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Modern Minuteman _ The New Patriot _ How to clean your AR series rifle. (Caution : Bandwidth Killer)

Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:21 PM

I posted this in a forum where a lot of folks are getting AR's for the first time, so its pretty basic for most of us here. However, I thot I'd just toss it in here in case it helps someone out. Due to forum restrictions on the number of images per post, this will appear in several pieces.

Okay, I have gotten a few questions about maintaining the AR series rifle, so I'm just gonna answer 'em all at once. Its not terribly difficult, and if you could sit down with me for an hour, I could show you the ins and outs of it. However, given travel distances for most folks, that's not real practical. I am going to go into far more detail than some might feel necessary, but understand something, since I can't be there detail will have to suffice. Also, this will be HEAVILY illustrated, to the tune of about 175 + images. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, you'll get approximately 178,000 extra words, so if bandwidth is a problem for you, this may be a tough post to get through. lol.gif In doing this I am assuming that the reader knows nothing about the AR platform, and has never dis-assembled one. So if it goes too slow for you remember, you did it for the first time once too...

With that, lets move on to the task at hand.

Firstly, we need a spot to do the work. A couple things to bear in mind. You'll need about 4 feet of table space to do it comfortably, and somewhere with ventilation. Some of the chemiclas we will be using are fairly noxious, and some are outright toxic. I wouldn't recommend you try this on your heirloom dining room table, however if you have good ventilation and a good surface cover, you'll be fine. I do this out on my back patio. You can do this in any room with an outside facing window and a box-fan, or a garage, or wherever.

Next, we need to gather up the stuff we need, so I raided my "Goodie Locker" and drug out all the stuff. These are the cases I use to store my cleaning gear, and the subject of all this hullabaloo. The top case holds all my bore brushes, swabs, jigs, "Toothbrushes" (Nylon and brass) etc. The middle case is my collection of small bottles and tubes of cleaners, lubes, some towels/cloths, and other assorted tools. The bottom case holds my aerosol cleaners, large lube containers, more rags, and other odd implementia. Of course in front is the dirty tool that needs some attention. This is all set on a glass-top patio table, out on the back patio.



First, I lay down a chunk of cardboard any case anything gets loose. On top of that is a Kleen Bore product that I picked up that absorbs all sorts of nasty chemicals and has a rubberized bottom that seals anything from leaking through. Additionally, the texture of the surface helps prevent small parts from rolling away, and it is neutrally colored so its easy to find those small parts again after you set them down. However, since I believe in redundancy, the cardboard is still a good idea.



Next I have set out some chemicals I commonly use for various things, not all of which will be used for this exercise. As a side note, I believe in "The right tool for the job", thus I have a lot of different chemcals on hand. I use different kinds of cleaners for different kinds of contamination (Carbon, lead, copper, shotgun wadding, etc.) and different kinds of lube for different applications (Rifle, handgun, greases, oils etc.), for different properties (Greases, oils) and for different lubricating properties (Oils, teflons, flouropolymers etc.). It seems complicated now, but just hang tite, it'll all work out.

Left to right I have :



Note: I have (and use) many more than are listed here, but this is long enough already, and these give a good cross-section of what's out there other than products like Mil-Tec and FP-10, which I have not used.



On to the "Tools of the trade".

This is a sample kit by Kleen-Bore who along with Outers, make most of these kits. They are usually "Sized" for a given type (Long gun or short) and caliber, usually in groups (eg 9mm/38/357 or 6mm/270 or caliber "Families" such a .30 caliber which would include 30 Carbine, .308. 30-06, .300 WinMag etc.). These should run you +/- $20 at your local gunshop or sporting goods store.



This is an example of a "Home-Brew" kit I carry in my 3rd line for rifle cleaning. I simply got it by part and piece for the 5.56 X 45/.223 caliber of my AR and stuck it in a USGI-Style shotgun ammo pouch.



This shows some of the other tools we will be using. Left to right, top to bottom they are:




Okay, remember how I said not ot use "Synthetic Patches"? This is what they look like. I can't begin to tell you how much they suck. They are not at all absorptive, nor abrasive, so they are worthless on both counts. Avoid them like the plague.



