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Old 05-22-2016, 01:52 AM
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Exclamation SD40VE ~1600 rds, broken frame/slide takedown lever issue

I've run into another issue with my SD40VE. I've got around 1,600 rounds through it, and after my most recent trip to the range this week, the takedown lever stays depressed after putting the slide on. When I pull the trigger (dry-firing of course) the slide comes right off. If the slide is pulled back and cocked, then the slide stays on, because the trigger needs to be pulled in order to takedown the sdve. What appears to be happening, is the guide rod is hitting against the takedown lever and preventing the lever from coming back up and locking the slide on.

After examining, and comparing to a friend's sd40ve, I noticed that there are supposed to be tabs in front of the takedown lever, which apparently stop the guide rob from touching the takedown lever. On mine, those tabs have broken off.

I did install a Galloway stainless steel guide rod with a 20 lb spring, but I installed that at around the 200 round mark, so I've fired around 1,300 rounds with the Galloway guide rod installed.

I'm pretty sure my only option is to send it in to S&W for repair/replacement. But, I was curious if anyone else has experience this issue, and also to make others aware of the issue and to keep an eye on those tabs. They don't appear to be very sturdy and look to break off very easily.

I've included photos that show what I'm talking about:








Last edited by Sidnne; 05-22-2016 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:30 AM
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Yep.

Just happened to mine the other day. I can't say that I noticed anything missing, but I have the same problem. 1100rds through and about 250rds with the Galloway 22#

I've also noticed that because the spring has been hammering on the takedown plate, the plate has started hammering on the frame and started mushrooming the polymer.

I've found that I can get it back in place if I smack it a couple times, but, well, that is less than ideal.

I haven't contacted S&W yet because, well, it's my only carry weapon.


Also happened to this guy

He just got his back this week, was without for 51 days
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:33 PM
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Actually, I forget I stippled my frame

Warranty Void. F.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:41 PM
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here you can see I've only broken one tab

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Old 05-22-2016, 01:19 PM
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It looks to me like using a metal guide rod is a bad idea, as they apparently chew away the plastic tabs during recoil. I was just talking about a slight change in recent-production SD frames in another thread, so I wonder if S&W has addressed this issue as well? I might have to go back to the gun shop that has the new SD9VE and ask them if I can quickly field-strip it and look inside. You would think with all the SW and SD pistols Smith & Wesson has sold if this was a design flaw they'd have noticed it by now.

Last edited by dsk; 05-22-2016 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:20 PM
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Thanks everyone for the warning. My SD40VE has been reliable and problem-free as of now but does not have nearly the round count yet. After taking off my slide I can see the 2 plastic tabs that are missing in the above photos. I can see how a steel guider I'd my break those tabs over time. I mostly leave my defensive pistols stock to avoid things that might void it's warranty.
BTW, the man in the included youtube video has a follow-up video date 2 days ago. It seems that S&W replaced his whole pistol for free...and his SD40VE didn't look stock either. You may want to give it a try and send it in.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:57 PM
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Very glad that I haven't modified my SD9VE. If you look back through the posts on various threads, their is quite a bit of discussion about spring rate and something generally overlooked, pre-load.

In particular I suggest looking at posts by OKFC05, which include analysis of several spring system factors, including a link to the company that makes the S&W springs.

(He has a physics background and is very good at systems analysis. This may cause some folks to skip over his analyses but he does provide a scientific and un-biased analysis of gun actions.)

About those tabs, I finally found them because I wondered where the rear of the spring is held, and it clearly those tabs that metal guide rods seem to attack if there is a hard hit at recoil.

Last edited by ou1954; 05-22-2016 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:56 PM
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I had to get out my 9mm to see what you're talking about. It also has those tabs.

I know both rods would ride the same, and the stock plastic rod will have some give, but wouldn't a heavier spring force the rod, whether plastic or metal to impact the tabs more due to it's stronger pressure under recoils.

