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  #1  
Old 10-25-2019, 12:06 PM
Bigborgel Bigborgel is offline
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Bought a new 380 EZ and on the first 2 times out, it was fine, today, on the third time out, about 15-20% of last rounds in the mag stovepiped, and 2 light strikes, both of which fired on their second try. I've heard that the S-P's are a magazine issue and I should be looking to install stiffer springs in the mags.
Can anyone tell me where and from whom to buy these springs?
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:41 PM
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If it is brand new, why not contact SW to see about different mags or springs? Just thinking out loud.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:56 PM
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If it is brand new, why not contact SW to see about different mags or springs? Just thinking out loud.
I worked with Smith from January until August of this year trying to sort out the last round stovepipe issue with my EZ. Bottom line is that when the (already weak) mag springs wear and the sloppy fit of the mag in the mag well allow too much movement, the last round issues occur. Result is either a live round stovepipe or a live round completely ejected from the gun. Good luck getting it fixed...I've given up.
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:54 AM
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What ammo were you using?
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:52 PM
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I was using Privi-Partisan.
After reading the very long thread about this issue, I feel that it is caused by 2 issues. One The mag spring is too weak, and two, the lips on the mag tops are too open, and do not push the shell forward, but rather, push it upwards resulting in a stovepipe. I will be calling SW this coming week to get new springs.
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:04 PM
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What ammo were you using?
I've used 8 different brands. Makes no difference.
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:35 PM
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Just guessing, but I wonder if it is the mag spring? The guns slide is picking up the last round, not riding over it like it might in a gun with a weak mag spring (think chopped 1911's, and how a weak mag spring combined w/ fast slide speeds results un the slide overriding the last round)

It sounds like its more an "angle" issue, either caused by slop in the mag fitment, or the mag lips are off.

Those are the two things I would look at first, anyway.

I am not sure how hot PPU loads its .380 ammo, but a milder domestic brand might be more reliable if it is a weak mag spring, as the slower slide speed would give the gun a little more time to pick up the next round out of the mag.

Larry

Last edited by Fishinfool; 10-26-2019 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:47 PM
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I gave up on mine, traded for MP compact 9 2.0 3.6
No more problems.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:24 PM
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It doesn't make sense that a weak spring would cause the stove pipe issues. If anything, it would be a combination of too strong a spring and open feed lips. It could also be a design flaw in the follower. This is a very common problem with the 380EZ.

The light strikes are completely different. On that issue you should definitely call S&W.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:40 PM
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There is a product advisory out there, not sure if this has anything to do with it.

M&P(R)380 SHIELD™ EZ™ Consumer Advisory Serial Number Lookup | Smith & Wesson

But it only affects the models with thumb safety.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:18 PM
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My wife's EZ has not had a single last-round stovepipe since I put a spent casing in the mag between the bottom of the spring and the base plate retainer.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
It doesn't make sense that a weak spring would cause the stove pipe issues. If anything, it would be a combination of too strong a spring and open feed lips. It could also be a design flaw in the follower. This is a very common problem with the 380EZ. ...
I thought it was too strong a spring problem at first, but I'm convinced the spring is too weak and with minimal wear the issues can show up. I'm also convinced the mag well allows too much movement of the magazine near the slide. The combination is the problem. The feed lips and followers may also be a problem, but I think the first items I mentioned are the real cause. Design flaw is believable.

Last edited by christak; 10-27-2019 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gc70 View Post
My wife's EZ has not had a single last-round stovepipe since I put a spent casing in the mag between the bottom of the spring and the base plate retainer.
This makes sense to me... Wish there was a stronger mag spring available for the EZ.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:55 PM
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There is a product advisory out there, not sure if this has anything to do with it.

