In this article, you will learn all about disassembling and cleaning the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard. We will provide you with step-by-step instructions and even a video to guide you through the process. Not only that, but we will also give you a little historical context about this firearm. By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and skills to properly maintain your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard.
Introduction to Smith & Wesson Bodyguard
The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is a popular and reliable semi-automatic pistol designed for concealed carry and self-defense purposes. This compact handgun is known for its small size, lightweight construction, and user-friendly features. In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to disassemble and clean your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, ensuring its optimal performance and longevity.
Overview of the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard
The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is available in various models, including the Bodyguard .380 and the Bodyguard 38. The Bodyguard .380 is chambered in .380 ACP, while the Bodyguard 38 is chambered in .38 Special. Both models feature a polymer frame and a stainless steel slide, offering durability and corrosion resistance.
The Bodyguard boasts a compact and lightweight design, making it ideal for concealed carry. It incorporates a double-action-only (DAO) trigger system, ensuring consistent trigger pull and enhanced safety. Additionally, the Bodyguard features an integrated laser sight, providing quick target acquisition and improved accuracy.
Historical background of the Bodyguard model
The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard series has a rich history dating back to the mid-1950s. The original Bodyguard revolver was introduced in 1955 as a lightweight, compact handgun suitable for law enforcement and civilian use. Over the years, Smith & Wesson continued to refine and improve the Bodyguard line, eventually introducing semiautomatic versions in the 2000s.
Importance of firearm safety measures
Before we proceed with disassembling and cleaning the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, it’s crucial to prioritize firearm safety. Always follow these safety precautions:
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, even if you believe it to be unloaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Point the firearm in a safe direction at all times.
- Be aware of your target and what lies beyond it.
- Store firearms securely, away from children and unauthorized individuals.
Proper handling and storage guidelines
When handling the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, ensure you are familiar with the firearm’s manual and safety features. Always follow these guidelines:
- Ensure the firearm is unloaded and the magazine is removed before disassembling it.
- Keep ammunition separate from the disassembled firearm during the cleaning process.
- Use a dedicated cleaning area with ample lighting and a clean work surface.
- Store the disassembled components securely, making sure they are out of reach of unauthorized individuals.
- Regularly inspect the firearm for any signs of wear, damage, or malfunction.
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Tools Required for Disassembly
Essential tools for disassembling the Bodyguard
To successfully disassemble the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, you will need the following tools:
- Gun cleaning kit: Includes items such as cleaning rods, brushes, patches, and cleaning solvents.
- Screwdriver set: Essential for removing screws or tightening components, if necessary.
- Pliers: Useful for holding small parts securely during disassembly or assembly.
- Punch set: Helps with removing certain pins, such as the trigger pin or takedown pin.
- Cleaning mat or towel: Provides a clean and soft surface to protect the firearm during disassembly.
Tips for selecting the right tools
When choosing the tools for disassembling the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, consider the following tips:
- Opt for high-quality tools to ensure durability and reliability during the disassembly process.
- Use tools specifically designed for firearms to avoid damaging delicate components.
- Select the appropriate size and type of screwdriver or punch for each specific task.
- Invest in a gun cleaning kit that includes solvents and lubricants suitable for use on the Bodyguard.
Step-by-Step Disassembly Guide
Now that you have gathered the necessary tools and familiarized yourself with firearm safety, let’s proceed with the step-by-step disassembly of the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard.
Clearing the firearm and ensuring it’s unloaded
- Point the firearm in a safe direction and remove the magazine by pressing the magazine release button located on the side of the grip.
- Pull the slide back and visually inspect the chamber to ensure there is no ammunition present.
- Pull the slide all the way back and engage the slide stop, holding the slide in the locked-back position.
- Visually and physically inspect the chamber once again to confirm the firearm is unloaded.
Field-stripping the Bodyguard
- Push down on the takedown lever located on the left side of the frame, just above the trigger.
