Smith & Wesson captured the hearts of American AR-15 enthusiasts with the iconic M&P 15 line of black rifles some years ago; rare indeed is the shooter who tries one and doesn't immediately want to add it to her collection. That's why we here at NRA Women are so excited for the hottest news of SHOT Show 2022: An all-new line of modern sporting rifles from the venerable S&W brand. Dubbed the Volunteer Series, these semi-automatic gas guns promise the versatility, accuracy and ease of use we've come to expect from Smith rifles ... refreshed and ready to run right out of the box.
There are four tiers of rifles: Volunteer XV, Volunteer XV OR, Volunteer XV PRO and Volunteer XV DMR. This may be the model that S&W has designated as a baseline, but the Volunteer XV stands as a feature-rich "plug and play" gun with custom touches like the B5 Bravo adjustable stock. The B5 pistol grip offers a steeper grip angle than traditional AR-15s, which provides better and more intuitive trigger finger alignment. Speaking of the trigger, it's a flat-faced, single-stage design that promises a clean, crisp break. The forend is a Bravo Company handguard with M-LOK slots to add accessories (should you wish to).
The Volunteer line is all about ergonomics and ease of use. The next level up in the line, the Volunteer XV OR, builds on the baseline model but with an additional low-profile Picatinny mount gas block for an unobstructed sight picture. Next is the Volunteer XV PRO, which boasts a mid-length gas system for a smooth recoil cycle. The forend of the XV PRO has a 15” free-floated handguard equipped with M-LOK slots for accessory mounting as close to the muzzle end of the firearm as possible. That said, the XV PRO comes with its own muzzle device, a Primary Weapon Systems (PWS) muzzle brake. (f you're not familiar with muzzle brakes, these devices help mitigate recoil and muzzle flip ... which will already be fairly minimal given the fact that these are semi-automatic gas guns.
The XV PRO is also equipped with a B5 pistol grip and includes a B5 Sopmod stock that provides an optimal cheek weld for the user. That's critical for women who shoot, given our proportionally higher cheekbones and longer necks. The stock also provides storage for batteries or other components.
The top of the line, the Volunteer XV DMR, comes with all the features included on the PRO but even more enhancements. The DMR model comes with a 20” barrel with a threaded, target-crowned barrel completed with a PWS muzzle brake. The DMR also runs a rifle-length gas system, providing a reliable and accurate platform for longer-distance shots. The MSRP on the new Volunteer XV series is $1,049 to $1,599 depending upon model chosen; Smith-Wesson.com.