My Smith & Wesson M&P Compact Is Defective


June 24, 2007, 08:52 PM
What a disappointment. I really want to like this gun because it's very comfortable to shoot. The recoil from .40 S&W in this small gun is very manageable.

1. One of the white dots on the rear sight popped off when firing the first magazine through the gun.

2. The slide locks back with one round left in the magazine.

3. Both magazines will randomly fall out of the gun without pressing the magazine release button.

This was bought for a defensive piece. I can't have my sights and magazines randomly falling out.

I will be giving Smith & Wesson a warranty call.

If you enjoyed reading about "My Smith & Wesson M&P Compact Is Defective" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 24, 2007, 08:56 PM
Send it back, make use of S&W's warranty.

June 24, 2007, 09:37 PM
How unusual - sorry to hear this.

Send it back. S&W will make it right, and when it's fixed and working you'll be a very happy owner.

June 24, 2007, 10:20 PM
The mags dropping appears to be a common condition on the compact M&Ps.

Check out the compact section of ( for more information.

There is also some information about it in the later pages of this thread (

Smith will make it right. It sucks, but it is what it is.

June 24, 2007, 11:07 PM
Mag drops are a known issue with compacts. Send it back to S&W.

My compact also has locked back on a not-empty magazine. How many rounds left? One? On the plus side, my full-size had magazine issues when I first got it. They cleared up within 500 rounds.


June 24, 2007, 11:35 PM
Yes, there's only one round in the magazine when the slide locks back.

Why it only does it with one round is odd. Why not 2 or even 5?

I more concerned with the screwed up rear sight and the magazine falling out.

I hope they do fix it. The Compact M&P fits my hand better than a Glock or XD.

June 25, 2007, 02:00 AM
The mag drop issue is something Smith has either fixed, or is actively working on (depends on who you ask...the M&P Compacts I have seen that had mag drop issues were fixed by Smith and have behaved fine since then). The rear sight sounds like boneheaded assembly- I've never heard of that happening before, so it's (hopefully) just a case of assembler error.

The mag issue, I think, is this:

The mags seem to be REALLY twitchy when you first get them. They're a PITA to load, the follower does not move freely, and the spring seems to get hung up, causing the follower to move oddly. I think that the last round wants to tip up, allowing the nose of the follower to move up a smidge more than it should, which trips the slide stop.

My M&Pc is doing it, too, but mine is still brand spankin' new. My fullsize had some magazine irregularities, too, that ironed themsolves out in the first 500 rounds, and have not reapeared since (for instance, the slide would fail to strip a round from a half-full would just go into battery and *CLICK* me that sounds related, the follower/mag spring is not pushing up on the rounds properly).

I'm keeping an eye on both of them, but I'm happy withthe performance of the fullsize. The Compact is wait-and-see. I'm optimistic, though, since the mags get notably smoother and easier each time you use them. Try loading them up and letting them sit loaded between range sessions.


June 25, 2007, 03:10 AM
is the mag dropping because people are accidentally releasing the catch, or the catch is messed up?

June 25, 2007, 03:37 AM
After the first time it happened, a friend and I were very careful to not press the magazine release thinking that was the cause.

Unfortunately, the magazine will randomly drop out on it's own and without pressing the magazine release.

June 25, 2007, 03:44 AM
If it's like my Witness, the mag catch is screwed up and S&W will be replacing it. On my Witness, with EAA support have the reputation of used toilet paper, I worked on it myself. I thought for quite a while that it was my thumb swiping the mag release on recoil due to it being a 10mm and using full power cartridges. But it was not.

The shoulders of the mag catch on my witness were protruding into the mag well. The catch itself was working, but I had to use a dremel and move the shoulders back on either side of the catch part about 1/32" of an inch. This is likely a cast part and a mold is getting out of spec.

Drop the magazine and lock open the chamber and peer down into the mag well. If either side of the mag catch is protruding into the magwell even the tiniest bit, it's this jostling from recoil hitting these shoulders that should not be protruding. Thus, dropping your magazine.

