Welcome to the community! My other job is at a firearms store and indoor range. I see this come up a lot when people look at M&P pistols. Right off the shelf they are tight but do get easier over time. I usually grab the one from the rental pool that is well broken in to show the difference.
Hello and welcome @Thomas127
Thanks for the welcome, y’all (Texas you know). Been a member several years, just not involved…way too busy getting ready and job.
Welcome aboard. Find what works best for you and practice at it.
My M&P9 M2.0c 3.6" started with a tight slide lock on the left/primary side — it loosened up as a slide release just fine after a while. Can’t say how many releases or magazine exchanges it took, but during a reasonable familiarization period for a new gun. I don’t know if there is potential harm to dropping the slide (by either release method) without chambering a round — I don’t do it.
I have not been able to get the right side slide lock to release, even with two thumbs and a totally non-firing grip. The two lock buttons are connected by a metal arm which wanders around the front of the magazine well and visibly flexes when pressed without releasing the slide. I don’t know where the bind is, but I don’t need it so I’m not studying hard. Clearly, as a slide release it is not as ambi as it looks.
WRT the “not a slide release” argument… The M&P lever is not as user-friendly as I would like (cf. M1911), but I would note that the bump has exactly the same shape and grooves on the upper side as on the lower side. Personally, I find it harder to engage than to release the slide lock by lever — YMMV. I also note that professional shooters for Smith & Wesson, on company promotional videos, describe and demonstrate use of the slide lock lever as a release. As far as I can tell, it is the method many (most?) of them use in videos of themselves competing. I don’t have a statistical sample, but it appears to me that many competitive shooters use the slide release (on pistols which offer them). I presume that is because of a perceived time advantage. I know it gains me about 0.5sec on reload from empty, and is less subject to operator-induced malfunction. I do not encounter timing jams at speed, because I operate the release with my left thumb after the left hand has fed the magazine — my right hand is busy reacquiring a firing grip and does not have time to drop the slide prematurely and get into position before the left hand is ready to join the grip. I will use my right thumb for administrative slide drops because my right hand is in no particular hurry. All this does require learning and practice. That’s my rant for today.
My Ruger SR22 is the same way…manual says to pull back slide, release (slingshot)…weird…my 2 .40cals and my 9mm don’t require this method…my 2 cents
As a matter of practice, don’t teach or use the lever as a slide release, use the overhand rack. Why? 1. With a magazine with a that has a stiff spring, it will take 2 men and a boy to release the slide on a full magazine. 2. The stoppage drill is a tap, rack, bang. If you use the same technique for all loading and stoppages, you only have to teach/learn one method 3. If you pick up a gun dropped by a bad guy, friend, or do a take away, the drill is the same i.e. you should tap and rack to be sure that it is charged and the drill is the same for every autoloader. I have some guns that are almost impossible to quickly charge using the slide lock, the SR 9C is one of the worst. So, kiss applies. Do it one way and keep it simple. IMHO
Welcome to the family brother @Mark499 , glad you could join us. Good information to know.
Welcome back brother @Terrence8 , great to see you back.
Thanks for all of the feedback. I learned to shoot a pistol in the Army with the Beretta M9, and was taught to use the slide release when loading /reloading. So the M&P is a change for me. I really like the M&P, so it’s just about practicing now!
I have the same experience as you, techs and others. My M&P 2.0 compact has lightened slightly over hundreds of rounds and actuations, but it has leveled out is not improving any more. I cannot release from the right side at all, which is unfortunate since I am left handed. At some point I will make an extended release since I have found nothing available on the market. I am disappointed that S&W Engineers were unable to design a slide lock that also releases like Glock, Walther, and most others. It would be nice to know what, if any modifications are made the the S&W competition pistols…
I have an “M&P 9 Shield M2.0” that I purchased last year. It too has a stiff slide lock but that is no big deal for me.
But I find the safety to also be very tight. My wife has very much difficulty with it, which is unfortunate since the size is just right for her. Anyone else find the safety to be too tight?
You shouldn’t been disappointed, because S&W did it in purpose in M2.0 version.
They even added detent on the left side of the frame to prevent auto loading with smashing the magazine into the magwell.
If you read the thread from very beginning, you will find some tricks that can be done to have lever fully functional as slide release for left handed shooter.
My new shield plus.same
Regarding the sr22, guess I didn’t read the manual . I never slingshot mine. Not sure if it came with the extended release or if I installed one, but it releases easily with my thumb…
Hello and welcome @Mark499
The springs on M&P are very tight until break in. Jesse is correct, to engage the slide pull back and release.
I would like to suggest a good quality oil (mp is my preference), and rub with your finger to the outside of the barrel. M&P is an excellent gun, but tends to go out of battery if too dry.
The slide lock should be used for locking the slide back. Lots of people use it to release the slide but it’s a bad habit to get into. Simply grab the slide, and pull back on it to release into battery.
Hello and welcome @David1262
Welcome to the family brother @David1262 , glad you could join us. Good info