- REAR SIGHT_phatchfinalThe VTAC's Warrior sights feature two stacked sets of three-dot sighting systems - fiber optics and tritium - for faster targeting in all possible situations.Steve Woods Photo
- REPLACING GRIP_phatchfinalThe VTAC comes with three easy-to-install, interchangeable backstraps that adjust the distance between the web of your hand and the trigger.Steve Woods Photo
- FRAME RAIL_phatchfinalFor even greater versatility, the Smith & Wesson's frame features an integrated rail for adding accessories like lights and lasers.Steve Woods Photo
- BARREL AND FRONT SIGHT_phatchfinalThe M&P40's slide and barrel are machined from bars of stainless steel. The slide is finished in Melonite, and the barrel is broach-rifled.Steve Woods Photo
While various trainers may or may not be able to teach, those who have “been there and done that” teach it best. Kyle Lamb is one of those guys. He is the real deal, and like most that are, he doesn’t need to brag about it. Kyle was a member of perhaps the most elite special forces: Delta Force. He has survived years of bad guys trying to kill him all over the world. He is retired now, runs Viking Tactics, and is one of the country’s top trainers for those who want to learn how to use their guns to defend themselves.
In a world where there are more and more guns hitting the market designed by people who don’t shoot, it might be smart to use the skills and experience of a guy like Kyle to design a fighting pistol. Smith & Wesson thought so, and they teamed up with Kyle Lamb and Viking Tactics to create the ultimate fighting handgun—the S&W M&P40 VTAC.
The Smith & Wesson M&P series represents some of the most successful striker-fired handguns on the market, and it’s the basis for the VTAC. The M&P40 VTAC has a distinctive, polymer Flat Dark Earth (FDE) frame and magazine bumper pads. The slide is finished with a PVD coating in a metallic style of the FDE color, creating a slightly different hue and pleasing contrast.
The trigger, slide release, takedown lever and sights are black. So are the slide end cap and the exposed chamber section of the barrel and the extractor. This makes for a very striking look. The VTAC is the kind of gun that invariably gets an initial “wow” response from anybody I show it to. The response is the same when it comes to ergonomics. When a shooter picks up the gun, they always comment about how good it feels. Like any well-designed firearm, it seems “alive” in your hands. It is well proportioned and well balanced. After carrying it for many days in recent weeks, I can also say that, with a weight of 24.25 ounces empty, it is comfortable on your belt, with no sharp edges to aggravate you.
The M&P40’s hinged trigger breaks at 6.5 pounds with a smooth and well-defined finish. As with all M&P pistols, there is a viewing window on the top of the slide to see if there is a round in the chamber. The cartridge is visible through this small port—you’ll see brass or nickel when the gun is loaded. I like this, as it eliminates the need for a press check.
The gun features Viking Tactics’ unique Warrior sights, which are different from any other sights on the market. Warrior sights have both fiber optics and night sights built into one system but separate from each other. The front sight is tall and the rear notch is deep—this is to accommodate the dual system. The long sight radius is easy to see and fast to acquire. Together, the Warrior sights create a three-dot, green fiber-optic system on top with another three-dot, tritium night sight system underneath. There is a lot of light on both sides of the front blade, and I found that I could acquire these sights very fast, even with my 50-something eyes.