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  #1  
Old 09-17-2012, 08:54 PM
EXERCISINGTHE2ND EXERCISINGTHE2ND is offline
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This may be hard to explain so I may need to clarify.

As the gun fires, the slide moves backwards, ejects shell.

Then it feels like the slide stops for a moment, then snaps forward picking up the next round. I am use to a very quick back and forth of the slide without a feeling of momentum of the slide moving forward.

So, is it:
1) ammunition (Federal FMJ 180g - no issue berfore)
2) ammo hanging on slide
3) something with the sear
4) something with grip like not locking wrists
5) something with the recoil spring
6) something else

Also, 100 rounds more have shot than in my signature.

Thanx for any help or advice.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:11 PM
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I just bought a 40c a month ago and am experiencing the same thing. Mine is currently back at S&W being looked at. I noticed it right away. The slide has a herky-jerky feel to it. Feels like something interferes with the slide travel and somehow the momentum is messed up. It is hard to put into words, but it just doesn't feel right...sort of an unsettling feeling like it might not make it back into battery. Mine hasn't failed yet, but I thought I should send in to be looked at. I have owned a number of automatics in 9mm and 45 Acp, but this is my first .40 cal. I have never experienced this effect with any other gun. I hope it isn't a "40 thing". I amreally at a loss for what is causing this.

I have a feeling that I will get it back with a note that says everything is in spec and that there is nothing wrong. It is tough to describe the problem, so I bet it will be hard to diagnose.

Last edited by xzhync; 09-17-2012 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:07 PM
EXERCISINGTHE2ND EXERCISINGTHE2ND is offline
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Thanks for the post. Can you post when you get it back, please?
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by EXERCISINGTHE2ND View Post
Thanks for the post. Can you post when you get it back, please?
Yes, I will post once I get it back and test it. I called yesterday and the cs said it had not been looked at yet. I may not see it for another week or so.

When you posted your issue I was hoping other 40c owners would chime in to say whether or not their 40c displays this same "odd" slide movement. I had posted my issue several weeks back and didn't really get any folks responding with a similar experience.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:05 PM
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Sounds like the ammo shortly hanging on the feedramp before the power of the recoil spring forces the round into the chamber.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mewisemajic View Post
Sounds like the ammo shortly hanging on the feedramp before the power of the recoil spring forces the round into the chamber.
That is possible. Does seem like something is impeding the slide travel. In my case it seems to happen more with the 10 round mag. I noticed the mag spring is pretty strong. That could be making it difficult for the slide to strip off the round.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:53 PM
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I've not experienced any interruption of the slide cycling as described. In fact, the M&P 40c was smooth and flawless when used in USPSA competition using both compact and full size magazines. The only negative with this gun was a front sight falling out. (S&W replaced the slide and sight within 10 days door to door.)

My only complaint is that I could be as smooth and flawless in USPSA matches as the 40c.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:02 PM
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If it is the ammo hanging before being slammed into the chamber, then there is an easy check. Load a round in the chamber, drop the mag and fire. Do you get the same feeling of hanging? If so it is not an ammo loading issue as you eliminated the mag. If this eliminated the issue try shooting with one cartridge in the magazine. If ok add a second cartridge in the magazine, etc, until you fine how much mag. spring pressure is needed to create the problem.

Let us know how you make out.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by xzhync View Post
Yes, I will post once I get it back and test it. I called yesterday and the cs said it had not been looked at yet. I may not see it for another week or so.

When you posted your issue I was hoping other 40c owners would chime in to say whether or not their 40c displays this same "odd" slide movement. I had posted my issue several weeks back and didn't really get any folks responding with a similar experience.
I got my 40c about 3 weeks ago, I think it was right around the time I read your other post. I have fired about 200 rounds through it or so and what you have described has happened to me once. It does feel strange and I hope it is a isolated incident.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:23 PM
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I have not had any issues when firing the .40 caliber from my M&PC.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:53 PM
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I have not had any issues when firing the .40 caliber from my M&PC.
I have to agree here... but I do seem to remember one of my M&P's... seeming like the slide was in slow motion a time or 2... maybe it was ammo or lube related, but nothing that affected the operation of the gun at all in a negative way...
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by EXERCISINGTHE2ND View Post
Thanks for the post. Can you post when you get it back, please?
Got my 40c back from S&W. took it to the range yesterday and it has the same problem with sluggish slide movement. No improvement whatsoever. The paperwork said they did a "barrel modification" (couldn't see any evidence of a change), replaced the extractor and extractor spring. When I saw that report I was almost sure that they had not addressed the issue. I am no expert, but I know enough to know that what they did had no relevance to the issue. That tells me they were clueless or didn't care to take the time to solve the problem.

