Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review
Part 4 - Disassembly
August 21, 2011

Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

For disassembly of the Smith & Wesson M&P15-22, I will generally follow the steps in the Safety & Instruction Manual provided with the rifle.  For those of you familiar with AR style rifles, the disassembly steps are nearly identical.  For those of you purchasing this type of rifle for the first time, you are going to be pleased with how simple it is to disassemble this rifle.  Although I show many photos and give comments on the steps for disassembly, you should always refer to the manufacturer's instruction manual as the official source for these instructions.  Their instructions provide additional warnings to prevent an unwanted situation.  You should always make sure your firearm is unloaded and on safe prior to any disassembly. 

Step 1 - Rear Takedown Pin

Once you are certain the rifle is not loaded and the bolt is in the forward position, you should press the end of the rear takedown pin on the left side of the rifle so that it will stick out some on the other side.

Figure 1
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

In the photo below, you can see I was able to pull the rear takedown pin all the way to the right until it comes to a positive stop so that it disengages with the rear lug on the bottom of the upper receiver.

Figure 2
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

Step 2 - Rotate Lower/Upper Receivers Apart

Next you will rotate the lower receiver down or upper receiver up with the two parts pivoting about the forward takedown pin.  There was some resistance in getting them to rotate due to the snug fit of the upper into the lower receiver (which is a good thing).

Figure 3
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

Step 3 - Remove Charging Handle and Bolt

Once releasing the latch on the left side of the charging handle, the charging handle and bolt assembly can slide rearward out of the end of the upper receiver.

Figure 4
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

Normal Disassembly (Field Stripping) Complete

The photo below shows the final disassembled state of the M&P15-22 for normal disassembly of the rifle as defined in the Instruction Manual.  Reassembly is basically the reverse of these instructions.

Figure 5
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

As a quick comment, you can see below the reason why the lower rail has a wider slot at the rear end.  This wider slot allows the lower receiver to pivot around and contact the quad rail in a way to prevent any damage to rail or receiver components.

Figure 6
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

Further Disassembly

When cleaning a rifle, I prefer to remove the upper receiver from the lower receiver.  You can do this by pressing the end of the forward takedown pin on the left side of the rifle and then pulling the pin out on the right side until you reach a positive stop and it has disengaged from the forward lug in the upper receiver.  At that point, you can remove the upper receiver from the lower receiver.

Figure 7
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

Figure 8
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

Removing The Sights

Removing the sights can be accomplished by loosening the large thumb nut on the left side of the sights and then lifting the sight off the rail.

Figure 9                                                           Figure 10
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review   Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

The photo below show all the parts disassembled thus far.  As I mentioned earlier, disassembly of the Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 is very fast and simple.

Figure 11
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

Magazine Disassembly

To disassemble the magazine, you will need to use a punch, bullet head or other object to press the floorplate catch through the hole in the bottom of the magazine floorplate.  With the catch depressed, you can slide the floorplate some as shown in the photo below.  Once you slide the floorplate far enough, the catch and spring will try to pop out of the bottom of the magazine so have your finger over this area so you can control the spring as it extends.  You can then remove the catch and spring.

                 Figure 12                                                          Figure 13
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review   Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

To remove the follower, slide it down the magazine until the load assist button can drop through the larger hole in the magazine.  Once the load assist button drops through, you can then slide the follower out of the magazine.

Figure 14
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

The photo below shows all the parts of the magazine.

Figure 15
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review



The Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Rifle and 10-round magazine are very easy to disassemble and reassemble and require no tools during the process.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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