First thing to remember is that there are levels of “clean” which you can do on your AR15 to keep it in fighting form. Here are some tips for cleaning your Ar15. Depending on how obsessively you want your AR15 clean, you may completely take it down after some fun on the range or be level-headed enough to apply different levels of clean.
There is a lazy way of doing it or perhaps to make it sound nice – quick clean. If you are familiar with the AR15, you know that it likes to be run wet so oil and lube is a must and with that in mind a quick clean does not even involve taking down the weapon. Before you start tinkering with that weapon, you need to make sure it is safe to do so by clearing the weapon. Mag off, pull on the charging handle, check the chamber and make sure the chamber is clear. We don’t want you hurting someone, damaging stuff or getting yourself shot – safety first. With some patches and your favorite cleaning product, you can then lock the bolt, wipe down the chamber and them move to exposed parts of the bolt. When all the cleaning is done, lube the chamber, gas ports and the exposed parts of the bolt. Lube liberally but do not drown it, just make sure it is lubricated since the AR15 loves lube.
I cannot stress it enough, be mindful of practicing Safety First, and make sure the chamber is clear. The next level of clean would entail a minor takedown. Push out the take-down pins, take out the bolt and charging handle, take the bolt carrier group down to the extractor, and mildly clean all the parts. You can use a tool like the Otis B.O.N.E. Tool® – FG-246 to make life easier for you. It scrapes carbon and fouling from the: Bolt, Bolt Carrier, and Firing Pin. Lube the whole thing well and put it back together. The bolt has many small parts so make sure you have a good cleaning area and a place to put the parts in park while they wait their turn for a cleaning. You can then work on cleaning the bore and chamber. You can use a Wheeler AR-15 Bore Guide Delta Series – 156213 or something similar, to prevent damaging the barrel. Lube to finish. Clean and lube the buffer and spring, lube the trigger assembly – particularly the springs. With a small pipe cleaner that fits in the gas tube, give it a good clean. Essential to this cleaning level is a set of brushes like the Wheeler AR 15 Complete Brush Set – 156715. The Wheeler AR15 brush set includes all you need to get your rifle cleaned. In addition, you can keep your magazines clean with it too. When it is all clean, put it back together and that is a minor take down clean.
The final level of cleaning is reserved only for those who know how, with that in mind I would not go into the details since you guys know what to do here. The complete takedown just involves taking down every bit, getting everything clean to look like new, and applying the right amount of lube. With every level of cleaning you must always perform a function test right after to know if it still works.
One Last Tip
If there’s anyone that knows the AR-15 platform, it’s the US military. As a special offer for our readers, you can get the Official US Army Manual for AR-15/M4/M16 right now – for free. Click here to snag a copy.