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:realmad:Mine was the same way when I bought it back in March. My first thought, when I tried to rack it out of the box and was "holy crap!" ...There is NO way that I can do this as described in the manual. I felt like an uncoordinated, out of shape weakling! :blushing: Now, after putting over five hundred rounds through it, it is much, much, better and I don't feel quite so weak. :yes
....Now, on the other hand (let's see what kind of comments this gets)....:gathering:
I actually, FINALLY, got to hold and "fondle" (but not shoot) a brand new, never been fired, Remington R51 over the weekend. The force it took to rack this direct competitor to the Shield, was no more than a couple of pounds.:clap: It was amazingly smooth and light. :clap:And unless you've been living under a rock you know that racking force (among some other things) is one of the biggest selling point advantages of the R51....according to Remington. :whistle:
....Don't be hatin'....:fish:
No hatin', but you need to use more emoticons if you want to be on this forum ;) Welcome! And yeah, let us know if the Remington's "bark" is worse than it's rack! :yes
 

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No hatin', but you need to use more emoticons if you want to be on this forum ;) Welcome! And yeah, let us know if the Remington's "bark" is worse than it's rack! :yes
Worry about it's bite; it doesn't follow the principle of "don't bite the hand that feeds you."
 

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This reviewer said the recoil was quite manageable (not what he had expected), although I question the gun's reliability after reading this.

Remington R51: First Impressions - Bearing Arms
The Remington factory rep that I talked to at the "R51 Launch Event" at the Field & Stream store, Crescent Springs, Ky. on Saturday knows that they now have major product perception/acceptance/reliability concerns after some initial quality and reliability issues. He admitted that the first 150 production guns left the factory with problems:
* Loose, "driftable," rear sights
* Locking block manufacturing tolerances and design problems.
...those were the "big ones" he admitted to.
NOTE:The original design of the locking block was as a machined piece, then went to a cast piece (which was the problem). they changed back to a machined locking block and improved the manufacturing techniques and tolerances.

BTW, he told me that one of the engineers that helped design the S&W Shield is now working for Remington on the R51.
 

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Actually I had forgotten to mention that part. I have yet to be able to lock my slide 'open by using the 'Slide Lock as well. With the magazine in and if I pull 'hard enough it will lock 'back. I 'think I am pulling it back far enough to lock with the slide lock, but the slide lock won't move, plus the fact that it is also as hard as 'HADES to move the slide lock to 'unlock it, I have to use 'both thumbs (slightly 'painful on the thumb tips).

Thanks to you and all fellow M&P 'shooters on this forum for your advice. I will contact S&W first to see what they advise in order to hopefully save myself a lot of trouble-shooting only to later find out that the problem 'was in fact on their end.
If I am understanding this correctly you are also trying to release the slide by moving the slide lock open. It is not designed to be used as a slide release, so you will find it much easier to "slingshot" the slide and turn it loose. That will release it.
 

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OK, my Shield 9mm just returned home from the mothership. Wow, what a difference. The sheet says they replaced the spring and guide rod assembly and did a function test. To me, it looks to have been fully disassembled. The roll pins on the grip and on the extractor have been out and back in, for sure. I could be convinced that it has a new slide, but the sheet does not say that. The gun is immaculately clean.

The gun is now "tight" like I would expect a new gun to be, but it no longer has to be pushed against the workbench to rack the slide. I can actually do it with normal hand and arm strength.

I would have to say that Smith and Wesson came through like always -- they made it right. All's well that ends well.

BTW, I put the gun into the hands of the FEDEX folks on April 18, Smith received it on April 22. They put it back in FedEx hands on May 13, and it came home on May 15. They did not send any extra mags (nor would I have expected them to, but many people seem to feel that is expected).
 

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Question, how much of this is due to heavy spring and how much is due to the fact that there is less to grab onto for leverage when racking the slide? I have tried several sub compacts and they are not my cup of tea. The small size was one of the reasons and fumbling with its small size when having to clear a malfunction was the other.
 

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Question, how much of this is due to heavy spring and how much is due to the fact that there is less to grab onto for leverage when racking the slide? I have tried several sub compacts and they are not my cup of tea. The small size was one of the reasons and fumbling with its small size when having to clear a malfunction was the other.
I think it is actually the result of a very stiff secondary spring. The Shield spring is a bit different than the springs in other M&P models. It has a large "primary" spring that handles the first 70 or 80 percent of the slide movement. It moves on a hollow steel shaft which contains a second spring, smaller but stiffer and larger wire gauge. This "secondary" spring starts to compress as the primary spring reaches the end of its compression stroke. This secondary spring is not only stiff on its own, but it moves inside the hollow primary guide. It also has a guide rod of its own. Accordingly, it has both internal and external friction to overcome in addition to its own elasticity. It appears to me that this secondary spring is where the stiffness begins. Up to the time that the secondary spring begins to compress, the slide moves much like any other M&P pistol. Unfortunately, the secondary spring compression seems to begin at exactly the point that a round begins to strip off and just before the slide stop notch. That, in my opinion, is where a new Shield seems to many users to be TOO stiff. I have farly large hands, and I have a bit of arthritis, but I have not had an issue finding enough area to grasp the slide tightly. The "fins" seem to me to be sufficient to allow me to hold the slide tightly.

I presume that the two-stage spring is necessary to overcome the dynamics of slide movement/recoil.

Having been tweaked by the S&W warranty folks, my Shield is now much much smoother. Its still stiff, but stiff in a way that most new guns are stiff. I presume that the original guide rod/spring had some internal issue which prevented its normal movement. Whatever the cause, the gun is now smooth through its full slide cycle. It still stiffens at the end, presumably as the secondary spring begins to compress but It is the kind of stiffness that will likely improve with age.

