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."
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:
WARNING: READ AND FOLLOW THE WARNINGS IN YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL. NEVER USE “PLUS-P” (+P), “PLUS-P-PLUS” (+P+); OR RELOADED AMMUNITION WITH THE M&P 380 EZ. ALWAYS USE FACTORY-MANUFACTURED AMMUNITION PRODUCED TO SAAMI SPECIFICATIONS.