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If you’re a proud owner of a Smith & Wesson Model 500, you’ll know it’s not just about the thrill of shooting. It’s about the care and maintenance that goes into keeping your firearm in top-notch condition. In this article, I’ll be sharing some of my expert tips on how to clean a Smith & Wesson Model 500 effectively.

Cleaning your Smith & Wesson Model 500 isn’t as daunting as it sounds. With the right tools and a little know-how, you’ll have your revolver cleaned and ready for action in no time. So, whether you’re a seasoned gun owner or a newbie, stick around. You’re sure to learn something new.

In the upcoming sections, we’ll explore the step-by-step cleaning process, the necessary cleaning tools, and some essential maintenance tips. So, let’s get that Smith & Wesson Model 500 sparkling clean and firing smoothly.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Cleaning Tools

Before we roll up our sleeves and dive into the cleaning process, we first need to gather our cleaning tools. Successful maintenance of your Smith & Wesson Model 500 begins with the right tools. To ensure a thorough and efficient cleaning, you’ll need the following:

  • Cleaning Rod: A cleaning rod is essential to reach the nooks and crannies of your pistol. Go for a high-quality rod with swivel handles; that way, the patches rotate as you push them through the barrel.
  • Brushes: Brass, bronze, or nylon brushes are ideal to effectively scrub away grime and residue from your firearm.
  • Cleaning Solvent: It’s used to dissolve buildup, fouling, and other gunk in your gun. Make sure you’re choosing a solvent meant for firearms to prevent potential damage to your weapon.
  • Lubricant/Oil: This is needed to ensure smooth operation. The lubricant helps prevent rust, corrosion, and wear.
  • Cleaning Patches: These are used with the cleaning rod to wipe the barrel.
  • Cotton Swabs: Perfect for those hard-to-reach places.
  • Microfiber cloth: This comes in handy for general cleaning and wiping down the firearm after you’re done.
  • Cleaning Mat: A good cleaning mat prevents any scratching or other damage to the firearm—or your table—during cleaning.

While these are typical tools, you might find cleaning kits that contain most of these items. I highly recommend investing in one of these kits if you’ve just started maintaining your Smith & Wesson Model 500. It takes the guesswork out of what you need and ensures you’re well equipped.

But remember, having just the right tools alone won’t guarantee a well-maintained weapon. Good practices in using these tools are equally crucial. In the next section, we’ll take a look at how exactly you should use each of these tools in the cleaning process of your Smith & Wesson Model 500.

Step 2: Unload and Ensure the Firearm is Safe

Let’s move forward and discuss the next crucial step of the process – ensuring your Smith & Wesson Model 500 is unloaded and safe. I can’t stress enough how important it is to confirm that the firearm is completely unloaded before starting the cleaning process. It’s not just a best practice; it’s a lifesaving rule.

Begin by checking if the weapon is loaded. The Smith & Wesson Model 500 is a double-action revolver, meaning, it can be operated in either single-action or double-action modes. Carefully point your gun in a safe direction. Let me repeat for emphasis – always point your firearm in a safe direction. Remove all rounds from the cylinder. Do it one by one, setting them somewhere safe and away from your working area.

After unloading, it’s a good practice to visually and physically inspect the chambers. This step is to ensure that no ammunition is left behind. For a double-check, sweep your fingers around each chamber. You’ll know it’s empty when you can touch the empty wall of the chamber without feeling any resistance.

Now your Smith & Wesson 500 Revolver is ready for you to proceed to the next phase. I’ll introduce the initial stages of cleaning, where we will utilize the tools detailed earlier, in the next section.

Step 3: Disassemble the Smith & Wesson Model 500

Having confirmed that the firearm is unloaded, we’re now moving to the next essential phase: disassembly. Dismantling your Smith & Wesson Model 500 is key to thorough cleaning. It enables access to hidden parts of the gun where dirt and grime often accumulate.