Will this become a "do not use" debate of metal guide rods or heavier recoil springs?

Will S&W have anything to say about this being an issue or are we all alone until it happens and word gets out that S&W then starts saying VOIDED WARRANTY due to using aftermarket part years later---after everybody used the part?

Remember, the frame of a SD-VE model "IS" the FFL registered part.

I know it's happened with Hi-Point carbines where people----for years, used ATI stocks and then HP starts saying no more warranty work if an ATI stock is/was used.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nothing View Post
Actually, I forget I stippled my frame

Warranty Void. F.
I wouldn't see S&W 'voiding' your warranty for you stippling the frame, if using a non-S&W steel guide rod damaged the frame.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
You would think with all the SW and SD pistols Smith & Wesson has sold if this was a design flaw they'd have noticed it by now.
It's not a 'design flaw' if it doesn't happen until you put an aftermarket part into the pistol.

Not trying to make you feel bad, but *why* change out the OEM guide rod & spring (aside from replacing the spring after high round count)? What advantage does a steel guide rod provide?
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TriumphMan View Post
I had to get out my 9mm to see what you're talking about. It also has those tabs.

<snip>

Any thoughts?
I took a look to see, in my SD9VE, what supports those tabs and what physically stops the slide if you rack it all the way back.

The tabs are clearly self-supporting because you can slip a piece of paper between them and the well-supported "take down lever", which rides in a significant metal structure. There is a slim possibility that the tabs could move a little and hit that lever, but it seems to me that any movement would fatigue those thin plastic flanges.

I then decided to see what would ultimately stop the slide as it moves rearward. Can't be absolutely sure but my guess right now is a full collapse of the flat recoil spring. I don't know whether this is intended to happen when the gun fires. If so, those tabs/flanges would take a serious beating with every shot. A strong spring would prevent that from happening, but at some spring rating (+ preload force) the action would not fully cycle and a failure to eject or feed would occur.

I assume there are some folks here who can illuminate this issue. Any ideas?
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve912 View Post
I wouldn't see S&W 'voiding' your warranty for you stippling the frame, if using a non-S&W steel guide rod damaged the frame.
S&W considers stippling to be damaging to the frame and it does void the warranty. It's been covered elsewhere on this forum.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NYnewbie View Post
BTW, the man in the included youtube video has a follow-up video date 2 days ago. It seems that S&W replaced his whole pistol for free...and his SD40VE didn't look stock either. You may want to give it a try and send it in.
He did have a 20# Gallaway spring that he removed before shipping it off, as well as other non-factory items. It also took him 51 days to get it back.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve912 View Post
It's not a 'design flaw' if it doesn't happen until you put an aftermarket part into the pistol.

Not trying to make you feel bad, but *why* change out the OEM guide rod & spring (aside from replacing the spring after high round count)? What advantage does a steel guide rod provide?
I switched to the stainless steel guide rod because I had hoped it would last longer than the plastic one.

Changing a guide rod and/or switching to a different strength spring is probably the most common and most simple handgun customization. It's a comfort thing for many people, as a stronger recoil spring can reduce the recoil and make the gun more comfortable to shoot. I had also hoped that a stronger spring would help with the failure to feed issues that many people, including myself, have with this pistol.

Doing something as simple as changing the guide rod and spring should not cause pieces of the frame to break off. That is a quality control issue and a design issue. Instead of accepting lower quality by saying "it's not a 'design flaw' if it doesn't happen until you put an aftermarket part into the pistol," we should be using our voices as consumer to hold a company with a reputation such as Smith&Wesson's to a higher standard and expecting higher quality products. I'm certain Smith & Wesson does not want to produce firearms that fall apart if their customers switch out the guide rods.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NYnewbie View Post
BTW, the man in the included youtube video has a follow-up video date 2 days ago. It seems that S&W replaced his whole pistol for free...and his SD40VE didn't look stock either. You may want to give it a try and send it in.
===================================
Glad to see he still has his left hand and fingers. I jumped when I saw him handling the gun in the video.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
It's a comfort thing for many people, as a stronger recoil spring can reduce the recoil
It is an often repeated urban myth that changing the recoil spring reduces the total recoil force of a pistol, which would violate Newton's Second Law.
Changing the recoil spring can change the timing or duration of the recoil motion, in other words move the recoil around, not reduce it.

