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How to Disassemble and Clean the Smith & Wesson Model 27

In this article, you will learn how to disassemble and clean the Smith & Wesson Model 27. We will provide step-by-step instructions and a helpful video to guide you through the process. Additionally, we will give you a brief historical background on this firearm. By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to effectively maintain and care for your Smith & Wesson Model 27.  This also applies to other N-Frame SW revolvers such as the Model 28 and 29 and their variants.

How to Disassemble and Clean the Smith Wesson Model 27

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The Smith & Wesson Model 27 is a classic revolver that has been cherished by firearms enthusiasts for decades. Known for its exceptional build quality and powerful performance, the Model 27 has become a symbol of American craftsmanship. In this article, we will guide you through the process of disassembling and cleaning the Model 27, ensuring that you can keep your firearm in top condition.

Brief History of the Smith & Wesson Model 27

Development and Introduction

The Smith & Wesson Model 27 was first introduced in the late 1930s as a .357 Magnum revolver. It quickly gained popularity among law enforcement officers and civilian shooters alike due to its impressive cartridge and robust construction. The Model 27 was designed with durability and accuracy in mind, making it a favorite among those who demanded reliability and precision.

Popularity and Features

Over the years, the Model 27 has continued to gain popularity and has undergone several improvements and variations. It has been featured in countless movies, making it an iconic firearm in popular culture. One of the distinguishing features of the Model 27 is its large, six-round cylinder, which allows for powerful .357 Magnum cartridges. Its solid construction and smooth trigger pull contribute to its reputation for exceptional accuracy.

How to Disassemble and Clean the Smith Wesson Model 27

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Necessary Tools and Precautions

Tools Required

Before attempting to disassemble and clean your Smith & Wesson Model 27, there are a few tools you will need to have on hand:

  1. A screwdriver set – You may need different types of screwdrivers to remove screws and disassemble certain parts of the firearm.
  2. Cleaning brushes – These are essential for removing debris and residue from the barrel and other internal parts.
  3. Cleaning solvent – Choose a solvent specifically designed for firearms to effectively clean and remove carbon buildup.
  4. Lubricating oil – Apply oil to the moving parts of the firearm to ensure smooth operation and prevent corrosion.

Safety Precautions

When working with firearms, it is vital to prioritize safety. Here are a few precautions you should take before starting the disassembly process:

  1. Always make sure that the firearm is unloaded before beginning any maintenance procedure. Remove all ammunition from the area and double-check the chamber to ensure it is empty.
  2. Find a well-ventilated area to work in, as cleaning solvents can release fumes that may be harmful when inhaled.
  3. Follow all basic firearm safety rules, such as keeping your finger off the trigger and pointing the gun in a safe direction at all times.
  4. Wear protective gloves to prevent any substances from coming into contact with your skin.

Step-by-Step Disassembly

Now that you have the necessary tools and have taken the appropriate safety precautions, let’s proceed with disassembling your Smith & Wesson Model 27. Follow these steps carefully to avoid causing any damage to your firearm.

Remove Cylinder and Extractor Rod

  1. Begin by opening the cylinder of your Model 27 by pushing the cylinder release latch located on the left side of the frame.
  2. Once the cylinder is open, hold the ejector rod firmly and push it all the way forward to remove any cartridges that might be loaded.
  3. With the cylinder empty, locate the small screw on the right side of the frame near the front of the cylinder. Use a screwdriver to remove this screw and set it aside.
  4. With the screw removed, you can now slide the cylinder off the crane. Be careful not to drop or mishandle the cylinder during this process.

Take Out the Barrel and Extractor

  1. Now that the cylinder is removed, you can proceed to take out the barrel and extractor of your Model 27. To do this, locate the release lever on the right side of the frame, near the rear of the barrel.
  2. Push the release lever upwards, and at the same time, slide the barrel and extractor assembly forward gently until it comes off the frame.
  3. Set the barrel and extractor assembly aside and proceed to the next step.