I'm delighted that they were able to improve this little gun. I like it a lot. I still hope that the Wolff folks, or someone else eventually develops another spring design for this gun. I've looked at a lot of other 9mm pocket guns. None use this two-stage approach to slide handling. But I am not an engineer, and the S&W folks surely have access to top-notch engineering data. There has to be a very good reason why this two stage approach was adopted.
 

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I'd never looked at those - obviously. I am familiar with some of the SIGS -- especially the P938, an LC9, and some Kel-Tecs. I have otherwise led a sheltered life.

Do the Beretta, Kahr, XDS and Taurus have similar behavior (to the Shield) when the slide is racked?

Please do not misunderstand me -- I love my Shield and I am not trying in any way to belittle it. I was just trying to analyze why it behaved as it does when others don't. And Smith's service is unparalleled. I knew mine had some sort of issue, and they fixed it quickly. I suspect they had a batch of springs that were on the edge of tolerance. I do expect it to loosen up with age. My 9c was tight when new also.
 

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I am unaware of whether other small 9mm pistols with dual/nested recoil spring assemblies have slide-racking issues.

As a layman and not an engineer, I would expect any approach using dual springs would be more prone to the possibility of hanging up than using a single spring. The guns that use nested springs without any separation -like the LC9- look like they might hang up more than guns in which the springs are separated by a tube, but apparently not.

Given the number of complaints, it may be that tolerances on the Shield's recoil spring assembly are tighter than we might imagine, making it more likely that some out-of-spec assemblies slip past QC at the factory. But that is just a layman's speculation.
 

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Given the number of complaints, it may be that tolerances on the Shield's recoil spring assembly are tighter than we might imagine, making it more likely that some out-of-spec assemblies slip past QC at the factory. But that is just a layman's speculation.
:huh:

Wow, just wow. :fish:
 

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Mine has the same issue but after putting 50 rounds through it...it was a bit easier...nowhere close to where it has to be for my wife to handle it... I`ll put a few more rounds through it and see if it doesn`t get a LOT better I`ll send it to Smith..

I suspect that one of the reasons that the Shield shoots so sweet and better than any other small semi I`ve ever shot is the recoil spring...I don`t know for sure but I`d bet on it..
 

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My CM9 still takes a bit of "oomph" to push the slide fully to the rear and lock the SS, even after a few years of shooting; but it's easily doable (for a guy).

If the Shields require pushing the muzzle against a hard object to fully retract; I wonder if a borderline recoil spring spring bind issue (too many spring coils) is occurring?
 

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The only facts I can lay on the table are that my Shield, out of the box, had a slide that appeared to bind and was difficult to the point that I had to push it against something to even get the slide back far enough to engage the slide lock. I cleaned it and shot a bunch of rounds through it to no avail. I sent it to Smith & Wesson, and it came back with a slide that works and after 100 rounds today, has loosened to the point that it is no longer uncomfortable at all.

I can only speculate about the cause of the issue, but the S&W documentation says they replaced the recoil spring and did a function test. Whatever they did, it worked. Even more fortunately, whatever they did had no impact on the gun's accuracy. It was, and is, one of the most accurate pistols I've used. BTW -- I still shoot low and left when I get sloppy -- can't blame the gun for that.

I was never unhappy with the gun, I just wanted it to be more usable.

At this point, the slide is not as easy as my 9c, but its close. My 9c has had several thousand rounds through it and has had an Apex USB added. I suspect that they Shield after the same amount of usage will also improve more. To me, the issue is over.
 

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The only facts I can lay on the table are that my Shield, out of the box, had a slide that appeared to bind and was difficult to the point that I had to push it against something to even get the slide back far enough to engage the slide lock. I cleaned it and shot a bunch of rounds through it to no avail. I sent it to Smith & Wesson, and it came back with a slide that works and after 100 rounds today, has loosened to the point that it is no longer uncomfortable at all.

I can only speculate about the cause of the issue, but the S&W documentation says they replaced the recoil spring and did a function test. Whatever they did, it worked. Even more fortunately, whatever they did had no impact on the gun's accuracy. It was, and is, one of the most accurate pistols I've used. BTW -- I still shoot low and left when I get sloppy -- can't blame the gun for that.

I was never unhappy with the gun, I just wanted it to be more usable.

At this point, the slide is not as easy as my 9c, but its close. My 9c has had several thousand rounds through it and has had an Apex USB added. I suspect that they Shield after the same amount of usage will also improve more. To me, the issue is over.
I'm glad S&W got it fixed for you, The Shield is a sweet pistol when it's
working properly.
 

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Extremely hard to pull slide back to slide stop position.

Sometimes I can't pull the slide back and lock it. When it does go back, it seems if there is grinding sound. Field stipped the new gun and checked the spring alignment. Reassembled and the problem still existed. Called S&W customer service. Service rep said that the gun was designed to be locked back on the slide stop with an empty magazine in the gun. This would mean that you would have to put an empty mag in gun in order to reassemble after field strip. I will put several hundred rounds through gun and see it it gets better. Love the gun but hate encountering problems up front.
 

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I'm an old guy with arthritis and a thing for small, concealable handguns. :) I recently came across a device, the Handi-Racker, that's really been a help for me. I have 2, a medium and a large. They make racking the slides on my small pistols (a Shield, 3 baby Glocks, Springfield Armory XDsub and XDs, a Ruger LC9, and a Kimber Ultracarry II) much easier for me.

Before finding the Handi-Racker I used a loop of parachute cord that I'd place just below the barrel at the muzzle and extend to the rear of the pistols. It gave me much more leverage to work the slides on these pistols.
 
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