- While holding down the takedown lever, move the slide forward until it separates from the frame.
- Remove the recoil spring assembly by pulling it forward and away from the barrel.
- Pull the barrel out of the slide assembly.
Removing the slide assembly
- With the slide assembly separated from the frame, locate the striker assembly at the rear of the slide.
- Depress the striker assembly by pushing it forward and down, then lift it out carefully.
- Pull the extractor, located on the rear of the slide, towards the ejection port to remove it.
- Continue disassembling the slide by removing any remaining small parts if necessary.
Taking apart the barrel and recoil spring
- To disassemble the barrel, push down on the locking block located at the front of the barrel.
- While holding the locking block down, rotate the barrel counterclockwise until it comes free from the slide.
- Separate the barrel from the locking block and set it aside.
- To remove the recoil spring assembly completely, push it forward and remove it from the slide.
Dismantling the trigger mechanism
- With the frame of the Bodyguard in front of you, locate the trigger pin just above the trigger itself.
- Use a punch tool to drive out the trigger pin by tapping it gently with a hammer.
- Once the trigger pin is removed, carefully lift out the trigger, disconnector, and any other small parts connected to the trigger mechanism.
Cleaning each disassembled part
Now that you have successfully disassembled the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, it’s time to clean each individual part thoroughly. Follow these cleaning procedures to ensure your firearm is properly maintained:
Choosing the appropriate cleaning solvents
When cleaning the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, it’s important to select cleaning solvents specifically formulated for firearms. Follow these guidelines when choosing cleaning solvents:
- Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the firearm’s finishes or components.
- Look for solvents that effectively remove fouling, carbon buildup, and other debris from the barrel, slide, and trigger mechanism.
- Consider using environmentally friendly cleaning solutions that are safe for both you and the environment.
Using brushes and patches to clean the barrel
- Start by attaching a cleaning patch to a cleaning rod and apply a suitable solvent to the patch.
- Insert the cleaning rod into the barrel and push the patch through to remove any fouling or debris.
- Repeat with clean patches until they come out relatively clean.
- Use a bore brush that matches the caliber of your Bodyguard to scrub the inside of the barrel.
- Push the bore brush through the barrel several times, and then follow up with another clean patch to remove any remaining residue.
Cleaning the slide and other metal components
- Use cleaning patches or cotton swabs soaked in solvent to clean the slide assembly thoroughly.
- Pay close attention to the extractor, firing pin channel, and other small areas where dirt and debris may accumulate.
- Scrub the recoil spring assembly with a solvent-soaked brush or cloth to remove any buildup.
- Wipe down all metal components, including the trigger, disconnector, and any other disassembled parts, using a clean, lint-free cloth.
Applying lubrication to prevent wear and tear
After thoroughly cleaning each part, it’s essential to apply a suitable lubricant to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear and tear. Follow these guidelines when applying lubrication to the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard:
- Use a high-quality gun oil or lubricant specifically designed for firearms.
- Apply a small amount of lubricant to the slide rails, barrel, and other moving parts that come into contact during operation.
- Avoid over-lubricating, as excess oil may attract dirt and debris, potentially causing malfunctions.
- Wipe away any excess lubricant using a clean, lint-free cloth.
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After completing the cleaning process, it’s time to reassemble the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure proper and safe reassembly:
Step-by-step guide to reassembling the Bodyguard
- Begin by inserting the cleaned and lubricated barrel into the slide assembly.
- Align the barrel with the slide, then rotate it clockwise until it locks into place.
- Insert the recoil spring assembly into the slide, ensuring it is properly seated.
- Carefully line up the slide assembly with the frame and slide it onto the frame rails.
- Move the slide fully rearward to ensure it is properly aligned with the frame.
- Push up on the takedown lever to secure the slide to the frame.
Ensuring proper alignment of components
When reassembling the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, pay close attention to proper alignment and fitment of components. Ensure the following:
- The slide is fully seated on the frame rails without any wobbling or play.
