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Thread: S&W Shield Magazine Loading

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    S&W Shield Magazine Loading

    Wow. My thumbs ache, The 9mm Shield Magazines are murderously tough to load. I will be using an Uplala, but boy, oh boy, these are stout springs. I can not load 8 rounds into the 8 round magazines with out it.

    Anybody have a short cut or trick to make loading of them easier?
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    I find it easier to cant the loose cartridges at an angle (horizontal) and once the follower/last loaded round is pushed down, then slide the new cartridge back. Once the rim clears the feed lips then rotate it parallel to the feed lips and slide fully to the rear of the magazine. I was fighting to load mine too until I did this and now it is much easier. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Reddirt62's Avatar
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    They are hard. I can get #8 in only with much struggle. Brute force is the only trick I know. 😁

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Never fooled with the 9mm but my buddy's 40 S&W we took off some of the Magazine spring as IMHO it was way too strong - makes reloading his easier (but still not easy)
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I bought one of these. For my SA XDs 45. 5 round mags,, 5th round almost impossible to load.

    Maglula UpLULA Pistol Magazine Loader and Unloader Polymer

    Product #: 952670Maglula #: UP60BUPC #: 858003000608

    Got it at Midway.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Don't weaken the magazine springs. They are that way for a reason. What do you suppose that reason is?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    Don't weaken the magazine springs. They are that way for a reason. What do you suppose that reason is?
    LOL - if the slide velocity is that fast that you can't get the last round into the magazine the gun was misdesigned.
    And Jerry's pistol hasn't given any problems after butchering the magazine springs.
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Never touched a Shield but I couldn't pass you the $200.00 sale price. It should be here on Thursday. Know I curious about mag loading. I was thinking about giving it to my sister.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master knifemaker's Avatar
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    Read post #5 and get the magazine loader or you will have extreme difficulty in loading the Shield magazines to full capacity.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I am afraid you misunderstand. The gun has strong springs because it is small and slide runup past the magwell is almost nonexistent. The springs are to ensure the gun works long term with extended use and does not fail under conditions when you most need it.

    The gun was designed correctly and the springs are an essential part of that. Beware of the impression that you know more than the engineers who designed the pistol, as I can assure you you do not. The strong springs are a reliability feature and if your friend carries it for CCW he is best advised to return the springs to normal strength for that use.

    Perhaps you can give me a learned opinion on why you know all, and how the engineers who made the gun know less than you do? Think why they would do this......why would they put in stronger springs than a guy who didn't design it thinks is necessary? Is it possible they know the consequences of putting in lighter springs is undesirable?

    I'm all ears.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    35remington - your answer is economics.
    Let's see where to start...
    Most larger companies will use what is available to them already and cheaper to use in production.
    Legal beagles will have them using / designing to keep liability lawsuits at bay.

    So let me ask you - why do you think that a compact pistol the size of the shield needs a magazine spring that strong when competing firearms by other makers don't require it?
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    wow, I'm sure I've never heard of an engineer making a mistake (purple font). How bout wrong twist in certain calibers...all the recalls to fix problems, the list goes on and on
    Domari Nolo

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dryball View Post
    wow, I'm sure I've never heard of an engineer making a mistake (purple font). How bout wrong twist in certain calibers...all the recalls to fix problems, the list goes on and on
    https://www.smith-wesson.com/safety/recalls
    RECALLS

    I-Bolt Rifle Bolt Safety Recall
    i-Bolt Rifle Sear Engagement Pin Safety Recall
    M&P Shield Safety Alert
    Model 22A Pistols Safety Recall
    Performance Center Model 329 Safety Recall
    Performance Center Model 460 Safety Recall
    S&W 1911
    TCA Icon, Venture, Dimension Safety Recall
    TCA Venture Safety Recall
    Walther PK380 Recall
    Walther PPK/PPKS Recall Info
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Artful, you aren't an engineer, and your advice is not to be followed.

    You have already heard that competing designs use stronger springs.....see the earlier post about the XDS (post 5 here) which shoots holes in your reasoning and answers the question you posed to me. I was a participant on a thread where a guy figured the serrations on the bottom of the cartridge pickup rail on the 45 Shield were unnecessary, and sanded them off.

    Strong mag springs on these pistols are an essential feature to ensure the round rises to meet the breechface in time before the slide goes forward. Due to high slide velocity and no slide runup the magazines have to have strong springs, and the 40 is certainly not less than the 9 in terms of said slide velocity and need for a strong magazine spring as it has a heavier round to lift into position than the 9. The strong recoil springs also ensure the lightweight slide returns forward quickly, and the magazine springs are an essential part of the system to ensure the slide does not outrun the magazine.

    Play with your attenuated springs all you want for practice. A jam is no big deal there. Put full power ones in for CCW use with 40 ammo.

    People who have a habit of modifying pistols before understanding why they are the way they are need advice. You are not helping yourself by expounding on a topic you do not understand. Please do not take my word for it. Ask other people who know. Start with Springfield and Smith and Wesson and find out why they, among others, do it.

    Before modifying anything, inquire first. Especially if you aren't an engineer. No, they aren't perfect, but they know a whole bunch more about the gun than you do. I did not see your name as part of the design team. Give them the benefit of the doubt before you modify anything.
    Last edited by 35remington; 07-04-2017 at 03:42 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Here's another question for you to try to answer to help you further understand why the Shield has strong magazine springs. Disassemble the 9 and 40 Shields and look at the metal washer ahead of the locking block. This is called the vertical impact surface. Why was that put there?

