Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in Review

Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM 4.25" Pistol, LE Trade In

Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM Law Enforcement Trade-in Review

At this point, it’s likely no mystery how I feel about “Law Enforcement Trade-In” gun deals. I have had great luck with the quality and deals regarding LE Trade-Ins and continue buying them. One particular model that has proven a great buy repeatedly is the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM in this Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in Review. I will share my experience and review of the latest Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in we picked up. We’ll highlight its key features, diversity, performance, and overall value. So, let’s dive in.

About the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM

S&W M&P 9mm

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM is a versatile, reliable semi-automatic pistol designed for law enforcement, military, and civilian use. It features a durable polymer frame and an accessory rail for attaching lights or lasers. Chambered in 9x19mm, it offers a standard magazine capacity of 17 rounds, although extended magazines are available. The M&P 9MM utilizes a striker-fired trigger system with a consistent pull and incorporates safety features such as trigger safety and passive striker block. Steel sights, including night sight options, provide a clear sight picture, and the pistol can be customized with various optics and red dot sights. The M&P 9MM is available in different models and offers a wide range of aftermarket accessories for customization.

About Law Enforcement Trade-In Firearms

The Smith & Wesson M&P (Military & Police) series has gained a reputation for its reliability and versatility. The LE Trade-in version specifically refers to law enforcement trade-in models refurbished by Smith & Wesson and made available to civilian buyers through retailers. This trade-in program offers an opportunity to own a professional-grade firearm at a more affordable price.

LE Trade-In Grading

The 1-4 handgun grading scale is a commonly used system for assessing the condition of pre-owned handguns. It provides a simple way to categorize the overall condition of a firearm. Let’s explore the meaning of each grade on the 1-4 handgun grading scale:

Excellent (Grade 1)

Firearms graded as “Excellent” are considered to be in outstanding condition. They exhibit minimal to no signs of wear, and the finish is typically pristine. The bore is clean and shows no signs of pitting or erosion. The action functions smoothly, and all components are in excellent working order. “Excellent” handguns are highly sought after and command a higher value due to their exceptional condition.

Very Good (Grade 2)

Handguns in “Very Good” condition show slight signs of wear, but overall, they are in excellent functional and cosmetic condition. They may have minor handling marks or light wear on the finish. The bore is clean, and the action functions smoothly. These firearms are well-maintained and have been taken care of by their previous owners. Handguns graded as “Very Good” offer a good balance between condition and price.

Good (Grade 3)

Firearms graded as “Good” exhibit noticeable signs of wear and use. They may have moderate finish wear, scratches, or dings on the frame or slide. While these handguns may show cosmetic imperfections, they remain fully functional and reliable. The bore may show some signs of use but is generally in decent condition. Handguns graded as “Good” are often more affordable and suitable for those seeking a functional firearm at a lower price point.

Fair (Grade 4)

Handguns in “Fair” condition wear significantly and may have cosmetic issues or damage. They may have notable finish wear, scratches, or dents on the frame or slide. The bore may show signs of use and might require cleaning or maintenance. While firearms in “Fair” condition may still be operational, they may need repairs or maintenance to ensure proper function. These handguns are typically priced lower due to their condition.

It’s important to note that each grade’s exact criteria and descriptions may vary between sellers or grading systems. Therefore, it’s essential to review the provided information thoroughly and, if possible, inspect the firearm in person before making a purchase. Understanding the 1-4 grading scale can help buyers assess the condition and value of pre-owned handguns more effectively. We have purchased Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM in both the 2 and 3 grades, ranging in price between $289 and $399.

Previous M&P 9MM Purchases

POLICE TRADE - Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm

As previously stated, this is not the first Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in we’ve purchased for resale and not the first one I’ve personally purchased. I enjoyed buying and upgrading 2 previous Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-ins. The M&P 9mm makeover experiences were a lot of fun, and the pistols turned out great.

