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Old 04-04-2017, 11:13 AM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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I recently purchased a Shield 45. It was purchased as a CCW gun. I have put 150 rounds through it. I experienced the dreaded drop magazine 5 times. So, I'm on the forums and Youtube looking for possible fixes. It seems to be a commonly known issue since 2012 when the Shield first came out.

Being a "handy" person with some home smithing experience (built a 1911 from a 60% casting), I decided to take a look at improving the magazine issue.

I removed the magazine release and broke down the magazines. I noticed that the inserted magazine is held in place by a small area of the release.

This doesn't allow much margin for error to retain the magazine. But that shouldn't be the problem. The magazine drop issue seems to be a bit more random.

Next I looked at the follower as it travels near the magazine release. In that area the fit is tight. I realized that my drops occurred at or about round 3. This places the follower right next to the release.

I believe the recoil pulse coupled with pressure on the magazine base (problem seems worse in the extended round magazine) may cumulatively add up to a depressed magazine release. I noticed I do contact the magazine base with the support hand. The extended magazine acts as a longer lever.

I decided to experiment with the magazine. Magazines are way cheaper than a pistol. I had read that on the Shield 40 they would dimple the top lip of the magazine to resolve the issue. I used a 3/32 punch and carefully bent the top edge out for a bit more lip. In doing so, I did press a portion of the bottom edge into the magazine. I used a small file to take that edge off and keep it smooth inside the magazine.

On the magazine follower I noticed that where the metal plate is inserted there was a slight pucker to the plastic. I used some sand paper (220 and 1200 grit) to remove the protrusion and smooth out that area.

Now when the magazine is inserted it seems more positive. I test fired a couple of magazines to see if there was improvement. I had no issue. I'll be shooting another 100 rounds over the next few days and see if it is cured.

I believe that the magazine drop issues occur when all the factors above line up. The magazine release should have a slightly longer penetration into the magazine slot. The follower should be thinned a bit to avoid contact of the release.

I think the Shield design is a good one. It is certainly in a class by itself for cost versus value. The Shield 45 in incredibly accurate for such a small barrel. The recoil pulse is very manageable. With a few modifications it should be a favorite carry gun.
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2017, 02:51 PM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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Just an update, I just returned from the range. 250 rounds with no issues. Seems like the above was a fix for the magazine drops.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:12 PM
BillyMagg BillyMagg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryWoody View Post
I recently purchased a Shield 45. It was purchased as a CCW gun. I have put 150 rounds through it. I experienced the dreaded drop magazine 5 times. So, I'm on the forums and Youtube looking for possible fixes. It seems to be a commonly known issue since 2012 when the Shield first came out.

Being a "handy" person with some home smithing experience (built a 1911 from a 60% casting), I decided to take a look at improving the magazine issue.

I removed the magazine release and broke down the magazines. I noticed that the inserted magazine is held in place by a small area of the release.

This doesn't allow much margin for error to retain the magazine. But that shouldn't be the problem. The magazine drop issue seems to be a bit more random.

Next I looked at the follower as it travels near the magazine release. In that area the fit is tight. I realized that my drops occurred at or about round 3. This places the follower right next to the release.

I believe the recoil pulse coupled with pressure on the magazine base (problem seems worse in the extended round magazine) may cumulatively add up to a depressed magazine release. I noticed I do contact the magazine base with the support hand. The extended magazine acts as a longer lever.

I decided to experiment with the magazine. Magazines are way cheaper than a pistol. I had read that on the Shield 40 they would dimple the top lip of the magazine to resolve the issue. I used a 3/32 punch and carefully bent the top edge out for a bit more lip. In doing so, I did press a portion of the bottom edge into the magazine. I used a small file to take that edge off and keep it smooth inside the magazine.

On the magazine follower I noticed that where the metal plate is inserted there was a slight pucker to the plastic. I used some sand paper (220 and 1200 grit) to remove the protrusion and smooth out that area.

Now when the magazine is inserted it seems more positive. I test fired a couple of magazines to see if there was improvement. I had no issue. I'll be shooting another 100 rounds over the next few days and see if it is cured.

I believe that the magazine drop issues occur when all the factors above line up. The magazine release should have a slightly longer penetration into the magazine slot. The follower should be thinned a bit to avoid contact of the release.

I think the Shield design is a good one. It is certainly in a class by itself for cost versus value. The Shield 45 in incredibly accurate for such a small barrel. The recoil pulse is very manageable. With a few modifications it should be a favorite carry gun.
Good job and sound engineering diagnosis Woody,, one can only assume that Smith and Wesson have a difficult time managing tolerances and as you notice plastic is prone to deformity from the manufacturing processes.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:00 PM
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Interesting diagnosis and fix.

