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Smith & Wesson issued a safety alert and is recalling some of their popular M&P Shield pistols. A defect in the guns’ trigger bar pin could defeat the drop safety making them, well, not drop safe. Not all Shields have the defect and they’ve produced this video to help you tell if your Shield is affected. Written check procedures are here. Press release after the jump . . .

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (August 22, 2013) — Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that the Company has identified a condition where the trigger bar pin could damage the lower trigger in certain M&P Shields in a way that may affect the functionality of the drop safety feature of the firearm, potentially allowing the pistol to discharge if it is dropped.

This Safety Alert applies to all M&P Shield pistols manufactured before August 19, 2013. We believe this condition is largely limited to recently manufactured M&P Shield pistols. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are asking all consumers of all M&P Shields manufactured before August 19, 2013 to immediately inspect their pistols for this condition.

Any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential to cause injury, and we ask that you STOP USING YOUR PISTOL IMMEDIATELY UNTIL IT HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND, IF THE CONDITION IS FOUND, REPAIRED.

To determine whether your firearm was manufactured before August 19, 2013 and to receive video instructions for inspection, please go to All firearms must be inspected to determine whether it exhibits the condition identified in this notice. You can also find this information on our website at under the product safety button.

If you are uncomfortable conducting the inspection outlined above, or are unsure whether the condition described in this notice applies to your firearm, please take your firearm to your local M&P Certified Armorer or send your firearm to Smith & Wesson for inspection. M&P Armorers can be found on the website under the Find a Dealer tab.

If after inspection it is determined that the condition outlined in this safety alert exists, the firearm must be sent to Smith & Wesson for repair. If your firearm is affected by the condition outlined in this notice, please send your pistol to Smith & Wesson. Your firearm will be inspected, and if necessary, repaired at no cost to you. Your firearm will be returned within 5 to 7 business days. All shipping and repair costs will be covered by Smith & Wesson.

Please contact Smith & Wesson directly at 877-899-6259, or at to arrange for the repair, if necessary, of your pistol.

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    • Funny, what exactly do u consider not to be garbage ? Just curious because I have never had anything but great things from my S&Ws

    • Garbage, really? Right, because other major gun manufacturers like Glock, Ruger, Beretta or Walther never have these issues. Oh, wait, yes they do.
      I own 2 S&W pistols, both quality and both fine.

    • History….

      Smith & Wesson not only:

      Executed a full blown media ‘assault’ campaign against Glock when Glock was new to market, professing that “plastic guns are inherently dangerous, and just plain unsafe” while promising they (Smith & Wesson) would “Never build a plastic gun.”

      Then, in 1993, Smith & Wesson also:

      Brought to market the Smith & Wesson Sigma series handgun. A plastic handgun that resembled the Glock in so many details, Glock sued Smith & Wesson for patent infringement, and Smith & Wesson had to pay an undisclosed amount in damages and had to re-engineer the Sigma series to remove patent infringements against Glock.

      This is what I like to call a perfect example of Dumb, and Dumber.

      With a history like this, Smith & Wesson will see no future in my safe or from my wallet.

      • So basically your beef is with how corporate does their marketing….this is about quality in case you missed the point Mr. Glockhead

      • In my opinion, M&P’s are junk. Then again, in my opinion, plastic guns are junk so i’m a bit biased. I am of a younger generation and plastic guns were already proliferated around the globe by the time I was a toddler. Despite this, I have always felt that plastic is not worthy of a place on a firearm (with exception to grips or stock) and certainly not as the primary or critical components of a firearm such as a trigger assembly or a pistol frame. I have been disappointed with the current selection and fad to make “cheap” guns out of plastic and call them “quality.” Plastic in my opinion will never be quality.

        Recently I bought a plastic gun at the persuasion of my friends and I still don’t like it and am looking to trade for a metal frame gun.

        • Your bias against polymer handguns has no real basis in fact, only in your imagination, young friend. You really don’t know what you’re talking about, but if that is how you feel, go get a 1911 or a Kimber Solo and drive on.

        • Granted I think most metal frame guns are just better looking and the craftsmanship is superb on a lot of them. If someone said you can have a Glock/M&P or a 226/1911 I would chose the 226 or 1911 anyday 1000 times over.

        • Well… lets be honest. Which would you rather have:

          This one:

          or this one:

          In manufacturing, quality and low cost are typically not mutually exclusive. Plastic is cheap – that is why they use it. You don’t have to machine plastic like you would a metal frame. To be honest, I wish a company would make a titanium/iron pistol (quality materials) that would exhibit all the benefits of a plastic gun and all the benefits of a stainless gun as well. … But then it wouldn’t be low cost. But that is what plastic on guns is all about really.. low cost. Again that is why they use it, not because it is a superior material.