This may actually due to more varaiation in the sizing of the plastic handle and not the mag catch itself. Metal work being inherently easier to be accurate than working with plastic. This would be considered a stacked tolerance issue from the engineering and manufacturing point of view. Regardless, the fix would employ moving these shoulders back a touch more.

As for the slide lock issue, can't be much help here.


June 25, 2007, 02:37 PM
Yes, it is the mag catch. It is a known defect, which Smith is working to rectify.


June 25, 2007, 02:40 PM
Sounds like a similar issue a friend had with his new full size MP9. Personally I am not a fan of Smiths plastics pistols, they make great revolvers, but the quality on the Sigma, and now the MP series leaves serious doubt in my mind about Smiths commitment to quality products. Maybe in a few years the MP series will prove to be excellent pistols but until then no thanks, I don't want to be a beta tester for Smith's QC.

Harold Mayo
June 25, 2007, 08:16 PM
Oh, my...

This rules out any further thoughts of a purchase. Ergonomics are SO good, though...

June 25, 2007, 09:02 PM
Makes you wonder if Smith outsourced production of its polymer semi-autos to Kahr... :evil:

June 25, 2007, 10:07 PM
I wouldn't rule them out just yet. S&W realizes that this gun must work if they are to remain competitive in the duty gun and duty gun back-up market. The full-size .40s are running fine (my PD has close to 2,000 of them in service, with no serious issues). The compacts are having a mag-drop issue. That strikes me as being imminently fixable.


June 25, 2007, 10:38 PM
so it's only for the compact thing then, doesn't affect the full size forty yes?

June 25, 2007, 11:41 PM
my last S&W 22 thought it was centerfire.about a 30 day turn around for repair, shipping at my expense. people less than pleasant. hope you fare better.

June 26, 2007, 01:53 AM
so it's only for the compact thing then, doesn't affect the full size forty yes?I can't swear that a fullsize .40 has never suffered from a defective mag release, but as a systemic problem, yes: it seems limited to the compacts. And, to reiterate, the 40Cs that I've seen that have suffered mag drop issues, S&W has replaced the mag releases, and they have behaved fine since.

I'm keeping an eye on mine, but so far, so good. I'm not particularly worried.


June 26, 2007, 09:18 AM
I am starting to hear lots of M&P problems on various forums and at my range, I hope S&W gets their butts in gear or they are gonna make a complete failure with polymer guns just like they did their last try.

June 26, 2007, 11:01 AM
JUst shot my MP40 at the USPSA Nationals, didnt clean it once, didnt so mauch as blow dirt off of the mags. Zero Malfs.

June 26, 2007, 11:22 AM
I am starting to hear lots of M&P problems on various forums and at my range, I hope S&W gets their butts in gear or they are gonna make a complete failure with polymer guns just like they did their last try.This is because any place that is a forum for anything mechanical (guns, cars, tools) is going to attract people having problems with the item in question. They're not very likely to seek out a gun forum if the gun they own is running fine. If it has a hiccup, they'll go looking for a place to ask questions and get advice. This leads to an influx of people talking about how their new Widget isn't working right.

What matters is not how many people you have showing up at a place complaining of problems, because that is soley a function of how many lemons have been produced. While that might seem counter-intuitive, consider:

Gun Maker A produces 500 Ghetto Blaster Model 1s. Of those 500, 400 guns are junk and refuse to run. The rest are fine.

Gun Maker B produces 5 million Ultra CCW Model 2s. Of those 5 million, 400 guns are junk and refuse to run. The rest are fine.

Both makers have produced 400 POS guns. 800 people are looking for a place to vent, ask questions, and seek advice. If you go by this alone, it looks like both makers produce crappy guns. However, when you realize that one maker has churned out five million units, with four million, nine hundred ninety nine thousand and six-hundred of them being stellar performers, things become a little more clear. I, for one, know which one I would buy.

Obviously, these numbers are exagerrated, and no one is claiming that there's not a glitch with the compacts. I'm just saying that you can't judge the general quality of a pistol by the mere number of complaints on gun boards.