Here’s a straightforward guide to disassembling your firearm:

  1. First, open the cylinder – the part of the gun that holds the bullets – by pushing the cylinder latch forward then swing the cylinder out to the side.
  2. Lift the extractor rod – a small button at the center of the cylinder. This rod assists in loading and unloading the gun’s cartridges.

Note: Don’t force the extractor rod if it’s not moving freely. It may result in damaging the internal parts of your firearm.

  1. After this, separate the yoke – a component that connects the cylinder to the main frame of the firearm. Simply pull it outward to detach the cylinder entirely from the frame.
  2. With the Smith & Wesson Model 500, it’s not necessary to further disassemble the cylinder, as the design allows for efficient cleaning without complete disassembly.

Step 4: Clean the Barrel and Chambers

Alright, we’ve unloaded our firearm, physically checked the chambers, and disassembled the necessary parts. Now, we’re moving into the meat of the job – cleaning the barrel and chambers of our Smith & Wesson Model 500.

Let’s start with the barrel. I’ve always found it’s best to tackle this using a bore brush and cleaning rod. Get yourself some high-quality firearm solvent as well. Now, remember to only apply the solvent to the brush, not directly into the barrel. Scrub vigorously but carefully, ensuring that every inch of the barrel’s internal surface is properly cleaned.

Following the barrel, we’ll move on to the chambers. These require just as much attention. The process isn’t dissimilar to the barrel. We should:

  • Apply solvent to a chamber brush
  • Scrub each chamber individually.

Note that thorough cleaning often involves a repeat of this process – one clean is good, but two is better. It ensures the removal of all residue and foreign matter that might have been left behind.

Take your cleaning rod and attach a cotton patch onto the end of it. Run this patch through the barrel and chambers until it comes out clean. This is the test I always use to confirm a job well done.

Let’s pause and take in the fruits of our labor. You’ll see a difference – clearer, cleaner barrel and chambers. Not only are they visually pleasing, but they’re equally instrumental in ensuring your Smith & Wesson Model 500 functions effectively. A clean firearm is a happy firearm.

There’s just a little more to go. Assembling your clean and shiny Smith & Wesson Model 500 is equally important. But, let’s catch our breath, step back a moment, and prepare for the next part of the journey.

Ample safety measures, careful disassembly, and detailed cleaning make for a well-maintained firearm. The Smith & Wesson Model 500 is a beauty when adequately cared for. We’re moving closer to making sure it stays that way.

Step 5: Clean the Frame and Internal Components

After meticulously cleaning the barrel and chambers, we’ll now focus on the frame and internal components of your Smith & Wesson Model 500. A clean firearm is a reliable firearm, and this step is as crucial as any other.

Start by gently wiping the surface areas of the frame. Use a clean, slightly damp cloth to keep things smooth. Cleaning patches or soft lint-free cloth work best for this.

Next, let’s tackle the internal components. You’ll require some specific tools for this:

  • Cleaning brush: For removing stubborn grit and grime.
  • Cotton Swabs: Handy for getting into small nooks.
  • Gun Cleaning Solvent: A specially formulated solvent will break down any remaining residue.

Remember, it’s not just about applying solvent and wiping it off. You must give the solvent adequate time to work on the gunk before you attempt to remove it. In some cases, you may need to loosen stubborn residue with a brush before it can be fully cleared away.

For the slide and other moving parts, a detail-cleaning brush or a toothbrush will do. Use these to apply the solvent and scrub off the residue. And always remember, it’s best to start from the larger surfaces and work your way into the smaller areas.

While cleaning, I tend to pay extra attention to the extractor hook and the firing pin hole. Repeated use can retain contaminants here, potentially affecting the firearm’s performance. Be methodical and go slower on these components as any breakage or compromise here isn’t worth the risk.

What’s next? After the frame and internals are clean, it’s only proper to lubricate these areas. We’ll delve into that process in the forthcoming section. Oh, don’t fret! Lubricating your firearm isn’t as daunting as it seems. It’s just another necessary step to ensure your Smith & Wesson Model 500 works flawlessly every time you pull the trigger.

