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S&W - M&P Problems - How bad are they

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by HoosierQ, Jan 23, 2009.

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  1. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    You know, I really like my two M&Ps (the 45 thumb safety and the 9c). I have had way more than my share of problems with the .45 and I am fixing to send it back to S&W because my trigger is cracked at the joint and the little pin works out. Sometimes it doesn't reset and I pull the trigger and nothing happens.

    Now my 9c, so far, has worked flawlessly.

    I am over at the M&P Forum and man, reading that thing is scary...problem after problem after problem these guys report. Kind of makes me wonder if I should just take them both, take the hit, and trade them in on a Glock 21 or an FNP 45 or a Sig or maybe even an XD.

    Two questions: one general, one specific.

    1. Does everybody on the gun specific forums complain so much? It is just because the people with problems comment more I mean?

    2. Are these M&Ps really worth the doubt or am I just paranoid from reading this stuff?

    I shoot both better than any semi-auto I have ever fired. I have a Glock 17 and while it has never failed once since 1991, I am terrible with it. The first time I shot either M&P, the thing just made me a better shot right out of the box. So I don't want to give up.

    Doubt just hangs in my mind even though I am a fairly rational person.
     
  2. jocko

    jocko Member

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    I sure love my M & P 9. only have about 3000+ rounds thruough it, and not one issues.

    Trigger was not great whenI bought it but a Dave Bowie trigger/action job brought this gun to a level of accuray that Inever thought I could achieve. Great gun, at least mine is.
     
  3. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    I go shooting at least weekly. I certainly do not rush back after every range trip to report the success of my shooting session. Should I encounter a problem with a gun during a range trip, I might come back and post questions about the problem on an appropriate forum.
     
  4. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Check this thread from one of the mods, Coronach.

    Seems he's pretty happy.

    Last time he updated it he was at over 2500 rounds and only 5 malfunctions.

    Some interesting ammo notes that might explain a lot. Seems it's picky on ammo.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=281099
     
  5. sigbear

    sigbear Member

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    hoiser

    Which M&P forum have you been reading?

    I thought of buying a M&P compact, however, myself, brother and friend rented a M&P compact and Walther P99 compact (both in 9mm) and all 3 of us chose and bought the Walther P99C because:

    * The trigger was much better on the P99 Compact (AS trigger)

    * P99 more accurate for all 3 of us

    * Decocker is awsome

    I do have another buddy that bought a full size M&P 9mm without trying it, and he is so disgusted with the trigger that he never shot the gun again after the 1st time out, but then again, his only other pistol is a 1911.

    The P99C was $200 more and worth every penny IMO. I liked the compact so much that I bought the full size P99.

    Sigbear
     
  6. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    sigbear

    It is mp-pistols.com.

    I too would like a decocker. Bear in mind that there are, IIRC, 4 different actions on the 99 and maybe only the one has a de-cocker.

    Unlike you, I am just not very trigger sensitive. I am perfectly happy with the M&P trigger. I am not happy that the .45s has a crack in it. I am not happy that the .45 doesn't always go bang when I pull the trigger...but the trigger pull is comfortable for me.

    With the 9 compact, I think I miss the safety. Unlike the Glock, the M&P seems to be fully cocked so it is basically a single action pistol with trigger a safety. I wish my 9c had the thumb safetly but it doesn't come that way.

    I entered into centerfire pistols back in the day with a S&W 59. Then got all excited almost 20 years ago and got a glock. Fast forward to today, most of the new pistols are striker fired and have a variety of actions types...from the Sigma which is a true Double Action Only, with the Glock, which is at half-cock, to the M&Ps which, again, from what I can tell, fully cocked.

    It may be that I am just a hammer man. I'll neve get rid of my glock 17 simply because I've had it for 17 years and it has never once malfunctioned...not once. I am not a fan of Glocks in the fanboy sense but you have to like a gun that never breaks. All the plastic stuff on is all still there and still fine.

    Price was a consideration with the M&P...they are very reasonable. If I can get my .45 up and running as well as my 9c (admittedly 300 rounds only so far) then I;ll be pretty happy. But again, if somebody would trade me straight up, or even nearly so, 2 for one, I might just divest of the worry and get a 1911 or, like I said some other .45...one with a hammer and a safety or decocker.
     