Do you notice any dragging from the protrusion you created on the magazine?
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:21 PM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
Interesting diagnosis and fix.

Do you notice any dragging from the protrusion you created on the magazine?
There is no drag on the magazine. There is actually quite a bit of room. There was some drag on the follower at first thats why I sanded it down a few thousands. I used a socket driver to push the follower ( A screwdriver would work didn't want to leave a mark) and make sure the travel was smooth.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryWoody View Post

I decided to experiment with the magazine. Magazines are way cheaper than a pistol. I had read that on the Shield 40 they would dimple the top lip of the magazine to resolve the issue. I used a 3/32 punch and carefully bent the top edge out for a bit more lip. In doing so, I did press a portion of the bottom edge into the magazine. I used a small file to take that edge off and keep it smooth inside the


I'm not following on this portion above. Where on the magazine did you bend it out with the punch?

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:13 PM
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I'm going to hold my thoughts on this. The mag should work without modification.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:29 AM
BKDinTexas BKDinTexas is offline
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It should work, but it didn't and he diagnosed and fixed it himself instead of all the hassle of sending it back. Kudos!

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Old 04-15-2017, 09:42 AM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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I'm not following on this portion above. Where on the magazine did you bend it out with the punch?

Thanks
I punched out the top part of the slot in the magazine that the magazine release goes into. Just a little bit. It gives more purchase for the magazine catch.

In researching cause/fix I found that the Shield 40 had the same issues. In reading threads where guys sent in their pistols to S&W they came back with the magazines punched out at the mag slot.

Ideally, The magazine release needs to seat more into the magazine. Mine was very close to the edge. Add to the pressure of my support hand pressing the base of the magazine in the pistol to the right (makes the magazine pull a bit to the left, like a lever), add the magazine follower passing the location and recoil and I think that added up to release.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:57 PM
OU 812 OU 812 is offline
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Make sense to me.

Could you post a picture of the modified magazine close up of the area that you bent outward?
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:07 PM
Aldonola Aldonola is offline
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Great public service. Has not been an issue for me but I know what to look out for now!


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Old 04-15-2017, 03:17 PM
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It should work, but it didn't and he diagnosed and fixed it himself instead of all the hassle of sending it back. Kudos!
I agree. He found an issue and resolved it.

The only problem I have here is that this will now need to be done with every mag. I don't know about you guys, but I buy new mags now and then. Sure, it's easy enough to do, but it shouldn't need to be done. I don't have to do this with any gun I have, including the Shield.

Could it be a user issue? Could the support hand be accidentally hitting the mag release?
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:51 PM
Ross3914 Ross3914 is offline
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Have you had any issues with the slide not locking back due to thinning the follower?
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:56 PM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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Have you had any issues with the slide not locking back due to thinning the follower?
Not at all. I only took off a very little and smooth it out. It actually slides in the magazine very well. I smoothed over any sharp edges and lightly lubed. Slick as butter.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:03 PM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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I agree. He found an issue and resolved it.

The only problem I have here is that this will now need to be done with every mag. I don't know about you guys, but I buy new mags now and then. Sure, it's easy enough to do, but it shouldn't need to be done. I don't have to do this with any gun I have, including the Shield.

Could it be a user issue? Could the support hand be accidentally hitting the mag release?
I agree completely! It seems to me that Smith and Wesson is doing what it can to use the same parts in all the Shields. Keeps costs down but there is subtle differences.

These are assembled from parts pistols. All made within tolerances but tolerances are only as good as the highs and lows. For the price I can forgive.

Based on the lead time of S&W warranty fixes (6 weeks or so) I'd rather work the problem and know what I have. If this was a Wilson Combat or such that I paid $2 grand or so, I'd make them do it.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:07 PM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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Make sense to me.

Could you post a picture of the modified magazine close up of the area that you bent outward?
I did post a pic of the magazine. I just bent out the top of the magazine slot just a bit. It gives the mag release a bit more to grab onto. I have two Shield 45's. The modified mag feels more positive in contact. The other Shield I'm leaving stock until my wife bonds with mine or I sell it off NIB after June.

