Tips for Cleaning an AR-15 Rifle: Guns for Beginners

Cleaning an ar-15

Matt Sandy for TTAG

Cleaning your AR-15 rifle is an oddly personal thing. Everyone has their preferred way of doing it. Although there are definitely WRONG ways to clean an AR, there isn’t necessarily one right way.  

If your AR ends up clean and undamaged, you’ve succeeded. Here I’m going to cover how I handle my AR-15 cleaning. The army was my first experience with this weapon system and is, for better or for worse, the foundation by which I do things.

Cleaning Supplies

There are tons of AR rifle cleaning kits, but you really don’t need anything fancy to clean an AR-15. An old T-shirt/rag/paper towel, cotton swab, nylon brush, bore snake and CLP was the extent of my gun cleaning kit for my first-year in.  I never removed any of those items either, I just added on.  

The first image is what my cleaning supplies look like now. Honestly, I use maybe 10% of what you see. I’ll discuss cleaning supplies more in-depth as I walk you through the process.

The Quick Clean

This step is a quick wipe down. This is the type of clean we do in the field, or in between live fire iterations, when things got really dirty and gritty.

Remove the rear takedown pin, then take out the bolt carrier group and charging handle.  

Courtesy Author

Wipe the BCG and charging handle with a rag so they’re free of grit and black sludge.  

That black sludge is dirty oil. Set them aside someplace clean. Do the same with the inside of the upper receiver and lower receiver. I like using a nylon bristle brush here. Cover one end in the rag to get into the nooks and crannies.  

   

Next, run a Bore Snake through the barrel to make sure it’s clean.  Once everything is free of dirt/grit and excessive amounts of dirty oil, re-oil it. I oil the outer three sides of the charging handle.

I put a drop or two inside the BCG through the holes on the side.

Finally, I’ll apply oil to the BCG as indicated below and spread it around with my finger.        

And you’re done. This is supposed to be quick and simple. A 10 minute wipe down to help make sure your AR runs smooth.  

Honestly, this is how I clean my AR 99% of the time. The internet is full of stories from guys that will go thousands of rounds without doing even this much. They just keep covering it in oil.

That will work for a while, but at a certain point your rifle starts to ooze black goo. So, I like to wipe away the old and put on some new.  

The Deep Clean

It’s good to do a deep clean every once in a while. Specifically, when you see a shift in performance.  Meaning if the accuracy starts to degrade or malfunctions start to happen. A good deep cleaning does have an additional, often-overlooked, benefit.  It allows you to thoroughly inspect your weapon for damaged and worn parts. This can help you head off catastrophic failures.

You should use some kind of solvent that will cut through the carbon and oil for this step.  Aside from military solvent tanks, I’ve used cleaning solvents like Hornady One Shot, Hoppe’s Elite Foaming Gun Cleaner, and M-Pro 7.  For this article, I used Hoppes again and I tried out Hornady’s Hot Tub Sonic Cleaner. It’s not mine, but it was available and I like things that make my life easier.  

Shooters preference on the cleaning products, just pick something that will do the job. I also prefer to use paper towels instead of a rag here. Rags hold onto dirt. Fresh paper towels are always clean.  

Start by fully disassembling the rifle, then go piece by piece and make it clean.  

Since my small parts are in the cleaner…

                  

I’ll start with the lower. Slather on some gun cleaner. The Hoppe’s foam works, but it’s a little weak. I prefer the aerosol-based sprays. The added force of the spray seems to help blast off more grime. Either way, get it wet and wipe dry.  

  I focus primarily on the magazine well. I want it good and clean to make sure magazines go in and out easy.

I run a cotton swab around the fire control group.  

I go at it until the swabs or paper towels are coming back mostly clean. You get to choose how particular you are here.

If the trigger controls are super dirty, I’ll disassemble it. Otherwise, it’s not really worth the effort.

Remove the buffer and buffer spring. Wipe all of it clean. I like to twist up some paper towels to reach inside the buffer tube.  

Next, go to the upper receiver. The order here isn’t critical, but I start with the barrel. Ideally, I’d use a strong copper solvent like Sweets Bore Cleaner. When I’m doing a deep clean like this, I like to strip the bore clean. Shooters Choice Bore Cleaner isn’t as strong, but it’s good, and it’s what I had on hand. Follow the instructions.  