M&P(R)380 SHIELD™ EZ™ Consumer Advisory Serial Number Lookup | Smith & Wesson

But it only affects the models with thumb safety.
Has nothing to do with it.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:02 AM
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Update: Called S&W, spoke with a C/S rep and explained my issue,(stovepipes), she said they would send me 2 revised spring rate springs. I'll install them and see if there is any improvement. Not feeling very optimistic, may go with the spent shell option.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:26 AM
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Update: Called S&W, spoke with a C/S rep and explained my issue,(stovepipes), she said they would send me 2 revised spring rate springs. I'll install them and see if there is any improvement. Not feeling very optimistic, may go with the spent shell option.
Please let us know if the springs have yellow paint on them (or maybe some new color). The original springs had no paint...the revised have yellow paint on the first few coils. Interested to know if they have revised a second time.
The first revision wasn't the answer... Good luck!
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by christak View Post
Please let us know if the springs have yellow paint on them (or maybe some new color). The original springs had no paint...the revised have yellow paint on the first few coils. Interested to know if they have revised a second time.
The first revision wasn't the answer... Good luck!
Second this. Lots of us here would like to know how this works out.
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:52 PM
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Second this. Lots of us here would like to know how this works out.
Agreed lots of concerns on this here............
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:01 PM
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S&W sent me two new springs w/yellow paint. The two that came with EZ had yellow paint. They also sent a new mag. yellow on the spring. They sent two new followers. Exactly the same as the ones in the first mags. Out of 21 rds. with new springs one stove pipe. The new springs arrived at 5 3/8" long. After being installed a while they have set at 4 7/8". First mag. springs have set at 4 3/4" after a longer time. A pistol that will be an EDC will need to be loaded for quite some time with the spring compressed. I have three mags. loaded w/7 rounds just waiting for a period of time before using them to see how they work in the pistol and if they take more of a set. In spite of all this I believe the fault lies with the follower as much as with the spring. Christak, just like you I hate to give up on this thing. Maybe someday S&W will come up with an answer. Quick
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christak View Post
I thought it was too strong a spring problem at first, but I'm convinced the spring is too weak and with minimal wear the issues can show up. I'm also convinced the mag well allows too much movement of the magazine near the slide. The combination is the problem. The feed lips and followers may also be a problem, but I think the first items I mentioned are the real cause. Design flaw is believable.
What makes you convinced that a weaker spring will push the round up more and cause the last round to become a stove pipe?
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:58 AM
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I don't believe the weaker spring pushes the round up as much as it allows the top round to be tipped up as the slide passes over the round on its way back, pushing the back rim of the round down and thereby causing the bullet end to rise on the follower creating a stove pipe as the slide tries to go back in to battery. There is a video on another thread showing the round beginning to stand up as the slide is still retracting. The flat surface on the follower does not let the back rim of the round drop down enough to be contained in the mag. lips. The "Tiddily Winks" affect. My three new springs have taken a set to 4 7/8 from 5 1/4 from just setting loaded for a while. Seem to be flimsy springs compared to other pistols. Quick
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:40 AM
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Default Simple Solution!

I dumped mine. No more problems. Fought with it near a year and finally realized that between me and S&W we were no closer to solving things.
Carefully explained to the purchaser what the problem was because I did not want to unduly burden a fellow gun guy.
Carry on men.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:13 PM
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Below is a description of a seemingly identical problem involving 1911s:
Quote:
The classic Bolt Over Base misfeed…sometimes referred to as the “Live Round Stovepipe.”

Here, the cartridge doesn’t get into feeding position in time to meet the slide. The lower edge of the breechface catches the case in the extractor groove. The butt-end of the round is pushed down, and the nose goes up. The case is caught between the slide and the barrel hood…and is standing more or less straight up, mocking you and laughing defiantly.

This is a magazine spring problem, pure and simple. Often made worse by overspringing the slide. Simple explanation…The slide literally outruns the magazine. More likely to happen near or on the last round when spring load is at a minimum.
At the very least, the above provides something to look for when you have a last-round stovepipe: is the base of the case scratched or scored where it was hit by the edge of the breechface?
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:57 PM
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I dumped mine. No more problems. Fought with it near a year and finally realized that between me and S&W we were no closer to solving things.
Carefully explained to the purchaser what the problem was because I did not want to unduly burden a fellow gun guy.
Carry on men.
Interesting. When my S&W 1911 had an issue they could not resolve after two times back to the factory, they offered me three solutions:
  • Send it back again to see if they could fix it on the third time.
  • Trade it for a different gun.
  • Get a refund.

