How many rounds before cleaning your AR?


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plodder
February 25, 2013, 09:06 AM
I generally clean after every range session, but once in a while I am either pressed for time or unmotivated and stick them in the safe for a few days. What say you?

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Blackhawk30
February 25, 2013, 09:29 AM
I have a 16 lightweight that I built after the expiration of the AWB in '04.I have yet to clean it.I just squirt some oil in it before I shoot it.It probably has 2k thru it.Runs fine.No jams.

HOOfan_1
February 25, 2013, 09:40 AM
I clean it after every time I take it to the range. I usually shoot about 100-200 rounds every time I take it to the range.

Outlaw Man
February 25, 2013, 09:53 AM
I'm similar to Blackhawk. I clean them occasionally, depending on their environment, but 250 is well less than my "limit."

That actually goes for a lot of my guns.

J_McLeod
February 25, 2013, 09:55 AM
I clean my AR and XDs when they stop working or I get ready for a match.

Shifty
February 25, 2013, 10:33 AM
All of my firearms get a good bath after they are used. To me, its just part of the fun of a good range day. Therapeutic even.

And honestly, in regard to the AR....... Its pretty dang simple to clean, so why not just do it?

holdencm9
February 25, 2013, 10:42 AM
I wouldn't really say I have a hard/fast rule.

Sometimes, if I have time, I will clean my AR even if I just shot 80 rounds through it.

Sometimes, if I don't have time, I may go 4-5 range trips of 100 rnds/each before cleaning. Maybe I will squirt a few drops of lube on the BCG, maybe not.

Sometimes, even if I cleaned the AR since the last range trip, I'll clean it again, just for gits and shiggles.

If I shoot steel-cased through it, usually I try to at least scrub out the chamber afterwards.

CoRoMo
February 25, 2013, 10:46 AM
I don't count rounds but there's no way I'd clean an AR with only a few hundred rounds through it unless I had dropped it in water or something.

CraigC
February 25, 2013, 11:09 AM
A lot!!!

taliv
February 25, 2013, 11:15 AM
most of my ARs I clean as part of a routine maintenance (e.g. replacing action spring, extractor springs and inserts, etc every 5000 rounds)

my Service rifle got cleaned every year after camp perry in august.

my race gun with aluminum bolt carrier got cleaned after every match since the gas system was tweaked to be right on the edge of reliability and i couldn't let it get filthy

my current go-to carbine has a suppressor and gets REALLY dirty fast, so i clean it and reapply anti-seize and lube maybe every 1000 rounds.

hueyville
February 25, 2013, 11:51 AM
I clean them when they need it. No particular round count. Sometimes one of the plinkers may see over 1,000 rounds before its cleaned. My match versions will be carefully stripped, cleaned and lubed after every session. It boils down to the particular rifle and its role. The one hole groupers are treated as such and the truck bangers are shot till they start getting hinky. I do not use steel case ammo, bi-metal bullets, or any import ammo. Most of what I shoot are handloads with known very clean burning powder. Thus I can get a lot of rounds through one before it acts goofy.

Slightly off topic: I did an experiment on a box stock stainless 10/22 recently. Took it out of box new, ran a brush down the bore, lubed it, fouled it with one magazine and fired three 5 shot groups off a rest of Federal Premium Match at 25 yards. Then sent 7,500 rounds of mixed brands and types without cleaning the rifle at all. At the end of the cycle I fired three more 25 yard groups off he rest again with Federal Premium Match. I completely disassembled the rifle, cleaned it meticulously, fired one magazine to foul the bore then fired three more 5 shot groups at 25 yards under same conditions. With this bone stock rifle the difference between 7,500 rounds dirty and clean as a whistle was discernible but negligible. The worst set of groups were the first set when it was new. Now it is ready to be stripped and built into a tack driver. Figured might as well see if I could break it before I rebuilt it. Tough little rifles.

Sav .250
February 25, 2013, 11:52 AM
It all boils down to ..................How you`ve been trained.

briansmithwins
February 25, 2013, 12:04 PM
One round or 1000, after I'm done shooting the rifles get cleaned.

If I'm pressed for time I may just add lube and run a wet patch down the bore. I'd rather have the dirty bits wet for when I do get around to cleaning them thoroughly.

BSW

CraigC
February 25, 2013, 12:21 PM
It all boils down to ..................How you`ve been trained.
Not really. I used to clean all my guns after shooting because that's what I was taught but eventually learned to think for myself.

MrCleanOK
February 25, 2013, 12:30 PM
When I do clean them, it's usually out of boredom. That usually falls somewhere between 250-500 rounds. Now, cleaning is usually nothing more than wiping down the bolt carrier and upper with a rag, wiping out under the extractor with a cotton swab, and reapplying lube.

