June, 15

AR-15 Cleaning: Tips and Tricks for Proper Maintenance

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AR-15 cleaning is an essential aspect of gun maintenance that every AR-15 owner must know about. Whether you are a hunting enthusiast, a competitive shooter, or a responsible gun owner who cares for their firearm's longevity, keeping your AR-15 clean and well-maintained should be at the top of your priority list.

Regular cleaning and proper maintenance help ensure your AR-15 functions safely and effectively while prolonging its lifespan. However, without the right knowledge or tools to clean it properly can be daunting for many people. That's why in this article, we'll take you through everything you need to know about cleaning an AR-15 – from disassembly to reassembly – so that even if you're new to owning guns or lack experience with them, you'll learn how best to care for your rifle.

So if you're ready to become proficient in maintaining an AR- 15 like a pro and keep it fully functional over time check out our comprehensive guide on how best practice rifle-cleaning!

AR-15 Cleaning – A Comprehensive Guide

The AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in the world. It's a reliable, accurate, and versatile weapon that has been used by hunters, law enforcement agencies, and military personnel for decades. However, like any other firearm, it requires regular cleaning to perform at its best.

In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about cleaning your AR-15 rifle. We'll cover the tools you need for cleaning your gun properly; show you how to disassemble and assemble an AR-15; explain different methods of cleaning; compare various solvents and lubricants available in the market; discuss some tips on maintaining your rifle's accuracy after every clean-up.

Why Do You Need To Clean Your Ar-15?

Cleaning your AR-15 is essential because it helps keep it functioning efficiently while preventing malfunctions that can be dangerous when firing a gun. When shooting rounds with an uncleaned barrel or chamber buildup residues from gunpowder as well as copper jacketing over time which impedes bullet flight path by causing drag or leading up barrels (not much of an issue with lead bullets).

AR 35
AR10 lower
SPR upper

Unclean guns also elevate carbon smog in enclosed areas making other people uncomfortable if they are near enough.

What Tools Do You Need For Cleaning?

To clean your ar 1 torx wrench
2 picks (sharp pointed)
3 lube oil

There are many products out there that promise quick results but ultimately end up harming components such as brake cleaners etc., so stick with these basic tools:

  1. Torque Wrench — helps set correct tension levels when reassembling bolts around pins between lower receiver halves or installing/updating handguards/barrels without squishing gas channel alignment rings too tight;

  2. Picks — useful for getting into detailed crevices inaccessible using hard-bristled brushes.

  3. Lubricating Oil — essential for keeping the gun's moving parts well-lubricated and functioning smoothly.

Disassembling Your AR-15

Before you start cleaning, you need to disassemble your AR-15. This is a straightforward process that involves following these steps:

  1. Clear the chamber and remove magazine.
  2. Push out pivot pin from its hole using your fingers or a suitable tool, so lower receiver separates from upper.
  3. Pull charging handle back while gripping forward assist button in down position to ensure bolt carrier group stays put (don't fully release yet).
  4. Rotate ejection port cover upwards until it snaps into place up against upper so when complete won't smack against barrel causing damage as it flies open when firing rounds again; after cleaning and reassembly check it operates correctly.

Once this is done, you can proceed with cleaning each part of your rifle thoroughly.

Cleaning Methods

There are several ways to clean an AR-15 rifle effectively:

The Field Strip Method

This method involves separating all major components of the rifle by hand without any special tools using only hands or picks/screwdrivers if necessary. It's useful in case lubrication was missed during field use but takes more time than other methods mentioned below;

The Bore Snake Method

The bore snake method makes use of a pull-through device that scrapes residue buildup inside barrels along with pulling patches soaked in solvent through them resulting in cleaner barrels faster than field strip alone;

Ultrasonic Cleaner Technology

Ultrasonic Cleaner technology uses sound waves combined with solvents submerged into cavitation bubbles created by ultrasonic waves which break up residues on metal surfaces like small nooks & crevices inaccessible via sprays/brushes/picks etc., making them easier to clean overall.

Comparing Solvents And Lubricants For Ar-15 Cleaning

Several solvents available in the market can clean and lubricate an AR-15 rifle effectively. Here's a comparison of some popular solvents and lubricants used for cleaning your gun:

  1. Break-Free CLP — A versatile cleaner, lubricant, and preservative that is good at removing carbon build-up from barrels.

  2. Ballistol — This non-toxic solvent is useful as a cleaner and lubricant that also provides rust protection to metal surfaces.

  3. Hoppes No. 9 Solvent — This strong-smelling solvent helps remove copper fouling from inside barrels as well as carbon buildup on other components of your rifle.