  7. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    I just picked up a lightly used SW99C .40 (AS trigger) for about half what a new M&P would cost. I like it. At first I wasn't so sure about the AS trigger but its grown on me.

    I must say the SW99 is the most under-rated semi auto S&W has ever made.

    If the M&P trigger isn't as nice as my 99c than I'm not interested (for the record my Steyr S40 and M40 both have much better triggers than the S&W).
     
  8. luckylogger6

    luckylogger6 Member

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    1) I really do think most people only post when they have a problems.

    2) I have a bout 7k through my 9c and its still my carry gun. I shoot mostly lead reloads but have fed it just about everything and it eats it all from what I have found. There were some problems early out but I think most if not all have been ironed out. If you have problems with yours just send it to S&W and they will make things right, from what I hear they have great customer service and even pay shipping both ways for warranty work.
     
  9. jocko

    jocko Member

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    luckylogger6

    totally agree with u. Then one has to decipher if the problems are indeed problems or possably shooter error..
     
  10. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    Well I am not sure if my reset problem on the .45 is shooter error but that darn crack in the trigger is not shooter error that's for sure. Of course that'll be easy and conclusive fix but I'll be left with the reset problem.

    I am fixing to send it back to Smith with a very detailed explanation of my problems...I mean couple pages of extensive descriptions of my experiences.

    Man, if they can make it right...I love how they looks, I love how they feel, I love how they shoots...a little worried about the full cock thing but I have good stout holsters for both so we'll see. If they make the .45 fully right and the pull no bang thing stops, I'll be a happy camper.
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    1. I agree, people are more prone to complain than to praise. So you are not getting a true picture of the ratio of lemons to satisfactory guns on the internet. Does not mean the duds are not getting out, though. The Internet Definition of Good Customer Service means a willingness to sell a defective product and the ability to make you think they are doing you a favor by fixing it.

    MY Plastic M&P 9mm standard + Burwell trigger and sights is a good one. Reliable, handy, and accurate.

    I shot the first .45 in the area and it was kind of ok but I really don't want a .45 other than a 1911.

    I have tried hard to like the Walther P99. If there were somebody doing the quality of trigger work you see on Glocks, Smiths, and XDs, I would be glad to have one, but all I have shot or handled had kind of a gritty uneven trigger stroke.
     
  12. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I have a <cough cough> number of M&Ps, in all available chamberings. I have two that specifically serve as weekly range mules. They have accumulated well in excess of fifteen thousand rounds each. I have had ZERO breakages or malfunctions with these two. I shoot mostly cast RN, and I'd clean these pistols every 3000-5000rds. The lube goo on the insides would be caked everywhere, and yet these pistols just chugged away.

    I had an early issue with one of the 40S&W, when it proved finicky feeding truncated cone bullets with a wide meplat and a sharp shoulder. Sticking with bullets with a more traditional ogive has solved that issue.

    Maybe I'm lucky, but if so I'm really really lucky because I have a number of 'em and I shoot the snot outta them.
     
  13. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    Well sounds like I need to give Smith a chance. I can be patient and if I get 'em going good, I'll be real happy.

    Thanks rbernie for the 8000th post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  14. FlaChef

    FlaChef Member

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    I believe the M&P is DA not SA. At least it is classed as such. XD is SA. Steyr is DA. Confused yet? the line is drawn at how far the striker is precocked and whether or not it will set off a primer if it releases (and frankly how the maker lists it, but that is the litmus test they should use).
    I.E...
    Glock ~50% =DA
    Steyr =72% =DA
    XD =90% =SA as it will pop a primer
    M&P=? no idea, but they are classed as DA pistols and it feels similar to my Steyrs if a little heavier and mushier (in all fairness it is still in break in period though)

    Also you will see a LOT more problems on the brand specific boards. This is as simple as; if you had a gun hiccuping where would you go to register an account to ask about your issues? What can be more telling is reading through the threads and seeing how many have to go back for work vs how many are simple break in, poor maintenance, or user induced malfunctions.
     
  15. Boats

    Boats member

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    My wife has the M&P 9 in her nightstand and the SC for carry. Both have proven to be perfectly reliable. The first with about 3k through it and the second with only about 500.

    I like my Beretta PX4-9 much better than either. I have found that I simply don't care for striker fired handguns in general, but the M&P series has held up just fine for us.
     