This is my "Tool Case". I use it keep all my brushes jags etc, seperated by caliber. It didn't take me long of mixing up .27 and .30 caliber brushes before I got one of these to keep 'em all straight.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:22 PM

This is the inside view of the above case. Of interest are the cyclone brushes in the upper left corner. They are VERY aggressive, and I use them only for cleaning my shotgun after shooting lead slugs. You can ruin the rifling in a standard barrel in short order.



Of special note is this little feller. This is a "Jag" and is your secret weapon in getting a clean bore. They are sized to caliber, sometimes more specifically than a brush, so make sure you get the right one. Some "Universal Kits" come with a plastic jag. Toss that worthless piece of crap straightaway.



On to the actual process at hand.

First make double-damn sure your firearm is "Clear". Before I started this process I cleared the firearm, had The Wife double-check it, and then I checked it again. "The mark of a professional is a tireless commitment to safety" is a saying I heard once that I hold in very high regard. "Safety : Learn it, Live it, Love it, if you want to live" is another good one. http://youtube.com/watch?v=Pjr1ufmtTq0 demonstrates how to clear a handgun, the same principles apply to a long gun. Note in this picture the firearm is on safe, there is no magazine inserted, and the "Chamber Flag" is inserted showing that there is no round in the chamber. When you are cleaning a firearm, do not allow any ammunition in the cleaning area.



Next, remove the muzzle cover, if you have one. If you don't have one, you should pick some up. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ARR128-48358-1886.html



Muzzle cover removed.



Next, if you have removable optics on your rifle, remove them. This is an AimPoint M2 with a quick-release mount, One knob simply unscrews to remove the AimPoint, and it will return to zero when it is re-installed.



AimPoint removed.



Next we begin the actual take-down process. The AR series rifles are easily dis-assembled via the two take-down pins indicated here by red arrows.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:23 PM

Some AR's take-down pins pop out pretty easily, some are much stiffer or tighter than others. If yours are of the thighter or stiffer variety, use your chamber flag to start them, by pushing on the pin from the left side of the rifle, like so. Start with the rear pin.



Once the pin is started out, grab it from the other side and pull it out until it stops, like so.



This will allow the lower reciever to swing away.



Then, using the same technique, press out the front pin...



...Pull it the rest of the way up...



...and you can now seperate the upper and lower recievers.



Next, we are gonna pull the bolt carrier and bolt out.

Start by pinching the release catch on the charging handle to unlock it...



And slide it toward the rear.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:23 PM

Once you have it retracted as far as it will go...



The bolt carrier will come out.



You will notice that the charging handle sags a bit if the upper reciever is held upright, and if you apply slight downward force to the charging handle, it will drop down out of the upper reciever and can be pulled out the rear of the reciever. The charging handle run in a track at the top of the upper reciever, and has two small "Ears" at the end opposite the latch. There is a set of notches in the track that will allow the charging handle to come out.



In this picture, the notch can be just seen.



We now have the rifle broken down into its three main parts, the upper reciever, the lower reciever, and the "Bolt Carrier Group". This is your bolt carrier group, and the place we will start actual cleaning.

Left side



Top



Right side


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:24 PM

The first step in disassembling the Bolt Carrier Group, is to find this little cotter pin on the left side...



...And using some form of "Pointy Object" start it out...



...And completely remove it.



Now, lifting up the entire carrier group up by the front, firmly tap it into the palm of your other hand.



This will start the firing pin out of the carrier group, like so.



The firing pin may fall entirely out, if it does, thats fine. If not, reach through the top and bottom openings of the bolt carrier, and pinch the firing pin...



...And pull it out of the back of the bolt carrier.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:25 PM

Next, push the bolt into the bolt carrier...



...And you will notice that the bolt retaining pin has retracted as well, and is now canted over to the side.



In order to remove the bolt retaining pin, it needs to be rotated 90 degrees, so that the "Ears" will clear the gas key above it. You can do this by simply setting your thumb on the corner of the retaining pin, and rotating it 90 degrees, like so.



The bolt retaining pin will now lift up...



...And it can be removed.



Now, grasping the bolt...



...It can be drawn straight out the front of the bolt carrier.



The Bolt Carrier Group, broken down to its main parts.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:26 PM

Now, it's time to start cleaning that nasty thing.

This is the bolt end of the bolt carrier, and it shows the kind of crud we are gonna be dealing with. Mostly carbon fouling (the black stuff) along with some rust, and copper fouling (the rust and copper colored stuff respectively :wink:) as well.



