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tips to speed up cleaning of an AR without sacrificing quality?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by akarguy, Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. akarguy

    akarguy Member

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    Sometimes I use a 22lr bolt made by CMMG in the AR. I'll usually swap out to the standard BCG and fire a few 556/223 rounds at the end to clean out the gas tube. Other days I might plink with 223/556. Either way there comes a time where cleaning is needed. I've been using bore snakes, AR cleaning stars, Qtips, rags, etc. For a CLP I use Gunizlla or Hopes with a little Remoil depending on the mood I am in. The whole process takes close to an hour and I never can seem to get the AR as clean as other guns, especially around the chamber.

    What tips, tricks, cleaners/solvents, and gadgets have you picked up that have helped cut down the cleaning time for an AR? I love the rifle but the process to clean it makes me less apt to take it out of the safe.
     
  2. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    Use an air compressor to blow out the upper, especially in the barrel extension. Seems to cut down on rags wasted for me.
     
  3. plodder

    plodder Member

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    I used to be in the same boat. I tried all kinds of ways to try to speed up the cleaning process and improve the results...to no avail. Finally, I just learned to live with my ARs being "gunkier" than I would ever allow my bolt guns or revolvers to be. Now I just embrace it as long as accuracy and reliability don't degrade.
     
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Flush with liberal quantities of brake parts cleaner

    Reoil

    Wipe

    Shoot

    And repeat
     
  5. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator Staff Member

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    I've not obsessed with getting every nook and cranny clean, but one thing that I'm trying which I'm liking is to remove the BCG, take out the firing pin and bolt, then put the bolt in a plastic tube and the carrier in a little jar, add Ed's Red, then stick both in my ultrasonic cleaner for a cycle or 2. While the UC is running, I'll swab out the receiver area and chamber, then run a Kroil-soaked patch or 2 (followed by a dry patch) through the bore. Wipe the firing pin, bolt and carrier, lube, and re-assemble. 'Bout 15 minutes.
     
  6. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    I like cleaning...
    I usually take the upper off the lower completely. Strip the bolt and carrier, hose them down with Ballistol, hose down the barrel, extension and upper receiver with Ballistol. Leave them to soak for an hour, come back, wipe off the bolt carrier, use a Otis Bone and picks on the bolt, and use 4 or 5 patches through the barrel. Cotton swabs on the flash hider, upper receiver and the barrel extension. The lower is very rarely dirty.

    Relube, reassemble and done.
     
  7. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    This

    When the Army adopted CLP it published guidance to "Throw away the white gloves when inspecting the M16." If you are using a CLP type cleaner/lubricant on any of your weapons it can be spotless looking when you put it away and the next day it will look dirty.

    You are going to end up damaging the finish, scratching chrome linings and do other damage using scrapers and other tools to make your AR spotless.

    Dry cleaning solvent (if you can find it) will get it spotless, but it will strip all the lube from your rifle.
     
  8. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

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    I've seen the dry cleaning fluid method in action, it's absolutely the fastest way to clean a rifle.
     
  9. akarguy

    akarguy Member

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    What's involved with the dry cleaning fluid method, how does it work?
     
  10. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    I haven't cleaned an AR since...2010 maybe? I just keep the BCG lubed and they keep on working. If I need to replace a part I'll wipe some stuff down just to keep my hands from getting so dirty but other than that, nada.
     
  11. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Pressure washer.



    It only takes a couple minutes.
     
  12. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    That's incredibly DANGEROUS and amazingly STUPID

    Google "pressure washer injury" for images if you want to see some gnarly wounds that make gunshot wounds look like a hangnail by comparison
     
  13. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

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    This was back in my Army days using m16a2's and M9's. Rifles were partially disassembled. Upper, lower and bolt carrier group.

    About 6 inches of dry cleaning fluid was put in a home made solvent tank, Rifles parts submerged and swished around for about 5 seconds and pulled out, the bolt carrier group was disassembled and wiped off, oiled, everything reassembled, then stored. Basically the same exact thing with the m9's.

    The solvent looked like coal water when it was over, but everything came out clean. I have no idea where the dry cleaning fluid came from, I never asked.

    These weapons were used for Army EIC matches and got a lot of use, generally we would clean about 40 to 50 at a time.
     
  14. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    Glad to see this thread. I bought my AR in march and realized it was a bit of a challenge to clean. I needed a few pointers also!

    I also have concerns about getting things properly lubed before I put it all back together. So far I've not seen any problems.

    Too much fun to shoot to leave it in the safe so I just do my best to clean what I see and improve as I go along.