- The barrel is securely locked into place and rotates smoothly.
- The recoil spring assembly is properly aligned and functioning correctly.
- The takedown lever is engaged, indicating proper assembly.
Watch out for common reassembly mistakes
While reassembling the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, be aware of common mistakes that may hinder proper function:
- Over-tightening screws or using excessive force when reassembling may strip or damage components.
- Failing to align the slide properly with the frame rails may cause malfunctions or misfeeds.
- Forgetting to engage the takedown lever may result in an incomplete assembly, leading to safety issues.
After reassembling the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, it’s crucial to verify the proper functioning of the firearm before putting it back into service. Follow these steps for functional testing:
Verifying the proper functioning of the firearm
- Ensure the firearm is unloaded and the magazine is removed.
- Perform a visual inspection to ensure all components are properly assembled and secured.
- Push the slide fully rearward and release it to check for smooth operation and proper feeding of ammunition.
- Check the trigger function and ensure it resets correctly after each pull.
- Engage the laser sight (if equipped) and verify its alignment and functionality.
Conducting necessary adjustments if needed
If you encounter any issues during functional testing, such as malfunctions or misfeeds, troubleshoot the problem using the manufacturer’s manual or seek assistance from a qualified gunsmith. Never attempt to modify or adjust any components without proper knowledge and experience.
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To keep your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard in top condition, regular maintenance is essential. Follow these maintenance tips to ensure the longevity and reliability of your firearm:
Regular maintenance schedule for the Bodyguard
- Clean and lubricate your Bodyguard after each use or at least once every three months for firearms stored long term.
- Conduct a visual inspection before and after shooting sessions to identify any signs of wear, damage, or malfunction.
- Replace worn or damaged components as necessary to maintain the firearm’s optimal performance.
- Stay up to date with any recalls or recommended maintenance procedures from Smith & Wesson.
Storage and additional care recommendations
- Store your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard in a safe and secure location, away from unauthorized individuals, children, and potential sources of damage.
- Consider using a dedicated gun safe or lockbox to prevent theft and ensure responsible storage.
- Avoid exposing the firearm to extreme temperatures, humidity, or corrosive environments.
- Regularly inspect the firearm’s magazine springs and replace them if they lose tension or show signs of wear.
Despite proper maintenance and care, firearms may encounter common issues. Here are some common troubleshooting tips for the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard:
Identifying and troubleshooting common issues
- Failure to feed or eject: Ensure proper ammunition selection, clean and lubricate the firearm, and check the magazine for any obstructions or damage.
- Light primer strikes or failure to fire: Inspect the firing pin for dirt or debris and clean if necessary. Additionally, check the ammunition quality and ensure it is seated properly.
- Slide not locking back on an empty magazine: Verify the magazine spring tension and ensure the slide stop is functioning correctly. Replace worn or damaged components as needed.
- Laser sight not activating: Check the battery or power source in the laser sight and replace if necessary. Verify the laser sight’s alignment and adjust if needed.
Solutions to common malfunctions
- Misfeeds or jams: Apply the Tap, Rack, Bang method by tapping the bottom of the magazine, racking the slide to eject any malfunctioning round, and then resuming firing.
- Failure to reset trigger: Ensure the trigger mechanism is properly cleaned and lubricated. Check for any debris or obstruction in the trigger assembly.
- Failure to extract: Inspect the extractor for any dirt or debris and clean it thoroughly. Remove any obstructions from the chamber or barrel.
- Light strikes on primers: Check the ammunition for proper seating and quality. If the problem persists, consult a qualified gunsmith for further inspection.
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In conclusion, disassembling and cleaning your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is an essential part of firearm maintenance. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you can ensure the longevity, reliability, and safety of your firearm. Remember to prioritize firearm safety, select the right tools, and conduct regular maintenance to keep your Bodyguard in optimal condition. By doing so, you can be confident in the performance and effectiveness of your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard for years to come.