Designed by Smith & Wesson's Performance Center, this C.O.R.E. variant of the ported M&P 40L pistol offers great features for shooters approaching IPSC disciplines without spending a fortune
The Performance Center is a branch of Smith & Wesson dedicated to the design and production of custom-grade firearms based on the Company's most popular designs.
Currently most of the semi-automatic pistols built by the Performance Center are based on Smith & Wesson's popular M&P line of semi-automatic, striker fired pistols – one of the world's best-selling, and one of the very few that has proved itself to be a solid competitor to the Glock line.
The pistol you see in this page is one of these: the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 40L Pro Series C.O.R.E., a handgun mainly conceived IPSC/USPSA competition, but not only.
Endorsed by sport shooting professionals such as Team Smith & Wesson Captain Julie Golob, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 40L Pro Series C.O.R.E. is not an "experts only" product: its technical features and price-to-quality ratio make it perfectly viable for top-tier competition shooters as well as for beginners and amateurs.
Due to the redundant set of automatic safeties inherent to the system, no manual safety is provided. Each pistol comes equipped with three aggressively-stippled Palmswell grip backstraps.
This particular pistol is built around the M&P line's signature black reinforced Zytel polymer frame, with the trigger group enclosed in a rigid stainless-steel chassis.
The frame comes with an integrated Picatinny rail, a well-pronounced beavertail, and an ambidextrous hold open release catch.
The trigger on the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 40L C.O.R.E. is a modified variant of the typical M&P line trigger; the Performance Center sear reduces the trigger pull to 20 Newtons (2.5 lbf); an enhanced trigger stop is also provided.
The 12,7 cm (5") long 416 stainless steel barrel brings the overall length to about 21,6 cm (8.5"); the barrel features two elongated ports near the muzzle, which vent gases upwards to reduce felt recoil and muzzle climb.
The black Armornite-finish, machined steel slide also comes with a set of ports – eight, four on each side – which also maintain the slide weight to an optimum level to ensure reliability with a variety of loads.
Another feature of the slide and barrel of this model is a small hole at the rear end of the ejection window, on top of the slide, allowing for a quick visual chamber check.
The iron sights used on the M&P 40L Performance Center Ported C.O.R.E. are a high square blade front sight with a white-dot insert and a square notch rear sight with dual white dots. Sights are dovetailed to the slide and adjusted for windage, and are high enough to co-witness with the red dot sight for easier adjustment.
A signature of this variant of the M&P pistol design is the C.O.R.E. ("Competition Optics Ready Equipment") optics interface system on the slide.
At the rear of the slide is a plastic cover held in place by two Allen screws, protecting a slide cut that allow the shooter to attach four issued adapter plates to mount a half dozen micro dot sights – more specifically the C-More STS and STS2 line, the Docter line of reflex sights, the EOTech/Insight Technology MRDS micro red dot sight, the JPoint micro electronic reflex sights, the Leupold DeltaPoint and Trijicon RMR lines.
The Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 40L C.O.R.E. weighs just a bit less than 850 grams (28.8 oz) unloaded, and feeds through double-stack metal magazines providing for a capacity of 15+1 rounds of .40 Smith & Wesson ammunition, albeit higher-capacity magazines are available.
First introduced in 2015, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P 40L Pro Series C.O.R.E. is not one of the latest entries in its segment – but this also means that it's tried and true, and has proved its reliability and performance countless times. Highly recommend.