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Warning, potentially defective rifle - M&P 15/22s Banned At Appleseed Events

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by BTPost, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    M&P 15/22s Banned At Appleseed Events After Out Of Battery and “Run Away” Discharges

    Posted at 3:49 pm on September 15, 2016 by BOB Owens

    While I can’t seem to tear myself away from Bearing Arms long enough to head west to the home range at Ramseur as much as I would like, I am still an instructor at Project Appleseed. In my opinion, it offers some of the best positional rifle marksmanship training you can obtain anywhere for the price, and you’re treated to an incredible civics lesson with the cost of admission. I highly recommend it to everyone.

    A warning was issued a short time ago on the Appleseed instructor forum that the popular Smith & Wesson 15-22 is banned from Project Appleseed events nationwide after a series of out of battery discharges recorded at several events.

    I’m not going to embellish or sugarcoat anything for you; this is the notice, as it was written.

    To: All Appleseed Instructors



    The AOC has received a rash of reports regarding safety issues with the Smith & Wesson M&P 15/22, including a shooter getting injured as a result of an out-of-battery discharge (see reports below).

    As responsible Instructors, we have a duty to maintain safety at our events. If we know a rifle to be potentially unsafe, we shouldn’t allow it on the line at all.

    At this time the least risk course of action would be to exclude the Smith & Wesson M&P 15/22 from future events until Smith & Wesson formally investigates the problem and issues an official corrective action.


    Bowie, MD: A shooter (RHS) firing a M&P 15/22 with Remington 22 Thunderbolt Ammo had an out of battery discharge. A Metal Fragment hit the arm of a shooter next to her (LHS) in her right arm. She, did not realize that she had been hit with fragments at first and continued to fire until blood begin to pool (time est. 11:10am) feeling only a warm sting. Instructors rendered first aid applying a compression type bandage to stop the bleeding. Shoot boss suggested that she go to local hospital or emergency clinic. She was able to drive herself to the hospital. They took x-rays of the area and found a fragment deep in her arm. Hospital suggested that she see an Orthopedic surgeon or her Doctor on Monday to have the object removed but surgery should not be required.

    Casper, WY: This past weekend we had a student show up with a 15/22. She had been using it pretty regular, since she had also attended our recent boot camp. After about 8 sets of squares, she began to notice the malfunction. Upon careful observation, it was noticed that as she reset the sear the rifle would discharge. We called cease fire and immediately removed this rifle from the line, and replaced it with a loaner.

    Once off line, it was field stripped and upon inspection, found that not only was it firing at reset, but also when the safety was engaged. Further inspection found that the trigger pin and the hammer pin were both loose. They both had moved about 1/16th of an inch to the right. Just enough to be loose on the left side of the receiver. The pins were gently hammered back in and function checks performed. After about 3 sets, the hammer pin slid out again.

    The rifle was reassembled and tagged out, student was told that 1) the rifle needed to be seen by her gunsmith; or 2) (my recommendation) sent back to the manufacturer for repair/replacement.

    Michigan Senior Instructor: The SI wanted to shoot an AQT with his 15/22, but he needed to verify the zero. Another instructor volunteered to take the rifle over to another range, put it on a bench, and confirm zero. While shooting the first string, after pulling the trigger, the extractor shot out the ejection port along with the case and the extractor spring. The case was retrieved and it was observed to be split down the side, indicating that the rifle fired out of battery. Fortunately, the instructor was alone on the range, and no one was injured. The rifle was sent back to S&W, and it was repaired and returned. A copy of one page of the manual was enclosed, highlighting the need to keep the rifle clean and only use certain types of ammunition, insinuating that the problem was operator error, not a design flaw. The Senior Instructor sold the rifle shortly thereafter.

    Michigan Instructor: “Back before I was more familiar with this model, we had a malfunction of the Extractor during an event – it simply fell apart during a course of fire. I took it to Williams and they said it needed to go back to S&W. To save time I just bought a new extractor, springs and dowel pins and replaced them myself. Tested it and it worked fine, that’s until it malfunctioned again after several hundred rounds down range.

