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Discussion Starter #1
I just received my new S&W 9mm Shield. I haven't fired any rounds yet, I'm simply practicing racking and locking the slide back and dry firing it with dummy bullets for now. It's hard for me to get to a firing range at this current time and I would have to drive 1 hour away for the nearest range.

I have noticed a few things that I'm puzzled about, can anyone help shed light on this?

1) When I rack the slide back (with or without a dummy bullet in the mag), the slide only sometimes lock back into place. Most of the time, the slide simply slides back and then goes forward if I release it. Shouldn't the slide always lock into place if I pull back the slide? I noticed that if I jiggle the lever (see attached pic circled in red), then the slide might lock into place sometimes when pulled back. Is this normal?

2) When the slide is finally locked into place, I find it takes an extreme amount of thumb pressure to press down on the lever (see pic circled in red) to release the slide to go forward again. I mean seriously, it takes a large amount of force to press down on the lever to release the slide to go forward into place again. I am not a weak male, I'm young and healthy and work out with weights every day. Is this normal behavior for the slide action?

3) When I insert rounds into the supplied magazine, it takes a rather large amount of pressure to insert each round inside. Is this normal?

My only experience with semi-automatic pistols are a Sig Sauer 228 (and Colt Mustang 380) that I purchased 30 years ago, but sold awhile back. That old Sig 228 was silky smooth compared to my new Shield, and I didn't even shoot the gun much. When I racked the Sig slide back, I seem to recall it would lock into place every time reliably, not just sometimes. Plus the Sig release lever was very easy to press down to release the slide to go forward. Inserting rounds into a Sig magazine was also easy.

So based on my limited experience of only comparing my old Sig 228 9mm to my new current Shield 9mm, my Shield feels quite a bit stiff and rough. I'm especially concerned that the slide doesn't reliably lock back into place when I pull the slide back. I'm almost regretting buying the Shield and sort of wish I got another Sig instead. Can anyone shed some light on these questions?

Please see attached picture of the release lever circled in red that I'm referring to for unlocking the slide.
17345
 

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The slide should lock back ONLY if an empty magazine is in the pistol. It's the magazine's follower that pushes up on the lever to lock the slide back on the last round, so make sure the magazine's follower moves smoothly all the way to the top. Some Dry lube spray sometimes helps smooth the operation.

The part you circled is the lock mechanism for the slide, but not intended as a slide release on most pistols (I don't have a Shield, but never use the lock as a release). It's best to pull the slide back all the way and let it go abruptly to send it forward. It will only move forward in that manner with a loaded magazine or no magazine in the gun.

It's always best to disassemble, clean, and lube a new firearm before shooting it. Often there is no lube at all, or sometimes heavy anti-corrosion coatings in the mechanisms. Many problems on the range with a new firearm can be attributed to the lack of cleaning and lubing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The slide should lock back ONLY if an empty magazine is in the pistol. It's the magazine's follower that pushes up on the lever to lock the slide back on the last round, so make sure the magazine's follower moves smoothly all the way to the top. Some Dry lube spray sometimes helps smooth the operation.

The part you circled is the lock mechanism for the slide, but not intended as a slide release on most pistols (I don't have a Shield, but never use the lock as a release). It's best to pull the slide back all the way and let it go abruptly to send it forward. It will only move forward in that manner with a loaded magazine or no magazine in the gun.

It's always best to disassemble, clean, and lube a new firearm before shooting it. Often there is no lube at all, or sometimes heavy anti-corrosion coatings in the mechanisms. Many problems on the range with a new firearm can be attributed to the lack of cleaning and lubing.
I just received my new S&W 9mm Shield. I haven't fired any rounds yet, I'm simply practicing racking and locking the slide back and dry firing it with dummy bullets for now. It's hard for me to get to a firing range at this current time and I would have to drive 1 hour away for the nearest range.

I have noticed a few things that I'm puzzled about, can anyone help shed light on this?

1) When I rack the slide back (with or without a dummy bullet in the mag), the slide only sometimes lock back into place. Most of the time, the slide simply slides back and then goes forward if I release it. Shouldn't the slide always lock into place if I pull back the slide? I noticed that if I jiggle the lever (see attached pic circled in red), then the slide might lock into place sometimes when pulled back. Is this normal?

2) When the slide is finally locked into place, I find it takes an extreme amount of thumb pressure to press down on the lever (see pic circled in red) to release the slide to go forward again. I mean seriously, it takes a large amount of force to press down on the lever to release the slide to go forward into place again. I am not a weak male, I'm young and healthy and work out with weights every day. Is this normal behavior for the slide action?

3) When I insert rounds into the supplied magazine, it takes a rather large amount of pressure to insert each round inside. Is this normal?

