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mag release issues

110523 Views 666 Replies 118 Participants Last post by  Erick Gelhaus
Please post up all of your issues in this thread.

I will lock all other threads that come up for this issue.

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Here's the latest...

Here's the latest in my personal ongoing mag drop saga.

I received my 9 and 40 Compacts back from S&W for the mag drop problem earlier this week. It was the first return to the factory for my 9C and 2nd time for my 40C for this defect. The enclosed repair notes stated that they replaced the mag catch on both of them as the only work performed. Well, I finally took them out to the range today and had the following results:

9C - Shot 50 rounds of my defensive ammo (Gold Dot 124 Grn +P), along with 100 rounds of WWB (Winchester White Box) 115 Grn FMJ and had no failures of any kind. It performed as flawlessly as when I first shot it out of the box. However, I still am lacking the confidence to carry it as my CCW weapon again for the forseeable future due to the fact that I didn't experience the mag drop problem with this pistol until I put several hundred rounds through it, and moreover due to following:

40C - Shot one full magazine of WWB 165 Grn FMJ successfully, then attempted to shoot a magazine of my defensive ammo (Gold Dot 165 Grn JHP) and only got through two rounds before the mag popped out.
From that point on, it would pop out the mag approximately every other round, even with the WWB ammo. I used the same grip as I did with my 9C, with thumbs high and no where close to hitting the mag release button.

So, here I am again, just like Groundhog Day, with my 40C good for nothing other than a paper weight just like it was three weeks ago. As I prepare myself for the inevitable call to S&W tomorrow to get the return mailer to send it back for a third time for the same problem, I'm unfortunately almost beyond any inclination to ever use these pistols for CCW. I'm now of the opinion that the design of the M&P's mag catch seems to be on a razor thin margin of working reliably 100% of the time.

I believe that this will be the last time that I send my 40C back for this problem. My patience has hit its limit...I have other more important things to worry about. If I get my 40C back without a replacement frame and/or a permanent and robust fix for this problem, I'm dumping it.

I must say though, I'm very happy with my S&W 642 revolver I just bought to use for my CCW instead. I'm inclined to have 5 shots of 100% reliability as opposed to just one.
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This might be a terribly obvious question so I apologize. Does this issue affect the full-size M&Ps at all? I ask because I was planning on buying a full-size in the next few days. What's the difference in the mag catches between the full-size and compact that would make this an issue? It might be helpful for the newcomers to put in the OP a summary and description of the issue, what could be causing it, etc.
It has happened on some fullsize guns, but the majority are fine. I have 2221 rounds through my fullsize and my mag catch is fine.

Mag drop (mag catch) problem FAQ:

Mag drop problem FAQ (feel free to add/edit):

Q. What exactly is the "mag drop" problem experienced by some with the M&P line of pistols?

A. A fully seated magazine unexpectedly pops out from the frame due to disengagement with the magazine catch after firing a round.

Q. Does this problem occur with only the compact series of M&P pistols?

A. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that it occurs more frequently in the compact series of pistols, but it has occurred in both the full-size and compact size of pistols.

Q. What range of serial numbers seem to experience this problem most frequently?

A. No data has been collected outside of S&W regarding this, though this problem seems to have surfaced (reported) for the first time as early as the December '06 time-frame.

Q. How many people have experienced the mag drop problem?

A. Anecdotal evidence from the most recent poll on this forum suggests that nearly 20% of the people responding to the poll have experienced this issue.

Q. How many rounds are typically fired through the pistol before the mag drop problem is experienced?

A. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of rounds shot before having the problem varies widely, with some experiencing the problem only after shooting several hundred rounds, while others experience it "right out of the box."

Q. Isn't this just the case where people are accidentally hitting the mag release button under recoil because they are using the wrong grip?

A. While a few posters have reported the occasional inadvertent mag pop out due to one of their fingers accidentally bumping the mag release button, this is a separate issue than what is being described here (see below). After experiencing the mag drop problem for the first time, many posters report of conscientiously checking their grip to make sure that was not the cause.

