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Just bought an AR-15

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by nitrosport, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. nitrosport

    nitrosport New Member

    Hello everyone

    I just bought a Bushmaster AR-15 today. I've never owned one before and I don't know much about them. All I know is that I had the time of my life with it at the range today.

    Does anyone have a guide to cleaning and lubing this thing? The manual that came with it is not very helpful. I know how to take it apart, I just don't know where to put lube.

  2. nulfisin

    nulfisin New Member

    Go easy on the lube

    But do keep the thing clean or it WILL jam. There are many helpful videos on You Tube. After cleaning, I put a light coat of oil on any parts that are exposed to friction, as well as the barrel.

    If you live in a humid climate, you can put a light coat of oil on all the metal surfaces; I don't bother with that and don't have a hint of rust on mine.
  3. DougW

    DougW Active Member

    I run all my AR's wet. CLP the heck out of it and it will stay dependable.
  4. Mags

    Mags New Member

    Really depends on where you live for lubrication. I run my AR pretty wet so wet in fact the first shot will splash your face a little.
  5. AirborneNCO

    AirborneNCO New Member

    If you're strictly talking about where and how to lube it, that's an easy one for you thanks to the great design of the AR. Make sure that you use actual lubricant and not just bore solvent to lubricate it, most of your Wal Mart stuff will actually say on the packaging whether or not it's a solvent or a lubricant. Some stuff does both, like CLP, but the same stuff the Army uses I haven't found at wally world.

    Once you've got the right stuff, then you just need to know where to put it. First, clear the weapon. Then, open the dust cover and let lube some flow over the exposed part of the bolt carrier. Then, pull & release the charging handle about 6 times or so, riding it back and forth. The idea is to spread that into the friction areas. Then, lock the bolt back, and squirt some lube into the area that is on the other side of the bolt carrier, and also into the the upper most part of that inner area with the rifle held upside down. Use a generous enough amount that it will spread itself easily over most or all friction points simply by tilting the weapon around and charging the bolt back and forth. Charge it back and forth using the charging handle again. There, now you're all lubed up and ready to shoot. What I've gone over is the typical procedure used by Army soldiers on a zero range, qualification range, or prior to a tactical movement, using CLP. You'll typically see one guy walking around on the range with an entire squirt bottle full of it, doing what I had mentioned or something close to it.
  6. nitrosport

    nitrosport New Member

    Thanks for the quick responses everyone. I had so much fun at the range today. This thing is so accurate and comfortable to use. I love it!

    Any recommendations for upgrades?
  7. AirborneNCO

    AirborneNCO New Member

    When it comes to the cleaning part, I can advise on that as well. Pay special attention to carbon build up inside of or anywhere on your bolt and bolt carrier group. The next area to pay attention to (just as imortant) is your star chamber, and for that I recommend using a standard issue chamber brush. The chamber brush is specially made to get into that hard to reach spot and remove carbon with the help of CLP or bore solvent. Carbon (the black crud), even if just a small amount, will always deposit itself in your weapon when fired. It is only a matter of so many rounds fired before it contributes to your first malfunction unless you combat it with some kind of solvent beforehand. Notice, when looking into the area inside the weapon right above the star chamber, there's a little gas tube poking out? That's where most of this stuff comes from (gas blowback). Cleaning this tube entirely from end to end is something I've never had to do myself other than poke a soaked swap into the exposed part of it, but if you're putting a tremendously high volume of ammo through it, that'd be something to clean as well with the help of an armorer's kit or someone that knows what they're doing.
  8. AirborneNCO

    AirborneNCO New Member

    Upgrades - the first thing you should know is about the buffer assembly. That's the spring and the cylindrical object inside of it that resides in your weapon's butt stock. There are two kinds of them:

    1. Full length buffer assembly, used in most longer or fixed stocks;

    2. Carbine length buffer assembly, used in most telescoping or shorter stocks.

    If you try to put on a stock that only has enough room inside it for the shorter buffer assembly, and you've still got your longer buffer assembly, it won't work. Likewise, if you're starting out with a short buffer assembly, it probably won't work with the full length type stocks. You can order either type for around $20 or so last time I checked. Got mine for $19.

    I can recommend the Eotech holosight or Aimpoint 1x red dot sight for close quarters, but for anything else, I'd recommend a Trijicon ACOG, any model, with the 4x magnification. You can expect 3 MOA or perhaps better, so that will be enough to make the most of the weapon's accuracy capabilities out to 500 meters or so.

    For a butt stock, I'd recommend any Magpul brand stock, mine is a M93.

    I good muzzle brake always makes a big difference, and if you've got mad cash and a clean record, make it a point to get legalized and buy a suppressor. Sooo nice to shoot it with one on. I'd recommend Surefire muzzle break/adapters and their suppressor as well, but again, only if you're on a huge budget.

    Then, get yourself a good 3-point sling and learn how to use it properly. If you're right handed, it feels great with the body strap going under your left armpit and over the top of your right shoulder, and the weapon will sit at a comfortable angle resting on your chest with the proper adjustment. Single point slings are pretty high speed too, but just not quite as stable.
  9. Avenger29

    Avenger29 New Member

    That's a load. Keep it wet and it will do just fine.

    Do not scrape carbon away with metal tools. Do not strive for a "white glove treatment". Simply clean as much as possible off with a good solvent. You do not have to eradicate every little bit. It will not "jam your gun". Just clean it at regular intervals, it's not that hard. You don't have to spend more than 10-15 minutes cleaning, certainly not the "hour or more" others will tell you.

