How to Clean your Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22

If you’ve been around firearms for a while, it may seem obvious how to field strip and clean your Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle. But sometimes a step-by-step guide proves useful, so Michael and his daughter Molly at Lake Norman Firearms Training made this video to help out.

What tools do you need to clean an M&P 15-22?

Michael has Molly along to help show how easy the process can be. She lays out the items they are going to need for the quick video:

  • a bore snake
  • patches
  •  gun oil
  •  scrub brush
  •  bore cleaner

Field Stripping

First things first, Michael has cleared the M&P 15-22 and ensures that the safety is engaged. He lays the rifle down and Molly uses a punch to disengage the back retention pin on the receiver.

Field stripping the S&W M&P 15-22, first step, push out the retention pins.
Michael has his daughter Molly push the retention pins to remove the upper from the lower receiver.

Once the back has pulled away, they punch the front pin, lift the upper off of the lower and remove the charging handle and bolt.

field stripped S&W M&P 15-22
Michael and Molly lay out the disassembled parts from their Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22.

Cleaning the M&P 15-22

Once the upper has been removed from the lower, they use a scrub brush to remove any debris from the chamber and rear of the barrel. They follow up with patches to wipe any of the dirt away.

Next, they put bore cleaner near the scrub portion of the bore snake, and lubricant oil at the end. They insert the prepared bore snake from the weighted end and feed it through until it comes out the muzzle end of the barrel. With Molly pulling, the snake cleans out the barrel and then lubricates it in one motion.

cleaning S&W M&P 15-22 upper with patches
Michael and Molly use patches to wipe debris off the upper.

After they finish the upper receiver, they turn their attention to the lower. They use the patches and scrub brush to clean debris out of the magazine port and trigger area. Michael lifts the hammer to help Molly clean it easier.

reassembling the S&W M&P 15-22
Throughout the video, Michael makes sure that Molly understands what the different parts are and how they function. In the shot above he’s explaining the placement of the bolt relative to the hammer.

The bolt and charging handle are pretty straightforward, using patches to wipe off any debris and spent powder. Michael uses patches with oil on them to help lubricate the bolt, making sure that the oil is distributed along the system, including the arms of the bolt.

Reassembly

After the parts are cleaned to their satisfaction, Michael and Molly align the charging handle onto the bolt and insert it back into the rear of the upper. Next, they line up the front pin and push it back into place. Michael then closes the upper back down and pushes the rear pin back into place. He wraps up the process by charging the rifle a few times to make sure the oil is distributed.

The complete process is pretty straightforward and easy to accomplish. But are you wanting to upgrade from the standard M&P 15-22? 

Patti Miller is one of the most awesome females in the tactical/firearm (or any) industry. Imagine a tall, hawt, dangerous Laura Ingalls Wilder type with cool hair and a suppressed blaster and you'll be getting the idea. What's interesting is that in addition to being a willing brawler and intrepid adventuress, she's also an Ent/Ogier level gardener and a truly badass baker.

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