I have the same problem...actually now it is worse. The slide now locks back prematurely on the occasional shot. I made sure my thumb was nowhere near the slide lock lever. I guess they are hoping I will just go away.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by xzhync View Post
Got my 40c back from S&W. took it to the range yesterday and it has the same problem with sluggish slide movement. No improvement whatsoever. The paperwork said they did a "barrel modification" (couldn't see any evidence of a change), replaced the extractor and extractor spring. When I saw that report I was almost sure that they had not addressed the issue. I am no expert, but I know enough to know that what they did had no relevance to the issue. That tells me they were clueless or didn't care to take the time to solve the problem.

I have the same problem...actually now it is worse. The slide now locks back prematurely on the occasional shot. I made sure my thumb was nowhere near the slide lock lever. I guess they are hoping I will just go away.
I hate to hear that. Not a good report. This is one reason I haven't bought a second M&P. It seems like S&W wants to get guns out fast rather than getting them out with reliability first. Glock is similar with their Gen4s.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by xzhync View Post
Got my 40c back from S&W. took it to the range yesterday and it has the same problem with sluggish slide movement. No improvement whatsoever. The paperwork said they did a "barrel modification" (couldn't see any evidence of a change), replaced the extractor and extractor spring. When I saw that report I was almost sure that they had not addressed the issue. I am no expert, but I know enough to know that what they did had no relevance to the issue. That tells me they were clueless or didn't care to take the time to solve the problem.

I have the same problem...actually now it is worse. The slide now locks back prematurely on the occasional shot. I made sure my thumb was nowhere near the slide lock lever. I guess they are hoping I will just go away.

What are you looking to do next?
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:32 PM
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What are you looking to do next?
I have been trying to weaken the mag spring over the past few days. I keep thinking that the slow/labored slide movement may be caused in part by a tight mag spring which is making it tough for the slide to strip off a round. I tried the test mentioned above where it was suggested to chamber a round then drop the magazine. I tried that several times and didn't notice any problems. I am going to take it out one more time probably tomorrow to see if there is any improvement. If not, I will try to see if my dealer will allow an exchange for another gun.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:53 AM
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Don't seem to have that trouble with my 40c. Its seems slow but doesn't fail to feed right? Have you tried bringing multiple types of ammo? I use Remington UMC 180 grain jacketed flat nose. The ones in the 250 value box. I've also shot a 50 box of Federal Value hollow points without trouble. Just seems odd. Maybe with a few hundred more rounds it will break in.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:11 PM
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Don't seem to have that trouble with my 40c. Its seems slow but doesn't fail to feed right? Have you tried bringing multiple types of ammo? I use Remington UMC 180 grain jacketed flat nose. The ones in the 250 value box. I've also shot a 50 box of Federal Value hollow points without trouble. Just seems odd. Maybe with a few hundred more rounds it will break in.
My 40c doesn't fail to feed. It just has very sluggish slide movement intermittently. It feels very odd when it happens.

I went to the range today. I had been trying to compress the mag spring for the past 5 days. It didn't work so while at the range I cut a coil off of the mag spring. I noticed an improvement, but I still had some slide sluggishness. I clipped off 1 more coil and then I didn't notice any more problem. I think the problem is that the mag spring was too strong for the recoil spring. I will try and go back to the range next weekend to do one more check. If I don't notice any problem I will believe that my fix truly worked.

I know some folks on this forum have said not to cut the mag spring, but after I did the problem went away. I tried some rapid fire and the mag spring was still plenty strong enough to support fast cycling.

I may not have mentioned previously, but the sluggish slide movement only occurred with the 10 round mag. My 40c also came with a 15 round mag which caused no issue with slide movement. I noticed that both the 10 round and 15 round mag had the exact same spring (same length and number of coils). Having the same spring in both mags, the longer 15 round mag had significantly less spring tension than the 10 rounder. The 10 round mag has the pinky extension so my grip is effectively the same with either mag. the only real difference seems to be spring tension. That is why I decided to lower the spring tension in the problem mag to more closely match the tension in the longer mag. The only really effective way to lower the tension was to cut out 2 coils. Again, it seemed to work. I definitely want one more range trip before I will be fully satisfied.

Last edited by xzhync; 09-30-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:28 AM
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I bought my wife and I 2 40c's a few weeks ago. We have been training with them, as we intend to carry. The day after I read the initial post, I started to experience the same thing. Its a very weird hang up as the slide moves forward after the shot. Feels very jerky in my hand. We have put almost 1000 rounds through both guns, since we are trying to get comfortable with them before we take a self-defense class this Saturday. Put 165 and 180 gr WWB and Remington UMC through them. Also put some 165 Hornaday Critical Defense through them. We have been using full size 40 mags with the x-grip extension piece, and I have felt the hang up with that mag and the 10 round mags. We went shooting last night, and it seemed to be getting worse with mine, and my wife started to notice it too with hers.

