STOP USING YOUR M&P15-22 UNTIL IT HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND YOUR BOLT REPLACED (IF NECESSARY).
The above is the main point of the safety announcement issued by Smith & Wesson. Although the problem seems to be very limited, they want everyone to check their rifle – just in case.
Per the Smith & Wesson announcement:
ALL models of M&P15-22 rifles and pistols manufactured before February 1, 2019.
Smith & Wesson has identified two M&P15-22 firearms from recent production on which the breech face counter bore depth was not within manufacturing specification. In those firearms, the lack of depth may allow the bolt, upon closing, to crush the rim of the case, causing the round to fire, cycling the bolt, and potentially resulting in multiple discharges without depressing the trigger.”
The announcement goes on to say that you can either check your bolt at home using their free M&P 15-22 Bolt Inspection Gauge or you can send your rifle into S&W and they will conduct the inspection and replacement if necessary.
Smith & Wesson have also published a short video on YouTube detailing the process and demonstrating how to inspect your rifle.
Smith & Wesson has also published a FAQ sheet (note: the sheet is a PDF) answering questions and giving instructions on how to return your rifle if you would like them to inspect it.
As this is a highly popular model of rifle, we thought our readers should be aware of this potential safety issue.
I recently needed the help of the S&W warranty team, the problem was caused by my own ignorance and I was fully ready and willing to pay for the repair work required. However, instead, S&W simply took care of it and did so at zero cost to me. I hope that if you need their help with your rifle that your experience will be as positive as mine was.