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Smith & Wesson Quoting 6-8 Week Repair of a Factory Defect on Brand New Gun


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This is my new Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Optics Ready handgun.  I ordered it right after Christmas and picked it up on Thursday, January 7th, 2022.  Any day that you get a new firearm is a good day!  Or so we've always thought.

The trigger on the new model is honestly pretty great.  It resolves many of the gripes that people have had about the M&P trigger in the past.  They have done away with the hinged design and moved to a flat-faced polymer trigger with an integral safety "blade" much like a Glock has.  I supposed that Glock's patent on this has expired since everyone else is producing clones of the Glock based on the Gen 3 and Gen 4 designs.  So, it was nice to see that Smith & Wesson has done away with the goofy hinged trigger.

Trigger reset is pretty good, also.  It still is not quite as crisp and snappy as that of a Glock but, honestly, I don't get wrapped around the axle about trigger reset.  As long as it's there and does its job, that is what matters. 

If you are shooting the gun in a class setting or, God forbid, in an active situation where someone's life is on the line, you really aren't going to notice the tactile reset anyway.  Just my opinion, perhaps, but I obsess over minutia and cannot find a single recorded case of a police officer or other stating that they remember how the trigger reset felt in that kind of situation.  Most folks don't even accurately remember how many rounds they fired, so expecting them to wax poetically about how the trigger felt under stress is just stupid.

But I digress.  The point of this post is not to write a love poem about triggers. 

No, the point is darker and less happy than that.

 

 

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This is my brand-new M&P a few seconds after I attempted to remove the Allen screws that hold the factory polymer blanking plate from the optics cradle on the slide.

As you can see, the screw on the ejection-port side of the slide has stripped completely out.  This was with moderate torque and using a quality Wiha-brand Allen key to remove it.  The screw felt as if it were either coated with thread-locking compound or, worse, cross threaded and then driven home by some ape at the Smith & Wesson assembly line.

I was furious.  Immensely so.  But not as furious as I was after calling Smith & Wesson and asking them how I could return it to them for some help.

 

 

 

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This is my reaction after calling Smith & Wesson and learning that they would require SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS to service it.

You read that right.  It will ship this back to them via FedEx 2-Day Air after which time it will take approximately two months for it to sit in their service queue, after which time they will look at it, do something about the problem, and then return it to me.  And hopefully in the condition it should have been from the beginning.

I understand that manufacturing problems happen, but service after the sale is where the rubber really meets the road and Smith & Wesson need to step up their game.  I would recommend that they start by reducing the wait time for service.  A target of 1-2 weeks round-trip seems like a reasonable target to me.

This isn't a $600 television or some other consumer good that could be returned to the store where it was purchased for an exchange or a refund.  The only option is to send it back to the manufacturer and, ideally, receive it back quickly with all problems resolved.

I am lucky.  I have other guns to carry.  But can you imagine being someone who doesn't have those options and who can't afford to roll the dice on a $600 gamble that their new gun is going to function properly? 

That person would be screwed.

 

 

 

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Anyway, being mechanically inclined I asked Smith & Wesson if I could have a local gunsmith remove the screw, or do it myself, without voiding the warranty.  They said YES!  So, off I went in search of an appropriately small screw extractor. 

A few harrowing moments later, the screw was successfully removed!  Success!!!  Rejoicing!!! 

 

 

But... not so fast.

 

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This is my brand-new M&P with the new screw sheared off into the slide.

Yep.  As I began to thread it into the slide, using barely any torque or force at all, it met resistance.  I stopped immediately and began to slowly reverse direction.

And it snapped.  Right where the head of the screw met the slide.

 

 

Inside Out Reaction GIF by Disney Pixar

I am not sure how I resisted the urge to just throw the whole damned thing through the nearest wall but, somehow, I did.

I suppose it was the rapidly shrinking rational portion of my brain that somehow managed to squeak out the thought, "Hey... don't throw it through the wall.  If you do that, you can't return it to the factory."

Actually, my response was one of complete numbness.  Disbelief.  It short-circuited my brain.  I could only stare at it in silent rage.

