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Old May 11, 2019, 11:41 AM   #1
pgb205
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What in the world can do this to a magazine?

Was shooting the original Shield today. Had a failure to eject on the last round.
Checked and saw that the follower was limp inside the mag instead of pressing firmly upward.
Disassembling the magazine showed that a spring was really entangled on itself somehow. See the picture.

I'm not sure how many rounds I've put through this specific magazine, but it's been quite a few.

I'm curious what can do this to a magazine spring and how can I avoid it?
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Old May 11, 2019, 11:47 AM   #2
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Think about changing over to the Magguts flat spring. One extra round to boot.
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Old May 11, 2019, 11:49 AM   #3
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I did consider it. 7 rounds is plenty for my environment and I'd rather not make these changes to a firearm.
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Old May 11, 2019, 12:05 PM   #4
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I'd guess the spring was a bit weak, and force of recoil drove the last round and follower down hard enough to tilt and tangle like that. No clue really, just thinking what could cause that.
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Old May 11, 2019, 12:18 PM   #5
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Ejection of spent brass shouldn't have much to do with magazine. The magazine spring doesn't look kosher, but it is different issue. I would just replace it. For the ejection problem, I would look at the extractor.

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Old May 11, 2019, 12:19 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
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Recoil doesn't act on the magazine.
I'd be thinking somebody did that for you. Even though it's implausible. I can't imagine how a spring could get twisted on itself while in the mag. There's not enough space.
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Old May 11, 2019, 12:31 PM   #7
unclenunzie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
Recoil doesn't act on the magazine.
I'd be thinking somebody did that for you. Even though it's implausible. I can't imagine how a spring could get twisted on itself while in the mag. There's not enough space.
I was thinking about how a spent casing being extracted might exert force on the top round, pushing the nose down... not directly recoil related but force applied.
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Old May 11, 2019, 12:52 PM   #8
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i tried to track that tangle. my thoughts?

YOU DID NOT DO THAT, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

there is one kink midway down that could not have happened under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES OF HANDGUN USE. there is never enough energy exerted on a spring to do that, spring steel will flex until it is bent too far and the molecular bonds are damaged and it bends.

That thing was damaged during installation or it's even probable that the spring was already damaged and the worker used it anyway by weasling it into place.

warranty claim is your answer.

bill de shivs should look at this and give his thoughts on whether that could have possibly happened while that spring was in place.
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Old May 11, 2019, 01:40 PM   #9
pgb205
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as i mentioned the follower was limp, not pushing up hard when I looked. I think that had something to do with the previous round not ejecting?
As far as the kink in the spring. That was like that once I managed to drag it out of the magazine. So maybe it didn't look like that when it still was inside??
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Old May 11, 2019, 01:49 PM   #10
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That kink was created by stretching the wire past its failure point, not compressing it. A magazine spring is designed to compress and release and there's just not any way that the wire in that fold could have been stretched with the sort of force necessary for the steel to fail.

Was the spring still attached to both the follower and the base? You may have your answer there. It is also probable that the coils of the spring just got so tangled up that the spring couldn't possibly work and they got stuck.

From this moment on, I will never fire a magazine without disassembling it, examining it and cleaning.

What I am looking at and seeing is impossible to cause just by loading and feeding.
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Old May 11, 2019, 01:49 PM   #11
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Ejection of spent brass shouldn't have much to do with magazine.
It's not unusual for the follower, (or more commonly the next round in the magazine) to play a part in the ejection of a spent case. Some pistols will even eject differently without a magazine in place. One common autopistol brand will eject spent cases down the mag well if no magazine is in place.
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Recoil doesn't act on the magazine.
Recoil moves the entire gun and the magazine is part of the gun when it's latched in.

That said, I don't see recoil alone causing the problem in the absence of any other factors.

The top part of the spring is smaller than the rest of the spring and will tend to telescope down into the larger section when the spring is fully compressed. If there were a weak/faulty spot in the spring near the point where the spring takes its maximum stress, it's possible that it might not decompress properly as the magazine empties.

If you can untangle the spring and everything seems normal at that point, then I don't know how it happened. If there's a weak point in the spring and even after untangling it won't go back to its normal shape then I think it was a defect in the spring.
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Old May 11, 2019, 02:17 PM   #12
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It's obviously from limp wristing.
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Old May 11, 2019, 02:33 PM   #13
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The follower is not attached to the spring it just sits on top.

