I was recently able to order a couple of M&P 9mm magazines from Midway, and the new magazine followers are just a little different from the M&P magazines that I have purchased in the past. The part of the follower that pushes up on the slide stop appears to have a small bevel on it that is absent on the older followers.
When inserting the new magazines into the pistol, the new follower will sometimes slide past the edge of the slide stop, and keep the magazine from dropping free. Now, I don’t think this is really an issue, as in a competition or a concealed carry situation I won’t be slamming an empty magazine into the pistol, and when stripping a round off of the top of the magazine, the follower doesn’t have enough force behind it to keep the magazine from dropping free.
You will notice in the above picture, that the dirty magazine follower on the left just barely pushes up the slide stop, and the clean follower on the right kind of slips past the slide stop.
In the above pictures, you will see that the slide stop is being pushed up, but the tab on the slide stop has slid past the edge of the follower a tad.
Whats the big deal?
These newest magazine followers appear to be just a hair different on the front edge where the follower contacts the slide stop. I’m not sure if this was an intentional change or not, but following this thread over at the Smith & Wesson Forum, it appears that this is an issue that only some people are having. I’m not convinced that this is an issue at all. I agree that the new magazine followers are different, but inserting an empty magazine, and not having it drop free isn’t much of an issue for me, especially when I can’t replicate it with a snap-cap.
Here’s the deal:
When a snap-cap is placed in the magazine, it pushes the follower sideways toward the slide stop. On all 5 of the pistols I tested, this made all of my fancy photography above useless, and it makes the pistol work as intended. I did have a reader tell me that with a snap-cap in his magazine, his follower would only engage the slide stop about 2/3 of the time. I’ll be interested to hear a report back from him once he uses the pistol with live ammo (and I might be eating a little crow…)
At least they are back!
These magazines have been unobtainable since December of 2012, so the fact they they are back on the market is great. They were listed as “in-stock” for over 24 hours (which is amazing!) before I purchased them. I gave $33 each for the two that I purchased from MidwayUSA, and the basepads, springs, and magazine bodies are exactly what I was expecting to receive, but the followers in both of the magazines look sloppy compared to the older followers I have. They have sharper edges, and have slightly different angles, especially on the front.
After waiting 9 months to get my hands on some more M&P magazines, I’m not about to send these back because of sloppy followers. I suspect that S&W (or someone contracted to make these magazines for S&W) is rushing to make as many of them as possible, and really, even though they are different, I doubt that I will see any performance change with these new magazines over my old ones when shooting live ammo.
So there you have it. If you have your hands on some of these newest M&P 9mm magazines, let me know how they function in your pistol. I know I’m interested to see how they will function in mine with live ammo.