How to clean AR 15 - An Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Discover the secrets to flawless firearm maintenance with our step-by-step AR-15 cleaning guide. Don't let dirt ruin your AR-15's performance; learn how to clean it like a pro today and take your shooting experience to the next level!

Ever struggled with keeping your AR-15 clean and ready to use? Regular cleaning is necessary for any firearm, especially an AR-15, to remain fully functional. This comprehensive guide offers insightful step-by-step instructions on maintaining your AR-15 in pristine condition.

Dive in as we help you navigate this often-overlooked yet crucial aspect of firearms maintenance!

Key Takeaways

  • Essential supplies for cleaning an AR-15 rifle include a cleaning mat, gloves, gun cleaner, aerosol-based sprays, a cleaning rod, and .22 caliber brushes.
  • Safety precautions involve pointing the rifle away, removing the magazine, firing pin and locking the bolt before cleaning.
  • Step-by-step instructions include inspecting the chamber, disassembling the rifle, cleaning the bolt and bolt carrier, cleaning the barrel using bore snakes, cleaning rods, and .22 caliber brushes.
  • Proper lubrication is crucial to keep your AR-15 running smoothly. Apply lubricant to necessary parts, such as the bolt carrier group (BCG) after thorough cleaning.

Essential Supplies and Safety Precautions

To properly clean your AR-15 rifle, you need a cleaning mat and gloves to protect your work area and hands from chemicals. Use a gun-cleaning solvent and aerosol-based sprays specifically designed for firearms cleaning.

Don't forget a cleaning rod and .22 caliber brushes for detailed scrubbing.

Cleaning mat and gloves

Using a cleaning mat and gloves protects you and your AR-15 during the cleaning process. The mat provides a non-slip surface to securely hold your disassembled rifle parts, preventing them from rolling onto the floor or chipping hard surfaces.

Meanwhile, gloves shield your skin from harmful chemicals in gun cleaners and aerosol-based sprays. But don't just settle for any glove; use ones resistant to chemical penetration.

They help keep hands dry, reducing the risk of accidentally dropping delicate components while preserving their integrity by limiting exposure to oils on your skin.

Gun cleaner and aerosol-based sprays

To effectively clean your AR-15 rifle, having the right supplies is crucial. One essential item is gun cleaner, specifically formulated to break down and remove dirt, carbon buildup, and other residues from your firearm.

Aerosol-based sprays are another handy tool in your cleaning arsenal. These sprays can help penetrate hard-to-reach areas and provide a thorough cleaning without leaving behind any residue.

When using these products, following the manufacturer's instructions carefully and ensuring proper ventilation in your workspace to avoid inhaling any toxic fumes is important.

By utilizing gun cleaner and aerosol-based sprays, you'll be able to maintain the performance and longevity of your AR-15 rifle easily.

Cleaning rod and .22 caliber brushes

Even if you don't have a proper gun cleaning kit, to effectively clean your AR-15 rifle, you'll need at least a cleaning rod and a .22 caliber chamber brush. These tools are essential for maintaining the barrel and removing any residue or debris that may accumulate after shooting.

A bore-safe cleaning rod, made of carbon fiber or nylon coated, is recommended to prevent damage to the barrel's rifling. Using .22 caliber brushes designed for the AR-15 will ensure a proper fit and effective scrubbing action to remove stubborn residue.

With these tools, you can keep your rifle in top condition and ready for the next shoot.

How to Clean AR-15 Rifle

To begin cleaning your AR-15 rifle, always remember to prioritize safety by pointing the rifle in a safe direction and removing the magazine before locking the bolt. Then, carefully inspect the chamber and disassemble the rifle for thorough cleaning.

Safety precautions and pointing the rifle away

Always prioritize safety when cleaning your AR-15 rifle. Begin by ensuring that the rifle is pointed in a safe direction, away from any people or objects. Make sure to remove the magazine and lock the bolt before starting the cleaning process.

Following these precautions, you can confidently maintain your firearm without risking any accidents.

Removing the magazine and locking the bolt

To begin cleaning, remove the magazine from your AR-15 rifle and ensure that the bolt is locked in place. This step is crucial for safety reasons and to prevent accidental discharge while cleaning.

Removing the magazine eliminates the risk of having any live rounds in the chamber. Locking the bolt ensures no rounds are left in the rifle and prevents any potential accidents.

Make sure to always follow these safety precautions before proceeding with cleaning your AR-15 rifle.

Inspecting the chamber and disassembling the rifle

Start by inspecting the chamber of your AR-15 rifle for any debris or obstructions. Make sure to point the rifle in a safe direction throughout this process. Once you have inspected the chamber, it's time to disassemble the rifle.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions or consult a reliable source to ensure you disassemble it properly. Take your time and handle each component with care as you go through this step-by-step process.