Only remember for a fact:

1. Up to and including the last load cycle I had no reason to believe that magazine was
about to fail . Rounds required normal pressure to load. There were no (even intermittently) failures to eject/feed etc. 100% reliability.

2. When I noticed failure to feed I took the last round out and noticed that follower was 'sunk'. As I pressed it obviously wasn't pushing up as vigorously as it normally would. Tipping the magazine upside down would cause follower to fall into normal position. So didn't look like spring was exerting normal upward force.

3. I took a bit of effort (just a bit) to get the spring out. It was definitely already kinked when it came out. The act of yanking
it out might have made the kind worse, but to some degree it was already there.
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Old May 11, 2019, 04:15 PM   #14
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I’d call Smith and Wesson and offer to email them your picture. They might send you a new mag or two for your troubles.
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Old May 11, 2019, 04:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
It's not unusual for the follower, (or more commonly the next round in the magazine) to play a part in the ejection of a spent case. Some pistols will even eject differently without a magazine in place. One common autopistol brand will eject spent cases down the mag well if no magazine is in place.Recoil moves the entire gun and the magazine is part of the gun when it's latched in.
No it should not be like that if the extractor is properly fitted.

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Old May 11, 2019, 04:37 PM   #16
pgb205
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Just thought of something else to add.
I have recently had that specific Shield sent to SW for a small repair. It was fixed and the cause in paperwork listed as 'slide override'.

No idea of what 'slide override' means, never heard of such an issue. But also hard to believe that the new slide would be responsible for today's problems.
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Old May 11, 2019, 05:14 PM   #17
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Coil springs are different -- and magazine springs are a funny combination of coil and flat springs (with bending and twisting of the metal as the spring is compressed and released).

These types of spring work differently than simpler coil or leaf springs, in that the work being done is spread more widely throughout the spring's material than a leaf spring, and they have some "leaf" spring characteristics, too. All sorts of things are happening inside the metal, and if there's a flaw in the metal, it would be hard to predict just what would happen.

I wonder, if you were to untwist that spring and get it back to it's NORMAL shape, you'd find a damaged part in the spring metal? I wouldn't be surprised to see a stress fracture or kink in the metal. That break, fracture or defect could allow the spring to push up or down in an unusual way, causing the turn and twist we see in the image.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; May 12, 2019 at 11:37 AM.
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Old May 11, 2019, 11:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
No it should not be like that if the extractor is properly fitted.
Maybe it shouldn't be like that (although I can't see why it's a practical problem) but it is true that at least one common brand of pistol will eject down the magazine well if there is no magazine installed. I've seen it tested more than once with different examples from the brand lineup and it's pretty consistent.

Ok, all that aside, let's look at this from a technical perspective.

If there is a round in the magazine, it will definitely exert an upward force on an extracted casing. If it didn't, the next round wouldn't be in a position to feed. So whether or not the gun should eject properly without a round in the magazine, it will almost certainly eject differently.

The same is true in some designs, though to a lesser extent, with the follower. In some designs, it doesn't appear that the follower touches the round as it is extracted and in those designs, the gun should eject the same with an empty mag as with no mag installed.
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Old May 12, 2019, 12:36 AM   #19
tangolima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
Maybe it shouldn't be like that (although I can't see why it's a practical problem)
Bottom line. Pistol with properly fitted extractor will eject (no stoppage) with or without a magazine. Pistol missing the extractor will not eject properly(stoppage), mostly at all, even with a good magazine.

It can be quite a practical problem.

-TL

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Old May 12, 2019, 01:59 AM   #20
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It can be quite a practical problem.
Given that autopistols are supposed to be used with a functional magazine installed, it's difficult to see what the practical problem is with having a functional magazine be part of the normal ejection process. That's why I made the comment that I did.
Quote:
Bottom line. Pistol with properly fitted extractor will eject (no stoppage) with or without a magazine.
The fact is that the magazine can, and does play a part in the normal ejection process in some designs. I don't know of any designs where the magazine being non-functional or missing is guaranteed to cause a stoppage due to ejection problems, but then again, I haven't claimed otherwise. But magazines can and do have an effect on ejection of spent brass because the next round in the magazine (and/or the follower in some designs) pushes upward on the brass as it is extracted from the chamber. That is why I responded to the comment that: "Ejection of spent brass shouldn't have much to do with magazine."