Stuff like Sweets will eat your barrel if you aren’t careful. Shooters Choice isn’t as aggressive, but I’d still follow the instructions. You’ll also need a cleaning rod, jags, and a bore brush.  

Courtesy Brownells

Courtesy Brownells

Courtesy Brownells

Use a bore-safe cleaning rode like the carbon fiber one featured or nylon coated ones. The nylon-coated ones can get embedded with grit that may scratch your barrel. Unless you are really careless with it or use it with lapping compound, though, it’s not really a concern. If a knuckle-dragging grunt like myself can use the nylon coated ones in the environment that is the army without ruining barrels, I think you’ll be OK. Just show some care. 

Wear Gloves when dealing with stronger solvents. That stuff isn’t great for you. The jag holds the cloth patch that is either soaked in solvent/oil for getting it into the barrel, or dry for removing it. The brush helps scrub out stuck carbon and scratch embedded copper so the solvent can work better. 

It really helps if you can put your AR in a vise (get yourself a vise block for this).  

Again, just follow the instructions on whatever bore cleaner you are using. I make sure I end my bore cleaning with an oiled patch followed by one or two dry patches. This leaves a little bit of protection for the stripped barrel.  

Next, clean the rest of the upper. I start with my nylon brush and paper towels to scrub everything I can reach.  

I switch to the cotton swabs for the hard-to-reach areas like around the gas tube and the star chamber. Various companies make chamber brushes, but I’ve never felt like they did much. With or without a chamber brush, I still end up digging carbon out with a cotton swab.

 

Now for the small parts. The sonic cleaner helped, but I still have to hand-clean all the internals.  

Make sure the bolt body is clean inside and out. Check inside the bolt hole for carbon buildup and scrape it out if needed. I’ll usually swab the opening to the gas key too.

Once it’s clean, give it a good once-over for cracks or excessive wear. Also, make sure the gas key is still nice and tight.   

 

Next is the bolt itself. Since I forgot to remove the extractor for the sonic cleaner, I’ll take it off now and clean underneath it. Carbon likes to build up on the back of the bolt.

Go ahead and scrape it off. There are some fancy tools, like this one, that can make this easier. I’ve always used dental picks or other scrapers. Obviously, be careful to not damage it.  

Once clean, inspect the gas rings for excessive wear or damage. Check the locking lugs, specifically along the back, and make sure there are no cracks.  Same thing with the extractor.  

If all looks good, reassemble the bolt. Check the firing pin and cam pin the same way. Once it is fully assembled, double-check the gas rings. Do this by pulling the bolt forward and standing the BCG up on the bolt.  

The bolt body should not fall to the closed position. It should remain extended. If it falls then the gas rings need to be replaced as they are not providing an adequate seal.

Once it’s all nice and clean, oil it back up. I oil after the deep clean the same way I do after the quick clean. I like to throw a drop on the trigger springs too. That’s an old habit taught to me during my private days. Honestly not sure if it’s right, wrong or meaningless, but it’s what I do.  

Once reassembled, perform a function check and that’s about it. Again, this is how I like to do things. It works well for me. 

If you’re new to AR-15 cleaning, I encourage you to look at multiple sources. When in doubt, follow the instructions on whatever cleaning product you are using.

If you are scratching/damaging anything on the rifle, you’re doing it wrong. Stop and seek some face to face help from someone that’s done this a few times. Preferably a gunsmith.  

 

Matt Sandy is an Arizona-based gunsmith who competes in both USPSA and PRC matches. 

comments

  1. avatar Lance says:

    Bookmarked and duly noted.

  2. avatar Diksum says:

    In my experience, the best and most economical barrel patch is made from pieces torn from a roll of Bounty paper towel. You’ll quickly find the optimum size for any barrel, and one roll works for all your guns, and lasts a very long time.

    1. avatar napresto says:

      Do you ever have trouble leaving behind dust, fibers, or shredded bits of the paper? When I’ve used paper towels on guns (not often) they seem to fall apart in the worst and least accessible places. My go-to for cleaning patches are poorly fitting or used up t-shirts/undershirts, cut and sized appropriately. I tend to use a lot of patches, though, so something easier to prepare like a paper towel would be welcome.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        i personally like the towel that comes on rolls with the little holes in it. I use it for doing dishes and wiping down benches so i have it there to use. Chux is what we call it. i cut it into little squares and it does not fall apart or leave little bits behind like paper towel. Also like sweets 7.62 and then instead of most of the usual gun oils i tend to use Pro-Ma’s MBL3. I got put onto that in 1991 after trying a few other different ones and have found I get a lot better accuracy and slicker working actions.