PERCEIVED RECOIL is highly subjective and dependent on the attitude and perceptions of the person holding the gun as much as the gun itself. The sharpness of the recoil is sometimes perceived as more recoil.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:01 AM
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OK OKFC05, I had the same notion, glad you presented it so well. Newton prevails again!

Anyhow, what stops the slide when the gun is fired? Is it supposed to bottom out the spring or not?
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriumphMan View Post
Will this become a "do not use" debate of metal guide rods or heavier recoil springs
I think that debate would likely be limited to this particular line of handguns. I can't think of any other guns that have that type of take down and rely on flimsy little tabs to shield the take down lever. Glocks may be the only other one, since the SDVE line is modeled after Glocks, but I'm not sure if Glocks use similar style tabs.

I have put metal guide rods and extra power recoil springs in all of my handguns, and this is the only one I've ever had a problem with.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:57 AM
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Default Heavier recoil springs

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Originally Posted by Sidnne View Post

<snip>

I have put metal guide rods and extra power recoil springs in all of my handguns, and this is the only one I've ever had a problem with.
By "extra power recoil springs" I assume you mean springs with a higher spring rate.

Several posters say they have done the same thing.

What does one gain by doing that?

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Old 05-23-2016, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidnne View Post
I think that debate would likely be limited to this particular line of handguns. I can't think of any other guns that have that type of take down and rely on flimsy little tabs to shield the take down lever. Glocks may be the only other one, since the SDVE line is modeled after Glocks, but I'm not sure if Glocks use similar style tabs.

I have put metal guide rods and extra power recoil springs in all of my handguns, and this is the only one I've ever had a problem with.
A quick google search shows that Glocks do in fact have the same tabs in the same location. However, I have not been able to find any Glock owners who have experienced the issue with these tabs getting knocked off via steel guide rod.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidnne View Post
I switched to the stainless steel guide rod because I had hoped it would last longer than the plastic one.
If you'd left the OEM guide rod in, it (and your pistol) would
probably still be functioning properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidnne View Post
Changing a guide rod and/or switching to a different strength spring is probably the most common and most simple handgun customization. It's a comfort thing for many people, as a stronger recoil spring can reduce the recoil and make the gun more comfortable to shoot. I had also hoped that a stronger spring would help with the failure to feed issues that many people, including myself, have with this pistol.
Sure it's simple to change--but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Aftermarket vendors push all kinds of parts, and the 'easy to replace' pieces sell well to less experienced shooters.

AFA hoping a stouter recoil spring will help failure to feed problems--not likely unless the original spring was out of spec. Check magazine and operator grip before changing other parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidnne View Post
Doing something as simple as changing the guide rod and spring should not cause pieces of the frame to break off.
There's lots of simple things you can do that are bad ideas. It's not S&W's fault you put an aftermarket piece in there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidnne View Post
That is a quality control issue and a design issue. Instead of accepting lower quality by saying "it's not a 'design flaw' if it doesn't happen until you put an aftermarket part into the pistol," we should be using our voices as consumer to hold a company with a reputation such as Smith&Wesson's to a higher standard and expecting higher quality products. I'm certain Smith & Wesson does not want to produce firearms that fall apart if their customers switch out the guide rods.
"If it ain't broke, don't FIX it."

Edit: I just took a look at my SD. Your aftermarket part altered the operating dynamics
of the pistol, and caused parts (the 'tabs', as you call them) to receive stress they were
not designed to endure...until they break.