Cleaning the bolt carrier and charging handle

To properly clean the bolt and bolt carrier of your AR-15 rifle, start by removing them from the upper receiver. Inspect for any dirt, debris, or carbon build-up on both components.

Use a cleaning brush and solvent to scrub away residue, paying attention to hard-to-reach areas. Afterward, wipe off any remaining solvent with a cloth. Ensure the bolt and bolt carrier are completely dry before reassembling them into the rifle.

Remember to regularly clean these components to maintain optimal performance and prolong the lifespan of your AR-15.

Cleaning the barrel

Cleaning the barrel of your AR-15 rifle is an essential part of proper maintenance. To do this, use a bore snake or cleaning rod made of carbon fiber or nylon coated to prevent any damage to the barrel.

Attach a .22 caliber bore brush that matches the size of your rifle's chamber to remove residue and buildup effectively. Scrub the entire length of the barrel in a back-and-forth motion, making sure to pay extra attention to areas with more fouling.

After scrubbing, wipe off any remaining residue using a white cloth. It is important to clean the barrel thoroughly as it can affect the accuracy and performance of your AR-15 rifle if left dirty.

Cleaning the upper and lower receiver

To clean the upper and lower receiver of your AR-15, begin by ensuring the firearm is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction. Disassemble the rifle according to the manufacturer's instructions, removing any accessories or attachments.

Use a cleaning solvent and brush to scrub any carbon buildup, paying close attention to hard-to-reach areas. Wipe down all surfaces with a lint-free cloth to remove any residue.

Finally, apply lubricant to ensure smooth operation of the receiver components. Cleaning the upper and lower receiver is essential in maintaining your AR-15's performance and longevity.

Proper Lubrication and Maintenance

To keep your AR-15 running smoothly, proper lubrication and maintenance are essential. Applying the right amount of lubricant to the necessary parts ensures a reliable performance.

Learn how to assemble your rifle after cleaning and get regular maintenance recommendations for long-lasting enjoyment.

Applying lubricant to the necessary parts

To keep your AR-15 rifle functioning smoothly, it's crucial to apply lubricant to the necessary parts. Lubrication helps reduce friction and prevents wear and tear on components. After cleaning your rifle, apply a thin layer of lubricant to the bolt carrier group (BCG), the bolt itself, and any other moving parts that come into contact.

This will ensure smooth operation and reliable performance when firing your AR-15. Regularly applying lubricant is an important part of maintenance for your firearm, so don't forget this step after cleaning your rifle.

Assembling the rifle after cleaning

After thoroughly cleaning your AR-15 rifle, it's time to put everything back together. Start by reassembling the upper and lower receiver, ensuring all pins and screws are properly aligned and tightened.

Next, insert the bolt carrier group (BCG) components back into place, ensuring they slide smoothly. Finally, attach the barrel to the upper receiver, securing it with any necessary screws or fasteners.

With careful attention to detail and following these steps in reverse order of disassembly, you'll have your AR-15 ready for action again in no time.

Testing the Rifle After Assembly

Test the rifle once your AR-15 is reassembled and ensure everything functions properly. First, ensure the firearm is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction.

Cock the bolt carrier group and release it to check for jamming or misfiring. Then, insert a dummy round into the chamber to check if the bolt locks and releases properly.

Finally, reload a live round into the chamber and test fire your AR-15 rifle. If everything functions properly, you can be confident that your firearm is ready for action.

Regular maintenance recommendations

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the proper functioning and longevity of your AR-15 rifle. Even if you don't have a gun cleaning kit, you can use simple household items to clean your firearms effectively. By following these recommendations, you can keep your firearm in top condition.

First, make it a habit to inspect and clean your rifle after every use. This will help prevent the build-up of residue and debris that can affect performance. Additionally, regularly check and lubricate the moving parts of your AR-15, such as the bolt carrier group (BCG) components, and apply gun oil to ensure smooth operation.

Finally, store your rifle in a safe and dry environment to protect it from corrosion or damage. With regular maintenance, you can enjoy optimal performance from your AR-15 for years to come.

Tips and Best Practices for AR-15 Cleaning

When wiping off the residue with a cloth, make sure to do so in a consistent and even motion to ensure a thorough clean.

Disassembling the AR 15

When disassembling the AR-15, it’s important to take note of the different parts and their functions. The firing pin is a crucial component that strikes the primer of the cartridge, igniting the gunpowder and firing the bullet.

