Smith & Wesson 9 mm Gun Cleaning Directions

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The Smith & Wesson 9 mm gun is one of the most widely produced compact handguns on the market. The gun’s small size, combined with its simple styling and ease of use, makes it popular with both men and women. The Smith & Wesson 9 mm should be cleaned often to keep it in good working condition.

Items you will need

  • Towel

    Gun-cleaning kit

    Small toothbrush

    Clean rags

Release the clip and remove it from the handgun. Smith & Wesson 9 mm handguns have a button on the side of the grip that will disengage the magazine and allow you to pull it out. Pull back the slide, check for ammunition and then dry-fire it in a safe direction.

Remove the slide and barrel group from the frame by pulling the slide back 1/8 of an inch and pressing down on the take-down catch at the rear of the slide. Gently push the slide forward to free it from the handle and set it aside.

Spread a large towel over your work surface and coat both the barrel and the slide with a liberal amount of the cleaning solvent in the gun-cleaning kit. Dip the bore mop included in the kit in the solvent and scrub the interior surfaces of the barrel and slide. Lay the coated pieces on the towel and allow the solvent to soak for 30 minutes to break down metal and powder residue.

Scrub the interior of the frame and the cylinder with a toothbrush dipped in solvent, as well as the entire exterior surface of the gun. Wipe away the solvent with a clean cloth after scrubbing. Smith & Wesson handguns are made of solid metal and the entire gun can be coated with solvent without fear of damage to wood or plastic parts.

Attach the bore-cleaning brush to the push rod and run it back and forth through the barrel 20 to 30 times to loosen caked-on residue. Replace the brush with a cloth path from the kit to the rod, pushing it gently through the barrel, repeating with a clean cloth until the barrel is totally clean.

Lubricate the moving parts of the slide and frame. Place one drop of lubrication on each side of the take-down catch at the rear of the frame and two at the front where the slide attaches to the frame. One drop of lubrication should also be applied to the front and back of the barrel lug, as shown in the Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun owner’s manual.

Turn the slide upside down and lay the barrel inside the slide to reassemble the gun, so the muzzle is against the hole in the slide and the barrel lug is facing up. Center the rounded end of the recoil spring assembly into the slide housing and push to secure it. Turn the slide over and place the back end of the slide over the frame rails, gently pushing it backward until it locks into place. Move the slide back and forth a few times to distribute the lubrication along the entire length of the slide.


  • Always check to make sure your handgun is unloaded before firing or disassembling it. You can wear gloves if you prefer not to get solvent or lubrication on your hands.