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Rounds through .223 AR before cleaning

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Poper, Jul 27, 2016.

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  1. Poper

    Poper Member

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    So then the dry condition allows for contaminants to build up to the point of binding up moving parts or something like that?

    If an AR wasn't lubricated, how long would it continue to function?
     
  2. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    I am not a fan of over cleaning a rifle, I saw what that can do to an AR while I was in the Military.
    Honestly, I clean mine when I feel like it and for the most part that is running a couple of patches down the barrel, wiping off the bolt and generous lubrication. Back in the safe it goes.
    Before I take it out to shoot again, I may wipe off the excess and apply more lube to the bolt if necessary.
    The idea of ramming a sectioned steel cleaning rod that is likely bent down a barrel for an hour, three days in a row makes me cringe.
     
  3. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Fouling isn't needed, just lack of lube will cause stoppages.

    I've seen a perfectly clean ( and dry) AR not be able to fire 2 shots without the bolt failing to completely cycle.

    Lubricating the bolt and bolt carrier had the rifle running again.

    BSW
     
  4. Acera

    Acera Member

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    Fortunately new technologies are helping take care of these issues.


    One example.
    http://www.andersonrifles.com/5000-rounds-without-a-drop-of-oil/

    EXO Nickel Boron coated Bolt Carrier Groups are able to run dry and perform well. Mine has been superb, however, I do add a very thin coat of oil and keep lube handy when shooting.
    (old habits die hard I guess.)





    .
     
  5. ColoradoShooter77

    ColoradoShooter77 Member

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    I've just settled on a 500 round interval for cleaning and lubing my AR-15 bolt. I haven't had any issues with this regimen.

    I also use CLP, for cleaning and lubing.
     
  6. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    I usually shoot 60 to 120 rounds per match outing. Sometimes 200 plus when just shooting for fun. After shooting I run one oiled patch down the bore and run one more wrapped around a 9mm bore brush into the chamber to prevent rust before putting away.

    Before shooting I run two more dry patches to remove any oil from the bore and chamber. Then I add lube to the charging handle and BCG.

    I clean the gun after about 1,000 rounds.

    I can not remember ever having a malfunction related to fouling in an AR.
     
  7. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    I've read the "Filthy Fourteen", I actually think I have a hard copy of it in the gun room. It is pretty enlightening.
    Not something I would suggest, but again, it is a revelation when it comes to what an AR can withstand as far as abuse.
    For the most part as I stated in an above post you can kill an AR with kindness by damaging it with bad cleaning habits and equipment. The point of the experiment within the "Filthy Fourteen" was that as far as gas systems go, the AR is much heartier than many of us might have thought and it still remained functional and accurate.
    An 11B in the field should be able to carry everything he needs to keep the rifle functioning within the old school OD Green cleaning kit, but with new and improved items replacing a lot of gear that went away circa 1999.
     
  8. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Well, I'm not surprised; you picked one of the worst semi-autos (Remington; they work fine if babied) and the other in a caliber not conductive to semi-autos. (.300WSM)

    I cleaned my AR every time I shot it, but then I am a gunsmith and former Armorer.
     
  9. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    That's an extremely philosophical question. I'd say more than anything it depends on what the purpose of it is. If it's a house gun, then clean after every session. No reason to go tempting Murphy with something you might have to count on. If it's for hunting or just plinking, then there's no practical reason to ever clean it per se. Just keep it lubed up and wipe everything down every few hundred (or few thousand) rounds. Another reason to clean it would be if you're using corrosive ammo.
     
  10. ColoradoMinuteMan

    ColoradoMinuteMan Member

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    I've seen enough ruined "indestructible" non-stick pans thrown in the garbage after making an omelet to know that coating and plating is no substitute for proper care.
     
  11. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    All my BCGs are either nickel boron or nickel teflon, and I can say it's a complete myth that you can run them dry. Yes you can, but no you shouldn't. Any BCG can be run dry. Many of the units in Iraq and Afghanistan were instructed to do so, and this is with phosphate, because their commanders thought that the sand would stick to the oil and cause malfunctions. Well, the sand got in there anyways and there was no oil to mitigate that. Besides, the AR is a sealed system, so carbon fouling inside the carrier pocket is the main cause of problems.