  16. skwab

    skwab Member

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    Have 2 M&Ps - full size in .40 and a 9c - love 'em both - not a single issue with either.
     
  17. distra

    distra Member

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    I have a new M&P 45c that has been flawless. I had to send the pistol back to S&W for a new pin in the sear block that was left out during manufacturing, but functionally it has been perfect. My M&P 40 has been fine as well. I think S&W's M&P series is a great platform.
     
  18. gglass

    gglass Member

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    You should get rid of any crappy M&P's. I'll take them at a deep discount of course, since they are soooo crappy. I could just add your M&P's to my collection of M&P shame to keep them out of the view of good people everywhere.

    Since there has never been a recorded case of the slightest blemish on a Glock, you should sell me your discounted M&P and get one of those pieces of perfection.
     
  19. Inspector3711

    Inspector3711 Member

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    I was looking at the M&P until I learned about the occasional frame sag issue. Coming from the Plastics industry it nagged me. I went for the XDm-40 ... So far I'm good with it.
     
  20. dennythetech

    dennythetech Member

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  21. ironvic

    ironvic Member

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    My M&P 9C felt great in the hand but couldn't hit the side of a barn. Even more vexing was the sticky mag release button. It was stiff and stuck in the "release" position, meaning that if you seated a magazine, it would promptly drop free or fail to feed if held in place by friction between the mag and frame.

    Nothing I tried would relieve the sticking mag problem, let alone the poor accuracy. Oh, and that weird plastic tool that holds the backstrap on? It broke easily.

    I consigned the gun out along with the 10 & 12 rd. mags that came with it and the extras I got free during the sales promotion for a bargain sale price of $400.

    Now, I depend on a law enforcement trade-in, a SIG-P226. My SIG is accurate and feeds flawlessly. I don't have a problem with 9mm (on the rare day that I want something with more "thump," I use my S&W Model 686+ in .357); but I do have a problem with a gun that's full of problems.
     
  22. havoc7usmc

    havoc7usmc Member

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    M&p lemon

    Here's my take honest take on the M&P. (not said with a attitude)
    EVERY ONE makes a lemon once in awhile. Since it first showed up I've been impressed with the M&P for many reasons.
    1) Many Law agencies are switching to the M&P hands down.
    (2) Many Glock users are very disappointed that there is a new poly pistol on the scene that seems better then the Glock.
    (3) Glock is taken a very BIG hit from the M&P pistol and can't keep up.
    (4) Maybe that some Glock reps are posting bogus reports about the M&P to recover some of their lost sales.

    I'm an independent firearms sales and repair owner and frequently go on my own dime to the factories cert courses for many different types of firearms, so I can keep up with my customers needs. I recently went to S&W for the M&P cert and I can say that all the attendees, except for me, were LEO armor's switching to the M&P. This is the first course I've been to that had so much praise for pistol from so many agency's about reliability, performance and user friendly for first time users. What I see, many agencies are / will switch to the M&P and Glock will play dirty to keep their sales.
     
  23. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    Denny

    I believe that the slide cracked on that M&P, show in the link posted above, after 63,000 rounds! I doubt if I have fired 63,000 rounds in my lifetime to date...certainly not 63,000 centerfire rounds anyway. I think, maybe, a gun breaking after 63,000 rounds is more of an endorsement than an indictment. And that is 63,000 rounds through the thing as fast and as hard as they could shoot them. Also I noted that even with that crack, the gun is still working...it didn't fail to work, the inspected (probably after it stopped glowing red hot) and found the crack.

    If the LEAgencies are so interested, that is another endorsement to keep at it.

    I sent Smith and email asking for a shipping label and instructions and will call Monday. I am going to keep at it.

    I have heard some excellent comments and information on this thread. More will be appreciated. Thanks all.
     
  24. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    I've offered some personal thoughts, opinions and experiences about the M&P pistol series in a few threads. I'll offer them in this one. Please excuse the rambling nature of my comments as I'm not a professional author of magazine articles ...

    First of all, I was surprised by how well I liked the design of the M&P when I attended an armorer's class. There are some surprises to the design.

    The Melonite QP used to treat the through-hardened stainless steel slides and barrels of the M&P pistols is a nitrocarburizing surface hardening treatment. The black color is a property of the Melonite hardening treatment.