Q. What are the possible cause(s) of the mag drop problem?

A. Reports have been posted on this forum of S&W reporting a batch of incorrectly manufactured mag catches with an improperly hardened metal mag catch "tooth" as being the root of the problem. However several people have reported that their mag drop problems persist even after sending in their pistol one or two times to S&W to get new mag catches installed. In some cases, only after they have their frame replaced does the problem seem to be resolved. This reasonably leads one to suppose that the problem could be related to the following:

  • 1. The mag catch design used in the M&P pistol line absolutely requires tight tolerances between the magazines and the frame's magazine well, due to the minimum amount of mag catch "tooth" engagement with the corresponding cutout in the magazine. Flexing of the frame during recoil, combined with any free movement "play" of the magazine in the mag well could potentially cause the magazine to disengage from the mag catch. As an experiment, one member reported being able to push out a fully seated magazine from the top of his 40C by wiggling the top of the magazine around and applying a small amount of downward pressure. One could suppose that the lesser occurrence of this problem in the full size models is due to the greater amount of magazine to mag well surface contact area, which by its nature allows less free play of the magazine.

    2. Several M&P owners on this forum have remarked that the mag catch spring seems to offer too little resistance to the slightest of depression of the mag release button to get the mag to release.

    3. The relatively high profile of the mag release button, coupled with the above, has possibly contributed to several people having reported experiencing their mags popping out while their pistol is holstered. This in addition to the previously mentioned cases where a finger accidentally hits the mag release button under recoil. Some posters report having success in reversing the button to the opposite side to minimize the chance of bumping the mag release inadvertently, either by finger or holster. This is not an acceptable solution to many, however. Some have even resorted to modifying the profile of the button by grinding it down to be more flush with the frame and have reported positive results in doing so. In any event, the opinion that the mag release button is "too easy to hit", especially on the compacts, has been voiced by more than one poster on this forum.

    • Q. Is there any way to tell just by visual inspection that I might have a mag catch with the problem, like a number "1" or "2" stamped in the underside of the mag release button?

      A. There seems to be no correlation between those manufacturing numbers and the mag drop problem. Forum members report having it with either number. However some have reported noticing that the top contact edge of the metal mag catch "tooth" appears to have been visibly worn over, or peened, after only a relatively few mag insertions. The new mag catches are reportedly hardened differently and are not supposed to wear so quickly.

      Q. What should I do if I think I am having this problem with my M&P pistol?

      A. Contact S&W customer service to obtain a prepaid return shipping label so they can fix it for you.

      To be continued...
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Thanks for designating one thread for the mag catch issues. I'm one of those that had some problems and checking all the various threads to keep up with the latest info was driving me crazy. As for my own 40compact, my "custom grind" job has cured the problem of mag release in holster. I still haven't fired enough rounds to really test the catch yet, only about 600. However, I fired 50 more yesterday and it seemed like I could feel the mag jump a little when the pistol fired. So I shot a full mag using a "two pinky" one handed grip, so that the mag was completely unsupported. The mag did NOT fall free. So I guess for now things are still okay. But yo! Firing that little sucker while using only two fingers is rather exciting.
Thank you.

After reading the few threads on the issue, I removed my magazine catch and observed that it had some metal removed from it and a "polished" look. It appeared to be wearing out.

I was not having an issue at this time and I have around 1k rounds through my M&P

I called S&W and they mailed a new catch to me. I just installed it and feel is a bit more stout than the older one.

I qualify with the gun tomorrow so I hope it works ot without any problems.
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Mag Drop...continued....!!!

MPc 40 ....Well, Iam on my 3rd Mag catch, all have have a number 1 molded into the underside (rev 1)

Still problems with the mag dropping. Upon removing the slide and looking down the mag well from the top I can clearly see a wear mark on the edge & top face of the steel tab. This wear mark is an indication of how far the tab is engaging into the mag.....around 1/32" (.031")

My full size MP 40 has a wear mark of around .080" to .090" and no mag drops....!!

Guess I will be calling S&W again more attempt then it's a trade for a Glock 23 as my CCW. The $$$ will hurt but I need something that's 100%
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I fired my MP40C today and sure enough I got mag drop, three times. So I have cleaned both my fullsize and compact and they are going to the gun shop tomorrow never to grace my hand again.

