The Washington State Patrol has adopted Smith & Wesson's MP40 as its duty pistol primarily due to the availability of replacement parts and interchangable grip selection, the agency tells POLICE Magazine.

The agency ordered 1,400 of the .40-caliber pistols from S&W, and will eventually cease using the Heckler & Koch .40-caliber autoloader state troopers began carrying in 2003, the agency's PIO Sgt. Freddy Williams wrote in an e-mail.

"Over the years, there has been some difficulty in getting replacement parts [for the H&K], and we feel we would receive better customer service from Smith and Wesson," Williams wrote. "The availability of multi-sized grips aided in the selection of the S&W M&P, because when it comes to handguns, one size does not fit all."

The WSP selected the polymer M&P pistol after extensive testing. In addition to the pistol's ergonomics, evaluators also said its ambidextrous controls would benefit their officers.

The M&P pistol features a Zytel polymer frame reinforced with a stainless steel chassis and a black Melonite finished stainless steel barrel and slide for durability; a passive trigger safety to prevent the pistol from firing if dropped; and a sear-release lever that eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm.

A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the slide. The firearm also features an ambidextrous slide stop and a reversible magazine release, as well as an enlarged trigger guard designed to accommodate gloves. The M&P40 has a 15 + 1 round capacity. The M&P pistol series is available in 9mm, .40S&W, .357SIG,and .45ACP calibers. Compact versions of the M&P pistol are also available for concealed carry and back-up use.

In addition to supplying the Washington State Patrol, Smith & Wesson Corp. has shipped 1,300 M&P pistols to the Washington State Department of Corrections.

"Contracts from departments such as the Washington State Patrol demonstrate the diversity of the M&P pistol series, as well as the ability of the M&P product line to meet a broad range of applications and requirements," said Leland Nichols, Smith & Wesson's senior VP of sales and marketing. "The recent orders from the multiple state agencies within Washington include contracts for not only the M&P40 but also for the M&P9 and M&P45 pistol."

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