Since I am a firm believer in "Better cleaning through the proper application of the proper chemicals", we're gonna let them do some of the work for us.

Opening up your jar of solvent, in this case Shooters Choice, pour a small amount in the cap...



...And drop the firing pin retaining pin and the bolt retaining pin in the capful of solvent. We'll let those sit while we work on other things.



Now, using one of your rags, wipe the firing pin down and remove all the loose crud from it. This pin is exceptionally dirty. I had been running a "Failure test" on my AR, just running it until it wouldn't run any more due to excessive muck in it. Eventually it got to where I couldn't pull the bolt back with the charging handle anymore, so I slopped a bunch of Break-Free in the gun and yanked a bore snake through the barrel. As a result, this firing pin is seriously slimy. This picture is why you do not over-lube an AR, all the internals will look like this...



By simply rubbing the pin with the rag, it is dramatically cleaner.



However, some areas still need attention. Note the ring of black hardened carbon.



Dip a Q-Tip into the capful of solvent...



...And go after that stuff with a purpose. If need be, use a Nylon or Brass bristled scrub brush from your "Tool Kit".

When done, your firing pin should look like this.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:27 PM

Next we turn our attention to the bolt itself. The red arrows indicate some of the crud and gunk we are going after. We are wanting to get rid of all the carbon fouling, the "debris" and the brass fouling, especially on the bolt face and the locking lugs, which radiate out from the bolt face.



The other part of the bolt that usually gets pretty nasty is the area at the tail end of the bolt. This will usually be one of the most difficult to clean and the carbon there gets very hard and thoroughly caked on. Since my rifle gets fairly "Hard Use", and can be wet for days at a time, theres is some rust and as a result, metal pitting there. Eventually this bolt and carrier will be upgraded with a Lewis Machine and Tool bolt carrier group that will help mitigate some of the damage caused by this hard use. At any rate, this is the area we are looking at, bounded by the red box.



We're gonna start off by dropping the bolt into the jar of bore cleaner, and letting the wonder of noxious chemiclas work for us. Drop it in tail first, as thats the hardest stuff.



We're gonna let the bolt soak for a while. While it is soaking, using a Q-Tip soaked in solvent, go after the goo on the bolt carrier. I start with the bolt-end, swabbing out the area the bolt sets in. Get it good and wet in there...



...Then move on to the rails under the bolt carrier (and don't spare the solvent, re-wet your Q-Tip as necessary)...



...And head up both sides...



...Making sure to get under the gas key thoroughly...



...Get down in the slot for the bolt retaining pin...


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:28 PM

...Then swab out the firing pin retaining pin hole...



...Then move on to the back of the bolt carrier...



...And into the backside of the bolt area, where your firing pin came out of.



Once you're done, you have one seriously nasty Q-Tip, but as you can see, we still have one "Good" end. You can really stretch your cleaning supplies if you are careful. THere's nothign wrong with using all you need, but on the flipside, with some practice you can really stretch this stuff out.



Now we bust out the "Big Tools". Take a cleaning rod, and attach a .45 bore brush...



...then, use that to scrub out the inside surfaces of your bolt carrier from the front...



...and the rear.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:28 PM

If you have access to .223 "Stripper Clips"...



...you can use one of those for a carbon scraper inside your bolt carrier.



Once you are done with the bolt carrier and it is clean to your satisfaction, flip the bolt over that is sitting in your jar of solvent.

Now we move on to some "Small Parts".

Your bolt retaining pin could use some work. Start by rubbing it down with a rag...



Then go after it with a brush and some solvent.

It should look more or less like this when clean.



Now, on to your firing pin retaining pin. Using your cleaning rag, wipe that little feller down real good.



Thats about all you can really do for it, it should look about like so:



Now that the easy stuff is done, lets turn our attention to that nasty bolt. Fish it out of the jar of solvent (Needle nose pliers here can be helpful, but be careful not to bend anythign when you grab it. its not teribly delicate, just don't reef on it), and if you have some aerosol carb cleaner, use that to hose it off, then let it sit a minute to dry.

We are gonna start with the "Tail" of the bolt, where the really hard stuff is.



Grab your "Uber Cheapo" knife and gently, but firmly, scrape off all the carbon you can.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:29 PM

Then, dunk your brush in your solvent bottle and scrub away. This is where a http://www.opticsplanet.net/hoppes-gun-cleaning-utility-brushes.html comes in really handy.