My only experience with semi-automatic pistols are a Sig Sauer 228 (and Colt Mustang 380) that I purchased 30 years ago, but sold awhile back. That old Sig 228 was silky smooth compared to my new Shield, and I didn't even shoot the gun much. When I racked the Sig slide back, I seem to recall it would lock into place every time reliably, not just sometimes. Plus the Sig release lever was very easy to press down to release the slide to go forward. Inserting rounds into a Sig magazine was also easy.

So based on my limited experience of only comparing my old Sig 228 9mm to my new current Shield 9mm, my Shield feels quite a bit stiff and rough. I'm especially concerned that the slide doesn't reliably lock back into place when I pull the slide back. I'm almost regretting buying the Shield and sort of wish I got another Sig instead. Can anyone shed some light on these questions?

Please see attached picture of the release lever circled in red that I'm referring to for unlocking the slide. View attachment 17345
EDIT: I did a search on YouTube and other users are saying the same thing that the slide release lever is very stiff and hard to press down to release the slide. They fixed the problem by filing down a part of the lever. See YouTube video link:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
EDIT: I did a search on YouTube and other users are saying the same thing that the slide release lever is very stiff and hard to press down to release the slide. They fixed the problem by filing down a part of the lever. See YouTube video link:
Here's another YouTube video saying he fixed the stiff slide release problem by filing down the lever, see link below:

 

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I called S&W about another matter not too long ago and, while talking to one of the technical support folks, I asked about the "slide release" on the Shield. One of the armorers very politely said, "it's function is as a slide stop, to chamber a round, rack the slide manually, as per the manual".

At any rate, it's a good to be proficient with racking the slide overhand or using slingshot method.

 

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Here's a different video addressing the problem of properly locking the slide back:
That's over-thinking it a bit...

Easiest to lock the slide back by just opening it with an empty mag inserted, then drop the mag if you would like it to be considered "safe".
 

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The first thing anyone should do, regardless of "experience", is to read the manual. A couple times if needed.
That’s for sure. And for damn sure; don’t go filing on parts that you obviously know nothing about!

There’s no “problem” with the slide lock. There is a problem with the idiots that think it’s a slide release!

As an update to what your mamma undoubtedly asked you at some point; if somebody on utube told you to, would you jump off a bridge?
 

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I agree that it is a slide lock and not a slide release. If you have ever had to do malfunction drills with a handgun you would clear them by raking your off hand across the top of the slide and pulling the slide back. This would clear any stove piped rounds and chamber a new round. It is always a good idea to release a slide in this manner to reduce fine motor skills and enforce repetition of the method which will reduce error in a stressful situation. That however will not fix the OP's problem of the slide not locking back after firing the last round in the weapon. The solution to that may be just to go out and fire a few mags of ammo and see what happens.
 

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I agree that it is a slide lock and not a slide release. If you have ever had to do malfunction drills with a handgun you would clear them by raking your off hand across the top of the slide and pulling the slide back. This would clear any stove piped rounds and chamber a new round. It is always a good idea to release a slide in this manner to reduce fine motor skills and enforce repetition of the method which will reduce error in a stressful situation. That however will not fix the OP's problem of the slide not locking back after firing the last round in the weapon. The solution to that may be just to go out and fire a few mags of ammo and see what happens.
True, getting out to the range and running some ammo through it will be useful.

I honestly missed the part where he mentioned the slide not locking back after last round fired. I was fixated on his statement:

"I'm especially concerned that the slide doesn't reliably lock back into place when I pull the slide back."

Let's all go to the range today! :p
 

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Otto:

AFAIK, the OP hasn’t fired his pistol yet; the “problem” isn’t the slide failing to lock back after the last round is fired.

It’s very likely that he isn’t pulling the slide fully to the rear, but when it does go to slidelock; he doesn’t like the amount of force required to push the slidelock down for the slide to RTB.

So, based on boobtube videos; he thinks he needs to file on the slide lock to “fix” it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just received my new S&W 9mm Shield. I haven't fired any rounds yet, I'm simply practicing racking and locking the slide back and dry firing it with dummy bullets for now. It's hard for me to get to a firing range at this current time and I would have to drive 1 hour away for the nearest range.

I have noticed a few things that I'm puzzled about, can anyone help shed light on this?

1) When I rack the slide back (with or without a dummy bullet in the mag), the slide only sometimes lock back into place. Most of the time, the slide simply slides back and then goes forward if I release it. Shouldn't the slide always lock into place if I pull back the slide? I noticed that if I jiggle the lever (see attached pic circled in red), then the slide might lock into place sometimes when pulled back. Is this normal?

2) When the slide is finally locked into place, I find it takes an extreme amount of thumb pressure to press down on the lever (see pic circled in red) to release the slide to go forward again. I mean seriously, it takes a large amount of force to press down on the lever to release the slide to go forward into place again. I am not a weak male, I'm young and healthy and work out with weights every day. Is this normal behavior for the slide action?

3) When I insert rounds into the supplied magazine, it takes a rather large amount of pressure to insert each round inside. Is this normal?