    Cleaning the gas tube is something that you should not bother with. The high pressure of the gas blowback will clean it just fine. If it makes you feel better, clean it with a spray solvent and blow it out, but by all means, do not stick anything like a pipe cleaner or brush down it. I don't care if Brownells sells extra long pipe cleaners, it's not the thing to do.

    A good guide to cleaning and lubrication, by Pat Rogers: www.ar15.com/content/swat/keepitrunning.pdf

    Cleaning the AR-15 and properly lubing it is not anything mysterious or hard. It doesn't take specialized tools- the most specialized thing I use is a chamber brush, which I have done without before.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  10. Avenger29

    Avenger29 New Member

    Upgrades- the only upgrades I recommend for the moment is lots of ammo and mags.

    Are you planning on using this carbine in a defensive role? If so, then get a light and Aimpoint (don't go cheap) on it. Can't afford a current gen Aimpoint? Buy an older Aimpoint used.

    Other than that, SHOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get some spare parts. A spare bolt assembly (get a Bravo Company made bolt from Bravo Company USA, just get the bolt and small parts, not the carrier itself). Pick up one of the "emergency spare parts" kits, too. Have your carrier key properly staked if not done so already. Shoot some more. You shouldn't have to use these parts, but if you do...you'll have it in stock and ready, and they don't cost that much.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  11. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Active Member

    Don't worry about carbon buildup on the rear of the bolt. I don't even bother scraping it off. It just comes right back and seems like a needless chore. It seems to build up to a certain point and then stay at that level. I usually give this area a good coat of lube as the carbon can attract moisture. I haven't found carbon deposits on the bolt or bolt carrier to affect reliability.

    A couple of informative links for you:



    For a sling, I suggest the Vickers Combat Application Sling http://www.blueforcegear.com/product.cfm?type=cat&cat_id=5&prod_id=79

    For sling mounts I suggest Daniel Defense and GG&G.

    Do you have a fixed or removable carry handle?
  12. nitrosport

    nitrosport New Member

    I have a removable carry handle.
  13. smoketheresfire

    smoketheresfire New Member

    Shawn and Avenger have it right. That carbon on the bolt does bug me though, but I have given up messing with it. Never had a failure yet.
  14. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Active Member

    I sold all my removable carry handles and replaced them with the A.R.M.S. #38 Swan Sleeve ( http://www.armsmounts.com/default.asp?mode=products&sub=mounts&id=[hsh]38 STD ), because I didn't like those big knobs on the side of the carry handle as they tangled in my gear.

    If you decide to mount optics I suggest LaRue Tactical (www.laruetactical.com). They have some pretty good combo deals on optics and mounts.

    Buy yourself some spare magazines.

    Replace the trigger guard with a MagPul trigger guard - it fills the gap area where the trigger guard meets the pistol grip.

    Do you have a 20" barrel (rifle) or 16.5" barrel (carbine)?
  15. nulfisin

    nulfisin New Member

    Do clean it

    Whoever told you not to do that isn't following any military procedure, any manufacturer guideline, or common sense. All guns need to be cleaned, some more than others. The AR is a relatively simple design, but if you allow one of the key parts to go to pot, you're done. For example, if you don't rid your extractor and bolt assembly of crud, you will not be able to eject rounds. That is bad. The barrel requires no more or less attention than any other barrel. If you want it to shoot accurately over the long run, you'll need to clean it. Period.
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard New Member

    Military procedure has more to do with covering the armorer's butt and appeasing the Sergeant-Major than the actual care of the weapon. The army (particularly in training units) spend so much time cleaning that they often DAMAGE rifles. What Airborne NCO and nulfisin are saying isn't bad, but the truth is, a lot of military cleaning has nothing at all do do with how the rifle functions. It has to do with making sure that when one responsible party gives the rifle to another responsible party, he won't be stuck cleaning them. It's not at all a bad idea to do a detailed cleaning occasionally, but the two-to three hours the army makes soldiers use is mostly unnecessary every time you shoot.

    I use 5w30 full synthetic for lube. As others have stated, lube and solvent are two different things, but if you want to make life simple, get some Break-Free (same stuff the army uses) and it will do an acceptable job of both. But yes, ARs are one gun that likes to run WET. (Most guns require a bare minimum of lube.)

    Go to brownells.com and order the free AR catalog. ALL KINDS of stuff you never knew you needed until you saw it in there. (If you're not already in trouble with the missus, you soon will be.) I have been gravitating to pretty much every product sold by Magpul Industries. Grips, magazines, (pretty much the best magazines in the world) sights, and other enhancements.

    The biggest cheater I use is a chamber brush on a flexible cable. This lets you have a easier angle to clean the chamber with. Yes, clean the chamber and locking lugs. Also clean the matching lugs on the bolt. But no, they don't have to pass a white-glove inspection to function.
  17. Avenger29

    Avenger29 New Member

    No one here has said "not to clean it". We have said "Don't get obsessive". The AR doesn't require any special care or obsessiveness that many say it does.

    ARs will go for thousands of rounds without a cleaning. I still clean my defensive AR after every range session, unless I am having multiple range sessions in short order. It's only smart to, and it doesn't take more than 10-15 minutes to do the deed.

    And as to what others have said...I pretty much use only grips, mags, rails, sights from Magpul, LaRue, Daniel Defense, Blue Force Gear. Quality stuff, and I really like that Magpul offers the MOE line...you can get an upgraded grip, stock, handguards that can mount a light, and a quality folding rear sight for $140 or so.
  18. kwelz

    kwelz New Member

    Why do people say this? My 6940 has not been cleaned in almost 2000 rounds and still is running like a top. My RRA 9mm has about 750 rounds through it without cleaning and I have had no problems there either.
  19. Big44mag

    Big44mag New Member

    No pics?
  20. nitrosport

    nitrosport New Member

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