    Some basic info on Melonite:
    http://burlingtoneng.com/melonite.html

    "Through-hardened", referring to the slides and barrels themselves, basically means that instead of being just surface or case hardened, the stainless steel components have been hardened throughout. Then, the slides and barrels receive the Melonite nitrocarburizing treatment.

    FWIW, the Melonite nitrocarburizing treatment the M&P receives results in a surface hardness of 68 HRc, which is a little harder than the 64 HRc of Glocks which receive the nitrocarburizing treatment marketed under the Tenifer trade name.

    There are several design features used in the M&P pistol which I found interesting.

    The stock triggers in the 9/40/357 models are intended to produce a trigger pull of 6.5 lbs, with a +/- 2lb tolerance range. Yes, that's a plus/minus of 2 lbs. That means you might occasionally get one on the heavier or lighter end of the expected range. The .45 model has a little bit heavier trigger than the other calibers. There's a heavier trigger available for those states (or contracts) which require it.

    The trigger on my M&P 45 was - naturally - at the heavy end of the standard tolerance range. Once I'd fired 300-500 rounds through it, however, the weight stopped being so noticeable and actually seemed to become smoother, if not lighter. I haven't taken the time to check the trigger with my digital scale since it was NIB, so I don't really know what the average weight is at the present. I can offer the opinion that I find the trigger consistently predictable, smooth and crisp enough for surprising accuracy from a working 'service grade' defensive pistol.

    Disassembly of the M&P is pretty simple, but then I didn't mind depressing the ejector plate forward in the Ruger P-series pistols for disassembly, either. ;) Getting the grip insert tool/pin out of the grip is a bit of a chore the first couple of times, but then I use an armorer's pin punch to move the sear deactivation lever, anyway (and leave the tool/pin in the grip unless I need to change the grip insert). I have to admit that pushing the ejector plate forward in the Ruger P-90 is easier than reaching under the ejector of the M&P to push the sear deactivation lever forward ... but it does make the user look inside the pistol with the slide locked open, doesn't it?

    The locking block pin should stick out just a bit on the left side of the frame. The left end of it should be roughly level with the outside (taller) portion of the leftside of the frame to act as a "stop" for the take down lever. This is intentional, and protects that part of the frame from the take down lever being over-rotated.

    The incorporation of the front frame rails into the locking block reminds me of the Walther P99 Compact (which also puts the front frame rails in the locking block, instead of using an insert molded in the frame as in the standard size models). The incorporation of the rear frame rails in the steel sear housing assembly is also interesting. This design essentially means that if a frame rail were to ever break (hard to imagine with the large, robust rails) the broken rail could easily be replaced by simply replacing the locking block or the sear housing assembly. The repair could be done by an armorer and the frame doesn't have to be returned to the factory.

    The frame rails themselves are rather robust and interesting in design, too. S&W calls them 'rocker rails', and their shape not only permits 'centering' of the slide rails onto the frame rails, even as normal wear occurs, but we were told their shape also reduces stresses on the rails themselves.

    I like that the sear housing is made of steel. I like how the ejector snaps in and out of the housing. I like the robust appearance of the ejector, too.

    The magazine springs have a Teflon-based finish to help with smooth functioning. I like the steel magazine bodies and large bases.

    The captive recoil spring assembly uses a stainless steel guide rod because S&W felt it would provide better strength and durability. (This is something for which Glock owners have long expressed a desire.)

    The front of the slide's dustcover (which houses the front of the guide rod) was made thick and strong, to resist damage if a slide is dropped 'muzzle forward' onto a hard surface. (You have to watch cops standing around a cleaning table/station to really appreciate this feature.)

    The 'I-beam' extractor surprised me with its design. The extractor is larger and stronger in appearance than any S&W extractor I've ever seen, especially the extractor hook itself. Robust is an understatement, I think. It's also interesting that S&W found a way to make the same extractor work across the range of various calibers, too.

    The .45 models use a roll pin for the extractor pin instead of the solid pin used on the other calibers (and which is typical for S&W). We were told the roll pin was used to satisfy an expected military requirement (as were the addition of the thumb safety levers) if military pistol trials occurred.

    I like the idea of the striker return spring used in the M&P striker assembly. I felt the same way about the similar design of the Walther P99 striker assembly design. I remember when I attended my first SW99/P99 armorer class and the purpose of the striker return spring was explained as being to help prevent unnecessary contact between the striker and the safety plunger. This sort of repeated contact may result in a peening condition which has been described as 'chatter', and normal, in Glock armorer classes.

