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Replacing mag catch spring

This is a discussion on Replacing mag catch spring within the MP Gunsmithing forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; Did mine just now. Nowhere near 15 minutes for me, but I didn't have to walk all the way to the gun safe to get ...


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Old February 19th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #31
 
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Did mine just now. Nowhere near 15 minutes for me, but I didn't have to walk all the way to the gun safe to get mine.



Great mod, and Simple Simon execution. Everyone with this pistol should consider doing this. I know that most people are not having a mag drop problem (as I'm not), but the button is too easy to press. This simple mod, and it's fixed up good.



My hardware store only sold the rods in three foot lengths, with three in a bundle. I've got some extra, maybe I'll sell it online as the M&P Miracle Rod, or something for like 100x profit... :twisted:



Thanks for the instructions!!!
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 10:15 PM   #32
 
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Thank you for the post OPTIMUS,



How is your frame holding up since the mod?

No fatigue or cracking?

I'm surprised S&W hasn't offered this mod to the people who have had problems with mag. drops.



nunnya
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 10:19 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunnya
I'm surprised S&W hasn't offered this mod to the people who have had problems with mag. drops.

nunnya


+1
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 08:56 AM   #34
 
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No deformation, no walking out of spring hole. Mag catch looks no more battered than before and best of all, no more accidental button bumps.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 02:58 AM   #35
 
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I was experiencing mag drops before, and i believe the previous magazine release spring was weak enough it was contributing to the problem. With a new mag catch and mag spring my faith is returning to the gun i intend to carry.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #36
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunnya
Thank you for the post OPTIMUS,



How is your frame holding up since the mod?

No fatigue or cracking?

I'm surprised S&W hasn't offered this mod to the people who have had problems with mag. drops.



nunnya


This question has probably crossed a few of our minds. Now that I've completed this mod though, I have to say the following. To think this modification could lead to frame cracking or fatigue is absurd. It's a very minor increase in spring diameter. Very, very minor. The additional forces against the frame and the magazine button are so minimal as compared to what these guns experience. If a catastrophic frame failure is going to occur, the incredible forces attributed to firing the weapon will cause it long before any additional magazine spring pressure.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #37
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From what I've been told by Smith, they chose the particular mag catch spring they're using based on its ability to withstand multiple changes back and forth from R- to L-handed operation without taking a set or being damaged if the owner bends the spring too much, the wrong way, etc.



As for whether the larger dimension spring will cause a problem functionally or in terms of durability, I couldn't comment one way or the other. However, tiny changes in the most innocent places can definitely have unexpected consequences when you're talking about a handgun. This modification explained here is probably perfectly fine, but it's not unreasonable to keep an eye on it just to be safe.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #38
 
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This modification seems to fix the problem of inadvertantly pressing the mag release and unseating the magazine when holstered but can anybody say that changing the mag catch spring has resolved their mag drop issue that occurs when firing the gun? I also am concerned how this might effect your warranty if the modified gun still has to be returned to S&W?
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Old February 27th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #39
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This mod is a great patch, but it's a patch nonetheless... without S&W making the improvement themselves I guess it leaves people out in the lurch as far as maintaining their warranty goes. That sucks.



If the reasoning Todd gives for S&W's choice of spring is true, then it looks like they sacrificed strong mag retention in favor of multiple switching back and forth from left to right to left to right, which makes NO sense to me. And it doesn't make sense that going with a *slightly* stiffer spring would make a spring significantly more likely to take a set. The explanation sounds to me like a bunch of spin (mumbo jumbo) coming from S&W on this one. Other makers can create a properly tensioned mag catch, so I'm sure S&W can work it out when and if they decide to. I doubt, though, that they want to make any public acknowledgement of such an improvement as they are probably concerned about having to face a mass remake of frames/springs or a recall. They will probably go with a stiffer spring at some point without saying anything to anyone and just deal with complaints about the weak spring on an individual basis, as people come forward with their problems. They know that the vast majority of guns sold rarely see very much use at all compared to the relatively smaller number of guns which actually do see a LOT of use. Owners of those guns which see little use may never use their guns enough to encounter the mag catch problem nor experience inadvertant drops due to random pressure of holsters, clothing, etc. against the button on the frame. So it makes more economic sense to them to attend to problems as they come up rather than recall and correct on a widespread basis.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #40
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Holy crap. I am going to try this one last time:



The spring is not the problem. As you said, you can change the spring to "patch" the problem, but it isn't solving the problem.



The problem had to do with improperly sized mag catch cutouts in some frames. This is why the problem didn't occur in early production guns. A change got made to the tolerances and it was too liberal. Once enough people had enough rounds through their guns that the problem began, Smith looked into it. They've been through multiple "patches" that don't require you to replace the mag catch spring. Various iterations of the mag catch, including a change to both material and dimension, led to what Smith thinks is a solution for almost everyone whose guns were affected by the problem. Those people who can't find solace with a replacement catch (because the frame is too far out of spec) get free replacement frames.



Obviously, Smith also tightened the spec on the mag catch frame cut so future problems aren't expected.



