easiest centerfire rifle to disassemble and clean?


March 21, 2004, 01:01 PM
Wanted: low-maintenance, reliable centerfire rifle that's a relative snap to take apart and keep clean? What are the best candidates? (Yes, SHTF-related.)

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March 21, 2004, 01:06 PM
Cant beat anything mil surp. Especially the commie stuff, made for conscripts to easily dissassemble. You could also look into the ishapore enfields. .308 caliber.

March 21, 2004, 01:21 PM
My Marlin breaks into five peices including the rifle with one screw. Got'cher extractor thingy, bolt, lever and the lever screw. So Heres my vote for the Marlin.

March 21, 2004, 01:35 PM
For just a centerfire rifle, my Enfield is i guess the easiest to keep clean.

For centerfire autoloading, the AR15 is easy too; no tools required. Dont bother to clean the crome bore; I just scrub the sufaces with a nylon milsurp brush wet with CLP, wipe excess off with paper towel or rag, and re-apply CLP.

I've lately decided that i was not going to clean the AR15 any more to see how far it goes.. I've had it out shooting twice now, once in the rain and once in the snow. Dropping mags and putting them back in caked with snow and ice etc.. Got about 250 rounds of WOLF through it so far.. No hitches. Just spray some more CLP in there when i get home.

March 21, 2004, 02:14 PM
AK-47 is cake. SAR1 even comes with every tool you need to clean it in the gun!

March 21, 2004, 02:15 PM
All Mosin-Nagants, Enfields, Mausers are simple to clean with one exception and that is that they must be cleaned if you use the best ammo for them- cheap surplus. That is a big disadvantage.

For semi-auto, the AK series is simple and very forgiving if infrequently cleaned. Best of all the new ammo is cheap, reliable, and non corrosive so you don't have to clean after shooting.

March 21, 2004, 03:26 PM
what's the intended application?

Human conflict? AK and SKS pattern are both darn easy to get apart, cleaned, and back together, the AK in particular. Pushbutton disassembly! :)
(Though getting the AK bolt/carrier back in can take some practice, and make sure you never take off the SKS reciever cover with the bolt locked back. eek!).
AR opens up, gives great access to the bore, and the carrier and all wipes up nice, but that star-faced bolt leaves a lot of hard to get at little crannies.
M1/M14 pattern.. well... so long as you have a boresnake or don't mind cleaning from the muzzle, it'll work alright. Has to come almost all the way apart to get the bolt out and such for cleaning. Rmm.. I'd not put it in the "easy" camp though.

hunting/general purpose? I'd vote some flavor of Mauser sporter, chambered in .308. Any boltgun though is pretty darn simple. Yank the bolt, clean the bore, wipe off the bolt, and done. Happy day! :)


March 21, 2004, 03:29 PM
Thanks, all.

I have a Marlin 336 (.30-30) which I haven't shot much. I admit, with embarrassment, I haven't broken it down yet, though I've quick-cleaned it with a boresnake, etc. I'll start with that one. I dug out the manual and looked at it; yes, looks like a piece of cake.

AK and AR sound right--too bad I live in California!

March 21, 2004, 04:27 PM
Well here I'll make it easier.

1. Ensure the firearm is completely empty and unloaded. Work the action several times with the safety on just to be sure.

2. Lay the rifle, ejection port and feedramp up onto a flat surface.

3. Partially cycle the bolt, about half way works best.

4.Using a flat edge screw driver, or a butter knife or any similar object remove the lowermost screw that acts as a pivot point for the lever.

5. Set the screw aside, remove the lever by pulling it straight down. Next slide the bolt straight back until its completely out've the rifle and set that aside aswell.

6. The ejector is a little dohicky and its at an odd spot. The easy way to get it out is simply to turn the rifle over, and to tap the other end of the pin with your finger. You'll note it because grease or oil always seems to come from this spot on the other side of the receiver. Put that aside...

7. Clean the Bolt carefully. Use alot've degreaser here which will help later on. Then repeat with the ejector thingy.

8. Coat the bolt with a good bit've lube, its hard to -over- lube the bolt so be generous. if it aint drippin off. your good. Next apply a dab to the end of the lever, this is where it enguages the bolt and though I doubt it needs it. Adding lubricant here, and at the bolt hole in the middle helps my marlin shoot alittle smoother.