Step 6: Lubricate the Revolver Parts

Moving forward in our firearm cleaning journey, the next necessary step is to lubricate the frame and internal components of the Smith & Wesson Model 500. Given the high importance of this step, it’s crucial not to skip it or rush through it. Lubrication reduces friction between the revolver’s moving parts, ensuring smooth operation and mitigating the potential for wear and tear.

In my experience, a good quality firearm lubricant is your best ally here. From my personal toolkit, Break-Free CLP has always stood out. It’s a cleaner, lubricant, and protector, all in one. Applying it to your firearm not only eases the movement of parts but also provides a protective shield against corrosion.

Use a clean, lint-free cloth or a patch to apply the lubricant evenly and sparingly. Remember, when lubricating a firearm, less is more. Oversaturating your gun with oil can attract grime and dirt and might contribute to malfunctions. So don’t go overboard.

Here’s the sequence I follow for lubrication:

  • Apply a few drops to the frame rails, and use a patch to spread it.
  • Put a drop on the rear and front locking blocks.
  • Carefully lubricate the extractor hook.
  • Finally, gently oil the movable parts of the trigger assembly.

Make sure to exercise caution while lubricating the firing pin hole. Don’t let the lube enter this region, as it might gum up the works.

Keep in mind, regular cleaning and lubrication can play a significant part in extending your firearm’s life. It keeps your Smith & Wesson Model 500 operating smoothly, reliably, and safely. Is it time-consuming? Maybe. But it’s always worth it.

Step 7: Reassemble the Smith & Wesson Model 500

At this point, we’ve cleaned and lubricated our Smith & Wesson Model 500. It’s time to get this beauty back together. Reassembly is generally the reverse of disassembly, but it’s important to understand that there’s more to it than just putting parts back in.

Firstly, start with the cylinder and extractor. Place the extractor into the cylinder, aligning the slot on the extractor with the extractor rod. Then screw the extractor rod back in. Make sure it’s tight but don’t overdo it! We don’t want to damage any parts.

Next, insert the cylinder into the frame. Position the cylinder so the extractor rod aligns with the hole in the center of the recoil shield. Push the cylinder in until it’s firmly seated, then close the cylinder latch.

Let’s move onto the trigger assembly. Return it into the frame, ensuring the trigger pivot pin is correctly aligned with its hole. Afterwards, secure it by sliding the trigger guard up towards the frame until it clicks into place. Simple, right?

Hold on, we’re not done yet! Let’s get that hammer back into position. Place it in the frame and align its hole with the hammer pivot pin. Carefully slide it back in until it’s secured.

Make sure all parts are secure and aligned properly. This is a crucial step, as proper alignment and seating are key to any firearm’s correct operation and overall performance. Misalignment or incorrect seating could cause the gun to malfunction, or worse, be unsafe.

Final check – does the gun operate smoothly? Open and close the cylinder. Do a mock trigger pull with the gun unloaded (always safety first). Make sure everything moves smoothly, without hitches or excessive resistance from any of the internals. Keep in mind, though, that you have disassembled and reassembled a highly intricate piece of machinery. It’s expected to feel a bit different in your hands until you’ve worked it in again.

Well, like I said, it’s not just about putting things back in. It’s about ensuring smooth operation, safety, and the longevity of your Smith & Wesson Model 500. So take your time, be patient – it’s all part of owning, caring, and maintaining your firearm.

Step 8: Store the Firearm Properly

After you’ve successfully reassembled your Smith & Wesson Model 500, it’s essential to store it properly. This step is as crucial as cleaning the firearm itself. The proper storage of the gun not only ensures its longevity but also your safety and those around you.

First and foremost, ensure the firearm is unloaded before storing. Even though this may seem like an obvious step, you’d be surprised at how often this basic safety protocol is overlooked. You should always double-check to make sure that there are no rounds in the gun.