          I once had an all steel makarov blow up in my hand (Not exactly sure why as the barrel was bulged it was likely a partial barrel obstruction). The gun blew apart in 15 or so pieces. I took a moment to inspect the pistol and the components and completely reassembled it right then and there. Checked the barrel and finished out my box of seller and bellot. Ordered me a another barrel and barrel press and that gun is working great to this day. I honestly believe had that frame been made of plastic that pistol would not exist today.

    • Nice. Good job for taking an outnumbered opposing position and saying what no one else had the brass to say and on first post no doubt.

  1. Better safe then sorry.
    I don’t own one of these but……..
    Sure going to take a bite out of S&Ws pocket over this.
    If the entire production and all models are being included.
    So please guys/gals if you have one of them take a look.

  2. S&W, luckily my pistol isn’t showing the signs; However, you should of given us a metal trigger. Just saying.

      • I don’t have any inside information but in my opinion it’s a matter of when, not if, for a safety-less version of the Shield.

        Just seems like it’d be really stupid for them not to. It’s not like S&W doesn’t have various versions of each of their guns already anyway (lock and no lock; with safety, no safety; MA compliant, CA compliant, etc.)

        • Haha. As of today, all S&W pistols are plastic framed pistols with exception to their 1911 design, a single target 22 and their revolvers. All M&P designs are plastic. I am not anti-smith and wesson. I am a big fan of their older generation all metal frames – such as the 5906. 5906 is a great gun IMO (in my top ten list for pistols).

          If you give me a 5906 i’ll never again slap around the claim that metal guns are superior to plastic.

  3. I was worried when I first heard of the “problem”… went and checked mine (just bought this past year) according to the written instructions and no issues. *Phew*

  4. It’s sad, I was considering a shield for winter carry to supplement my LCP. Until they can sort out their recent problems with quality I’ll keep sending my paycheck to Ruger and Springfield.

    • I know we all love our brands, and I love Ruger. But the SR series was a jam-o-matic disaster when it first came out. With new designs, everyone gets a little leeway. It’s if the issues don’t get promptly identified and fixed.

  5. How does the trigger dongle(?) affect drop safety? I always thought the part the makes these guns drop safe was the firing pin block.

    • They must be theorizing that you could drop it onto the trigger…? This is a double action striker type, correct? So there’s no such thing as “drop safety” on this gun. Nothing is cocked back that could be released by a drop (inertia disconnecting the sear), and no hammer is exposed at the rear that could be impacted.

  6. Mine is fine, fondled said trigger numerous times and the little dude popped in and out all on his own. Back to the nightstand…

  7. I wish I had a Shield. I have 3 S&W firearms and they have all been wonderful.

    I do prefer the XD-S to the shield, but I would happily take both.

    • Lets not be so easy on the Springfield XDS .45 ACP. Ever since I bought the gun it has taken approximately 16 to 18 pounds to release the magazine with the magazine. I sent it back once for repair under warranty and they told me there was nothing wrong it. I have been shooting pistols since 1984 and I sur can realize how many bad magazine releases there are.

      So now I must take the litigation route because Springfield Armory will not stand behind it’s roduce. I also had an XD 9mm with the same magazine problem and sold it off. I also was ready to buy a 1911 9mm for comp shootinf. That purchase has also been put of hold.

      Either repair my XDS .45 ACP to operate correctly or exchange it or refund my money> I refuse to buy a bum gu.

  8. Mine was one of the ones affected. Just purchased it three weeks ago. I noticed the peculiarity about the trigger, but figured it was normal. I haven’t even put any rounds through it yet. Guess it’s off to S&W on Monday.

  9. I would really like to know more technical details about this issue. What is the problem and how is it fixed? The vague description seems to imply that something can break inside the trigger. If that is the case, then my shield is affected, but just not yet impacted. It may not be broken today, but could be broken tomorrow, or a year from now. I’ve been looking to get a shield for my first carry piece, but I would really like to know what is the low level root cause of this and how it is being corrected first.

  10. I have a shield and two things make me not care about this:
    1) there’s another external safety on the slide so the gun is still plenty safe
    2) this safety is that weird trigger safety that as long as you observe the rules of gun safety it should NEVER come into play

    But mine is fine so no worries.

  11. I think a lot of these guys that are whining about these plastic fantastic guns have overlooked something. That something is WEIGHT. Plastic is lighter. A lot of people carry guns but need never fire them.. that’s right and its sad. But a mass majority of firearms are toted around more than they are fired. Less weight makes this easier to do, as well as these smaller frames. Less comfortable and harder to shoot well, of course.
    Do any of you Glock fanboys run them as race guns or for precision target shooting? No. Can they be used for it? Sure, just the same as using a square point shovel to dig a hole.
    The right tool for the job folks

    • Square point shovel is a false analogy. I don’t know how far in modifications you have to go to be considered a “race gun,” but there are lots of professional competitors using plastic frame pistols from GLOCK, S&W, and Springfield Armory with varying levels of modification, from bone stock all the way up.