Repeat the scrape/brush routine until the carbon fouling is gone.

Now, lets go to the other end, the bolt face. Wet a swab and wet down the bolt face...



...And all sides of the locking lugs...



Then the rest of the bolt, including where the bolt retaining pin goes.



You can even work your wet swap through the firing pin passageway and get down in there.



Then work the whole bolt over with your brush, until you are satisfied that it is clean.

EXTRA CREDIT

This is not an absolutely necessary step to do each time, I do it every other cleaning or so, so I'll detail it here.

We are gonna pull the extractor and clean under there.

Find the pin on the side of the bolt that is just ahead of the smooth bearing ring.



Using your firing pin, or some other type of punch, push it out the other side...



Until you can get a grip on it with your fingers and completly remove it.



Your extractor claw is now loose in the bolt and you can lift it out.



On some bolts you may need to press down on the extractor to lessen the tension on the extractor pin in order to push it out.

Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:30 PM

Looking down into the recess in the bolt, you can see a fair amount of grit in there. If you use too much lube on your bolt, this will be packed full of thick sludge and will prevent the rifle from extracting properly, and thus you will have tons of double-feeds.

Once you have the notch in the bolt wetted down good with solvent, go after it with a Q-Tip to get the loose garbage out.



Then do the same with the extractor its self.

If necessary, use a scraper of some sort (or your Uber Cheapo knife) to get down in the extractor groove its self and dig out all the built-up crud in there.



If you have a can of carb cleaner, blast out the notch in the bolt real good and make sure it is good and dry before re-assembly.

Now we are gonna lube the extractor pin. This is where we are gonna stop for a second and talk a bit about using Tetra Lubes on firearms. Use less than you think you need. Tetra is so slick, it will provide complete lubrication and protection in a coat so thin you can't see it. If you use Tetra, you don't need to get the parts all sloppy and gooey for them to work reliably like you do with CLP/Break-Free/Rem-Oil or whatever. This contributes to a longer run-time before cleanings and an overall happier firearm, thus a happier shooter. As a general rule, I use Tetra Grease where I want lubricity, without the lube moving around. I use Tetra Oil where I want/need the lube to move a bit, or to "Weep" into place.

So... On to lube and reassembly of the extractor.

Squeeze out a dab of Tetra Grease onto the extractor pin.



Again, use as little as you can get out of the tube. You can always squeeze more out if necessary, but you can't put it back. This much is plenty.



Wipe it around the pin until it is evenly spread out, and the pin is entirely covered in as thin a layer as possible while still maintaining coverage. Remove any excess, then set the now slippery pin down somewhere you can reach it, but it won't roll away.

Now, set the extractor back in the bolt, and align the holes that the pin must pass back through, as indicated by the arrow...



...then pass the pin through and center it in the bolt so that neither side is protruding beyond the edge of the bolt. If it does protrude, your bolt carrier group will not re-assemble.



Next we need to put a dab of Tetra Grease on teh centering ring on your bolt.



Remember, "A little dab'll do ya". This much left plenty of extra to wipe off. Spread it carefully around the entire area of the ring.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:31 PM

The next step involves some hocus-pocus. There is an old wives tale that if the three gas rings on the reart of your bolt line up...



...your gun won't cycle. Bosh. The gun will in fact run. However, it will not extract and eject as vigorously and when the trash needs taken out, the trash needs taken out. So, we are going to align the rings just to be safe. (They will move around when you fire the rifle, so the law of averages say they will inevitably line up at some point, but still....)

WHat we want is for the gaps in the rings to be equally spaced around teh circumfrence of the bolt. Desn't matter in what order, just spaced out. So, take something pointed (Your firing pin will work in a pinch) and move 'em around.



Next, insert the bolt back into the bolt carrier...



...with the extractor at about the 10 O'Clock position and the ejector pin at about the 4 O'Clock position, as you are looking at the bolt face.



Push it all the way in until it stops, this will line up the bolt retaining pin hole.



Now, another small dab of Tetra on the bolt retaining pin...



...about this much, and spread it around...



...And insert the bolt retaining pin in the hole. (Note that the "ears" of the bolt retaining pin must be parallel to the long axis of the bolt carrier)


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:31 PM

Now, pull the bolt forward and rotate it slightly so that the botl retaining pin is in its foremost position...



...And rotate the bolt retaining pin 90 degrees, so that the "Ears" are now perpendicular to the long axis of the bolt carrier.



