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If you’re a proud owner of a Smith & Wesson M&P, you’ll know it’s essential to keep it clean and well-maintained. But if you’re unsure how to do it, don’t worry – I’m here to help. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process step-by-step.

From disassembly to the actual cleaning and then reassembly, we’ll cover it all. Not only will this keep your firearm in top shape, but it’ll also ensure its longevity. So whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a beginner, this guide’s got you covered.


To begin with, it’s essential to make sure the Smith & Wesson M&P is completely unloaded. Safety first! After ensuring this, I’ll guide you through the next stages in the process.

First, lock back the slide. It’s done by pulling the slide back and pressing up on the slide stop. Next, rotate the takedown lever clockwise until it’s pointing straight down.

You’re ready to release the slide. To do this, pull back on the slide and press down on the slide stop. The slide will go forward, and you can push the slide off the frame. Remember, it’s the slide that houses the barrel and several other critical components of your firearm.

At this point, your Smith & Wesson M&P is disassembled into two main parts: the slide and frame.

To continue the disassembly, remove the recoil spring and the barrel from the slide. To remove the recoil spring, push it slightly forward and lift up, allowing the spring to come out. Subsequently, lift the barrel out of the slide.

That’s it for the disassembly of your Smith & Wesson M&P. Next, I’ll walk you through the proper cleaning techniques to keep your firearm in top-notch condition. Be patient and make sure you follow these steps one by one. So, let’s get going.

Here’s a quick recap of the disassembly process:

  • Ensure the weapon is completely unloaded
  • Lock back the slide
  • Rotate the takedown lever
  • Release the slide
  • Push the slide off the frame
  • Remove the recoil spring
  • Lift the barrel out of the slide

Each of these steps is essential to effectively disassemble your Smith & Wesson M&P. They also set the stage for the gun cleaning and maintenance process that follows.

Cleaning Supplies Needed

So, you’ve successfully disassembled your Smith & Wesson M&P. The next critical phase requires attention to detail – cleaning your firearm. Trust me, you won’t regret investing your time here.

To begin, it’s crucial to have the right cleaning tools at your disposal. The right tools will ensure effective cleaning and prolong the lifespan of your firearm. Here’s a list of supplies I recommend:

  • Gun Cleaning Solvent: Effective in dealing with stubborn residues and preventing corrosion.
  • Lubricant: Essential to keep the firearm’s parts smoothly functioning. Remember, a well-lubricated firearm is less prone to damaging wear and catching rust.
  • Bore Brushes: These are needed to scrape off deposits in the barrel.
  • Patches and Cleaning Rod: You’ll need these for the thorough cleaning of the barrel.
  • Needle Point Bottle: Helpful for precision when applying solvent and lubricant.
  • Cleaning Cloth: Handy for wiping off excess solvent or oil on the gun.

While other cleaning materials can be used, these are my go-to items because they jointly offer a comprehensive cleaning that leaves your Smith & Wesson M&P in top shape.

Any local gun shop can provide these cleaning supplies. Alternatively, online platforms like Amazon also harbor a wealth of options. Picking a Gun Cleaning Kit can be a good idea as these pre-assembled kits usually encompass all of the essential supplies mentioned above.

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that buying high-quality cleaning supplies can make a significant difference. You may pay a bit more upfront, but the longevity and performance improvement of your firearm justify the investment.

Cleaning the Barrel

Cleaning the barrel of your Smith & Wesson M&P is perhaps one of the most critical steps in the maintenance routine. It’s where the action of the bullet happens, and consequently, where most of the gunk accumulates.

To start with, you’ll need your bore brush and gun cleaning solvent. Dip the brush into the solvent to get it wet, but not dripping. With the brush prepped, insert it into the barrel from the back where the bullet exits. It is essential not to push the brush in from the muzzle end as you could damage the rifling which would impact the gun’s accuracy.

Once the brush is in, work it back and forth through the full length of the barrel for about five to ten complete passes. This action will help remove any stubborn residues stuck in the barrel. For the best results, add more solvent to the brush halfway through.

Next, you’ll switch to your cleaning rod and patches. Here’s how: thread a patch onto your cleaning rod and soak it with gun-cleaning solvent—ideally the same one you’ve been using. Once ready, pass the rod through the barrel, starting from the back and exiting through the muzzle. It’s tasking, but I’d recommend running through with several solvent-soaked patches until eventually, they come out clean.

Lastly, you shouldn’t forget about your needle point bottle filled with quality lubricant. You run a small bead of the lubricant along the length of a clean patch, thread it onto your cleaning rod, and pass it through the barrel just like you did with the solvent-soaked patches. The lubricant helps to prevent rusting and ensures smooth operation of your Smith & Wesson M&P.

Throughout this cleaning process, you’d want to be sure you’re donning a pair of quality gloves. Solvents can be quite harsh on the skin and prolonged exposure could lead to irritation.

Cleaning the Slide and Frame

Next up, let’s move to cleaning the main components: the slide and frame. Take a similar approach of meticulous care, ensuring every part gets clean to function smoothly.

Removing Residues from the Slide

Start with the slide. It’s typically the part that gets easily dirty because it houses the firearm’s firing pin and extractor. Use your gun cleaning solvent and a brush meant for this purpose. Brush off any residue you observe. Completing this step might need some patience but trust me, it’s worth it.

Take a cleaning patch soaked in solvent and wipe the slide down. Be certain you clean all nooks and crannies including the recesses around the firing pin and extractor.

Cleaning the Frame

Moving on to the frame, apply the same methodology. Brush off residues using the cleaning solvent. Once that’s done, saturate a cleaning patch with gun solvent as you did with the slide and give the frame a good wipe down.