Shield 45 Magazine Drop Issue Mods-img_1087-jpg

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Old 04-15-2017, 04:22 PM
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I have at least six mags. Have lost count, once I have at least six for every different caliber gun. I don't have a problem with the 45 Shield dropping mags. Kind of like the slide never staying open after the last round is fired. As long as I know where my thumbs should be, it stays open every time. When the thumb is in the wrong place, it will fail to stay open nearly 100% of the time.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryWoody View Post
It seems to me that Smith and Wesson is doing what it can to use the same parts in all the Shields. Keeps costs down but there is subtle differences.

These are assembled from parts pistols.
Are you sure about that? I don't think parts from the 40S&W or 9mm will interchange with the .45.


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Based on the lead time of S&W warranty fixes (6 weeks or so)...
Indeed, I understand the waiting issue. However, I've sent a couple pistols back for various reasons and they've always been back at my door within 2 weeks. I suspect the 6 week number is just to give them a little padding.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:11 AM
Ray M Ray M is offline
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My Shield .45 was back at S&W for over 6 weeks, and all they did was replace both mag followers. I'm taking it out today, but I have a hard time believing I just happened to have 2 bad mag followers causing mag drops. What exactly was wrong with the original followers? Bad lot? Bad design? My guess is I'm gonna be dropping mags today, but maybe oversized followers were hitting the mag catch. I'll see today and report back. Sorry for the skepticism, but this is my first experience with a S&W product, and I'm seeing too many posts with this particular problem with many people on their 3rd return to the factory. Hoping I am not on the same track.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:00 PM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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My Shield .45 was back at S&W for over 6 weeks, and all they did was replace both mag followers. I'm taking it out today, but I have a hard time believing I just happened to have 2 bad mag followers causing mag drops. What exactly was wrong with the original followers? Bad lot? Bad design? My guess is I'm gonna be dropping mags today, but maybe oversized followers were hitting the mag catch. I'll see today and report back. Sorry for the skepticism, but this is my first experience with a S&W product, and I'm seeing too many posts with this particular problem with many people on their 3rd return to the factory. Hoping I am not on the same track.
Ray, I hear you. I think the root of the problem is they need a stiffer magazine catch spring. The wire that is the spring is too easily moved. Not enough left pressure. I did look at modifying the spring but as it is integrated into the frame I looked at modifying the cheap parts.

Hopefully, they worked out your issue. As I mentioned above, I think it is a combo of things that cause the release. Seems to have worked on mine. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:45 PM
Ray M Ray M is offline
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I agree. Seems like a bunch of tolerance stacking issues. I was eyeballing that spring too! Definitely a tad weak. I may wind up punching the mag frame as well as a workaround. Hate to do that on a carry gun for a bunch of reasons. Only other option is to keep sending it back or trading for a steep loss. Hope I get lucky.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:54 PM
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I once again put a lot of ammo through the 45 ACP Shield on Saturday. I was just waiting for the unexpected mag drop (since I'm now aware of a problem). The mag, as before, never dropped before I wanted it to. A friend also shot it. No mag drop. He was there to try out his new 9mm Shield. It didn't drop a mag either.

As far as seeing too many posts, on this particular problem, it's a false perception of reality. One might assume from reading a few posts, that it's widespread. They might assume it's bad design. From all of the very positive Shield 45 reports I've seen during this last year, since it became available, this mag drop problem would be a mere fraction of sales.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:02 PM
ScaryWoody ScaryWoody is offline
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If you do punch it, just the top needs the lip. Go from the side. I initially used a flathead screwdriver and it pryed it up good put depressed the lower side. Had to file.
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryWoody View Post
If you do punch it, just the top needs the lip. Go from the side. I initially used a flathead screwdriver and pried it up (outwards) but it also depressed the lower side that I leveraged against.. Had to file that lower side down a touch.
Worked on yer post a bit.

Mine dont drop.....but darn good work

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Old 04-19-2017, 07:02 PM
Ray M Ray M is offline
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I'm pleased to report that punching is not needed in my case. It would appear that the folks at S&W made me whole with the new mag followers....despite my initial skepticism. I just ran through 220 rounds including Rem UMC FMJ, Blazer FMJ, Golden Sabre, and Federal HST. Absolutely flawless operation. Zero mag drops or any other malfunctions. Deadly accurate at 10 yards and I wasn't even trying to be precise. Before I sent it in, both mags were dropping every time. Weird that it took 150 to start occurring. I wish they would have sent the old followers back to me to compare. I am really curious if there was an obvious difference. I will go ahead and buy more mags and test them out. In any case, looks like I can trust my life to it with confidence. I'm happy to say that. It's a nice pistol and made in the USA.
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