Next, lightly lube the firing pin as previously described with Tetra Grease and feed the firing pin in through the rear of the bolt carrier...



...And guide it into the bolt... (If the bolt is not fully extended, and the bolt retaining pin is not set properly as indicated by the arrows, the firing pin will not drop into place)



...Making sure it goes all the way in.



Pinch the firing pin retaining firmly together, and start it into its spot...



...Then push it all the way in...



...Until the head is fully seated in the recess.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:32 PM

It should not protrude past the surface of the bolt on the other side...



...But it should prevent the firing pin from falling out.



Now, to lube the bolt carrier.

Start with the bottom, where the carrier impacts the hammer in its rearward travel.



The usual dab please, then work it all down the center section of the bolt carrier, toward the bolt face.



The general rule of thumb in lubricating a firearm is "Lube anything that rubs". To find what rubs, look for spots where the finish has rubbed off, and lube there.



Once you are done, set the bolt carrier group aside, and we'll move on to the upper reciever.



First, we need to remove the charging handle.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:33 PM

Next, we remove the handguards. These can be a bear until you get the hang of it. THey make tools to do this, but I came issued with a perfectly good pair of tools, they are called hands.

To remove the handguards, set the butt end of the upper reciever on a solid surface, grab the spring-loaded delta ring, and push it down.



Then pull the end of the handguard free of the delta ring. It takes a lot fo force to push the delta ring down far enough to pull the handguards loose, you're not gonna break it, don't worry.



Next we are gonna start cleaning the bore. Take the foaming bore cleaner and insert it in the breech (chamber) end of the barrel, while wrapping a rag around the bore (muzzle) end...



...And spray away until faom is running out into the upper reciever...



...And the barrel is completely full...



...Then set it aside for about 15 minutes, or until the foam completely breaks down.

While the foam is doing its thing, take your rag and wipe out the handguards...



...Then take five, get up and work teh kinks out of your legs, get a soda or cup of coffee. and stretch a bit.

We are gonna need our cleaniong rod for the next several steps, so I'll spend our "Break" expalaining a bit about why I use the rods I do.

I use a set of coated rods.



These are coated with plastic so that as the rod is being jammed down the barrel, when it flexes as a result of the force, it doesn;t bang against the rifling and possibly damage it. Is this a major concern? Probably not. But it scheap insurance in case it does happen. THese are "Sectional" rods, you can get one-piece rods form someone like http://www.deweyrods.com/cgi-bin/ccp5/cp-app.cgi?pg=cat&ref=RODS. These are nice because they can't be cross-threaded or have sections lost. However, they are tougher to store due to their length, and they are spendy. I had one. It was nice. Until I lost it. Anyway, this is what came in my kit.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:34 PM

Notice that the top section appears longer. It isn't really, it just has a short "Adapter" piece on it that allows it to accept other brands of attachments than Kleen Bore.

Okay, now that our foam has broken down to liquid and chewed up some of the fouling in the barrel, lets put all our rod sections together, and spin a .22 caliber brass or bronze brush on the end of our cleaning rod. Working from the breech end (always work from the breech end, you don;t want to drag any more crap into the reciever)...



...Shove the rod through the barrel and out the muzzle, then draw it back. This is one stroke. Give it about 19 more.

Remember our "Secret Weapon" from clear back at the beginning? Time to drag that little feller out and put him to work. Remove the brush from the cleaning rod, and replace it with a .22 caliber jag.



Now, time to use some patches. I use Kleen Bore patches, use whatever floats your boat, but here's why I use Kleen Bore.



You will notice that good cotton patches come with two sides, a softer side, and a rougher side. In this picture, the softer side is on the left, and the rougher side is on the right.



Holding your jag pointed up, force a patch on it until it "Snaps" on the first barb.



Then insert the patched jag and rod through the rear of the bolt carrier, and into the breech, making sure it folds completely over the jag.



Push the patch and jag all the way through the barrel...



...Then pull the patch off the jag, pull the rod back out of the barrel, and have a look at what the patch has to say. If there is a lot of black on it, that means there is carbon fouling in your bore. If there is blue on it, as indicated here by the red arrows, that means there is copper fouling in the bore, and we will have more work to do.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:35 PM

Firstly tho, lets get the rest of the carbon out of the bore. Snap a clean patch on the jag, and soak it on bore solvent...