I have noticed alot of wear on the bottom of the feed-ramp, where the bullet nose is rubbing. It also seems my slide spring is not as sturdy. I dont know if that makes any sense. I have 4 other M&P's, all full size, and the main springs on them are very stiff and dont move much on the guide rod. Both of our 40c main springs move, and I dont mean compression. It doesnt sound like sending them back in is going to do me much good, but if it does it as badly this weekend during our class, I may go ahead and see if they can find anything.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:25 PM
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I bought my wife and I 2 40c's a few weeks ago. We have been training with them, as we intend to carry. The day after I read the initial post, I started to experience the same thing. Its a very weird hang up as the slide moves forward after the shot. Feels very jerky in my hand. We have put almost 1000 rounds through both guns, since we are trying to get comfortable with them before we take a self-defense class this Saturday. Put 165 and 180 gr WWB and Remington UMC through them. Also put some 165 Hornaday Critical Defense through them. We have been using full size 40 mags with the x-grip extension piece, and I have felt the hang up with that mag and the 10 round mags. We went shooting last night, and it seemed to be getting worse with mine, and my wife started to notice it too with hers.

I have noticed alot of wear on the bottom of the feed-ramp, where the bullet nose is rubbing. It also seems my slide spring is not as sturdy. I dont know if that makes any sense. I have 4 other M&P's, all full size, and the main springs on them are very stiff and dont move much on the guide rod. Both of our 40c main springs move, and I dont mean compression. It doesnt sound like sending them back in is going to do me much good, but if it does it as badly this weekend during our class, I may go ahead and see if they can find anything.
Did you notice the problem right from the get-go or did the guns shoot ok initially? Can you explain a little more what you mean by the slide spring moving. Do you mean that it moves around on the barrel lug?

Hopefully, you will have better luck if you send them back for service. If you do send them back please report back on what they do to address the problem. I took 2 coils off of the mag spring and that seemed to help, but I am going to go out again this weekend to double check.

Last edited by xzhync; 10-02-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:28 PM
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I had a problem with FTF's with my 40c a few thousand rounds ago. I finally decided it must have been a combination of limp wristing and tight manufacture. The pistol almost never fails to feed now and it is almost always the last round in the mag that has to be jacked in. I load all mags with 8 rounds instead of the capacity 10. I was worried at first but not any longer. I have never had a FTF with my Gold Dot carry ammo. Good luck with you 40c, I love mine and only worry about wearing it out at the range.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:43 AM
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Out of curiousity, what do the fired cases look like? Is there any damage to the case mouths on any of them?

If the slide is not travelling fully to the rear due to limp wristing, you may see the case mouths damaged where they contact the front/top of the ejection port instead of being thrown clear. There will also be brass marks on the slide where the cases are hitting.

Also, as the slide did not move fully rearward, as it starts forward the new round may not be fully positioned for feeding, and catch on the bottom edge of the feed ramp.

This condition can be compounded with a full magazine and drag caused by the pressure from the magazine spring as noted above.

Don't ask me how I may know this...
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:27 PM
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I just replaced the recoil spring on my M&P9 FS and I noticed that with a new mag loaded to 17 it will drag the top round in the mag. I did this with a snap cap in the chamber and dummy rounds in the mag. I didn't see it carry over to live fire though.

If it's only happening with the 10rd mag I would say it was a mag problem, not a problem with the 40c itself.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:31 PM
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I had over 500 rounds before it started.

Seems to happen after 50 rounds and gun is warmed-up.

Did notice brass marks on the bottom of the slide on the ejection side.

Thought about "limp wrist" and ensured help tight - still felt.

Feels as if the slide comes back, but returns with a "jerking" motion as if 1) something is preventing the slides return and 2) there is not enough spring pressure to return the slide while picking up the next shell because the slide did not go all the way back.

I haven't been to the range since I started this thread so that I could get really good advice as to what to do at my next NRA Range visit.

Thanks all
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:17 AM
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I'm having the same issue with my 1 month old 40c. It seemed to happen quite a lot at the range yesterday. I fired 150 rds of American Eagle 180gr through it. Once or twice, it even paused for 4 -5 seconds before travelling the last few cm into battery. It was really weird.

Next time I go to the range, I'm going to do some more thorough testing by marking the mags, trying different ammo, ensuring a good grip, etc. I have 6 10-rd mags that I use, but I only load them up with 5 rds at a time while I'm at the range.

Another oddity yesterday was that almost all of my spent brass was going a good 7-8 feet to my right. Previously, they usually only travel about 3 -4 feet. Following the guidelines in a previous post, I'm going to examine the brass closely this weekend, as well as the feed ramp/ejection port, looking for excessive marks or damage.

I'll update after my next range trip.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:28 AM
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I'm having the same issue with my 1 month old 40c. It seemed to happen quite a lot at the range yesterday. I fired 150 rds of American Eagle 180gr through it. Once or twice, it even paused for 4 -5 seconds before travelling the last few cm into battery. It was really weird.

Next time I go to the range, I'm going to do some more thorough testing by marking the mags, trying different ammo, ensuring a good grip, etc. I have 6 10-rd mags that I use, but I only load them up with 5 rds at a time while I'm at the range.

Another oddity yesterday was that almost all of my spent brass was going a good 7-8 feet to my right. Previously, they usually only travel about 3 -4 feet. Following the guidelines in a previous post, I'm going to examine the brass closely this weekend, as well as the feed ramp/ejection port, looking for excessive marks or damage.

