Back to Smith & Wesson with an M&P 40 Shield

Back to Smith & Wesson with an M&P 40 Shield

This is a discussion on Back to Smith & Wesson with an M&P 40 Shield within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This past week I inspected an M&P 40 Shield at a local gun shop. I liked its slender design and the way it felt in ...

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Thread: Back to Smith & Wesson with an M&P 40 Shield

  1. #1
    Member Array aimtrue's Avatar
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    Back to Smith & Wesson with an M&P 40 Shield

    This past week I inspected an M&P 40 Shield at a local gun shop. I liked its slender design and the way it felt in my hands. I was also impressed by the pistol’s overall fit and finish. I purchased it and intend to carry it each day in a paddle holster.

    When I got the Shield home, I decided to disassemble, clean and lube it before taking it for first practice shooting session. However, I was not able to get past the first step. While racking the slide, I could not get the slide stop to move and lock the slide ether with or without a magazine in place. The problem was not a matter of strength; the stop lever simply would not operate.

    I took the pistol back to the dealer and asked him to lock the slide in place using the slide stop. He tried and failed to do so. Consequently, the dealer sent the pistol to Smith & Wesson for analysis and repair.

    Once it is returned to me, I will disassemble, clean and lube it. Once this is done, I will go to a target range and become familiar with the Shield’s attributes, mannerisms and deficiencies (if any).

    I will post my thoughts about this pistol after my session.
    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    I am a proud NRA Benefactor Supporting the Second Amendment


  2. #2
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    I have a 9mm version and the slide stop is difficult to manipulate. I imagine the spring on the 40 is even stouter.

    Good luck with it.
    I know little on the subject so I'll speak at length.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    Recoil spring was not seated properly when I put the slide back on. Use the sear disconnect and push the takedown lever down while simultaenously sliding off the slide. Reseat the recoil spring against the barrel.

    if you don't get the back of the guide rod situated perfectly the slide will not travel all the way to the rear, and will not lock. The slide stop in the Shield is set up to where it only engages a few thousands short of the end of slide travel.

    You just have to make sure the spring assembly is seated properly and centered. Pretty hard not to get it seated, but being centered is the most important [part].

    If you can't get the slide to lock, make sure the spring is centered. Just a little off will prevent the slide from fully retracting. If you're [sic] sure the spring is centered, rack it back "hard" fully, a couple of times. Then try the lock and it should be fine.

    When slowly pulling back the slide there is a point of resistance that's short of the slide stop by about 3/8" and to slowly pull the slide past that point to full retraction requires Herculean strength. If you rack the slide smartly rearward as in chambering a round, you snap past that resistance point rather easily. It's trying to do it slowly that's the bear.
    Cannot lock the slide on new M&P Shield

    Once you find the right position for the RSA you may want to mark it so that you're absolutely sure that it is going back correctly. 6 quick vigorous slide strokes should seat it. Bersa BP9CC has a similar problem, only worse.

    Opposite problem but related:

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array bigpapa's Avatar
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    I have the 9mm and have no problem with mines.
    Glock 19 Gen 4, Glock 30s, Gen4 G27, Gen4 G29
    XDm .45 ACP 4.5, Shield 9mm
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    I have the Shield 40 and have been very happy with it. The only issue i have had is the stiff recoil springs. Once when trying to reassemble it, my hands must have been oily and/or I didn't have a good grip, the frame slipped out of my hand and flew across the room. Good luck!
    I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array subhuman's Avatar
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    before you send it back fill up a mag and shoot it,if it doesn't lock open on empty then send it back, a new Shield recoil spring is a heavy beast, I can crush a scale down to 200 lbs with either hand and I had to put forth a bit of effort to lock the slide back on my wife's 9mm when she got it,
    the slide lock itself is behind the lever over a 1/4 " like this
    If it needs to be done, do it.

  7. #7
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    Congrats but sorry to hear you had to send it out before even shooting it. Kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth...
    Ruger LC9 - Hornaday Critical Defense

    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms,and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…” -Richard Henry Lee

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    Member Array aimtrue's Avatar
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    To reiterate,

    I was not able to get past the first step of disassembly!

    In the process of racking the slide back for the first time, I attempted to get the slide stop to arrest the slide in place so that I could then take down the slide release lever and then remove the slide off of the frame. The slide stop would not move at all (up or down).

    I took the gun back and it is now at Smith & Wesson.

    The problem was not a lack of strength on my part or the dealers. Neither of us could budge the slide stop. I have handled many new tight pistols. Namely, each of the four Les Baer 1911's I have owned. Talk about tight, the slides were like welded to the frames. But, those pistols were not fouled by failing parts. The Shield I purchased was defective.

    I anticipate receiving it back in good working order.
    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    I am a proud NRA Benefactor Supporting the Second Amendment

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    Oh, we heard you. The question is whether with the slide as far back as possible (obviously it won't lock) if you were able to disconnect the sear by pushing down on the lever in the mag well. If you were able to, then by turning the take down lever you should have been able to remove the slide. Once the slide was off then you would try to remove the RSA, recoil spring assembly, rotate it 180 degrees, re-install, slip back onto the frame and see if the slide would now lock back.

    I attempted to get the slide stop to arrest the slide in place so that I could then take down the slide release lever and then remove the slide off of the frame.
    You have to either pull the trigger on an empty chamber (after the take down levers are down) or you have to use the sear disconnect/deactivation lever before being able to turn the take down lever.



