Let’s start off this review by clearly stating I never intended to write a review on the Smith & Wesson R8 Pistol. This article was going to be about shooting the 1911 pistol everyone loves around the world. Yes I shot the 1911, and in more than a couple of calibers with Mike Mcdonald from Threat-Solutions in Oregon. The point of the article was to show the tacticool wannabees up with proven tactical and real combat experiance. More on this point later, and you’ll want to stick around for it too.
Everything was going great yesterday at Douglas Ridge Range. Rounds were being sent towards paper perpetrators in staccato fashion from the lanes we controlled. Paper bad guy after paper bad guy fell to the blistering onslaught of hot lead streaming from the 1911s.
While resting and resetting the range etc., the new plastic gun VS old iron 1911 discussion came up and merits of each platform were discussed without the inevitable web flame war ensuing. It’s kinda nice to actually hang out with guys who are good at shooting whatever is in front of them. I feel this is the real test of a shooter, to be able to pick up and shoot whatever lies on the table or deck and to shoot it well.
Enter the Smith & Wesson R8 Pistol model 327:
At first the wannabees will jeer at the old wheel gun design and not even realize their semi auto striker fired plastic gun is almost as old in the design world. I attribute this to short sidedness and lack of a good knowledge base coupled to piss poor training. Shoot a million rounds though any one handgun style and you start to feel like you’re the goods. Well you aren’t, combat will weed out the fools and they will be humbled by the experience. The real operators of the group will turn their very bodies into weapons if pressed and use any weapon at hand to violently fight and win.
Threat-Solutions’ Mike being the consummate professional merely picked up the Smith & Wesson R8 Pistol and put 8 rounds of full power .357 Magnum thru two holes that touched. Keep in mind this is cold and he wasn’t even allowed to see or touch the Smith & Wesson R8 prior to the volley. Mike’s comment on it “That’s a good shooter.” This is a whole diatribe in Mike speak and something he never surrenders unless it’s merited.
My turn on the Smith & Wesson R8 Pistol was a bit more… let’s say spacious, in the grouping. Don’t kid yourself reader, it was probably better than yours on a very good day. I shot the S&W R8 with both hands, both eyes, at distance and up close and did reloads from moon clips and loosies as well. This gun runs! It runs so well I forgot I was there to do a 1911 write up altogether and abandoned the other guns.
The whole review stack online and the guys who sold their S&W R8s to get some low end 1911 made a huge mistake in my viewing. I read the reviews online since our outing and even talked to my buddy who’s known in the online review community “Nut N Fancy” about this handgun, and he loved it too. In fact they all have one on his squad and they love shooting it as much as I did. The whole made for SWAT point guys thing I can take or leave, this M&P Performance Center wonder is a standout and worth it at any price.
Would I own it? Does it meet my go to war standard? That would be a yes! I spoke to some SEAL buddies about this gun and found out they love it and own it themselves. That to me says volumes just like Mike from Threat-Solutions said earlier “It’s a good shooter.” The never fail, never quit, never doubt confidence aura on Smith & Wesson’s M&P R8 Pistol makes this gun one of my all time favorites. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind you will shoot this gun better than just about anything else made to date you’ve had a chance to lay your hands on.
Is this a tactical gun? You betcha! Is this a cool gun? Even more so! The rails on the top strap and under lug make adding any of the new tech a breeze which makes this a very good choice for home defense or crime fighting alike. One can’t deny the power of the .357 Magnum but you’ll be left wondering where did the recoil go? Sighting is very quick, very very quick with the Performance Center sights and accuracy is better than you can shoot out of the box. I could go on and on about how good the trigger is in double action and single action but you wouldn’t believe it. You probably think I work for Smith & Wesson but I don’t. I spend my time on the water most days or training when I’m not. I’m not a gun expert but Mike from Threat-Solutions is, and the guys at The Gun Room Inc. are too. That’s where I decided to order my very own Smith & Wesson M&P R8 Pistol from. Go talk to them, they will get you what you want even if this legendary gun isn’t your thing. (trust me it is) Want to shoot like Mike? You better talk to Threat Solutions about that and spend less time on social media.
I believe in training like you fight, and fighting to win. The S&W M&P R8 will take you to new levels, it drains fast from the water, it doesn’t miss, and it won’t stop if you’re on your back or against the wall. Yes the web armchair commandos will go on and on about this or that wiz bang they read about from their mostly ad mag/blog/website and swear you need something else. These guys aren’t shooters, if they were they wouldn’t have the time to talk all that crap. The re-emergence of the wheel gun or the simple fact that that fixed barrels are more accurate?
The Smith & Wesson M&P is a good place to start the next level of your training.