I'll update after my next range trip.
For me the problem only occurs with the 10 round mag and is most pronounced when there are 5 or less rounds in the mag. Seems like the mag spring exerts significantly more upward force at that point until the mag is empty. Try pushing rounds out of the mag with your index finger. You will feel that you have to push much harder from 5 rounds down to zero
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:50 PM
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I apologize in advance for the length of this post. Hopefully it will make a bit of sense.

I've spent a bit of time at the range this weekend with both my 40 FS and a new 40C. Based on my testing, I now think the hesitation that I've experienced and has also been reported above may be due to the slide stop moving (bouncing) under the forces of recoil and trying to catch in the notch in the slide. This causes the hesitation felt as the slide goes forward. Sometimes it just briefly catches the notch, sometimes it will cause the slide to lock back as if the mag was empty.

The condition was only noted when shooting full power loads and as the mag was partly empty. The partly empty mag provides less pressure on the underside of the slide and a faster slide velocity.

The first time out with the 40C yesterday, the slide locked back early several times when firing full power 180 grain factory loads and heavy handloads. Especially when, as noted above, there were 5 or fewer rounds left in the mag. Light handloads and Privi factory loads (very mild!) ran without problems. BTW these light loads also cycled properly in my 40 FS with a 20-lb ISMI spring installed.

There were no marks on the slide stop to indicate that it was being prematurely actuated by a round in the magazine.

I loaded up some "medium-heavy" 180 handloads and tried them this morning. These loads did not lock the slide early, but I did get the "jerky" slide return, as seen before, after the mag was partially emptied. This was also noted, to a lesser extent with the FS.

If anyone having this problem has access to some lighter loads or handloads, try some and see if your pistol runs smoothly.

The ideal solution would be a heavier slide stop spring, but I am not sure if one is currently available. In the meantime, I'm going to have to buy a spare slide stop assembly to play with and see if I'm on the right track.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:03 PM
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I apologize in advance for the length of this post. Hopefully it will make a bit of sense.

I've spent a bit of time at the range this weekend with both my 40 FS and a new 40C. Based on my testing, I now think the hesitation that I've experienced and has also been reported above may be due to the slide stop moving (bouncing) under the forces of recoil and trying to catch in the notch in the slide. This causes the hesitation felt as the slide goes forward. Sometimes it just briefly catches the notch, sometimes it will cause the slide to lock back as if the mag was empty.

The condition was only noted when shooting full power loads and as the mag was partly empty. The partly empty mag provides less pressure on the underside of the slide and a faster slide velocity.

The first time out with the 40C yesterday, the slide locked back early several times when firing full power 180 grain factory loads and heavy handloads. Especially when, as noted above, there were 5 or fewer rounds left in the mag. Light handloads and Privi factory loads (very mild!) ran without problems. BTW these light loads also cycled properly in my 40 FS with a 20-lb ISMI spring installed.

There were no marks on the slide stop to indicate that it was being prematurely actuated by a round in the magazine.

I loaded up some "medium-heavy" 180 handloads and tried them this morning. These loads did not lock the slide early, but I did get the "jerky" slide return, as seen before, after the mag was partially emptied. This was also noted, to a lesser extent with the FS.

If anyone having this problem has access to some lighter loads or handloads, try some and see if your pistol runs smoothly.

The ideal solution would be a heavier slide stop spring, but I am not sure if one is currently available. In the meantime, I'm going to have to buy a spare slide stop assembly to play with and see if I'm on the right track.
You may be on to something. I didn't think much of it, but I also have been experiencing occasional slide lock backs. I thought that was an unrelated problem. Definitely worth some further investigation.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:25 PM
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So with the slide issue, I believe my 40c is MD compliant with the internal lock. Could this be any part of the issue and/or something else with the compliant weapons?
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:23 PM
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EXERCISINGTHE2ND, None of my M&Ps have the internal lock, so at least in my case they are a non-issue. I have not heard of any firing-related problems traced to the internal locks in the M&P series (unlike the revolver system).

I think the issue is more related to the "one size fits all" system in use for various parts of the M&P platform. Except for barrels and mags, pretty much every other part will interchange between the 9mm, .40 and .357 Sig, caliber pistols. Thats great for mass production; less so for tuning a pistol to different calibers of differing power levels. For example, the same strength recoil spring assembly is used for the above three calibers. Works, yes but probably not optimal.

Midway had slide stops in stock and I needed some other stuff anyway so I've got one on order. There are a few tweaks I want to try to confirm that the problem is actually related to the slide stop. I figured that if I screw it up, I still have the original one to reinstall.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:46 PM
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EXERCISINGTHE2ND, None of my M&Ps have the internal lock, so at least in my case they are a non-issue. I have not heard of any firing-related problems traced to the internal locks in the M&P series (unlike the revolver system).