"Oh no, it's a design flaw!!" No, not at all...
well, actually it IS, but not Smith's.

Let's look at the design.

Function With OEM Guide Rod & Spring
After firing a round, what stops the slide's rearward travel--with the OEM
spring/rod assembly?

Look at inside of slide, at muzzle. There is a semi-circular projection that the
recoil spring guide passes through. Next, look at the receiver, right in front of
the forward metal guide rails. There, is a thick buttress of polymer--about 5mm
--shaped remarkably like the section of the slide, where the guide rod passes
through!

With the OEM guide rod/spring, the slide impacts this thick, beefy buttressed
portion of polymer frame--the portion of the frame designed to safely and
repeatedly absorb this stress. The slide also happens to impact (hard stop!)
the frame, BEFORE the recoil spring 'stacks' into an incompressible cylinder
on the guide rod (in other words, the recoil spring is still compressible,
when slide travel has stopped against frame).

Or, alternatively, the 'hard stop' of slide travel is not performed by
recoil spring/guide rod/frame interaction.

Function With Aftermarket Steel Guide Rod & Spring

With aftermarket rod/spring assembly, the slide begins it's rearward
travel normally--but then something ugly happens.

The aftermarket spring 'bottoms out' (stacks into an incompressible
cylinder on the guide rod) BEFORE the slide strikes the buttress area of
the frame.

The slide doesn't slam into the buttress area, harmlessly. Instead,
all of the slide's rearward momentum is transferred into your so
called 'tabs'--and eventually breaks them off. The hard stop of slide
is performed by slide against 'stacked' recoil spring, pressing against
spring guide base, and into the frame via the 'tabs'.

=======================================

If you compare slide travel-on-frame with and without barrel or recoil
spring/rod, I bet you'll find your slide doesn't come back quite as far to
the rear, with your aftermarket spring/rod, as with the OEM assembly.

The slide STOPS at same point, with or without OEM assembly--when
slide contacts the buttressed area in frame.

=======================================


The design flaw is in the aftermarket guide rod--it breaks pieces off the frame.
Your beef is not with S&W--it's with the manufacturer of the spring/rod assembly,
which damaged your pistol. The aftermarket mfr should have insured the spring
could not reach full compression, before rearward motion of slide was arrested
by frame contact.

Mods, recommend thread be stickied and retitled "Do Not Use Aftermarket Steel Guide Rods in Sigma/SD Series Pistols!"

Last edited by Steve912; 05-23-2016 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Analysis of Damage Mechanics
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:15 PM
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriumphMan View Post

I know both rods would ride the same, and the stock plastic rod will have some give, but wouldn't a heavier spring force the rod, whether plastic or metal to impact the tabs more due to it's stronger pressure under recoils.
A heavier rate spring would impose a heavier loading on
the tabs, for the duration of spring compression.

I don't know how the OEM spring weight compares to the 22# spring that's been mentioned here.

It's possible that the heavier spring weight could stress the 'tabs' over time, resulting in their separation from the frame.

I'd still bet on the compressed stacking (preventing the slide from contacting the 'buttress'), though an excessively high-rate spring could theoretically prevent the slide from getting far enough back, without spring stacking occurring, and give the same results (spring guide tabs acting as slide stop point).

Diagnosis from afar is an imprecise science.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve912 View Post
If you'd left the OEM guide rod in, it (and your pistol) would
probably still be functioning properly.
That's all well and good, but I'm not interested in "shoulda, coulda, woulda." I'm talking about what is. If you want to be childish and get personal, then have at it. I'm more concerned with addressing a very real problem and making others, including Smith & Wesson, aware of it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:52 PM
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I have an email off to Galloway...
What did the email entail?
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:58 PM
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<snip>

I'd still bet on the compressed stacking (preventing the slide from contacting the 'buttress'), though an excessively high-rate spring could theoretically prevent the slide from getting far enough back, without spring stacking occurring, and give the same results (spring guide tabs acting as slide stop point).

