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Old October 20, 2012, 07:56 PM   #1
NerdNoise
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Bought a M&P Shield, Here's my Issue

I just bought a 9mm M&P Shield 2 days ago. I've put 150 rounds through it, and love it. I've just been noticing an issue with the +1 mag, not the flush mag. The slide release is getting stuck and not releasing the slide. It barely hangs on before it releases.

I made a youtube video showing the entire issue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS2ppi77ZCM
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Last edited by NerdNoise; October 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM.
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:14 PM   #2
Dragline45
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Most modern semi autos lock back on an empty mag and the slide wont release unless you either pop in a fresh mag with ammunition, or take the mag out and release the slide. Does this happen with the extended mag with ammunition in it? Since the gun is meant to lock bag on empty mags it makes sense that the slide wont release with an empty mag in it. Also I would be careful with all that filing your doing, too much and the gun will stop locking back on an empty mag since you took off too much material. I don't understand why you didn't call Smith & Wesson first.

Edit: Just watched the end of the video. You know when the slide released all on its own without you touching anything on the gun, well it looks like you filed off too much metal and screwed up the slide lock on that gun. I would send it back to Smith & Wesson and hope they cover the cost to repair it.

Last edited by Dragline45; October 20, 2012 at 09:32 PM.
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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I don't think you understand the problem. I understand that the gun locks back on an empty mag. But when I racked it with the +1 mag, it won't release forward. When I do the same thing with the flush mag, it releases forward.

I'm not shaving down the slide lock to a point where it won't stay back. I was simply making it smoother so that when the slide catches that tiny corner, it releases through.

It shouldn't be one with with one mag and another with a different mag.

And it released by itself multiple times like that before I even touched it with sandpaper.
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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I don't see it as a problem as long as it goes forward with a round in the mag; you said you didn't have any issues at the range correct?
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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I don't remember having any issues there, but this still doesn't explain why it happens with one mag and not the other. Especially when you see how its just barely hanging on before it releases in the video.
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:56 PM   #6
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Many guns are very difficult to release the slide on with an empty magazine in place because you're fighting not only the friction of the slide stop against the slide and pressure of the recoil spring, but the pressure of the magazine spring as well. My guess would be that the reason you can release the slide more easily with the flush-fit magazine in place is because that magazine probably does not have as stiff a spring as the extended one does.

So long as you can release the slide easily with either a loaded magazine or no magazine at all, it's a non-issue. I really don't understand why it would be important to be able to release the slide with an empty magazine in place anyway, so I don't understand why you're all that worried about it. If you do have a problem with the gun, S&W has excellent customer service and will take care of whatever problem you may have. If you still think that there's something wrong with your pistol, you should stop filing on it and send it back to S&W.
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Old October 20, 2012, 10:06 PM   #7
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Regardless of the problem you shouldn't have taken sandpaper to the slide lock without knowing what your doing. You can clearly see in the video you are barely moving the gun with your hand nowhere near the slide release and the slide released all on it's own. Even if you did not take off that much material you could have changed the angle. Some guns from repeated use of the slide release over time can wear just enough material off where the slide fails to lock back, so taking sandpaper or a file to it really isn't the best idea. It does nothing to make the gun inoperable but during a high stress mag change when that slide releases all on it's own it could screw you.

Last edited by Dragline45; October 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old October 20, 2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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I assure you the gun is still perfectly operable. As you all know, when the slide is back after empty, you can pull back while pressing the slide lock and it should release. It was barely moving then catching the tiny corner of the slide lock mechanism.

Just to be clear, I wasn't 'filing' on my gun. It was sandpaper to just smooth it out and round the corner. It barely even did anything to it.
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Old October 20, 2012, 10:21 PM   #9
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As I said it does nothing to make it inoperable but it can certainly cause problems with the slide releasing on it's own or failing to lock back. I'm going by what I saw in the video and what I saw is the slide releasing on it's own with no pressure on it, with mention of on two separate occasions taking sandpaper to the slide lock. The only time I have ever seen a slide release all on it's own is from someone slamming a magazine in too rough.


Quote:
Just to be clear, I wasn't 'filing' on my gun. It was sandpaper to just smooth it out and round the corner. It barely even did anything to it.
Sandpaper and files serve the same purpose, it doesn't matter what you used both can take off just as much material as the other. Even though it may appear you took barely anything off sometimes that's all it takes. Alot of people attempt home trigger jobs on Smith & Wesson revolvers using a very fine india stone, which is much less abrasive than sandpaper, and plenty of people have taken just a bit too much of the sear on the rear of the trigger which can cause the hammer to fall forward on it's own with just a bit of pressure. It doesn't take much to take off fractions of an inch which is sometimes all it takes.

