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.
Episode 7: How to Clean an AR Assault Rifle
AR Assault Rifle Cleaning
Knowing how to clean your guns 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
Remove the magazine and see to it that the fire control is on safe. Lock the bolt to the rear and inspect the gun physically making sure the chamber is empty.
Step 2: Detach the Upper Receiver
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
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Step 3: Take the Bolt Carrier Apart
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 it. This helps remove debris in the same direction that the rounds are traveling.
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. To clean the inside, put the wire brush in and twist it around.
Use a towel or cotton swabs to wipe the bolt carrier after brushing.
Step 6: Clean the Bolt
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
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 safe. 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.
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 needed to be done 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.
Have you tried stripping and cleaning an AR yourself? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 25, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.