My only experience with semi-automatic pistols are a Sig Sauer 228 (and Colt Mustang 380) that I purchased 30 years ago, but sold awhile back. That old Sig 228 was silky smooth compared to my new Shield, and I didn't even shoot the gun much. When I racked the Sig slide back, I seem to recall it would lock into place every time reliably, not just sometimes. Plus the Sig release lever was very easy to press down to release the slide to go forward. Inserting rounds into a Sig magazine was also easy.

So based on my limited experience of only comparing my old Sig 228 9mm to my new current Shield 9mm, my Shield feels quite a bit stiff and rough. I'm especially concerned that the slide doesn't reliably lock back into place when I pull the slide back. I'm almost regretting buying the Shield and sort of wish I got another Sig instead. Can anyone shed some light on these questions?

Please see attached picture of the release lever circled in red that I'm referring to for unlocking the slide. View attachment 17345
Gentlemen,

Thank you for all your helpful replies, I appreciate it. You guys are correct, I had been doing it all wrong. I kept thinking that lever is to release the slide and wondered why it was so difficult to push down. I was used to pressing a lever on my old Sig 228, so I thought it was the same concept.

I finally figured out that the proper way to release a slide that is locked back is to take my left hand and yank the slide back a little while simultaneously using my right thumb to press down on the lever. Then I'm able to continue holding the slide with my left hand to guide the slide forward. Definitely takes 2 hands for this procedure! Am I describing this process correctly? I watched a YouTube video of someone doing this, but he didn't quite explain the steps I just described above, so after trial and error I figured it out.

As for the slide only locking back sometimes, you guys were also correct. The slide only locks back with an empty magazine inserted. So now the slide locks back reliably into place when an empty mag is inserted. I still haven't shot any rounds yet, so I'm eager to do so but there's no place nearby to do so.
 

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I finally figured out that the proper way to release a slide that is locked back is to take my left hand and yank the slide back a little while simultaneously using my right thumb to press down on the lever. Then I'm able to continue holding the slide with my left hand to guide the slide forward.
You do not need to touch the slide lock lever when releasing the slide. And do not "guide" the slide while it closes, this is called riding the slide and will often cause malfunctions.

Pull it back and let the slide drop (close) freely :)
 

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You do not need to touch the slide lock lever when releasing the slide. And do not "guide" the slide while it closes, this is called riding the slide and will often cause malfunctions.

Pull it back and let the slide drop (close) freely :)
He does with a empty mag in place.

Guiding the slide forward is a bad idea when feeding a round from the mag. It’s not a bad idea when letting the slide go into battery with no ammo on board.
 

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You can use the slide lock or slingshot method. I’m one of the idiots that release the slide with the slide lock. That’s how I do it with all my semi-auto pistols, and it’s how they were designed to be used. The slingshot method works fine if you don’t interfere with the slide as it releases, causing it to fail to go into battery.

Reloads are a non-issue, I slam a mag in and the slide drops. If it doesn’t, my thumb is right there and my muscle memory takes over.

Apparently S&W has had some issues over this, and has changed the manual. This is what the manual originally said…

REV:M&P_121908

Pull the slide to the rear, press down on the slide stop to release

the slide and allow it to carry fully forward. This strips a cartridge

from the magazine and seats it in the chamber of the barrel.
This is what it says now….

REV:M&P® PISTOL_080118

Pull the slide to the rear and release it, allowing it to carry fully forward.

This strips a cartridge from the magazine and seats it in the

chamber of the barrel.
If you are using the slide stop to release and it fails to go into battery; its on them. If you are using the slingshot method and it fails; its on you. That could be why they changed the wording. I’ve never had a failure to go into battery using the slide stop, but maybe others have.

You have to decide what works best for you. But know that if you don’t use the method they like, you risk being called an idiot by the peanut gallery. ;)

Jerry Miculek uses a slide stop. He also says "Don't add steps" So I’m okay; I’m in good company.
 

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casey415
"I finally figured out that the proper way to release a slide that is locked back is to take my left hand and yank the slide back a little while simultaneously using my right thumb to press down on the lever. Then I'm able to continue holding the slide with my left hand to guide the slide forward. Definitely takes 2 hands for this procedure! Am I describing this process correctly? I watched a YouTube video of someone doing this, but he didn't quite explain the steps I just described above, so after trial and error I figured it out."

Quit watching YouTube videos of self proclaimed geniuses and take an actual class from a pro. You will be glad! Read the actual manual and not someone else's interpretation. I've seen a lot of screwed up interpretations, I'm assuming you have enough sense to properly interpret it yourself.
 

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Quit watching YouTube videos of self proclaimed geniuses and take an actual class from a pro. You will be glad! Read the actual manual and not someone else's interpretation. I've seen a lot of screwed up interpretations, I'm assuming you have enough sense to properly interpret it yourself.
Hear, hear!
 
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