Last edited by Dragline45; October 20, 2012 at 10:35 PM.
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Old October 20, 2012, 10:30 PM   #10
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It could be a magazine issue and not the slide release. I'd try a different magazine before doing anything else. The extended mag may not be seating properly because of that sleeve at the base too. Try inserting the magazines one by one without the slide on. Pay attention to how much the slide stop moves with each magazine.
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Old October 20, 2012, 10:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
As you all know, when the slide is back after empty, you can pull back while pressing the slide lock and it should release. It was barely moving then catching the tiny corner of the slide lock mechanism.
The reason it wouldn't move far enough to clear the slide is because you're fighting directly against the tension of the magazine spring. The fact that the slide releases easily with a loaded magazine, no magazine, or the flush-fit magazine should tell you that the issue is not something in the gun, but rather something to do with that one particular magazine. As I said before, however, there's no reason that you should have to release the slide with an empty magazine in place so it's a non-issue.

Quote:
Just to be clear, I wasn't 'filing' on my gun. It was sandpaper to just smooth it out and round the corner. It barely even did anything to it.
Whether it's a file, sandpaper, emery cloth, bench grinder, India stone, or rag with rubbing compound, it's still an abrasive material that's removing metal. Firearm parts are usually designed to operate with a certain geometry and smoothing or rounding corners changes that geometry. The fact is S&W has trained gunsmiths and will not only rectify whatever problems your gun may have for free, but also pay for the shipping both ways. Because of this, there's really no good reason for you to file, sand, grind, polish, stone, or do anything else to the slide stop. As I said before, if you think that there's something wrong with you gun, just give S&W a call and they will take care of you.
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Old October 20, 2012, 10:58 PM   #12
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With my Shield, I noticed a bit of play in the magazine, even when fully inserted into the well.

But the slide shouldn't drop just because you slapped a new mag in. You should have to release it yourself to function properly.
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Old October 20, 2012, 11:04 PM   #13
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Yea the sandpapering did nothing to correct the issue anyways. The slide lock is still holding fine in place as when it was new so that's not an issue.

The part about me fighting against the magazine's spring tension makes the most sense here. I'll have to load it up and let it sit a while and see. Appreciate your help guys.
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Old October 20, 2012, 11:19 PM   #14
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I agree with Webleymkv.

I just wouldn't be sanding/modifying a part on a brand new gun that I thought was the cause of the pistol malfunctioning or not operating properly unless I was told to do so from the manufacturer.
Unless I was willing to be okay with the manufacturer voiding my warranty.

Too, you said the slide would release almost on its own with the standard mag. before you started sanding on the release. You may have a hard time convincing the gunsmith at S&W of this if he/she realizes you have been sanding on the release.

Last edited by shortwave; October 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM.
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Old October 20, 2012, 11:41 PM   #15
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Sandpaper...S&W Shield?

My Dad took some sandpaper to his 1967 fiberglass body Corvett right after he bought it new off the show room floor. Is that kind of the same thing you guys are talking about?
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Old October 20, 2012, 11:48 PM   #16
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This is more like taking sand paper to the brake pads because they were too stiff.
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:09 AM   #17
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I thought the sandpaper trick would make a factory stock part more perfect.
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Old October 21, 2012, 06:47 AM   #18
NerdNoise
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Yea, honestly you guys are taking the sandpaper thing too seriously. It is my gun and its not a big deal.

Like I said before, it hasn't hindered it in any way. The issue must be the tension spring on the +1 mag since its longer it will need to be worked out more.
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Yea, honestly you guys are taking the sandpaper thing too seriously. It is my gun and its not a big deal.
You asked for our advice and we've given it. The reason that we're so against the whole sandpaper thing is two-fold. First, you're modifying a part that was never defective to begin with. Sandpaper can remove more material than you might think and if you sand too much off of the slide stop, you'll wind up with a pistol that won't reliably lock the slide open after the last shot. If the gun's slide releases without you touching the slide stop or slide, as it appeared to do in your video, then you're already well on your way there.

Secondly, most manufacturers frown on "kitchen table gunsmithing" and, in some cases, may void warranties over it. Please don't take this the wrong way, but you're attempting gunsmithing work without fully understanding exactly how the parts interact with one another. On the other hand, no one will understand better how your handgun works than the people who made it and since those people offer a lifetime warranty, you've undertaken modifications which may adversely affect the funtion of your gun (albeit in a non-critical way) needlessly.

