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Old 05-12-2018, 09:16 AM
XBeanie68 XBeanie68 is offline
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I recently purchased a CS45, "almost new" w box and usual stuff that comes w new gun. Two mags. I bought 4 more mags off eBay, new 6 -round marked CS45 in S&W packaging. They all have the same kind of indents as the ones that came with the gun. They are all a bitch to load and only one of them seats the rounds directly up against the lips at the top of the mag. In a couple of them the top round sits pretty far down. I was afraid they wouldn't feed, but I ran 50 rounds through at the range without problems. I'm hoping they will "break in" with use.
BTW, I took the gun to my local smith to see what he could do about the trigger. He had done trigger jobs on my 4506 and 4566 previously. He refused to work on the CS45. Said it was a "piece of sh__" and there was nothing he could do for it. Now, he's a crusty old bird, but he knows guns. Any thoughts about that opinion?
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:51 PM
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I recently purchased a CS45, "almost new" w box and usual stuff that comes w new gun. Two mags. I bought 4 more mags off eBay, new 6 -round marked CS45 in S&W packaging. They all have the same kind of indents as the ones that came with the gun. They are all a bitch to load and only one of them seats the rounds directly up against the lips at the top of the mag. In a couple of them the top round sits pretty far down. I was afraid they wouldn't feed, but I ran 50 rounds through at the range without problems. I'm hoping they will "break in" with use.
BTW, I took the gun to my local smith to see what he could do about the trigger. He had done trigger jobs on my 4506 and 4566 previously. He refused to work on the CS45. Said it was a "piece of sh__" and there was nothing he could do for it. Now, he's a crusty old bird, but he knows guns. Any thoughts about that opinion?
Yep, some of those mags can be pretty tight on the top round, because of how the secondary dimples press against the top round. This was explained to me as being needed so the top round wouldn't displace itself during the more violent recoil of the smaller and lighter CS45 (compared to the bigger 3rd gen .45's).

The recoil during firing can shake the magazine enough to cause the rounds to rise up through those tight secondary dimples, as it was explained to me by someone from the factory (as an armorer).

Considering the frame's internal "action" parts - drawbar, hammer, trigger, etc - are the same as those used in the 4506/66 models, I have no idea why your smith would make such a comment.

It might be that your older 4506/66 both had the older flash-chromed carbon steel hammer & trigger, both of which could vary quite a bit when it came to "smoothness" of the surfaces, and your CS45 would have the MIM parts, which were very smooth from the beginning. He might not have seen anything he could improve upon for smoothness in the CS45. Also, even the newer drawbars were much smoother and had better finished sides and edges, as well as rounded cuts in stress corners, unlike the earlier drawbars that might've been in your older guns.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:48 PM
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While there are s&w products made since 2001 that qualify for the description your "gunsmith" used, the CS45 isn't one of them.

I'd find another gunsmith and at least get a 2nd opinion. Regards 18DAI
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Old 05-12-2018, 06:16 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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The CS45 is a quality product. I give a second opinion for a second opinion.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:15 PM
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He had done trigger jobs on my 4506 and 4566 previously. He refused to work on the CS45. Said it was a "piece of sh__" and there was nothing he could do for it. Now, he's a crusty old bird, but he knows guns. Any thoughts about that opinion?
My thoughts? Let us just say I strongly disagree with that fellow's opinion. Being that all the guts in the CS45 are EXACTLY the same as those found in your 4506 & 4566 aside from the inclusion of MIM vice wrought parts there's no reason your CS45 couldn't be slicked up a bit.

