppose the distance is crucial and that it is just an expression.


  11. Matt61 –

    Yes, a minute of angle (MOA, also called a ‘minute of arc’) is 1/60th of one degree.

    As it turns out, 1 MOA works out to 1.047″ at 100 yards, which is close enough to 1″ for most of us. See the math here:


    Yes, this factors in the distance, as you’d expect for any measurement involving an angle. So 1 MOA at 50 yards is about 0.5″.

    Phil L.

  12. B.B. I could use some help. I have four children, ranging in ages from 11 to 25. I have given up on the oldest 3 ever having an interest in shooting. Unfortunately, the media and schools give such a negative impression I worry about the future of the sport. Anyway, I tried a Daisy Red Ryder for her and the accuracy was very poor even at 15 feet, this was very discouraging. Next try was one of the pink Crosman 760’s. She cannot pump it herself. Both of these are going in the garage sale. I also tried one of my smallest, a scoped R-7, but the reaction was “Wow Dad, this is really heavy” She is tiny. What would you buy if it was your daughter?

  13. I’d recommend you give the Red Ryder another chance. I game my 7 year old a Red Ryder this Christmas and he absolutely loves it…it is a lot of fun.
    At this age, or 11 as your daughter is I don’t think .25″ CTC groupings are as important as having fun and getting their interest. I know that we go out every weekend and at 25′ the Red Ryder definitely has ‘minute of pop-can accuracy’. (in actuallity I wonder if you just haven’t gotten used to the gun…my son had no problem bustin’ up those little orange Daisy shatterblast targets that are only a couple of inches across).
    At this age I think the fun factor cannot be underestimated…I’ve shown my son the targets I shoot (with a target rifle, one shot on each bull, and I’m a pretty good shot)…he is far more impressed when he sees one of those Shatterblasts explode when he hits it.
    Just my opinion.

  14. Dad,

    You’re going to buy a Daisy 499 and then, when you get it, you will thank the day you found this blog.

    The 499 looks a lot like a Red Ryder, but the similarity ends there. I can consistently hit a target the size of
    Roosevelt’s head on a dime at 16.4 feet (five meters) and so can your daughter. In fact, with a little training time,
    she will be able to put ten shots into a group no larger than that.

    I want you to read my report on this unique airgun:


    I am a competitive target shooter. When I saw how accurate the 499 is,
    I bought it immediately. You won’t believe it until you see it. It is both lightweight and easy to cock.
    The trigger isn’t the best, but it beats a Red Ryder trigger.


    Also buy the special Avanti Precision Ground Shot:


    Then, let’s go to work on your other children:


    Shooting is as fun as throwing darts. It just takes the right guns.
    They must be quiet and safe, and the “students” must amaze themselves with rapid progress.


  15. Good point. I did pick up some of the shatter blast targets one time, and she did enjoy shooting them. I guess I should not expect a Red Ryder to shoot like one of my FT guns.

    B.B. – I would still like to know what you think too.

  16. B.B. so how much more accurate is the 499. I looked at the 499 when I bought my sons Christmas present (the Red Ryder) but was told by the clerk (I live in Canada…so am limited in what we can get…or the knowledge base available) that I should just save the money and get the RR.
    It is a fun little gun, and after lots of practice my 7 year old has gotten pretty consistent to about 20’…would we see a marked improvement with the 499?
    I have a story that I like to tell…we were out shooting a couple of months back and got into a discussion as to whether we should stop at Toys R Us on the way home. I pointed to one of the pop cans I was plinking…35 paces away…I figure about 50-60 feet, and told him if he could hit it we’d stop at the toy store.
    I know it was dumb luck but the kid took aim, fired and the can flipped into the air.

  17. Canada,

    You have 499s in STORES??!! I think it must have been a different gun.

    The 499 is virtually made by hand, which is why the price is so high.

    How accurate, you ask? You can hit a Lego block at 40 feet. Yes you will see a marked improvement – as in it will seem like you have abandoned your old single-shot Cooey and settled on an Anschutz 1407 with full target sights!

    If, in fact, the clerk really did steer you away from a genuine Daisy 499, he or she did you a gross disservice. The velocity is 240 f.p.s., so no worries there.

    And good for your son! Nothing like a little motivation to sharpen the eye.


  18. RE: Red Ryder. I know to most of us, it seems a little useless, but kids love the Red Ryder like no other gun. My nephew was disappointed to get a very functional 760 (not the pink one) and would have preferred my old RR. I have 2 (one new, one 30+ yo): neither groups much better than a 12G at 25 feet, but they seem to work well at that range when you’re just shooting at something. Most kids are happy to knock something over, but I’m guessing target shooting would bore a pre-teen to tears.

  19. bg farmer,

    I am going to follow B.B.’s advise and get the Daisy 499 and also try and make it more fun like you and the guy from Canada suggested. I guess her old man is so wrapped up in putting 5 shots in one hole I forgot the fun I had as a kid with a BB gun. While I lived out in the county, and we are unfortunately stuck in the suburbs, I can still spice things up as far as the targets. Thanks for everyone’s help.

