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More results. Put another 200rds thru it today. We had 1 FTF with nose down. Didn't have any live round stovepipes or ejected live rounds. Noticed early on today that one of the mags was a problem. Follower would stick about 1/4" from the end of travel. This left the last round loose. This is the mag that the FTF occurred with today. We shot about 1/3 of the rounds thru the bad mag. I wanted to see if the ejection of live rounds would occur only on this mag and saw it happen on neither. I was surprised that the sticky follower didn't cause more than 1 failure. I disassembled the mag when home thinking that something would show up. The follower moved nicely without the spring. I didn't find any burrs or debris - nothing. I reassembled and follower doesn't stick at all. Not sure how to explain it.
 

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Finally got my wife to the LGS yesterday and she picked up a new Shield 380 EZ. She was a little under the weather this morning so she asked me to run out to the range and run a few rounds thru it. It was perfect with just the one box of fmj that I put thru it. I will try to attach a pic. Perhaps it’s shooting just a little low, ut it could be me with these new bifocals and a worsening cataract thatmakes target acquisition a challenge.

Update...can’t load pic, it’s too big. Will try later. Got it loaded.
 

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Update:
I fired 100 rds (Remington & Fiocchi ). 5 live rounds ejected and one live round sticking straight up like a stovepipe. All were last round in magazine.
 

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Update:
I fired 100 rds (Remington & Fiocchi ). 5 live rounds ejected and one live round sticking straight up like a stovepipe. All were last round in magazine.
To me that sounds like a magazine spring issue. or a combination of spring and feed lips on the magazine causing the past round to be the issue
 

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I joined the forum so I could reply to this thread.

Just got a Shield .380 EZ last week. 1st 59 rounds had the last loaded round in the mag eject without chambering about 50% of the time (I was loading about 5 rounds per mag). Gradually to round #300 the last round malfunction got down to about 20-25% of the time. Both mags. Nothing made it go away, not different ammo, cleaning, different shooters, or different lube. To not waste as much ammo, I had resorted to only loading 2-3 rounds since it was always the last round that malfunctioned.

Pondering the situation, I wondered if the mag spring was too weak to hold the 1st round loaded firm enough to handle the slide face hitting it and thus go right into the chamber. It was ALWAYS the last round in the mag that would eject or sometimes stove pipe.

Taking both mags apart, I inserted a loaded .380 round between the bottom of the mag spring and the floor plate, thus changing the 8rd mag to a 7rd and putting more pressure on the mag follower for the first round loaded. Loading the mags with 2-3 rounds and firing (after all, it was always the last round that didn't chamber), I went through 10 "mag cycles" (1 mag cycle = load rounds in mag and fire until empty) with each mag with no malfunctions! Statistics would have had 4-5 failures in 20 mag cycles, but I now had none.

I will be doing more testing and have 2 more mags arriving shortly. I'll then contact S&W. At this time, I'm convinced, at least for my pistol, that the mag springs are too weak and thus do not hold the 1st round loaded into the mag firmly enough for 100% functioning. Of course S&W made the mag springs weaker to make the mag EZ to load. I'm thinking the mag springs are right on the edge between too weak to function 100% and making the mag really EZ to load.

Watching Shield .380 EZ review videos, I saw the same last round malfunction in a couple of videos. The reviewer really didn't ponder the problem, but simply cleared it, reloaded and went on. Even the American Rifleman review mentioned the last loaded round eject or stove pipe and didn't realized there is a problem, thinking it was a matter of breaking in the pistol.

Of course now my pistol doesn't have all the features as advertised (8rd mag), but on the other hand it still holds more .380 ammo that my previous carry pistol.

Otherwise, it's a joy to shoot. I love the lightweight and mild recoil.
 

