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Cleaning the AR15

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by fishblade2, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. fishblade2

    fishblade2 Well-Known Member

    As my other post has stated I have just bought a AR15. I am now questioning the next most important thing about the gun: how to clean it. I have never owned one of these types of guns before so what exactly should I be doing to clean it? Where should oil/grease be, where should it not be, where are specific spots to clean? Thanks for the help!
  2. 68wj

    68wj Well-Known Member

  3. GI_Jared

    GI_Jared Well-Known Member

    Everyone seems to have their own method when it comes to cleaning any firearm, the AR-15 is no different. The TV show shooting USA has a video uploaded on youtube on how to field strip and clean an AR rifle. This should be a good place to start and you will learn little things along the way that work better or speed up the process. One things that I do is wipe the bore, bolt, chamber, and middle of the carrier with Hopps #9 cleaner, before I start any cleaning with CLP or gun oil. The bore cleaner really helps to break down the carbon for an easy clean up.
  4. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Well-Known Member

    Just take it apart and clean all the pieces. :)

    But seriously, take off upper and pull out BCG and charging handle. Pull out the firing pin retainer pin, firing pin, bolt, clean all that stuff inside and out. That will get pretty dirty. Then you just need to lube the bolt. So that when it is put back together it can kind of move/rotate "freely" you should be able to swing the BCG and the bolt will rock back and forth.

    Clean the bore same as any other and use a chamber brush to get all the gunk inside there and in front of the locking lugs. Then I usually put a light coat of oil inside the receiver too, just so the BCG can move nice and smooth.

    I don't really do much with the lower (at least regularly) except you can pull out the buffer spring and put a light coat of lube on that if you wish.

    Probably 1000 different methods, philosophies, and techniques, and I am sure you will get plenty of opinions. They also sell "AR Cleaning Kits" with all the doo-dads required to get every nook and cranny, but you can get by with the usual supplies. I would just give the BCG and bore a quick cleaning and go shoot it. Then, when you clean it after shooting, you'll be able to tell what gets dirty the quickest. Have fun!
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

  6. 68wj

    68wj Well-Known Member

  7. MechanicKid

    MechanicKid Active Member

    I can tell you what not to do. Do not use sharp tools to "scratch" carbon out of or off of your rifle. Being "in" for 16 years now I can tell you the number 1 mistake is overcleaning your ar. Scratching a good finish will provide more edges for the carbon to take purchase and build faster, evil cycle. the star chamber is always a point of contention for cleaning and honestly, as long as the locking surfaces are clean and allow for proper head spacing, gas passageways are cleared (gas key at the top of the bolt carrier group, pipe cleaners work) and the big stuff is kept at bay, this is what is ultimately necessary. When it comes to lubricants, we downrange have learned to love "Milltech". It impregnates the metal and allows for easier cleaning and more carbon to leave the weapon during operation without making your rifle look like the victim of an oil spill. Read the instructions carefully and don't use clp after treatment, it will destroy the effort.
  8. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    Personally I pay a lot more attention that the weapon stays wet with lube than being absolutely clean. A wet dirty gun will run a lot longer than a dry clean gun.

    OTOH, I seem to have this OCD that makes me clean everything of I run even one round though it. Not general inspection clean, but any loose debris and carbon fouling has to go.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  9. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Well-Known Member

    tootbrushes help!
    I also use a Deweys pistol cleaning rod, its all brass with a loop style handle. length helps in cleaning chamber
    bore mops are nice
    those little cleaning stars are great for cleaning the chamber lugs, I think Tapco makes them (?) from a hard felt material
    occasionally I remove the flash supressor and double down on cleaning muzzle as well as the supressor

    A big AMEN on that. Metal treatment with Militec makes everything smoother including cleaning. treated my flash supressor with it several hundred rounds ago, will see on next breakdown...
  10. GCMkc

    GCMkc Well-Known Member

    My buddy gave me one of those golf club face brushes. One side is brass bristles while the other side is some sort of nylon. That brush probably gets the most use. Some dental picks for carbon build up in hard to reach places will help get debris out. BOAT LOADS of Q-tips and Hoppes #9(smells so good)
  11. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Well-Known Member

    I still got my manuals from 40 years ago, you should still be able to download those. cant go wrong there.
  12. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Well-Known Member

    You have to clean them?
  13. fishblade2

    fishblade2 Well-Known Member

    okay so when you guys say that you have a "wet" gun that will perform better, do you mean that you just oil it a tad bit before it goes in and your not excessive with it or are you actually pretty excessive on the oil? What about using ballistol. Will this perform well for oil? Lastly this "wet" talk :)D) will this work best for semi-auto pistols? Thanks for the help!
  14. NJGarand

    NJGarand Well-Known Member

    Wait, your dishwasher doesn't have an AR setting? Mine has a Glock setting.


  15. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    You'll get 10,000 answers, as you can probably see. The basic rule is don't over do it. Some cleaning is required, but there is no benefit to making it spotless, and you can damage things as noted above. Modern CLP products have made it a lot easier. I like SLIP2000, Weaponshield, and FP-10, in that order of preference, but pretty much any modern CLP should work well. Wipe the carbon and oily sludge off, put clean oil on, clean the bore like any other rifle, done. Don't obsess.

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