The Updated, Sub-$800 Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport III

by Vern Evans

One of the more venerable brands within the legendary gunmaker that is Smith & Wesson remains the M&P. For well over a century, M&P builds brought revolvers and semi-auto pistols and rifles trusted by professional and civilian alike. Now the rifle form gets another upgrade with the debut of S&W M&P15 Sport III series carbines.

S&W M&P15 Sport III Series Details

The new design brings features aimed at performance under various conditions. The Sport Series comprises a versatile, “do-it-all” build, enhancing the earlier Sport II platform. The new models come equipped with several enhancements but still hit that lower price point many shooters desire.

The gas-operated, semi-auto Sport III comes chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. It ships with either 30+1 or 10+1 magazines, depending on the locale. Upgrades include a 16-inch Armornite-coated barrel with a threaded muzzle, 5R rifling, and a 1:8 twist to handle a wide variety of ammo. The barrel comes housed within a free-floated, 15-inch M-LOK handguard complete with a full-length Picatinny-style rail.

The rifle runs on a mid-length gas system. A six-position, adjustable stock, polymer grip, bolt forward assist and chromed firing pin round out the suite of build features.

The S&W M&P15 Sport III retails for $799. For more info, visit

S&W M&P15 Sport III Specs

  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Capacity: 30/10
  • Frame Size: Rifle
  • Barrel Length: 16
  • Safety: Thumb Safety
  • Weight: 104.32 ounces
  • Width: 2.5 inches
  • Overall Length: 35 inches
  • MSRP: $799

Editor’s Take:

It should be pretty obvious why we love this build: you get a ton of AR for the money, plain and simple. Smith & Wesson puts a smart collection of shooter-demanded components and features into a package most everyone can afford. Don’t get me wrong, we love a high-end build, to be sure. But rifles like this make for important entry points into the shooting sports. The versatility of the build enable a shooter to hit the range, shoot a match, or defend the castle without changing a thing. Or the gun tinkerers get a great base to build off from. Any way you cut it, much to like here from S&W.

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