I think the issue is more related to the "one size fits all" system in use for various parts of the M&P platform. Except for barrels and mags, pretty much every other part will interchange between the 9mm, .40 and .357 Sig, caliber pistols. Thats great for mass production; less so for tuning a pistol to different calibers of differing power levels. For example, the same strength recoil spring assembly is used for the above three calibers. Works, yes but probably not optimal.

Midway had slide stops in stock and I needed some other stuff anyway so I've got one on order. There are a few tweaks I want to try to confirm that the problem is actually related to the slide stop. I figured that if I screw it up, I still have the original one to reinstall.
The thing I find curious is if it turns out to be the slide stop then, in my case, why does the slide dragging issue only occur with the 10 round mag and not the 15 round mag?

Do you have both mag sizes? Does it happen with both or just one mag size?

Yesterday I measured the distance between the mag feed lips and found the 15 round mag was over 1/64 wider. I opened up the the feed lips on the 10 round mag and polished the surface. That seemed to make a difference when hand cycling rounds through the gun. I haven't been to the range with this mod, but hope to this week.

I wonder if the spring on the slide lock can be adjusted (tightened)?

I would think that if it is the slide lock, by installing a new one, the problem would temporarily go away.

It is sad, but I think the folks on this thread will solve this problem far faster than Smith & Wesson. When I sent mine in for this problem they polished the feed ramp and replaced the extractor and spring. I am not a gunsmith and I can tell you that their fix is nowhere near the right solution. It really irritates me when they don't even make a reasonable attempt at fixing a problem.

Please let us know what happens with the new slide lock.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:04 PM
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The thing I find curious is if it turns out to be the slide stop then, in my case, why does the slide dragging issue only occur with the 10 round mag and not the 15 round mag?

Do you have both mag sizes? Does it happen with both or just one mag size?

Yesterday I measured the distance between the mag feed lips and found the 15 round mag was over 1/64 wider. I opened up the the feed lips on the 10 round mag and polished the surface. That seemed to make a difference when hand cycling rounds through the gun. I haven't been to the range with this mod, but hope to this week.

I wonder if the spring on the slide lock can be adjusted (tightened)?

I would think that if it is the slide lock, by installing a new one, the problem would temporarily go away.

It is sad, but I think the folks on this thread will solve this problem far faster than Smith & Wesson. When I sent mine in for this problem they polished the feed ramp and replaced the extractor and spring. I am not a gunsmith and I can tell you that their fix is nowhere near the right solution. It really irritates me when they don't even make a reasonable attempt at fixing a problem.

Please let us know what happens with the new slide lock.
Maybe they didn't experience the same problem as you. How do you think they could fix something that isn't happening. I am a mechanic. I have plenty of customers come in with a complaint. I roAD TEST THE CAR AND IT DOESN'T EXHIBIT THE SYMPTOM, HOW DO I FIX IT? I don't doubt the customer.... but it happens. So maybe if you contact them again and really explain your concern in a respectful and sincere manner, you may get more help. Complaining over and over on a BB is not gonna fix it, nor does it give S&W a fair shake. I cannot imagine a technician experiencing a problem with your gun and ignoring it, that just does not make sense.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:14 PM
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So maybe if you contact them again and really explain your concern in a respectful and sincere manner, you may get more help. Complaining over and over on a BB is not gonna fix it, or does it give S&W a fair shake. I cannot imagine a technician experiencing a problem with your gun and ignoring it, that just does not make sense.
I would cut xzhync some slack. I can see both sides of the argument. S&W apparently only worked on his gun for approx 4 days. You'd think that if they couldn't find anything wrong they'd give him a call and ask for more information. Isn't that what you do as a mechanic? And on the other hand, yes it can be extremely difficult to troubleshoot something that is intermittent. But, I do think that if they had contacted him and asked for detail similar to what's posted in this thread, maybe they would have had better luck resolving the issue.

Just a thought...
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:19 PM
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I think the issue is more related to the "one size fits all" system in use for various parts of the M&P platform. Except for barrels and mags, pretty much every other part will interchange between the 9mm, .40 and .357 Sig, caliber pistols. Thats great for mass production; less so for tuning a pistol to different calibers of differing power levels. For example, the same strength recoil spring assembly is used for the above three calibers. Works, yes but probably not optimal.
Yes, I too find this disconcerting. My last pistol was a Glock G19. I load my own ammo and had about 5 different recoil springs I used for different loads. I try to do the same with the M&P 40c... no can do. The ONLY recoil spring available is the one that comes with it, which is also used in the 9mm and .357, as you mentioned. I don't like it. Had I realized that before I purchased the M&P, I probably would have looked elsewhere.

On another note, you all have given me some really good information on how to tackle this weird slide issue. I'm out of factory ammo and plan on hand loading some this week. I'll make some sub-sonic loads and see if that makes the problem go away.

Thanks for all of your feedback!

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Old 10-07-2012, 11:29 PM
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I would cut xzhync some slack. I can see both sides of the argument. S&W apparently only worked on his gun for approx 4 days. You'd think that if they couldn't find anything wrong they'd give him a call and ask for more information. Isn't that what you do as a mechanic? And on the other hand, yes it can be extremely difficult to troubleshoot something that is intermittent. But, I do think that if they had contacted him and asked for detail similar to what's posted in this thread, maybe they would have had better luck resolving the issue.

