S&W's Superb 6.5
Gun World|September 2017

SMITH & WESSON’S M&P10 RIFLE GETS THE PERFORMANCE CENTER TREATMENT AND EMERGES, CHAMBERED IN 6.5 CREEDMOOR, READY TO GO THE DISTANCE.

Mike Dickerson

The last time I tested a Smith & Wesson M&P10 rifle, my expectations were shattered—in a most positive way—because the gun performed far better than I expected it to.

I had just wrung the rifle out during an NRA Outdoors long range shooting school held in Utah and Wyoming. Over the course of two days of high-intensity shooting, Several other outdoor scribes and I successfully shot basic, stock M&P10 rifles, with their pencil-thin, 18-inch barrels, at distances up to 1,000 yards. The only modification to the 308 Win.-chambered rifles was the addition of a Magppul PRS buttstock. Using rifle scopes with custom-cut turrets, we were, to a man, astonished at how well the M&P10 shot. The highlight of the school, for me, was shooting a group at half a mile that you could cover with your hand.

Given that sort of performance from a stock M&P10, I naturally had high hopes for the newest member of the M&P10 clan when Smith & Wesson this year announced the arrival of a new version of the rifle from S&W’s famed Performance Center. The new gun would be chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor— an inherently accurate cartridge.

For the uninitiated, the Performance Center is where modern gun-making technology meets old-world craftsmanship. The gunsmiths at the center specialize in taking production guns to the next level in terms of appearance, reliability and accuracy.

According to S&W’s Matt Spafford, “When designing the Performance Center M&P10 6.5 Creedmoor, each component was selected and manufactured to enable accurate, long range shots with the popular 6.5 Creedmoor caliber.”

The rifle starts with the same basic components as any M&P10. The receivers are machined from 7075-T6 aluminum and have a hard-anodized black finish to protect the surface. Fit and finish on the rifle are very good. The upper mates to the lower receiver without a hint of wobble, and nothing rattles on this gun. It has a beefed-up carrier and bolt to handle larger calibers. The carrier and gas key are chrome lined, and the firing pin is chrome plated.

From this point, the Performance Center rifle diverges sharply from the basic M&P10. Here’s a closer look at what makes this gun worthy of the Performance Center stamp.

THE M&P10, REIMAGINED

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