Top 7 Smith and Wesson Shield Problems And How To Fix Them

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I’ve enjoyed taking the Smith and Wesson Shield out for a few spins in the field. While using it, I encountered a handful of Smith and Wesson Shield Problems that had me scratching my head.

Don’t get me wrong; the Shield is a solid piece of hardware, but it’s not without its problems. Some issues I’ve encountered include magazine feeding troubles, inconsistent trigger pull, and even slide lock hiccups.

I want to give you the lowdown on these issues and how to fix them. Stay with me, and let’s get you and your Smith and Wesson Shield back in tip-top shape.

Overview of the Smith and Wesson Shield & their Solutions

ProblemsQuick Fixes
Extraction IssueClean or replace extractor.
Thumb Safety ProblemSwitch to a safety-less version.
Magazine Spring IssueContact Smith & Wesson for a new spring.
Feeding ProblemClean gun and check for compatible ammo.
Magazine ProblemLoad and unload repeatedly to loosen spring.
Trigger IssueClean trigger assembly or consider an aftermarket kit.
Slide Lock IssueSand off the square edge of the slide lock controller.

Problems & Solutions of Smith and Wesson Shield

1. Extraction Issue

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. One problem I’ve personally wrestled with is the “failure to extract” issue. You fire a round and expect the case to exit the chamber like it should. 

But surprise! It doesn’t. This can happen for many reasons, but it’s super frustrating when you’re trying to focus on shooting. 

I noticed this problem worsens the longer you go without cleaning or inspecting the gun. And trust me, this isn’t something you want to happen when you really need the firearm to work.


Okay, so how do you solve this puzzle? First off, check the extractor—that little arm that hooks the casing. In my experience, giving it a good clean can do wonders. 

Sometimes, it’s as simple as getting rid of accumulated dirt under there. If the extractor looks worn or broken, don’t hesitate to contact Smith & Wesson directly. 

They can help you sort it out. I tried this, and the customer service was pretty on point. Once you’ve taken care of the extractor, you’re likely to see a world of difference.

2. Thumb Safety Problem

So, let’s dive into another issue I stumbled upon while out in the field—the thumb safety. Originally, the Shield 9mm came with this feature, but let me tell you, it wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

I, too, felt a little uneasy about it. Why? There’s always the risk of accidentally engaging the safety while carrying the gun. 

Imagine being in a critical situation and having to fumble around to disengage the safety. Not ideal, right? That extra second to switch off the safety can be crucial.


For the good news, Smith & Wesson listened to the feedback. If you’re like me and prefer to go without that thumb safety, give Smith & Wesson a call. 

They can guide you through the process of switching to the safety-less version. I did it, and the transition was smooth. It’s a relief not to worry about that extra step, especially when you need to be quick on the draw.

3. Problem with the Magazine Spring

Ah, the magazine’s spring issue. Yup, been there, done that. While using the Shield 9mm, I noticed something wasn’t quite right when I was loading rounds into the magazine. 

It felt like the spring was struggling, almost like it was in a tug-of-war with itself. I did some digging, and I wasn’t the only one facing this issue. 

The coil binding in the magazine’s spring seems to be the root of the problem. It doesn’t do a good job of holding up under pressure—literally! 

This can lead to feeding problems or a total jam when you’re in a crucial situation.


Alright, onto the fix. The best course of action? Contact Smith & Wesson. They know about the issue and are pretty good about sending a replacement spring for the magazine. 

I gave them a call, got my new spring, and switched it out. Just like that, the problem was gone. It felt like a new magazine entirely, much smoother and more reliable. 

So, if you’re experiencing this issue, don’t waste time—get that spring replaced.

4. Feeding Problem

So, let’s chat about another issue I ran into: the feeding problem. You load up your magazine, and you’re all set, but then the last few rounds just don’t want to play nice. 

I found that they would get stuck at awkward angles in the chamber, making it a real hassle when the slide tried to pick up the bullet. It’s pretty alarming, especially if you need to rely on your gun in a high-stakes situation.

