Cleaning the AR-15


The Anarchangel has tips on preventing your AR-15 rifle turning into an expensive bolt action.

So it seems like Ambulance Driver is having a little trouble with his AR. It’ll run for 30-100 rounds, then it becomes a straight pull bolt action.

Well, we’ve all been there at one time or another. Hell, I had it happen to me at a rifle event once (bad ammo).

More here.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Jesse

    I’m going to write a similar article for my AK clone.

    1) Shoot all the damn steel cased ammo you want to.
    2) Field strip gun.
    3) Spray everything with WD-40 and let soak for a few minutes then wipe clean.
    4) Run some brushes and patches or a bore snake for shits and giggles.
    5) Reassemble.

  • I see a lot of guys shooting that cheap Wolf non-brass rounds and complain about how their AR functions. It’s amazing how much better they shoot with good ammo.

  • jdun1911

    I suggest you read these two articles before going to Anarch Angel site.
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm
    http://www.ar15.com/content/swat/keepitrunning.pdf

    Second when you hear a person saying that the AK doesn’t require lubricants you can assume one of two things: The person is a moron or a game kiddie. All firearms needs lubricants. It’s not my opinion it’s a fact.

    Here is what happen when AK doesn’t have enough lubricants:
    http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1731.0

    Here is the mystic AK that jammed and KB! a few shots later.
    http://rpginn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=605&Itemid=39

    Remember AK are made out of 1mm of cheap sheet metal ($5 or less at a local hardward store). Yeah, I know it piss a lot of AK fanboys out there to hear this.

    As a rule of thumb, any shinny metal parts that once had finish must be lubricated because another piece of metal or materiel is rubbing against it.

    If your AR15 is having trouble shooting Wolf Ammo then you have a problem and it’s not Wolf. I have shot thousands of Wolf ammo and so does many members of our gun club. Like Old Painless pointed out, clean the rifle before switching to brass.

  • Joe

    I have to agree with jdun1911. I’ve taken Pat Roger’s carbine class and a heavily lubed AR and steel case ammo will not make your AR malfunction. During the class I put 1000 rounds of steel cased ammo through my rifle without a problem except for the one round that had the primer seated sideways. I also kept (and still keep) my rifle well lubed.

  • Greg

    I see a lot of blogs and suggestions on how to clean the AR-15 bolt, but no concrete method that really cleans the burned on carbon off the back of the bolt just past the gas rings. Ive cleaned this part hundreds of times and it’s a pain in the neck. I’d love to hear some realistic solutions for cleaning this that is quick and easy. Ive labored with solvents and wire brushes of all kinds, but its hard work and takes a long time. Ive searched for tools but cant find any, and heard the suggestions from screwdrivers to empty casing lips to detal picks, but its all the same result. I came up with my own solution. I developed a tool that cleans off the built up carbon and then polishes the metal to a shiny finish in 30 seconds. No fuss, no muss. I just dont know if everyone else is as picky as I am about having a clean bolt and wonder if there’s a market for making more of these and selling them. Any interest?

  • Kip

    WD 40 is one of the WORST things you can use on a firearm. It dries to a varnish that WILL glue small peices together. Try spraying a peice of flat steel and placing another on top of it then put them on the shelf and two months later try to pull them apart! If you use a 1/8 X 1 flat bar about 2 feet long and at least one will be bent by the time you get them apart.

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