Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review
Part 4 - Disassembly
January 12, 2011

Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

In this part of the review I'm going to cover disassembly of the Smith & Wesson M&P22 Pistol.  I'm going to follow the basic steps outlined in the Safety & Instruction Manual for the first half of this review.  S&W refers to these as steps for "Field Stripping".  Although these steps are fairly simple and I may show them in detail, you should always refer to your Safety & Instruction Manual as the official source for any information related to the safety, operation and care of any firearm.  In the second half of the review, I show the barrel removal method similar to the Walther P22 Pistol.  Throughout this review, you can click on any photo to bring up a higher resolution image showing the details even better.


Disassembly / Field Stripping

Step 1 - Safety & Remove Magazine

Make sure the pistol is unloaded and remove the magazine.  After you do this, make sure again it is unloaded and then position the slide forward on the frame.

Figure 1
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Step 2 - Rotate And Pull Out The Takedown Lever

Rotate the takedown lever clockwise until it points down as shown below.

Figure 2
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Pull the takedown lever out approximately 1/2" as shown below.  The takedown lever is designed to stay in the frame so once it reaches a point where it is resisting you pulling it directly out, you should then stop.

Figure 3
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Step 3 - Remove Slide

Pull the slide all the way to the rear and then lift upwards on the back of the slide.

Figure 4
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Figure 5
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Allow the slide to move forward while holding up the rear of the slide.  Once you are clear of the barrel, you can remove the slide completely.

Figure 6
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Figure 7
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Step 4 - Remove Recoil Spring, Guide Rod & Buffer

The recoil spring will easily slide off the guide rod.

Figure 8
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

You can pull the guide rod and buffer forward to remove from the frame socket.  The buffer is on the guide rod and will slide off this rod also.  Make sure you see that the cup portion of the buffer should be installed forward to house the end of the recoil spring when assembled.

Figure 9
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Normal Disassembly / Field Stripping

Like I said earlier, normal disassembly is pretty simple.  Having already done it a couple of times, I timed myself and it only took me about 20 seconds to disassemble and 30 seconds to reassemble the M&P22 to the level shown below which is the maximum disassembly level recommended by Smith & Wesson.

Figure 10
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Walther P22 Barrel Removal Method

Since the M&P22 is made by Walther, I thought it important to remove the barrel nut, barrel sleeve and barrel so you could better understand these components and how replacing the barrel nut with a silencer adapter would not be an issue with this pistol.  Walther actually calls the barrel on the P22 an interchangeable barrel.  Based on the manual, an interchangeable barrel does not appear to be the direction Smith & Wesson decided to go with the M&P22.  My question is if they didn't think you could remove the barrel, why did they include a wrench?.  Even though I show these steps, the Instruction Manual clearly states:

  • No further disassembly should be attempted. Past Field Stripping.
  • Warning: Never disassemble your handgun beyond the field stripping process outlined in this (the) manual.

Step A - Remove Barrel Nut

Using the wrench provide with the pistol, turn the barrel nut counter clockwise to remove the nut.  Although the nut was snug on this pistol, I don't think it had a significant amount of torque.  Based on the Walther P22 Instruction Manual, the barrel nut should only be finger tight.

Figure 11
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

To install a thread adapter for a silencer, all you would have to do is thread it back on the end of the barrel, but this would have to be done with the slide installed.

Figure 12
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Step B - Remove Barrel Sleeve

The barrel sleeve can easily be pulled of the barrel.

Figure 13
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Step C - Remove Barrel

To remove the barrel you will need to push the barrel directly rearward.  Although there is a very close fit between the barrel and frame, the barrel will slide out as long as you are not pushing it to the side and causing it to bind against the frame.  Once the block on the barrel passes the frame support area, it slides out relatively easy.

Figure 14
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Final Disassembly For Barrel Removal

The photo below shows the parts after barrel removal.  One thing to note is that the barrel sleeve must be installed with the notch properly aligned to the frame.

Figure 15
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Magazine Disassembly

Magazine disassembly is extremely easy like most magazines of this type with a floor plate retainer.

Step 1 - Safety

Remove all cartridges from the magazine.

Figure 17
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Step 2 - Remove Floor Plate, Retainer & Spring

To remove the floor plate you will need to press down through the hole in the center on the floor plate retainer as shown below.  With the floor plate retainer pressed down, you can slide the floor plate slightly forward.  I say slightly only because you will need to make sure your thumb is positioned to prevent the spring from shooting the retainer across the room when you slide the floor plate off the bottom of the magazine.

Figure 18                                    Figure 19                                      Figure 20
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review  Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review  Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Once you let off pressure with your thumb, you can slide the floor plate off the spring and spring out of the magazine body.

Figure 21
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Step 3 - Remove Follower

To remove the follower you will slide the follower down to the hole at the bottom of the magazine.  Once there, you can lift out the pull-down button which will allow the follower to fall out of the magazine.

Figure 22
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

This figure below shows all the parts for the Smith & Wesson M&P22 Magazine.

Figure 23
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

Reversible Magazine Release

To remove (reverse) your magazine release button you will first need to field strip your M&P22 pistol.  In these next set of photos I'm showing the position of the magazine release spring (looks like a pin or rod) and magazine release button as you reposition these to remove the button.  In position A you have the magazine spring in the button recess and the button is in a normal right handed configuration.  In position B the spring has been pushed out of the recess with a screwdriver.  In Position C, the magazine release button has been pressed up against the spring.  In Position D the spring has been pushed up so that you can push the button under the spring.  Once you get the button and spring to this point, you can push the button out of the frame.

 A                                  B                                   C                                   D
Figure 24                        Figure 25                        Figure 26                        Figure 27
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review  Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review   Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review   Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

When you get the button out of the frame, the spring will move back against the frame like shown in the photo below.  You can also see below that there is a ridge on one side of the button that is used as a stop to prevent the button from going too far into the frame.  There is also a matching recess on the frame on each side of the pistol.

Figure 28                                                            Figure 29              
Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review   Smith & Wesson M&P22 Review

If you want to reverse the button then you move the button to the other side of the frame and reverse the step above until you get the magazine release spring back in the recess in the magazine release button. 



Disassembly and reassembly of the M&P22 Pistol and Magazine are very simple and easy.  Although I wiped much of the lubricant off the pistol for the photos, the M&P22 Pistol came well lubricated.  I was a little surprised at how thin the wall thickness was on the barrel, but the addition of the barrel sleeve system significantly increases the strength and stiffness of the barrel assembly.

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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