S&W's M&P15T Tactical M-LOK is a Solid Performer

S&W's M&P15T Tactical M-LOK is a Solid Performer
Looking for a solid performing AR rifle with a host of features? One to consider is Smith&Wesson’s M&P15T Tactical M-LOK.

13 years ago I tested one of the first S&W prototype ARs. At the time I was frankly surprised to see S&W introducing a design championed by their old rival, Colt. 13 years down the road it’s obvious they made the right decision. ARs have done very well for them. Not only that, but their offerings have grown from two models to a diverse line. While S&W currently has a number of fine offerings, if I was looking for a 5.56x45mm AR, their M&P15T Tactical with M-LOK would be my pick.

SWs-MP15T-2
While not bedecked with bells and whistles, the M&P15T Tactical M-LOK has a number of nice features and proved to be a solid performer.

Why the M&P15T Tactical? Simply because it’s a solid piece with almost everything I’d need and nothing I don’t. It’s ready to rock out of the box. As you’d expect, this model features a flattop upper receiver which facilitates easy mounting of day/night optics and iron sights. The bolt carrier riding inside has a properly staked gas key and was marked MP for “Magnetic Particle” inspection. Fit to the front of the receiver is a lightweight contour 16-inch barrel machined from 4140 chrome moly. This features a one turn in eight inches rifling twist and 5R rifling. Rather than being chrome-lined the barrel features S&W’s Armornite finish on both the interior and exterior of the barrel to prevent corrosion.

SWs-MP15T-3
A Mid-Length gas system provides a smooth recoil impulse and a low profile gas block fits neatly beneath the slim profile 13-inch M-LOK free-floating handguard.

The barrel features a Mid-Length gas system and is fitted with a low profile gas block. At the muzzle S&W fits their distinctive looking flash suppressor. The patented design is longer than a GI A2 flash suppressor, and a bit better looking in my book. It adds a distinctive touch to make this model stick out from the A2 birdcage crowd. Surrounding the barrel is a fairly light aluminum free-floating handguard. At 13 inches in length it extends well past the gas block, providing plenty of room for mounting accessories. Three bolts lock the handguard securely in place while two extensions interfacing with the upper receiver prevent rotation. The top of the handguard features MIL STD 1913 rails while M-LOK slots are cut into it at 3, 6 and 9 O’clock. The handguard is heavily slotted to both reduce weight and aid barrel cooling.

SWs-MP15T-4
A lightweight barrel helps to reduce weight and make for a quick handling rifle while S&W’s distinctive flash suppressor almost eliminates flash.

The upper receiver pins onto a standard looking lower receiver. However, if you take a closer look you’ll notice in place of the GI folding trigger guard is an integral piece. The trigger guard is part of the receiver forging and contoured to provide a bit of extra space for gloves. A single-stage trigger is standard and the rifle’s controls are all standard in size and location. Nothing fancy here.


SWs-MP15T-5
The lower receiver features an over-size trigger guard which is part of the receiver forging. This provides some extra room when using gloves.

Peering inside the receiver extension I found a standard weight buffer. A six-position collapsible M4 stock is fitted along with an A2 pistolgrip. Moving to the top of the rifle you’ll note Magpul MBUS folding sights are standard. Included with the rifle is a 2-inch 1913 rail section which bolts easily into an M-LOK slot. Plus, the rifle comes with one of Magpul’s popular 30-round PMAGs. This model measures 36.6 inches in length and weighs a very handy 6.7 pounds. All in all it is a very good looking piece.


Rather than testing it as is though, I decided to add a few accessories. I started by mounting a Mid-Evil Industries Gen 2 360-degree rotating fore grip. Next I added a swiveling Harris bipod with a LaRue QD mount. I also fit a LaRue RAT stock in place of the M4 piece for some of the testing. For an optic I went with Nikon.

I selected Nikon’s new M Tactical 3-12x42mm with Mil adjustments which I attached using a Nikon mount. This is a recent model from Nikon and is built on a 30mm tube, has large finger adjustable turrets, .25 MOA adjustments with 25 MOA per full turret revolution and side parallax adjustment. If you prefer, it is also available with Mil adjustments. It features smooth zooming from 3x to 12x and comes with a “cattail” for fast magnification changes. A European style fast focus diopter is standard. The Rear Focal Plane reticle is MOA based and features marks for ranging and elevation/windage corrections. Best of all, this new model has an MSRP of just $399.95.

SWs-MP15T-6
S&W’s M&P15T Tactical M-LOK handled well, was quick to the shoulder and proved comfortable to shoot.

From the bench the S&W M&P15T Tactical M-LOK performed very well. While the trigger is heavier than I would prefer, breaking at approximately 6 pounds, the rifle shot well. Best accuracy was obtained using Black Hills Ammunition’s 77-grain Match which averaged a very respectable .9 inch at 2,695 fps. Hornady’s 75-grain Match averaged 1.2 inch while Wolf Performance Ammunition’s economical 55-grain FMJ steel case load averaged 3 inches. Cases feed smoothly, extracted and ejected without issue.

Next I got to work shooting prone from the bipod at 400, 450 and 500 yards on steel. Here the Nikon performed well providing a bright image with accurate color rendition and very good resolution. I dialed for elevation and held off for wind and had no problems with the turrets. As to be expected, recoil is very mild and I was able to make rapid hits at these distances.