To prove a point to my soldiers, on our last train up to Platoon live fire, I did not clean my M4 once from "group and zero" all the way through squad live fire. I passed my rifle off, so it went down the lane on every iteration. By the end of the training, my rifle had around 1000 live rounds and 1200 blanks fired through it. If you're not familiar with blanks, they are beyond filthy. New lube was applied at the start of every training day, and by the end my rifle was full of sludge. It still worked flawlessly.

hueyville
February 25, 2013, 12:58 PM
I have to agree with CraigC. I was trained to clean my weapon every chance I got whether it had been fired or not. Said weapons may have been cleaned a dozen times without a round going down the bore. Then it may be a full day of range time and immediate cleaning. Now I think for myself. A well built lead slinger is just that and if it won't take a 1,000 rounds of good ammo without cleaning, it needs to be fixed because it is broken. An H-BAR with all match components will be cleaned after every session. Sometimes may have to wait a day or two but it gets done.

Robert
February 25, 2013, 01:03 PM
Every 500 to 1000 rounds. Depends on how much I shoot in the season.

wally
February 25, 2013, 01:05 PM
~1000 would have been my vote.

mec56
February 25, 2013, 02:08 PM
As a former Marine, I'm trying not to be as anal retentive about cleaning after every range trip. But, it's soooo hard!

walk soft
February 25, 2013, 02:20 PM
I don't know why but I detest cleaning guns.

JustinJ
February 25, 2013, 02:34 PM
Define clean. Sometimes i just wipe down the bolt/carrier and receiver. Other times i detail clean, use a bore cleaner, etc. I don't mind leaving it dirty for extended periods of time so long as i apply a light coat of oil first.

chas08
February 25, 2013, 02:48 PM
I may go a whole hunting season without cleaning it, if its only been fired a few times at game! Or after a range session that could be 25 - 250 rounds! So I voted 10-50! If I've ran 50 rounds through it and its going to be put away for a while, I'll clean it thoroughly and put it away regardless of round count!

biff47
February 25, 2013, 03:19 PM
briansmithwins One round or 1000, after I'm done shooting the rifles get cleaned.

I'm usually on the briansmith bandwagon, but just for giggles, I made 3 range trips and fired about 500 rounds of Wolf 7.62x39 from my AR before cleaning, just to see if the world would come to an end. It didn't, but I felt guilty for not cleaning in over a month, so I cleaned it.

esheato
February 25, 2013, 03:27 PM
I clean my AR and XDs when they stop working or I get ready for a match.

Yup, this is me too.

waffentomas
February 25, 2013, 03:32 PM
I have been 'cursed' by the Marines and the constant harping of my drill instructors. I can't shoot a round without taking it home and cleaning it. Shine a light down your BCG in that dead space behind the bolt. I bet it's black.

I use dental tools to scrape away the carbon.

Hell, I'm so brain washed I couldn't bring myself to buy an AR unless it was a Colt, as that's what I had when I was in.

I fired about 200 rounds through it last week, and have cleaned it twice since then. I'll clean it again today.

My rifle, though not inspection grade clean, is a couple cleanings away from it at worst...I just can't help it. Couple that with some terrorist wannabes shooting at me back in '83 - I just have to keep it cleaned and lubed.

Even my Norinco NHM-91 is super clean.

Fast Frank
February 25, 2013, 03:43 PM
There's another angle to this.

Sure. My AR will shoot lots and lots and LOTS of bullets before it quits working. It's good equipment and it should.

I'm also quite sure that my car can go three or four years without being washed and still run fine.

Except for one thing...

My car is nice, and it was expensive, and I enjoy owning nice expensive things that look good.

So my car gets washed and waxed so I can be proud of it and enjoy owning it.

Guess what?

If I open my safe and pull out a rifle that stinks of gunpowder and is full of black crud, I don't enjoy handling it like I do when it's clean and nice.

I sure wouldn't sit on my wife's couch and fondle one in that condition or hand it to somebody for "Show And Tell".

And being clean doesn't detract from the gun in any way. It will do the deal as good or better than a dirty one.

So, I keep my guns clean and in good shape. That's the way I like them, so that's the way they are. I clean them every time they get fired.

Here it comes: "But my guns are MANLY and made for jumping in the mud, blood, and guts with!"

Right. You guys can feel free to leave your guns just as nasty as you like. I don't have a problem with that at all.


But mine are clean.

68wj
February 25, 2013, 03:45 PM
As a former Marine, I'm trying not to be as anal retentive about cleaning after every range trip. But, it's soooo hard!
Those Marine armorers can be real SOB's! :fire:

As a former Marine armorer, I was obligated to ensure the highest standard of cleanliness. I can only think of one time I wiped my finger on my boot (the days of black polish) to intentionally fail someone, but that is another story.:neener:

However, I also saw more harm than good come to the firearms because of the Corp's cleaning regimen. Unauthorized disassembly created lost parts or wrong reassembly. Unauthorized cleaning solutions (electrical contact spray was the worst) stripped anodizing, melted plastic components, or seized components such as the internal buffer weights on an M16.

