How to Disassemble a 40 Cal. S&W Semi Automatic

by Gus Stephens

Introduced in 2006, the Smith & Wesson .40 caliber M&P; Compact handgun was the company's first major venture into polymer-framed service sidearms. The semi-automatic .40 M&P; -- an industrial style, no-frills design -- is marketed primarily as a duty pistol for police officers and military personnel. It features a Zytel polymer frame, and a stainless steel barrel and slide. The magazine holds 10 rounds of .40 S&W; ammunition. The .40 M&P; comes standard with steel-ramp-dovetail front sights, and steel Novak Lo-Mount rear sights. Tritium sights are optional. The barrel measures 3.5 inches, and the weight of the .40 M&P; is 21.9 ounces.

1. Point the pistol in a safe direction.

2. Press the magazine release on the left side of the trigger guard, and remove the magazine.

3. Grasp the grooved sides of the slide with thumb and forefinger. Pull the slide back to its rear limit. Press up on the slide-stop switch to lock it in the open position.

4. Visually verify that the chamber and magazine-well are clear of ammunition.

5. Locate the frame tool at the bottom of the pistol grip. Rotate it one-quarter turn in either direction to remove it from the gun.

6. Push the sear-activation lever downward into the magazine-well; use the frame tool.

7. Move the takedown lever -- on the left side of the gun -- clockwise to the down position.

8. Grasp the top of the slide; unlock it by pulling slightly toward the rear. Move the slide forward -- gradually -- to decompress the recoil spring. Remove the slide from the end of the gun.

9. Turn the slide over. Remove the recoil spring -- and the recoil-spring's guide assembly -- from the slide.

10. Remove the barrel from the slide.

About the Author

Gus Stephens has written about aviation, automotive and home technology for 15 years. His articles have appeared in major print outlets such as "Popular Mechanics" and "Invention & Technology." Along the way, Gus earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications. If it flies, drives or just sits on your desk and blinks, he's probably fixed it.