Quote:
Like I said before, it hasn't hindered it in any way. The issue must be the tension spring on the +1 mag since its longer it will need to be worked out more.
I still don't see how it's an issue to begin with. The magazine spring can only put tension on the slide stop when an empty magazine is inserted into the gun. When you're reloading, the spring will not put tension against the slide stop because the magazine follower will be held too low to make contact with it by the cartridges in the magazine. Likewise, if you want to close the slide on an unloaded pistol, it's simple enough to simply drop the mag, close the slide, and then re-insert the magazine if you wish to do so. Please understand, what many of us have been trying to tell you is that you're worried about fixing something that isn't broken.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Please understand, what many of us have been trying to tell you is that you're worried about fixing something that isn't broken.
But he doesn't understand why it does it with one mag, and not the other.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:54 AM   #21
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I have a Shield and it works with either mag identically.

Being as yours doesn't I would consider it defective. You might be able to live with it today, but who knows what collateral damage it will have down the road.

Your attempt to fix it yourself may've caused some warranty issues, though.

Smith has an excellent, documented track record of fixing issues with quick turnaround. I bought a new Smith 1911 and had extraction issues right out of the box. Called customer service, they issued a FedEx call tag and the gun gone less than two weeks, door to door.

Finally, while others are quick to pass judgement, I could care less. It's your gun.
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:19 PM   #22
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There is no reason why you should ever be putting the slide forward on an empty magazine. If you're reloading, you will be putting a full mag in the gun. If you're unloading, the magazine should be out of the gun entirely. If you really need to put an empty mag in an empty gun, just put the mag back in after the slide is forward.

Different capacity magazines have different strength springs. When empty, one will push up on the slide stop harder than the other. When you're trying to drop the slide on an empty mag, you're fighting that spring pressure. But as long as the magazine seats properly, feeds properly, and locks the slide open after the last shot, this is a complete non-issue.
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:22 PM   #23
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Webley,

The part about the slide going back on its own was happening before I even touched it with sandpaper.

I will take it to the range again and test this out with ammo.

The thing you guys need to keep in mind though, is that not everyone has owned guns for years. This is my first handgun. It just didn't make sense for it to be doing that with different magazines.
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:56 PM   #24
Webleymkv
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Originally posted by spanishjames
Quote:
Quote:
Please understand, what many of us have been trying to tell you is that you're worried about fixing something that isn't broken.

But he doesn't understand why it does it with one mag, and not the other.
I addressed that in post #6.

Originally posted by mitchntx
Quote:
I have a Shield and it works with either mag identically.

Being as yours doesn't I would consider it defective. You might be able to live with it today, but who knows what collateral damage it will have down the road.
The thing is, if the slide stop or anything else on the gun itself were defective then the OP should have the same issue with the flush-fit magazine, loaded magazines, or no magazine at all. Because, however, issue only occurs witht he extended magazine and only when that magazine is empty, I am of the opinion that the magazine is the cause of the issue. Actually, if anything is "defective," my money would be on a weak magazine spring in the flush-fit mag.

Originally posted by NerdNoise
Quote:
Webley,

The part about the slide going back on its own was happening before I even touched it with sandpaper.

I will take it to the range again and test this out with ammo.
If that's the case, then it could be that the slide spontaneously released because, when you tried unsuccessfully to release it several times previously, you pushed it far enough down to release from slight vibration. Hopefully, that is the case and you haven't changed the function of the gun by sanding the slide stop.

Quote:
The thing you guys need to keep in mind though, is that not everyone has owned guns for years. This is my first handgun. It just didn't make sense for it to be doing that with different magazines.
I understand that which is why I tried my best to give you very detailed explanation. There's nothing wrong with being new to something as everyone has to start somewhere. In the future, however, it would be adviseable to ask questions and seek advice on something you're unsure about before you start sanding or otherwise modifying parts.
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Old October 21, 2012, 01:09 PM   #25
Dragline45
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Quote:
Yea, honestly you guys are taking the sandpaper thing too seriously. It is my gun and its not a big deal.
The reason were taking it so seriously is because taking sandpaper to the internals of pistol without knowing what your doing can cause problems, if you don't like the advice your getting then fine sand away, like you said its your gun. As others already mentioned there seems to be no issue with the gun and even if you got the slide to release on both empty mags you gain no advantage.
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