How To Clean Smith & Wesson Sheild EZ .380

Field Strip and Clean your Smith & Wesson Sheild EZ .380

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to clean the Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380. Cleaning your firearm is an essential part of responsible gun ownership. By properly maintaining your Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380, you can ensure its reliability, performance, and longevity. In this guide, we’ll will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning the Smith & Wesson Sheild EZ .380. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380

The Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380 is a popular semi-automatic pistol known for its ease of use, reliability, and compact design. Before we proceed with field stripping and cleaning, let’s briefly familiarize ourselves with this remarkable firearm.

smith and wesson mp 380 shield ez review

The Shield EZ .380 is a compact, single-stack semi-automatic pistol that caters to individuals who may have limited hand strength or struggle with the recoil of larger calibers. It provides a user-friendly shooting experience without compromising on stopping power or the ability to carry concealed.

One of the key features that set the Shield EZ .380 apart is its unique “EZ” designation, which is easy to operate. The firearm incorporates several design elements that make it exceptionally user-friendly. For instance, it features a light slide-racking effort, allowing individuals with weaker grip strength to manipulate the slide easily. The slide serrations are strategically placed and optimized for effortless operation, enhancing the overall shooting experience.

In addition to its ergonomic design, the Shield EZ .380 boasts intuitive ambidextrous manual thumb safety and easy-to-engage grip safety. These safety features provide peace of mind for new shooters or those who prefer an added layer of security. Furthermore, the pistol’s 8-round capacity and manageable recoil suit individuals seeking a compact and controllable self-defense firearm.

Clearing Your Smith & Wesson Sheild EZ .380

Clearing your Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380 is essential in maintaining firearm safety. To properly clear the pistol, ensure the weapon is pointed in a safe direction and keep your finger off the trigger at all times.

  • First, remove the magazine from the pistol by pressing the release button and sliding it out. Visually inspect the chamber and ensure there is no ammunition present.
  • Next, pull the slide back and lock it in the open position using the slide lock lever. Verify once again that the chamber is empty. With the slide locked open, visually inspect the magazine well and ensure no rounds are inside.

Once you’ve confirmed the firearm is completely empty, release the slide by pressing the slide lock lever or by pulling it back and letting it go forward.

Finally, perform another visual check to ensure no ammunition remains in the pistol. Clearing your Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380 should always be done with utmost care and attention to detail, following the manufacturer’s instructions and best practices for firearm safety.

Field Stripping Your Shield EZ .380

Field stripping allows for easy access to the internal components of your Shield EZ .380 for thorough cleaning. Let’s break down the field stripping process into two steps.

Removing the Slide Assembly

Pull the slide back and lock it into position with the slide stop lever. Push the takedown lever on the left side of the frame down to the 6 o’clock position.

Removing the Shield EZ .380 Slide Assembly- removing slide

Slowly release the slide, allowing it to move forward off the frame. Carefully separate the slide assembly from the frame by pulling it forward and upward. We’ll remove the barrel and recoil spring next, with the slide assembly removed.

Removing the Barrel and Recoil Spring Assembly

  • With the slide assembly in hand, push the recoil spring assembly forward and lift it off the barrel.
  • Lift the back of the barrel slightly and pull it out the back of the slide.

Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380 Cleaning

Shield EZ .380 disassembled.

Once the slide assembly is separated, inspect the frame, barrel, and recoil spring for any unusual wear, fouling, or carbon buildup. Make a mental note of any areas needing special attention while cleaning. The order you clean is not as important as trying to clean in the same order every time you clean a pistol. Getting in the habit of cleaning in the same order

helps ensure you don’t miss a step. You’ll also notice you will quickly and efficiently clean your pistols.

Cleaning Barrel

Otis 380 bore brsuh

Using a suitable cleaning solvent (Hopps #9 is what I use) and a bore brush designed for the .380 caliber, insert the brush into the chamber end of the barrel and scrub it back and forth several times.

After brushing, run cleaning patches through the bore to remove any loosened residue. Continue this process until the patches come out clean. Once the barrel is clean, wipe it down with a clean cloth or patch to remove any excess solvent or debris.

Once the inside of the barrel is clean, I’ll move on to cleaning the outside and the other parts of the handgun and start cleaning those. This allows a bit of extra time for the solvent to evaporate.

When cleaning the outside of the barrel, there should be no build-up or residue when you’re completed. Use a bronze or nylon brush on those spots if you have stubborn build-up. If you clean your pistol after each use, a patch with HOPPs #9 or a CLP wipe should clean it.

