Any gunsmiths in the house?

My dad bought a Smith and Wesson 9mm Sigma about 14 months ago. He bought it brand new and put it in his safe still in the box and has never fired it, not even once.

Well I was thinking about buying it, so yesterday I go to test it out. I put in the magazine, rack the slide, pull the trigger and…nothing. No click, no nothing. The gun won’t even dry fire. Well I take that back, if you hold the trigger in, and pull the slide back and forth, then it will dry fire. We remove the slide, oil it, and nothing really appears obviously out of place.

I get a call today saying that just after fooling with it some more today, he got it to work, fired 10 rounds through it, but now it’s doing the same.

Now, I know a gun has to be reliable to be worth anything, I know it’s under warranty and we plan to send it in tomorrow, and I know the varying opinions on the quality of the Sigma itself. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas what could have failed. The gun is basically brand new!

My best guess would be a defective sear that is not properly engaging (and therefore cocking) the striker. The second possibility is that the trigger safety (which disengages a plunger from the striker assembly allowing the striker to move) is not being fully depressed.

S&W stopped making the Sigma back in the late 'Nineties, in part because of the patent infringment suit with Glock, but also because it had such a poor reputation for reliability. Is this really a Sigma (which had numerous defects) or a S&W MP9, which (along with the Walther-licensed SW99) replaced the Sigma as the company’s primary service pistol offering?


Hours of internet discussion wouldn’t be worth 10 minutes of looking at it. But anyway, make sure it’s unloaded. Since it is striker fired, you can’t see if it is cocked very easily. The two most likely things are the striker is not catching on the sear, and following the slide forward instead of staying cocked, or something in the trigger linkage or safety mechanism isn’t engaging correctly. I haven’t had or worked on a Sigma, does it have a visible “striker cocked” indicator? That would be the simplest check, if it does, it should show cocked when the slide is retracted, whether or not it stays that way when you drop the slide. If not, you can look down the barrel (you did look down it from the other end first, right?) and see if you can see the firing pin at or near the hole in the breech face. If you really wanted to check, a thin wire will show how far in the firing pin is. If it is cocked, it will be a ways back, if not, the point of the firing pin won’t be far inside the breech hole.

More likely a safety isn’t disengaging, after that, something not working right with the trigger movement, but checking cocked status is simple and first to do. You’ll have to actually check the mechanical functioning for the other stuff, i.e. check for magazine safety engagement if it has one, take off the slide and look at the functioning of the trigger system, etc. I’d take it to a gunsmith if I were you.

Well it seemed to be fixed. It dry fired over and over successfully, we walked out to shoot it and…nothing. Then after racking the slide alot we got it to fire about 10 shots before it went back to nothing. Sometimes I would get to the end of the trigger pull, hold it, then a full second later it would fire.

The gun is boxed up and will ship back to SW tomorrow

That’s incredibly dangerous…

This is absolutely incorrect. S&W settled with Glock and may or may not have changed the trigger as part of the settlement. But they did not stop making them.

I am an FFL dealer and the things I get from S&W always include info on current Sigmas.

There is a tech college in this area that uses the newer generation Sigmas in their police recruit academy and I have been told they have no problems with them.

Old Sigmas have a bad reputation. Get rid of it and buy a Glock or S&W M&P.

Agreed. Hie thee to a gunsmith asap. If it takes a second, sometime it might take longer. :eek:

I have not dealt with S&W but gun manufacturers in general tend to go to great lengths to make this sort of thing right. Even the second tier ones, though some can be kind of slow. (I’m looking at you Furnas Taurus!)

I’d deal with that by sending it to a reputable factory trained gunsmith. Hell, If it were mine I’d be on the phone with the mfr and see if there was a way to send it in to them.

I wouldn’t load a single cartridge into that until it was given a clean bill of health.
You know what? Screw that noise, I’d sell it to a dealer. Any gun that malfunctions like that doesn’t go in my collection, this aint baseball, you don’t get three strikes. No way I’m going to rely on it.

You might find some info looking around in the Smith & Wesson Gun Forums.

Definitely unload this thing and don’t attempt to shoot it again until you find out what’s what.

Smith & Wesson’s customer service is very good. They will take care of it.

It sounds to me like the firing pin (striker, if you prefer) channel may be fouled with manufacturing debris or congealed lube or both. I’d strip it and hose the living shit out of the channel and trigger group with a spray solvent before getting too crazy with other possibilities. In modern guns like the sigma, the parts are precision made and assembled with little or no fitting. IME, when the parts aren’t playing nice together it is often because of crud accumulated during manufacture and assembly. If I’m wrong, all you are out is the cost of a can of gun scrubber.

Just thought I’d update you guys. Naturally we stopped fooling with it after the last round of mishaps and called S&W. They said they would fix it no problems and pay shipping both ways. The shipping label should be here in three days then we’ll send it off.

The congealed oil in the firing pin channel theory might hold some weight. I don’t think it was ever cleaned when he first bought it. I’ve heard you should clean the factory grease out of it when you buy a new gun. Either way they should take care of it. The guy did mention that he’s never heard of one fail this way before. It’s weird, you can rack the slide, and hold the trigger down (unloaded of course) and you get nothing. But if you pull back on the slide with the TINIEST amount of pressure, not even enough to move it, (still holding the trigger) it will then dry fire.

To the people saying to buy something better, I’m really not super interested in guns in general. My dad got a new one and is selling me this one cheap just to get rid of it I guess. I’ll prolly just keep it to have something of his. I’m the type of person who would rather spend 500 bucks on an awesome graphics card for my computer than a pistol. That or more automotive tools for work.

I appreciate all the good advice in this thread!

Since it’s a direct copy of the Glock in its earliest incarnation, it should have the same functions as the Glock. What you’re describing sounds like the firing pin safety isn’t disengaging. When you pull the trigger there should be a little metal tab that pushes up on what looks like a button on the bottom of the slide. If you move the slide even a little and it works it sounds like the two parts are misaligned.