Dismantle the Frame and Cylinder Assembly

  1. With the barrel and extractor assembly removed, you can now dismantle the frame and cylinder assembly of your Model 27.
  2. Start by removing the side plate screws located on the right side of the frame using the appropriate screwdriver.
  3. Carefully lift off the side plate and set it aside. Inside, you will see the internal components of the revolver, such as the hammer, trigger, and cylinder release mechanism.
  4. Take note of the orientation and arrangement of these components before proceeding with any further disassembly. It may be helpful to take pictures or refer to an exploded diagram of the Model 27 during this step.
  5. To remove the cylinder assembly, take hold of the cylinder and push it gently towards the front of the frame while pulling it out from the rear. It should come out smoothly without much resistance.

How to Disassemble and Clean the Smith Wesson Model 27

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Cleaning and Maintenance

Now that you have successfully disassembled your Smith & Wesson Model 27, it’s time to clean and maintain each individual part. Proper cleaning and lubrication are essential for the longevity and reliable performance of your firearm.

Cleaning the Barrel and Cylinder

  1. Start by cleaning the barrel of your Model 27. Attach a bore brush to your cleaning rod and apply a small amount of cleaning solvent to the brush.
  2. Insert the cleaning rod into the barrel and scrub back and forth several times to remove any residue or fouling.
  3. Once the barrel is clean, attach a patch soaked in cleaning solvent to your cleaning rod and run it through the barrel to remove any remaining debris.
  4. Repeat this process with clean patches until they come out clean.
  5. To clean the cylinder, use a nylon brush or a toothbrush to scrub away any carbon buildup or residue.

Inspecting and Lubricating the Internal Parts

  1. Take the opportunity to inspect the internal components of your Model 27 for any signs of wear, damage, or excessive debris. Remove any visible dirt or fouling using a cleaning brush and cleaning solvent.
  2. Once the parts are clean and dry, apply a small amount of lubricating oil to each contact point and moving part. Be sure to use only a thin film of oil, as excessive oil can attract dirt and debris.

Reassembling the Firearm

Now that you have thoroughly cleaned and lubricated each part of your Smith & Wesson Model 27, you can proceed to reassemble the firearm. Follow these steps in reverse order, carefully ensuring that each part is properly aligned and securely fastened.

  1. Start by reinserting the cylinder assembly back into the frame. Insert it from the front while pushing it gently towards the rear until it locks into place.
  2. Place the side plate back onto the frame and secure it with the side plate screws.
  3. Slide the barrel and extractor assembly back onto the frame and lock it in place by pushing down on the release lever.
  4. Finally, attach the cylinder back onto the crane and secure it with the small screw.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Although the Smith & Wesson Model 27 is a reliable and well-built firearm, it can occasionally encounter issues. Here are a few common problems and their possible solutions:

Cylinder Alignment

If you encounter issues with the cylinder not properly aligning with the barrel, it may be due to debris or fouling. Disassemble the cylinder and clean it thoroughly. If the problem persists, consult a professional gunsmith.

Timing Issues

If you notice timing issues, such as cartridges failing to align properly with the barrel, it may indicate a worn or damaged internal part. Inspect the internals and replace any worn or damaged components.

Failure to Fire

If your Model 27 fails to fire, check that the chamber is clear, and the cartridge is inserted correctly. Ensure that the firing pin is aligned and free of debris. If the issue persists, consult a professional gunsmith.

How to Disassemble and Clean the Smith Wesson Model 27

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Tips for Proper Storage

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of your Smith & Wesson Model 27. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Safe and Secure Storage Options

Invest in a quality gun safe or secure storage case to store your Model 27. These will protect it from damage and unauthorized access.

Preparing the Firearm for Storage

Before storing your Model 27, give it a final cleaning and apply a light coat of lubricating oil to all exposed metal surfaces. This will help prevent rust and corrosion during storage.


Disassembling and cleaning your Smith & Wesson Model 27 is a crucial part of firearm maintenance. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can ensure that your revolver remains in excellent condition and performs reliably every time you use it. Remember to prioritize safety at all times and consult a professional gunsmith if you encounter any issues or are unsure about any aspect of the disassembly process. With proper care and maintenance, your Model 27 will continue to be a faithful companion for years to come.