    What effect does that have on slide rebound and acceleration characteristics after the slide strikes it and starts to return forward compared to a pistol that does not have a metal impact surface? Why would that make a strong magazine spring more necessary?

    The problem with dismissing the features on a gun is in presuming they are all exactly alike. Often they are not, and if dissimilar features are present...there is a reason why they are dissimilar. One feature may be there to make up for the presence or absence of another feature of the pistol.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Leave the magazines loaded for a few weeks, They do improve after a few weeks and a few shooting sessions, still tough but better than that first couple loadings. I did use the loader that came with my XDm the first couple times. The 9mm Shield magazines are much tougher than my XDs magazines. After loaded for a month or three, all improve.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    That is also what I do but with an important extra step.

    To make the springs take the set that they will eventually assume faster, load the magazine fully and lock it into the pistol with slide closed. Leave it that way for awhile. This gives maximal compression of the spring, more so than when the magazines are left loaded and out of the gun.

    I have all three calibers of the Shield pistols. All functional well. Again, the springs are strong for very good reason.....the recoil springs as well. As pistol size goes down, spring strength can generally be expected to go up. Some reflection will give answers as to why this is so. If you still do not understand why, ask.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    Artful, you aren't an engineer, and your advice is not to be followed.

    Never said I was an engineer, and I only related my experience - NOT offering advice. By the way Jerry IS a Mechanical Engineer with the sheep skin and everything.

    You have already heard that competing designs use stronger springs.....see the earlier post about the XDS (post 5 here) which shoots holes in your reasoning and answers the question you posed to me. I was a participant on a thread where a guy figured the serrations on the bottom of the cartridge pickup rail on the 45 Shield were unnecessary, and sanded them off.

    Curiosity makes me ask what happened after the sanding? I own a Star in 40 S&W and my springs were weaker than Shields - Gun works fine

    Strong mag springs on these pistols are an essential feature to ensure the round rises to meet the breechface in time before the slide goes forward. Due to high slide velocity and no slide runup the magazines have to have strong springs, and the 40 is certainly not less than the 9 in terms of said slide velocity and need for a strong magazine spring as it has a heavier round to lift into position than the 9. The strong recoil springs also ensure the lightweight slide returns forward quickly, and the magazine springs are an essential part of the system to ensure the slide does not outrun the magazine.

    Play with your attenuated springs all you want for practice. A jam is no big deal there. Put full power ones in for CCW use with 40 ammo.

    People who have a habit of modifying pistols before understanding why they are the way they are need advice. You are not helping yourself by expounding on a topic you do not understand. Please do not take my word for it. Ask other people who know. Start with Springfield and Smith and Wesson and find out why they, among others, do it.

    Before modifying anything, inquire first. Especially if you aren't an engineer. No, they aren't perfect, but they know a whole bunch more about the gun than you do. I did not see your name as part of the design team. Give them the benefit of the doubt before you modify anything.
    Like many things designed by man, the orginal design is subject to change at the owner's whim. Jerry made his modifications (Apex parts, spring modification, etc) and tested and is happy. The gun is running reliably and while I'm not going to tell him he MUST change back to factory original parts I will inform him of your humble opinion.

    But you won't change my mind about being able to modify a mechanical part in a system and not making it better.
    Sometimes you change a spring for the worse but that's why you test it before it hits the match or streets.
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    An autoloading pistol works not just due to one feature but multiple features working together. It is not a guarantee, but rather increasing the odds the gun will work by having redundancies. Removing one feature (or redundancy) makes it more likely to malfunction. This is a problem the more the gun is shot and the more the springs get worn. Since CCW pistols are carried for long periods of time with full spring compression they must have strong magazine springs that resist excessive spring set and weakening.

    This may not occur for a while with a range only piece. If it is a security blanket please do seriously consider replacing the springs.

    Sanding off the serrations on the 45 Shield increases rearward slide velocity, narrowing the window of operation and making it more likely to jam. This would be seen soonest with Plus P ammo, which many carry and use as the gun is rated for it. The hotter the ammo, the narrower the operating window, which is why the "excessively" strong springs are there in the first place.

    The 45 Shield has a few features the 9 and 40 do not have. The 9 and 40 have features the 45 does not have. The reason has to do with increasing the functioning envelope to ensure the reliability needed for a life or death tool.

    Shrunk down super short 1911s have an Achille's heel....weak magazine springs inherent to the design, intended for larger pistols, as well as elastic and quick slide rebound characteristics due to all metal construction. It is greatly to the credit of modern engineering that these small plastic pistols work as well as they do.

    I do depend on them and like them quite a bit.

    Since guns have different features, one must not expect them to be identical. First assumption to make with any mechanical device is if a particular feature is different than another gun, there just may be a good reason for it.

    Interestingly, the 45 Shield has cocking rail serrations the 40 and 9 do not have, and a partially metal vertical impact surface rather than a completely metal impact surface. If you want the mental exercise, take a guess at why those features are different.
    Last edited by 35remington; 07-04-2017 at 04:09 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master






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    the magic word is Maglula. Buy one you wont be sorry.
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BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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GC Gas Check