Whether or not we think it should, it is often the case that ejection of spent brass does have something to do with the magazine.

Checking the extraction and ejection function with a functional magazine is a very good idea for a pistol intended for self-defense, and I would recommend the same thing. However, it's a bit of a stretch to assume that the first ejection malfunction experienced just happened to occur simultaneous with an obvious magazine problem and that there's no connection between the two. That would be true even if there were no known connection between magazine issues and ejection. However, there is a known connection and therefore it's even more of a stretch.

Although I'm not sure why you would assume I'm making this up, and I can't imagine what you think my motive would be for doing such a thing, if you refuse to accept my word on the issue, here's some reading material from other sources.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-w...-problems.html
"I have 4 mags for my rifle. One mag consistently has 4-6 fte's with good ammo."

https://www.bullseyepistol.com/malfunction.htm
"The magazine can cause a variety of manfunctions including feeding problems and even failures to eject."

https://www.thektog.org/threads/fail...-cures.245367/
"Another cause of failure to extract/eject, although perhaps counter-intuitive, is a bad magazine/weak mag spring. This is so because a weak mag spring can allow a roiund to "release" from the mag early as the bolt is extracting the fired case. Then, as the front of the new cartridge rises, it can strike against the extracted case, preventing the case from ejecting and instead, the case is then re-chambered, with the new cartridge then jamming against the re-chambered, fired case. "

https://forums.brianenos.com/topic/1...lure-to-eject/
"Just today though, the XD started having failure to ejects on about 70% of rounds shot like this. However, it never had a FTE with a magazine in. I shot multiple 5 and 10 shot strings with a magazine inserted, probably 100 rounds total, and it never experienced a FTE. However, on the 50 or so shots I shot without a magazine in, it would FTE on about 70% of them. "

https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/gl...eject.1611222/
"I have a new Glock 19 Gen3 with around 600 rounds through it. I use factory G17 and G19 magazines without issue. I bought a couple 17 round PMAGs from Midway last month, and I've had two failure to ejects when using one of these magazines. "

https://lockedback.com/stove-pipe-malfunction-clear/
"Stovepipes can be caused by a number of issues – such as a bad magazine..."
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Old May 12, 2019, 02:27 AM   #21
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That's absolutely bizarre. How reliable has this magazine been up until recently? Have you ever disassembled it previously?

I'd send that pic to S&W and see what they say. I wouldn't be surprised if you got a new magazine out of it.
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Old May 12, 2019, 04:55 AM   #22
tangolima
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JohnSA. My apology for not making my point clear. Ejection is job of the extractor and ejector. It doesn't need the magazine follower to kick out the brass. When people fixate on the wrong area trying to fix the issue and never really solve the problem, theoretical discussions become practical problems. That is what I meant to say.

Never meant to say you made things up, and no second guess on your intentions either. Internet is full of claims and stories, including yours and mine. I go by what I learned at school and my own experience.

Anyway, both you and I believe what we believe, and we are here to provide inputs to help the OP. Let him decide what to do. We have done our duties. I'd stop here to mind my own business.

-TL

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Old May 12, 2019, 08:23 AM   #23
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A single coil is bent at about 90* from norm. It looks like a crazy mess, but examine it carefully. This happened while the spring was compressed. No other way.

The spring was defective. Bad heat treat? Age? Damage? We'll never know.

When the spring was fully compressed, the coils did not stack up as normal but rather were forced either fore or aft in the mag at the weak spot. As the spring tension was released, the weak spot allowed the spring to gain some friction from the inside of the magazine which further promoted the spring losing proper shape. Didn't happen instantly, it was a process. If you had taken the spring out months ago, I bet it would not have looked straight, but rather had a bend at the 6th coil.

As the spring continued to lose strength at the weak spot, the other portions of the spring were still strong. The weak spot work hardened until instead of just not stacking up normally, that coil lost any ability to act as a spring at that point. The spring bound, got bent, and you see the result.

Last edited by Chris_B; May 12, 2019 at 08:31 AM.
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Old May 12, 2019, 08:36 AM   #24
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I think that spring had a defective spot created either by defective metal or during the coiling process. During use, the defective spot finally failed, the follower wasn't pushed up, when the mag was disassembled the spring wound around its weak area.
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Old May 12, 2019, 12:28 PM   #25
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There is a You-tube video showing this exact thing. I read about faulty Shield magazine springs a few years ago. tom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVdPPBCnOQ0
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