9. Replace the ejector pin with the rifle on its side as per step 2. Then slide the bolt about halfway in. The bolt may need fiddling because the Ejector has to be seated just right. It may be easier to turn the rifle some to get this working. Holding mine up like it should go works for me.Ease the ejector into place and fiddle with where the bolt is until the lever finds its socket. It sounds complicated but once your here it'll be elementary.

10. Bolt the lever back into place. Work the action several times, make sure to ensure you remembered to put the ejector pin back in. Clean up spill over and clean all exposed metal surfaces.

Done. :) if you need I can do a photo illustration thingy for ya'll

March 21, 2004, 05:08 PM
May not actually be in this order, but here is my 1/50th of $1.

Mil-Surp bolt rifles

AK's & SKS's probably next

Marlin 336 & similar series (never took apart a Winny lever rifle)

AR's & clones

M1's M-1A's M-14's

March 21, 2004, 05:15 PM
Modern Ruger bolts are a snap. The Bolt is pulled by releasing an easy lever. Pops right out.

Ditto on the FN-FAL. Open it like a shotgun and pull out the bolt group. RInse, lather, repeat.

Vern Humphrey
March 21, 2004, 05:57 PM
I'll go with the 03 or 03A3 Springfield. All bolt actions are simple to clean and maintain, but the Springfield has two advantages -- no spring-loaded bolt release (I once broke the spring on a Mauser while disassembling it), and the two-piece firing pin (long derided by conniseurs) is actually stronger and easier to disassemble than the Mauser one-piece.

March 21, 2004, 05:58 PM
NEF Handi-rifle?

March 21, 2004, 06:25 PM
MLC beat me to it. It don't get any easier than the Handi-rifle.

If you want a bolt action, I would go with a Mosin of some type. All mil-surplus are easy to take down except for the Enfield. I don't know why people think the Enfield is easy.:confused: You need to have a screw driver just to field strip it.:cuss: That is not easy at all. The Mausers are easy as well but the Mosin is the easiest of them all. It comes aparts exactly as you figuire it should. The first time I laid my hands on myine, I was able to take it apart to the last piece with so much as a hitch. The bolt comes apart easy and so does every thing else.

In semi-autos, I think the SKS is easier than the AK and the AR is also. SKS wins IMO.

1. Handi-rifle

2. Mosin Nagant

3. SKS

March 21, 2004, 07:26 PM
AR180B is pretty easy. Just push in the spring loaded plate at the rear of the receiver, and open it. The whole thing just comes apart.

March 21, 2004, 09:38 PM
"I don't know why people think the Enfield is easy. You need to have a screw driver just to field strip it."

My #4 MK II does not require a screwdriver to "field strip"....

unless we're talking about different levels of disassembly under the category of field stripping.:)

March 21, 2004, 09:44 PM
Only trouble I have with my AK is that damned reciever cover. I will sit there and bang on that thing trying to get it to lock into place for 5min easy. It sounds and feels much like :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: .

Mauser is pretty darned simple to field strip. If you want the bolt taken apart, that's a different story all together.:eek:

March 21, 2004, 09:44 PM
For semi autos I would say that the AK series is the easiest, followed VERY closely by the SKS and the FAL.

Marlin definitely gets my vote for ease of maintenance with a lever gun.

For a bolt action, my vote goes to the Swiss K31. Disassembling the bolt can be intimidating at first but is actually very easy. Much easier than a mauser (although mausers aren't all that difficult) and a whole lot easier than most modern commercial rifles. My Enfields and Nagants aren't that difficult but do require tools. The bolt on the K31 can be broken down in seconds and reassembled just as quickly with no tools.

Dave R
March 21, 2004, 10:52 PM
Almost ANY boltgun is very easy to clean. You may not EVER need to disassemble the bolt, although that is arguable.

Jim K
March 21, 2004, 10:53 PM
The simplest bolt ever made, and the easiest to field strip, bar none, is the Arisaka. Push, twist, and all three parts (except the extractor and collar) are in your hand.


