Shield recoil spring/racking problem. - MP-Pistol Forum

Shield recoil spring/racking problem.

This is a discussion on Shield recoil spring/racking problem. within the MP SHIELD Pistols forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; What's up everyone? I am new to this forum and new to Smith and Wesson. M&P Shield in 40 caliber. I like this little gun ...


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Old March 18th, 2014, 06:58 PM   #1
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Shield recoil spring/racking problem.

What's up everyone? I am new to this forum and new to Smith and Wesson. M&P Shield in 40 caliber. I like this little gun but I have a problem with it. I have read a ton about recoil spring and racking issues and even read about some problems reassembling it after field stripping. However I have not heard any valid fixes for these problems. I guess the gun I picked up yesterday has the worst of all of them. I did not notice any problems at the gun shop. I got it home and tried to take it apart to clean it and found I could not even get the slide back far enough to lock it. It did eventually let go with a little convincing and I got it apart. After researching all the problems I figured I would do a little diagnosis myself. What I found was a huge Q/C miss on S&W's part. I disassembled the recoil spring assembly and found that the primary spring still had burs on it where it had been cut and was hanging off the side of the spring seats top and bottom due to the burrs. That was causing the problem with reassembly because it was off center and hanging up on the frame preventing it from moving rearward. I also found that the tube that captures the secondary spring and the spring itself were hanging up on a bulge in the guide rod shown in the attached picture. This bulge was caused from pressing the cap on the rod during final assembly of the recoil system. The cap was also not seated fully. The pictures suck but you can see bare metal where the secondary spring was getting stuck to the guide rod. And I do mean stuck. Once I got it past that point in either direction it required tools to move it again. I have read everything from spit on it to soak it in frog lube to "It will be fine after you put about 400 rounds through it" to just keep turning the spring until you find a place it likes. Why can't we just fix it? Whats with all the band-aids? Personally, if I am going to carry this gun every day it needs to be 100% out of the box. I am convinced these recoil spring assemblies are junk and no one is making replacements yet. Does anyone have any contacts at S&W that might listen? I kind of got blown off by a rep on the phone today. He sounded very tired of hearing about these complaints about the springs and kind of put out to even talk to me about it. He told me to soak it in oil and guess what... go put a couple hundred rounds through it and it should be fine. I'm not sure why it seems like S&W is not taking this very seriously. This was not what I was hoping for with my first S&W purchase. What happened to quality control?
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Old March 18th, 2014, 07:07 PM   #2
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my FS40 or Shield40 spring guide rods look nothing like that....if it is new take it back where you bought it and ask for a new one or contact S&W customer service and talk to them...BTW welcome to the forum...there lots of people on here with more knowledge than me that may be able to help you more
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Old March 19th, 2014, 01:27 AM   #3
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How does it shoot?
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Old March 19th, 2014, 04:35 AM   #4
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Riverwader, I would have taken it back but it was the last one they had.
Thank you! I hope to be here a while!

jasonuscg, I haven't shot it yet. As bad as that spring was sticking I'm sure it would have had feed issues.

All, I am the type of guy that can't stand to sit and look at something that's broken. Since S&W's customer service was less than helpful on the phone yesterday, I decided to fix this spring last night. The pictures in my original post are of the recoil spring assembly (minus the flat wire main spring) fully compressed in my little hobby vice. I used a couple big washers. One had a tiny hole in it about the same size as the hole in the slide so it wouldn't damage the spring. The force put on it in this way is the same as the pressure it would be under in the gun with the slide locked back. What you see would be what is sticking out of the slide with it locked back. I filed the burs I was talking about off the ends of the main spring and used my little vice and some small pliers to tighten up the last two coils on either end so it would not stick out past the spring seat. I don't think I mentioned this but the first time I took the recoil spring out of the gun the main spring popped right off of the assembly. Tightening up the coil on the end (just a little) also helps keep it captured by the end cap on the spring. With it in the vice like in the pictures on my original post I took some 1000 grit sand paper cut into 1/4 inch strips and polished the guide rod where the bulge is until the secondary spring could move freely past that point. Then applied a little oil and reassembled the gun. That fixed it. It even feels like its is racking more smoothly than before. It feels perfect. I will be going to the range with it in a couple days. I'll post and update then. Here is a picture of the guide rod after polishing. Thanks for the support! If anyone has any questions about what I did please feel free to ask.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0459.JPG (1.79 MB, 243 views)

Last edited by JustAWrench; March 19th, 2014 at 05:10 AM.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum from Texas! I'd be interested in hearing how it shoots when you get to the range also.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAWrench View Post
I haven't shot it yet.
Pretty much what I thought.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 08:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonuscg View Post
Pretty much what I thought.

Do I sense a little sarcasm there? No disrespect sir, but I did not mention what I had to do to get that spring to let go. I'm sure it would have made a few people wince a little. It involved a counter top and some body weight. There is no way I could have shot it. I couldn't get it far enough back to grab the first round. Thanks for your input though. Have a great day!
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Old March 19th, 2014, 10:52 PM   #8
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My 9mm Shield was my 1st handgun and it shoots flawlessly but on a couple of
occasions when I would reassemble the slide to the frame and the slide would lock
up. The spring guide would be sticking out of the end of the frame and the spring
was obviously hung up. After about 700 rounds the spring guide has a bunch of
gouges in it. I don't have enough experience to know if that is normal wear or not.
And I know the recoil spring needs to be seated and centered properly before reassembly.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 06:15 AM   #9
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VicDog,
Are the gouges in the area of the spring I am pointing at with a red pen in the picture in my original post? Mine was bad in that area and I hadn't put a round through it yet. I would imagine that is not how the spring was designed to operate. There is a tolerance in there that needs to be changed or one that got overlooked. These spring assemblies are substandard. I hope that S&W, being the good company they have been for years, comes up with a better design.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 10:24 AM   #10
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Like many other new Shield owners, it took two men and a boy rack and lock it open for the first disassembly and I thought I broke something when I tried to re-assemble. That is what bought me this forum so after reading some threads on this issue, I left it locked open for a couple of days. I finally got it to the range and got to fire it, no problems I love my little shield 9mm. The springs are strong for sure but these arthritic 72 year old hands can lock it open on the first try now.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #11
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Little SNO grease on the rack rails works wonders
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Old June 9th, 2014, 05:28 AM   #12
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I'm having the same problems. What is SNO grease please?
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Old June 9th, 2014, 08:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Upstate NYer View Post
What is SNO grease please?
Derp!

https://www.google.com/search?q=SNO+grease
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:03 AM   #14
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Question

So you find what? Burrs debris or corrosion in the main spring?

CW
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Old June 9th, 2014, 02:32 PM   #15
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JustAWrench, you appear to be mechanically inclined. I'm glad you resolved the issue. Can you tell us when the pistol was made or test fired? I've noticed a few complaints about this sort of thing and I'm just curious. Maybe a bad run on springs or something. Dunno. I think it would help if everyone that had a particular problem with a new pistol, would mention when it was made. Someone else having the same problem may have had theirs made around the same time.
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