Unboxing the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in

Open Smith & Wesson M&P 9 box

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-ins come in various packaging; most will have the original blue box, but occasionally, they come in just a regular brown box. They come with one magazine or as many as 3; it is a mixed bag for how they will come. So, if you want to purchase one, read the product description and grading closely. We acquired a Grade 3, in-the-box LE Trade-in for $299 on this purchase.

As was previously the case, the pistol arrived in the factory box, which was still in great shape.

In the box were two additional grip options: one magazine, the factory brass from the fired test round, a manual, and a gun lock. At first glance, everything appeared to be in excellent condition.

M&P 9MM LE Trade-in Review Specifications

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM is a popular semi-automatic pistol known for its reliability, versatility, and performance. Here are some specifications of the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM:

  • Caliber: The M&P 9MM is chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum, also known as 9mm Luger, a widely available handgun caliber.
  • Capacity: The standard capacity of the M&P 9MM magazines is 17 rounds. However, there are also options available with extended magazines that can hold up to 21 rounds.
  • Barrel Length: This M&P 9MM featured a barrel length of 4.25 inches (10.8 cm). This length strikes a good balance between ease of handling and accuracy.
  • Overall Length: The overall length of the M&P 9MM is 7.6 inches (19.3 cm) to 7.9 inches (20 cm).
  • Weight: The unloaded weight of the M&P 9MM is 24 ounces (680 grams) to 27 ounces (765 grams), depending on the specific model and configuration.
  • Frame: The M&P 9MM features a polymer frame, which provides durability, lightweight, and corrosion resistance. The polymer frame also contributes to the pistol’s overall ergonomics and comfortable grip.
  • Slide: The M&P 9MM slide is constructed from stainless steel, offering strength and reliability. The slide features serrations at the front and rear for easier manipulation.
  • Sights: The M&P 9MM comes with steel sights, with the standard model featuring a white dot front sight and a white two-dot rear sight.
  • Trigger: The M&P 9MM trigger has a pull weight ranging from approximately 5.5 to 6.5 pounds (2.5 to 3 kilograms). The trigger system incorporates a safety lever integrated into the trigger itself.
  • Safety Features: The M&P 9MM includes multiple safety features, such as trigger safety and a passive striker block. These safety features enhance the overall safety and prevent accidental discharges.

It’s important to note that specific features, configurations, and options may vary across different M&P 9MM models, generations, and variations. We are basing this review on the actual firearm we purchased.

Barrel & Slide

POLICE TRADE - Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm Pistol

The M&P 9MM is equipped with a stainless steel barrel, known for its durability and corrosion resistance. The barrel length of the M&P 9MM is typically 4.25 inches (10.8 cm), providing a good balance between maneuverability and accuracy. The barrel features precise rifling, which imparts spin

to the bullet, stabilizing its flight and enhancing accuracy. The bore diameter accommodates the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge commonly used with the M&P 9MM.

The slide of the M&P 9MM is also constructed from stainless steel, ensuring strength and longevity. It houses the firing mechanism reciprocating during the cycling of the firearm. The slide is machined with serrations at the rear, offering a textured surface for improved grip when manipulating the slide. These serrations aid in chambering and clearing rounds and provide better control during slide manipulation.

Disassembled Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Tradein

Like previously purchased Smith and Wesson M&P 9 tradelines, this handgun looked like it had been very well maintained and lightly fired after we disassembled it. This gun could have easily been considered in excellent condition if not for slight holster wear on the slide. Having not shot it yet, to this point, it is another excellent purchase.

Design and Ergonomics

Police Trade In Smith & Wesson M&P

The M&P 9MM LE Trade-in features a polymer frame, which makes it lightweight and comfortable to carry for extended periods. The grip has interchangeable backstraps, allowing you to customize the fit to your hand size.

The M&P 9MM LE Trade-in also incorporates an ambidextrous slide release and reversible magazine release, making it.

Suitable for both right and left-handed shooters. The controls are well-placed and easy to manipulate, enhancing the user experience. This pistol is among my favorites regarding weight, balance, and ergonomics.


The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM is available in different finishes, providing options for aesthetic preferences and durability. The most common finish, purchased for this review, is Black Melonite.

