I am going to show you step-by-step how to clean a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 pistol. From the field stripping to complete reassembly, this tutorial will allow you how to quickly and confidently perform this task in 15-20 minutes. After you have done this once, you will be able to do it even quicker the next time without instructions.
If you have never tried to take down (field strip) your Bodyguard .380, it can be tricky the first time as the take down pin is small and not the easiest to deal with. A little instruction is all you will need, then the rest is easy.
Here are the supplies you will need to complete the disassembly and cleaning of the pistol. There are lots of different cleaning products, so I will list the ones I have used for years of trouble free results:
- Paper towels
- Cotton swabs or lint-free swabs
- Hoppes Boresnake or equivalent
- Rod and patches (if you do not have a Boresnake)
- Slip 2000 EWL of other Gun oil
- Small screwdriver
- Gun Scrubber Synthetic Safe cleaning solvent
Here are the steps to Field Strip and clean the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 pistol:
1. Unload the gun
This is the most important step. Eject any magazine that is in the gun, and then remove the round in the chamber. Be sure to do it in that order! Magazine first, then empty the chamber! Remove any and all ammo from the area.
2. Repeat Step 1. Verify the gun is completely unloaded
This step is in case you skipped step number one.
3. Remove the slide, barrel, recoil spring and guide rod
Lock the slide to the rear using slide stop lever.
Move take-down lever to 6 o’clock position, forcing if necessary
Move the take-down lever back and forth until you can grasp it and remove it
Move the slide forward and off the front of the gun frame.
Turn the slide upside down and remove the guide rod CAREFULLY as it is spring-loaded.
Remove the barrel from the slide.
4. Clean barrel and guide rod
Use Hoppes Number 9 solvent & a rag or cotton swabs to clean the recoil spring and guide rod assembly. Run a Boresnake through the barrel a couple times. Wipe any remaining solvent off with a cloth or paper towel.
5. Clean the gun frame
Use Hoppes #9 solvent and a paper towel or cotton swabs to clean all surfaces of the frame, especially the rails where the slide contacts the frame. On the Bodyguard and other guns that have a polymer (plastic) frame, do not get Hoppes No. 9 solvent on parts that are not metal.
The best way to clean a polymer frame is to spray it down with Birchwood Casey Synthetic-safe Gun scrubber or equivalent. After using either cleaner, use a paper towel or rag to wipe any excess solvent off of the frame.
6. Clean the Slide
Use Hoppes No. 9 solvent and a cotton swab or paper towel to clean the inside of the slide, especially the areas that contact the frame rails during operation.
Using a quality lubricant such as Frog Lube, Slip 2000 (my preference as this is thicker than most and stays on the gun a long time) or Tri-flow superior Lubricant, apply just a few drops to the following areas:
- Hammer pivot
- Slide stop
- All moving parts in trigger control area
- Hammer cocking surface
- Firing pin aperture
No need for more than a few drops. The oil will move around on its own and coat the necessary surfaces.
7. Reassemble the gun
This part is very easy once you do it a few times. Set the slide upside down and put the barrel into the slide. Then place the recoil spring assembly on top and press on the end so it fits in the groove on the barrel as shown in the picture.
Then line up the slide with the frame and slide it on. Move it to the rear and lock the slide back with the slide lock lever.
Be sure the barrel is all the way forward.
Now insert the take-down pin onto the hole, with the lever in the 6 or 3 o’clock position, and pres it into the gun until fully seated. This may take some twisting if the lever to get it to go in.
Be sure the lever is back in the original position, at 3 o’clock.
Work the slide back and forth several times to be sure it operates properly, and to allow the lube to spread into all the areas that move.
Lastly, you can test the functionality of the gun by taking some dummy rounds and loading the gun with them. Now make sure a round is ejected every time to rack the slide to the rear.
The gun is now fully assembled and ready for another day at the range, or to slide into your DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Holster!
Here is the video:
Thanks for reading my tutorial on cleaning a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 pistol! I hope this has helped you out. Also see my tutorial on Cleaning a Kimber 1911 Pro Carry II.
Please leave a comment blow if you have any improvements I could make, or to share your experience with this gun.