June 27, 2007, 06:50 AM
Just as with anything... if you get an M&P that's stone reliable, you like it, a LOT. If you get one with mag drop problems, S&W "fixes" it... then a few hundred rounds the problem returns again, then S&W "fixes" it again (replacing mag catches), only to have failures return yet again... you not a happy camper with the gun at all. Mine is on it's way back to S&W a second time (after trying 3 mag catches in 1200 rounds). I have a feeling they're going to replace the frame this time. We'll see. I love the gun, but my Glocks get all of my carry duty... can't trust my M&P. Since the problems with my M&P, I've learned that you really can become accustomed to Glocks, shoot them well, and really like them a lot! ;-)~ Glock makes a great, reliable gun.

June 27, 2007, 08:49 AM
I've owned a Glock and it was reliable, but I do not find that it fits my hand as well as the M&P. That's why I own an M&P.

I might end up buying a Glock 30, Glock 36, or a small 3" 1911.

I'm not really looking for more "knock down power." Rather, ammo commonality. Having more than one gun for the .45 ACP cartridge is convenient.

I haven't given up on the M&P Compact yet. We'll see how it goes.

June 27, 2007, 10:20 AM
I am starting to hear lots of M&P problems on various forums and at my range, I hope S&W gets their butts in gear or they are gonna make a complete failure with polymer guns just like they did their last try.

Probably because gun owners are panicky and reactionary. A whisper becomes a rumor, the rumor becomes a fact and the fact becomes common knowledge. Truth is less relevant than believability.

To further Coronach's point, I haven't posted anything about my M&P9 on the internet. So, there's one full-size 9mm that's running 100% that hasn't been represented in the intarwebs dataset. It only has 350 rounds though it. Sure, it's only 350 rounds, but it's the first 350 rounds. Where the break-in problems should be. Mixed NATO ball, Speer Gold Dots, 125gr lead reloads belonging to a guy at the range, PMC FMJ and some WWB. Additionally, I used whatever 9mm I had buried at the bottom of my ammo closet. (Some of that ammo was heavily discolored with age and had noticeably less recoil; the brass landed on my boots. Very unlikely it would have made 125PF ;)) Also, there was no initial cleaning, lubing or wipe down for its first range session. Took it out of the box, loaded the mags with whatever I had, and went shooting. So far, 100%.

So, let's say someone had posted a poll entitled "how is your M&P running?" last week. I probably wouldn't have voted in it. Anyone who has one that's running fine is going to be less motivated to do so than someone who's had problems. Just the nature of the beast.

July 13, 2007, 01:48 PM
My M&P has returned.

The following repairs were done:

Repaired: Replace Slide Stop
Repaired: Replace Mag Catch
Repaired: Replace Rear Sight
Repaired: Replace Front Sight
Repaired: Inspected/Tested & Passed

I gave Smith & Wesson a polite hint that I wanted night sights and to my surprise they installed a brand new set of tritium night sights!

I will post a range report soon.

July 13, 2007, 02:53 PM
pwrtool45... odds are your M&P will probably be fine, but don't be so sure that getting to 350 rounds means you're in the clear... it was around 350 to 400 rounds through my M&P 40 Compact before all my mag drop problems even began. For some owners it doesn't happen until an even higher round count. There's no denying that the M&P has a design problem with the mag catch... S&W has been trying different tweaks to the mag catch in an attempt to solve the mag drop problems that many people have had. Simply because some owners haven't (yet?) experienced mag drop problems doesn't mean the gun's design is home free... there's still work to be done to permanently put the mag drop problem with the M&P's "to bed". I'd say a couple of years from now we shouldn't be hearing ANY more about mag drop problems with the M&P. Sure hope not, anyway. With SIG's new P250 close to market, the M&P will have even stiffer competition to deal with.

I'm expecting my M&P 40 Compact back from S&W today (second trip back to them and 4 mag catch replacements so far) to correct the mag drop problem with my gun. They say my frame is all to specs. This time they tell me they've got a much harder surface on the metal engagement tab of the mag catch AND they've slightly enlarged the polymer body of the catch to tighten it's fit within the frame hole. The tech told me they think these very recent changes "should" bring an end to the mag drop problems they've been fighting. I sure hope so, but I'm reserved in my optimism because I think the mag catch spring also needs to be beefed up too... it's still, IMHO, just waaay too easy to release the mag on the M&P's.

