Smith And Wesson MP15 Sport II Budget AR
This post and video is an S&W MP15 Sport Review that was created to help our buyers understand what it is you get with the S&W MP15 Sport II, what makes it a great AR for the first time buyer, and what Smith and Wesson didn’t include to ensure it was able to make it a budget AR.
Before we move forward with our S&W MP15 Sport Review, it’s worth noting that the Smith & Wesson M&P Sport II rifle is not the AR that everyone is going to stare at our ask question about at the range. It’s not meant to be, Smith created this rifle for the AR newbies looking for a quality first AR, or for the person who wants to start cheap and upgrade to expensive, or what some call a “truck gun”. For those who are reading this who are new to firearms, a “truck gun”, is a simple way of saying I don’t have a lot into this so I don’t care if it gets beat up and/or stolen because I just don’t have a lot into it. Either way, the Sport II is perfect for any of these scenarios.
Taking it out of the box is just that, there isn’t a whole lot of excitement other than I finally got my first AR or I finally get to build out that AR I have always wanted. Essentially when you open the box, you have a black rifle, one magazine, and some paperwork. With the acquisition of Crimson Trace, it has gotten a little more exciting because now you could get a Sport II that comes with a CR Red Dot. These CR Red Dot may not be Trijicon, but they do the job and fit perfectly with this rifle. Additionally, we also have models that come with foregrips with lights. These are nice addons and really make the value of this rifle even nicer without raising the price of the AR.
Let’s get into the details, after all, I think that is why you are here. After unpacking and you take your first look, you may see a splintered “A” on the upper which means it has been forged by Anchor Harvey. The upper has M4 cuts that match the feed ramps on the barrel. The barrel is not chrome-lined which helps improve the overall accuracy of the rifle. The A2 front sight post that comes on some models comes with a bayonet lug and a swing swivel. The barrel is threaded and comes with an A2-style flash hider.
The Sport II’s bolt carrier is phosphate-finished on the outside and has chrome lining in the interior of the bolt and gas key. The bolt is comprised of 158 carpenter steel which is more than adequate for the everyday sport shooter. Before moving on from the bolt, there is one more nice addition that Smith added to the extractor. The extractor is equipped with a Black O-ring, which adds reliability to the extraction process when firing your AR.
The triggers will typically settle in around 4 pounds and they do break cleanly and consistently. Instead of having the Mil-Spec flip down trigger guard, these rifles have rounded winter trigger guards which are forged in one piece with the lower receiver. And finally, the buffer tube is mil-spec sized and equipped with a 6-position adjustable Smith & Wesson buttstock.
So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty, you are probably asking, “what’s being cut out of the Sport II to put it into the lower costs AR category” or “what am I losing out on by not purchasing a higher-end AR”. The good news, nothing that has been cut from production is really something I would consider a showstopper for the everyday shooter. But to be fair to you the reader, something must give to keep the price down, so I do want to point this out.
First, the handguards are not lined with a heat shield. The good news is, the typical shooter, hunter, or folks that are taking classes with it are not likely going to run into any issues with not having a lined handguard. Where you may run into trouble is the shooter who wants to mag dump, shoot a lot of rounds quickly, you may want to consider investing into an aftermarket handguard that does include a heat shield. However, the typical range, hunter, or self-defense shooter will never even know there isn’t a heat guard.
The bolt carrier is not a full auto, which means that you give up some weight, which can in turn cause transmission of additional recoil, although I don’t believe the average user is really going to notice. Having shot both, I am not sure I can feel a difference, so at the end of the day, I am not sure this is really an issue for 99.9 % of the users of this rifle.
And lastly, Smith & Wesson chose to use a MIM (metal injected molded) hammer. Once again for most users, this is not an issue, but experts will differ on opinions on the MIM manufacturing process for firearms parts and its quality. I have never had an issue or have had to return a Smith due to hammer breakage, so again, I am not sure this is really an issue, but if it is to you, there are tons of low and high-cost trigger upgrade options available for this rifle.
So, to sum all this up, this rifle is one I would put into the middle of the pack, but fortunately for us, it’s priced in the lower end budget category. Therefore, if you can live with the very reasonable compromises that were made to achieve their cost, you really can’t go wrong in purchasing the Smith & Wesson M&P Sport II. This rifle has delivered consistently for me, civilians, military, and police in all areas of reliability, accuracy, modularity, and its overall ease of use makes it a no brainer if you have a limited budget between $575 and $650. We hope you enjoyed reading the S&W MP15 Sport Review and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at 919.263.1110 or email us at Sales@TRAGuns.com.
To learn more about the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II, click https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/mp-15-sport-ii.
To review all the Smith and Wesson Products available at Tar River Arms click here: https://www.tarriverarms.com/manufacturer/smith-and-wesson/