Just a thought...
When I sent my gun in I sent a very detailed letter explaining the issue. In the letter I told them that they absolutely needed to fire 4 or 5 mags to ensure that they experienced the problem. I wasn't there but I would be willing to bet the only rounds that were fired were fired after they polished the feed ramp and changed the extractor. I bet they only fired 4 or 5 rounds.

In the letter I provided my contact info in great deal and asked them to call me with any questions. They had my gun for almost 2 weeks, but it sat on the shelf for all, but part of a day. I know because I called several times.

I had several people at my local range fire the gun and each person said they felt it. If the technicians had fired it based on my request and fired it like people shoot at a range then I can't believe they didn't experience the issue.

I do believe this problem is tough to diagnose, but that doesn't mean they should make a silly attempt to fix it without calling me to discuss. As I said in a previous post it felt like they were just trying to get me to go away.

I admit I am venting. I am a bit frustrated. I would have expected a better effort out of them.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:51 PM
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I hear ya, xzhync. It does sound like you did everything right. I'm getting pretty frustrated as well. I NEVER had these kind of odd issues with my Glock. This gun does feel better in my hand, though, than the Glock, so I'm willing to go through the motions to try to resolve this... for a bit longer.

I tell you, it's embarassing at the range when people ask, "What is that you're firing?" I proudly tell them it's a Smith & Wesson M&P 40c, then they see me having issues with the slide sticking. They're probably thinking, "He should have bought the XDS instead."

Thanks again for sharing your experience in detail with us.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:37 AM
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The thing I find curious is if it turns out to be the slide stop then, in my case, why does the slide dragging issue only occur with the 10 round mag and not the 15 round mag?

Do you have both mag sizes? Does it happen with both or just one mag size?

Yesterday I measured the distance between the mag feed lips and found the 15 round mag was over 1/64 wider. I opened up the the feed lips on the 10 round mag and polished the surface. That seemed to make a difference when hand cycling rounds through the gun. I haven't been to the range with this mod, but hope to this week.

I wonder if the spring on the slide lock can be adjusted (tightened)?

I would think that if it is the slide lock, by installing a new one, the problem would temporarily go away.

It is sad, but I think the folks on this thread will solve this problem far faster than Smith & Wesson. When I sent mine in for this problem they polished the feed ramp and replaced the extractor and spring. I am not a gunsmith and I can tell you that their fix is nowhere near the right solution. It really irritates me when they don't even make a reasonable attempt at fixing a problem.

Please let us know what happens with the new slide lock.
The questions regarding why you only experience the problem with the smaller mag are good ones. It may be due to a difference on how the pistol recoils in your grip. The longer 15 rd mag gives you a better lever to counter the upward force of the recoil than the shorter 10 round mag.

As for myself, my chicken wrists probably add to my issues as I can replicate the issue on both my FS and C. The difference I see is that the FS does not lock back, just gets the occasional hesitation as the slide moves forward, depending on the load used.

I did shoot a 15 rd mag w/ X-grip in the compact, with full power loads I did get the slide hesitationas the mag approached empty but don't remember if it locked back early.

Anyone know how S&W tests their pistols returned for warranty work? Machine rest? Technician named Mongo?
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:42 PM
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I disassembled the frame last night and attempted to adjust the spring tension on the slide stop. I will try and test it this week.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:50 PM
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Fired 40c today at range. Fired 102 rounds and slide hung up and went into battery and sometimes not. IMHO I believe I isolated the problem to only one of my three mags. I could not get the problem with the other two mags. I will comment this is by far the stiffest mag springs of all the double stacks I have ever owned. I honestly feel it is a mag issue. Like a dummy I meant to mark the bad mag but forgot. Next range trip is this thursday so I will post again and see what happens. My round count is 252. My m&p has performed so well and fits my hand so well and I shoot it as good as can be so basically I intend to resolve this issue whatever it takes. What I am saying is I am in this for the long hall. I will fix it or s&w will. Frustrated as it is my edc but we will see....
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:48 PM
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I disassembled the frame last night and attempted to adjust the spring tension on the slide stop. I will try and test it this week.
Well, I went to the range today with my "fixes" and I am pleased to say that the slide drag appears to be gone. I am not sure if it was the work I did on the mag or the fact that I adjusted the spring tension on the slide stop lever...or both, but the gun is 100% better. I also brought a brand new 10 round mag with me which had never been used. With the new mag I felt some slide drag...but a little less than I was experiencing with the original 10 round mag. I measured the distance across the feed lips of the new mag and it was only a hair narrow compared to my 15 round mag which gives me no problems. I will try to adjust the new 10 round mag just like I did to the other one.

Anyway, it looks pretty good at this point.

By the way I used my 9mm barrel and 12 round 9mm mag today and the gun shot great, without a single issue. The gun almost makes a better 9mm than it does a 40 cal. I seem to be more accurate with it as a 9mm.

