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Education / Training Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 2

Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Let’s resume our evaluation of the Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol today. First, this update on the magazine.

The follower hook
As I started my shooting session, the M&P failed to shoot. I removed the magazine twice with the same result – one BB fell out of the mag well and nothing changed. On the third try, I discovered that the follower wasn’t releasing to push the BBs into firing position. It was staying back in the loading position, leaving the BB stack under no tension. A hook on the bottom of the follower is a bit too aggressive and hangs onto the bottom of the magazine until I manually push it off. Then it releases and the follower works as intended. If you don’t know this, the pistol can be frustrating at first, so watch for this on your M&P.


The stick mag is very easy to load, but I learned something about that follower while shooting the gun. You have to know how to release it!


This is the hook that holds down the follower while you load. It’s very aggressive, and on my pistol I often had to push the hook back into alignment or the follower would continue to stay down.

Shooting the pistol
With that solved, the pistol functioned flawlessly. This time, I decided that I wouldn’t shoot at paper targets, because this kind of BB pistol isn’t intended for them. I simply threw three pop cans on the back lawn and proceeded to bounce them around. Today’s pop cans are made from such thin aluminum that the BBs easily pass through both sides unless they impact in a reinforced spot.

It’s been decades since I simply bounced a can around with a handgun, and I forgot how much fun it can be. I limited the distance to about 20 feet, which is appropriate for the type of gun I’m testing, and about 90 percent of my shots found their target. Those lightweight aluminum cans really do move when hit by a BB. I wore safety glasses while shooting, and you should, as well, in case a steel BB impacts anything hard in your yard. One of mine hit a rock or something, and I got it back in the face to remind me of the ever-present danger.


The M&P tore up these cans pretty good. Who needs paper targets all the time?

The tactical sights worked well for this kind of shooting. I held the front sight just under where I wanted the BB to go, and it went there nearly every time – including several shots on the end of the can, where there wasn’t as much to aim at. The trigger-pull on this double-action-only pistol is smooth and light enough, at 5.5 lbs., to not destroy your aim.

With a fresh CO2 cartridge, I got velocities in the 410-429 f.p.s. range, shooting Daisy premium-grade zinc-plated BBs. But, if I fired several shots in quick succession, the velocities dipped to the 380s. That’s due to the cooling effect of expanding CO2, and it holds true for all CO2 guns regardless of who makes them. I see that the max velocity is rated at 480 f.p.s., so the pistol I’m testing is from the slower end of the scale.

What do I think?
Several things recommend the S&W M&P BB pistol. First, it has a delightfully light trigger that’s so appreciated in a DAO gun. Second, it’s accurate enough for its primary can-popping mission. The sights are bold and easy to acquire, not to mention being right on the money. And, let’s not forget – the price is great. I can’t fault this one.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

30 thoughts on “Smith & Wesson M&P BB pistol – Part 2”

  1. Hey BB, My cans look just like that too,….except my collection consist of Natural Lite and Old Milwaukee cans!!! LOL’s The Milwaukee’s have a little round emblem on them that I shoot for. Picking up my 1377C today after work. Can’t wait. TGIF, Thomas

  2. BB, did you actually measure the trigger pull? DAO triggers were always a sore sport for me, but certain ones (like the old Daisy CO2 100 and 200 series) were positively delightful.

  3. Vince,

    I did measure the trigger pull on an RCBS analog trigger gauge. I measured it several times and it was remarkably consistent.

    If you like the Daisy 200 trigger, you would also like the Crosman 600 trigger.


  4. Corona’s,…Blue Moon’s?!?!,…..Ahh an aristocrat I see. Sorry Bebe’s, But I don’t have the wallet for those High-Classed beers. Besides we only get them in bottles around these parts!!! If I did have the ‘disposeable’ income, I would have bought an RWS rifle instead of the Chinese junk I purchaced from Crosman. Their customer Service is awesome!!!,…their products are garbage. In all fairness, their ‘Chinese products are worthless’. Luckily for me I’ve got Charlie Da Tuna to perform a turbo-tune with all the fixings!!! Pabst Blue Ribbons make great targets too!!!! Thomas

  5. Yes, shooting cans is the best. My guns would make them bounce up in the air which was quite the effect and something I really miss.