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          But it is not recommended to use Sweets 7.62 solvent in a chrome lined barrel. Sweets dissolves copper and a layer of copper is used to bed the chrome to the barrel. Get a scratch in the chrome and the Sweets will dissolve the copper from underneath the chrome.

          I used Hoppes #9 for cleaning my AR when I had one.

      2. avatar 191145 says:

        I’ve used the blue shop towels you can get at the auto parts store. Stronger than paper towel.

  3. avatar napresto says:

    I don’t own an AR-15, but I still liked this article a lot. Made me feel like there should be more room on TTAG for articles about gun care, maintenance, operation, design, engineering, history, and even DIY projects.

    1. avatar BR says:

      I completely agree. This kind of thing is very informative and with other financial groups cracking down on gun related information places TTAG should really step up to the plate.

      Maybe us readers should start submitting topics.

      1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

        We’re always happy to get post ideas.

        [email protected]

        1. avatar napresto says:

          I have an idea for something. Might write up an article and submit it. Or maybe submitting an idea first is better?

      2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “Maybe us readers should start submitting topics.”

        TTAG Mgmt. is open to suggestions, and if you can write, consider submitting an article…

        1. avatar Toni says:

          how do you submit them if you can write. just have not seen anywhere to do so is all although i have not been looking that hard but it might help others

    2. avatar Mark says:

      Please go buy an AR-15 now. You are not doing your part! : ) You should own at least 10.

      1. avatar napresto says:

        I actually would love to. I live in NY (upstate, not city, thank God), and I refuse to buy the comically stupid-looking, ergonomically awful versions that are available to me here. An AR is near the top of my list if/when I ever move (not quite THE top, because first I’ll buy full capacity mags for my CZ-75 and my super terrifying Mini-14).

        1. avatar Tim says:

          Keep going north, young man. Upstate is nice, but it’s not worth living under the thumb of malcontents.

        2. avatar Jeff says:

          Napresto,. Fixed magazine allows you to have the good stuff in NY. You just have to load your 10 rounds from the top. Unfortunate but doable.

      2. avatar Toni says:

        if i could buy one here in commiestralia i would though it would probably be more like an AR10 or an ARAK. however saying that once i am set up as i want to be i would not be above making my own clandestinely. FTCG

        1. avatar 191145 says:

          You could move to America, become a citizen and live the rest of your life free !

        2. avatar Toni says:

          with money behind me yes i could do that. failing that it would be a matter of finding someone willing to sponsor me there for work. Not quite as easy as a jill of all trades with no qualifications behind you though not impossible either

  4. avatar No_Ones_Home says:

    I’ll second Sweet’s 7.62 Bore Solvent. It does a heck of a job cleaning a barrel.

    Though one definitely wants to follow the directions with it and use it in an open-air area. It has some quite strong fumes.

    1. avatar Steve says:

      Sweet’s needs SERIOUS consideration of the instructions before use – don’t take this lightly. I reserve Sweet’s for precision bolt rifles and ONLY occasional deep cleaning.

      Overall this is a good guide with a few things I would do differently on the quick clean:

      1. Remove the bolt from the carrier < this 100% should be done, and takes only 2 seconds longer.
      2. Lubricate the gas rings.
      3. Lubricate the ejector and locking lugs; depress ejector to draw a tiny bit of oil into it.
      4. Wipe the feed ramps clean.
      5. Remove, wipe, and oil the recoil spring (once in a while – not every time).
      6. Lube the cam pin, this is a major wear item on shorter barrel rifles (or pistols) that are more and more common.
      7. Put a drop of oil on the sear and trigger assembly such that it eventually hits the two pins.
      8. Wipe all steel surfaces that you've touched with your bare hands to prevent finger print surface rusting < not normally an issue if you wear gloves or have gun oil on hands.

      1. avatar Mark says:

        Given today’s modern coatings such as Cerakote or annodization, is rust ever an issue? Granted, I don’t live in the deep south but still…..

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          Does it rain where you live?

        2. avatar Mark says:

          Yes it rains. Please explain how water penetrates a ceramic coating and/or can affect anodized aluminum. I’m not running a 1903 Springfield rifle.