    Mark
     
  15. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    I simply add more oil to the BCG, even after running the 22 rimfire adapter. Occasionally, a Boresnake is pulled through the barrel and the BCG is removed, wiped down real good with a rag and re-oiled. No brake cleaner, air compressors, star patches, sonic cleaners or anything else special. The AR always works for me
     
  16. LT.Diver

    LT.Diver member

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    I don't know. I've never cleaned mine. Well, not really anyway. I'll run a WD40 patch through the bore every couple of hundred rounds. And once in a while I'll tip it over sideways and spray WD in the action until it starts running out clear. That's it. That's all I've ever done and I've been running this thing ragged since 1994.
    I know it's wrong and I don't advise anyone to follow my lead, but so far so good.
    Mine is a Colt HBAR Match Sporter 556 if it matters.
     
  17. kwg020

    kwg020 Member

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    Walmart brand Carburetor cleaner (it's usually the cheapest) and NOT the brake cleaner. The Carb cleaner is petroleum based solvent and the Brake cleaner is alcohol based. I spray it on the parts as they are in a pan so the cleaner has time to work. I also spray it down the barrel and into the chamber while holding the barrel end over the same parts pan. It's the best quick cleaning process I have found. With the spray tube on the spray can you can shoot the cleaner into the gas tube to blow it out. I spent 24 years cleaning M-16's the Army way so I know the difference. My way is as good and a lot faster. The Army does not want to mess with the carb solvent because they consider it a toxic fluid and have to jump through all the hoops about using, storing and disposing.

    After I have finished cleaning parts, I put the left over cleaner into a plastic container. The particles separate out and what is left over is semi clean carb cleaner. I use the cheap carb cleaner to clean various oil and grease coated parts and paint brushes so I tend to collect a lot of the cleaner. It may take some time to separate out but I get a couple of uses out of the cleaner. Call me a cheapskate but I hate to waste the cleaner. kwg
     
  18. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    Worry about it less. For a gun with a chrome lined bore, I don't clean with anything more aggressive than CLP, a boresnake and a rag. AR's don't mind being dirty.
     
  19. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

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    Shaving cream
     
  20. jimbeaux82

    jimbeaux82 Member

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    I use a couple of Brownell tool that make carbon scraping from the bolt tail and inside the bolt carrier assembly very easy and quick. I clean with the tools, spray down with Fireclean, lube well and reassemble. Takes maybe 5 minutes total. About every 3 cleanings or so I use the chamber brush and also run a few patches down the bore.

    My Ar's keep running like a champ with this routine.
     
  21. Dean1818

    Dean1818 Member

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    Bore snake

    CLP

    Bolt clean every 3 or 4 outings


    They run dirty, just keep them lubed
     
  22. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Arguable, but each does what he wants. Plenty of AR owners were taught the white glove methods of cleaning an issue rifle when in the service, and plenty of us learned how little it really helps.

    As mentioned, if you are running a drill driver to power the bore brush, using Easy Off oven cleaner on the bolt, or otherwise sloshing haz mat chemicals on it to simply remove gas residue, the process itself is likely do more to damage the weapon and you than it's worth.

    "Cleaning" a firearm has very deep and traditional roots, the reason was the corrosive powders and primers used in the ammunition. Combine that with soft ordnance carbon steel and you will get damage if neglected.

    We don't use corrosive primers, smokeless powder is far less damaging, and modern guns, especially the AR, are largely absent wood and cheap steel parts that rot or rust. So the technique necessary to clean a M14 is basically overkill on an M16.

    Compare the two - especially the mandatory teardown of the piston and gas cylinder on the M14 - and cleaning an M16 is a snap. Hardly difficult at all.

    Nope, as far as necessary maintenance goes, the M16 takes about 5 minutes.
     
  23. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Much more important than 'cleaning' is the relubricating part. Get more oil in the action and an AR will keep running when filthy.

    I prefer keeping them clean, but if time is limited (or I expect to be shooting more soon) I'll just relube with CLP. If in need the rifle again it's relubricated, if not, the CLP has started breaking down the carbon fouling.

    BSW
     
  24. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    I save tons of time cleaning my centerfire rifles. I just dont clean them. Seriously, a quick wipe down with oil is pretty much all thats ever needed. I'll run a patch through the bore if accuracy has decreased or after every thousand ish rounds.
     
  25. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    I've always field stripped and coated with CLP while it was still warm (usually at the range, right on the line if it's not busy, in the parking lot if someone's waiting for a point). I usually use aerosol CLP for this, and often leave the BCG disassembled and wrapped in a diaper for the ride home, and let it sit at least a few hours if not overnight.

    then, I start spraying the heck out of it with some kind of spray cleaner (powder blast or the like), either outdoors or in a bathtub, and blowing out with compressed air (even a computer cleaner can o' air will do in a pinch).

    then clean and lube as normal.
     
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