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Discussion Starter #1
New Shield 9mm. Love it so far.

But absolutely no way can I get the slide lock to release without a tool (such as the blunt end of a pen pushing down on it *extremely* hard).

Yes, if I slide the slide back a little it will release. But I am new in the firearms sport, and I've taken two ladies-only safety/educational classes so far. I was taught that it's safer to use the slide lock release when chambering. My Sig P226's slide lock works just fine, but not this Shield's.

Is there some sort of adjustment I can have someone make to get it to work correctly?

Thanks everyone
 

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First of all welcome to our little corner of the web!

The next time a 'self appointed expert' tells you that its safer to release the slide by ignoring the specific instructions that come with your pistol, turn around and walk out, he doesn't know what he's talking about. What he told you is his opinion, but its not always the correct way to do it.

Your Shield and all M&P pistols have a slide lock, now a slide lock is different from a slide release, the M&P series was designed with features recommended by the top firearms trainers all over the country, now if those people recommended it to have a slide release S&W would have made it that way, but they didn't.

Your owner's manual is very specific about how to release the slide, you pull the slide to the rear and release it, many people call this the slingshot method, since the motion is so much like pulling back a sling shot. The manual doesn't tell you to push down on the slide release, since the M&P doesn't have a slide release, it has a slide lock, and a slide release and slide lock aren't the same thing.

Invariably when this subject comes up, and it comes up quite often, somebody always chimes in that doesn't want to accept what S&W says, there was another guy like that, Don Quixote, always wanting to fight that windmill, but it just keeps going around and around.
 
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It's just as safe to pull back and release the slide to chamber a round, and that's the way your "Safety & Instruction Manual" says to do it.

With that said, the Shield's Slide Stop is extremely hard to use as a slide release. I've had mine for almost 3 years now and I can release mine with only my thumb, but it's still considerably harder to release than my other M&P's are.

It may or may not loosen up with repeated use of it, some have gone as far as having some filing done on it.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Before we condemn the instructors that told you it is safer to use the slide lock/release, were they specifically speaking about the Shield, or a different gun?

In an SD situation it is considered safer to use the slide release (if possible) because it allows you to get both hands on the weapon and back on target faster. So a gun with a slide release, such as your sig

I felt a couple of burrs and did a little filing and reduced the difficulty.

I'm not looking to tilt at windmills :) and I agree the manual says to pull the slide reward and release...but with all the red in that manual, I have seen it argued that nowhere does say not to use the slide lock as a release...again with all the warnings, I feel certain there would be one if they expressly didn't want you to do it for some reason. I believe your sig manual says to pull the slide back and release rather than the slide lock lever also.

Here are a couple of articles, that advise using the support hand rather than the slide lock lever and why.

Why I Don't Use My Gun's Slide Release Lever

https://www.shootingillustrated.com/articles/2014/4/8/its-a-slide-stop-not-a-slide-release/

I found a couple of burrs, and did a little filing...it is now stiff but able to do it one handed.
 

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If you've seen enough of their commercials you'll see that they rack (slingshot) the slide to release it. Great advice from everyone

 

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Is there an empty magazine in the gun? That can make it near impossible.

New Shields are quite stiff. Mine is a lot easier to release now that it has some rounds through it.

I was taught that it's safer to use the slide lock release when chambering
I have never heard that one before. I was taught to use an overhand rack to release the slide.

Allegedly you can change the effort with sandpaper.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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First of all welcome to our little corner of the web!

The next time a 'self appointed expert' tells you that its safer to release the slide by ignoring the specific instructions that come with your pistol, turn around and walk out, he doesn't know what he's talking about. What he told you is his opinion, but its not always the correct way to do it.

Your Shield and all M&P pistols have a slide lock, now a slide lock is different from a slide release, the M&P series was designed with features recommended by the top firearms trainers all over the country, now if those people recommended it to have a slide release S&W would have made it that way, but they didn't.

Your owner's manual is very specific about how to release the slide, you pull the slide to the rear and release it, many people call this the slingshot method, since the motion is so much like pulling back a sling shot. The manual doesn't tell you to push down on the slide release, since the M&P doesn't have a slide release, it has a slide lock, and a slide release and slide lock aren't the same thing.

Invariably when this subject comes up, and it comes up quite often, somebody always chimes in that doesn't want to accept what S&W says, there was another guy like that, Don Quixote, always wanting to fight that windmill, but it just keeps going around and around.
John, please make this a "sticky".....Thank You

PaPowwwwww
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the great responses and for the welcome and articles!

You all bring up some very good points:

-Actually, the two classes I took both used a Sig Sauer P226, so yes it's possible that the instructor was referring specifically to the Sigs in the class when she said to release the slide lock to chamber.

-It made no difference pushing down on it with or without a mag, full or empty.

-I was thinking that this particular firearm wasn't meant to chamber by releasing the slide lock, so before I asked here, I searched YouTube videos to see if anyone chambered this way. Some did, very easily, particularly this one: https://youtu.be/afJ16huA8wA?t=382

-If the manual, the makers, the experts for the most part agree to chamber by slingshot, then that's fine with me. I like that way better anyway. And one of those articles had a good point about different guns having the slide lock lever in different places.

I just wanted to know if mine was defective, but it seems it is not :)

Before I bought the shield, everyone told me it would not shoot as accurately as my P226 because it's smaller. Odd, but for me, turns out I shoot it a little better than my P226. I really really like this firearm.

