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Prepper Budget Rifle Review – S&W M&P 15 Sport

m&psport, prepper rifle, beginner AR, budget AR,The AR-15 is the most popular sporting/military style rifle sold in the US. Millions have been sold over the past several years, and that number continues to grow.

As the popularity of the AR platform increases, so have the number of manufacturers. For those who are new to prepping or firearms, trying to find a decent quality AR on a budget can be tricky. And to those people, Smith and Wesson introduced the M&P 15 Sport model rifle.

The first things to note on this rifle is that it lacks a dust cover or a forward assist. (The dust cover is the metal plate covering your rifle’s ejection port when the rifle is not in use. See the picture below.) Smith and Wesson, in an effort to make the rifle more affordable, left these items off of the Sport model.

Personally engraved dust cover

Personally engraved dust cover

For the AR enthusiast, this might immediately turn them off from this gun. But realistically, unless you plan on crawling around on your belly, the dust cover really isn’t essential. As long as you store your rifle in a cool, dry place and keep it clean, you should be fine without one.

As for the forward assist, I put anywhere from 700-900 rounds through this rifle without a single hiccup. Never once did I have a “failure to feed” or a “failure to extract” problem with the Sport model.

There are mixed emotions about the need of the forward assist. Personally, I like having one, but to be honest I have never used it. Considering that I owned the Sport model and put well over 700 rounds through it without a problem, I’d say not having a forward assist was a “non-issue.”

You can use your finger to nudge the the action closed, as demonstrated in the video below.

The Sport model is 35″ in length (extended stock) with a 16′ inch, chrome lined steel barrel. The barrel has a 1 in 9 twist. (Click here if you aren’t sure what barrel twist means.)  The bolt carrier group is also chrome lined. The video below explains what a bolt carrier group is/does.

The receiver is an black, anodized aluminum. In total, the Sport model weighs about 6.5 lbs.

The Sport features a Magpul folding MBUS rear sight and an adjustable A2 front sight. The stock is a 6-Position Telescopic Butt Stock, meaning you can lock it into 6 different lengths. It also comes with a detachable 30 round Magpul magazine.

Great optics, great prices!

This model was the first AR I purchased, and it served me well. I kept it immaculate, though I read reviews from others before purchasing it who stated that they deliberately tried to cause malfunctions by not cleaning it, but had none.
I found the Sport model to be very accurate, and I eventually added an EoTech holographic sight to it. At 100 yards, I had about 1.5 to 2 inch group with jacketed .223 rounds, 55 grain ammo.

The rifle came with a Picatinny style rail, which took a bit of time but I was able to mount it on the bottom so I couldbarbie for men mount my Magpul angled fore grip.

The trigger pull was a standard mil-spec AR trigger set. It felt smooth and not jerky.

The muzzle brake is a standard A2, but it is easily changeable if you want to swap it out for other muzzle accessories.The rifling is a 1/9 twist rate and will shoot both the .223 and the 5.56 caliber rounds. I also noticed that the barrel is a bit thicker than a standard M4 profile barrel, which was a pleasant surprise.

As for accessories….hey, this is an AR! No problems there. Make this rifle your own!

The MSRP on this rifle is $739 per the Smith and Wesson website. But I have seen them go brand new for maybe $600 or so. For the rifle you are getting, that is a tremendous value.

I eventually traded mine in and upgraded. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the Sport model. It was fun to shoot and I learned a lot with it as my very first AR.

Final Verdict

For a beginning AR, or for a prepper on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport. It is quality workmanship, accurate, reliable, and inexpensive for the quality you are getting. I would have no problems recommending this rifle to others, and would have no fears if I had to use this rifle in a “battle” situation.


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