Cheers
Bill
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:39 PM
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I'm not sure I understand the problems. Disassemble the mags and make sure the spring is seated correctly. If you are a reloader, you can disassemble and tumble the metal parts of the mags in your polishing media. Then measure the overall heights without baseplates before reassembling. CS 45's have very few issues. Get an Uplulu mag loader, the extra leverage can help get the last round in.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:16 PM
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Thanks guys. The smith has a reputation for lacking in "interpersonal skills" so to speak. He has done good work for me in the past and I figured that was more important than his personality. But this time I think he was a bit over the top. He may have just been having a bad day, but I have located another smith with equally good reviews in the area, so we will see. I am going to send the CS45 to Cylinder and Slide, but it will be 2019 before they can take it. The local guy did trigger jobs on the other guns within a few weeks. I don't have any trouble loading the mags (especially with a lulu loader), it's just that half of them seem to have issues feeding. I'm hoping they will break in.

Last edited by XBeanie68; 06-22-2018 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Reads better.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:31 PM
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... I don't have any trouble loading the mags (especially with a lulu loader), it's just that half of them seem to have issues feeding. I'm hoping they will break in.

A thought ...

Presuming the CS45 mags you possess have the secondary indentations equally located and pressed/shaped on each side ...

4513TSW 6rd mag on Left; CS45 6rd mag on Right:


I'd offer that like with other really shortened, lightweight diminutive .45's, shooter grip stability can play a critical role in realizing optimal feeding and functioning.

I had a guy from another agency send over his CS45 for me to examine. He said he was getting repeated failures-to-feed. (I was also told by the guy who'd spoken with him, and picked up the gun from him, that the LE owner wasn't exactly someone who spent a lot of time on the range.) I didn't experience any problems when I fired the gun, even using the bargain priced W-W USA45JHP (WWB, as it's often known among gun forums). It seemed to run just fine ... but then I've got several thousand rounds through my own CS45, and I'm accustomed to shooting small .45's anyway.

I asked another instructor to try it while I watched. He'd never fired one before, but he'd fired a new production 4513TSW. Another instructor there didn't have a problem either, but he just fired a few magazine loads. As long as a reasonably firmly clenched grip and a locked wrist were used, the gun fired normally.

Now, when I asked a couple of the guys to slightly relax their grip and wrist a little, they could experience failures-to-feed. Tighten it up again and lock the wrist, back to normal.

Examining the gun didn't reveal anything out-of-spec or damaged. I replaced the recoil spring as a courtesy, and told the guy who had received it from the owner to return it to him, with the recommendation that he invest some more range time to the little .45, and make sure his grip was reasonably firm (good handshake) and his wrist was locked.

Diminutive .45's tend to be less tolerant of both ammunition and shooter (grip) issues than larger .45's. TANSTAAFL.
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:49 PM
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When I say "issues feeding" I'm not talking about stove pipes. The round just isn't engaged by the returning slide. The mags all have the CS indents. The ones that have a problem just seem to be real tight. As I said, I hope they will break in, or maybe I'll try filing down the indents a bit. I did disassemble the magazines and all of them had the spring oriented in the same way and it seemed like the logical orientation.
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:51 PM
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BTW, does anyone know if they ever made a Performance Center CS45?
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:34 PM
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When I say "issues feeding" I'm not talking about stove pipes. The round just isn't engaged by the returning slide. The mags all have the CS indents. The ones that have a problem just seem to be real tight. As I said, I hope they will break in, or maybe I'll try filing down the indents a bit. I did disassemble the magazines and all of them had the spring oriented in the same way and it seemed like the logical orientation.
Correct orientation:


Note where the small rounded "loop" top end of the coil must be located:


As an aside, the latest batch of factory .45 mag springs I received a while back have more of a D-shaped small top loop, rather than a circular top loop. I'm guessing it's just one of the frequent, virtually innumerable revisions made by S&W and its vendors.

FWIW, unfortunately, I've come across several brand new .45 mags, directly fresh from the factory, that were incorrectly assembled by the parts people. I've seen the mag springs installed with either the small looped (top) end connected to the butt plate insert, meaning upside down, and even upside down and backwards. That doesn't help feeding, obviously. (But hey, I've even seen a couple of .40 mags where the followers had been installed backwards, but by the issued users. They still fed during live-fire, oddly enough, but they wouldn't lock the slide open. That was a real surprise the first I saw it.)