    A few firearms questions. Can anyone recommend a good source for bore guides for a .223 bolt action rifle. I’m guessing these should be different from the ones for AR-15s, and I’m finding them difficult to locate online.

    I understand that for precision rifles, you should break in the barrel with a special cleaning procedure to avoid degrading the accuracy. From my readings, I’ve put together the following procedure and was wondering if you could verify that it’s okay. Put Hoppe’s #9 on a bronze brush and starting from the breech scrub back and forth several times making sure that the brush does not exit the muzzle. Then, soak a patch in the solvent and push it through. Follow with clean dry patches until they come out clean. Then clean or change cleaning equipment and run a patch with 7.62 Sweet’s copper cleaning solvent out once. (I understand that copper fouling is the real culprit to beware of when breaking in.) Follow with dry patches as before. This whole process is supposed to be done once after each of the first five shots(!) then after groups of three and groups of five as the fouling decreases.

    This seems like an awful lot of cleaning (and a major hassle compared to airguns). Supposing I only have one set of equipment, how do I ensure that it is completely clean so that the different solvents don’t interact destructively? Will swabbing with water do the job? Alcohol? And what is the role of the cleaning mops that came with my cleaning set? Thanks for your help.


  6. LOL’s BB, Forgot about that old song from my childhood!!! Been a long time since I’ve heard that one. Well we’re off to Academy to pick up the 1377C. Catch up with you folks latter and share my thoughts on it. Now you got me thinking about the old Schlitz and Strohs commercials. Talk about a trip down “Memory Lane”!! Thomas

  7. Matt61,

    I wouldn’t use the Sweet’s until YOU fire the gun. All Sweets is good for is removing copper fouling, and Hoppe’s No. 9 does that good enough for the proof shots that were fired, if any.

    But a run-through with JB Bore Paste (Bore Cleaning Compound) is what the benchrest guys do, to remove any rust left by bluing. Same procedure as an airgun barrel.

    JB Paste came to us from the benchrest crowd, so it’s really the hot ticket.


  8. Matt61,
    Take the barrel break in procedures with a grain of salt. Its a good idea to get the barrel clean before you start and the JB is a good idea. But from personal experience and after reading the recommendations of some top builders the most important thing you can do is slow down and dont let the barrel get hot. Clean well if you see accuracy drop off and at the end of a session. You dont want to use up 10 or 15% of your barrel life doing a break in procedure. A barrel will last many thousands of shots but the real top accurate life of most centerfires is more like 1000-2000 unless you prairie dog hunt. I have seen guys shoot out custom barrels in a day or 2 because they get so hot.


  9. Matt61,

    re barrel break-in… It’s my understanding that the break in procedure is to burnish any finishing marks, making the
    bore smoother. This helps to make it foul less, making it easier to clean, and could help with accuracy.
    If it fouls less, then it may mean you can shoot a few more rounds between cleanings, before accuracy drops off.

    I’ve also read that you never want to reverse a brush inside the bore.

    As mentioned, the Sweets is for removal of copper fouling. It has a high ammonia content. You only really need it on a bore that has quite a bit of
    copper fouling.

    Here’s a post that indicates that break-in doesn’t go anything to help.

    More than likely break-in isn’t going to do much for a custom barrel that comes with a hand-lapped bore. Or at least received more attention that your run-of-the-mill factory barrel.

    You might see some benefit form performing a break-in procedure on a factory barrel. (The burnish explanation above makes some amount of sense in this context)

    Here is a link to a break-in procedure that sounds like what I’ve read about break-in.

    There are alternative ways of doing it. Clean after each round for only the first 10 rounds, then after every other, or every third, until twenty rounds, Then after every 5 rounds, until 40, etc.. etc.

    I’ve done it, and believe that I could feel a difference in the smoothness of the bore after.

    You may not want to waste shots on break-in if the expected life of the barrel is somewhat short. The smaller caliber, faster shooting rounds are harder on the bore.

    Do some research on goggle.

    If the bore feels pretty good out-of-the-box you may not want to mess with it.

    Do be careful with your cleaning method. You can do more harm than good if you damage the crown or throat.

