Smith & Wesson introduced its original M&P15 in 2006 at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, NV, and the company’s AR-15 was an overnight success. It proved so popular that the company later rolled out a rimfire-chambered sibling—the M&P15-22. The original, however, was missing a forward assist and dust cover, features enthusiasts had grown to expect on their modern sporting rifles.
It didn’t seem to slow sales for the famed manufacturer, although in 2016 Smith & Wesson rolled out the M&P15 Sport II. It wore the parts. The gun is extremely popular, and last year, the model was one of the best-selling semi-auto rifles by FFLs using the services of GunBroker.com.
Today the M&P15 Sport II is available in a variety of versions, many of them compliant with state regulations. The California model, for example, has a fixed stock and a magazine capacity of 10 rounds. It’s chambered in 5.56 NATO, comes with a 16-inch barrel and has a Crimson Trace red or green dot optic riding on the receiver’s Picatinny rail.
The grip has all the right swelling to pass official muster and MSRP is $780. For residents in the Golden state who prefer an A2-style sight up front and adjustable Magpul MBUS at the rear, the MSRP is $759 and the ready-for-optics model sets you back $736. The company even offers a version compliant with Colorado requirements.
Things aren’t quite as restrictive in other regions, where a 5.56 NATO optics-ready M&P15 Sport II retails for $728. It comes with a 30-round PMAG, 16-inch threaded barrel with a 1:9-inch rate of twist. It’s also threaded to accept aftermarket muzzle devices, although it ships with a flash hider. Regardless where you live, there’s a variety of configurations available.
The prices are certainly budget-friendly, and each of the guns are made and backed by one of the industry’s foremost manufacturers. Since its introduction, the rifle has stayed high on each year’s list, having finished third in 2018, sixth in 2017 and the year third the year it was unveiled.