FWIW, While at the range, with the muzzle pointed downrange in a safe direction (because I was using live rounds), I've carefully depressed the "top" round of a less-than-full mag stack, getting the "top" round to stick down at the tight point, being held against spring tension by the secondary indentations ... and then inserted and locked the mag in place with the slide locked back. Then, I've used the slide stop to release the slide to run forward. My CS45 and the mags I've used have consistently picked up, stripped, fed and chambered that lowered top round.

Now, I've been told by the senior factory repair tech that if the secondary indentations aren't exactly placed in the same position, one side compared to the other, that it might be possible for feeding to be affected. He said that what happens is the unevenly placed dimples cause the rising round to wiggle a bit, snake-like, trying to rise up through the unevenly placed indentations, and the normal slide velocity will occur faster than the round can rise to be in position to be grabbed by the pickup rail in the right "timing".

He said this had happened a long time ago, when the CS45 as first released. The initial batch of mags were produced without the secondary indentations, and when the engineers decided they were needed, that meant the already folded and welded mag bodies had to have the secondary indentations added by hand, meaning hand-stamping them. He said that doing it by had resulted in small number of them not being evenly stamped. He said that they'd replaced any of those hand-stamped early mags which were reported to cause owners feeding problems (I was one of them, which is how I came to learn about it during a conversation with him).

Now, I've seen a couple some recent production CS45 mags (I ordered from a vendor) which had noticeably unevenly stamped secondary indentations. I didn't even try them, but returned them for a refund. They might've worked, and they might not, but I simply didn't want to bother with trying. BTDT.

Also, the secondary indentations ARE TIGHT. They're supposed to be. They have to prevent the top round from being displaced out from under the feed lips, during the brisk recoil forces in the little .45. I was told that the engineers explained that the normal recoil forces would allow the rounds to be shaken enough to let the mag spring lift them between the tight spots, and arrive at the feed lips in time to for feeding.

You might check your mags and see if indentations are evenly positioned to each other, approximately at & overlapping the rear bottom corner of the large "P-lip" rectangular indentations (in the pic). If not, and the mag continues to exhibit feeding issues, and the spring and follower are correctly oriented, you might try replacing the mags. They're not inexpensive, granted. I've got CS45 mags I used for many years, though, going back to as early as '99, only occasionally replacing the spring and follower.

Also, while the pic I posted doesn't really show it well, it's normal for the top portion of the secondary indentation to be located crossing over into just above the bottom edge of the larger rectangular indentation. Not as deeply as in the wider part of the mag body wall, below the larger indentation. In some it's just barely visible, in the right light. I have some that approx 1/4 of the indentation, give or take, is located up inside the larger rectangular indentation.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:27 AM
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Be advised that if you got the problematic mags from Midwayusa, within the last year, the indentations are improperly stamped.

I had two CS45 mags from them. Both incorrectly stamped on one side. Neither would load or feed properly. But the return window had closed by the time I found out. So I stripped them for parts and discarded the mag bodies.

Good luck! Regards 18DAI
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Old 06-23-2018, 03:41 PM
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Bought the mags off E-Bay, but they came in S&W factory packaging. Could be counterfeits, I suppose, but I wouldn't think there'd be enough of a market for that to be worth anybody's trouble.
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:29 PM
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I'll try to post a photo. The closest mag is one of those where I'm having problems. You can see that the round sits well below the top of the mag. The further one lets the round go all the way to the top. Two of the 6 mags are like this, and they seem to work fine. The other 4 are like the closer one in the picture. I think the 2 are the ones that came with the gun and the 4 are the ones I bought, but I have no way of being sure of that. Some of the 4 work OK most of the time, but will have occasions when the round doesn't strip out. Visually, it appears that the indentations on the 4 are a bit more pronounced than the 2. Should the round come all the way up, or is it the intent of the detents to hold them down a bit?

