mag release issues - MP-Pistol Forum

mag release issues

This is a discussion on mag release issues within the MP Pistol Tech Help forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; Please post up all of your issues in this thread. I will lock all other threads that come up for this issue. John...

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Old June 24th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #1
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mag release issues

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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Old June 24th, 2007, 06:24 PM   #2
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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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Old June 24th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #3
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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.
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Old June 24th, 2007, 09:57 PM   #4
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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.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 06:27 AM   #5
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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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Old June 26th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #6
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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.
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Old June 26th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #7
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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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Old June 26th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #8
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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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Old June 27th, 2007, 12:58 PM   #9
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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.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 01:34 PM   #10
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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.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #11
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Once the problem is determined--will S&W issue a recall?
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Old June 27th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #12
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I doubt it. Glock didn't.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #13
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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...
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Old June 28th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #14
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Do we know if a "1" or a "2" is the latest design???
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Old June 29th, 2007, 05:12 AM   #15
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I just updated the FAQ with the Q and A for the "1" or "2" part marking. Thanks for asking...that one slipped through.
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