3 Easy Ways to Clean your M&P Shield 9mm

How to: 3 Easy Ways to Clean Your M&P Shield 9mm or EZ Pistol

smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield EZ Pistol

So you are getting ready to clean your new Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Pistol. The directions in the user manual are kind of vague and don’t really specify what products you should use how exactly you should use them.

So you decide to go to the Internet or YouTube and get some information on how to clean your new gun.

After checking out some websites and videos, you noticed that there are a lot of different ways and different products shown to clean your gun.

If you are confused, this article will help you weed through that confusion and figure out the best way to clean your gun. First of all, cleaning your gun is not difficult nor should it be complicated. It is true that there are lots of gun cleaning products and lots of methods to get it done.

At the end of the day, all you really need to do is field strip (partially disassemble), clean off any grime, dust, carbon from firing the gun, lubricate and reassemble. Pretty simple.

Some people really enjoy the process of taking the gun apart cleaning it spotless, lubricating it and putting it back together. Other people hate taking the time to clean the gun and just want to do the quickest and easiest cleaning job to make sure the gun is going to run. Then there are people somewhere in the middle which is where I personally tend to be.

Clean, Lube, Protect

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Smith & Wesson M&P Gun Cleaning Video Series

Here is the link to a great video series on cleaning the Smith & Wesson M&P series guns. These videos are super short and easy to follow.

Brownells Smith & Wesson M&P Series Gun Mantenance Series  

So, I have three different methods I am going to show you for cleaning your Shield 9mm Pistol, and this will work on just about any semi-automatic pistol you may own.

3 Ways to Clean a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm EZ Pistol

Here is a quick look at the 3 ways, then I will explain each in detail below:

1. Use a cleaner/lubricant product. Quick, thorough cleaning using a boresnake, a cleaner/lubricant product, some rags and a small brush. This method is my preferred gun cleaning procedure as it is fast and uses minimal tools.

2. Use a Gun cleaning spray. This way is a bit faster and very thorough due to the use of a synthetic-safe spray cleaner. Basically you will spray the dirt off the parts, wipe them down, lube and you are done.

3. Use solvents, lubes, brushes, rods and patches. This is the old-fashioned, slow way. However, this method will result in the cleanest gun. The attention to detail and the use of solvents will get your gun shiny and new. Be prepared to spend the afternoon on it, though!!

In order to use any of these methods, you will need to know how to field strip, or disassemble your firearm. Do not worry, there are only about four parts that we need to remove for most pistols to give it the necessary cleaning.

You will need to remove Slide and then the recoil spring and guide rod from the slide as well as the barrel so you will end up with something like the picture below.

M&P Shield Field stripped for cleaning
From top: Barrel, Recoil Spring Assembly, Slide, Frame

Once you are at this point, Here are the three methods I am going to show you for cleaning these parts. These methods are not set in stone and you can combine them as you see fit, just be sure to hit all the parts and reassemble according to your manual or one of my videos.

M&P Shield cleaning Method #1

Method number one is going to be a fairly quick and easy method that requires the least amount of products, tools and time.

This method is best for people who occasionally go to the range and put a few hundred rounds through the gun. This will also work well if you were at a training course and you want to clean your gun after each day of shooting. I use this method most of the time and have always been pleased with the results.

Items you will need:

Gun cleaner/Lubricant. Use a product such as Original Gun Oil (Use code SAVEWITHDAVE for 10% off) that is a cleaner in addition to a great lubricant in one product.

Gun cleaning brush. You will need a good brush to get in the nooks and crannies. An old toothbrush will absolutely work fine in a pinch.

Boresnake. This is essentially a cloth “snake” with brushes built in. This is by far the quickest and easiest way to clean the barrel of your gun. Hoppes Boresnake is my personal choice. Get one to match your gun caliber. Try the New Real Avid Bore Boss, a new style Bore snake.

Cloth rag. I use an old T-shirt cut into strips that are roughly 6 x 6 inches.