    There have been some minor changes, improvements and refinements since the early pistols were introduced.

    Yes, there have been some teething problems, but they've been quickly addressed by S&W. Detractors might bear in mind that another major maker of polymer-framed pistols is still making some revisions, refinements, upgrades and occasional improvements to their model line ...

    The early flat engagement pads of the slide stop levers received a different shape after feedback from folks who prefer to use the levers as 'slide release levers'.

    The tension of the slide stop lever spring was increased (the .40 S&W does generate some healthy recoil forces).

    The hardening of the metal insert in the magazine catch was changed. Some earlier magazine catches had metal inserts which were too soft and which resulted in some magazines being unintentionally released.

    The 'foot' of the striker was changed, with more material added to the front of it, so the striker is retracted a bit more before being released (there are some hard primers out there in some ammunition).

    The yellow sear deactivation lever shape was changed after the early guns were released, essentially for ease of reassembly if a user was a bit 'inattentive' regarding its position when installing the slide back onto the frame after cleaning. The original one has a dog-leg curve and the current one is straight at the end.

    I was told several months ago that S&W was in the process of redesigning their striker to make it more tolerant of dry-fire.

    I was repeatedly struck by the elegant simplicity of many of the design features, though.

    The magazine safety is 1 lever and a spring. After examining how it functions I wouldn’t be bothered by having one in a personally owned/used M&P, and the M&P 40c I ordered is coming equipped with one. Much simpler than the magazine disconnect safety design used in the traditional S&W pistols, and I’ve used those for many years without problem. The way the lever sticks out into the magazine well, however, means that a rag or shop towel should NOT be rammed through the grip frame in some sloppy, improper semblance of a cleaning method.

    The ergonomics are very good. The feel of the 3 grip inserts are great. One of them ought to be able to fit just about anyone's hand size. The 18 degree grip angle, combined with the low bore axis and extended frame 'beavertail' (to help prevent 'slide bite') are an excellent combination. One of the other instructors with whom I work (who carries a Colt 1911) commented that the smallest of the inserts provides him with a grip that feels remarkably similar, and points similarly in his hands, to that of his 1911 equipped with a flat mainspring housing.

    I like that the M&P pistol was originally designed and built around the .40 S&W cartridge, instead of being a beefed-up 9mm.

    My M&P 45 Dark Earth w/thumb safeties has had more than 2,200 rounds fired through it to date. It's been consistently reliable with a mix of 3 different duty-type hollowpoint loads and has demonstrated itself to be very, very accurate. It's become my favorite personally-owned .45 pistol to use for training & practice.

    I've only spoken to a handful of folks from other agencies where the M&P's have either been adopted or have been undergoing extended T&E for either eventual adoption as issued or optionally approved weapons. So far the folks with whom I've spoken have been pleased with them.

    The M&P pistol series has a lot going for it, and it's done very well in LE circles considering it was only released in Jan '06.

    I think it's become a nice option among the other high quality service pistols.

    If my M&P 40c does as well as my full-size M&P .45 has done, it'll more than likely replace my other personally-owned .40 S&W pistols (meaning they'll be 'retired' to the safe) as my choice for an off-duty and retirement CCW weapon chambered in .40 S&W.

    I was prepared to be somewhat ambivalent toward the M&P pistol when I first heard rumors of the project. I thought my pair of Glocks and SW99's would more than satisfy my needs for having a sampling of quality polymer-framed pistols. Now, I find that I've ordered my second M&P, and I'm even considering ordering a third one upon my retirement, a M&P 45c.

    I like the platform, overall.

    Let S&W replace your M&P 45 trigger bar under warranty.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  25. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    Fastbolt.

    Thanks. That is a tremendous write up. I do not have the obvious depth of experience that you do but oddly, some of the more obvious things you note, I noted as well. Your technical understanding of this platform is quite impressive. I very much appreciate they time you took to provide this valuable information.

    I am sitting tight with the platform. I am sending my .45 back to Smith, get the trigger replaced (I suspect the pin went in too forcefully or something), and have them take a good look at my trigger bar/sear contact.

    I am sitting tight and going to get this working 100%. I do love the thing.

    QB
     
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