March 21, 2004, 11:03 PM

Winchester model 70 classic, or pre-64. Pulling the bolt out is no problem whatsoever. However, a lot of bolt guns can make that claim, & rightfully so. What sets the model 70 Mauser type actions apart is the ease with which the bolt itself comes apart. So, in the very unlikely event that the firing pin or spring breaks, replacement is not a problem.

If it's a true SHTF, be a good boy scout & be prepared for these types of things, have a spare pin & spring on hand.


March 22, 2004, 12:28 AM
albanian, for what is the screwdriver required?

My Enfield #4 MKII needs a screw driver to take the trigger gaurd off and stock off. That may not be considered "field stripping" but in comparison, the SKS can be taken down to the small parts with just a pointy stick or something to remove the trigger gaurd.

If all you want to do is remover the bolt and mag, the Enfield is as easy or easier than the Mosin or Mauser. The Enfield has a removable mag so it can be cleaned a little easier but the Mosins are better because when you open the mag, the insides are exposed and you can clean it without removing it from the rifle. Mosin wins!

March 22, 2004, 12:51 AM
But you really dont need to remove the trigger guard and front stock for cleaning.. Remove the bolt and drop the mag and thats pretty much as exposed as the interior of the action is going to get.

I took all the wood off of mine when i first got it because it was a JUNKER, and i cleaned a fistfull of grime, grease and sand from every cranny of that rifle. Now that the stock has been refinished and everything polished up, i dont see ever needing to remove the wood again.. At least never in a field style situation.

March 22, 2004, 02:23 AM
If a soldier in the British Army removed the stock from his Enfield, his Sergeant Major would certainly want to know the reason why.

Removing the stock goes well beyond 'field stripping' as commonly understood.;)

"Mosin wins!

Sure, albanian, whatever.:)

March 22, 2004, 02:40 AM
MAS M-36 boltguns are really simple. The bolt is all of four pieces. Dropout floorplate. 2-piece stock held on with a couple of beefy screws, and the bayonet tube. Probably the most complicated part of the whole thing is the rifle-grenade doo-hickus.

Remington Rolling Blocks are simple, too. Two big pins and a retainer clip. Breech-block, hammer, spring, trigger, two stock parts.

March 22, 2004, 03:56 PM
Make mine another vote for the FAL in the semi-auto category.

Extremely easy to disassemble and clean.

March 22, 2004, 04:07 PM
The Mauser '98 is by far the easiest, which is one reason it's the basis for so many hunting rifles. In military form, there are only a few parts and the bolt can be broken down in a minute once you learn the tricks. Hunting models and sporterized ones often have complex trigger mechanisms, but the military ones have exceedingly simple triggers.

I'd place the Mosin Nagants very high on the list as well. The bolt is more difficult to break down at first, but once you get the hang of it it's fairly straight-forward. The Mosin has the advantage of having widely interchangable parts. Mausers have more sub-groups and don't always interchange well.

March 22, 2004, 05:40 PM
"I'd place the Mosin Nagants very high on the list as well. The bolt is more difficult to break down at first, but once you get the hang of it it's fairly straight-forward. The Mosin has the advantage of having widely interchangable parts. Mausers have more sub-groups and don't always interchange well."

See? Like I said, the Mosin wins! Whoo-hoo!
:neener: :D ;) :p :) ;)

We are splitting hairs here. Most mil-surplus bolt guns are very easy to field strip and maintain, that is why they were chosen for their role. They were designed to be tough and trouble free and if something went wrong, they could often be fixed in the field with a drop in replacement part.

I wouldn't have any fears about a Mauser or Enfield being problematic or difficult to work on in a post SHTF situation but if you plan on really abusing and neglecting a gun, the Mosin is going to be able to take a lot of it. I have a couple of M-44s from WW-II. I don't know if they saw any fighting in that war but they look like they have been though at LEAST one world war and maybe more.:D They still work fine and I think they are as stong and solid today as when they were made. I can't say that for my Turkish Mauser, it has seen some hard use also but thock has cracked and the action is not as tight as it probably once was. It has a few tiny problems that don't effect function but you get the feeling that it has seen better day and they are in it's past.:D My Mosin just keeps on trucking.

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