    As the old saying goes “two is one and one is none” – I had purchased several extractors, springs and dowel pins – replaced it a second time and it worked fine all up until I had a “Run-Away…” Luckily I had the muzzle pointed down range as it spit out the balance of 30 rounds down range without the need to have a finger on the trigger….

    I contacted S&W and they sent me a repair tag and shipped it back to them. Upon its return I noticed that they replaced the hammer, sear and all the springs were replaced with “Blue” springs. The rifle performed well the after that but I never brought it back to an Appleseed. It now sits in the vault as an expensive club.”

    Montpelier, VA: I’ve witnessed out-of-battery firing and squib from M&P 15/22’s twice but never from a 10/22. As a general rule of thumb, out of battery discharges are rare, and run away guns even more so. The fact that a national rifle training program feels compelled to ban the entire line of M&P firearms because of these issues is disconcerting, to put it mildly.
  2. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

  4. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Anyone take note of this? Remington 22 Thunderbolt Ammo
    Ura-Ki and Yard Dart like this.
  5. john316

    john316 Monkey+

    the ammo is the cause???????????????
  6. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Its been discussed on several boards that the Thunderbolts are basically ''Junk''
    Failure to feed, misfires and dirty as spit in a carbon black plant.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  7. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    I have shot 5,000+ Remington Thunderbolts in the last year without a single failure in a Marlin Model 60. And in a DPMS 22 upper on my AR. Can't find my normal CCI anywhere. Accuracy is acceptable and seems to kill small game just fine. Velocity checks with my chrono have been consistent every time I've checked it, which has probably been around ten times.
  8. duane

    duane Monkey++

    While ammo is ammo, it isn't something to ignore. A lot of ammo may chamber in an action and still be a little questionable. I use red magazines for my 300 Blackout with rounds made from cut down 223 as it is mislabeled and I am afraid that if I chambered a round in a 223, it might push back the projectile and attempt to fire a 308 round thru a 223 hole, not good. Cowboy rounds, old black powder rounds, 30-06 in 308, 357 and 38's, and the list goes on. I think in most cases the question of using the correct ammo is much more of interest than the safety of modern firearms. YMMV.
    The loads YOU make in reloading may destroy you and your gun. Think, follow all the rules, and use common sense, YOU can screw it up big time. That is now and would be even more applicable after TSHTF.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  9. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    That was an issue with a handgun but no recalls issued. Walther knew there was an issue with some of the safety mechanisms. I think in this instance, S & W must know but are fixing one issue at a time as it is brought to their attention. I think that is wrong but unsure what it takes for a company to issue a recall.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    This is why I never buy anything that says S&W.
  11. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I suspect a fundamental problem with the design and or the parts quality if these S/W .22 rifles. Every .22 I have ever owned will feed and fire, and eject every brand and style of .22 ammo you run through them with out any issues ever! So it seams to me, a run of arms that are having a mechanical failure of any parts of the fire control group are out of spec, or of poor quality! I have witnessed a lot of junk gun parts being used lately, MIM parts instead of cast of forged, plastics instead of metal, and a general cheapness to every thing!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  12. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    The last S&W I owned was a beautiful 629 Classic. But one day at the range I noticed my poi changing on me. Getting worse by each shot. When I started checking things I noticed some metal started to curl and shave off the frame where the barrel meets. The barrel was turning on the frame! Sent it back to S&W and they "fixed" the barrel issue but my frame still had the shave spot on it. They wouldn't do anything about that. Shorty after they had the "Clinton Agreement" BS so I sent off a hand written letter and told them I'd never own another S&W gun ever again. Traded the 629 in on a new firearm. Don't have a S&W now and never will. If someone game me one I'd immediately sell it. Too bad because I do like some of their products.
    Ura-Ki and Motomom34 like this.
  13. rjburk

    rjburk Monkey

    I never bit on the AR look a like 22 fad......never really saw a need for one....plenty of youtube vids on thunderbolt ammo clogging barrels.....Cabela's usually has plenty of CCI ammo and that is what I mostly stock along with bulk federal.....I have shot M16/AR15's since 1979 and without a doubt the best AR15 I own is a S&W....a sub MOA rifle out of the box and have yet to have any type of issues with it.....at least 5k rounds and just an awesome rifle....
    Motomom34 and Gator 45/70 like this.
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