My rifles gets a wipe down after use, a thorough cleaning when needed, and a scrubbed bore when accuracy starts to wane.

Coop45
February 25, 2013, 04:08 PM
Didn't McNamara say they didn't need cleaning.

mtrmn
February 25, 2013, 04:17 PM
After every range session, regardless of round count, I will run a patch through the barrel with WD40 and tear down the BCG for cleaning/oiling. This only because I live in the tropical jungles of Louisiana and my barrels are not chrome lined.

As far as THOROUGHLY cleaning the barrel-I rarely ever do that unless accuracy has fallen off drastically.

highbrow
February 25, 2013, 04:23 PM
Most get cleaned after every range session. My Franken AR hasn't been cleaned in 2 years, >5000 rounds steel cased ammo, just some lube before shooting. Will clean it when it chokes. Still going strong.

StrutStopper
February 25, 2013, 04:41 PM
I think I cleaned mine, once.

KimberLover
February 25, 2013, 04:43 PM
I'm sure everyone that has read this cleans his AR like most would.
However, some bullets are slightly more dirty when the powder burns than others.
The AR bolt carrier operates on blow back and that is a tiny hole that can clog and lend to making the bolt carrier sluggish.
I would suggest removing the upper and taking the bolt carrier out and blow the gas tube with a good cleaner once in a while.
It sure can't hurt!

waffentomas
February 25, 2013, 04:57 PM
Hey 68wj, sorry about using so much carburetor cleaner just to pass your damn inspections....well, not really.

Tom

briansmithwins
February 25, 2013, 05:16 PM
Stoner system rifles don't operate on blow back, but the gas piston is made up of the bolt and bolt carrier. The gas holes aren't that small and they seem to keep themselves blown clear.

ARs have a lot of problems but filling up with carbon isn't one of them. Keep it wet and it'll keep working a long time.

BSW

matrem
February 25, 2013, 05:44 PM
That "tiny" hole isn't so tiny and 10-15 k psi keeps it rather clean.
The only carbon issue in the gas system i've ever noticed, is the back of the gas key seems to get rather loaded with it, but even after thousands of rounds i've never seen enough in it to cause any malfunction.

mec56
February 25, 2013, 06:37 PM
68wj, hated you guys, 8 hours cleaning, 1 q-tip with a speck of dirt and have to start all over. At the time I thought electrical spray plus a shower worked great. But that was when I was really frustrated

68wj
February 25, 2013, 07:21 PM
68wj, hated you guys, 8 hours cleaning, 1 q-tip with a speck of dirt and have to start all over. At the time I thought electrical spray plus a shower worked great. But that was when I was really frustrated
The problem is that CLP, or most oils, is needed for corrosion protection in storage but also extract carbon from the many nooks and unreachable recesses. Large carbon buildup, rust, and dirt needs to go; a little oily color is a good thing.

Girodin
February 26, 2013, 02:01 AM
do not use steel case ammo, bi-metal bullets, or any import ammo. Most of what I shoot are handloads with known very clean burning powder. Thus I can get a lot of rounds through one before it acts goofy.

I shoot a lot of wolf through my Novekse and it can get through a lot of rounds before there is an issue. I probably clean it around every 1k rounds. It surely could go more,much more, but I typically clean more often than needed, often when I just want to get the gun out and do something with it. I also like to just give things a look over. I'm much more concerned about it being lubed than clean.

If it is lubed, any good AR is going to be able to shoots thousands of rounds without a serious cleaning.

Zardaia
February 26, 2013, 02:39 AM
I clean after every range trip. Maybe not white glove inspection lvl, but at least clean. Goes for all my guns, lvl of cleaning depends on # of rounds and wether I'm fealing lazy, but at a min some patches down the barrel and a wipe down.

HOOfan_1
February 26, 2013, 12:52 PM
The problem is that CLP, or most oils, is needed for corrosion protection in storage but also extract carbon from the many nooks and unreachable recesses. Large carbon buildup, rust, and dirt needs to go; a little oily color is a good thing.

Thats the number 1 reason I like to clean my guns. Not only do I like them clean, I like them oiled, not to mention cleaning off the crud allows me to inspect for wear and possible signs of problems.

holdencm9
February 26, 2013, 02:37 PM
Fast Frank,

Well put. I feel much the same way. Sadly, I handle and show my guns just about as often as I shoot them, what with prices and availability the way they are. There is nothing like pulling a pristinely clean gun out of the safe.