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Update: Showed my "A" modification (loaded round under the mag spring) to some friends, who pondered the situation. One said take the mag apart and let's see the follower. Follower was hollow. Taking a fired .22LR case, we squeezed the rim until it would fit inside the follower, thus causing the mag spring to be slightly compressed when the mag was put back together without a loaded round sitting inside on the floor plate compressing the spring. This was our "B" modification.

Testing the B mod, we found the slight additional pressure on the mag spring to stop the last round malfunction AND the mag capacity was back to 8 rounds. 76 total rounds were fired from my 2 B mod mags with no malfunctions, mostly loading 2 rounds, but also testing mags loaded to full 8 round capacity. Doing a blind test, 3 of us successfully were able to pick out the B mod mag from a non modified factory mag by pushing down the follower on an empty mag and feeling the slight increase in pressure on the follower.

My son-in-law does 3D printing and software for same. He's a gun person, so I might ask him to do a 3D print of a piece to put inside the follower that will be a better drop-in fit with less chance of moving around than the .22LR case and have a recess for the top of the spring to fit in. He likes projects like that.

I am convinced that at least on my pistol the mag spring is right on the edge of not having enough oomph to function correctly.
 

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I going to give C mod a try this weekend. I found a rubber tube of the right diameter and placed it at the bottom of the mag like your A mod.
 

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Excellent Sir!



You basically described the old school method (place a round or rounds below the follower) that 1911 shooters have used for many, many years to determine if a mag spring is too weak and needs replacing. :detective::thumbsup:


So in other words SW is sending these out with piss poor or too weak springs.

Modifying something to make a new product function is not what one should have to do.

A many yr old many rounds fired weapon sure but New out of the box NO WAY.

Again until I see SW has produced these that work as they should for a while I have no interest in it.

Glad you got it working Gadet.
Go go gadet magazine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My son in law just contacted me. He is eager for a new printing project, so he and I will work on a follower insert that puts a little more tension on the mag spring yet still allows a full eight rounds to be loaded and function properly. Probably today or tomorrow. I am guessing the material cost will be about 1-2 cents each. Fortunately for Shield 380 owners, from postings in various forums, this doesn't affect many owners.

Opinion: S&W had to go to a stronger safety spring; maybe they need to go with a slightly stronger magazine spring. Wonder if S&W reads this forum? Maybe this could be an interim fix until S&W does something.
 

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I talked and my son-in-law designed what I described and measured. Remove floor plate and spring, drop the spacer inside the follower, replace spring and floor plate...done.

Prototype was slightly too snug a fit...it had to be just small enough to easily drop out so one could remove the follower to clean the mag. 2nd model had rounded corners and a slightly smaller width...you could drop it in and it would drop out when the mag was tilted, yet it was a close fit all the way around so it wouldn't shift. It also has a small "ridge" on the bottom that fits inside the top coil of the mag spring. While probably not needed, the ridge keeps the spring centered in the follower...might actually be a slight improvement.

Best of all, one can still load 8 rounds. Testing showed with 8 rounds loaded and the slide locked back, insert the loaded mag, thumb the slide stop down and the top round feeds just fine (in other words, not too much spring pressure on the top round). Didn't do a long test, but did 4 mag cycles and firings with each of my 2 mags. No last round problems.

Once the final design was done, after the 3D printhead and base are warmed up to printing temperature, each insert takes 5 minutes to print and takes 2 cents of material. The CAD file was saved in case more need to be printed.

I've also notified S&W. Will post what they say. I am confident my EZ is working fine now.
 

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Adding the insert to the mag didn’t work for me. I had a mix of live round stovepipes and live round ejections.

I am not sure where I’m going from here but I’m done testing.

Lesson relearned- don’t buy 1st generation of anything
 

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Yall MAY consider returning these weapons to the mfg for WARRANTY.

Or
Keep trying to reinvent the wheel.


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Here's the reply I got from S&W:

Thank you for your e-mail and your suggestion regarding Smith & Wesson or Thompson Center products.

For 164 years, Smith & Wesson has manufactured high-quality, innovative, firearms for professionals and consumers alike.