...Then run it through the bore.



Your starter cleaning kit came with an "Eyelet" (or should have) so it's time to put it to use. Screw it on the end of your cleaning rod...



...Then fold a patch across the corners, and insert it into the eyelet from one of the corner ends...



...And center it in the eyelet.



Due to the copper fouling, we are gonna hafta bring in the heavy guns. In this case, it is Barnes CR-10. Be very careful with this stuff. It is very noxious, and in order to attack the copper, it is hard on metals in general. Do not let this stuff sit over-long in your barrel, especially so if your barrel is not chrome lined. I have seen cleaners of this type complteley eat rifling out of a barrel in as little as six hours. Use this stuff, 'cos it does the job, but be careful.

Open the bottle, and drip just enough CR-10 onto the patch to soak it...



...then working from the breech end again, swab the bore several times.

Your patch will look something like this when it is done.



Then repeat the previous jag/brush/jag routine with the regular bore solvent.

Your patches should come out clean, like so...


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:36 PM

Then working from the muzzle to the breech, spray some carb cleaner down the bore just to make sure all the copper solvent is out.

Once you are done with the barrel, lets clean the rest of the upper.

Grab your "Toothbrush", dunk it in your solvent and scrub away at the inside of the upper reciever...



...Then using a swab get around the gas tube...



...And into the locking lugs.



Keep after 'em until the swabs come out clean.

Next, we clean the charging handle, using a swab and some solvent...



...And if necessary, the "Toothbrush"...



...Then using a wadded up patch, wipe it out/off...



...And lube up the shiny spots...



...And re-insert the charging handle in the upper reciever...


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:37 PM

...Then put the bolt carrier group in...



...And push it in until the charging handle latches shut. If it does not go all the way in, withdraw the bolt carrier, pull the bolt fully forward in the carrier and carefully re-insert it.

Now, on to the lower reciever.



First we need to remove the buffer, and buffer spring. First, make sure the hammer is pushed down into the lower reciever until it "catches", if it is up. Then rotate the buffer so that it appears like so in the buffer tube, with two of the "Flats" around the circumfrence at approximately 4 O'Clock and 8 O'Clock, which will put one of them at 12 O'Clock, against the retaining pin...



...Then depress the buffer slightly and using your chamber flag to push in the spring-loaded retaining pin...



...Which allow the buffer to come up...



...And you can tip the buffer forward and pull the whole thing out.

Once its out, wipe it down with a rag and set it aside.

Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:38 PM

Now, look down in your trigger pack, and prepare to be mortified. THere will likely be a gob of unburnt powder and general grit in there.



Hose it down with your carb cleaner, then get after it with your "Toothbrush" (NOte that the hammer is now up. DO NOT simply pull the trigger and let the hammer slam into the lwer reciever frame. Hold the hammer with your finger, release the trigger and "ride" the hammer forward. Allowing the hammer to slam into the reciever can cause hammer or reciever failure cracks and failure over time.)...



...Then dip another swab in solvent...



...And "Seek and Destroy" all the remaining cooties in your trigger pack and lower reciever.



It should now look nice and clean down in there.


Posted by: PipeRain May 8 2008, 11:39 PM

Next, re-insert the buffer and spring into the buffer tube...



...Work the buffer into the tube...



...And rotating it so the "Flats" are orineted as before, push the buffer down past the retaining pin...



...And let it come to rest agsinst the retaining pin.



Now, put the forward upper reciever retaining pin boss in place between teh "Ears" in the lower reciever, and push the takedown pin in until it locks into place...



...Then tip the upper reciever down until it is in place (You may have to apply some pressure as shown in order for it to fully seat) and push the rear takedown pin fully in place.



Then replace your muzzle cover.



Congratulations! You are done!

If you were careful, you should have used very little of your celaning supplies. This si all the Q-Tips and patches I used in this exercise.



When you do this the first several times, don't woirry too much about conserving, use all you need to, and learn what and how much you need to use where, in order to get a clean rifle. Then you can work on paring down a bit.

Understand that this rifle is now "Serviceably" clean, it is not "Marine Corps Drill Instructor White Glove Inspection Clean". I don't need to do that any more, so I don't. If you want to, more power to ya, I ain't gonna bother.

