Protect Your Investment: Maintaining Your AR15 Rifle

Project ar15 Sep 09, 2023
12 People Read
Ar15 cleaning maintenance

Cleaning your AR-15 rifle is an essential part of its maintenance routine to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you properly clean your AR-15: First, gather the necessary supplies:

Cleaning rod

Cleaning patches or cotton swabs

Bore brush

Solvent (specifically designed for firearms)

Lubricant (gun oil or grease)

Toothbrush or small nylon brush

Cleaning mat or cloth

As recommended in our article Gun Safety and Shooter Etiquette ( it is important to wear safety glasses while disassembling, cleaning and modifying any firearm.

A logical procedure to clean the Ar15

Unload and inspect the firearm:

Ensure the rifle is unloaded by removing the magazine and checking the chamber.

Visually inspect the chamber and bore to ensure no live rounds are present.

After ensuring the firearm is clear, disassemble the rifle:

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to disassemble your specific AR-15 model. This typically involves removing the upper and lower receivers, bolt carrier group, charging handle, and other components.

Clean the bore:

Attach the bore brush to the cleaning rod and apply a few drops of solvent.

Insert the cleaning rod with the bore brush into the chamber end of the barrel and push it through the barrel several times.

Remove the bore brush and attach a cleaning patch or cotton swab to the cleaning rod.

Apply solvent to the patch and run it through the barrel until it comes out relatively clean.

Repeat the process with clean patches until they come out mostly clean.

Clean other components:

Use a toothbrush or small nylon brush along with the solvent to clean the bolt carrier group, charging handle, and other small parts.

Pay attention to carbon buildup, dirt, and fouling, and scrub them off thoroughly.

Wipe off excess solvent with clean patches or a cloth.

Inspect and lubricate:

Inspect all parts for wear, damage, or excessive carbon buildup.

Apply a small amount of lubricant to moving parts and areas that experience metal on metal contact, such as the bolt carrier group, charging handle, and pivot points.

Be careful not to over-lubricate, as excess oil or grease can attract dirt and debris.

Pro Tip: Apply a small amount of lubricant to the hammer face. Since it comes in direct contact with the carrier during operation.

Reassemble the rifle:

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to reassemble the AR-15, ensuring all components are properly aligned and secured.


Use a clean cloth or patch to wipe down the entire rifle, removing any excess lubricant or residue.

Why is it Important to Clean Your AR-15?

Regular cleaning of your AR-15 is crucial for several reasons:

Reliability: A clean rifle is less likely to experience malfunctions or stoppages caused by dirt, debris, or fouling. It helps maintain the proper functioning of the firearm, especially in adverse conditions.

Longevity: Removing carbon buildup, fouling, and corrosive elements prevents excessive wear and tear on the rifle's components. This extends the lifespan of the firearm and helps preserve its value.

Accuracy: A clean barrel ensures consistent bullet trajectory and improved accuracy by preventing obstructions or irregularities that could affect the bullet's flight path.

Safety: Regular cleaning allows for the early detection of any issues or damage that could compromise the firearm's safety. It ensures that the rifle is in proper working condition and reduces the risk of accidents.

Remember to always follow the manufacturer's recommendations and guidelines specific to your AR-15 model when cleaning and maintaining your firearm. And be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning your Ar15 to remove any chemicals or lead.