Basic AR15 cleaning
Welcome, the Staff and Moderators at M4Carbine are pleased to have you here to learn about the AR15 based system and accessories associated with it. We also encourage safe weapons handling and adherence to all applicable laws while acquiring, maintaining and training with your firearm.
Part of the responsibilities of firearms ownership is the maintenance of it. Proper maintenance will promote the safe operation of your weapon, detect parts wear and protect your investment or safeguard an issued weapon.
This posting is intended to be a basic guide to general cleaning of the AR15 system. While there are untold methods, tools and cleaning agents, we will use the basic tools commonly available. Recommendations on additional tools, methods or tips and products may be referenced. With the multitude of supplies available for cleaning, we are unable to cover them all; most of them will all work when utilized properly.
Please keep in mind that your application of cleaning intervals and the level of cleaning performed, are all individual decisions. There is no set round count when cleaning; however, the performance of your weapon may be directly related to level of cleaning and lubrication of your weapon. Furthermore, this guide does not replace the hands on inspection and maintenance by qualified professionals or to deviate from any private or government mandates on the subject if the weapon is an issued item.
3-LUBRICATION, TOOLS REFERENCE
1- Treat all weapons as if they are loaded
2- Do not point the weapon at anything you do not wish to destroy
3- Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are on the target and have made the decision to fire
4- Be aware of your target, the area beyond it and in front of it.
Always utilize eye protection and remove all ammunition from the work area. Never be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or be fatigued while handling weapons. Make sure that any minors or adults not familiar with firearms are not permitted to handle firearms unless they are under direct supervision of properly trained persons.
MAKE SURE YOUR WEAPON(S) ARE CLEAR AND SAFE BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Recommended basic tools and supplies;
1. One piece cleaning rod with slotted brass tip-coated or brass encouraged
2. Appropriately sized bore and chamber brushes and cleaning patches
3. Cleaning brushes (double ended type) Nylon and stainless steel
4. Q Tips, pipe cleaners, .38/9mm cleaning patches, 1" paint brush and cleaning rags/clothes
5. Cleaning agents and lubes of choice
1- Disassemble the weapon into the major groups (upper/lower/bolt carrier group)
2- Disassemble each group ( Handguards off upper if applicable/bolt removed and small parts separated/buffer & spring removed from lower)
General do's and don'ts
DO CLEAN IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVE FIRED CORROSIVE AMMUNITION
Do clean from the chamber
Do allow cleaning agents do their job-it makes yours much easier!
Do exercise caution when using Qtips
Do set small bolt parts on a cloth to avoid loss
Don't use abrasive cleaners, under or oversized brushes or patches
Don't use power tools, force cleaning tools into parts or places
CLEANING SHOULD TAKE APPROXIMATELY 10 MINUTES OR LESS. IF YOU NEED TO DO A MORE THOROUGH CLEANING FOR AN EXCESSIVELY DIRTY WEAPON OR TO PREPARE FOR AN INSPECTION JUST TAKE A FEW MORE MINUTES TO ACCOMPLISH THIS. APPLYING CLEANING AGENTS TO THE WEAPON AFTER CLEANING AND REPEATING THIS PROCEDURE AFTER A FEW HOURS OR THE NEXT DAY MAY MAKE IT EASIER AND ALLOW FOR A MORE DETAILED CLEAN UP
Take a cleaning cloth and wipe off all excess carbon, oil, etc. off of the parts before applying cleaning agents. Utilize a 1" painting brush to dust off exterior parts such as the carry handle, optics, delta ring, front sight, etc.