The buffer tube and buffer spring work together to absorb recoil and return the bolt carrier group to its forward position. The gas tube directs gas from the fired cartridge to cycle the action. The bolt cam pin rotates the bolt, locking and unlocking it in the chamber and barrel extension. \

The retaining pin holds the firing pin in place. The fire control group includes the trigger, hammer, and other components that control the rifle's firing. The extractor pin holds the extractor in place, which removes spent cartridges from the chamber.

When disassembling your AR-15, keep track of all these small parts and their locations. Take care when removing and reinserting pins, such as the retaining and extractor pins, to avoid damaging or losing them.

Wiping off residue with a cloth

After scrubbing the barrel and other parts of your AR-15 with a brush, it's important to wipe off any residue that may be left behind. Use a clean cloth, preferably white, to do this.

Simply run the cloth over the surfaces you've cleaned to remove any remaining residue or cleaning solvent. This final step ensures your rifle is free from debris and ready for use.

Using cotton swabs for tight spots

Clean those hard-to-reach areas of your AR-15 rifle with the help of cotton swabs or gun-cleaning patches. These small, versatile tools are perfect for getting into tight spots and removing dirt, grime, and residue.

Whether you need to clean the chamber, bolt carrier group components or other intricate parts of your firearm, cotton swabs can provide precise cleaning without scratching or damaging delicate surfaces.

With their absorbent tips and flexible shafts, cotton swabs allow you to easily access and clean all those nooks and crannies that may be difficult to reach with a brush or cloth. Add cotton swabs to your arsenal of cleaning supplies for a thorough and effective maintenance routine for your AR-15 rifle.

Cleaning the chamber and barrel thoroughly

To ensure the proper functioning of your AR-15 rifle, it is essential to thoroughly clean the chamber and barrel. Start using a bore-safe cleaning rod made of carbon fiber or nylon coated.

These materials help prevent any damage to the barrel's rifling. Next, choose a bore brush specifically designed for the caliber of your AR-15. This will effectively remove any residue or fouling that has built up inside the barrel.

As you scrub, use a gun cleaning patch or a white scrap piece of cloth to wipe off any residue. Keep cleaning until no more dirt or debris can be seen on the cloth.

When cleaning the chamber, you can use Q-tips, chamber mops, or even a cotton rag to remove all residue and crud from this critical area of your rifle. Take your time and be thorough to ensure optimal performance from your AR-15.

Regular maintenance and cleaning are crucial for keeping your firearm in top condition and extending its lifespan. By taking these steps regularly after each use, you'll maintain accuracy and prevent malfunctions down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my AR 15?

Ideally, you should clean your AR 15 after every use or at least every five hundred rounds. This will ensure optimal performance and prevent buildup of debris and corrosion. Additionally, performing regular maintenance on your AR 15 is essential for safe operation and long-term enjoyment of your firearm.

What materials do I need to clean my AR 15?

To clean your AR 15, you will need a cleaning rod, bore brush, patches, solvent or cleaner, lubricant or oil, and a cleaning mat or surface to protect your work area. You may also need more specialized tools depending on your specific tasks. If you don't have the right materials, your local gun store or online retailer should be able to help.

Can I disassemble my AR 15 for cleaning without any special tools?

Yes! You can disassemble your AR 15 without any special tools. You'll need a pin punch or cleaning rod to remove the pins that hold the upper and lower receivers together, and you may also need an Allen wrench for certain screws. Be sure to keep track of all parts and store them in a safe place while you're cleaning your rifle.

Is it necessary to lubricate my AR 15 after cleaning?

Yes, it is important to lubricate your AR 15 after every cleaning. This will ensure that all moving parts can move freely and prevent corrosion or damage. Be sure to use the right oil or lubricant for your specific gun.

How do I know when my AR 15 needs more than basic cleaning?

If you notice any changes in the performance of your AR 15, such as decreased accuracy or increased recoil, it may be time for a deeper clean. This might include using special tools to check and clean intricate parts like the chamber or bolt carrier group (BCG).

You can get yourself an Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner for a thorough cleaning, and if you're not sure what to do, consult a professional gunsmith. Doing a deep clean will help ensure your rifle performs optimally and lasts for a long time.

Final Thoughts

A clean and well-maintained AR-15 rifle can provide reliable performance for years. Regular cleaning and maintenance with the right materials ensure your firearm functions safely and accurately every time you use it.

You can enjoy many enjoyable shooting sessions with your AR-15 with the proper care! Following the tips outlined above, you can keep your AR-15 running smoothly and enjoy its performance for many years.

Don't forget to prioritize safety precautions and regular maintenance to keep your gun performing at its best. Happy cleaning!