To keep your rifle in excellent working condition there are a number of steps that you need to take in order to clean it thoroughly. Keeping on top of maintenance like this will increase the lifespan of your rifle and in the long run that means you are going to save vast amounts of money from having to keep buying rifles because yours hasn’t been looked after correctly.
Gun cleaning can take a lot of time to do, and you do need patience and photographic memory at times because you have to remember how you took certain components of the gun apart in the first place, but hopefully our guide today will keep your memory fresh and you will be able to not only clean your AR15 Rifle to the best of your ability, using the correct equipment and cleaning tools, but you will also be able to put the gun back together without any issues.
Set yourself aside a good 30 minutes to an hour to complete the cleaning process, as it will take a little bit of time from start to finish.
Initial Cleaning Preparation Steps
To begin with you need to remove the magazine clip from the body of the rifle, and then just leave this at the side for the time being. Once you have done this you can then pull the bolt carrier back, catching it with the bolt hold open lever.
Now you will see that you have full access to the chamber, so you can see around it and you can get in to clean it. You will now need to make sure that there is no ammo left inside the chamber, and to clean it thoroughly without damaging it, it’s always best to consult the manual that came with the gun. Don’t forget that once you have cleaned the chamber with a rag and chamber brush you will need to push the charging handle back and then drop that bolt carrier forward.
Cleaning the Bolt Carrier
To clean the bolt carrier you will need to firstly pill the firing pin retainer from the central part of the carrier itself, and usually this firing pin can be removed by a simple tap on a table or into the palm of your hands.
Once the firing pin has been removed you need to then release the cam pin, again this is easy to as it will just twist out and then a final pull will release it from the carrier for you.
Finally the third item you will need to remove is the bolt itself.
At this stage you will be able to clean any carbon from the carrier that has built up over time, we suggest using a simple container with some gun solvent inside that will then allow you to clean down those smaller inner pieces of the gun bolt carrier.
Using Q-Tip to Clean The Rifle
Q-Tip goes a long way in order to clean the parts of a gun, and especially when you need to clean components that are hard to get to such as the gas key section of the bolt carrier. Use Q-Tip here to get the best clean possible.
Next you will need to remove the buffer tube and buffer spring from the gun, to do this you just need to push down the catch and they should be easily pulled out. Use a rag to clean these components.
Swap your rag for the chamber brush now as this will help you to clean the barrel lugs, usually a brush attached to a T-rod is the best equipment to get this job done correctly.
Finally pick up a .22 caliber wire brush and soak it in some gun solvent, then clean out the bore by running it up and down.
Where to Use Gun Oil
The final part we wanted to address is the use of gun oil in your cleaning methods. This can never be overlooked and you should always keep yourself a tube of gun oil handy as it will help the overall smoothness of the gun when you start firing it.
Gun oil is a great addition to cleaning bolts and gas rings, and the tiny components that make up the mechanism of the rifle. You can pick up gun oil at a relatively low cost from gun stores and you can even venture onto the internet and purchase some online for cheap.
Don’t forget to save some drops of oil for the charging handle, especially when you come to facing the gun back together as this will just help with smoothness. Place the charging handle into the upper receiver and just double check that all grooves of the charging handle meet with that upper receiver. If they do, you’ve done a fantastic job.
Once your gun has been cleaned you will notice the difference when you take it on your next hunting trip, the first thing you will spot is the smooth shooting, and seamless action coming from it. The carbon, dirt, grime and clogs have all been removed leaving you with a gun that will look and feel like brand new.
Just make sure that you always refer to the owner’s manual should you get confused or stuck at any point, this guide is aimed to help you clean your gun so if you run into issues the owner’s manual will help you figure out any steps to putting the gun back together.
Our advice is just to make notes of how you striped the gun back in the first place which will give you an idea of how to begin putting it back (should you run into trouble).
By cleaning your gun each season after the hunting season or before the hunting season will help you keep your gun in perfect condition, and as they say, good maintenance goes a long way with expensive equipment.
Happy hunting with your clean AR15 rifle!