 

 

So, all of this being said, I am very confident that the original screw was cross threaded during initial assembly at Smith & Wesson  This is now their problem to fix.  I am returning the whole gun to them and suppose that I might see it sometime in March or April.  And that thought infuriates me like no other.

 

Would I recommend an M&P to anyone at this point?   Not on your life.  Check back with me in two months and I'll let you know if my opinion has changed any.

 

 

History of Updates

1. January 12, 2022 -- Smith  & Wesson received the gun for repair.

2. January 18, 2022 -- Smith & Wesson emailed to provide an RMA case number.

3. January 24, 2022 -- Officially one week since the gun was logged into the RMA system.  Twelve Days since it arrived at S&W.  No news.  No updates.

 

 

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  • TGO David changed the title to Thinking About Buying a New Smith & Wesson M&P? Think Twice and Buy Something Else. (6-8 Week Repair)

Not sure how the screw broke with virtually no torque, but why not extract what’s left of it and clean up the threads with a tap? Irritating, yes, but not as irritating as a trip to UPS and a two month wait in my opinion.

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  • TGO David changed the title to Read This Before You Buy That New Smith & Wesson. 6-8 Week Repair of a Factory Defect.
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4 minutes ago, gregintenn said:

Not sure how the screw broke with virtually no torque, but why not extract what’s left of it and clean up the threads with a tap? Irritating, yes, but not as irritating as a trip to UPS and a two month wait in my opinion.

How would you propose that I get that screw out?  There is nothing left to grab ahold of.

The two-month wait is now the cost of not ruining the gun.  It's infuriating, yes, but trying something more drastic could damage the gun, which Smith & Wesson certainly would be under no obligation to repair. 

At this point I don't feel that I have any good alternatives than play their game.

 

 

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I just went thru this same type of problem with a brand new Sig P365XL-new Holosun optic on slide-

Off to range I go-Happy as a lark-

First shot the optic shears both screws off and the sight hits me right between the on lookers-

I lucked out by cross cutting the tops of the screw and was able to use a very small screw driver to unscrew them-

I would not be inclined to try that with yours however-

These screws are very hard and nearly impossible to get a drill bit to bite-

Are there any machinists in your area perhaps to try-?

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  • Administrator
5 minutes ago, krunchnik said:

These screws are very hard and nearly impossible to get a drill bit to bite-

Are there any machinists in your area perhaps to try-?

 

I think any time I spend trying to find a machinist to take a swing at this locally would just add time to the delay of getting it back from Smith & Wesson. 

The 6-8 weeks part is what I find totally unsatisfactory.

 

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30 minutes ago, TGO David said:

How would you propose that I get that screw out?  There is nothing left to grab ahold of.

The two-month wait is now the cost of not ruining the gun.  It's infuriating, yes, but trying something more drastic could damage the gun, which Smith & Wesson certainly would be under no obligation to repair. 

At this point I don't feel that I have any good alternatives than play their game.

 

 

There are several ways to go about it, and all of them I am aware of give you a decent chance of marring the finish of your new gun. Since you aren’t hard headed as I am, sending it back is probably a great option.

I can’t imagine it’s in there very tight, but then again, I also am not sure how the head twisted off it with so little pressure.

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6 minutes ago, gregintenn said:

There are several ways to go about it, and all of them I am aware of give you a decent chance of marring the finish of your new gun. Since you aren’t hard headed as I am, sending it back is probably a great option.

I can’t imagine it’s in there very tight, but then again, I also am not sure how the head twisted off it with so little pressure.

These are pretty small, thin screws.  None of them appear to be made of "quality" metal.  Cheap Chinese junk, most likely.

 

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Spend good money on something and cant even use it like you want. A good gun smith with a left hand drill bit will get out the broken screw with out any issues.

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That sucks. I've been looking for that exact model of the new 2.0 Compact to add a RDS to and step up from my regular 2.0 Compact. I've had no issues with any of my M&Ps over the years, so I would hope this is an isolated issue.

The length of time for service seems to be a growing problem; just about everything these days costs more, takes forever, and may not even be available. 