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Old 06-23-2018, 04:59 PM
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In my various CS45 mags it's fairly common for the loaded rounds to "stick" at the tight spot between the indentations as I'm either loading the mags and pushing down on the rounds, or when unloading them, and I've stripped out the top-most round.

I often have difficulty trying to get the "next" round to snap up to the top so I can strip it out. I usually have to snap/slap the mag against my hand a couple or more times to get the top round to jump up through the tight spot and reach the lips.

All of the mags that exhibit this feed and function just fine during live-fire, though. I was told that this is because the violent recoil of the little gun acts to jar the rising rounds and help them jump past the tight spot.

Don't discount the potential for a shooter grip stability (firm grip and locked wrist), and/or a under or over-powered ammo problem, before just thinking to blame the mags.

As 18DAI explained, look at the way the secondary indentations are located and pressed into the mag body, too.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:22 PM
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I understand the issue with a weak grip, and in fact I've had to work on that in the past. But it's hard for me to see how grip can have an effect on stripping/chambering the first round when you release the slide.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:57 PM
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I understand the issue with a weak grip, and in fact I've had to work on that in the past. But it's hard for me to see how grip can have an effect on stripping/chambering the first round when you release the slide.
Just releasing the slide? No, not generally. A less-than-stable grip support can affect cycling during live-fire, meaning slide travel/run and velocity, which affects the "feeding timing" and can induce a feeding stoppage.

Releasing a locked back slide using the slide stop lever removes the "shooter influence" ... but it means the slide is running forward without that last approx quarter inch of complete recoil spring compression.

Releasing the locked-back slide by manually retracting it and releasing it can sometimes cause a problem when the shooter unconsciously (unknowingly) doesn't smartly & briskly release the slide from the fully rear position, but "helps" the slide forward by beginning the release with an "easing" forward. If the shooter treats it like releasing a slingshot, or an arrow, then the slide gets the full and immediate release to snap forward under full power of the recoil spring.

Now, an aging and weakening recoil spring? That can obviously start accelerating the slide forward with less force, too, and then also start to lack the power to run the slide and barrel together forward into normal battery. This can especially be potentially problematic because the weakened/worn recoil spring has to run the slide forward and overcome the resistance of being slowed when having to strip a round from the magazine, feed it from the lips, chamber it as it slides up the breech face under the extractor hook, and then run the slide forward as the barrel rises and tries to go into battery.

Hence. the reason the S&W engineers often use the term "feeding timing" when these things are happening very quickly, and are supposed to happen in a specific order within a tight space of time.

Now, the lack of sufficient grip support/locked wrist can have an influence when the gun is cycling during the recoil of live-fire.

How old/worn is the recoil spring in your CS45? Don't know? Order a new one and replace the one in the "used" gun, and then try it again. Might as well order new mag springs for the original mags, too.
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:57 AM
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No idea about how many times the gun may have been fired. It appears to be in near new condition. Can you still get recoil springs? It might be a good idea to have a couple of spares if they need to be replaced frequently. Somewhere I think I saw a recommendation of every 5000 rounds. Although I doubt I'll put that many through it in my lifetime.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:18 AM
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No idea about how many times the gun may have been fired. It appears to be in near new condition. Can you still get recoil springs? It might be a good idea to have a couple of spares if they need to be replaced frequently. Somewhere I think I saw a recommendation of every 5000 rounds. Although I doubt I'll put that many through it in my lifetime.
Yes, S&W is still offering recoil springs for the CS45, and since they are the only manufacturer of these springs it's probably a good idea to stock up on some. These guns have been out of production for a while so who knows how much longer the recoil springs (and other parts) will be offered for.

Call S&W at 1-800-331-0852 ext. 4125 to place an order, and here are the parts I would recommend stocking up on:

CS45/CS40 Recoil Spring - part # 263310000
Magazine Release Nut - part # 239090000
Magazine Release Spring - part # 239010000
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