    • I definitely am whining about plastic fantastic guns. I apologize to everyone that has endured. That said, I would prefer to buy a single pistol made from titanium alloy at high cost that is lightweight than buy a cheap lightweight plastic gun.

  12. Mine was GTG. As an owner of polymer guns from Springfield (XD45, XDm 9mm), Glock (27, 19, 34, 21), S&W (Shield .40 and M&P CORE) and FNH (FNP-45, FNP-45 TAC., FN Five-Seven), as well as several steel/aluminum frame handguns (including the 5906), I can unequivocally say that I trust my Shield as my EDC pistol. It’s been incredibly reliable (in fact, I think it’s the only firearm I’ve ever owned that’s never failed to feed or extract) and remarkably accurate given its size. Even with this minor issue, I’d own another one in a heartbeat. As for the thumb safety, it’s clearly designed to give the operator the choice to employ/not employ, as evidenced by the fact that it is small and recessed (as compared to the M&P’s with the paddle safety).

    As far as I’m concerned, this is a minor production hiccup and I applaud S&W for getting out in front of it and issuing not only a recall, but an instructional to allow consumers to determine if their model was affected. As for Yankee Marshall, I think his personal preferences got the better of him; empirically, I find it very hard to imagine the safety on this particular weapon engaging/disengaging on its own. But, to each his own.

    • I guess if you had it in the fanny pack with loose items that could rub up against the safety. My shield had a failure to extract after shooting all day without cleaning. A quick cleaning and I finished the day without another failure. I absolutely trust mine. I like it because it is thin and comfortable to carry, easy to conceal. All encourages me to carry more.

      Which would one rather have? A thin comfortable gun that you can carry in light shorts during the hot summer (when tempers usually flair)


      that big heavy 1911 metal gun that you cant conceal at all and without a heavy belt pulls your pants down so you leave it at home half the time.

  13. I own one of the recalled pistols. I bought it new, last Friday. I finally got some ammunition this week, so I could test fire it. It’s in 9mm and it’s hard as hell to find around here.
    The two piece trigger on my shield(the equivalent of the dongle on the glock trigger), doesn’t work at all on mine.
    I filled out the form on the recall website about 3 hours ago. It indicated they would send me a FEDEX shipping label via email. I’ve been waiting for 3 hours for the email. I finally gave up and called the 877 number. They indicated that it could take 3 to 5 days in order to receive the label and another 5 to 7 business days in order for the pistol to be repaired. Then of course the shipping back to me. I could be without the damn thing for over 2 weeks.
    You would think that testing a weapons safety features would be on the top of the quality control list. Evidently not at S&W. This is my first M&P. I currently own 2 of their revolvers and have owned one of their metal framed semi-autos. I bought the shield instead of the XDS-9 because it was made in America. Maybe that might not have been the best of decisions.

    • Same exact issue. I spoke to them this morning as well and the representative indicated that she would mail me a Fedex mailing label in 3-5 days. I also haven’t put a single round through the pistol yet. A little disheartening because I see that August 2nd, the pistol was test fired by an individual at the factory. I would imagine that they should’ve caught this at that point. I also was between purchasing a Springfield Armory XD-S, since I already own an XDM .45 and am happy with the quality. Regardless, I’m not going to get too discouraged. I understand things happen – and am glad that Smith and Wesson is fixing it. Just wish it was caught before the pistols were shipped out, and beyond that – the process to have it fixed was faster.

    • A little update. I have yet to receive a shipping label. I called the number again, Now they’re saying 7 to 10 days to receive the shipping label. I’m VERY disappointed in S&W.

  14. I’m not effected, but if you do have to send it back to S&W, would you have to go through a FFL dealer like when you buy one through the mail?

    • No, for purposes of repair it is perfectly legal for you to send a firearm back to a manufacturer/repair facility and for them to send it directly back to you.

      Citations here (questions 3 & 7) and here (pdf warning, question 7).


  16. I bout a shield .40 the take down lever fell out after 81 rounds when u field strip it when I sent it in for the first three times the sent it back first with a new stopping block then told me 2 times it passes every safety inspection they have yet the lever still falls out so I took it to my locale gun dealer and they sent it in for me I got it back today still broke I have Ben called a lier buy s&w I have Ben told I’m sstupid and tha they are done looking at a gun that is not broke but yet it is clearly broke worst costumer service I have ever had to deal with and they can’t even fix a gun they invented just wanted you all to know my experience with s&w and say it is not suggested to buy there products for they are defective and then they don’t want to fix it I’m selling my gun and I will never buy another s&w ever again thank you for your time hope this helps


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