Smith & Wesson’s military and police guns aren’t really used by militaries

Smith & Wesson aims to regain its lost market share with its Military and Police line of firearms over their competitors.
Miguel Ortiz Avatar
(Smith & Wesson)

Smith & Wesson is one of the most iconic names in the firearms industry. Although control of the company has changed over time, Smith & Wesson handguns have been used extensively by the U.S. military and American law enforcement agencies. However, the company’s dominance in the market dropped drastically in the 1980s with the introduction of European semi-automatic like the Glock 17, Sig Sauer P226 and Beretta 92. Smith & Wesson aimed to regain its lost market share with its Military & Police line of firearms.

m&p 40
The M&P has become one of the most popular pistols in America, just not with the military (Smith & Wesson)

In 2005, Smith & Wesson introduced its M&P pistol. Like the Sigma handgun line that it replaced, the M&P is a polymer-framed, semi-automatic, striker-fired handgun. Originally chambered in popular law enforcement and military calibers like 9x19mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and .357 SIG, the pistol’s popularity in the civilian market saw it expand to other calibers like .30 Super Carry and 5.7x28mm FN.

smith & wesson law enforcement
The LAPD adopted the M&P9 as its standard-issue sidearm (LAPD)

While its concept and design is similar to a Glock, the M&P can be disassembled without having to pull the trigger. To some police agencies, this difference was enough to select S&W over the well-established Austrian brand. The M&P found great success in the domestic law enforcement market and was adopted by agencies like the LAPD (although the department has since selected the FN 509 to replace the M&P). Also popular in the civilian concealed carry market, the M&P was modified into the very successful Shield line of micro-compact pistols. A second generation, called the M&P 2.0, was introduced in 2017 with structural, trigger and ergonomic improvements.

smith & wesson military
The Iraqi Army uses the M&P9 as well as the Zastava CZ 99 and Tariq pistols (U.S. Army)

The M&P pistol was also adopted by foreign law enforcement agencies, including some Canadian and Australian police departments. However, the only military adoption the M&P pistol has seen is with the Iraqi military. Procured by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command for the Iraqi government, Smith & Wesson shipped 7,500 M&P9s to Iraq in 2008.

smith & wesson training
The M&P15 is used by the IRS-CI (IRS)

In addition to the M&P pistol, Smith & Wesson sells the AR-15 style M&P15 semi-automatic rifle. With an affordable price compared to similar offerings on the market and the iconic Smith & Wesson name, the M&P15 remains a popular choice for civilian shooters seeking a no-frills rifle. Variants like the Tactical model and .22 Long Rifle-chambered M&P15-22 have also been released. Smith & Wesson also makes the AR-10 style M&P10 semi-automatic rifle chambered in .308 Winchester and 6.5mm Creedmoor. The M&P15 has been adopted by the Criminal Investigative Division of the IRS as well as local and state law enforcement agencies, but no militaries.