M&P 9mm Law Enforcement Trade in Review

The Black Melonite finish is a durable, corrosion-resistant coating with a sleek, non-reflective black appearance. It is popular for those who prefer a more tactical or low-profile look. The Melonite finish offers excellent protection against wear and tear, making it suitable for duty or self-defense.

The M&P 9MM is also available in Stainless Steel and Cerkopte finishes


Key details about the M&P 9MM frame:

  • Polymer Frame Construction: The M&P 9MM features a polymer frame, a common choice for modern handguns. Polymer frames offer several advantages, including lightweight design, durability, and resistance to corrosion and chemicals. Polymer helps reduce the firearm’s overall weight, making it more comfortable for extended carry or use.
  • Interchangeable Backstraps: The M&P 9MM incorporates interchangeable backstraps, allowing users to customize the grip size and shape to fit their hands comfortably. This feature is particularly beneficial for shooters with different hand sizes or preferences. The backstraps can be easily swapped without special tools, offering enhanced ergonomics and a personalized grip.
  • Ergonomic Design: Smith & Wesson has strongly emphasized ergonomics in the M&P series, including the M&P 9MM. The frame features a textured grip with molded finger grooves and palm swells, providing a secure and comfortable hold on the firearm. The ergonomic design promotes proper hand placement, improved recoil control, and faster target acquisition.
  • Ambidextrous Controls: The M&P 9MM frame incorporates ambidextrous controls, such as an ambidextrous slide stop and reversible magazine release. These features cater to both right-handed and left-handed shooters, ensuring ease of use and accessibility for all users. The ambidextrous design is particularly advantageous in law enforcement or self-defense scenarios where quick and efficient manipulation of the controls is crucial.
  • Accessory Rail: The M&P 9MM frame includes an accessory rail (also known as a Picatinny rail) located on the bottom of the frame. This rail allows users to attach various accessories, such as lights and lasers, to enhance the functionality and versatility of the firearm. The accessory rail provides a standardized mounting platform, ensuring compatibility with various accessories.


The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM grip comes with textured polymer grips as a standard feature. These grips provide a secure and non-slip surface and get the job done. The texturing on the grips may vary depending on the generation and model of the M&P 9MM but generally offers a combination of aggressive stippling or texturing patterns. There are many after-market solutions if you want a more aggressive grip texture, but the factory grips are solid.

Additionally, the M&P 9MM offers the flexibility of interchangeable backstraps, allowing users to customize the grip size and shape according to their hand size and preference. These polymer backstraps can be easily swapped for a more comfortable and personalized fit. This feature is especially beneficial for shooters with smaller or larger hands, ensuring optimal control and ergonomics. The combination of the textured polymer grips and interchangeable backstraps allows for a comfortable and customizable grip on the M&P 9MM.


Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm and magazine

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM magazines are available in various capacities, typically ranging from 10 to 17 rounds, with extended options holding up to 21 rounds. The capacity may vary depending on the model of the M&P 9MM, but we’ve found the 17-round most common on the LE Trade-ins.

The magazines feature a removable baseplate for easy disassembly and cleaning. Some models may also have witness holes or a visible round count on the back to allow quick assessment of the remaining ammunition. On inspection of the follower, spring, and feed lips, and the magazines with our LE Trade-in, we’re in excellent shape.


Trigger Safety

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM is equipped with various safety features to ensure the safe handling and operation of the firearm. These safety mechanisms include trigger safety, which requires full depression to allow the trigger to move and engage the firing mechanism. The M&P 9MM also incorporates a striker block safety, preventing the firing pin or striker

from moving forward unless the trigger is pulled to the rear. This safety feature prevents accidental discharges in the event of a drop or impact.

Some variants of the M&P 9MM offer an optional manual thumb safety. Located on the left side of the frame, this safety can be engaged or disengaged manually. When engaged, it blocks the trigger and prevents the firearm from firing, providing an extra layer of security for those who prefer the added reassurance of manual safety. We have yet to purchase an LE Trade-in with this safety.

