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Smith & Wesson Shield Failure Update 2

A little over a month ago I reported a rather unusual failure with my Smith & Wesson Shield. After determining that there was nothing wrong with the ammunition, I decided to send it to Smith & Wesson in the odd chance that something was off with the pistol. A little over three weeks later, the gun is finally back, and there really isn’t much to report. Smith & Wesson checked out the gun and tested it, but didn’t find anything wrong with it.

So What Happened?

Somehow the ammunition gods decided that on that day, with that particular medium quality Fiochhi round, that my Shield would feed in such a way to completely lock up the gun. As I mentioned in my first update, I’ve since tried the failed round (which was in spec) and more rounds from the same box, and they all fed without issue.

Good to Go?

So where does that leave me? Well first I think it’s worth pointing out that if this had been a failure to feed or a failure to extract, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Those failures are easy to clear, and are fairly common. I would have made a note of the failure and moved on. Completely locking up the gun is a different story in my book, hence the additional follow ups and Facebook discussion.

Since I now have over 1,000 rounds through the gun and this is still the only failure, and it happened with a round that seems to have a history locking up small guns (anecdotal evidence from Monderno readers), I’m going to put another couple hundred rounds through the gun and start carrying it again.

You could say I missed it.

15 Responses to Smith & Wesson Shield Failure Update 2

  1. Rodger August 3, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Good luck with it, sometimes a fluke does happen.

  2. Ben Branam August 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Sometimes weird things happen. I’ve only had one failure in my Glock 19 in thousands of rounds (and I fire junk, Fiocchi is good ammo compared to what I use). The only time I’ve ever had a gun lock up to where I needed tools is when I push forward on the slide or bolt when I had a malfunction. Little guns seem to make little problems big ones. I hope it doesn’t do that to you again, but I would be uncomfortable carrying that gun to depend my life on. I’d always be afraid it would do that same thing. Maybe sell it to someone, but tell them why and buy something else to carry?

  3. Burns August 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    If it happens again, get a Kimber Solo – I love mine!!!

  4. Arol August 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Glad to hear she’s back. I love my 40 shield. Enjoy brother. I trust mine with my and my families life every day. I have 1000 rounds with no issues. Thanks for all the great write ups and reviews.


  5. Steve August 4, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    I had a short string of weak ejection with some PMC Bronze 9mm 115gr JHP in my Glock 19 RTF2. After a good cleaning and another trip to the range I have had not a single weak ejection. I will say it was ammo related, but who knows?

    Glad your Shield is running again.


  6. Ebbs August 5, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Sheesh, finally. Was wondering when we’d get to hear about the verdict on this. My feeling is get another 500 trouble free rounds and 100-200ish trouble free SD rounds (or 500 of the combo) and start carrying the beast again.

  7. Nick August 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    This happened to my Springfield XD when I first bought it. I was shooting some cheap remington ammo and it locked up. I took it to a gunsmith and he used a plaster hammer to hammer the slide back. The primer was struck and there was nothing else wrong with the cartridge. It hasn’t happened since and I never really figured out what the problem was.

  8. Unapologetically American March 3, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    I’ve sent close to 1000 rounds through my Shield .40 without a failure. Mostly cheap ammo whenever I can find it.

  9. Mike March 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    I had a similar issue with the 40c using Fiochhi flat points, however it did finally clear with a good hard jerk back on the slide. Unfortunately this was in competition! I racked the slide again removing that round (last round) and did a slide locked reload and dropped the slide using the release, no further problems in the run. Inspection of the unfired cartridge shows a little powder scorching near the front 1/3 of the case, otherwise it fits the cartridge gauge and looks unmolested.

    I doubt the gun is the problem however as I was getting ready for the reload I may have removed my support hand prematurely and limp-risted that round. I have at least 500 rounds through the M&P with zero other failures so I will assume it was me for now.

    • Brandon March 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      I haven’t had any other malfunctions since.

  10. Stacy May 30, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Feel free to sell yours to me at any time.))

  11. travis June 10, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    my .40 shield wont take hornady critical duty. I think its from the polymer tip catching on the top of the inside of the barrel. it wont feed reliably into my .40 M&P full size either. everything else feeds just fine. the 9mm critical duty ran through my M&P9c just fine. must be the wider shape of the bullet.

  12. Dr. LM June 12, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    Jesus, Brandon. I thought you quit that bitch. I’ll buy it from you for 350.00.

    • Brandon June 12, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      I don’t follow – what do you mean by “quit that bitch”?

  13. chris natale September 5, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    The same thing happened to my 9mm shield. I shot it for the first time last week and out of 145 rounds I had 1 failure exactly like you described. I thought it just didn’t go into battery bc I was shooting one handed with my weak hand but when I smacked the slide it didn’t move. I tried to eject the round and it was locked up! The range officer and I took turns trying to rip it out which finally worked. I figured it was bc I was using reloads that my dad gave me but after seeing you had the same experiance i’m not so sure especially since I have fired almost 400 rounds of it with no other problems in my glock 19. makes me a little uneasy carrying it.