    See also YouTube bxF0bwcJd18 I doubt your sear deactivation lever was not pinned, though.
    CIBMike likes this.

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    New Member Array iShoot6.8's Avatar
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    I had the same issue this past weekend and was able to remove the slide by pulling the trigger. The slide assembly moved forward and I was good to go. Before that, no way.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    Was your recoil spring guide seated correctly?

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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aimtrue View Post
    To reiterate,

    I was not able to get past the first step of disassembly!

    In the process of racking the slide back for the first time, I attempted to get the slide stop to arrest the slide in place so that I could then take down the slide release lever and then remove the slide off of the frame. The slide stop would not move at all (up or down).

    I took the gun back and it is now at Smith & Wesson.

    The problem was not a lack of strength on my part or the dealers. Neither of us could budge the slide stop. I have handled many new tight pistols. Namely, each of the four Les Baer 1911's I have owned. Talk about tight, the slides were like welded to the frames. But, those pistols were not fouled by failing parts. The Shield I purchased was defective.

    I anticipate receiving it back in good working order.
    Moot point now, but I would have put an empty mag in it and pulled the slide back. If it locked, it wasn't a faulty gun. Now, we'll never know.

    But S&W customer service is top notch, they'll make it right. I don't care for the 40 shield (EDC is a 40c) but love the platform. You will be rewarded with a gun that shoots like a much bigger gun and is highly reliable
    RT likes this.
    As Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    I have a S&W .40 with a few hunfred rounds through it.
    It is not a 'range' gun for pleasure shooting, but it is a GREAT carry piece for serious SD at 19oz & 0.95in wide.

    One of my favorites for carry since 99.9999% of the time I am lugging it around and not shooting an attacker.
    It will definitely be adequate if needed. Hope it works out for you.
    Retired State Trooper (40 long years) 8 years State Range Instructor - BS Degree- Justice, MS Degree- Criminology
    All forms of Gun Control are Unconstitutional / Illegal and beyond the scope of the US. Supreme Court.
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  14. #14
    Member Array CigarStix's Avatar
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    I've got a 9mm Shield. You will love it once the kinks are worked out!

    Good luck!
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  15. #15
    Member Array aimtrue's Avatar
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    As I stated in my earlier posts about the M&P40 Shield, after having made my November 20, 2014 purchase and taking my new Shield home, I found that it was inoperative right out-of-the box. As a result, the following day on November 21, I returned it to the dealer who sent it to Smith & Wesson for inspection and repair. On December 19 the dealer returned the repaired shield to me. The report from Smith & Wesson accompanying the pistol states: REPLACED TRIGGER BAR.

    I am not pleased with the quality control of Smith & Wesson to put this pistol up for sale in inoperative condition. However, I acknowledge that they did respond in a timely manner providing me with a repair of the Shield.

    After I got the repaired Shield home today, I disassembled, cleaned and lubed it. I was satisfied that the pistol appeared to function without ammunition correctly. Then, I drove to the desert for a first shooting.

    I set up multiple targets and shot 250 rounds into them. My purpose at this first Shield shooting was to familiarize myself with the pistol and to determine if it could properly handle different kinds of ammunition. To that end, I brought the following ammo:

    100 rounds America Eagle AE40R3 165GR FMJ
    12 rounds Hornady Critical Duty 91340 165gr JHP/XTP
    14 rounds Hornady Custom 9132 155gr JHP/XTP
    100 rounds REMINGTON UMC L40SW3 180gr MCFMJ
    12 rounds Speer Gold Dots WX2-151931 155gr HP
    12 rounds Winchester Bonded Q4369 180gr JHP

    The Shield discharged each round without a single failure to load fire or eject.

    Attached is one of my 10 yard double and triple tap targets. I achieved tighter patterns shooting slow fire 15 yard targets and my hit patterns on 7 foot point shooting targets were wider but would still be lethal.

    This is my opinion about the Shield after its repairs by the factory and my first successful experience shooting targets:

    The Shield is an easy pistol to shoot and maintain. It has good balance, a smooth-crisp trigger, eye catching sights and manageable recoil. It is extremely accurate at defensive distances. It is not at all finicky handling all types of ammunition.

    I find that the Shield being a sub-compact - single stack - slim size and modest weight pistol is easily concealable and comfortable to carry. It is what it is, a close combat defensive weapon. It is not a substitute for a rifle or recreational target gun.

    My concern about the proper functioning of the Shield before I shot it was based upon the gun being faulty out-of-the-box. However, after shooting 250 rounds of mixed ammo without a failure and seeing the accuracy with which I am able to achieve, I am now confident to carry it concealed on a daily basis for my personal protection.

    On December 24 i went shooting with my M&P 40 Shield for the second time I confined my ammo to American Eagle 165gr FMJ. Shot 150 rounds without a failure to load, fire or eject.

    It appears that S&W did correct the problem I first had with the pistol. It now disassembles and reassembles as it should. The slide lock works, the take down lever works and the slide comes off easily.

    I am impressed with the accuracy of this pistol. My hit patterns were dead-on with only a few scattered hits due to my jerking the trigger rather than squeezing it. Lost concentration during those times.

    All in all, I am quite impressed with my 40 Shield.
    Attached Images
    xeero likes this.
    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    I am a proud NRA Benefactor Supporting the Second Amendment

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