Smith & Wesson considers customer input a valuable resource from which to draw on, during the decision making process.

Your comments are being forwarded to the Marketing Department and appropriate Management Team for review and consideration for future production.

Smith&Wesson values its customers and we are happy to have served you today. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further assistance.

Regards,
 

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My 2 extra mags arrived. Testing both with the same ammos as my other mags, I had zero failures in 20 "mag cycles" through each. Thus I did not put my follower spacer in them to fix them.

OK, why did they work and the mags that came with my pistol cause malfunctions? On both packages of the 2 new mags, the label holding the package closed do say "429100000-RevA" and list the mag as for the Shield .380 with the same part number. Unknown: Is that a revision of the magazine or a revision of the label? Other words and dates on the packaging are of no help. For instance, the generic magazine package insert is Rev 10-2010.

OK, take the first new mag apart and compare to mags that came with my .380 EZ. Differences: New mag spring is silver color VS original darker color. While both springs have the same number of coils, the new spring at rest is about .2" longer. The new spring metal is about .002" thicker in diameter. Wa La, the difference.

Now take the 2nd new mag apart. O No, same color of spring and same diameter as the springs in the 2 mags that came with my pistol. Same number of coils, however, the at rest length of the new mag spring is about .2" longer. Could the springs in the original mags have been reduced in length by firing about 200 rounds through each or by keeping rounds loaded as the pistol sits at home at the ready? I didn't take the new mags apart until I got home and had fired 28 rounds through each. In any case the mags that came with my pistol had failures from the beginning and without my follower inserts continue to cause malfunctions.

Oh well, mine works, and when my holster comes next week, my EZ will be my new carry piece that I will carry with confidence.
 

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Contact S&W Customer Service

Can you guys please contact S&W customer service and let them know that there is a stove pipe problem? I returned mine in April and they said they had not seen any with this problem. When I got it back they had not addressed the problem and only looked at the consumer advisory issue. They asked me to send it back and again - stated that they had not seen or heard anything about this issue. I told them about this and other forums, I told them about hickok45's video with two stovepipes while reviewing. They stated that they hadn't heard a thing. I called them just now and, again - they are stating that they had not heard ANYTHING about stove piping. I don't see how that is possible so I'm encouraging anyone with this issue to at least let them know. Please call 1-800-331-0852 and tell them that you have a stove pipe issue.

I appreciate it.
 

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I should have known better after the issues I had with my full sized M&Ps a few years back but I bought one of the new EZ's anyway.

I was on line looking for aftermarket parts (like a mag base with the finger rest/lip on it) when I saw the S&W recall notice for the models with thumb safeties.

Not sure of anyone else's experiences but trying to use the S&W website's serial number search function (to see if my new pistol was one of the ones under the recall notice) didn't work. Multiple attempts to put the serial number in only to get a pop up that told me it was an invalid serial number. I tried several times, thinking I was making a mistake inputting the serial number - I wasn't. I went ahead and called S&W, waited for awhile listening to the bad music on their hold line and finally got to talk to a nice lady who asked for my serial number (was not interested in the website serial number search issues - I tried to tell her twice) and confirmed my new pistol is one of the ones not made correctly. She got my information, e-mailed me a return shipment authorization and I guess I'll put it in a Fedex box today for shipment back to S&W.

Of course, I had to call my youngest son up and let him know what I'd done (buy another M&P) so he could poke fun at me, again.

Boy, I am not going to be happy if it comes back from S&W with the safety issue fixed only to have the ejection issue others in this thread are talking about.

We'll see.
 

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Dunno what I did wrong, but my sample EZ functioned perfectly on a range test with 5 different loads, including Black Hills' x-tipped HoneyBadger that chokes some guns. Five different bullet weights.
Zero problems.

Had not intended to keep it when I asked for the loaner, but after firing it the thing's staying on here.
Denis
 
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