How to Clean an AR | How to Clean AR

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March 7, 2022 / Comments (4)

Cleaning Videos

We've shown you how to clean a Glock, and today we're showing you step by step how to clean an AR assault rifle.

RELATED: Rifle Shooting Tips & Techniques | 11 Surprising Things New Rifle Shooters Need To Know

How to Clean an AR Assault Rifle

Click here to jump to the infographic

cleaning ar15 on wooden table help how to clean an ar

AR Assault Rifle Cleaning

Knowing how to clean and maintain an AR 15 is key to being a responsible gun owner. Keeping your guns clean with your AR 15 cleaning kit will help them shoot better and last longer (not to mention keep them looking good!)

Let's start the AR cleaning process.

Step 1: Make Sure Rifle is Unloaded

floorplate on ar15 magazine that has how to clean an ar

Remove the magazine and see to it that the fire control is on safety. Lock the bolt to the rear and inspect the gun physically making sure the chamber is empty.

Step 2: Detach the Upper Receiver

gloved hand disassembling ar15 rifle preparation how to clean an ar

Release the rear takedown pin by pushing it forward, then push out the front takedown pin to remove the upper receiver from the lower receiver. On the upper receiver, take out the bolt carrier group and the charging handle.

What is a Bolt Carrier Group? The part of gas-operated firearms where the cyclic functions take place in weapon firing

Step 3: Take the Bolt Carrier Apart

disassembled ar15 rifle preparation clean how to clean an ar

Remove the firing pin cotter pin from the rear. Rotate the cam pin to a quarter turn and give it a little push until it pops out.

Step 4: Clean the Upper Receiver

Spray some AR 15 cleaning solvent down into the chamber to help loosen the carbon build-up and lighter debris. Using a chamber guide, punch in your bore brush to clean the rifle chamber thoroughly.

Some chamber guides have a nice little hole feature where you can spray some AR 15 lubrication in them. This helps remove debris in the same direction that the rounds are traveling.

RELATED: Muzzle Brake vs Compensator | Best AR 15 Muzzle Brake & Best AR 15 Compensator

Step 5: Clean the Bolt Carrier

Spray some solvent on the bolt carrier then brush the outer and inner portion with a soft wire brush.

Learn how to clean an AR inside by putting the wire brush in and twisting it around.

Use a towel or cotton swabs to wipe the bolt carrier after brushing.

Step 6: Clean the Bolt

gloved hand disassembling ar15 rifle preparation 2 how to clean an ar

There are three gas rings on the bolt itself. Each one of these gas rings has a small gap in it.

Inspect the gas rings and make sure that the gaps are not lined up together. This will affect the proper function and overall cyclic rate of fire.

You can use the pointy end of the firing pin to move it. Use a wire brush to clean around the top surface where the bolt joins into the gas tube.

Step 7: Clean the Firing Pin

The firing pin should be pretty easy to clean. Clean its lip part where there tends to be a carbon buildup.

Not cleaning the firing pin may cause it to stick and not seat properly.

Step 8: Put Everything Back Together

rifle stripping cleaning tools lubricants emphasis how to clean an ar

Put the bolt back inside the bolt carrier group lining the holes up for the cam pin to drop in. Once the cam pin is in place, make a quarter turn to receive the firing pin by dropping the pointy end down.

Make sure the springs in the charging handle have good tension. Put the charging handle in the upper receiver.

Give the bolt carrier group a downward shake until you hear something click into position. This allows proper fitting of the bolt and locking lug with the charging handle.

With the lower receiver, make sure the retaining pins are pulled to the exterior position. Push the front one in and lock the rear retaining pin back in.

Step 9: Do a Function Check

Point the rifle in a safe direction and make sure the fire control is on safety mode. Pull the charging handle to the rear then take off the safe and pull the trigger.

Hold the trigger to the rear then charge it again for a trigger reset. Your AR platform should be put together ready for ammo reload and shooting.

Here's an infographic guide that you can use. Feel free to download, save and share it with your loved ones:HOW TO CLEAN AN AR

Check out this video by Gun Carrier for a better step by step view on how to strip, clean, and reassemble an AR:

That's basically all you need to know on how to clean an AR. Just make sure each part is clean and lubricated to ensure its good functioning condition.

Your assault rifle must not fail whether you're just practicing in the range or in an actual combat situation.

How often do you clean your AR 15?

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Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 25, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

4 Responses to :
How to Clean an AR | How to Clean AR

  1. Stuart says:

    SO why are you calling it an “Assault Rifle”?

    1. HogKiller says:

      +1 American Rifle perhaps, American Sporting Arm, ok. But ‘assault rifle’? NO WAY! Never give the Leftists anything to work with.

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