Smith and Wesson 340PD Problems: 6 Issues to Watch For

The Smith and Wesson 340PD is often hailed as a dream revolver for those prioritizing concealed carry. Its lightweight design makes it an ideal piece for everyday use.

However, putting this revolver through its paces reveals its strengths and weaknesses.

From personal experience, handling this piece highlights issues such as chamber malfunctions, cylinder jamming, grip problems, cylinder erosion, extraction difficulties, and rear sight issues.

Don’t worry!

This article aims to explore all these problems and their available solutions.

Problems & Solutions at a Glance

6 ProblemsWith Their Quick Solution
Chamber IssueClean chambers regularly to prevent buildup and issues.
Jamming Cylinder ProblemTighten the ejector rod to prevent jamming issues.
Grip IssueReplace uncomfortable grips with ergonomic ones.
Cylinder ErosionUse specific powder and 140-grain silver tips.
Issue with the ExtractionInspect and maintain extractor and central pin.
Problem with the Rear SightReturn it to Smith and Wesson for alignment.
Smith and Wesson 340PD Problems

Smith and Wesson 340PD Problems With Their Practical Solution:

1. Chamber Issue:

One of the most persistent problems revolves around its chamber. When using high-power cartridges like the .357 Magnum, casings are not uncommon. They get stuck after being fired.

This issue often arises in the middle of a shooting session, disrupting the flow and making it less enjoyable. I’ve found it particularly annoying when casings won’t budge, requiring considerable effort to extract them.

The problem stems from fouling and dirty chambers. After a few rounds, the buildup can make it difficult to load and unload ammo smoothly.

It’s like clockwork; every session brings a point where the chamber becomes problematic.


Here’s how to fix it. Dirty chambers accumulate gunpowder, lead, and residue, creating a no-go scenario when firing frequent rounds.

To fix this problem, I emphasize cleaning your gun regularly. A simple routine of using the right cleaning tools and lubricants can work wonders.

After every shooting session, scrub the chambers thoroughly to ensure they remain clean and buildup-free. I firmly believe that a lack of cleanliness is often the root cause of chamber issues in firearms.

By incorporating this cleaning routine into your maintenance regimen, you can enjoy smoother ammo cycles and a more reliable gun overall.

2. Jamming Cylinder Problem:

Another dreaded issue is the cylinder jam. This issue typically occurs when firing 357 Magnums or during an extended range session.

After a few rounds, the cylinder may lock and feel stuck, leaving the shooter frustrated and less confident. The culprit often lies in a loose ejector rod that doesn’t need to be tightened correctly.

When this problem occurs, a gentle persuasion with some elbow grease can sometimes budge the cylinder back into place.

However, ensuring the ejector rod is securely tightened is crucial to prevent recurring jamming.


A simple fix can often resolve the frustration.

  • Begin by inspecting the ejector rod to ensure it’s snug and not loose. If it needs adjustment, tighten it comfortably but not overly tight to avoid damaging the mechanism.
  • Consulting a professional gunsmith is advisable for those less experienced or uncomfortable with gun maintenance.

From personal experience, having the ejector rod tightened significantly decreased jamming occurrences during range sessions. This simple maintenance step can make firing smoother and increase trust in the firearm’s reliability.

3. Grip Issue:

The Smith and Wesson 340PD grips can be a letdown for some shooters.

While the revolver itself is versatile and user-friendly, the design of the grips may leave folks with uncomfortable hands after extended use.

I’ve found that during new shooting sessions, the grips feel fine initially but can become disappointing over time, wildly when firing rounds consecutively.

The uncomfortable grips can lead to blisters and make it challenging to remain a happy camper during prolonged practice or in defensive scenarios.

This issue highlights the importance of finding grips that suit your hand size and shooting style to enhance overall comfort and control of the firearm.


Okay, so what’s the solution? If you find the original grips hurting your hands or not ergonomically pleasing, consider a quick fix by changing them.

Swapping to excellent and comfortable grips can make a world of difference.

Personally, I’ve replaced the standard grips with ones that better suit my hand size, and the protest from my hands has ceased.

Finding ergonomically pleasing grips that fit snugly can transform your shooting experience from a discomforting affair to one you thank yourself for.

Read More: Smith and Wesson 329PD Problems: Are They a Deal Breaker?

4. Cylinder Erosion:

Cylinder erosion is a significant concern for Smith and Wesson 340PD owners, mainly due to its titanium construction.

Over time, the cylinder can wear down when exposed to light-grain bullets or the wrong type of ammunition. This erosion occurs gradually but can lead to drawbacks in performance and reliability.

I’ve learned this the hard way after noticing increased friction and occasional misfires. To mitigate cylinder erosion, it’s essential to carefully select ammunition that matches the firearm’s specifications.


A strategic approach to ammunition selection is crucial to tackling cylinder erosion. Opting for unique powder and switching to 140-grain silver tips can reduce wear on the cylinder.

These shorter bullets ensure they exit the case mouth earlier, lowering the risk of erosion caused by high pressures and peaking temperatures during degradation.

I believe this load shift has proven effective in maintaining the integrity of the cylinder during prolonged shooting sessions.