Diagnosis from afar is an imprecise science.
Well, I found it. I had posted earlier asking what ultimately stops rearward slide travel and prevents spring stacking.

I can now see that the slide would hit the first "U" section in the frame, looking front the front of the gun with the slide off.

If you look at the very first picture in this thread you can see some shiny (sort of) impact impressions on that section.

If I'm wrong please let me know.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:05 PM
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By "extra power recoil springs" I assume you mean springs with a higher spring rate.

Several posters say they have done the same thing.

What does one gain by doing that?
There are a lot of theories regarding the heavier springs. Some say they help to reduce some of the snappiness in the recoil. Some say a heavier spring is better for shooting heavier loads, and a lighter spring is better for lighter loads. Is there truth in any of that? Probably to some degree.

Even if one gains nothing, the frame of the gun should not become damaged from it. If the guide rod and/or spring is what caused this, this is the first gun I've had pieces of the frame break right off from it, and the first gun that I've ever HEARD of that happening. It's something S&W might want to look at.

Keep in mind also, we are all just assuming that the guide rod and spring are the cause of the problem. We have 3 examples of this problem in this thread and all 3 happen to have a Galloway guide rod. The Galloway guide rod is a fairly common modification for the SD40VE, so one would imagine that this would be a more common issue. Perhaps there are people who have this issue who left the gun in the factory configuration. It doesn't seem like there are many of these guns out there with a high round count yet, so maybe by the time they get to 3,000+ with the factory rod and spring, we might be seeing this problem more often, and the stainless rod merely hastened it. They are not sturdy tabs by any means, and I would have to imagine that at some point, they are going to break off regardless of what guide rod someone is using, simply from normal wear.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:11 PM
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I don't know how the OEM spring weight compares to the 22# spring that's been mentioned here.
The factory spring is a 17lb spring. The spring I have is a 20lb spring. (Galloway recommends up to a 22lb spring for the .40)
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 40s&w View Post
A quick google search shows that Glocks do in fact have the same tabs in the same location. However, I have not been able to find any Glock owners who have experienced the issue with these tabs getting knocked off via steel guide rod.
I just yanked the slide off my Gen4 Glock 19, and you know what? It looks exactly the same as the SD series, with thin plastic tabs in front of the takedown lever. And Gen4 models use a metal recoil spring assembly. That now begs the question as to why the tabs are breaking off inside Smiths but not Glocks.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:49 PM
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Well, I found it. I had posted earlier asking what ultimately stops rearward slide travel and prevents spring stacking.
.
Post #20, Prego.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:56 PM
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Even if one gains nothing, the frame of the gun should not become damaged from it. If the guide rod and/or spring is what caused this, this is the first gun I've had pieces of the frame break right off from it, and the first gun that I've ever HEARD of that happening. It's something S&W might want to look at.
.
The rod--actually probably an improperly sized spring--is transferring the impact force of slide from where it should be, to somewhere it shouldn't be (and never would be, with OEM spring & rod).

S&W should look at it, and put a bulletin out to their warranty repair shop.

You guys with the damage should file a small claims suit against whoever made replacement, for cost of a new frame. Blaming S&W for a bad aftermarket part is just wrong.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:05 PM
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I just yanked the slide off my Gen4 Glock 19, and you know what? It looks exactly the same as the SD series, with thin plastic tabs in front of the takedown lever. And Gen4 models use a metal recoil spring assembly. That now begs the question as to why the tabs are breaking off inside Smiths but not Glocks.
That's the question we should all be asking. Nobody should be accepting lesser quality from S&W. Even if with the plastic guide rod, you might get 6,000 rounds or more out of it, but sooner or later those tabs are going to break off from the wear. It wouldn't be a very big deal if the tabs were replaceable, but it seems to require an entirely new frame when they break.