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I would be inclined to extract the screw and re tap the threads since I might have the correct tools to do it. But I shouldn't and shouldn't have to. When one buys a firearm we should expect top quality components and workmanship. Especially from a manufacturer like S&W. Sorry for your frustration. Send it back and complain loudly and daily. This kind of issue is completely unacceptable in my eyes. they should just send a new slide.

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How in blue blazes did so much torque get on a fastener that was meant to be removed anyway?  It may be the fault of a disgruntled S&W worker who didn't make the cut for the move to Tennessee, but that sort of blame gaming only divides the country further.  May the good Lord give you wisdom in making this thing right, but count me in for any petition, boycott or other saber-rattling tactic that you may want to throw first.  

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  • Administrator
22 minutes ago, gun sane said:

How in blue blazes did so much torque get on a fastener that was meant to be removed anyway?  It may be the fault of a disgruntled S&W worker who didn't make the cut for the move to Tennessee, but that sort of blame gaming only divides the country further. 

 

Oh, you know how it goes.  Hourly wage employee doesn't feel like they are being paid to think critically whenever something out of the normal occurs, so when the screw doesn't go into the slide easily, they apply more force to make it go in.

Common sense would tell a person to stop, back it out and maybe even send that slide into the Defect Pile.

This particular person either didn't have any common sense, or chose not to use it, or decided that Smith & Wesson wasn't paying them enough for it.

 

 

22 minutes ago, gun sane said:

May the good Lord give you wisdom in making this thing right, but count me in for any petition, boycott or other saber-rattling tactic that you may want to throw first.  

Eh, at this point I just want a new slide with clean, not butchered threads in all of the appropriate holes, and I want it to happen sometime before Spring 2022.

 

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I do hate that for you.  Completely taints the whole joy of a new pistol.

From what I hear that turnaround time is not an overestimation.  It most likely will take that long with the backlog they apparently have.  I love S&W (historically) but their current business model is to pump out guns as fast as they can and fix any issues later.

That “new” screw that you put in...I’d be raising hell with the source of it as well.

 

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26 minutes ago, gregintenn said:

You could try a small dot of glue on the end of an Allen wrench.

The screw is jammed in there tightly enough that attempting to remove it via a Torx driver snapped it off.  I'm not aware of any cyanoacrylate adhesive or similar that would provide a potent enough bond.  Is there such a thing? 

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27 minutes ago, Garufa said:

That “new” screw that you put in...I’d be raising hell with the source of it as well.

C&H Precision Weapons provided that hardware.  They'll hear from me tomorrow.  They might actually offer to remove the screw from the slide.  Who knows.

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5 minutes ago, TGO David said:

The screw is jammed in there tightly enough that attempting to remove it via a Torx driver snapped it off.  I'm not aware of any cyanoacrylate adhesive or similar that would provide a potent enough bond.  Is there such a thing? 

I’ve no idea. I just thought it was something to try.

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The screw can be removed at home, but don't. No matter how careful you are, there's always the chance you may screw it up. That could void the warranty. best to just be patient and let S&W deal with it. 

Call S&W and see if you can just swap the slide with them. You send your bad one to them and they send you a new one. Could be a lot faster if they'll agree. 

In my experience, when S&W says 6-8 weeks, they're being optimistic. I'm thinking more like 3-4 months. 🙄

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Any chance the retailer would swap slides with you?  Assuming they have one to swap.  

Those tiny screws are prone to break. They're not easy to make and any little flaw at the base of the head will snap it right off. 

As for removing it...  a dab of epoxy to glue it to something else, then some penetrating oil and some heat should get it out of there.   Or possibly cut a slot in it for a flat screwdriver. Any access to the other side?  Is it a blind hole or through hole?  

But getting it out is only half the problem. You might get lucky and be able to just chase the threads, but drilling it out and tapping one size up is a strong possibility. You could probably get a threaded insert for it, but its not the easiest thing when it's so small. 

Either way, that's a lot of suckage for a brand new gun. 

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  • TGO David changed the title to Smith & Wesson Quoting 6-8 Week Repair of a Factory Defect on Brand New Gun

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