Wanna go fast? There’s no substitute for training, but getting good gear can help. What I’ll look into for this article are the magwell and base pad by Speed Shooter Specialties.
Recently I acquired a Smith and Wesson M&P9. For some reason, it just felt that the gun was lacking something, just a bit, in the grip area. As I was shooting, I noticed my hand gradually creeping down the grip. To solve this, I did I quick search, which turned up a company I hadn’t before discovered: Speed Shooter Specialties. As it turns out, SSS offer quite a few aftermarket goodies for the M&P. Upon talking with a staff member, they graciously sent out a magwell, and two magazine base pads for me to test. Join me for the rest of the article as I talk about my experience with the items I received.
First things first: price point. The price for the SSS magwell and 2 base pads was just a hair over $100. I didn’t balk at the cost; for the accessories I received, it’s fair—some companies charge upwards of that price just for their extended magwell, no base plates included.
Second, the shipping, man was it fast. My Speed Shooter Specialties goodies arrived just 2 days after talking with the company representative.
My first impressions of the magwell and base pads pleasantly surprised me. The magwell is well made, solid construction with a nice durable finish (accidentally tested that during an accidental impromptu drop test on the driveway). I find the weight of the extended magwell comfortable as well, not to heavy, not too light. Ditto for the base pads, even though the grip insert that holds the back straps on is all metal. Keep in mind, these particular accessories have been specifically designed for competition guns, which means that their size/fit dimensions are as specified by IDPA ESP division rules. The base pads fit nearly flush with the bottom of the magwell.
Installation of the magwell is simple. Take out the OEM grip insert, and install the SSS one. I did have to fight a bit with the magwell to get it fully seated, though. I found an effective, if crude, solution: I just put a towel on a 2×4, and gave the magwell a good whack. Next, install the provided screw to join the magwell and grip insert together. Installing the base pads is even easier. Push in the detent, slide off OEM base plate, slide on the Speed Shooter Specialties base pad, and you are done.
Once installed, it felt as though the gun mated to my hand perfectly. Everything was where it needed to be, high tang grips, support hand nuzzled in the perfect complement to the firing hand. Flawless. When I took the M&P to the range, I found that my reloads were twice as fast—and nearly effortless. What impressed me more were my shot groups. Without the magwell, at 25 yards, I was shooting a rough 10 inch group. With the magwell, however, I easily cut down the size of that shot group by half. I let a few local police officers—Glock fans, unsurprisingly—take the M&P out for a day, and I nearly had to pry the gun out of their hands. Every officer said that if SSS made a magwell for Glock (they do make extended base pads for Glock mags, though) they would buy one. Their testaments echoed what I had already discovered about my M&P’s newest upgrades. Speed Shooter Specialties extended magwell and base pads: Mark3smle tested, and LEO approved.
Featured photo courtesy of speedshooterspecialties.com.