    I've found that just about any AR can run for around 200 rounds dry before the fouling starts to gum things up. Exactly when it quits will depend largely on your gas system, but the bolt becomes very sluggish around that time. Interestingly, the tests they do to prove these BCGs can be run dry are cut off at around 200 rounds. In other words, a phosphate BCG would pass those tests just as readily, at least all the ones I've seen.

    ETA: It's also worth mentioning that mil spec BCGs already have hard chrome inside the carrier, which is where the important stuff happens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  12. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    I've never seen an AR that's too dirty from carbon fouling to run. Too dry to run, yes, multiple times. Too much dust in it to run, yes. But lack of lubrication (and bad magazines) are the primary reasons I've seen ARs quit working.

    Run for 200 rounds dry? I guess it depends what you mean by dry. If you're talking just the thinnest film of oil I can give you that. If you're talking dry as in no lube, that's not going to work.

    I help out at sight in at my local range. We frequently have guys with ARs who have short stroking that keeps the bolt from going into battery. When opened up the rifle is usually dry. That type of stoppage has always been cured by adding lubricant to the BCG w/o need any disassembly.

    BSW
     
  13. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    I know nothing about th AR platform but I see many being shot at the range here. Almost everyone who is shooting one goes to some level of field stripping to wipe something off, oil something, then shoot then repeat or to clear jambs. I love the AK's as you simply just load and shoot and that's it. I'll clean the AK's about ever 1K rds or so and not even sure why I do that.
     
  14. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    If you have a clean rifle, you can completely degrease it and it will run just fine. I've done it myself personally, and there are no problems for the first x number of rounds. IMO, 200 is the limit before you're going to start having serious problems. Works with a phosphate BCG just as well, again IMO, as with a fancy coated one.

    Now if you run a rifle dry by not lubing in between range sessions, then yes you're going to have problems. Because not only is the rifle dry but it's dirty on top of it. All that sludge that builds up in the pocket will start to turn into a dry sticky mess. I've had crap on my bolt that wasn't too far removed from concrete.
     
  15. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    That's not my experience at all. I've had about four factory ARs, depending on your definition of factory, and I've built about ten. All have run flawlessly. Some were el cheapo builds, and some were ultra premium. Any gas system, any buffer and spring combo, it hasn't mattered. I've shot them with all kinds of ammo, from surplus to range brass to the cheapest steel I could find. The only thing I've not delved into are pistol length gas systems, but that's another story altogether. Long story short, a halfway decent AR should run flawlessly 99.9% of the time if it's taken care of. My M1A actually jams more frequently than any AR I've ever shot.
     
  16. ColoradoShooter77

    ColoradoShooter77 Member

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    My S&W M&P Sport bolt failed after 2000 rounds, which surprised me. I was using loads that "mimicked" full power NATO loads, maybe that had something to do with it.

    Anyway, I sent it in to S&W and they put a new bolt in it, its running 100% now.

    I've backed off my powder charges to around a grain under commercial max, that should keep it from failing again.

    I've even gone as low as a 1/2 grain over the minimum charge with AA-2460, it cycled the rifle fine, but was not nearly as accurate.
     
  17. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    AK's shouldn't be run dry any more than AR's should. AK's run dry and dirty can and will jam.

    I think this document (http://www.box.net/shared/cu2djae1zb) is a translation of the Soviet AK-47 service manual. It contains the following instructions regarding use of an AK under adverse conditions (page 132); their mantra is "lubricate lubricate lubricate."

    The AK doctrine is not much different from the advice of those who have successfully run AR's for thousands and thousands of rounds without cleaning---lubricate it as you go.

    The U.S. military is coming around to that view as well:

     
  18. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    In addition to the outside of the bolt and track, is light needed inside the firing pin channel, every 300-500 rds.?
     
  19. Poper

    Poper Member

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    This is all very interesting and educational. Thank you.
     
  20. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Is a good idea, IMO, as long as you use a quality oil that won't turn to gum (e.g. use a full synthetic of some sort). I use Mobil 1 personally, but there are many gun-branded oils that will also work well.

    One trick to keeping an AR oiled during use is to squirt a few drops of quality oil into the gas vent holes in the side of the bolt carrier, that you can see when the bolt is forward and the dust cover is open. Those holes lead to the gas piston area (where the tail of the bolt resides inside the carrier) and will put oil where it needs to be.
     
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