S&W's customer service is clearly the leader of the industry... they've been exemplary in trying to deal with the problem... giving people free magazines and free night sights for their inconvenience in dealing with the problem. THis time they gave me a free set of night sights. And they pay shipping both ways. And they're turn around is quick. Wonderful customer service... now all they have to do is figure out (if they haven't quite yet) a PERMANENT fix to the mag drop problem!

July 13, 2007, 04:34 PM
4 mag catches? Wow.

Was each of them a different design? Or were three of the mag releases the older, problematic design?


July 13, 2007, 10:29 PM
Mike... hard to tell. My initial mag catch had a small "2" on the underside of it... then S&W replaced it with one which had a "1", I couldn't really see any difference, in fact it's really tough to see much of any difference between any of the ones I've had. The newest ones I just received today have "1" on them but the number is rotated at a different angle than the earlier "1"s I've had. They say they've hardened the metal engagement surface and that the plastic body of the catch is toleranced slightly larger to prevent wobble in the frame - honestly I still can't tell any difference. I have reduced the mag catch button which makes accidental tapping of it much less likely and that alone seems to help a lot, but time will tell if the metal engagement surface will stand up to 1000 rounds or more without undesired wear... great gun, I love it! But not such a great mag catch set up. Three things I believe is needed: 1) harder engagement surface, 2) stiffer spring, and 3) reduced thumb pad profile.

July 13, 2007, 10:39 PM
Since my M&P40 Compact and yours returned from the factory on the same day, perhaps they said "hello" to each other while there?

ha ha :)

July 13, 2007, 11:23 PM

I think the newest ones do have a harder surfaces. I bet you can dremel the plastic to achieve a different profile, but I'd check with S&W to make sure that doesn't void anything. As to the spring...yeah, I agree it could be a little stiffer without problems, but I've also not had problems with it dropping inadvertantly, so I dunno.


July 14, 2007, 10:46 AM
pwrtool45... odds are your M&P will probably be fine, but don't be so sure that getting to 350 rounds means you're in the clear... it was around 350 to 400 rounds through my M&P 40 Compact before all my mag drop problems even began. For some owners it doesn't happen until an even higher round count. There's no denying that the M&P has a design problem with the mag catch...

Oh, I agree with what you're saying. 350 rounds would barely get a reasonably dedicated competitor through one month of IDPA matches. A reasonably dedicated USPSA shooter will probably go through amount that before I finish typing this ;). My original post was aimed more at the inevitable "Brand X's Model Y has flaw Z. Better get Brand I's Model J. It is and always has been flawless" posting(s) that accompany every trouble ticket post on the internet. It wasn't a shot at you. Your grievance is well founded and I hope they get the issue worked out. You seem to like the gun, and it's a shame to have a carry pistol that's not quite ready for carry.

The issue is interesting to me, though. This seems to be a larger problem with the compact than the full-size? Yet the compact and the full-size almost certainly have the exact same cantilever release spring. The fixed end of the spring is located about half the length of my index finger from the bottom of the grip, so I doubt they shortened it for the compact. I also doubt the mag release itself is any different, so what's left? Glocks, for instance, have the same release spring and release button across models (at least in the same caliber) don't they? I would imagine this is the case in almost all pistols. Of course, they almost universally use a coil spring. Switching to a different type of spring might be having some unintended consequences here. The firing cycle (especially on the compacts) might be producing enough force perpendicular to the spring (since the recoil impulse isn't perfectly straight back) to be a problem...

I wonder if a right handed shooter were to reverse the mag catch and shoot a couple hundred rounds through the gun would it make a difference. The inward facing force vector would be pressing in the opposite direction to active the mag release in that case.

Just thinking aloud. Probably not worth this much thought.

If it happened to me, I would probably just bend the mag release spring and see if that helped. But then, my M&P is intended for SSP and Production division. Probably wouldn't do that with a dedicated carry piece. I've also got my own issues with S&W's supposedly awesome customer service. If I can avoid dealing with those jerks with a little tweaking, I'll do it.