Run a saturated patch through the bore, saturate the slots on the flash hider and let it soak as you go to the next step
Wet the chamber brush and clean the chamber and barrel extension
While that's soaking, apply a liberal amount of cleaner to the bolt, its sub parts, the charge handle and the bolt carrier and set aside to soak. (tip-rest the bolt and carrier upright to aid in solvent/residue run off-bolt/carrier on its face)
Run 2-5 dry patches through the bore
Apply solvent to a bore brush and make 2-5 passes, let it soak
Wipe the buffer and spring dry and clean the buffer tube and lower receiver. (Normally a dry patch or cloth will accomplish this, if you need solvent, use it sparingly) (If the Fire Control Group is excessively dirty, flush with solvent and blow dry with compressed air)
It is advisable that you flush the gas tube and blow it out with compressd air if you have fired corrosive ammunition
Run 2-5 dry patches through the bore (this should be sufficient to clean the bore)
Dry the chamber, receiver extension and flash hider (Tip-a .38 patch on the slotted tip will work great to dry the chamber/Qtips will work for the extension)
Clean and dry the inner upper receiver (normally a dry cloth or patch is sufficient, if not utilize solvent on a patch or a Qtip)(Tip- A patch or cloth wrapped around the small end of the double sided brush works great for this)
Using the aid of the nylon or stainless steel brush, Qtip's, .38 patches, pipe cleaners and cloth, clean the charge handle and bolt carrier group. (DO NOT USE QTIPS INSIDE OF THE CARRIER KEY! & BE CAREFUL NOT TO "PULL" THE GAS RINGS WHEN CLEANING THE BOLT TAIL)(Tip- a .38 patch on a slotted tip or wrapped around the small end of the double ended brush works great to clean the inner carrier)
Wipe off the interior or the handguards and the exterior of the barrel and gas tube. If the handguards are excessively dirty, flush with water and blow dry with compressed air.
Apply a small amount of lubricating oil to the engagement surfaces of the hammer, trigger and disconnector. Place a small drop on each side of the hammer/trigger pin and safety.
Apply a generous surface coat of lubricating oil to the bolt and sub parts, the outer surfaces of the bolt carrier, a drop or two inside the carrier key and a light coat to the charge handle. (Tip-you should see and have worn and shiney surfaces on the outer bolt carrier surfaces-this is where the oil should be applied)
REASSEMBLE THE WEAPON AND PERFORM A FUNCTIONS CHECK
IF STORING THE WEAPON, SATURATE A PATCH AND COAT THE BORE, CHAMBER, FLASH HIDER SLOTS AND BOLT FACE
IF IT IS A DUTY WEAPON, ENSURE THE BORE, CHAMBER, FLASH HIDER AND BOLT FACE ARE DRY. ALSO BE MINDFUL OF EXCESS LUBRICATION THAT MAY MIGRATE INTO THE CHAMBER OR CARTRIDGE HEAD.
IF TRAINING, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU APPLY MORE LUBRICATION TO THE PARTS LISTED ABOVE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE BORE, CHAMBER, FLASH HIDER AND BOLT FACE.
IF THE WEAPON HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO THE ELEMENTS AND/OR HEAVY PERSPIRATION IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU SURFACE COAT THE EXTERIOR STEEL PARTS WITH A PROTECTANT, INCLUDING THE BARREL TO AVOID RUST. IF IT IS A DUTY WEAPON, WIPE DRY AFTER THE METAL IS CONDITIONED.
TIPS AND TRICKS
More detailed cleaning may require the aids of dunking and soaking, solvent tanks and other specialized tools. The following is a guide to assist you if you have the place and means to accomplish this and make cleaning easier for you. Furthermore, custom weapons with match barrels will require more care to avoid damage to the barrel and/or other parts.
UPPER RECEIVER BRUSHES
LUG RECESS TOOLS (SINCLAIR'S OR CHAMBER CLEANING STARS)
MULTIPLE CLEANING RODS DEDICATED TO CERTAIN TASK(CHAMBER BRUSH/BORE BRUSH, ETC.
CLEANING LINK(LOCKS THE UPPER/LOWER OPEN IF NOT SEPARATING THEM
CARBON SCRAPER FOR THE BOLT CARRIER OR BOLT TAIL
DUNK TANKS, PARTS CLEANERS, ULTRA SONIC CLEANERS
QUIB'S PICTURE GUIDE
Last edited by mark5pt56; 01-05-10 at 13:38.
GET IN YOUR BUBBLE!