SWs-MP15T-7
Testing was performed from offhand, sitting and kneeling out to 280 yards and prone off the bipod out to 500 yards. Accuracy was very good.

From shooting prone I moved to shooting offhand and then kneeling and finally sitting on a man-sized steel target at about 280 yards. The S&W proved very comfortable and I really enjoyed this portion of testing. I finished up by cranking the magnification down to 3x and running some drills at 50 and 75 yards doing some snap shooting. All in all the S&W M&P15T Tactical M-LOK performed very well. If you are looking for a solid piece its MSRP is $1,189.

SWs-MP15T-8
A look at the S&W stripped down for cleaning and routine maintenance. It’s a simple rifle to work on and very easy to accessorize.
S&W M&P15T Tactical M-LOK Specifications
Caliber: 5.56x45mm
Operation: Direct gas with rotating bolt
Barrel: 16 inches, 4140 steel with Armornite finish
Rifling: 1 in 8 inch twist, 5R rifling
Trigger: Single-Action
Feed: Detachable box
Overall Length: 36.6 inches
Weight: 6.7 pounds
Sights: Magpul MBUS
Finish: Type III hardcoat anodized
MSRP: $1,189
SWs-MP15T-9
Acuracy results are averages of four five-shot groups fired from a rest at 100 yards. Velocity figures are 10-shot averages recorded with a LabRadar Doppler chronograph at an ambient temperature of 0 degrees F at 1,030 feet above Sea Level. OTM-Open Tip Match, FMJ-Full Metal Jacket.

Sources
Smith&Wesson
www.Smith-Wesson.com
Black Hills Ammunition
www.Black-Hills.com 
Hornady
www.Hornady.com
Labradar
www.MyLabRadar.com
LaRue Tactical
www.Larue.com
Nikon
www.NikonSportOptics.com
Wolf Performance Ammunition
www.WolfAmmo.com


Want a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 Tactical rifle?

Check it out at Davidson’s Gallery of Guns at GalleryOfGuns.com!

Davidson’s offers the GuaranteeD® Lifetime Replacement Warranty which backs all the firearms you buy through GalleryofGuns.com. It works like this: if anything ever goes wrong with any gun you buy with the Davidson's GuaranteeD® Lifetime Replacement Warranty, it will be replaced. If no replacement is available, it will be repaired at no charge to you. Simply return it to the retailer where you purchased it, pay for the return shipping and upon receipt Davidson's will ship the returning retailer a brand-new gun for you provided one is available. If a replacement is not available your firearm will be repaired for free. For complete warranty information please refer to the Guaranteed Warranty link found at the home page of GalleryofGuns.com

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Firearms News Takes a Look at the Aero Precision 7.5-Inch AR Pistol Upper In 5.56

Firearms News Takes a Look at the Aero Precision 7.5-Inch AR Pistol Upper In 5.56

Vincent DeNiro, editor of Firearms News, does some shooting with the Aero Precision Atlas S-One 7.5-Inch AR pistol upper in 5.56.

SCCY CPX-4 in .380 ACP

SCCY CPX-4 in .380 ACP

New for 2019 is the SCCY CPX-4, a .380 ACP semi-automatic pistol that extends beyond the existing SCCY CPX-3 line of pistols.

Skull Bound TV: Benghazi Hero

Skull Bound TV: Benghazi Hero's First Elk Hunt

Jana Waller heads to Utah and meets up with Benghazi hero, Mark 'Oz' Geist for his first elk hunt. Learn from Oz what really happened on the night of Sept 11, 2012.

Firearm News July 2019 Issue 13 - Brownell BRN-Metro

Firearm News July 2019 Issue 13 - Brownell BRN-Metro

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto rifle.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control! 2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

A Review of Cimarron's 1876 Centennial “Tom Horn” Lever-Action Rifle in .45-60. Plus, an Interview with Actor and Friend of Steve McQueen, Mel Novak! Rifles

Cimarron Tom Horn Winchester 1876 Review

Will Dabbs, MD - May 04, 2020

A Review of Cimarron's 1876 Centennial “Tom Horn” Lever-Action Rifle in .45-60. Plus, an...

If you are interested in owning a rifle chambered for the hard hitting .50 Browning Machine Gun cartridge, you now have another one to pick from! Rifles

Remington R2Mi .50 BMG Bolt-Action Rifle – First Look

David M. Fortier - May 19, 2020

If you are interested in owning a rifle chambered for the hard hitting .50 Browning Machine...

Got the AR blahs? Get out of your rut with Wolf's new A1 gas piston AR-15 upper receiver. Rifles

Wolf A1 Gas Piston AR-15 Upper Receiver Review

David Fortier - May 29, 2020

Got the AR blahs? Get out of your rut with Wolf's new A1 gas piston AR-15 upper receiver.

The new Citadel LEVTAC-92 lever-actions are set to arrive at Legacy Sports International in July. Rifles

Legacy Sports Citadel LEVTAC-92 – Arriving July 2020

Firearms News Staff - May 15, 2020

The new Citadel LEVTAC-92 lever-actions are set to arrive at Legacy Sports International in...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now