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Old 10-09-2012, 11:08 PM
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IMHO I believe I isolated the problem to only one of my three mags. I could not get the problem with the other two mags. I will comment this is by far the stiffest mag springs of all the double stacks I have ever owned. I honestly feel it is a mag issue.
I have an M&P9 FS born in 2006, which is when I bought it The new mags and mag springs are completely different and much stiffer than the mags that came with it and the extras I bought back then. It's not that they got used a ton either. It set in the factory case for the vast majority of the time until this year. I have it fired more in September and October than I did in the first five years I owned it.

I hope you or S&W get your problem resolved.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:50 PM
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Well, I went to the range today with my "fixes" and I am pleased to say that the slide drag appears to be gone. I am not sure if it was the work I did on the mag or the fact that I adjusted the spring tension on the slide stop lever...or both, but the gun is 100% better. I also brought a brand new 10 round mag with me which had never been used. With the new mag I felt some slide drag...but a little less than I was experiencing with the original 10 round mag. I measured the distance across the feed lips of the new mag and it was only a hair narrow compared to my 15 round mag which gives me no problems. I will try to adjust the new 10 round mag just like I did to the other one.

Anyway, it looks pretty good at this point.

By the way I used my 9mm barrel and 12 round 9mm mag today and the gun shot great, without a single issue. The gun almost makes a better 9mm than it does a 40 cal. I seem to be more accurate with it as a 9mm.
That's good to hear! How much did you tweak the slide stop spring?

My replacement slide stop and Apex parts should be here tomorrow. Unfortunately, due to family commitments, I probably won't get a chance to try it out immediately. If things work out, I may be able to get to the range Sunday.

Glad to hear the 9 mm set up works well for you. I have a 9C that has been dead nuts reliable, accurate and is my current CC weapon of choice.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:25 PM
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I'm just back from the range, where I did a little bit of testing myself. I had about 78 hand loaded 165 gr plated bullets with 6.4gr of Power Pistol, which I fired without any issues at all. The average velocity for this batch was 949.7 fps. I had 22 rounds of hand loaded 180 gr FMJ bullets with 7.4gr of HS-6, which caused a lot of problems. I had 4 mags of 5 rds each and one mag with 2 rds. In mag 2 and 4, the slide caught about 1/4 " before battery for a few seconds then went the rest of the way. Both times, though the striker wasn't reset, so I had to pull the slide back a bit to reset the trigger. On mag 6, this same thing happened on rd 1 but not rd 2. I then fired about 50 rds of 180gr American Eagle, without any issues at all. This was odd, because last time I was at the range (last week), all I fired was this same 180gr American Eagle, and it did the same 1/4" pause before battery about 6 times out of 50 rds.

On the 180gr hand loads, I did ensure that I had a good grip on the weapon at all times. The shots were fairly accurate, as well. I didn't get a velocity reading on any of the shots this time out, but last time I took the chrony with these same loads, the avg was about 1300fps.

With the 180gr factory ammo, I got an avg velocity of 812fps.

So... I believe this goes back to my earlier complaint that neither S&W, nor third parties, do not supply any optional recoil springs for this weapon. I think that maybe the 1300fps ammo is maybe too much for the supplied spring. Granted, this is a little hot for my taste anyway. I'll probably stick with the 165gr Power Pistol loads from now on, since they performed so well. I still have a LOT of 180gr FMJ's, so I'll just back off quite a bit on the HS-6 to see if I have better luck. The fact that I didn't have any problems with the same factory ammo that I did have problems with last week sort of leaves that piece of the puzzle inconclusive.

My next task is to mimic the changes that xzhyncmade to his mags and slide stop spring. I'll report back again after that (I usually go to the range once a week).
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:55 PM
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That's good to hear! How much did you tweak the slide stop spring?

My replacement slide stop and Apex parts should be here tomorrow. Unfortunately, due to family commitments, I probably won't get a chance to try it out immediately. If things work out, I may be able to get to the range Sunday.

Glad to hear the 9 mm set up works well for you. I have a 9C that has been dead nuts reliable, accurate and is my current CC weapon of choice.
I didn't adjust the spring much...just opened it up a bit to create a little more tension. Maybe 5 or 10 degrees. I can tell it made a difference. When pushing up on the slide stop (with the slide removed) it pops back in place with a little more authority now. It didn't seem all that bad before I adjusted the tension, but after the tweak I just can't imagine that the recoil could bounce it hard enough to move into the path of the returning slide.

I would also suggest working with your mags to reduce the spring tension a bit. Make sure the feed lips are wide enough to allow the round to be easily stripped off. Hand cycle a mag full rather slowly and watch the round feed into the chamber. To me it appears that the round needs to be able to move forward and a bit upward at the same time. The feed lips on the 10 round mag were about 1/32" narrower than on the 15 round mag. The narrower feed lips seemed to impede the ability of the round to move upward. I could be off base, but that was my observation. Once I shortened the mag spring to lower tension and opened the mag feed lips slightly (along with the adjustment to the slide stop spring) the problem went away. Now it cycles very smoothly. I mainly shot American eagle 165 gr fmj, but also shot some very hot Underwood 155 gr jhp's.