I took the refund and didn't look back. It took about two weeks, but a check arrived in the mail for the full purchase price including tax.

Did they offer you a refund?
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:08 PM
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What makes you convinced that a weaker spring will push the round up more and cause the last round to become a stove pipe?
Quick's explanation is what I believe to be correct. The weaker spring is allowing the last round to move during recoil. It's tipping up (flopping up because it is not held tight enough) prior to the slide picking up the round to be chambered (partially due to the sloppy fit of the mag in the mag well). There is a video that illustrated this occurring on the other lengthy thread discussing the stovepipe issue.
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:07 PM
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I have had zero issues with mine but am starting to get concerned with the amount of complaints that are continuing to show up. The lack of correction from S&W is also concerning. The gun is perfect for the intended purpose (weaker shooter) but must have reliable performance to truly have a positive impact. If you have concerns or high frustration get rid of the gun (IMO).

Last edited by sotexas; 11-04-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:14 PM
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Do have concerns and frustrated. It did seem perfect for the purpose having carpal tunnel problems and arthritis. Too old and too stubborn to give up. I hate to try to sell someone else the problems. Hanging in hoping for best. Old saying, "Wish I one hand ---- in the other and see which one gets filled up first". Quick
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepnez View Post
I have had zero issues with mine but am starting to get concerned with the amount of complaints that are continuing to show up. The lack of correction from S&W is also concerning. The gun is perfect for the intended purpose (weaker shooter) but must have reliable performance to truly have a positive impact. If you have concerns or high frustration get rid of the gun (IMO).
May be best to put the number of complaints in context with the number sold. The Sig P365 also has it's detractors but there is something in the neighborhood of 600,000 out there.
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:24 PM
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Guys,

This may be a POSSIBLE fix for the 380 EZ stovepiping problem:

Let me start out by saying that I am not a gunsmith nor do have any affiliation with S&W. I'm a retired mechanical engineer who loves my S&W 380 EZ except for stovepiping the last live round. I bought the gun in June 2019 and run about 30% stovepiping (or ejecting) the last live round.

I have read just about everything on the internet regarding this problem and have tried spring spacers and different ammo. Nothing eliminated the problem but may have reduced it slightly.

As I looked closely at it I began to suspect the problem might be with the orange follower in the magazine. Basically I think the follower is too slippery on that last round and is causing the last round to stovepipe (or eject).

To see if I was right, I stuck small pieces of very fine sandpaper (220 grit) on the top of the follower on all four of my magazines. Tried it out at the range and had zero issues. Ran the 4 magazines through the gun for over 20 times total; everything worked just fine.

I will continue to test my “fix”, but would appreciate any feedback from anyone else who wishes to try it too. If enough others have success, maybe we have found a simple fix for this annoying problem. Perhaps S&W could roughen up the surface of the follower and fix the problem for good.

"Phil"
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:47 PM
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Would be interesting to see if sufficiently scuffing the follower would help as well...
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:08 PM
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Maybe a small piece of grip tape stuck on the follower, would be easy to do.

Last edited by iowaMallard; 02-04-2020 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:46 PM
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I have been dealing with this since I bought the gun! Going to trade it in and go back to the 9MM M&P!!
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc70 View Post
My wife's EZ has not had a single last-round stovepipe since I put a spent casing in the mag between the bottom of the spring and the base plate retainer.
I'll have to remember this trick if mine presents similar problems mentioned in this thread.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:54 PM
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I just bought the 9MM EZ. Haven’t shot it yet but watched many videos on YouTube. No sign of the stove piping issue with the 9MM as there was with the .380. If you watch the Jerry Miculec video on the 9 EZ, he specifically points out the magazines have an indent on the top back just below the follower to prevent the rounds from moving. He refers to it twice in the short video. I believe that is the fix and S&W realized it which is why the 9MM mag was designed that way. If that is the case they should be either recalling all .380 mags or just send two newly redesigned mags to each owner with proof of purchase.

