Top 6 Smith and Wesson 22A Problems And How To Fix Them

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You might know that I’ve had my fair share of experience with various firearms, and today, I want to talk about the Smith & Wesson 22A. I’ve spent quite some time testing this handgun out in the field, and while it’s a decent piece, it’s not without its issues.

I’ve come across several common problems that many of you might face. I’m talking about issues like problematic magazines, firing failures, stuck triggers, ejection hitches, feeding problems, and a safety recall on this model. 

But don’t worry; the point of this article isn’t to deter you from owning a 22A. Instead, it’s to help you understand what these issues are and, more importantly, how to fix them or prevent them from happening in the first place.

Overview of Smith and Wesson 22A Problems & their Solutions

Magazine Pops OutAdjust your grip; tighten screws; consult Smith & Wesson if unresolved.
Firing FailureSwitch ammo; tighten leaf spring strain screw; replace leaf spring if needed.
Trigger StuckClean around trigger; consult a gunsmith for detailed inspection.
Ejection IssueSwitch ammo; lubricate gun properly.
Feeding ProblemClean the gun; switch ammo; replace magazine spring.
Safety RecallContact Smith & Wesson for immediate inspection and repair.

Top 6 Smith and Wesson 22A Problems & Solutions

1. Problem with the Magazine

Okay, let’s dive in. The first issue I ran into while using the Smith & Wesson 22A was the magazine popping out unexpectedly. 

Yeah, you read that right. Imagine you’re out at the range, focusing on your target, and then—pop! The magazine decides it’s done for the day. Super frustrating. This problem isn’t something you can brush off, mainly because it messes with the shooting flow. 

When I dug into it, I found that the issue could be the gun’s recoil hitting the magazine release or even the grip style, making you accidentally release the mag. Oh, and it could also be a factory magazine issue.


So, what to do? First, take a look at your grip. That was the first thing I corrected in my experience. Ensure you aren’t accidentally pushing the magazine release while holding the gun. 

Then, double-check those screws; they should be tight but not overly so. Done that? Great! If you’ve got all that sorted and the problem persists, give the magazine release button a once-over. If everything still seems out of sorts, I advise sending it back to Smith & Wesson. 

They’ll set you right. Trust me, getting these basics ironed out made my experience a whole lot better.

2. Firing Failure

Alright, moving on to another hurdle—failure to fire. Nothing’s more unnerving than pulling the trigger, expecting that bang, and getting a sad click instead. 

I’ve personally experienced this one, too, and it throws off the whole rhythm. It’s especially problematic if you’re in a situation that requires rapid firing. 

From my observations, this could be due to a range of issues: incompatible ammunition, a faulty firing pin, or even just an accumulation of dirt inside the gun.


So, how did I tackle this issue? First up, I switched my ammo. The gun can be pretty picky about what you feed it. If changing the ammo doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. 

Check out the leaf spring strain screw. If it’s loose, tightening it might solve the problem right there. In my case, I had to go a step further and replace the leaf spring altogether. After that, the hammer had enough force to get the job done every time I pulled the trigger. 

So yeah, don’t ignore these seemingly small things; they can make a huge difference in your shooting experience.

3. Trigger Stuck

Next up on the list is the sticky trigger issue. Let me tell you, when the trigger gets stuck, it’s like a bad jam in your favorite song—it totally throws you off. I’ve been there, trying to maintain focus on my aim, but the trigger just won’t cooperate. 

It’s really irritating because you expect a smooth action from a brand like Smith & Wesson. This can be a serious concern, too, as a stuck trigger is essentially a non-operational firearm when you might need it most.


Now, to tackle this, I took a couple of different approaches. First, a good cleaning. You’d be amazed at how much gunk can accumulate around the trigger mechanism. 

A thorough cleaning did improve the action a bit. If cleaning doesn’t work, then it’s probably time to consult the pros. I had to get a gunsmith involved for a detailed inspection. 

They can identify if it’s a manufacturing issue or something else and can either fix it or advise you further. From my experience, sorting out a trigger issue is a must-do to ensure reliable shooting.

4. Ejection Issue

Let’s talk about another glitch I encountered: the failure to eject. Imagine you fire a shot, but the empty case decides it wants to stick around in the chamber. 

Yeah, it’s not cool. The slide moves back, but before that stubborn case can get ejected, the slide is already closing. I noticed this issue more than once, and, let’s be honest, it disrupts your shooting flow big time. 

This issue could arise from using incompatible ammo or from inadequate gun lubrication. Trust me, these things matter.


So, how did I go about fixing it? First, I changed my ammo. I specifically avoided Remington Viper and Federal bullets, as other users and I found that they were often the culprits. Next, lubrication. 

The gun comes oiled for transport and storage, but you’ve got to clean that off and use some proper gun oil before you start shooting. After these changes, the ejection issue almost entirely vanished from my experience. 

Remember, the right ammo and a well-oiled gun can make all the difference.

5. Feeding Problem

Alright, let’s dive into another problem: feeding issues. You know what’s annoying? When you load up your magazine, the last few rounds decide they don’t want to cooperate. They tip down or, even worse, get jammed in the chamber. Yeah, that’s what happened to me several times. 

This issue can mess with your shooting cadence and be quite frustrating. Whether it’s due to dirty internals or incompatible ammo, this feeding issue is a hindrance nobody wants to deal with.


So, what’s the fix? First things first, give your gun a good, thorough cleaning. You’d be surprised how much a clean firearm can improve things. 

Secondly, switch out your ammo. Look at your magazine if you’ve tried both of these and still face the problem. The spring could be the villain here, causing the bullets to slide downward. 

Replacing the magazine spring sorted this issue out for me. In short, keep your gun clean, be picky with your ammo, and don’t hesitate to replace parts when needed. Trust me, it’ll save you headaches down the line.

6. Safety Recall on the 22A

So, let’s talk about something no gun owner wants to hear: a safety recall. You see, the 22A pistols with serial numbers within a specific range have been flagged by Smith & Wesson for having potential safety issues. 

In my case, I checked my serial number, and, yep, it fell right in that range. The problem is with the slide, where insufficient headspace could lead to an accidental discharge. 

Scary stuff, right? Nobody wants to deal with a gun that could accidentally go off. It’s a problem that directly impacts safety; you can’t take that lightly.


So, what’s the fix for this serious issue? Listen, don’t try tackling this yourself; it’s too risky. Contact Smith & Wesson immediately. I sent my gun to them, and they handled it from there. 

Final Verdict

All in all, the Smith & Wesson 22A is a mixed bag. On one hand, it offers a good grip and generally reliable shooting. But let’s not sugarcoat things; it’s got its fair share of issues. 

You might face problems ranging from light primer strikes to feeding issues. The good news is that most of these issues have workable solutions. 

And hey, it’s crucial to remember that firearms are machines, and machines sometimes need adjustments or repairs. 

My field testing has shown me that you’re less likely to run into hiccups when you stick to compatible ammunition and keep up with cleaning and maintenance. 

So, if you own a 22A or plan on getting one, be vigilant about its care and stay updated on any recalls or safety notices.


Is the S&W 22A discontinued?

Yes, it was discontinued as of May 11, 2015.

Are Smith and Wesson good?

Yes, they’ve been making reliable firearms.

How old are Smith and Wesson firearms?

Founded in 1852, it’s been around for 171 years.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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