Last edited by xzhync; 10-10-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:49 AM
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I simply cleaned the **** out of my 40c and dissasembled and cleaned the mags. Oiled everthing perfectly. Shot 148 ppu hp bringing my round count to 350 total. The gun ran like a sewing machine. Accurate ashell from 5 to 40 feet. Trigger has become even smoother. Still cant handload mags so i have been using uplula loader. Do these springs ever get easier??
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:04 PM
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I appreciate the info. My parts showed up today, so I'll likely start with tweaking the slide stop spring in the manner you suggested. I'll try that prior to making any modifications to the magazines.

That way I can gauge the impact of each modification to see what makes the largest difference, if any.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:32 PM
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I appreciate the info. My parts showed up today, so I'll likely start with tweaking the slide stop spring in the manner you suggested. I'll try that prior to making any modifications to the magazines.

That way I can gauge the impact of each modification to see what makes the largest difference, if any.
I am looking forward to your assessment once you start applying fixes.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:17 PM
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I managed to get out briefly this morning, but the weather has been rainy and windy all weekend. Not conducive to much more than a quick function check.

I had tweaked the slide stop spring on both my compact and full size .40s. The FS also contained a new Apex Failure-resistant Extractor that had not been tested.

I fired 20 rounds of 180 grain Federal FMJ and approx the same amount of 180 grain Blazer Brass. An addional 5 rounds of Win PDX1 165 grainers were fired as well. The good news is that the premature slide stop lock back went away. I did, however feel a couple of the hesitations as the slide went forward, more so with the Federal than the Blazer. They seemed less abrupt than previously felt; that may have been due to the different lot of ammo (or me hoping it felt better).

No handloads were fired due to the generally foul weather.

The FS was also fired with approx the same amount and mix of loads. That pistol ran flawlessly during its brief test. Previously it was exhibiting some of the slide "hesitation" on the forward stroke, as well as damaging some case mouths on ejection, particularly with full power loads. Today the pistol cycled very smoothly with much improved ejection and no damaged case mouths.

I'm now considering popping the extractor off the compact to see if there are any burrs or sharp edges present. Perhaps something may be causing brass to briefly hang up as they start to slide under the extractor hook as they are chambered.

Conclusions so far indicate the slide stop spring is a causal factor in the premature slide engagement with a partially full magazine. The link to the hesitation or jerky forward slide movement is to me not as definite.

As stated above, my next step is to inspect the extractor and if necessary stone any burrs or sharp edges found. I will also check function with handloads of varying power levels when the weather cooperates.

If the problem persists then the next step is to look at adjusting the magazines.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:40 AM
jake1530 jake1530 is offline
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I have had my 40 since August, and it has been doing that infrequently since even with different shooters. I have narrowed it down to Federal Eagle 180 grain bullets, all other work great. Now I have a different problem. Sometimes when I load a magazine the slide moves forward by itself.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:23 AM
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Jake1350, When you have the slide auto-forward, how are you inserting a magazine? This condition is noted to happen when you seat a mag "forcefully". My M&Ps will sometimes do this when slamming a magazine home. Some more often than others.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:52 AM
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Regarding the slide motion I have experienced, after a month of tinkering with both my 40 FS and 40 C, I have made more or less a circle and have gone back to wrist support when shooting offhand as a major contributing factor.

The premature slide lock I had experienced with the compact disappeared after adding tension to the spring.

I shot quite a few rounds off an old plastic Hornady pistol rest over a chronograph, testing both .40 and .357 Sig loads. When pressing the pistol firmly into the rest, NO slide hesitation was felt when firing, regardless of the number of rounds in the mag or load fired.

When firing the same loads offhand, the heaviest loads would start to experience the "hesitation" with 5 or 6 rounds in the mag. When I deliberately left my wrist more "loose", the feeling of hesitation would worsen. Again, as I mentioned in a post above, my wrist strength is not the greatest to begin with.

I also had a moment of enlightenment the other night when unloading some full .40 mags after a cancelled range outing. As I started shucking the rounds out, spring tension was fairly light until there were six rounds left in the mag. The tension at that point actually seemed to increase dramatically. This was repeated in each of the mags, full size and compact that I was unloading, probably a dozen total. It appears that the shape of the mag body contributes to this condition. The five-round point is approx where the mag body starts to funnel down.

The increase in mag tension at that point would increase slide drag. Couple that with a "less than firm" grip and this would reduce slide travel and may account for the slide hesitation felt.

This may also confirm why reducing magazine spring tension by either clipping the springs as reported by some or repeated use results in improved operation.

Please try this for yourself and let me know what you think. Simply load the magazine to capacity. Slide the rounds out one at a time and note the approx force required to slide them out. If you feel a change, note how many rounds were left in the magazine when the change was felt.
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