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Stickman
08-06-17, 00:37
During the S&W Shield push of 2017, Smith and Wesson dropped their pricing and used rebates to gain a lot of sales and followers. This was a smart move by S&W to take away from some of the single stack Glock magazine sales, as well as to take some of the sting out of losing the US Military contract to Sig, in the form of the P320.

While we have no idea what the numbers are that S&W pushed out with the Shield during this time frame, there were complaints online from people that S&W Shield quality had dropped a bit. One of the more common complaints was barrel peening, but that isn't the topic for this article.

It is common knowledge that magazines tend to be the weak link in almost every weapon system. If we take out dirty weapons and insufficient lubrication, the magazine becomes almost the sole issue in the realm of weapon problems.

In the case of the Shield magazines, the 9mm magazine follower is not totally devoid of flashing from when it came out of the mold. That is the first issue, and one which is easily fixable. In the same way that you would clean flashing off a model airplane/ tank / car, take a sharp knife and simply trim the protruding section off. The area is shown circled in the image below, and the picture was taken after we had already cleared off the offending matter. While the piece of flashing was not gigantic, it doesn't change the follower hung up quite often, and did NOT want to move freely under spring pressure (the follower kept binding and locking in place). After this quick fix, the improvement was very noticeable.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/85ed66ba3bb76b4e769e441d68b6fe0a/tumblr_ou8wm31FP41rrcg2fo1_1280.jpg


The second issue that we alluded to, is the interface between the follower and spring. The spring does not lock into place in any way, shape, or form. It doesn't even come close. There are certainly other companies that don't lock the spring and follower together, but it doesn't change the fit between the follower and spring on the 9mm Shield magazines are a sloppy fit at best. Followers are a simple item to mold, and adding a section for the spring to lock into wouldn't be difficult at all. Hopefully S&W engineers or the right people will pick up on this. Molds wear out, and this would be a natural progression as no doubt S&W will find a better follower design as they continue to improve the product lineup.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/45436cee46d9ec886b1081e04cce54dd/tumblr_ou8wohyvO31rrcg2fo1_1280.jpg


Lastly, we still think the S&W Shield is a good design, and a nice shooting platform. Yes, there are smaller single stack 9mm weapons, like the Kahr series, the S&W isn't so small that it is unpleasant to shoot. If we come up with anything else we feel note worthy, we will update this. If anyone hears of replacement followers being available, please let us know.

Feel free to add your thoughts, comments and input!

hotrodder636
08-06-17, 10:50
Great tip, thanks Stick!

MegademiC
08-06-17, 13:29
Good info, I'll have to check mine - no issues yet.

Fwiw I take the plastic "grip extender" off my 8rd mags as they can slide up and botch reloads. No issues with over insertion in my sample of 1.

Stickman
08-06-17, 15:07
Good info, I'll have to check mine - no issues yet.

Fwiw I take the plastic "grip extender" off my 8rd mags as they can slide up and botch reloads. No issues with over insertion in my sample of 1.


Yup, you can also drill and use an allen head screw to lock them down. Another trick is to use hair spray, which will allow you to slide them in place easily, but once it dries will leave it stuck where you want it. Hair spray can be cleaned off if you decide you don't like it.

Det-Sog
08-06-17, 18:08
Yup, you can also drill and use an allen head screw to lock them down. Another trick is to use hair spray, which will allow you to slide them in place easily, but once it dries will leave it stuck where you want it. Hair spray can be cleaned off if you decide you don't like it.

Simply _______ awesome tip! I'll have to try that.

Just traded a Shield 9 for the Performance Center version. Even better, and this really points to the mags being the weak link.

FYI, the PC version has a trigger that compares to the Apex one I had on my .40. The porting makes a noticeable difference (for me) with the "snappiness" of the little bugger. I like it.

T2C
08-06-17, 19:05
Yup, you can also drill and use an allen head screw to lock them down. Another trick is to use hair spray, which will allow you to slide them in place easily, but once it dries will leave it stuck where you want it. Hair spray can be cleaned off if you decide you don't like it.

Hair spray is a great idea. I used it to secure grips on motorcycle handlebars for a lot of years and it worked really well.

hotrodder636
08-06-17, 19:55
Nice idea with hairspray. I have used the 3M upholstery adhesive spray, also works pretty well.


Yup, you can also drill and use an allen head screw to lock them down. Another trick is to use hair spray, which will allow you to slide them in place easily, but once it dries will leave it stuck where you want it. Hair spray can be cleaned off if you decide you don't like it.

Stickman
08-07-17, 15:38
Hair spray is a great idea. I used it to secure grips on motorcycle handlebars for a lot of years and it worked really well.

That is exactly where that trick came from. Hairspray is nice because it is ultra thin and clean up is almost nothing if you choose to remove it.

usmcvet
04-19-18, 15:16
Good info, I'll have to check mine - no issues yet.

Fwiw I take the plastic "grip extender" off my 8rd mags as they can slide up and botch reloads. No issues with over insertion in my sample of 1.


Yup, you can also drill and use an allen head screw to lock them down. Another trick is to use hair spray, which will allow you to slide them in place easily, but once it dries will leave it stuck where you want it. Hair spray can be cleaned off if you decide you don't like it.

Going to try the hairspray. Great idea.

I have taken the extender off mine too, the way they slide around irritates me. I added Magguts plus 2 kits to 4 of my 8 round mags and plus 1 kits to a pair of 7 round magazines. The first few were a PITA to install and I cut one of my fingers on the spring. I need to run more rounds through them but they've done well so far. I tried the plus 2 on the 7 round mag I carry in the gun but it was too long for me. The 7 with the extra round is perfect for me. It's comforting knowing I have 9 the gun and twenty more in my other pocket with a few more spares in the car.

Just pulled them out if my pocket to get a photo. This is better than the JFrame and speed strips I carried for years.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180419/226c8dce5c8a2855bbae5329dfdc5a16.jpg

wanderson
06-22-18, 20:27
I wasn’t a fan of the 8 round ‘spacer’ on my 9 mm Shield mags either, tried blue loctite and white glue, wouldn’t stay in place. The 7 round mag with an NDZ extension was OK but the 8 rounders were a perfect grip.

I added the Sampson magwell and it’s perfect now, 8 rounders fit with no spacers, easy mag changes.

Never had any issues with followers in the 9s but the early followers in the .45s could trip the mag release. The mags that came with my .45 Shield were updated but the spares I ordered online were the old ones, S&W sent me replacements for free.

Both my Shields have been as reliable as my Glocks and HK USP.

Stickman
06-23-18, 16:52
I added the Sampson magwell and it’s perfect now, 8 rounders fit with no spacers, easy mag changes.


Any pictures of it with the Sampson magwell installed?