Do the tabs appear to be replaceable on the Glock, or are they part of the frame like the S&W?
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:11 PM
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Post #20, Prego.
Indeed, Post #20 nails it. If the spring "stacks" or in some other way becomes "stiff", whatever I mean by that, the energy remaining the slide has to be absorbed by those thin tabs that the spring bears against.

It would be interesting for someone with the proper tools, and a variety of OEM and replacement springs available, to measure the length (distance between the end flanges) when the springs are compressed to a fully closed condition, i.e. "Stacked".

Sorry if this isn't crystal clear but the test would show whether or not the various springs become a hard stop before the slide hit's it's own stop.

All this seems to now become more clear, I hope.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:16 PM
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Default Tabs

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Originally Posted by Sidnne View Post
That's the question we should all be asking. Nobody should be accepting lesser quality from S&W. Even if with the plastic guide rod, you might get 6,000 rounds or more out of it, but sooner or later those tabs are going to break off from the wear. It wouldn't be a very big deal if the tabs were replaceable, but it seems to require an entirely new frame when they break.

Do the tabs appear to be replaceable on the Glock, or are they part of the frame like the S&W?
I have to disagree, based on some comments and some measurements I have been able to do. The OEM spring is not fully collapsed when the slide hits the heavy lugs, the "U" section in front of those thin tabs, the section that is the ultimate piece that stops slide rearward travel.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:06 PM
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If you compare slide travel-on-frame with and without barrel or recoil spring/rod, I bet you'll find your slide doesn't come back quite as far to the rear, with your aftermarket spring/rod, as with the OEM assembly.
You are correct. With the aftermarket guide rod assembly, the slide stops about 1/16th of an inch sooner than with the factory assembly.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:35 PM
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You are correct. With the aftermarket guide rod assembly, the slide stops about 1/16th of an inch sooner than with the factory assembly.
That sounds like confirmation.

If your 'tabs' are gone, and the guide rod base is *further back* than it should be (if tabs were present)--and slide still stops earlier, than that's 100% confirmation.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ou1954 View Post

It would be interesting for someone with the proper tools, and a variety of OEM and replacement springs available, to measure the length (distance between the end flanges) when the springs are compressed to a fully closed condition, i.e. "Stacked".
Put slide on bare frame (no barrel, no spring) and slide back till it stops against frame. Pencil mark leading edge of slide on dust cover of frame.

Repeat with barrel & OEM spring/rod assembly. Slide stops against frame in same location as previously marked.

I don't have any alternative spring/rod assemblies to compare. If the guys try this with aftermarket parts, if the 'tabs' have been removed, the base of the spring guide will be displaced a few millimeters rearward, and this will skew your comparison.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:49 PM
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Do the tabs appear to be replaceable on the Glock, or are they part of the frame like the S&W?
They'll be molded in the assembly of the frame--it would cost more and be weaker to make them as a separate step and bond them to the frame.

If S&W declines to warranty the repair and it was mine, I'd consider doing a bang-up job of degreasing and prepping the frame, blocking off the area and J-B'ing it...maybe with some stainless cross pins and fiber in the J-B.

And send the aftermarket assembly back to the vendor, and demand a refund...
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:56 PM
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And send the aftermarket assembly back to the vendor, and demand a refund...
I will certainly be doing that.

In the meantime, I think it is important to get the word out about this issue. It's amazing how many videos are on YouTube calling the Galloway guide rod assembly a "must have upgrade" to the SDVE's. And it even has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:15 PM
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Has anyone with SD9VE using a steel guide rod had this problem? So far I've seen 2 or 3 threads on this issue and it's always been the SD40VE. I'm guessing this is because of the nature of 40 cal recoil.

I wonder why we aren't hearing more about this issue. This pistol has been out for a few years now and there are plenty of people using steel guide rods in these pistols. Perhaps more and more threads will pop up with time.

