5 Common S&W Shield 40 Problems that Most Users Face

The S&W Shield 40 is a semi-automatic pistol. This compact handgun supports the .40 S&W ammo hence it’s naming. It is a striker-fired gun which is a popular concealed carry for its size.

But, you may face different issues with the gun. Some of the most common S&W Shield 40 problems are damaged feed ramp, magazine releasing, blowing up, uncomfortable trigger, and slide racking issues.

Features & Specifications of S&W Shield 40 Gun:

Caliber.40 S&W.
Capacity6+1, 7+1.
Barrel Length3.1 Inches
Weight (Unloaded)19.0 Ounces
Length6.1 Inches
Width0.95 Inches
Height4.60 Inches
Action TypeStriker Fire
SafetyManual Thumb Safety, Optional Grip Safety
SightsFront Sight: Steel-White DotRear Sight: Steel-White 2-Dot
5 Common S&W Shield 40 Problems that Most Users Face

Common S&W Shield 40 Problems and Solutions

Problems with S&W Shield 40Solutions
Damaged Feed RampDisassemble, clean, and lubricate the gun. Replace the damaged chamber or feed ramp.
Magazine ReleasingReplace the magazine if it’s loose. Replace a weak magazine spring.
Blowing UpInspect the barrel and chamber for damage. Use high-quality ammunition.
Uncomfortable TriggerBreak in the trigger, Clean, lubricate, and polish gritty trigger parts.
Hard to Rack the SlideConsider using slide lubricant and replace a weak recoil spring.

1. Damaged Feed Ramp:

    The feed ramp of the S&W Shield 40 can become damaged. If this happens, it can cause the round to nosedive. As a result, the ammo hits the top of the chamber.

    This issue fails to feed. It can also happen due to a deformed or damaged chamber. If the chamber is dirty or damaged, it creates friction. So, you will face an FTF issue.

    The Fix:

    To fix this issue, disassemble your S&W Shield 40. Now, clean it thoroughly. After finishing cleaning and getting rid of the factory lube, apply some new lubrication.

    If you notice that the chamber is damaged, you will need a replacement. Also, inspect the feed ramp for any signs of damage. If the feed ramp has also been deformed, you should take your S&W Shield 40 to a gunsmith.

    2. Magazine Releasing:

      Many people face a problem with their stock magazines. When shooting the S&W Shield 40, the magazine may be released. This causes stovepiping in the gun.

      If you have bought the gun recently and facing this issue, the problem may be an incorrect fit with the magazine. But, if you have shot more than 1000 rounds, there might be an issue with the magazine spring or catch.

      A weak magazine spring may cause the problem to occur. The magazine spring can deteriorate due to age to excessive use. Also, the magazine catch may become damaged due to wear and tear.

      The Fix:

      Check the magazine’s fit first. Make that there is no play and that it fits tightly into the S&W Shield 40. The magazine might need to be replaced if it is loose in its position.

      If the magazine spring is weak, replace it. The majority of gun shops sell new magazine springs.

      You should also look for damage in the magazine catch. You will need to contact a skilled gunsmith to replace the magazine catch if it is damaged.

      3. Blowing Up

        There have been some rare cases where the S&W Shield 40 blew up while shooting. Before the catastrophic event, the gun also jams up every once in a while.

        The company states that this issue only happens due to defective ammo. But, this dangerous issue can also occur due to a damaged barrel. Also, excessive pressure inside the chamber may deform the chamber.

        Using defective ammo with the S&W Shield 40 can also cause an extreme amount of pressure.

        The Fix: 

        You should always inspect the barrel or the chamber for any sign of damage. If they are damaged, and you use defective ammo with them, you will be in danger.

        You should also use high-quality ammo only. Do not use cheap ammo bought from local gun shops. If you are facing issues such as jamming, you should be cautious.

        4.  Uncomfortable Trigger:

        If you have a new S&W Shield 40, the trigger might lock up a little bit. This is a major concern to some users. The main reason for this issue is that the gun has not been broken into.

        But, if you are suddenly experiencing this issue, it might be due to too much dry firing. If you dry-fire the gun often, the trigger components wear down.

        Also, not cleaning the gun and the trigger mechanism properly might result in dirt inside it. This also causes the trigger to jam up.

        The Fix:

        You should break in the S&W Shield 40’s trigger to resolve a jammed and unpleasant trigger: Shooting a new trigger is the ideal technique to break it in. The trigger will become smoother the more you shoot it.

        Additionally, you must frequently lubricate and clean the trigger’s parts. This will clear them of any dirt or debris that might be clinging to them.

        After cleaning and lubricating the trigger parts, you might attempt polishing them if they are still gritty. The surfaces of the components will be smoothed out as a result.

        5. Hard to Rack the Slide:

          The slide of the S&W Shield 40 might become hard to rack. This mainly happens due to a weak recoil spring. If the spring has become weak, you might face this issue.

          Also, there have been issues with the new S&W Shield 40s that had this issue. Since the gun has not been shot enough times, it seems to be stiff. A weak grip may also result in difficulty racking the slide.

          The Fix:

          You should break in the slide of a new S&W Shield 40 to solve a stiff slide. Additionally, you must lubricate the slide and clean it. It may be simpler to rack the slide and experience less friction if you use a slide lubricant.

          Check whether the recoil spring of your S&W Shield 40 is weak. You can solve the problem by changing the recoil spring to a new one.

          User Feedback on S&W Shield 40

          There have been mixed reviews on the S&W Shield 40 on the internet. Many gun lovers have never experienced any major issue with the gun. There have also been some examples of a lemon.

          In this post from The High Road, one user said that the magazines on his S&W Shield 40 were too hard to load. He had to lay the gun on its slide and apply a lot of pressure to insert the magazine.

          A user has said that he had experienced misfiring issues with his gun. In this video on YouTube, you can see that the Shield 40 does not shoot if the magazine is pushed sideways.

          Related Post: The Problems and Fixes of S&W Shield 9mm

          Top 3 Alternative Guns of S&W Shield 40

          Here are the best alternatives for the S&W Shield 40:

          1.  Ruger LC9 Pro
            – Ruger LC9 Pro is a micro-compact pistol that supports the 9mm ammo.
            – It is smaller and lighter than the Shield 40.
            – It has a capacity of 9 rounds and less reported magazine issues.
          2. Kahr Arms CM9
            – Kahr Arms CM9 is one of the lightest micro-compact pistols.
            – It is affordable and reliable to shoot.
            – The downside is that the recoil might feel snappy.
          3. SIG Sauer P365 XL
            – This gun has a striker-fired trigger with a manual safety.
            – Has a good capacity of 12 rounds that supports 9mm ammo.

          Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

          What is the build material of the S&W Shield 40?

          Polymer frame with a stainless steel slide.

          Is the S&W Shield 40 appropriate for covert carrying?

          The S&W Shield 40 is a good covert carry because of its small size, thin profile, and lightweight construction.

          How does the S&W Shield 40 recoil feel?

          Recoil from the Shield 40 is noticeable, but it can be controlled with skill.

          Will +P ammo work with the S&W Shield 40?

          No, it could speed up the deterioration of the weapon.

          Are there different materials available for the S&W Shield 40?

          It has a variety of finishes and frames depending on the model.

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