Last edited by kbm6893; 02-08-2020 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:10 PM
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After reading the above post and others, it seems there is somewhat of a consensus that the mag spring is to weak. gc70’s solution looks like it bears this out.
With the wealth of knowledge that exist on this forum, has any one looked into trying a 380 mag spring from another gun manufacturer? There are a lot of 380s on the market. The width wouldn’t be a problem and there are any number of 8 round mags out there that seem to work in other guns.
Just a thought!

Be SAFE and Shoot Often!

Last edited by Execpro; 02-08-2020 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:10 PM
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Default 380 EZ Stovepiping POSSIBLE Fix...Update

Guys,

Just following up on my post of 2-4-2020 regarding a fix for the 380 EZ stovepiping.

I have been back to the range using my "sandpaper" fix and I am happy to report that I have run my four magazines through the gun 30 more times and have experienced zero problems. This makes a total of 50+ times I have tested the fix and it seems to work. I used to get a stovepipe on the last round about 30% of the time; zero in the last 50 tests.

I agree that grip tape or roughing the surface with sandpaper may also work. I'm going to get another magazine, see if it stovepipes, and if so, try roughing the surface with sandpaper and retrying.

If anyone else has tried this, let us know if it worked for you or not. I am so happy that this annoying problem is over for me.

Phil
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:19 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Phil - did you glue a piece of sandpaper to the follower? How big of a piece did you use? I can't help but to think that a loose piece of sandpaper could lead to a jam of some sort. I like the concept of the .380EZ but I'm holding off until this last-round-issue is resolved ... hopefully by the factory!!
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:57 PM
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Ok, based on Phil's apparent success I have scuffed up 4 of my extra EZ followers with 100 and 150 grit sandpaper and then scored the tops of the followers with a sharp screw making small ridges across the thin dimension of the follower top. The bottom line is I have tried to increase the friction on the follower (without gluing sandpaper to the follower). I'm hoping to get to the range tomorrow or Thursday to test these followers along with some other testing of some "double springed" EZ magazines. I'll test the magazines independently (scuffed followers and then double springed mags). If neither of those work, I may try the combination of both scuffed followers and double springs... Should at least make for an interesting range session. We'll see.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:05 PM
Phil Lockwood Phil Lockwood is offline
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GeoJelly- Yes, I attached a small piece of fine sandpaper to the top of the orange follower. It is approx. .25 inch by .875 inch; I used double backed tape but I am sure glue or contact cement would also work but might be a little messy to work with. So far, none of them have come loose nor even shifted.

I agree with you, I hope S&W fixes the problem but this may give them a place to start. IMHO, the final fix should be a follower with a .375 inch diameter projecting upward (like a cartridge) and a rough surface. The added diameter will mimic a cartridge and the rough surface will prevent stovepiping. The additional height will give a little more spring pressure that some have found helps, too.

Looking forward to hearing cristak's results.

Phil
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:32 PM
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Ok, I just returned from the range where I fired 350 rounds of Speer Lawman ammo. More than 250 rounds were fired 3 rounds per magazine. I fired about 100 rounds testing the 4 double-springed magazines. 3 of those magazines had double "yellow paint" springs and 1 had both my original non-painted springs in the magazine. Long story short is I had 1 occurrence of a live round standing straight up in the ejection port (stovepipe) in the non-painted double-springed magazine. The other three double-springed mags functioned flawlessly albeit with a max capacity of 7 rounds. (The non-painted springs were far weaker than the painted springs, so I'm not surprised that if there was going to be a problem, that mag would have it.)
Then I tested a scuffed up follower with a single non-painted spring (from the mag where the stovepipe had occurred). I fired approximately 130 rounds 3 per magazine through the gun. No issues at all. I also fired a couple of fully loaded 8-round mags. Again, no issues. I inserted a 2nd scuffed follower into a 2nd magazine with a single painted spring. I fired over 90 rounds 3 per magazine through the gun as well as a fully loaded 8-round mag. Again, no issues at all when using the scuffed followers.
I should note that none of my testing today was done with the new springs that I just received from Smith. The springs used today had all been in mags that had experienced at least occasional stovepipes during previous range sessions.

I feel like scuffing the follower to increase friction definitely helps the stovepipe issue we've been experiencing. I suspect the scuffing might have to be repeated periodically as more rounds are cycled through the mags...I think the rounds feeding on the follower will smooth the follower surface after some time.