    Lots of good precision reloading tools, and good quality cleaning supplies here:

    You might also want to check out:
    http://www.precisionshooting.com (check out the book section here) and http://www.varminthunter.org/

    I’ve got 4 of the Precision Shooting Special Editions. Lots of good stuff!! 🙂

    Hope that is helpful…

  10. BB!! I declare, that’s a hoot. Secret be known, I’m a yankee transplant myself. Born and raised in the great state of Ohio till I was,..as the Southerners say “knee high to a June Bug!!! LOL’s Yes Sir I’m a genuine “Southern Fried” yankee. Local,…Marion. Mable bring me a Black Label!! I swear, my Uncle John always said that was the best ever made. We had it down here for a while when I was a youngster, but like all the good stuff it’s been swallowed up by the big corporate giants,…sad isn’t it. When I can make it up over the Mason-Dixon line, I always look for that “good” beer they have,..that ain’t around these parts. Yes, I liked that “Burger Beer” brand they used to have up there. Couldn’t find it last time I was up in ‘them parts’!?! Oh well, on to the business at hand. Bought the 1377C pistol, and after a few shots, I think it will do for my needs. Kinda cheap feeling, and the sites ain’t nothing to brag about, but to pwer is there. A bit long in the barrel, but practice will compensate for that. Best saved for close up distances. Typical Crosman quality. Rough around the edges, but a file and some sand paper will cure that. But the big surprise is that they had a Gamo “Big-Cat” on sale and I just couldn’t pass it up!! Out of the box, it grouped way way better than the Sierra Pro ever did. Only a few regrets,… The package was openned before, and some DA cocked it, and decided they didn’t want it I guess,…. when I took it to my out building, out of habit, I pointed it at a sand bag and pulled the trigger,…Bang is what it said, and I imediately called the sales-man and told him to never let anyone cock one of these things if they just wanted to ‘look at it’. Anyways, it shoots just fine and like I said the accuracy is right on. Rather have a one piece mount as opposed to individual rings, but the silver lining is that ‘barrel droop’ isn’t as severe as the Sierra. I like that it’s made in Spain too,….just like my old Marksman 0035!!!!!! More on that later!!!! Thomas

  11. Thanks to all for your great information about barrel break-ins. I’m leaning towards going light on the cleaning, and perhaps my jar of JB paste will come in handy after all.

    For what it’s worth, the theory on barrel break-in that I got from the site for Krieger barrels is as follows. The real culprit is a sort of copper plasma formed during the early shots. The copper adheres well to itself and without cleaning will build up quickly and be hard to remove. It sounds like the leading process in airgun bores. Anyway, that’s why the Sweet’s 7.62 was playing such a large role.


  12. Hey BB,
    I was hoping you could help me. Do you have any experience with the crosman custom shop carbines? Im looking at one with .177 18″ barrel and williams peep. Any idea of groups out to 30 yards from a bench? Thanks

    Nate in Mass

  13. Nate,

    Though I don’t have aqn experience with those guns, they shoot through a Crosman barrel, and the Benjamin Discovery has the same barrel. I’d guess you should be able to group under an inch with a good rest.


  14. BB,
    I know that the Walther CP99 Compact has blowback action and this pistol does not. However, which pistol do you feel preforms better in terms of accuracy and power?

  15. Single and double action are trigger terms – not gun-specific terms. They relate to how a gun is cocked and fired. Both actions cane be found on pistols, revolvers, or, in the case of rifles like the AR-6, Crosman 1077 and the Walther lever action, even on rifle.

    Please read this report:


    If that doesn’t clear it up for you, please get back with me.


  16. Does rifled barrel (in comparison with smoothbore) makes any difference for air gun when you shoot only steel BBs – not pellets? I did not see any straight answer for this, and I have no experience to answer myself. What would be other important factors responsible for accuracy?

  17. Alex,

    A steel BB cannot grab the rifling of the barrel, so it cannot spin the BB. However, having rifling does guarantee that there will be gas blowing past the BB in the bore.

    In a BB gun a tight bore is one component of accuracy, and as we saw with the SIG Sauer BB pistol, Hop Up apparently can also have a positive affect on accuracy.


  18. Andrey,

    The Beretta Elite II is very similar to the M&P. Both share identical build, weight, and power ratings. The Beretta is based on a double-stack magazine, so the grip is fatter.

    I’d say either gun should perform the same.


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