  20. On the subject of the bb guns, don’t place too much faith in your local clerk. The clowns who are transferring my police rifle might actually get it delivered but just barely. As for the Red Ryder, I wouldn’t put that in the garage sale just yet. If it’s not that accurate it is the name that I keep hearing when people want to practice instinct shooting at airborne targets in the style of Lucky McDaniel. You should read B.B.s post on the subject and read the book he mentions. The Lucky McDaniel method has a very young girl blowing an aspirin off the floor. No shatterblast target could equal that effect.


  21. re: At May 23, 2008 7:41 PM, Anonymous said…
    B.B. This gun is just like the crosman C11.

    That is a compliment; I love my C-11s. I have 6 pistols or so and it’s my favorite.

    QUESTION 1: How does the S&W M&P compare with my beloved C-11? OR, Should I upgrade to the C-21 (too punk) or C-31 (the Pyramid guy couldn’t comment on them yet, too new). Is there ONE gun I should buy that will last and perform as well for distance plinking/fast draw practice at 75 feet than my C-11 does? Or should I stick with the cheap disposables and, if so..

    Question 2: I am acculating broken guns just a year into shooting air. Should I be tinkering with them, shipping them back to Pyramid, to the mfg., to service centers or tossing them? Things like a dropped C-11 lost its magazine retaining detent, I used the wrong oil and dissolved a seal on a higher-end Crossman revolver, my Baretta II Elite trigger now only releases C02 once all BBs have dribbled out the barrel, my Dessert Eagle sucks C02, only 16 good shots even since new, similar issue with my CP99s — too few shots..

  22. Qustion 1. I can’t answer. You are asking is I know of a better BB pistol than the one you have. Well, the Makarov is better, but too difficult to find and very expensive when you do. This gun I’m testing is more accurate than your C11.

    But if you enjoy the C11, I’d stick with what works.

    Question 2. You might want to look into repairing these guns yourself. You’ll probably screw up a few before getting the hang of things, but in time you’ll be able to fix them all.

    Go to Ron Saul’s website for parts and help.



  23. Thanks for the response. You provide a great service to even neophyte air gunners.

    I actually meant to request your recommendation specific to the pistols I mentioned: The S&W M&B vs. the new C21 and the C31 in particular — is any one of them preferable (again, just relative to the C11, and mostly in terms of accuracy)? I will get the S&W and/or the C31 based on your input, so thank you.

    Just FYI: My narrow scope is not due to price, I truly do love the C11 for most of my pistol shooting. I like the size, the way it loads, the fact that it is semi-disposable and I have a ton of the magazines. The Baretta II Elite I do not like as well. But thank you for the recommendation on the Makarov; I found one locally and I will check it out also.

    I’ve wasted enough of your time. I’ll check it all out. Much appreciated.

  24. BB,
    I noticed a change in my RWS 350’s POI as the temperature changes. then I tested the velocities of 15.8 gr JSBs on a chronometer. When the outside temperature is about 50′ F, it runs at 750 fps. When the outside temp is about 80′ F, the velocity drops to about 720 fps. Is this normal? Is there a way to fix this?

    The mainspring has about 1000 shots on it and looks good. The seal looks good, too.

    Thanks for any help. I am stumped.


  25. Wayne,

    The answer may lie in something I learned while training for my private pilot’s certificate. Warm air is less dense than cold air. The atoms are moving faster when the air is warm, so they are farther apart.

    For a given airplane, the speed at which the airplane will fly (lift off the ground) is always faster in warm weather than in cold weather. Seems like the same may apply to spring-piston airguns.


  26. I just read all of these comments and half of the talk here isn’t even about the M&P! lol

    Come on guys, talk more about this Smith and Wesson M&P made by Umarex.

    I’m thinking about buying it.

    Thank You

  27. I have both the c11 (1 yr ago)and s&w mp 40(last week)…there are a few pros for the s&W…1)sights are better 2)magazine has a notch so that filling the bbs are easier(at present s&w spare clips not available …c11 spare clips have the special notch not seen in original c11) 3)s&w cheaper and available,c11 is $10 more and not in stock.4)s&w barrel is longer and grip accomodates larger hands.

  28. i have been to the outdoor shops that sell bb guns and they told me it is hard to get the c11 tactical,c21 and c31..Canada customs takes ages to clear the items and the dealers have no idea when they come and since many people want them,u have to drop by often to check on them and get them fast cos the moment they are in,they are GONE for good!

  29. just be carful with it i dropped mine and now the clip wont stay in, still the fastest and most accurate one ive seen. shoots harder and neater than 180$ crossman junk. the price is great so i ordered another the second i broke the first one. at least i’ll have 2 clips. good gun all around just be gentle with it.

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