I have no intention of being S&W's Beta tester. I have too many other guns to worry about this issue. Now I have to change my personalized license plates. Too bad because the gun really shot accurately for me and felt good in my hand.
I wouldn't give up so easily. I have owned every available M&P other then the .45 and have yet to have a problem with any of them. Keep in mind that these guns have collectively thrown an excess of 15,000 rounds down range.
Once the problem is determined--will S&W issue a recall?
Wouldn't that be an interesting legal suit if an individual was hurt in a shooting because their mag fell out and they were not notified of the defect...
Do we know if a "1" or a "2" is the latest design???
I just updated the FAQ with the Q and A for the "1" or "2" part marking. Thanks for asking...that one slipped through.
I had a problem with my mag release so S&W sent me the new updated one. I installed the new one and it was no better than the original. I called S&W this morning and the fella I spoke with was not surprised at all, he stated that something needed to be beefed up and he did not have an answer to the issue and did not know when the problem would be addressed. I told him the spring needed to be stronger and the metal lip on the release needed to be longer, he agreed. I asked him what my options were, he stated I could send it back and let them look at it. I declined, there is obviously an issue they can't address until the release is redisigned. For what it is worth one was marked with a number 1 and the other was marked with a number 2.

I got my 40c back last week and the first thing i noticed as with my 40 fullsize whne i got it back is that the magazine has to be pushed in harder otherwise it wont go in. I myself have put a 1000 rounds through my fullsize since i got it back and no probs.
I'm new to this forum and new to the M&P9 as well.

I picked up my new M&P9 last Wednesday. On sat I put about 50 rounds through it without any problems.

I holstered the gun in my Desantis Viper and walked back to the bench where I found the mag unlatched. I chalked it up to me hitting the release.

On monday I had the scare of my life. While carrying loaded all morning, I stopped for lunch. Afterwards, I got back into the car and being a fat guy, had to adjust the position of the holster to accommodate the seatbelt. At that time I found that the Mag was gone. Sacred me to death that a loaded mag was laying around for some kid to find. Well after a three hour search retracing my steps I found it.

I am not a gunsmith nor do I pretend to have the experience that many of you have but I do have a high level of mechanical and machining experience. I would have to say that the problem lies in the minimal distance the release button needs to be pushed to release the catch. The distance required relates the the engagement distance on the mag. A simple solution would seem to be a longer metal tab for a deep engagement but this might start to interfere with the ammo. A stronger spring may help make it harder to release but it will not reduce the distance required.

The design is faulty in my opinion. A remedy may not be possible unless it involves a change to the Mag (again IMO). My thoughts on this involve the 45 deg bevels on the front of the mag where the release catch engages. If the mag did not have this bevel and was square in this area, the catch would engage over double the distance that it does now making the distance needed to push the button much greater. Of course without the bevel, mag fit and release may be affected. Some compromise in the bevel shape, angle, etc. would need to be made to eliminate the inadvertent release of the mag.

I'm going to get an extra mag or two to experiment with. I have a couple of ideas, some simple and other not so simple. I'll let you know I find something that works.



Just got back from my dealer. The counter guy was giving a bunch of excuses and said he would send it back a 100 times till it was fixed to my satisfaction. I told him that was unsatisfactory. The owner came out and asked what was the problem I was having. I told him and he asked to see the gun. I handed it to him and the mag fell to the floor. I just smiled.

He then told me that they he had purchased 100 of these mp9's and 5 out of 12 were having the same problem. He told me that he had another batch of parts coming in and would replace the mag release as soon as they came in. Guess we will have to see.
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It's just a matter of time...

Hi TAG1737 and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your experiences.

In reading your post, my "It's just a matter of time before it happens at the worst possible moment..." Murphy voice in my head was shouting at me. Glad to hear that nobody got hurt or in trouble, for that matter! I cringe at the thought of the "what ifs" of what could have potentially happened to you otherwise.

This issue is so frustrating for me as well, because in just about every other respect, I absolutely love my three M&P pistols. I want to (someday) be able to carry my compacts as my CCW weapons with the absolute confidence that the magazines will release only when I want them to, especially when they're holstered or being fired. It just pains me to even think about having to trade them in for something else.
My M&P 40c is back from S&W after 2 weeks. Not a bad turn around in my opinion. I hopefully will be able to shoot this weekend and check out the mag release button. I was having an issue with the button being to sensitive and the recoil and my thumb was causing the mag to fall out. I will update after I go shooting.
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