I think the double springing using the yellow painted Smith springs is another viable option and likely longer lasting than simply scuffing the followers. Using a scuffed follower in a double-springed magazine is likely overkill, but is certainly an option if you are still having stovepipe issues using just scuffing or just using double springs. YMMV

Great job, Phil, suggesting the "add friction to the follower" approach!

Last edited by christak; 02-26-2020 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:18 PM
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Every now and then I think about buying a 380 to repla e the colt I used to have - Then I read a thread like this and come back to my senses.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:00 PM
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Christak, could you elaborate some on haw you "scuffed: the follower? Maybe post a picture or two so I can see how you did it.

Thanks,

Rick
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:04 PM
.45mtngun .45mtngun is offline
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Gentlemen
Some food for though for your problem. A few years ago while shooting a 1911, I was starting to get live round "stove pipes" on the last round of the mag and some were clearing the slide. Upon inspection, the mag spring seemed weak. I put in another mag that felt stronger and the problem ceased.
The second example relates to what Phil Lockwood mentioned. I had an Enfield hunting rifle I had polished the follower pretty bright to ensure good feeding. Up running some dummy rounds made up of brass cases and hunting bullets, (no powder!), the last round would eject out as the bolt was pushed fore ward as if chambering a round normally. I replaced the follower with a slightly rougher finisher one, no more problems with last round feeding. Different guns but both examples seem to tie into your problem.
Thanks for your time,
Jim
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricrock View Post
Christak, could you elaborate some on haw you "scuffed: the follower? Maybe post a picture or two so I can see how you did it.

Thanks,

Rick
Not sure how clear these photos will look, but I used 100 and 150 grit sandpaper to remove the shiny surface from the follower by rubbing across the short dimension of the follower. I then used a sharp screw to score the follower across the short dimension in hopes of making some deeper cuts to increase friction. Took very little time/effort to rough up the surface.
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christak View Post
Not sure how clear these photos will look, but I used 100 and 150 grit sandpaper to remove the shiny surface from the follower by rubbing across the short dimension of the follower. I then used a sharp screw to score the follower across the short dimension in hopes of making some deeper cuts to increase friction. Took very little time/effort to rough up the surface.
Is there benefit to a rough follower surface forward of the point where the feed lips release the round or would it suffice to texture only the back half of the follower?
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:12 AM
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Is there benefit to a rough follower surface forward of the point where the feed lips release the round or would it suffice to texture only the back half of the follower?
I did the whole top of the follower, but you may not need to do the whole thing. I would definitely try to increase friction along all portions of the follower that make contact with the round.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:30 PM
Ricrock Ricrock is offline
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Thanks Christak, I get the idea a lot clearer.
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:54 PM
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I would like to see a poll of owners of the .380 EZ and how many of them have the "magazine" problem or don't have the problem.
I for one don't have any problems as described. And a lot of videos I see the makers don't have the problem either.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trikerdon View Post
I would like to see a poll of owners of the .380 EZ and how many of them have the "magazine" problem or don't have the problem.
I for one don't have any problems as described. And a lot of videos I see the makers don't have the problem either.
Done!

.380 EZ Feeding Problem Poll
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
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I would like to see a poll of owners of the .380 EZ and how many of them have the "magazine" problem or don't have the problem.
I for one don't have any problems as described. And a lot of videos I see the makers don't have the problem either.
Might also be interesting to know how many owners have fired more than two or three boxes of ammo through their 380 EZ handguns.

I agree that there are many that haven't reported having the issue. But reported or not, if you have the issue, it's pretty darned annoying. I've fired 4200 rounds through my EZ and worked with Smith for 7 straight months (January through August 2019) trying to resolve the issue with my EZ. I have/had basically given up, but contacted Smith "again" earlier this month just to see if they had any new ideas. All they offered was "more replacement springs".

One of the other members of this forum actually fabricated a couple of his own followers out of metal months ago to try to solve the problem. These recent scuffing the follower and double-springed magazine approaches are just two more last ditch efforts by frustrated EZ owners that (at least in my opinion) have been abandoned by Smith. YMMV
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