Next, consider your storage options. For optimal preservation, your firearm should be stored in a cool, dry place away from dust and moisture. The storage environment can significantly impact its condition over time. Excessive humidity can lead to rusting, while extreme heat may damage the firearm’s surfaces and internal parts. A hard case with foam padding is often an ideal choice for storage.

In addition, look into investing in a gun rack or a lock box. If you have children or unauthorized persons in your home, a lock box is mandatory. It provides a secure storage option to prevent unauthorized access. If you can, try to find a lock box that is both waterproof and fireproof for added safety measures.

As with everything else, consistency is key when it comes to firearm care. Keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning, and always store your gun properly. Remember, a well-cared-for Smith & Wesson Model 500 can last a lifetime.

On that note, let’s move on to discussing other considerations when caring for your firearm. This guidance will help you ensure your gun is always ready for action.

Maintenance Tips for Your Smith & Wesson Model 500

Having an understanding of proper storage and reassembly techniques is important. It’s equally critical, though, to keep the Smith & Wesson Model 500 in top condition through consistent maintenance.

Routine cleaning of the firearm is a good habit. Eliminate dust and grime buildup as it can impede function and potentially lead to malfunctions. A standard gun cleaning kit should have you covered for this. Here’s what you need:

  • Bore brushes
  • Cleaning rod
  • Gun oil
  • Cleaning solvent

Using the cleaning rod and bore brush dipped in solvent, focus on the barrel of your Model 500. Not only does this action rid the firearm of harmful debris, but it also allows the gun’s mechanical operations to run smoother. Be sure not to ignore small corners and crevices – these are the areas where grime can accumulate over time.

Remember though, over-cleaning can also lead to issues like unnecessary wear. The frequency of cleaning largely depends on how often you use the firearm. If used regularly, it’s advisable to clean after each use. Infrequent users should aim for cleaning a few times a year.

After cleaning, lubricate crucial moving parts with gun oil. Not just any oil will do, ensure you’re using oil specifically designed for firearms. Regular application can reduce friction between key components, promoting longevity and reliability.

Another integral part of maintenance is regularly examining the components for wear and tear. This could be anything from a hairline crack to an odd noise while cocking the firearm. If you notice anything suspicious – be it visual or auditory – it’s best to consult with a firearms specialist immediately.

Additionally, remember that responsible firearm ownership includes ensuring your Smith & Wesson Model 500 is always locked away to prevent unauthorized utilization. It’s a non-negotiable, especially when there are children in the home.

In all, the longevity of your Smith & Wesson Model 500 ties back to your diligence in periodic maintenance. With a disciplined cleaning schedule, regular wear and tear assessment and responsible storage, you can be confident in the reliability of your firearm for years.


Keeping your Smith & Wesson Model 500 in top shape isn’t rocket science. It’s about consistent cleaning, timely lubrication, and regular inspection of wear and tear. I can’t stress enough the importance of storing it correctly. Unload it, and find a cool, dry place for it. A padded hard case, a gun rack, or a lock box are great options. If you’ve got kids or unauthorized folks around, it’s even more critical. Remember, the longevity of your firearm is in your hands. Treat it well, and it’ll serve you reliably for years to come.

Q: How should I store a Smith & Wesson Model 500 firearm?

A: It is important to store a Smith & Wesson Model 500 firearm in a safe and secure manner. Ensure the firearm is unloaded and store it in a cool, dry place away from dust and moisture. Consider using a hard case with foam padding, a gun rack, or a lock box for added protection.

Q: What should I do to maintain a Smith & Wesson Model 500 firearm?

A: To maintain a Smith & Wesson Model 500 firearm, regular cleaning and lubrication are essential. Use gun oil to lubricate the components and examine them regularly for any signs of wear and tear.

Q: Why is responsible storage of a Smith & Wesson Model 500 firearm important?

A: Responsible storage of a Smith & Wesson Model 500 firearm is crucial to prevent unauthorized use, particularly when there are children or unauthorized persons in the home. It helps ensure the safety and security of everyone in the household.