How to Service a Smith & Wesson .45ACP Model 4516-1

by Gus Stephens

Smith & Wesson's .45ACP Model 4516 is a downsized variant of the 4500 series semi-automatic handgun. Its 3.75-inch barrel is 1.25 inches shorter than standard 4500-series weapons. A traditional double action/single action firearm built on a compact frame, the 4516 was widely utilized as a law enforcement duty pistol. It is all-stainless steel construction and weighs 2.6 pounds. Production of the 4516 ceased in 1999 and many used models currently on the market in are police department surplus. Routine servicing of the 4516 includes field stripping, cleaning and lubrication.

Field Stripping

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

Open the slide and lock it. Verify that the chamber and magazine well contain no rounds of ammunition.

Pull the slide to the rear until the notch on the left side of the slide aligns with the rounded tab on the slide stop. Hold the pistol with one hand, grasping the slide and receiver. With the other hand, push the slide stop pin out from the right side of the pistol to the left side and remove the slide stop.

Continue to grip the slide and allow it to move forward slowly and off the frame. Wrap your fingers around the slide as it comes off the frame to contain the recoil spring and recoil spring guide.

Compress the recoil spring slightly and release it from the cut in the barrel lug. Remove the recoil spring and spring guide from the slide. Remove the barrel from the slide.


Clean the bore and chamber of residue with a bristle brush soaked with gun cleaning solvent and attached to a cleaning rod.

Swab the bore with gun cleaning patches attached to a cleaning rod and wet with gun cleaning solvent.

Clean external surfaces of the pistol with a non-abrasive cleaning cloth.


Swab the barrel once with a lightly-oiled gun cleaning patch attached to a cleaning rod.

Coat all internal and external metal surfaces of the pistol lightly with gun oil.

Place one drop of gun oil along each of the frame slide rails.

Place a drop of gun oil on the barrel neck and another drop of gun oil on the base of the barrel.

Reassemble the pistol.

Items you will need

  • Gun cleaning rod
  • Gun cleaning patches
  • Gun cleaning solvent
  • Bristle brush
  • Gun oil

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.