July 16, 2007, 02:25 PM
I fired 100 rounds through it with no malfunctions. I need to buy more ammo.

At least I have an excuse to shoot more often ha ha :-)

July 16, 2007, 02:56 PM
jragsdale... give it 1000 rounds and if no problems with mag drop occur, you will probably be home free for a while. Often the mag drop problem doesn't show up until 400, 500, 600, even 700 rounds.

July 19, 2007, 12:32 AM
A friend of mine is interested in buying the same gun and together we put 400 rounds through it in one afternoon. That brings the total to 500 after the factory fixes with no malfunctions.

Hopefully I can put this problem to rest soon :D

If not, I'll probably trade for another 1911.

My Smith J-frame never fails and is my back up.

July 21, 2007, 12:32 AM
I'm up to the 700 round count now. I'm going to put this problem to rest. Smith made it right by me.

dhart, I hope Smith will replace the frame or do something to fix your M&P. It's a fine gun.

July 21, 2007, 10:57 AM
Just spent three days watching dozens of LEOs putting hundreds of rounds through S&W demo guns. Not one dropped mag. or FTF.

I put a bunch of rounds through the full-size M&P 9 and I was impressed. Great trigger, great ergonomics, virtually nil recoil effects. The interchangeable grips work very well. It will be my next purchase.

I'm a Sig fan. The 9 feels like a slimmed down version of the 228.

July 21, 2007, 03:51 PM
From what I've gathered, the problems with the M&P are isolated to the compact and not the full size. Full size M&Ps are reliable out of the box.

Perhaps Smith spent more time testing the full size than the compact. It's plausible that they assumed the compact would work as well and not require the same extensive testing because it shares the same basic design.

July 21, 2007, 04:00 PM
Most of the mag drop problems are associated with the Compacts, but I believe there have also been some with the fullsize... check

forum to confirm... be sure to look in the Full Size folder as well as in the Tech Difficulties folder... that's the best and most complete source of current user feedback/info on the M&P's that I'm aware of.

August 12, 2007, 03:17 AM
:cuss:I am a new member, but have been reading posts for many months. On this topic, I could not resist however. I just bought M&P 40 and M&P 45. Both FULL SIZE, and both used, but look pristine. Just back from the range with the following: Loaded 10 rds in the 40, fired one shot, and the mag dropped. I thought I hadn't seated it properly, so pushed it in, racked the slide (because the next round didn't chamber, turns out they never do) and tried again. Second shot, same result. 7 out of 10 shots dropped the mag. I tried pulling on it, moving it side-to-side, and so on. It would not come out unless the gun was fired, then it dropped immediately. Thought maybe my thumb was pushing on the button during firing, so purposefully kept it away. Actually got the weapon to fire 8 of 10 rounds (still dropped 2). This thing is going back Monday.
As for the 45: No dropped mags, but jammed on Federal 185 HP, maybe 2 out of every 10 shots: Failure to fully chamber. Did the same thing with 185 Silvertip, but not quite as often, maybe once per 10 shots.
Question is, can they do anything with the jamming 45 if I bother sending it back? I like both guns, especially the 40. Shoots great as a single shot.

August 12, 2007, 10:48 AM
Wow...sorry to hear about your bad luck.

I'm a member of the club as well. My M&P9c had to go back to the factory for a mag release problem (albeit different from what you are experiencing).

The good thing about this scenario is that Smith and Wesson will definitely stand behind their product. I called up, they emailed me a UPS Next Day Air shipping label. I shipped it off with a letter stating I was dissatisfied, but a set of night sights would reestablish my enthusiasm for the gun. It came back 9 days later fixed with a new set of night sights on it.

Question is, can they do anything with the jamming 45 if I bother sending it back?
Absolutely. Worse case scenario (for them), they can replace it.

When you field strip your .40, is there a revision number on the frame, under where the barrel was? Newer guns (that have all the latest changes - except the new mag release) are stamped with Revision "N."

Call S&W up. They'll make it right.

Btw...welcome to the High Road.

If you enjoyed reading about "My Smith & Wesson M&P Compact Is Defective" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!