Will changing the mag catch spring add tension to the catch? Sure. Will this solve the problem for some people whose mags are (or may some day) drop? Probably. I'm not criticizing the mod at all. I'm just criticizing people who seem to think Smith is somehow screwing up by using the solution its engineers and gunsmiths came up with instead. :roll:



BTW, I proved again just last week that the M&Ps ergonomic flexibility probably leads to some of the "mag drop" claims. A young lady wanted to try the trigger job on my M&P9 (which is a little on the unusual side) so I let her put a mag though the gun. She had the mag drop once. That's the only time it's happened on that gun in 13,305 rounds since I replaced the first (problematic) catch. We looked at her grip and she was clearly contacting the button, which I have on the right side of the pistol. The combination of the reversed mag catch and particular grip size (Crimson Trace LG-660) caused the drop. Which is why people need to choose a set-up that works for them instead of picking the one they just like best and then pout if the gun doesn't work right.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 08:29 PM   #41
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I believe that the mag drop problems are caused by a variety of factors (at least five, shown below), some of which, on some guns, can cause the drop all by themselves and some which in concert with another or two factors together contribute toward the drop.



1) rapid wear of the mag catch engagement surface

2) weakness of mag catch spring tension

3) mag wobble inside the frame (mag well not tight enough?)

4) minimal engagement surface of the catch into the notch on the mag

5) mag catch button protruding in a way which increases the likelihood of it being hit inadvertantly during fire (combined with the weak mag catch spring, is a receipt for failure)



Simply making the body of the mag catch bigger (or the mag catch hole in the frame smaller) to cause more friction between the catch and the frame of the gun seems like a poor approach to keeping mags in the gun. Such friction will certainly lessen over time and use, causing the problem all over again. A systemic approach to the problem is needed, not one simple change.



I have believed and LONG AGO stated (in mag drop threads on this forum) that for the mags to stay put when they need to stay put it will take a variety of factors to do this right:



1) harden the mag catch engagement surface (S&W has told people that they have tried this - with some though not perfect success) thus:



2) tighten up the mag well fit to the mag and/or deepen the engagement depth of the mag catch engagement surface so that the mag itself can't wobble away from the catch which holds on by a very tiny engagement with the cut out in the mag body



3) stiffen the mag catch spring to lessen the great ease with which mags are dropped, effectively requiring more concerted pressure and effort on the catch before the mag will drop



4) reduce the external protrusion of the mag catch button so that it is not so easily hit by accident and doesn't require the most perfect-of-grips so as to be careful NOT to touch the mag drop button.



Some M&P owners on this forum have themselves stiffened up the mag catch spring in various ways and reduced (by filing or sanding) the outward extension of the mag catch button - all with some degree of reported success in the modifications - reducing undesired mag drops.



During a defensive encounter, it is not only possible, but actually likely that the shooter may have a variable hold on the gun when shooting and the last thing you need on a defense gun is a mag catch button that is so sensitive that it practically releases by merely breathing on it! (Exaggeration intended for exclamatory effect.) TO say that shooters aren't holding the gun "just right" and that's why the mags are dropping is forgiving the gun and to heck with the shooter.



The BEST defense guns are forgiving of the shooter and don't require the shooter to be forgiving of the gun when they are fighting for their life!



There is lots of "talk" about what S&W has done or is doing to address the often reported MAG DROP problem. No doubt they have made some changes. And they're probably still looking at what needs to be done in the future to improve the gun. I believe that in time, the problem will most likely be eliminated. Whether the problem has been permanently eliminated on today's production models I cannot attest to. It may have. Or not. But I stand by my believe that the defense-suitability of the M&P will be greatly improved by changes which address ALL of the elements I listed above, not just making a fatter mag catch button which has more friction in the hole of the frame.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #42
 
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I haven't had any mag drops since the new catch was installed by S&W. The new version is holding up well with many rounds through it since. My main reason for replacing the spring was due to the mags being disengaged much too frequenty when I carry IWB. I agree with Dehart that a gun for military, police or any kind of, you need it to work flawlessly situation, it should do just that. If I have to hold a pistol some certain thought out way to have it work, it's GARBAGE. I better be able to grab it securely and let er buck without hesitation. As far as warranty is concerned, I could care less. I need a pistol that works everytime over a warranty...
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Old February 27th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optimus
I haven't had any mag drops since the new catch was installed by S&W. The new version is holding up well with many rounds through it since. My main reason for replacing the spring was due to the mags being disengaged much too frequenty when I carry IWB.


My new frame (replacement) hasn't dropped any mags yet... so far at 300 rounds and counting. But the mag catch spring is still a lot lighter than I prefer in a defense gun. I'd like to get to at least 1000 with no problems and no noticible wear on the mag catch engagement surface before returning the gun to my defense rotation.



As for installing a stiffer mag catch spring... this is an excellent modification and I plan to do that modification for two reasons:



1) to hopefully prevent mags from dropping out during IWB carry (yes, that has happened to me too with my 40C.)



2) as an extra measure to help keep the mag from dropping out should the mag catch button be somehow brushed by thumb or support hand during recoil while firing



I also plan to reduce the outward extension of the mag release button pad... not much, just a bit.



Behind all of this is one singular bottom line: I don't want those mags dropping out with anything short of a very deliberate, very firm pressure on the mag catch button. That's exactly what I've had with every other semi-auto pistol I've owned/own, right out of the box, and I require the very same mag security from my M&P as well. Aside from all of my mag catch problems, my 40C has been an excellent gun.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 11:25 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart
so far at 300 rounds and counting.
Not really.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 11:26 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choochboost
[quote name='DHart']so far at 300 rounds and counting.
Not really.[/quote]



What's that supposed to mean? You know more about my gun than I do?
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