Hope to learn more from you all here, thanks
 

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The Browning designed 1911 is a perfect example of a pistol with a slide release on the side, note how many of the pistols come with or are modified with an extended slide release, and when shooting a 1911 I usually use the extended slide release to close the slide.

In the video he also demonstrates the wrong way to take down an M&P by pulling the trigger rather than using the little yellow release lever, thus bypassing one of the major safety features of the M&P line. Background: When the M&P line was designed S&W went to a large number of professional pistol trainers, one thing that every single one of them asked for was that the pistol be designed so you didn't have to pull the trigger to take it apart, the reason being that on the Glock you have to pull the trigger to release the sear, that poor design coupled with poor safety habits has resulted in several deaths and a number of people wounded by negligent discharges. Rule number one: always treat a gun as if it is loaded, if a person ignores that rule the consequences can be disastrous. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who don't engage their brains and are careless, accidents follow. I'm attaching a rather graphic photo of a Glock owner who forgot Rule #1, he was lucky, he only shot his hand, others have killed family members.
 

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Yep the first class was 7 full hours of safety which never stopped in ongoing classes. Drilling it in our heads about always pointing it in a safe direction even when unloaded, always being aware of your backdrop, not getting cocky or lazy, never pointing the gun anywhere but downrange when in the lane. The experienced friends I go with I have asked to always watch me and correct me if I do anything wrong, which they have done.

I practice loading and unloading with snap caps and even then always pointing safely.

I have taken my Sig down but not the Shield yet. Thanks for your advice and comments


The Browning designed 1911 is a perfect example of a pistol with a slide release on the side, note how many of the pistols come with or are modified with an extended slide release, and when shooting a 1911 I usually use the extended slide release to close the slide.

In the video he also demonstrates the wrong way to take down an M&P by pulling the trigger rather than using the little yellow release lever, thus bypassing one of the major safety features of the M&P line. Background: When the M&P line was designed S&W went to a large number of professional pistol trainers, one thing that every single one of them asked for was that the pistol be designed so you didn't have to pull the trigger to take it apart, the reason being that on the Glock you have to pull the trigger to release the sear, that poor design coupled with poor safety habits has resulted in several deaths and a number of people wounded by negligent discharges. Rule number one: always treat a gun as if it is loaded, if a person ignores that rule the consequences can be disastrous. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who don't engage their brains and are careless, accidents follow. I'm attaching a rather graphic photo of a Glock owner who forgot Rule #1, he was lucky, he only shot his hand, others have killed family members.
 

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I was a firearms safety instructor for many years, I also started competing with a pistol in 1968 and have shot competitive pistol on and off since them, I am almost paranoid about muzzle discipline, if I'm around people who are careless with muzzle discipline I usually let them know about it and if they don't straighten up I leave, its too dangerous to be around poor safety practices.

One time I almost had a negligent discharge, I was at a friend's place and he wanted to show me a Walther PPK, the model James Bond used in the movies. It was in a spare room, the lighting wasn't very good in there, I picked up the pistol, I removed a loaded magazine, then pulled back the slide and checked the chamber, it appeared to be empty, I started to just pull the trigger to drop the hammer, then thought no, I'll just let it down slowly. My friend was looking at something else and not paying any attention to me, at that point I reinserted the mag and set the pistol down, as I did so my friend mentions that I should be careful that pistol was hot.....HUH? I picked up the pistol, dropped the mag and retracted the slide, this time the extractor pulled the cartridge out of the chamber, I had totally missed seeing the cartridge in the chamber! I got quite a lump in my throat when I thought how close I came to just pulling the trigger!

I'm certainly glad I resisted the temptation to just pull the trigger to drop the hammer, although pointed in a safe direction I wouldn't have liked to have to explain to his wife why I put a hole in their wall.

Lesson learned, stick your finger into that chamber to find out for sure if there is anything in there. The lighting was poor but I trusted to see if it was loaded and I was wrong, and someone who didn't pay good attention to muzzle discipline could have killed someone. This stuff is too important to not take it seriously.
 

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Good point about the Beretta, I have a Beretta Model 92, just like the M9, and can certainly see where that could happen. It has never happened to me while shooting my Beretta, but I've never shot it in competition or in any stressful situation that could cause that to happen.
 

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A lot of pistols like some of the Sigs that are closer to being like the Beretta's and others I can see why they say use the slide lock to release the slide. I had to train myself not to do it with my P320 when I bought it last year because I'm a lefty and having an ambidextrous slide lock was always too tempting especially when all my other pistols were not ambidextrous. LOL

I also do a lot of offhand shooting. You never know.
 

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I see that a lot of you prefer the slingshot. However, I am determined to use the slide stop as a slide release. I have 1000 rounds through it and still can not release the slide with the button.
Could anyone offer detailed advice on how I can make that work?
 

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Welcome to our little corner of the web.

Can't understand why you would be insistent to use a control to do something it was clearly not designed to do. The designers intentionally designed the shape of the slide lock so it would be difficult to use it that way.
 
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Thanks. I've been here since 2007. I'm not sure why it says that. Maybe because I changed my email address?

I see what you're saying. If the pistol is not designed to do that and modifying it would detract from the pistol then maybe I need to find a different pistol. However, all of the other ones I have fired I was able to use it as a mag release So I am thinking that mine is not working like the others.
 

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But to answer your question, I want to be able to do one hand operation. Secondly, it's what I'm used to on my fs M&Ps.

My main concern is that some do it and some do not. It seems like more will allow you to do it. Makes me think my could you some minor adjustments. If it is not supposed to allow the release then the other guns need to be corrected.
 
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