Cleaning outside of the barrel

Cleaning the Slide Assembly:

Again, use a patch dipped in gun cleaning solvent or CLP wipes and a cleaning brush if needed to scrub the slide and clean the inside and the extractor. I like to use a QTip or nylon brush on the rails and other hard-to-reach spots.

Pay close attention to areas where fouling tends to accumulate. Wipe the slide assembly with a clean cloth or patch to remove excess solvent and debris. Once the slide is clean, it’s time to move onto the frame.

Cleaning the Frame

Now that we have cleaned the barrel and slide assembly, it’s time to focus on cleaning the frame and grip of your Shield EZ .380. Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:

Exactly how we cleaned the slide, a patch with cleaning solvent, and a cleaning brush if needed. Pay attention to areas where dirt, grime, or residue may accumulate, takedown block, rails, trigger areas, and magazine well. Ensure that all the nooks and crevices are thoroughly cleaned. You can use a cotton swab, pipe cleaner, QTip, or brush to reach tight spaces if necessary.

Cleaning Shield EZ .380 recoil spring

Last, but not least, get a good cleaning on your recoil spring. You would be surprised how dirty they get. You may be equally surprised by how long they last if well maintained.

Wipe the frame with a clean cloth or patch to remove any excess solvent or debris.

Finally, inspect the frame for any signs of wear or damage and address them accordingly.

Lubricating your Clean Shield EZ .380

Proper lubrication is crucial for maintaining the smooth operation of your Shield EZ .380. Apply a very light film of high-quality firearm lubricant to all the areas you applied the cleaning solvent. To do this, I’ll typically drip gun oil on a patch and use it to apply the lubrication.

For the rails on the slide and frame, the QTip with a light film of gun oil will get adequate coverage. Important: Once you have lubricated all the external parts, you’ll want to, again, put a light film of gun oil on a patch and run it through your barrel a few times.

Reassembling Your Shield EZ .380

Reassembling Your Shield EZ .380: Now that all components are clean and lubricated, let’s reassemble your Shield EZ .380. Follow these steps carefully:

Insert the barrel into the front end of the slide, ensuring it is properly aligned. Place the recoil spring assembly onto the barrel lug and push it back into position within the slide.

Align the slide with the frame rails and carefully slide it onto the frame. Push the slide to the rear, ensuring it is properly seated if the slide release lever doesn’t pop back into place. Lock the slide and put the slide release lever back in the 3 o’clock position.

Final Inspection and Function Check:

  • After reassembling your Shield EZ .380, perform a final inspection and function check to ensure everything is in proper working order.
  • Inspect the firearm for any signs of damage, wear, or remaining debris.
  • With the firearm pointed in a safe direction, conduct a function check by cycling the slide, engaging the trigger, and ensuring the firearm functions as expected.
  • Check the slide movement to ensure it cycles smoothly and locks back on an empty magazine.
  • Test the trigger to verify it resets properly and has a crisp, consistent pull.
  • Insert a magazine and verify proper feeding and ejection.
  • Lastly, wipe the Shield EZ .380 down with a microfiber cloth to ensure all
Wiping down cleaned Shield EZ .380

How To Clean Sheild EZ .380 Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to field strip and clean your Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep your firearm in optimal condition. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide and adhering to proper safety measures, you can ensure the reliability, performance, and longevity of your Shield EZ .380. Happy shooting and stay safe!

How To Clean Sheild EZ .380 FAQ

How often should I clean my Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380?

It is recommended to clean your firearm after each use or every 200-300 rounds to maintain its optimal performance.

Can I use any cleaning solvents and lubricants?

It is best to use cleaning solvents and lubricants specifically designed for firearms. These products are formulated to ensure effective cleaning and lubrication without damaging the components.

Can I disassemble the Shield EZ .380 further for a more thorough cleaning?

Field stripping, as covered in this guide, is generally sufficient for routine cleaning. Disassembling beyond the field-stripping stage is best left to experienced gunsmiths to avoid unintentional damage.

Can I use compressed air to clean my Shield EZ .380?

It is generally not recommended to use compressed air as it can force dirt and debris into critical components. Stick to manual cleaning methods outlined in this guide for best results.

Should I clean the Shield EZ .380 if I haven’t fired it recently?

Even if your firearm hasn’t been fired, it is still important to regularly clean and inspect it to prevent corrosion, ensure proper function, and maintain its overall condition.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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