S&W Performance Center M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor: Coming to the Range

S&W Performance Center M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor: Coming to the Range
The chambering along with some accessories and tweaks make the M&P 10 a true long-range-capable rifle.mfg photo

The 6.5 Creedmoor caliber has become the hottest new chambering for all kinds of long range rifles, from precision bolt guns and high-tech sniper rifles to long-range capable AR-platform guns. http://www.range365.com/65-creedmoor-long-range-king

Yesterday we reported Savage Arms has announced a new AR-style rifle, the Savage MSR 10 Long Range, based on the AR-10 and chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor in addition to the traditional chambering for the platform, .308 Win.

Recently, Smith & Wesson unveiled a Performance Center version of its bigger-bore AR rifle line, the M&P 10, and not surprisingly, it’s chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

The M&P 10 rifles S&W has been offering for some time are pretty mil-spec with the addition of an ambidextrous magazine catch and safety selector and the company’s Enhanced Flash Suppressor and Armonite finish. Aside from that, the gun has a standard M4 style adjustable buttstock, and a short drop-in handguard with a delta ring.

While rail sections are provided above the receiver and on the gas block, there isn’t much room for accessories.

The Performance Center M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor adds some accessories and tweaks that make the M&P 10 a true long-range-capable rifle instead of a high-powered, mid-range semi-auto.

S&W Performance Center M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor: Coming to the Range
The Performance Center rifle features Magpul furniture and a Troy handguard.mfg photo

The 20-inch carbon steel barrel on the new M&P10 comes with a threaded muzzle and thread protector to accommodate various flash hiders, muzzle brakes, and suppressors. It’s length is mostly housed in a 15-inch free-floating Troy Alpha M-LOK Handguard, which contributes to the rifle’s accuracy, provides more shooting positions that won’t interfere with the barrel, and allows for the attachment of any variety of rail sections to affix accessories.

Instead of a M4-style stock, the PC M&P 10 comes with a Magpul MOE fixed rifle stock. No matter what model you choose, an adjustable rifle stock tends to have a tiny bit of play that doesn’t matter very much on a battle rifle, but could affect accuracy for a precision shooter, so S&W opted to go with a a sturdy, light, fixed buttstock. The MOE has attachment points for a variety of slings and connectors, including a spot for a single-point attachment and features an arrow-straight comb.

The stock is complemented by a Magpul MOE Plus grip, which is made of one piece of reinforced polymer with a wrap-around rubber overmolding and a beavertail backstrap for a stable hold. It also features a grip cap and accepts optional Magpul Storage Cores.

The rifle comes with a 10-round polymer Magpul P-mag, but will accept large-capacity 7.62x51 NATO/.308 Win.

Of course, the Performance Center added a two-stage match trigger that’s is extremely smooth with a wonderfully crisp break.

I had the opportunity to fire a couple shots through the new PC M&P10 at the Smith & Wesson headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts on the test range last month. While it was far from a full-length range session, I can attest the the nimbleness and balance of the rifle with its included accessories. The rifle moves smoothly and feels compact and precise thanks to the excellent Troy handguard.

S&W Performance Center M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor: Coming to the Range
Barbara Baird of Women's Outdoor News behind the Performance Center M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor at the S&W test range in Springfield, Massachusetts.author photo

Shooting targets at about 40 yards from a Lead Sled with some flip-up iron sights, the rifle shot as accurately as can be expected and felt wonderful in terms of recoil, and the trigger was a genuine pleasure. Of course, some optics and longer ranges are necessary to see if the rifle can push the accuracy potential of the Creedmoor to its limits.

The only thing that concerned me was the stock doesn’t have an adjustable comb. AR stocks have to be low profile where the buffer tube connects to the receiver so as to allow clearance for the charging handle, but many models intended for long-range shooting either swell or include a comb segment toward the buttpad that can be raised or lowered.

While the dead straight MOE stock was fine for iron sights, I could see it being a bit low once you add some rings, even low-profile ones, and a scope—but only a full range test can bear that out, which is coming here soon.

Specifications

S&W PC M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor
Action: 6.5 Creedmoor
Magazine: 10-round Magpul P-Mag
Barrel: 20", Threaded with thread protector, 1:8" twist
Weight: 9.05 lbs.
Overall Length: 39.5 inchest
Frame Material: Aluminum
Barrel Material: Carbon steel
Finish: Armornite
Trigger: Two-stage match
Gas system: Rifle length
Stock: Magpul MOE Rifle Stock
Grip: Magpul MOE Plus
Handguard: 15-inch Troy Free-Float M-Lok
Safety: Ambidextrous selector lever
MSRP: $2,035