  4. FrogLube CLP—This compound consists mostly of natural ingredients such as plant-based waxes that help reduce friction between moving parts while providing corrosion resistance to the metal components of your AR-15 rifle; it has no petroleum products so avoid using with polymer framed guns unless intending to destroy them or increase wear/tear rate over time unnecessarily.

Tips For Maintaining Your Ar-15 Accuracy After Cleaning

Maintaining accuracy after cleaning takes effort but will extend the lifespan of your weapon. Here are some tips you can follow:

  1. Avoid Over Lubrication – Excess oil product leads towards increasing gunk build-up by collecting more debris than necessary for proper functioning which slows down performance;

  2. Keep Barrel Clean – Keeping barrel free from residues allows bullet flight path remain unobstructed allowing better accuracy by reducing group spread size when firing rounds through it again;

  3. Use Suitable Lubricants – Using right type oil products keeps gun running smoothly without causing any harm or unwanted results like jams/sluggishness during rapid fire drills etc., thereby preserving its optimal performance over time;

4] Visual Inspection – Each part should be checked visually before reassembly just in case something gets missed like debris being left behind causing another malfunction later on downrange (also checking gas key alignment/stake placement is important after cleaning barrel assembly too).


Cleaning your AR-15 rifle is an essential aspect of gun ownership. It's crucial that you follow the proper steps and use the right tools to ensure that your firearm stays in good working condition. Always remember to keep safety in mind when handling firearms, and never neglect regular maintenance.

Using solvents like Break-Free CLP, Hoppes No 9 Solvent, Ballistol or FrogLube are great for cleaning different parts of the gun while keeping it lubricated for smooth functioning ensuring optimal performance over time as long as they aren't used excessively or incorrectly as this can lead towards unwanted results such as malfunctions during firing drills etc.,

By following these tips we've mentioned above about maintaining accuracy after cleaning, you'll be able to keep your AR-15 rifle in top shape without sacrificing its potential accuracy downrange!


What is an AR-15?

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle that has become popular among gun enthusiasts, hunters, and military personnel. It was originally designed by ArmaLite in the 1950s for use by the United States military. However, it did not gain widespread popularity until after the assault weapons ban expired in 2004.

Why is cleaning your AR-15 important?

Cleaning your AR-15 is crucial to ensuring its longevity and reliability. If you neglect to clean it regularly, debris can build up inside the barrel or other parts of the gun, which can lead to malfunctions or even accidents when firing. Additionally, regular cleaning will help prevent rust or corrosion from forming on metal surfaces.

When cleaning your AR-15 rifle ensure all parts are completely disassembled like its bolt carrier group (BCG), upper receiver assembly and lower receiver assembly before starting any maintenance activity so as not to cause damage during disassembly.

One thing people should never do during this process of removing carbon buildup with solvents such as brake cleaner because they contain chemicals that may cause damage over time due their abrasive nature against certain materials found within firearms barrels like chrome lining which could potentially result in decreased accuracy if affected too much!

How often should I clean my AR-15?

It's generally recommended that you clean your firearm after every use. This includes wiping down all exterior surfaces with a cloth dampened with oil or solvent and running a bore brush through the barrel several times to remove debris.

However if you have been using corrosive ammo then it would be best practice immediately after shooting session else moisture present would start corroding metal components gradually causing long-term damage eventually rendering them useless sooner rather than later if left unaddressed for prolonged periods without proper care being administered towards maintaining cleanliness standards set forth by manufacturer guidelines on usage frequency .

It's also important to note that periodic deep-cleaning sessions where you disassemble all the parts and thoroughly clean them may be necessary, especially if you've been shooting in dusty or dirty environments.

What tools do I need to clean my AR-15?

To properly clean your AR-15, you'll need a few key tools. These include:

  • Bore brush: used for scrubbing residue from inside the barrel
  • Cleaning rod: used to run bore brushes through the barrel
  • Jag: attaches to cleaning rod and is used with patches for wiping down surfaces of the rifle
  • Patches/cloth: for wiping down surfaces of rifle with cleaning solvent/oil
  • Solvent/oil : Used as lubricant/ cleaner during maintenance before reassembly

In addition to these basic tools, it's also helpful to have a toothbrush or small brush on hand for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas (like around the gas block) as well as specialized cleaners like carbon removers which can help cut through tough deposits left by firing sessions!

Can I use any type of cleaner or oil on my AR 15?

It's important that you only use cleaners and oils that are specifically designed for firearms. Using household cleaners can damage metal finishes or leave behind residues that could interfere with proper function. Similarly using too much lubrication during storage periods may cause gunk build up over time necessitating more frequent maintenance efforts than necessary if not accounted correctly.

When selecting solvents and oils look out those recommended by manufacturer guidelines so one doesn't violate warranty terms leading towards costly repairs later due improper usage techniques applied when servicing firearm components requiring such attention regularly without fail!

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