As a side note, some will complain that I have not lubed "Enough". I can tell you that based on my experience this rifle will run fine with the amount of lube I used here. However, if you are wanting to toss some more goop in/on it, you can. You might want to add a thin coat of lube all over the outside of the bolt carrier, and in the bore. If I am heading for ahrsh climates, eg. saltwater or snow, I do those things. But for general use, I do not.

Hope this helps, if you have questions, post 'em.

Posted by: Pilgrim May 9 2008, 06:25 AM

Well this post is OK, but I wish you could have gone into more detail...

Posted by: tire iron May 9 2008, 09:06 AM

I'm sending my rifles to you for a good cleaning!

Great post - no - GREAT POST.

That took a LOT of time and effort - and it is appreciated.

Needs to be stickied and should be put where all nOObs can find it and follow it.

cheers

tire iron

Posted by: debear May 9 2008, 10:54 AM

WOW! You weren't kidding. smile.gif

Excellent job PR. thumbsup1.gif thumbsup1.gif

Good idea TI. I'll move it to New Patriot and sticky it.

Posted by: SuperD4K May 9 2008, 12:36 PM

Very good post!!! I used tetra for a while but now I use lithium wheel bearing grease and non chlorinated brake cleaner. A tub of wheel bearing grease costs $4 and a big can of brake cleaner is $2. James Yeager talked about it over on getoffthex.com awhile back and after trying it I am convinced. The BCG stays lubed since the grease is designed for high temps and it sticks to the BCG unlike with an oil. Even after a 1000 rounds the BCG looks dirty as hell but its still slick. The brake cleaner just blasts about everything out lol!

Thanks again for all the effort you put into this post!

Posted by: PipeRain May 9 2008, 02:52 PM

QUOTE (SuperD4K @ May 9 2008, 11:36 AM) *
Very good post!!! I used tetra for a while but now I use lithium wheel bearing grease and non chlorinated brake cleaner. A tub of wheel bearing grease costs $4 and a big can of brake cleaner is $2. James Yeager talked about it over on getoffthex.com awhile back and after trying it I am convinced. The BCG stays lubed since the grease is designed for high temps and it sticks to the BCG unlike with an oil. Even after a 1000 rounds the BCG looks dirty as hell but its still slick. The brake cleaner just blasts about everything out lol!

Thanks again for all the effort you put into this post!


You are most certainly welcome!

I'm a pretty hardcore Tetra snob. I'm diggin' on that "Off the charts" seizure point it has. faint.gif woohoo1.gif

Posted by: Pilgrim May 9 2008, 04:55 PM

Pipe, I was assured by a Tetra lube rep at a gun show that it was perfectly safe. I still feel like Neil Young after using it. Be advised to clean the gun with Tetra after shooting, for accuracy will greatly suffer if you breathe too much of it before hand.

Lately I've been saving the Tetra for use on 22's, and I've been using the Wilson's Ultima-Lube, both grease and light oil on the AR's. Wilson's stuff works shockingly well. Shocking price too, but I only clean my guns once a year... or before a prospective shoot.

I like using the grease lubes. We have no possible chance of AR's freezing up with cold thickened lube down here in Georgia. Just the opposite, light oils seem to disappear.

I tend to run my AR's bolts 'wet'. Not too wet, but wetter than whatever normal would be. Rust is a big problem here, especially with AR's stored in vehicles.

I have started to use BoreSnake's on the AR's sometimes, to save time. They appear to work well.

Posted by: ScottFN308 May 9 2008, 05:56 PM

If I may add, great post.
Everyone says to clean and maintain your weapons, now we all have
a "how to" guide. I do some things the same, and some things different,
but the end result is the same.

However, I too wish you had gone into a bit more detail. thumbsup1.gif

Regards,

Scott

Posted by: PipeRain May 9 2008, 06:50 PM

QUOTE (ScottFN308 @ May 9 2008, 04:56 PM) *
If I may add, great post.
Everyone says to clean and maintain your weapons, now we all have
a "how to" guide. I do some things the same, and some things different,
but the end result is the same.


Thanks Scott, and everyone as well, for the kind words!

QUOTE (ScottFN308 @ May 9 2008, 04:56 PM) *
However, I too wish you had gone into a bit more detail. thumbsup1.gif

Regards,

Scott


...However, for that one? You score "PipeRain Answer #2".

Burst.

Into.

Flames.

Posted by: ScottFN308 May 10 2008, 06:09 AM

QUOTE (PipeRain @ May 9 2008, 08:50 PM) *
...However, for that one? You score "PipeRain Answer #2".

