The Smith & Wesson M&P Sport II
The Sport II is Smith and Wesson’s version of an entry level AR-15. It features a basic furniture set with a standard mil-spec telescopic stock, slim handguards without aluminum heat shields, flattop upper receiver with a Magpul rear back-up iron sight (BUIS), dust cover, forward assist, and basic charging handle. The upper receiver can easily facilitate optics such as a reflex sight or magnified optic.
At the time of this testing the rifle is in new, unfired condition, and the rifle was purchased from Buds Gun Shop to an FFL using private funds.
The Sport II uses a standard trigger that has a trigger pull of approximately 6 lbs. The barrel is a 16 inch standard profile barrel with a Nitrite finish, a 1/9 inch twist rate, and has a carbine-length gas system. The rifle comes with an A2 birdcage installed. The handguards are not free floated, and use a very basic setup.
Accuracy testing was done with a Primary Arms 3×9 Duplex scope at maximum magnification with a Primary Arms basic mount, at a distance of 100 yards using a prone supported firing position with an improvised support. The conditions in which test firing occurred were dry and dusty, with 8 to 18 MPH winds. Ammunition used for testing was Wolf 55gr .223 Steel case, Wolf Gold 55gr .223 Brass case, Federal .223 55gr, Winchester M855 5.56mm 62gr with steel penetrator, and Federal 77gr 5.56mm Match ammo. Testing was done with three 5 round groups with each type of ammo.
Accuracy with the Sport II was excellent for an entry-level AR-15, with the worst results being found with Winchester 62gr brass case ammo. The best ammunition tested with the Sport II was the Federal 77gr Match. At the time of this review there has not been any long-term reliability tests done, nor have I done any “extreme condition tests, such as mud tests, extended mag dumps, snow tests etc. In the conditions tested with approximately 210 rounds of mixed quality ammunition and with Magpul Gen2 and Gen 3 magazines, the rifle handled reliably with an absence of malfunctions.
The S&W Sport II handles quite nimbly, but is typical of a basic AR-15. The trigger is average. The stock is basic yet adequate. The handguards have no heat shields, yet with light and slow firing it doesn’t seem to be an issue.
The Sport II is compatible with most AR-15 accessories and modifications. It does not accept aftermarket trigger guards, however it does feature an enlarged trigger guard built into the rifle. There are plenty of drop-in modifications available to be attached to the rifle with minimal use of tools. In stock form the rifle can accept accessories including but not limited to; optics, slings, tac-sacs, or vertical grips.
The Smith and Wesson Sport II is an excellent rifle especially considering the price. Out of the box accuracy is great. The rifle is reliable. For a new shooter who is willing to purchase a complete rifle, or someone looking for a backup for another rifle. The Smith and Wesson Sport II is a solid choice. However, for a shooter looking to do extensive modifications, such as a new barrel, trigger or other changes to the internal components, it would be far more cost-effective to build a rifle from scratch.