          I’m not saying leave your gun in a bucket of salt water, but let’s face it, once properly cleaned and stored inside a home, rust is very rare with today’s modern firearms. I’ve yet to see it on any of my guns and I store them without any special precautions.

        3. avatar rosignol says:

          Rust can be an issue, even with modern guns.

          Friend of mine has a Colt. If he lets it sit for 6 months without at least wiping it down, the barrel starts to look like someone was fiddling with it after eating doritos.

        4. avatar Mark Brockway says:

          What type of Colt? Pistol or rifle?

        5. avatar rosignol says:

          Rifle.

        6. avatar Mark says:

          Where is it rusting? What model?

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    I’m no expert but I’ve been using Ballistol. Environmentally friendly too. I’m still experimenting with a touch of grease here and there. BTW YouTube has a chit ton of AR15 cleaning videos…this is a good guide.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Ballistol is great. Grease is for lubricating your automobile suspension.

  6. avatar tdiinva says:

    What is a good rule of thumb for rounds between quick clean and rounds/time between deep clean.

    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      When you are getting repeat malfunction = deep cleaning

      Something is wrong and you need to find out what. Gunk build up or worn parts, there is problem.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        Round count depends on ammo, coating, parts tolerance, your quick clean regimen and many other variables.

        Your gun will let you know.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          So you wait until your roof tells you it needs replacing once you get water inside your home?

    2. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      It’s hard to say exactly. For example, with this AR, I haven’t put a ton of rounds through it. Maybe around 1000? That is a little early to need a deep clean in my opinion. That being said, I’ve had it for over 5 years now. So I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it good deep clean. This time, it was more a factor of time than round count. I’ve seen 5,000 rounds thrown around as a good number for deep cleans. I can’t say that’s a bad standard. Ammo quality is a factor. Are you running it hard or doing slow fire stuff? It’s not like deep cleaning is bad for your gun. It’s excessive and takes time, so most people don’t like doing them on a regular basis. You just gotta go with what you feel. “the gun feels a little sluggish/off” “it’s really not grouping as tight as I remember.” “that’s the third malfunction today, what’s going on?” If you are asking yourself these questions, a deep clean won’t hurt.

    3. avatar 191145 says:

      I quick clean after shooting every time with patches and use a bore brush a couple times a year. AR runs like a fine sewing machine.

  7. avatar strych9 says:

    I tend to “deep clean” the rifle every time.

    Not because it’s necessary but because I find it strangely relaxing.

    I also recommend a set of dental picks for serious deep cleaning if you’ve shot the rifle a lot. Combined with a light solvent, pick a get at those carbon deposits in hard to reach places really well and that little mirror makes inspection of certain places easier with disassembling the rifle further than needed.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Be careful with dental pics. Steel tools can mess up steel parts and scratches provide extra places for corrosion to set in. I use a brass scraping tool, a nylon brush, and that’s about it.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        You do need to be a bit careful but if you get a set of nice dental picks they have various edges on them for different uses meaning you can get in there without doing damage.

        They’re meant to clean your teeth without scratching or gouging. They work well on a rifle, even the aluminum parts, if you’re careful and correctly select the tool and portion of the tool to use. I wouldn’t try to brute force stuck on stuff with them, hence why I suggest using solvent in combination with the picks. Let the chemistry do the heavy lifting and use the picks to finish off the job.

        I’ve been doing this for like 15 years without issue. Was turned on to the idea by a Vietnam vet who had been doing it without issue since at least 1970. It works well but, like with any tool for fine work, you can’t be dumb about it.

  8. avatar pwrserge says:

    Meh… Too much work.

    Step 1: Spray everything down with a generous dose of CLP.
    Step 2: Scrape off any carbon on the bolt, pin or carrier with a brass too.
    Step 3: Scrub every exposed surface with a nylon brush.
    Step 4: Wipe down with old oily rag
    Step 5: Pull through bore snake
    Step 6: Spray everything down with a light coating of CLP and reassemble.

    Cleaning time? 5 minutes.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Your method works but doesn’t ease my OCD.

    2. avatar Larry says:

      Agreed. I have never run a rod down a AR, bore snake all the way.

      I have a bucket that I put the upper in muzzle down, I hit it with a blast of CLP from the chamber side and let it run down while I quick clean the BCG and look at the lower. I then run the bore snake through the upper when I am ready to put it back together.