It’s important to note that the availability of specific safety features may vary depending on the particular model, generation, or configuration of the M&P 9MM. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications or consult the firearm’s manual for accurate and up-to-date information regarding the safety features of your specific M&P 9MM model.


The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM has various sight options. Our LE Trade-in came equipped with standard three-dot sights. These sights consist of a front sight post with a white dot and two rear sights with white dots. These sights are adequate, but we’ll typically upgrade the sights to a more aggressive night site.


LE Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Trigger

In my humble opinion, the LE Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm trigger is the Achilles heel of this great pistol. The trigger pull weight typically falls between 5.5 to 6.5 pounds (2.5 to 3 kilograms), which is acceptable, although I like it about half that. My biggest issue with the trigger is the amount of travel to the break; it just feels too long. Also, the reset is a bit too long; that all being said, this is one of the reasons.

I am such a fan of the law enforcement trade-ins. Adding an Apex Trigger to this handgun takes it from a great gun to an excellent one. With the money you save buying the LE Trade-n, you can upgrade the trigger and still be below the retail price.

It is advisable to exercise caution and consult with experienced professionals before considering any aftermarket modifications to the trigger or other critical firearm parts.

Performance and Reliability

One of the standout features of the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in is its exceptional performance and reliability. The pistol is chambered in 9mm, a widely used and readily available ammunition caliber. It offers a 17+1 round capacity, which provides ample firepower in self-defense or law enforcement scenarios.

M&P 9mm's

Out of the box, the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in exhibited flawless operation during my range testing, with no malfunctions or stoppages. This is the 4th M&P 9 LE trade-in we have purchased; the same was the case with all of them. We have likely put over 5,000 rounds through them.

We have done makeovers on 2 of these guns, changing slides, upgrading to threaded barrels, and changing grips, sights, and triggers. To be expected, there is a bit of tweaking when you make these types of changes, and they can cause feeding and firing issues, so if you opt to do a big makeover to your M&P 9MM, a word of advice. Make changes one at a time, and test shoot your handgun after each change to ensure it functions as it came. This helps avoid pinpointing where a problem originates if you run into one.

Accuracy and Shootability

The M&P 9MM LE Trade-in excels in terms of accuracy and shootability. The low bore axis, 9MM chambering, and well-designed grip result in minimal muzzle rise and easy recoil management. This allows for faster follow-up shots and enhanced accuracy during rapid-fire engagements.

The three-dot sights that come standard on the LE Trade-in model offer a clear sight picture. While they suit most scenarios, you may prefer to upgrade to night sights or other aftermarket options for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions.

M&P 9MM LE Trade-in Maintenance and Durability

Maintaining the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in is straightforward, thanks to its user-friendly design. Field-stripping the firearm for routine cleaning and maintenance requires no special tools. The stainless steel slide and barrel offer excellent corrosion resistance and durability, ensuring longevity even with frequent use.

Aftermarket M&P 9MM LE Trade-in Parts Compatibility

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM is a popular handgun that offers a wide range of aftermarket accessories and parts to enhance its performance, customization, and personalization. Whether you’re looking to improve the trigger, sights, or overall ergonomics, here are some commonly upgraded components and their compatibility with the M&P 9MM:


The M&P 9MM typically comes with standard three-dot sights. However, many users upgrade to aftermarket sights for improved visibility, especially in low-light conditions. Some popular aftermarket sight options compatible with the M&P 9MM include:

  • Trijicon HD XR Night Sights
  • Ameriglo Pro-IDOT Night Sights
  • XS Sight Systems Big Dot Sights

When selecting aftermarket sights, ensure they are designed specifically for the M&P series and compatible with the 9MM model.


Upgrading the trigger can significantly enhance the shooting experience and improve accuracy. Aftermarket trigger kits for the M&P 9MM offer lighter pull weights, reduced pre-travel and over-travel, and crisper breaks. Popular aftermarket trigger options compatible with the M&P 9MM include:

  • Apex Tactical Specialties Action Enhancement Trigger
  • Overwatch Precision TAC Trigger
  • Agency Arms Flat-Faced Trigger

When installing an aftermarket trigger, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully or seek professional gunsmith assistance to ensure proper installation and safety.

