The AR-15 is a popular, reliable, and affordable rifle. It is a dependable addition to your armory. However, like all guns, it requires periodic cleaning to keep it in good shape.
If you have recently acquired one of these guns, it is important to learn the upkeep. Read this guide for a quick step-by-step guide on how to clean an AR-15.
How to Clean an AR-15
Before you begin, it is critical to have the correct tools to clean your AR-15. The following is a list of the supplies needed:
- Gun solvent
- Lubricating oil
- Cloth patches
- .223 bore brush
- Cotton swabs
- Small blade screwdriver
- Soft rag
There are some variations to the tools, but this is a basic list. If you do not have some of these tools or are looking to upgrade your cleaning kit, check out wheeler tools to see what is available.
Without further ado, let's get to the cleaning steps.
1) Break Down
This is called field stripping. First, you should unload the rifle. Remove the magazine and slide back the charging handle to ensure there are no rounds in the gun.
From there, locate the two takedown pins that secure the upper receiver. The pivot pin is near the magazine insertion. The second pin is above the grip. The pins push out from left to right. At this point, the upper receiver separates from the lower.
The charging handle and bolt carrier will slide out. The firing pin, held in place by a fastener, is located inside the bolt carrier. Remove the fastener by carefully pressing on it with the blade screwdriver. Be mindful not to scratch the finish of the gun.
Take the bolt out of the carrier by turning the square-headed bolt cam. The bolt will slide free.
The AR-15 is broken down.
Apply a few drops of solvent to the tip of the bore brush and push it through the barrel until it shows out the front. Bore brushes can bend easily. While using, be sure to push it through steady and straight.
Now, put some of the gun solvent on a cloth patch. Place the patch on the end of the bore brush and run it through the barrel again.
Turn your focus to the bolt. Using your fingers, spread gun oil on the gas ring and the raised rim.
The bolt carrier has four rails that slide in the AR-15. Using a cotton swab or fingers, apply oil to these contact points. The bolt cam will also need a liberal application of oil.
In the lower receiver, use the oily cotton swabs to touch the trigger springs. Look for powder or debris built up in the gun. Clean this grime with a swab or cloth patch.
Consider any of the moving parts within the AR-15. All of these surfaces can benefit from light lubrication.
If you spread too much oil on the gun, use the rag to wipe off the problem areas.
Reassemble the AR-15 in reverse order of the field stripping. Once done, pull the charging handle a few times to spread the lubrication throughout the rifle.
Finally, use a soft rag to wipe down any oily fingerprints on the gun.
Your AR-15 is properly clean.
Ready to Shoot
Remember, the more you shoot your AR-15, the more often it needs to be cleaned. Use this process as a guide on how to clean an AR-15.
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