Before I purchased the S&W M&P replica .177 cal. CO2 air pistol for my girlfriend, I did extensive research on the product (all of it for myself, earlier, actually), so I knew most of what to expect from the item. It did not disappoint--except for a BB being expelled from the magazine every time the mag was removed from the grip! Possibly a flawed magazine? (Or a flawed user?)
With the form factor and picatinny rail for accessorizing (laser or flashlight), the M&P quite precisely represents the real S&W M&P .40 cal semi-automatic. The sights: white front dot; two fiber-optic bright green rear dots (small) represented by a U-shaped factory insert. (The sights are not adjustable.) The safety is located on the right side of the gun, immediately above the trigger guard: You just use your index finger to push the lever forward for safe mode and slide it backward for shooting mode. Very easy and accessible.
Furthermore, the grip and feel of the M&P are superb, even for an average man's hands, and the 19-round drop-free BB magazine seems to be constructed of a heavy-duty polymer. Loading is easy and simple: The user just slides the spring catch-lever to the bottom and locks it down, into place. You then just load the 4.5mm BBs through the ovular, beveled entryway, holding the magazine upside down. Flipping the bottom-protruding spring activator shifts the lever into place, locking the BBs against the inside top of the magazine.
In addition, the CO2 cargo area is accessed by grasping the grip just below the slide--with the thumb and index finger--and pulling hard backward. The CO2 cylinder then is inserted into the bay, the bottom screw carefully tightened, and the exposing grip pushed hard forward, toward the trigger. (Snapping the grip back into place requires substantial pressure but is not difficult.) The pistol uses standard 12gm CO2 cylinders, and advertising claims that a single cartridge can generate 50 shots.
This air pistol is very accurate, and the muzzle velocity is rated at 480 fps. The latter is a tall order, but I have no comments either way about velocity measurement using a chronograph. (At the range using my .45 cal semi-auto recently, I rather offhandedly picked up the M&P, aimed, and--from just seven (7) yards--pumped two rounds into the inner circle of a one-foot-diameter target.)
My only criticisms are the expelling-BB issue upon magazine retrieval from the gun, and its VERY light weight--something like 1.1 or 1.2 pounds. (The package shipping weight is 1.5 pounds.) But for an air pistol of this overall quality and functionality (and at just more than $30), to my thinking, the S&W M&P .40 cal replica 4.5mm BB pistol--considering what it offers--is simply the best such gun on the market.
As a first BB shooter for a youth, I think this product is nearly unparalleled. For more experienced shooters who wish to benefit from a more-realistic range or plinking outing, I recommend something weighing about 1.5 to 1.7 pounds--and, preferably, one with realistic blowback (moving slide and some recoil). But you simply cannot lose with this M&P.
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