Can someone with galloway guide rod take measurements of it? I would like to compare the measurements to the Glock 19 steel guide rod that I'm using in my SD40VE.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:18 PM
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One of the parts I never really understood changing was the guide rod,the plastic ones work fine and in most cases could be called disposable if it goes bad toss it and get another.

It isn't really a functional issue (well unless you do change it and break the durn gun) the gun works fine with the stock part nor cosmetic so why do it?

I intend to get a black aluminum plate for the back of the slide just because I like the look but that's an example of a cosmetic upgrade,I'm getting a new rear sight in metal because the stock one is getting tore up-that's an example of a needed upgrade.

My two cents.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:42 PM
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Default Slide Stop

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Originally Posted by Steve912 View Post
Put slide on bare frame (no barrel, no spring) and slide back till it stops against frame. Pencil mark leading edge of slide on dust cover of frame.

Repeat with barrel & OEM spring/rod assembly. Slide stops against frame in same location as previously marked.

I don't have any alternative spring/rod assemblies to compare. If the guys try this with aftermarket parts, if the 'tabs' have been removed, the base of the spring guide will be displaced a few millimeters rearward, and this will skew your comparison.
I got to the same place but also didn't have an aftermarket unit to test. Looks like someone sealed the case!

I still don't know whether the slide is intended to hit that stop when it's fired. Someone may know.

As far as recoil is concerned, it shouldn't, as a whole, depend on spring rate. I do feel that spring rate would affect the "feel" of the recoil.

I also agree that too high a spring rate would cause a short stroke and affect ejection and/or feed.

Last edited by ou1954; 05-23-2016 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Expand
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 40s&w View Post
Has anyone with SD9VE using a steel guide rod had this problem? So far I've seen 2 or 3 threads on this issue and it's always been the SD40VE. I'm guessing this is because of the nature of 40 cal recoil.

I wonder why we aren't hearing more about this issue. This pistol has been out for a few years now and there are plenty of people using steel guide rods in these pistols. Perhaps more and more threads will pop up with time.

Can someone with galloway guide rod take measurements of it? I would like to compare the measurements to the Glock 19 steel guide rod that I'm using in my SD40VE.
I don't have my calipers on hand right now, so I can't give an exact measurement, but with a measuring tape it appears to be exactly 7.5cm. According to a reviewer on Amazon, the Galloway rod is 0.040 inches longer than the factory rod. With a measuring tape, the factory rod appears to be 7.4cm.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:25 AM
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That's the question we should all be asking. Nobody should be accepting lesser quality from S&W. Even if with the plastic guide rod, you might get 6,000 rounds or more out of it, but sooner or later those tabs are going to break off from the wear. It wouldn't be a very big deal if the tabs were replaceable, but it seems to require an entirely new frame when they break.

Do the tabs appear to be replaceable on the Glock, or are they part of the frame like the S&W?
No, they're molded-in and as I said look identical to the ones in the SD9VE. I could take a close-up picture of the tabs in both frames and I'd have to tell you which one is a Glock and which one is a S&W.

I have never heard of this ever being an issue in Glocks, so I suspect the guys here who feel that the aftermarket guide rods in Smiths are stopping the slide short and transferring the recoil energy to the guide rod and ultimately the plastic tabs are onto something.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:29 AM
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I don't have my calipers on hand right now, so I can't give an exact measurement, but with a measuring tape it appears to be exactly 7.5cm. According to a reviewer on Amazon, the Galloway rod is 0.040 inches longer than the factory rod. With a measuring tape, the factory rod appears to be 7.4cm.
The length of the rod itself isn't a factor. What is needed is the length of the fully-collapsed assembly (When the spring is "stacked").

The measurement should be made from the end flanges of a stacked OEM and a stacked aftermarket assembly.