Pay extra mind to the magazine well and trigger assembly as these areas tend to collect a lot of dirt. You need the magazine well to be absolutely clean for the firearm to feed ammunition smoothly.

Once you ensure all residues are taken care of, the next step is to lubricate these components. Apply your gun lubricant sparingly. Remember, it’s a case where less is more. Excess lubricant attracts dust which can mitigate the functionality of your weapon.

Of course, don’t forget your safety measures while handling solvents and lubricants. I recommend using quality gloves to avoid any direct skin contact with these substances.


Now that your Smith & Wesson M&P is thoroughly cleaned, lubrication is the next crucial step. I’ll walk you through it, focusing on maintaining the longevity and performance of your firearm.

First, grasp your needle point bottle filled with gun lubricant. This tool allows for precision application to specific areas needing lubrication. Be cautious, though! Too much lubricant can attract dust and debris, impairing the firearm’s functionality. Therefore, it’s important to apply lubricant sparingly.

Begin with the slide of your Smith & Wesson M&P. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the slide rails – these are the narrow, grooved sections on both sides of the slide.

Let’s move onto the frame, specifically the rail grooves on the frame. Again, a small amount of lubricant goes a long way.

Next, we’ll pay attention to the barrel. I usually apply a slight trickle of lubricant around the outer surface, then proceed to lightly spread it around with my fingers, making sure it’s evenly distributed.

While you’re at it, don’t forget the recoil spring. Give it a light coating of lubricant; trust me, it’ll thank you for it.

A word of caution here: avoid getting lubricant into the firing pin channel. It can lead to gunk build-up and misfires.

Just recapping, here’s what you’ve done:

  • Applied lubricant sparingly to the slide, frame, barrel and recoil spring.
  • Skipped the firing pin channel in your lubrication process.

Armed with patience and a good lubricant, your faithful Smith & Wesson M&P is well along the path of maintenance. As we head into the next section, remember that upkeep isn’t a one-time thing. You’ve got to keep it up regularly for optimal performance.


Once the cleaning and lubrication of your Smith & Wesson M&P are completed, it’s time to move onto the next phase: reassembly. This part of maintaining your firearm is just as crucial as the rest, so don’t rush and make sure you do it right.

Let’s start with the recoil spring assembly. Rest the larger end of the recoil spring assembly on the notch in the barrel lug. Ensure it’s resting properly and then push it in with your thumb until it locks into place.

Next, take the slide and place it onto the frame. You’ll want to align the slide’s grooves with the frame’s rails. Once aligned, push the slide all the way back until it aligns with the slide stop notch.

While still holding the slide back, reinsert the slide stop lever. You’ll push it into its hole, aligning it with the notch on the slide.

The job’s not done yet. Last but not least comes the barrel. Rotate the barrel back into its upright position.

test your firearm. A vital step to ensure everything is correctly assembled. Ensure your firearm is still unloaded, then pull back the slide. All going well, the slide should return to its forward position once released. If it does not, then it’s time to disassemble and troubleshoot.

Remember: This is a step-by-step guide, and it’s essential to pay attention to the detail. Watch out for things like worn parts or damage that may have occurred during cleaning or overuse. In a nutshell, maintenance is critical, but it’s just as important to keep a watchful eye on your firearm’s condition overall.

So there we’ve touched on the necessary steps for the reassembling of your Smith & Wesson M&P firearm. In the following section, we’ll be discussing specific maintenance schedules, and how often you should be undertaking this process to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your firearm. It’s all about getting the most bang for your buck and ensuring your safety at the same time.


Cleaning your Smith & Wesson M&P isn’t just about keeping it shiny. It’s about preserving its performance and longevity. From disassembling the slide, frame, and barrel to lubricating and reassembling each part, you’ve got the knowledge now. Remember, always ensure it’s unloaded before starting. Regular maintenance is key, so stick to a schedule. Don’t forget to check for wear and tear, and always test after reassembly. Your firearm’s health is in your hands. Keep it in top shape and it’ll serve you well for years to come.

How do I disassemble a Smith & Wesson M&P firearm?

To disassemble a Smith & Wesson M&P firearm, first, ensure it is unloaded. Remove the magazine and lock the slide back. Then, push down on the takedown lever and move the slide forward until it releases. Remove the slide from the frame and then take out the barrel.

How should I lubricate my Smith & Wesson M&P firearm?

To lubricate your Smith & Wesson M&P firearm, apply a small amount of high-quality firearm oil to the slide rails, barrel, and other moving parts. Avoid over-lubricating, as it can attract dirt and affect the firearm’s performance.

What is the process to reassemble a Smith & Wesson M&P firearm?

To reassemble a Smith & Wesson M&P firearm, begin by inserting the barrel into the slide. Next, place the recoil spring assembly back into the slide. Align the slide’s front end with the frame’s front end and slide it back into place. Finally, release the slide and push it to ensure it is fully seated.

How do I test my Smith & Wesson M&P firearm after reassembly?

After reassembling a Smith & Wesson M&P firearm, test its functionality by performing a function check. Ensure the slide cycles smoothly, the safety features work properly, and the trigger functions without issue. If any problems are detected, disassemble and reassemble the firearm again, ensuring proper alignment and functioning.

How often should I perform maintenance on my Smith & Wesson M&P firearm?

It is recommended to perform regular maintenance on your Smith & Wesson M&P firearm every 250 to 500 rounds or every three to six months, depending on usage. Regular cleaning, lubrication, and inspection of the firearm will help ensure its longevity and optimal performance.