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.
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.
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.