Magazine Releases

Some shooters prefer extended magazine releases for faster and easier magazine changes. Aftermarket magazine releases designed for the M&P series can improve accessibility and ergonomics. Popular options include:

  • Apex Tactical Specialties Extended Magazine Release
  • Tyrant Designs Extended Magazine Release
  • Springer Precision Extended Magazine Release

It’s important to note that while most aftermarket magazine releases are compatible with the M&P 9MM, some models may require minor fitting or adjustments for a perfect fit.

Grips and Backstraps

The M&P 9MM comes with interchangeable backstraps that allow users to customize the grip to their hand size. However, aftermarket grip enhancements can provide further customization options, improved texture, and ergonomics. Popular aftermarket grip options for the M&P 9MM include:

  • Talon Grips Rubberized Textured Grips
  • Hogue HandALL Beavertail Grip Sleeves
  • Apex Tactical Specialties Flat-Faced Polymer Action Enhancement Trigger

When selecting an aftermarket grip, consider your texture, size, and overall comfort preferences. Compatibility should be checked with the specific M&P 9MM model.


While the factory barrel of the M&P 9MM is highly reliable, some shooters opt for aftermarket barrels to improve accuracy, reduce recoil, or accommodate suppressors. Popular aftermarket barrel options for the M&P 9MM include:

  • Faxon Firearms Match Series Barrels
  • StormLake Threaded Barrels
  • SilencerCo Threaded Barrels

When replacing the barrel, ensure that the aftermarket option is designed specifically for the M&P 9MM and compatible with your intended use.

It’s important to note that any modifications or upgrades to your firearm should be done with caution and in compliance with local laws and regulations. Additionally, improper installation of aftermarket parts can affect reliability and safety, so it’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional gunsmith when making modifications.

Remember to thoroughly research and test any aftermarket parts before making a purchase to ensure compatibility and functionality with your specific M&P 9MM model.

Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in Review Wrap

In conclusion, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in is a highly capable and reliable firearm that lives up to its reputation. Its ergonomic design, excellent performance, and durability make it an ideal choice for law enforcement professionals and civilian shooters. The LE Trade-in program provides an affordable avenue for acquiring a top-tier handgun.

Smith & Wesson Semi Auto Pistol

With its proven track record and the backing of a renowned manufacturer, the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in is an excellent investment for those seeking a reliable self-defense pistol.

Note: Always ensure compliance with local laws and regulations before purchasing or using any firearm. Seek professional guidance and training for safe handling and usage.

Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in Review FAQs

Is the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in suitable for concealed carry?

Absolutely! The M&P 9MM LE Trade-in’s compact size and lightweight design make it a viable option for concealed carry. However, it’s essential to consider factors such as clothing choices, holster selection, and individual preferences when carrying this firearm concealed. Trying out different holsters and practicing drawing from concealment will help determine the most comfortable and effective carry method.

Are there any specific maintenance considerations for the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in?

Regular maintenance is essential to keep the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in functioning optimally. It is recommended to clean and lubricate the firearm according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Pay close attention to the extractor, slide rails, and other critical areas where carbon buildup may occur. Additionally, inspect and replace worn-out recoil springs to maintain reliable operation.

What are the alternatives to the Smith & Wesson M&P 9MM LE Trade-in in the market?

The market offers several alternatives to the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in. Some notable options include the Glock 17, Sig Sauer P320, and FN 509. These handguns are also widely recognized for their reliability, performance, and popularity among law enforcement and civilian shooters. It’s always recommended to test-fire different models and consider personal preferences and requirements before purchasing.

Is the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in available for purchase by civilians?

Yes, the M&P 9MM LE Trade-in is available for purchase by civilians through licensed firearms dealers. The trade-in program offers an opportunity to acquire a professionally refurbished firearm at a more affordable price than brand-new models. However, availability may vary depending on the specific market and local regulations.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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