Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/27/2002 1:57:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2002 1:08:21 AM EST by a3kid]
Spare me the flames on this one, please!

I've owned a S&W SW40F for darned near 8 years. I apparently got one of the few good ones that were manufactured - 'cause most people despise the things...

Anyhow, mine ran great - I could shoot it all day long w/o any hangups, FTF, FTE, etc, etc. Recently - it's started to FTE at least once per magazine. Specifically - the empty case gets caught by the slide - in a "horizontal stovepipe" fashion, for lack of better terms. I've got 6 magazines for it that I purchased at two-year intervals (2 every couple years) and the FTE happens with all of them.

It's a high-mileage pistol - I've have to guess an honest 15k or so rounds through it. Most of them have been slightly reduced-power reloads, but they're warm enough to cycle the thing reliably.

What do I need? Extracter/Ejector spring? I recently had to replace a broken slide stop spring ass'y...


I know - trash it & get a 1911/Glock/Sig/H&K, LOL...


P.S. - Yes, it's been meticulously cleaned...
Link Posted: 8/27/2002 5:26:06 AM EST
Very good chance that, with that many rounds through it, you have crud packed behind/under the extractor...which is not something that routine cleaning will handle. This causes the extractor to not get as good a "bite" on cases, which, of course, will not always allow correct positioning of the fired case to strike the ejector correctly and MAY be all or part of your problem.

Could also be several other things...your chamber could need a GOOD cleaning...as in wrap #000 steel wool around a bronze brush and scrub like Hell...could be your brass if these are reloads, it gets chewed up and rough after awhile...could also be you need more taper crimp...could be weak springs (yes, too weak springs can contribute to FTE, as well as springs that are too strong) certainly, the gun has earned a detailed cleaning and new set of springs after 15,000rd. of .40's.

Obviously, it could also need a new part or two.

Finally, remember there are eight steps in the cycle of operation:

Feeding; Chambering; Locking; Firing; Unlocking; Extracting; Ejecting; Cocking

Since you have fired so many trouble free rounds through this pistol, it is probably not you that is the problem. Use the steps above to start your "trouble shooting" process of elimination...and always work on the cheapest part.

Good Luck

Link Posted: 8/27/2002 9:31:34 AM EST
Have you replaced the recoil spring? With 15K rounds through it, it's long overdue. That should slow the slide down enough to let the brass clear the ejection port.
Link Posted: 8/27/2002 11:10:16 AM EST
You wouldn't happen to know how to disassemble the slide assembly on one of these so I can get to the crud inside (that's bound to be there) would you? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Good idea, Big Bear.

Perfect excuse to get a set of Wolff springs for it. Maybe even the reduced power striker springs to lighten the trigger pull....


"No, Honey - we won't have to replace the pistol altogether...just some new springs & it should be good to go..."

Link Posted: 8/27/2002 11:41:34 AM EST
Unfortunately, I do not have enough experience with these pistols to tell you how to do this. The one I had in .40 caliber never gave a single problem in the three or so years I had it and I put close to 1000rd. of various factory jhp's through it one week without doing anything but oiling it a little just to see if I could make it choke. Of course that was back when I had almost unlimited access to ammo. :-)

My guess would be that a call to Customer Service at S&W might get some detailed instructions sent out if you were real complimentary about their gun. Try and talk to one of their gunsmiths if you can...if not, at least someone who understands what you need. (Not directions on how to fieldstrip, etc.)
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 7:49:49 AM EST
It is cheap enough to replace the extractor and all the springs and see what happens. Good chance the extractor is worn. It only takes a little wear and it might be hard to tell by just looking at it. Also .. Is the ejector worn/broke?
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 1:22:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2002 1:23:05 AM EST by a3kid]
I tore it apart last night and took a really good look at its overall condition. After about 10 minutes I had a list of 6 or 7 items that showed serious wear including the striker safety plunger, the lobe on the trigger group that contacts it, mag release (which was about 50% chewed off) the extractor is grooved where it isn't supposed to be, the frame is showing appreciable wear in front of the RH RR slide rail, even the locking lug on the bottom of the barrel is worn from a squared off shape to moon shaped..can't remember the rest. Basically - it needs a factory overhaul & a shitload of new parts.

I called S&W & told them how much I've shot it, the competitions I've won with it, the fact that my 15 year old daughter shoots it really well & wants it for her 18th birthday present. Jeff, the service dude I talked to was really receptive. He told me to ship it back to them FedEx & they'd go through it - free of charge - and it would only take about 2 weeks to get it back.

They are a helluva lot better company, with much better customer service, than they were when the people "over there" owned them.

Thanks all, for your thoughts & input.

BTW - when I was working out the shipping arrangements with him, he said "DO NOT SHIP IT TO SMITH & WESSON!!! Ship it to "SAW" at the same address, attn: Customer Service Dept." Apparently FedEx is gettin shitty about shipping firearms, too?
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 2:56:01 AM EST
It's not that FedEx is getting tougher, but when you put Smith & Wesson on the package it just screams steal me

S&W really is working hard to improve service and their image. In fact, I've even noticed S&W people openly posting on several of the gun boards and actually going into long discussions about why the company is taking one direction or another. one the S&W forum one of the company people even went into a long discussion of how they make MIM parts, what tests they did and why. Same story on why they don't do as many blued models now.

They are rapidly moving back up on my better makers list.
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 4:13:18 AM EST
How right you are. When I initially broke the slide stop spring on it, they told me I'd have to ship it back to them (said had to be installed at the factory) and it wasn't under warranty. I left it sit for about 6 months and called them back.
This time, they told me they'd ship me one for around $9.00. I drug my feet & just left it lay in the safe for another 6 months.
Right before the BRC, I got motivated again, and called back a third time. This time, the service person told me "Those things break all the time - do you want to put it in yourself?"
I got it within 5 days, free of charge!
They are definately stepping up the quality of their service.
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 5:08:14 AM EST
That's great! S&W is starting to get their s@#t back together...and shooters will be better off for the effort...not to mention S&W's bank accounts.
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 1:44:19 PM EST
a3kid......sounds just like my 659......no advice has been able to help......i`m sure that`s why the previous owner let it go since it is immaculate.......i totally went through it.....polish....throat.....deburr....etc etc....it ran flawless for about 500 rounds...and started it`s bullshit again.....yes...it`s clean.....the only thing that has made any sense to me.....and could be the answer....is what ammo you`re feeding it.....i never bothered to check that out....i always use decent stuff....that is umc...or am..eagle.....or good reloads.....i almost think at this point...it won`t digest umc ammo.......still need to check that out.......i replaced the recoil spring when i got it...........after the "work"..it seemed to do the trick....since it was working good......suddenly....it started the b/s ..i really think it`s the ammo....but for sure...i`m stumped...it`s a beatutiful handgun............
Top Top