I found this issue could be down to a few things: a dirty gun, incompatible ammunition, or even the magazine itself.


It’s time for some good news: this problem is usually an easy fix. I started by thoroughly cleaning my gun and ensuring I was using the right ammo. That alone solved the issue most of the time. 

But if you’ve done all that and are still facing problems, take a look at the magazine’s spring. 

Remember the spring problem we talked about earlier? Yep, it could be causing this, too. Swapping out the spring fixed it for me, and I bet it’ll also do the trick for you.

5. Magazine Problem

Okay, onto another wrinkle I found—the magazine problem. I must say loading these magazines can feel like a mini workout. 

The first couple of rounds? Not a big deal. But after that, it gets tough. At times, I felt like I needed some sort of special tool to continue loading. And don’t get me started on inserting a fully loaded magazine into the gun. 

The new spring is so rigid it feels like it’s resisting you. Frankly, this makes the whole process unnecessarily difficult.


Now, let’s talk about solutions. If you’re finding it hard to load your magazines or fit them into the gun, there’s a simple enough fix. 

Try repeatedly loading and unloading the bullets into the magazines. Yeah, it’s tedious, but it helps the spring to relax. 

Another thing I did was to fill the magazines and let them sit for a week. I found that the springs loosened up a bit, making the magazines much easier to handle. 

So, if you’re battling with your new, rigid magazines, these are practical ways to ease the struggle.

6. Trigger Issue

Let’s shift gears and discuss the trigger issue. Look, when you’re dealing with a firearm, the last thing you want is a trigger that’s not up to par.

During my field tests, I noticed that the trigger didn’t always respond as smoothly as I’d have liked. 

The pull felt uneven and, well, kind of gritty. It wasn’t consistent, making it a bit hard to predict each shot.


Now for the fix, and I promise it’s a doable one. You can give the trigger assembly a good cleaning. It’s surprising how much a simple cleaning can improve things. 

However, if you still find the trigger pull to be problematic, there are aftermarket trigger kits available that can make a significant difference. 

I tried one of these kits; the difference was night and day. The pull became consistent smooth and made the gun much easier to handle. 

Consider it a worthwhile investment in your shooting experience.

7. Slide Lock Issue

Ah, the infamous slide lock issue, another hiccup I encountered during my field tests. You cannot brush off this one, especially when quick action is required. The slide lock is not as user-friendly as you’d want it to be.

It can get really stiff, and at times, it even locks back when there are still rounds in the magazine. 

You don’t want to be fumbling with a stubborn slide lock when every second counts. Trust me, the resistance is real and sometimes feels like it requires Herculean strength to release.


Okay, so here’s the lowdown on fixing this issue. Get some 600-grit sandpaper and gently round off the square edge of the little controller piece under the slide lock.

I tried it myself, and it made a world of difference. After that minor adjustment, the slide lock became noticeably smoother. 

It wasn’t like pushing a boulder uphill anymore. If you’re struggling with this problem, just take the time to make this tweak. You’ll thank yourself later.

Final Verdict

The Smith & Wesson Shield is a popular choice for many gun enthusiasts, but it’s not without its share of issues. 

From extraction failures to inconsistent trigger pulls, there are areas where this firearm could use a little fine-tuning. 

Yet, let’s not forget the silver lining: most of these issues are fixable. A call to customer service, a touch of sandpaper, or a little extra cleaning could turn things around pretty quickly.

The Shield holds its own quite well in a market saturated with options, especially after you’ve ironed out its issues. 

So, if you’re a fan, don’t let the bumps in the road deter you; they might just be stepping stones to a smoother shooting experience.


Is M&P Shield better than Glock?

Depends on preference; Shield has effective serrations but Glock 43 is easier to manipulate.

Why is the M&P Shield so popular?

It’s highly desirable for its design features and is often out of stock due to high demand.

Will M&P Shield fire if dropped?

There have been concerns about drop safety; however, newer models are designed to prevent this.

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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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