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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've a Smith & Wesson M & P 40 I'm working on for a guy, and it's giving a problem I've not run into before myself. The slide release... pretty much just will not work. Rather, its too hard to push down by thumb, so when a new magazine is inserted, the slide must be racked back by hand to release and strip the first round into battery.

I tried different magazines, I cleaned the firearm, checked the springs and parts for wear or damage or for anything that may be bent out of shape. But I don't own any M&P's, only Glock's, so am not extremely familiar with what every little thing is suppose to be shaped like (if that is or even could be the problem) Now, I can take a small pocket flathead screwdriver and push the slide release down and it releases, given the extra leverage from the screwdriver, so the release does work.

But again, I checked and don't see any burr or wear (grooves/notches it is catching on) which is causing it to be so hard to press down by thumb. Yes, I've tried loaded and unloaded, with and without magazines, every combo I can think of, and watched video reviews of others shooting this model and they don't have that problem. Editing back in: the pistol was bought used, and the previous owner 'doesnt remember there being a problem'. So, I haven't bothered trying to contact S&W yet.

I did a search here for similar problems but found nothing, anyone know what may be going on with this pistols slide release?

Thanks,
S_B
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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A bit of a guess, from a similar situation on a different brand.
Sometimes the angle of the engagement us such, that it REALLY takes a lot of force(such as with a lever or screw driver).
What you could try is with the gun empty and locked open, pull the slide back and see if the release falls easily, or is being held up.
I suspect nothing is "wrong", just some tough geometry.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A bit of a guess, from a similar situation on a different brand.
Sometimes the angle of the engagement us such, that it REALLY takes a lot of force(such as with a lever or screw driver).
What you could try is with the gun empty and locked open, pull the slide back and see if the release falls easily, or is being held up.
I suspect nothing is "wrong", just some tough geometry.
Thanks so much for the reply, I have done what You suggest, and the release lever falls very easily. The instant I take pressure off it by pulling back on the slide, it falls, just like it's supposed to, so... you think it's possibly just warped a bit? Ive thought about that, as well as looked for burrs, anything that could make it catch.

How did you approach fixing the release in your situation?
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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The pistol that had the issue was an EAA Witness. Wasn't a case of being warped, just geometry.
So the pivot point for the release was low enough, that trying to release the slide was going against the arc. Meaning that to release it, you would, in effect, be pushing the slide backwards slightly. That would allow the lever to swing(fall) out of the notch in the slide.

I considered adding a bevel to the slide on the Witness, but ended-up just working the slide and nothing else.
I've heard a few references recently about *I Think* this issue. There is some argument around whether or not, on some guns, the lever in question is "designed" as a true slide release, or simply a slide catch.

Personally sounds like an argument trying to justify a poor design, but that's just me.

Cheers
 

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Shy Bear--- That is just like a sear engagement on a hammer. The slide release is engaged in the notch in the slide just like a sear in a hammer. You'll have to reshape and polish that engagement to make it easier.

Personally sounds like an argument trying to justify a poor design, but that's just me.
Poor design, fit and finish.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, I appreciate the help and info. And see, the best video I found on Youtube, was a review of the M&P 40 and the pistol the guy reviewed was a police trade-in, and I noticed on one of the close-ups of his test pistol, that the slide release HE HAD in the video, was and extended aftermarket (probably) lever that gave more purcahse with for thumb to press it down.

I took that as a sign of issues as well, and in that video, the guy had no problem releasing the slide with the lever.
 

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An extended release offers up to 2.5 times leverage. It's just an upside down wheelbarrow.
 
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