  9. avatar Tim says:

    I’ve also found (saw it in some forum, I’m sure!) that an empty .45 ACP brass case works very well for scraping carbon off the curved surface on the back of the bolt. Harder than carbon, but softer than steel.

    Also, great tip on standing the bolt up to check the gas rings! That’s a brand new one on me!

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      In 15 years, I have yet to see an AR fail a gas ring check. I’ve got rifles with 5k+ rounds through them still running fine with their original gas rings.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I have seen a gas ring check failure.

        Not due to bad or worn out rings though. In this case they were missing.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          The only time I’ve seen a AR family BCG fail a gas ring check was a M16A2 carrier that was older than me. Never seen it on a privately owned rifle, including at cleaning parties where people would bring in rifles they haven’t cleared since last year.

      2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        The only time I’ve seen a gas ring fail is when I was issued a heavily used M16a2 back in the Army days.

    2. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      Cool tip about the .45 case, ill probably try that next time. Got plenty of those lying around.

    3. avatar Marc says:

      Nice tip on the brass case; definitely will be using that.

  10. avatar Anon in Ct says:

    Even for the quick clean, WEAR SOME GLOVES – a 100 pack of Nitrile gloves is cheap on Amazon.

  11. avatar Lawbob says:

    Sonic cleaning:
    Lucasoil bore solvent and sonic cleaning solution

    It’s oil based so you won’t get flash rust issues, and it leaves a light rust preventing film on it.

    1) I wipe clean w baby wipes (physical manipulation is always more effective than solvents- think cleaning your hands with grease. You can wipe it off better than soap and water), plus you get the excess “dirt” off before you put the dirt in the “water” (which makes “mud”).

    2) disassemble and put what you can in the sonic cleaner.

    3) clean barrel (of course with patches), chamber and receivers with baby wipes, then blast w aerosol solvents then towels and q tips. Oil up.

    4) remove soniced parts, wipe off w paper or Cotten towels. Oil up / wipe down. Lube up where necessary.

    5) reassemble.

  12. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Safety should have been covered first. Wearing gloves should have been mentioned right from the start, and not just in relation to the solvents. Lead build-up can be dangerous, too, especially if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Remember, different toxins can enter the body by ingestion, of course, but also via inhalation and even absorption right through the skin.

    While you’re at it, wear a decent mask, too. A cheapo garden dust mask won’t cut it. A decent respirator with prefilter suitable for painting or demolition where lead paint is possible will run you twenty something bucks. Your lungs will thank you. A well ventilated workspace is a must, as well.

    1. avatar Derringer Dave says:

      Safety goggles can avoid getting solvent splashed in your eyes.
      It may not happen often, but just ONE TIME getting strong solvent splashed in your eyes will give you an extra tax exemption for blindness for the rest of your life, and that tax exemption ain’t worth losing your vision!

      Alternatively, have an eye wash station nearby, or at least a bucket of water.

    2. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Ballistol is non toxic. Thus you don’t have to dress like you are about to clean up Three Mile Island when using same.

    3. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      Good point. None of that was really an option nor the norm when I was in. PPE is easily overlooked when your elbow deep in a 240 and your team leader is yelling at you to hurry up. As a result, I guess I’ve gone numb to the health risks associated with cleaning. But that’s no excuse, PPE is important and as civilians too easy. Protect yourself.

    4. avatar Phil LA says:

      And for God’s sake wear sunscreen!

      1. avatar Toni says:

        you mean those chemical concoctions that are just as cancer causing as the sun…. no thanks. i’ll take my chances with the sun if i cant find one without all the nasties in it. I do however wear a big hat most of the time unless i need to wear ear muffs like when i am at the range or cutting grinding steel. Then i wear a cap

  13. avatar Mark says:

    I’d like to give a plug for all things Bore-Tech. Cleaners, tools, patches, jags, rods, brushes, etc. They are a fantastic company. I haven’t used their lubes (I like Slip2000) but their solvents and tools are top notch. Love their cleaning kits as well. First rate customer service too!

  14. avatar Hoyden says:

    I like those star shaped felt pads for quick cleaning the ramps and lug lockup’s at the rear of the chamber. Screw them onto the thread end of a cleaning rod, soak in your preferred solvent. Up and down, in and out, like cleaning the toilet bowl with a brush.

  15. avatar Jordan says:

    Great write up, thank you!

