Smith & Wesson Issues Wide-Reaching M&P15-22 Safety Alert

M&P15-22 owners take notice: your rifle or pistol may be unsafe to use. Smith & Wesson is issuing a safety warning on all M&P15-22 products made before February 1, 2019. (Photo: S&W)

Smith & Wesson is launching a fairly wide service notice for their M&P15-22 rifles and pistols. All M&P15-22 rifles and pistols manufactured prior to February 1, 2019, have been flagged for safety reasons.

Any owners who own or think they may own an M&P15-22 made before that date are strongly encouraged to contact Smith & Wesson and stop using the firearms immediately. The problem, while extremely rare, is potentially very dangerous. Smith & Wesson set up a serial number identification tool to help users find out if their guns are possibly affected.

Smith & Wesson isolated two cases where their M&P15-22s had improperly manufactured bolts. The bolts were not counter-bored correctly causing the firearms to fire upon chambering a round without pulling the trigger, even with the safety on.

See Also: Walther Issues Urgen Recall for Select PPS M2 Pistols

A worse possibility is that these bolts can cycle after unintentionally firing a round, chambering another cartridge and firing repeatedly. For both safety and legal reasons, M&P15-22 owners should take this recall very seriously, even if they believe their firearms are in proper working order.

Smith & Wesson has two options for M&P15-22 owners. The company is sending out inspection gauges for users to verify that their firearms have correctly-manufactured bolts. They will also perform the inspection for anyone who doesn’t want to perform the inspection themselves. The inspection process and gauges are free, along with replacement bolts if necessary.

Owners can return their rifles and pistols to Smith & Wesson for inspection or request an inspection gauge and check their guns at home. (Photo: Smith & Wesson)

Using the inspection gauge, users can verify if their bolts were faced correctly by placing the gauge against the bolt recess under the extractor. If the gauge is flush with the bolt face or slightly beneath it, the rifle is safe to use.

However, if the gauge sticks up above the bolt face the bolt is defective and requires replacement. These guns are not safe to fire or even load as again, they can discharge multiple rounds without pulling the trigger.

This is a very rare problem but seeing how serious it can be every affected M&P15-22 owner should take one of the two steps to ensure their rifles and pistols are safe to use.

The M&P15-22 family of firearms has been a big success for Smith & Wesson. As of February 1, the company has put in place different inspection methods to ensure that all current-production rifles and pistols don’t chance to repeat the same issue.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • CP March 15, 2019, 11:05 am

    Why don’t they define the minimum depth measurement that is needed to be good? Its not rocket science to measure this distance with some calipers.

    • KennySmith March 17, 2019, 5:59 pm

      That is exactly what I told my son . If I knew the precise measurement needed I could find out myself ! I think the reason they are doing it this way , is because some people are not smart enough or have the knowledge to measure it properly , that’s why they made a gauge , simple to do .

  • James Butler March 15, 2019, 10:48 am

    I tried to order the tool but it hangs up on checkout. Serial #HCN4383

  • akjc77 March 15, 2019, 5:44 am

    Runaway .22 I wonder if anybody is just letting it rip and planning on keeping it even though it is a runaway full auto malfunction?

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