Understanding the impact of ammunition choice on cylinder health is essential for Smith and Wesson 340PD owners seeking to maximize their firearm’s longevity.

5. The issue with the Extraction:

Alright, let’s tackle another problem.

An issue with Extraction can turn a shooting session from enjoyable to worrying. Sometimes, brass gets stuck in the cylinder or doesn’t eject consistently, which can be frustrating and impact shooting reliability.

I’ve encountered one-time snags where brass fails to clear correctly, causing a crack in the frame due to strong impact.

The yoke retention screw is critical in addressing extraction issues. If it’s loose, it can lead to serious extraction problems and affect the normal functioning of the revolver.


Now, it’s to fix this issue. When brass gets stuck or fails to eject consistently, it’s time for a closer look at the extractor and central pin.

These components must be checked regularly, as damage to the yoke retention screw can further complicate matters. If damaged, the extractor may need replacement promptly to maintain reliable performance.

For those uncomfortable with tinkering with gun parts, it’s advisable to consult a professional gunsmith or even send the firearm back to the manufacturer for safety and peace of mind.

Always err on the side of caution when handling firearms to avoid sorry situations. This is particularly true when dealing with specific models that may have known issues, such as the Smith and Wesson 460 XVR Problems.

6. Problem with the Rear Sight:

Aiming with your Smith and Wesson 340PD can be frustrating if there are issues with the rear sight. Many shooters disappoint when they encounter factory faults that result in rear sight misalignment.

Specifically, if the sight is off-center or sits too close to the top strap, it can throw off your aim, leading to minor inconvenience or even flat-out problems during shooting sessions.


Finding the right solution is crucial for shooting confidence. Sometimes, the rear sight might be off or not adjustable as needed, causing inconvenience during shooting sessions.

DIY solutions are no longer an option. What’s the next step? It’s best to send it back to the manufacturer or professionals for a fixed or replacement part.

Ensuring the rear sight is correctly aligned ensures accurate aiming and a more enjoyable shooting experience.

My Final Conclusion:

In my experience with the Smith and Wesson 340PD, it’s been a feather-light pistol that excels in carry and is designed for severe self-defense scenarios.

However, there have been both ups and downs along the way. The merits of its lightweight design and primary job as a self-defense king at close range are undeniable.

Yet, speed bumps come with it, such as occasional chamber issues and grip discomfort. Pesky sight alignment troubles can throw off accuracy, but with the proper care and adjustments, these are solvable problems.

It’s solid when you’re prepared to be hands-on with maintenance and tune-ups.

Sometimes, a visit to the manufacturer for serious issues might be necessary, but overall, the Smith and Wesson 340PD is a reliable tool for personal protection when kept in top shape.

My Friends Feedback:

When discussing the Smith & Wesson 340PD, opinions among my friends vary widely. One noted the titanium cylinder’s durability, highlighting how it handles vicious recoil without issues during range sessions.

Another, however, faced cylinder erosion due to aggressive cleaning methods, which led to warning signs with the 120GR bullet. Despite its compact size and great deal (purchased for around $600), some were worried about its ability to handle full-power 357 Magnum loads over time.

A friend who invested in a brand-new gun expressed initial satisfaction but soon encountered an internal lock problem, which required a return for warranty service. The turnaround was slow, but the repair was done at no charge, restoring trust in the brand.

For those looking for a reliable alternative, stories of breakage with titanium guns prompted others to suggest the all-steel SP101 for its heavier build and perceived reliability.

Retired law enforcement friends weighed in, favoring the Smith & Wesson 340PD for its lightweight and ease of carry, likening it to the older 642 models but noting concerns about its ability to handle full-power 357 Magnum loads without causing hand numbness.

They recommended against using it for those who are recoil-sensitive or who prefer a more substantial grip/frame.

While the Smith & Wesson 340PD has its merits, such as being a powerful personal protection option, it comes with limitations that might only suit everyone’s needs.

Considering factors like recoil, maintenance, and handling preferences is crucial before purchasing.

Common Questions Asked About Smith and Wesson 340PD Problems:

Is the S&W 340PD reliable?

This firearm is not recommended for novice shooters or those sensitive to recoil. However, with practice, the 340PD can prove accurate and reliable. It features a steel insert above the cylinder gap to safeguard the scandium frame. Please take note of the warning on the barrel advising against using cartridges with bullets lighter than 120 grains.

How much does a loaded Smith and Wesson 340PD weight?

The frame is made from a scandium-enhanced aluminum alloy, with a titanium alloy cylinder and a corrosion-resistant steel barrel liner. Its unloaded weight is just 12 ounces (340 g), and even when loaded, it remains under 1 pound (0.45 kg).

Is the 340PD worth it?

This firearm is not recommended for new shooters or those sensitive to recoil. However, with practice, the 340PD can prove accurate and reliable. It features a steel insert above the cylinder gap to protect the scandium frame. It’s essential to heed the warning on the barrel regarding the use of cartridges with bullets lighter than 120 grains.

What does PD stand for Smith and Wesson?

PD” stands for “Personal Defense” and refers to the lightweight combination of a Scandium Alloy Frame and Titanium Alloy Cylinder.

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