April 25, 2018

No Go Bang Sometimes: M&P 380 SHIELD EZ Manual Thumb Safety

Smith & Wesson has launched a "consumer advisory" notice for owners of the M&P 380 Shield EZ Manual Thumb Safety pistol, a common concealed-carry sidearm.

"It seems the function of the M&P 380 Shield EZ Manual Thumb Safety pistol can be influenced by the type and quality of ammunition used with the pistol," said Todd Woodard, Editor of Gun Tests Magazine. "Most gun owners realize that’s the case with most firearms.

"In the case of the M&P 380 Shield EZ Manual Thumb Safety, however, the company has found 'that in very rare circumstances,' ammunition that produces a high level of felt recoil can cause the manual safety to move from the Fire position to the Safe position during firing. That means your Shield unexpectedly might not go bang after it's fired. That could be very bad for a concealed-carry gun owner who’s depending on the EZ in a self-defense situation."

Should this occur, a company statement says, "You will not be able to fire the next round unless and until the manual safety is reset to the Fire position."

m&p ez shield manual thumb safety

So, as of April 4, 2018, Smith has engineered the manual safety so that it will be less susceptible to the influence of ammunition weight, velocity, and loads, Woodard reported.

"Any M&P 380 Shield EZ Manual Thumb Safety pistol produced before April 4 is eligible for a no-cost upgrade," he said.

To determine if this consumer advisory applies to your pistol, please utilize the serial number verification tool on the company's consumer advisory page. Click here to navigate to that page.

Then, Woodard advised, if your pistol is subject to this fix, call Smith & Wesson at (800) 331-0852 or email them at MP380EZAdvisory@Smith-Wesson.com. A FedEx return label and shipping instructions to facilitate the return of your M&P 380 Shield EZ pistol will be mailed to you.

Also, Woodard said it's worth noting a significant ammunition restriction Smith & Wesson posted in the announcement:


Comments (6)

With over 3k rounds through a range pistol (beaten and abused) The range has had zero problems. it is a non 'manual safety' version. As this is a hammer fired firearm with a grip safety, this is a non issue.
The gun works flawlessly and with very low recoil.
As always, try it before you buy it.

Posted by: harmavoidance0 | April 28, 2018 10:09 PM    Report this comment

S & W joins Ruger! It seems quality control is a thing of the past. Let the buyer beware. I just sent back a brand new Ruger LCRX 22 Mag that I sighted in single-action. However, when I tried to shoot it double-action, it would only fire about 1/2 of the time. Not very reassuring for a weapon that would probably be used double-action if ever needed for self defense. In the meantime, my NAA Black Widow has never failed to go bang (single-action only).

Posted by: Swifty | April 26, 2018 9:34 PM    Report this comment

Sorry, but it looks like the link to the advisory page isn't clickable in the text. At the bottom of this comment is the direct link to the Smith & Wesson advisory page. If it isn't directly clickable below, then paste it into your browser header.

Sorry for the trouble.

Todd Woodard
Editor, Gun Tests

Direct link:


Posted by: Dingos Dad | April 26, 2018 4:10 PM    Report this comment

To someone my age, an S&W M&P is a .38Spl Model 10 revolver. My usual carry gun is a 3" M10 round butt model. Never had any trouble with it, of any sort, with any type of ammo. Auto pistols are just a passing fad.

Posted by: archer6228 | April 26, 2018 12:11 PM    Report this comment

SAAMI doesn't have any standards established for .380 ACP +P. SAAMI has no standards established for +P+ in any caliber.
As for not using handloads, most every manufacturer warns against using handloads or reloads, usually with the disclaimer that have not been pressure tested to be within SAAMI standards. This is for liability issues, if someone loads a round too hot or a squib load and fires the next round. Either of these issues could cause the firearm to explode in your face and they shouldn't be held liable for the loaders failure.

Posted by: JackF | April 26, 2018 11:22 AM    Report this comment

A pistol that finicky about ammo, plus the fact ant you can't fire reloaded ammo in it should automatically rate a "don't buy" from GT. In my opinion, it shouldn't even be o the market. But.....in my opinion, plastic pistols suck, anyway.

Posted by: Perry T | April 26, 2018 10:30 AM    Report this comment

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