  16. avatar daveinwyo says:

    How to properly clean an AR-15; 1. dispose of properly. 2. Buy a Mini-14. 3. Shoot more, clean less. Or my favorite, carbotetrachloraride in a cut in half 55 gal. barrel. Stoners pipe dream.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      And you wonder why Stoner is dead.

  17. avatar Chuck Cochran says:

    Thank you for this. Being new to the AR platform, it’s a tad different than a bolt action rifle, although there are some similarities. Saved to my bookmarks.

  18. avatar Saint Mike says:

    Who cleans Ar’s ? Just add oil/CLP.

  19. avatar RJ says:

    I’ve been cleaning them in the sink for years with hot water and blue dawn dishwashing detergent. Nothing on any of about 10 different AR pattern rifles has ever rusted. Scrub the upper with a toothbrush, scoop the carbon out of the gas tube and cloverleaf with a bent pipe cleaner (the tapered yellow ones the army uses are strangely better at this than anything), let dry, run a few patches down the barrel, and lube (wet if you live somewhere wet, dry if it’s dry, to prevent too much adherence of sand and dust). I just wipe down the lower and swab out the FCG. Dawn degreases magnificently, and is non-toxic–you can even use it to wash your ducklings, apparently, assuming you have them and they need washing. I do a full disassembly clean on all firearms after use, but it’s sort of a Zen thing, kind of like reloading….

  20. avatar david eide says:

    Found out about a neat and handy cleaning tool….A battery operated tooth brush (the cheap ones are the kids versations- Star Wars and Minions theamed ones are my favorites) they make the scrubbing prosess a little bit more friendly and tend to get get into some cracks and crevices a little easier. The ones that have a dual rotating brush system seem to do a good and fast cleaning job.And you get a few laughs, gigglesand stares at the range from other shooters who think that is a good and inexpensive way of doing a fast and easy cleaning of the BCG,magwell and trigger areas. Try it you might find it useful……Be safe as always….MAGA

    1. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      Yea, that sounds like a useful upgrade to the old nylon brush.

  21. avatar possum says:

    Tips for cleaning an AK : 1. Submerge in river. 2 Shake dry

  22. avatar Silentbrick says:

    GAH….memories of SFC Fowler sneering and telling me to try again. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH. Must go shamefully hide until gun is spotless. You’d think those memories would go away after 27 years.

  23. avatar Craig in IA says:

    I use a Real Avid AR tool- keep it in the range bag. Takes care of most of the bolt/carrier issues and other cleaning/scraping. (I have one of their pistol tools in the bag as well.) Bore solvents I have on the shelves, use a rod and cloth patches, let sit in an attitude that keeps the juice from running into the gas port, then brush, followed by more patches. This is not rocket science…

  24. avatar Southern Cross says:

    One tool you forgot to mention is a strip for 5.56 cartridges. Wrap a rag or old shirt around the strip, dip in bore solvent such Hoppes #9, and use to clean the inside of the BCG.

    Spray Carburetor Cleaner into the gas tube from the receiver to remove carbon fouling. Use long pipe cleaners from art stores to clean the gas tube every year or so.

    1. avatar daveinwyo says:

      Buy AK gas tube cleaners from Amazon. Much cheaper than the same pipe-cleaner-made-in-china from art store.

      1. avatar Mark says:

        You don’t need to clean the gas tube!!! It is self cleaning. Besides, after one shot it is fouled again. Clean the AR gas tube is a complete waste of time.

  25. avatar Cletus says:

    I use a toothbrush to clean my AR, and I use the same brush for my teeth. My rifle and I are one. I am a true patriot, I love this great nation of ours, and I love our President. MAGA

    1. avatar Matt says:

      LMAO,, can’t argue with you there.

  26. avatar Matt says:

    I’ve used lightly high temp bearing grease on my bcg also. Seemed to work pretty good.

  27. avatar I 3-10 says:

    Bought a sp-1 back in 1979 after my EAS. The only thing ever used on it is bore cleaner, and LSA. The same stuff we used to clean weapons while on active duty. Had to try the bolt test after reading the article, after all these years , and rounds, it still works.

  28. avatar Geoff says:

    .22 caliber are PITA to clean, especially the barrel, those small patches don’t do a very good job and are hard to push through, my 300BLK and 458 SOCOM are easy.

  29. avatar doesky2 says:

    Bore snake and ballistol.
    Simple as that.

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