Smith and Wesson m&p 15-22 problems

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smith and wesson mp 15 22 problems

Smith and Wesson m&p 15-22 is a .22 tactical rifle. This rifle is among one of the most sought-after .22 rifles in the US. It is a semi-automatic rifle that has an Ar-15 outlook. The 15-22 is also known as the best imitation of the Ar-15 in the market. The reason is that it is not just similar in the look but also its functionalities. A lot of people love this rifle, but it has its share of issues. These are the extractor problem, the inability to feed the magazine properly, and some pieces have bolts that may be out of spec. This article explains m&p 15-22 problems and how you can fix them.

Smith and Wesson m&p 15-22 problems

The brand has a loyal fan base. But there are some regularly occurring problems with the S&W m&p 15-22. 

1. M&P 15-22 extractor problem

The first problem in the discussion here is m&p 15-22’s failure of ejection. This rifle sometimes does not eject the shells. It happens because the ejector comes from the factory, and they have not lined it up properly. 

How to fix it?

The first thing you can do to fix this problem is send it back to Smith and Wesson. They provide fantastic customer service and will improve your gun in a couple of weeks. Secondly, you can also take some time out and fix this problem yourself. The following steps will help you do it. 

  • In the first step, you need to ensure that the gun is unloaded and is in safety mode. 
  • Remove the rear pin and separate the upper and lower receiver. 
  • When you separate the two parts, the bolt will slide out. Remove the bolt to see the ejector.
  • Take a needle nose plier and bend the ejector slightly inwards towards the ejection port. 
  • Reassemble the gun. 

This simple fix will solve your problem with FTE. After fixing the problem, shoot again to check if there is any failure to eject.

2. Some bolts are out of spec

Smith and Wesson issued a safety alert on their official website about the bolt of some of its m&p 15-22 rifles. This issue is for all the S&W m&p 15-22 rifles produced before February 1, 2019. And this problem exists on a small number of rifles. 

The problem with these rifles is that the bolts can be out of spec. What this means is that there is a specific depth which the breech face counterbore should have. You can also say that the bolt face around the rim should be deep enough to give space to the rim. If the depth is not according to the specifications, the bolt will crush the case’s rim upon closing and ignite the fire before you pull the trigger. This unintended pulling can cause serious injury. 

How to fix it?

The manufacturer Smith and Wesson categorically mention this issue on their website. There is a video explanation also for how you can fix this problem. The company also provides a gauge that you can order from their website for free. Following are the steps you need to follow to fix this issue using the gauge. 

  • Make sure to unload the gun. 
  • Pull the charging handle backward, this will remove the flag, and the bolt will move to its forward position. 
  • Push the takedown pin that is on the left side of the lower receiver inwards. 
  • Pull it out on the right side of the receiver. 
  • Separate the two receivers from each other. 
  • Remove the bolt carrier group from the rifle.
  • Now, you need to inspect the bolt.
  • Before the inspection, ensure that the cartridge rim recess in the bolt face is clean and does not have any particles. 
  • For inspection, insert the gauge into the cartridge rim recess.
  • The gauge should sit flat on the inside of the cartridge rim recess. The position of the gauge will give you the results.
  • After bolt inspection, reassemble the rifle. 

Alternative results

If the gauge you have inserted into the cartridge rim recess is below the bolt face, the bolt depth is according to the specifications and will work fine.

If the gauge is above the surface of the bolt face, the bolt is not according to the needed specifications. In this case, you need to replace it. 

You can either do this inspection yourself or send your bolt to Smith and Wesson for a free inspection.  

3. Failure to Feed the Bullets

One more issue that some people face with the m&p 15-22 is its failure to feed the bullets. The most probable reason for this failure is that the magazine is very picky. 

How to fix it?

The magazine of the m&p 15-22 takes 25 rounds. To feed it correctly, make sure to load one bolt at a time. Also, pull the spring down and let it go up after feeding each round. With this, you need to make sure that you push all the bullets to the back of the magazine. Properly loading the rifle will help to avoid failure to feed. After fixing the problem, feed CCI mini 300 rounds or Federal 200 rounds and check again.

Also Read: Smith and Wesson m&p 15 sport 2 problems

Wrapping up

I hope this information will help you to solve your Smith and Wesson m&p 15 22 problems like it has solved mine. The best part about Smith and Wesson is that it has fantastic customer service. You can take your rifle to them in case you are having any problems.

If you want to solve it on your own, then there is a Smith Wesson forum available for you to discuss your problems with other Smith and Wesson users. You will indeed find someone having the same trouble as yours. Also, there are hundreds of posts available on this forum. You can take guidance for issues with your rifle. Moreover, keep your rifle safe by using the best-suited case for your m&p 15-22.


Is the M&P 15 22 Reliable?

Despite these minor malfunctions, most people consider m&p 15 22 a reliable gun.

Is the M&P 15 22 considered an assault rifle?

M&P 15 22 looks like an assault rifle. It is .22 caliber and semi-automatic. It is the best imitation of an Ar-15; it has a similar outlook and functionality. You can say that it is a small caliber look-alike of AR-15.

Is the M&P 15-22 good for home defense?

M&p 15-22 is suitable for home defense because it is a .22 caliber rifle that is lightweight and easy to carry. It is also easy to use due to its familiar firing. Any household member can use it to defend from a home invader. 

What does m&p stand for?

M&p stands for military and police. But Smith and Wesson primarily make these rifles for civilian use. 

What ammo does an m&p 15 use?

The m&p 15 uses a 5.56 NATO or a .223 Remington.

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Hannah Anderson is a gun enthusiast. She developed a knack for guns and ammunition when as a teenager she started accompanying her grandfather to his hunting ventures. Now, she shares her passion and immense knowledge on the subject with the readers.

2 thoughts on “Smith and Wesson m&p 15-22 problems”

  1. Thanks for the info. My problem is a little different. Ejecting and reloading doesn’t seem to be a problem. It won’t fire in semi automatic mode. Will fire if I manually eject. Then throws out a fresh shell. Any help is appreciated.

    • Here’s a quick couple of things you could try:

      1. Check your trigger assembly for any debris or damage. A small issue here could mess up the entire firing sequence.
      2. Examine your hammer spring to make sure it’s properly installed and in good condition. A weak or faulty spring might not provide the force needed for semi-automatic firing.
      3. Sometimes the components within the fire control group may be misaligned or worn out. This could lead to failure in semi-automatic fire. It may need a good cleaning or even replacement.


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