||The Good. Great looking weapon. Has all the bells and whistles that the average, non-tactical operator could ever want. The Magpul lower is very nicely done. The magwell is nicely flared at the base and the front serrations are great. The trigger finger indexing ledge is nice and is tapered so as to allow use the the Magpul BAD. Very lightweight, points well and the propitiatory compensator/flash hider is a bonus. Roll in the other Magpul items and DVD's and this is a lot of rifle for the money.
Buds had the rifle to my FFL 7 business days after I placed my order.
Now, the bad. Watched my FFL open the shipping box and Inspected the weapon inside with my FFL. Everything looked good under the lights. Went outside and opened the box to put the paperwork with the rifle and a glint on the right side of the upper receiver caught my eye. A small dent at the bottom upper receiver was revealed in the light of the sun. I'll admit it's minor, but it appears the bottom of the receiver was banged against something or the entire rifle was dragged dropped on something (if you hold the lower receiver at the right angle, you can see a rub mark leading up to the dent). Now, I have no idea if the box had been opened at Buds prior to shipment. In all likelihood, the rifle was drop shipped from a distributor.
I took pictures while at my FFL and called S&W when I got home. Customer service was great. The said they'd have a box and label to me in a few days. I asked about just swapping out the upper receiver, but they said they wanted the entire rifle to ensure nothing else was possibly wrong.
As I said earlier, I don't know when the damage occurred. It could have happened anywhere. In any case, what I learned was.
1. Buds had a great price and shipped in a timely manner.
2. It's appears to be a GREAT rifle.
3. Inspect your rifle in the light of day when possible. Store lights may not disclose the entire picture.
4. S&W's initial customer service response was outstanding. They said their turnaround time would be 2 to 4 weeks.
I'll update after S&W gets back with me.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]