This is all you need! Just these four items and maybe 5 to 10 minutes and you are good to go. Basically we are going to do 4 things:

  1. Disassemble the gun and apply cleaning fluid to each part.
  2. Let it sit a while in order to loosen the dirt.
  3. Wipe it off
  4. Lubricate and reassemble.

Shield 9mm Cleaning Method #1 Video

Here are the detailed steps:

See my complete article on this method here.

  1. Take a few drops of your cleaner and smeared around the outside of the barrel and then drip a couple of drops into the barrel and then set it aside.

2. Apply a couple of drops on the slide, then using the brush, spread it around so there is a little on every part of the slide. Set this aside as well.

3. Apply a couple of drops on the frame of the gun. Spread the oil around with a brush in order to coat all the areas where the slide moves back-and-forth. Additionally, drop and spread oil/cleaner in the area where all the parts for the trigger and hammer and or striker are located and on the feed ramp. Set it aside.

4. Now take a couple of drops on the guide rod and recoil spring and using the rag just kind of wipe it off as these pieces are probably the least dirty.-after five or 10 minutes the cleaner has had a little time to loosen up the dirt. Wipe off the outside of the barrel with a rag and then run the boresnake through the barrel two or three times. The barrel will now be plenty clean.

Cleaning M&P Shield Barrel with a Boresnake Video

5. Wipe down the slide and all the nooks and crannies to get all the dirt out. This is easiest to use the brush on top of the rag so that the bristles of the brush will press the rag into all the nooks and crannies in order to get to all the dirt. If it is easier you can also use a couple of Q-tips to get the hardest places but this is optional.

Lubrication Of the M&P Shield 9mm

6. Lubricate the pistol using a couple drops of Original Gun Oil in the following places:

  • Frame rail where the slide moves back and forth.
  • Outside of the barrel. Coat the entire surface by smearing one or two drops all over the surface.
  • One drop in the hammer pivot area at the back of the frame.

7. Reassemble the gun.

M&P Shield cleaning Method #2

This is going to be very similar to Method #1, except you will use a spray cleaner such as Birchwood Casey Synthetic-Safe Gun Scrubber to clean the barrel, guide rod assembly, slide and frame. The force of the spray will help get dirt out of areas that you cannot get to with solvents and swabs, and additionally it will evaporate leaving little to no residue.

You can hold each part over a trash can and allow the spray to wash off the dirt right into the trash. It works very well in my experience.

Use Birchwood Synthetic Safe Gun Scrubber to clean the components
Cleaning the Frame with Synthetic-Safe Gun Scrubber

 If you choose this method, be sure to use the spray cleaner is safe for plastic as you will be getting some of it on the frame of your Shield which is a synthetic material. 

Next, you would wipe the cleaner off (most of it will evaporate), lubricate as outlined in Method #1 and reassemble.

M&P Shield cleaning Method #3

This method is for people that enjoy the process of cleaning the gun and/or demand that the gun is absolutely spotless. This method is going to have you do a very thorough cleaning using a bore-cleaning solvent on the inside of the barrel, push several solvent-soaked patches through the barrel with a rod until sparkling clean. Next, you will use cotton or foam swabs to clean every nook and cranny of the slide and frame with solvent such as Hoppes No. 9.

Using solvent, rod & patches to clean the barrel
Using solvent, rod and patches to clean the barrel (bore) of the gun.

In my opinion, to get the very cleanest gun, you would combine the detailed cleaning of each part as in Method #3, but add in the spray cleaner from method #2 to get all those places that can’t be reached with the swabs and solvent. Plus, the cleaner will help wash away any solvent residue on the gun.

M&P Shield EZ function & Safety Check

when you have completed the reassembly of your Shield EZ, you should do a quick Function check and Safety Tests to make sure everything is put together properly and the gun is functioning as designed.

See this Article: M&P Shield EZ function & Safety Check or watch this quick video:

Final Thoughts on Gun Cleaning

As you can see, there are lots of ways to clean your M&P Shield or really any semi-automatic handgun. You can’t go wrong using the methods above or the products I mentioned. I have use all these methods with no issues over the years. You will need to find what works for you.

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