I have a precise digital caliper but don't have an aftermarket assembly to measure. Someone will come up with the measurements but we do know, from some tests already reported, that at least one aftermarket assembly is, when collapsed, at LEAST 1/16" longer than the OEM assembly.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:48 AM
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One more thing . . . The first photo in this thread clearly shows the U area, which is the ultimate slide stop when the gun recoils, is shiny and it must have happened after the two guide-rod flanges failed and allowed the slide to move further back.

My SD9VE shows absolutely no such impact but my gun has never had any +P ammo in it and it has far fewer rounds through it than most of the guns posted about here.
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:23 AM
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One more thing . . . The first photo in this thread clearly shows the U area, which is the ultimate slide stop when the gun recoils, is shiny and it must have happened after the two guide-rod flanges failed and allowed the slide to move further back.

My SD9VE shows absolutely no such impact but my gun has never had any +P ammo in it and it has far fewer rounds through it than most of the guns posted about here.
I think it just shows up that way in the picture because I had a flashlight shining directly on it. It's not shiny in person.

I don't think the slide is moving any further back, its still stopping at the slide stop. The aftermarket spring just causes it to stop ahead of that.
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ou1954 View Post
The length of the rod itself isn't a factor. What is needed is the length of the fully-collapsed assembly (When the spring is "stacked").
Yes!

When the spring coils are fully compressed, any compression spring then behaves like a solid tube, or bushing.

You might be able to measure it fully compressed, by using the slide as a compression tool--guide rod base on firm surface, and pressing muzzle face of slide down onto rod, and measuring the fully compressed spring with calipers and your third hand.

AFA why this seems limited to SDVE40 and not 9mm...there's a few possibilities.

---Possibly, only one particular rate spring is problematical (e.g. 17# is ok, but 22# is not)

---The guide rod tabs *might* be robust enough to hold up under 9mm recoil, but not .40

---The spring sizing might be correct on 9mm version

---The spring sizing might have been correct on the .40 at one time, but S&W may have changed dimension(s) on the frame that the vendor failed to grasp and account for.


Last edited by Steve912; 05-24-2016 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:37 AM
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SD40VE ~1600 rds, broken frame/slide takedown lever issue SD40VE ~1600 rds, broken frame/slide takedown lever issue SD40VE ~1600 rds, broken frame/slide takedown lever issue SD40VE ~1600 rds, broken frame/slide takedown lever issue SD40VE ~1600 rds, broken frame/slide takedown lever issue  
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Galloway insists this is a problem with SD40VE, that it happens with stock plastic rods too. He even mentions that Glock resolved this problem by adding a second locking block pin in the Gen2. I agree that it's a poor design that puts a tremendous amount of force on a small piece of plastic.

I'd imagine S&W is well aware of this problem, but are they doing anything about it? I'm not convinced.
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:01 PM
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Check this video out. SD40VE, same problem as OP. Seems to have a stock plastic guide rod. I hope he updates the video once he gets his pistol back from S&W.

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Old 05-24-2016, 03:16 PM
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Hmm. Well, my Galloway metal guide rod is coming out. By coincidence, I recently wrote to S&W for a new OEM rod and spring, since my Galloway spring is getting weaker and softer.

This problem might happen with the OEM rod, too, but presumably later in the life of the gun -- after much use -- and will certainly covered by warranty.

And I suspect this problem is more prevalent with the 40 vice the 9.

For those with this problem, I'd love to hear what happens after you send your SD9VE/SD40VE back to S&W. They are a famously generous company when it comes to repairs... and they might look after you.

But, it seems to me it might best become a matter of "doctrine" for this forum community to steer people away from aftermarket guide rods. I have repeatedly made comments on threads about them -- threads that come up about once a month! -- that the aftermarket rods/springs aren't necessary, but are a matter of individual choice. I think the weight of evidence is that they can cause problems after continual use, and my recommendation in the future will be to avoid them.
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Last edited by S&W Rover; 05-24-2016 at 03:18 PM.
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