Top 6 Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 problems & How To Fix Them

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I had the chance to extensively test the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 in the field. I gotta tell you, it’s a solid rifle for sure. 

But even the best of gear can have its issues, right? So, while using this firearm, I ran into a handful of common problems that many users seem to face.

The snags I hit included feeding failure, issues with the ejector, grip problems, misfiring, a less-than-perfect buttstock, and even the annoying bullet head tilt problem. 

The main aim here is to guide you through these problems and offer practical solutions. 

Overview of Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 problems & their Solutions

ProblemsQuick Solutions
Feeding FailureClean the firearm, especially the breach area, and check magazine placement.
Ejector ProblemClean the chamber and adjust the gap between bolt and ejector.
Grip ProblemConsult a gunsmith for customization.
Misfiring ProblemClean or replace the firing pin and explore different ammo.
Buttstock IssueRelease stock position lock and consult a gunsmith if needed.
Bullet Head TiltFollow magazine loading instructions and consider switching ammo.

Top 6 Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 & Solutions

1. Feeding Failure

Oh, the dreaded feeding failure. Trust me, I’ve been there. I was out at the range, and bang—or should I say, no bang? The rifle just wouldn’t feed correctly. It’s a bummer when you’re all set to shoot, and your rifle decides to act up.

The issue could be due to a bunch of reasons: wrong ammunition, poorly positioned magazines, or just an old, dirty firearm. 

And let me tell you, in some situations, this is more than a minor inconvenience; it could actually be dangerous.


So, here’s the deal—start by cleaning your rifle well, especially if it’s been a while. Dirty components are usually the main culprits behind feed failures. 

I cleaned mine, focusing on the interior top side and the breach area. Just a drop or two of lubricant did the trick. 

Also, double-check your magazine placement. I found that arranging the ammo in a zigzag pattern can help. 

Once I did these things, the feeding problem was history. It’s like giving your car a tune-up; it just runs smoother afterward.

2. Problem with the Ejector

So, there I was, feeling pretty confident with my Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 when the ejector started acting up. 

Yup, it got loose on me. At first, I thought it was just a one-time thing, but boy, was I wrong. The problem seemed to creep up more and more, especially after firing a considerable number of rounds. 

If you think a feeding failure is bad, a loose ejector can be downright dangerous in high-pressure situations. It can really throw a wrench into your shooting plans, not to mention the safety concerns.


Alright, let’s get into the fix. First things first, I got down to cleaning the chamber. A little bit of built-up grime can make a world of difference here. I used a decent solvent and a brush to make sure I got every nook and cranny. 

Then, I went ahead and tried different types of cartridges to see which one caused the least amount of trouble with the ejector.

After all that, no more loose ejector issues! It’s like putting on a belt to keep your pants from falling; a small adjustment can make a big difference.

3. Grip Problem

Ah, the grip is one of the first things you’ll notice when you handle any firearm, right? Well, when I first got my hands on the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22, I couldn’t help but notice the grip felt a bit off. It wasn’t just me; a lot of people seemed to have the same issue. 

The lack of finger grooves is a real downside. Plus, if you’ve got larger hands, prepare for some awkward handling. 

The diameter isn’t exactly generous, making it challenging to get a comfortable hold.


Here comes the practical part. If you’re waiting for the company to come up with a fix that won’t cost you, don’t hold your breath. 

So, what I did was get in touch with a local gunsmith. These folks know their stuff. With a bit of professional help, the grip was altered to something far more comfortable for my hands. If you’re serious about your shooting, a little customization can go a long way. 

After the modification, holding the rifle felt like shaking hands with an old friend—comfortable and familiar.

4. Misfiring Problem

Here’s a tricky one for you: misfires. After having fired hundreds of rounds, I started noticing this aggravating issue. I’d pull the trigger and get nothing. Silence when you’re expecting a bang is never a good sign. 

This problem is frustrating at best and dangerous at worst. The culprits can range from bad ammo choices to something as critical as a defective firing pin. 

And yeah, when that firing pin falls unexpectedly, you’re in for a world of trouble.


So, what to do? First up, I decided to tackle the firing pin. Took it out and gave it a good, thorough cleaning. If your firing pin looks worse for wear, don’t even think about using it again; just replace it. 

Next, I started exploring different ammo options. Sometimes, the ammo can be the sneaky villain in this story. Lastly, don’t forget the golden rule: keep your rifle clean. 

After addressing these points, my misfire issues became a thing of the past. It’s like changing the batteries in your remote; once you do, everything starts working as it should.

5. Buttstock Issue

Okay, so another head-scratcher is the loose buttstock on the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22. Yeah, I noticed it, and trust me, it’s far from ideal. 

This thing can be particularly difficult for beginners. A loose buttstock is just asking for trouble. I’ve heard from others who are downright unsatisfied because of this issue. 

And don’t get me started on how a loose buttstock can complicate matters in more critical situations. It’s like trying to eat soup with a fork; it just doesn’t work the way you want it to.


Let’s roll up our sleeves and fix this. The first thing I did was release the stock position lock. Off comes the buttstock; no big deal. 

Well, unless it decides to jam up on you. If that’s the case, or if it’s just plain stubborn, getting help from a gunsmith might be your best bet. 

They sorted it out for me, and the buttstock is now as sturdy as one could wish. If you’re dealing with this, don’t put it off. Getting it fixed can change your entire shooting experience for the better.

6. Bullet Head Tilt Problem

Alright, let’s get into another issue: the bullets leaning downward. Yep, you heard that right. After firing a few rounds, I noticed the bullets started to tilt. 

And, oh boy, does that mess with your accuracy. It felt like the gun, and I were just not on the same page. In worst-case scenarios, the tilt can even lead to failure in extracting the bullet. Trust me, that’s a headache no one wants. 

The root cause? It might be something as simple as improperly loading the magazines. But when you’re out there, it’s frustrating.


Okay, so what did I do? First up, I made sure to strictly follow the instructions for loading the magazines. 

Reading the manual isn’t fun, but hey, it worked. And if you’re still dealing with tilted bullets, you might want to try switching to different ammo. 

In really stubborn cases, consider sending it back to the company. Get this fixed, and your aim will be to thank you.

Final Verdict

Alright, let’s wrap things up. The Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 is, for the most part, a reliable and user-friendly firearm. 

But like anything in life, it’s not without its issues. This firearm can throw you a curveball or two, from feeding failures and ejector problems to grip discomfort and misfires. That said, each problem comes with a pretty straightforward fix. 

A good clean, a minor adjustment, or a quick visit to a skilled gunsmith usually gets the job done. Sure, no product is perfect, but the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 holds its own pretty well when you weigh the pros and cons. 

Just stay proactive about maintenance, and don’t hesitate to customize; you’ll get the most out of this rifle.


Is the M&P 15 22 reliable?

Yes, it’s a reliable trainer and accurate for plinking.

What ammo can a M&P 15-22 use?

The M&P 15-22 is designed for quality 22LR ammo like CCI.

What does M&P 15 stand for?

M&P stands for Military & Police.

Is the M&P 15-22 considered an AR?

The M&P 15-22 looks like an AR15 but is not considered an AR due to differences like the lower receiver and magazine compatibility.

Is M&P 15-22 good for home defense?

The M&P 15-22 can be considered for home defense, offering increased muzzle velocity in a lightweight and compact form.

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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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