I never understood the high some people seem to get off of letting their guns go for as long as possible without cleaning. Surely I have gone 500 rounds without cleaning before, and probably 1000 rounds without a deep cleaning, but that people purposefully neglect their weapons and get some joy out of bragging about the round count, to me is just strange. But, to each his own.

Grassman
February 26, 2013, 02:58 PM
Only when I'm shamed into it from reading on here.:rolleyes:

Welding Rod
February 26, 2013, 04:14 PM
About every 6 - 10 matches.

I do push 2 oily patches down the bore after each shoot when I get home just because it is so wet where I live and don't want a pitted bore. I then push a dry patch out through the bore before I go out to shoot the next time to remove any excess oil.

Girodin
February 26, 2013, 04:17 PM
I never understood the high some people seem to get off of letting their guns go for as long as possible without cleaning.

I don't think it is a high. It's probably that some of us have our guns for more than conversation pieces. It makes little sense to some to spend a lot of time detail cleaning a gun that has only had 250 rounds or so put down it if you are going to do the same thing in a few days.

Furthermore, for performance minded shooters, versus those who mostly just fondle their guns, there are perfance and reliability considerations. For example look at what Todd hodnett has to say about cleaning his percision rifles.

Welding Rod
February 26, 2013, 04:23 PM
It all boils down to ..................How you`ve been trained.

Haha - I was trained keep a M16 dry so that migrating oily muck wouldn't fail an arms room inspection. And then to scrape off dry hard carbon with sharp metal tools.

Some military training is just assinine.

I was assigned to 4 permanent duty stations, and attended plenty of service schools. Finding a gun savy guy in the crowd was almost unheard of.

As I posted above, my personal regime is entirely different.

Charles S
February 26, 2013, 04:37 PM
For example look at what Todd hodnett has to say about cleaning his percision rifles.

Girodin,

A quick search did not reveal the information you referred to. Please post a link. I am interested.

I am like Taliv,

my current go-to carbine has a suppressor and gets REALLY dirty fast, so i clean it and reapply anti-seize and lube maybe every 1000 rounds.

My carbines get dirty pretty fast with a can on them. I clean mine fairly often. Although I have not used Anti-Seize. I would be interested in any insight on Anti-Seize use.

Charles

Jeff White
February 26, 2013, 04:42 PM
Once a year whether they need it or not ;)

H.m.B
February 26, 2013, 06:28 PM
Usually clean it within a couple of days after taking her out. Thoroughly cleaned and oiled but not as obsessive about it as I was when in the Army.

Girodin
February 26, 2013, 10:41 PM
He talks about it on the Magpul DVD, among other places.

Here he discusses clean bore shots and removing copper vs carbon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbMuknl677A

HOOfan_1
February 27, 2013, 09:55 AM
He talks about it on the Magpul DVD, among other places.

Here he discusses clean bore shots and removing copper vs carbon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbMuknl677A

Yeah he is also talking about "break in" which is one of those controversial things....so I am not sure what he is saying can exactly be called universally accepted.

I have a Remington 700 .30-06. It had been shot at least 200 times, and only the carbon and powder fouling being cleaned out, after cleaning those, I could see the shiny copper in the grooves. Best group I could get out of it at 100 yards was 2". Last year I started using Wipeout bore cleaner...I got all of the copper out of the barrel. Next time I went to shoot it, I was getting 1" and .75" groups.

With my hunting rifles, especially my varmint rifles, I usually take a completely clean gun to the range before the season, verify the zero with about 10 shots. Then I don't clean it until the season is over, but I use Wipeout to get out the copper and the carbon.

SlamFire1
February 27, 2013, 12:33 PM
I clean mine after every 88 round across the course match. Never had a malfunction due to a dirty rifle.

When I talk to vets, they kept their rifles clean because they were betting their life on the thing.

Girodin
February 28, 2013, 02:23 AM
I am not sure what he is saying can exactly be called universally accepted.


Perhaps, but given Mr. Hodnett's experience and the sample sizes he is basing things on, to say nothing of the results he and those he trains consistently achieve I am going to be inclined to believe him over most folks.

I clean mine after every 88 round across the course match. Never had a malfunction due to a dirty rifle.

I keep this rock nearby to prevent tigers from attacking me. I've never been attacked by a tiger yet.

A quality AR can go a lot of rounds before dirty becomes an issue, lubrication is the bigger issue. The gun will dry out and need more lube in most cases long before it gets too dirty and has issues based on dirty.

Ask any of the instructors that get to see hundreds or thousands of students shoot 10s of thousands of rounds each year. They will tell you lube is what is the issue much more so than clean or dirty.

Ehtereon11B
February 28, 2013, 10:43 AM
I think the most rounds ever put through my issue AR between cleanings was 2000 but that was a heavy range weekend. On average it gets cleaned about every 200.

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