Burst.

Into.

Flames.


Yeah, I guess I deserved that one.
Just joking with ya though. I think this is indeed a great post.

BTW, how many rounds did you have through the rifle pictured when you
took the photos of the FCG in the lower ? I ask because none of mine seem
to get very dirty there, or collect much dirt and grime unless I am running the
suppressor. Or at least what I call very dirty. But with the can it looks as if you
coated the whole inside of the lower with a fine black dust.

Just wondering.

Regards,

Scott

Posted by: Pilgrim May 10 2008, 07:39 AM

Q-Tips and AR's...Pilgrim shares a memory from his past (Sung to the tune of Alice's Restaurant)

Seeing PipeRain use Q-Tips for cleaning his AR reminds me of my Army Basic Training in the summer of 83.

I had 2 former Marines for drill instructors, and they were VERY, shall we say particular about how clean our M-16A1's were kept. They had to be spotless. But you see, they had us fire them from time to time, or lay down in mud puddles with them, and this got them dirty. So ALL or my time not spent getting yelled at or eating, was spent cleaning my 'weapon'.

Now we were warned NOT to use Q-Tips on our M-16's because cotton can pull off and get stuck inside the bolt carrier key. BUT... they would look in and inspect the inside of the bolt carrier key to make sure it was spotless, so we used Q-Tips anyway to clean this area and avoid long painful periods in the front-leaning-rest position.

Well, guess who got cotton stuck inside the carrier key...a lot of cotton... wayyyyy inside the key. We were going to be doing our final qualification that next day, and I started to panic thinking of the malfunction that would occur on the BRM firing line, the punishment that would occur when little white bits were spotted inside the action, ruining the moment when I was for certain going to hit 40 out of 40 targets and be the best shooter of our company.

So I Told my squad leader who said "the armourer is gone already, you will have to see Sgt. Anderson about it". Oh My God... Ok, so I go to the NCO's office and he asks, "What the HELL do you want Pvt. Pilgrim",,, "Well, Sergent, I got a piece of cot... " was all I got out. "DROP, DROP, DROP YOU S.O.B!!! NOW I HAVE TO DRIVE ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE MAIN SUPPLY OFFICE AND GET A DAMN ALLEN WRENCH!!! YOU WILL STAY LIKE THIS TILL I RETURN!!!" was what he said. So I stayed in the front leaning rest position right there in the middle of the office and people tried to do their paperwork and step over me and around me to go about their business.

He was back sooner than I thought, key came off easier than I thought, amount of cotton in the key was more than I thought.

Lesson learned.... Thank you Sgt. Anderson.

ps

I still use Q-Tips for cleaning AR's, but only put those mongo sized pipe cleaners, made of cleaning AR gas systems, directly into the bolt carrier key.

Posted by: frog May 10 2008, 11:33 AM

Scott I think that most of what you saw was from Piperain doing some testing with a Ciener conversion kit. Pipe will have to tell you how many of both 5.56 and .22 LR went through the rifle before cleaning though but I think it was over a thousand 5.56.

Posted by: ScottFN308 May 10 2008, 12:02 PM

QUOTE (frog @ May 10 2008, 01:33 PM) *
Scott I think that most of what you saw was from Piperain doing some testing with a Ciener conversion kit. Pipe will have to tell you how many of both 5.56 and .22 LR went through the rifle before cleaning though but I think it was over a thousand 5.56.


Yeah, the .22 kit would make sense.

I have never had the chance to mess about with one much.

Posted by: PipeRain May 10 2008, 05:26 PM

QUOTE (ScottFN308 @ May 10 2008, 05:09 AM) *
Yeah, I guess I deserved that one.
Just joking with ya though. I think this is indeed a great post.


No worries. I think its pretty safe to say that if there's any question that I am joking, it spretty safe to err on the side of "Joke"...

QUOTE (ScottFN308 @ May 10 2008, 05:09 AM) *
BTW, how many rounds did you have through the rifle pictured when you
took the photos of the FCG in the lower ? I ask because none of mine seem
to get very dirty there, or collect much dirt and grime unless I am running the
suppressor. Or at least what I call very dirty. But with the can it looks as if you
coated the whole inside of the lower with a fine black dust.

Just wondering.

Regards,

Scott


Well, in all honesty its tough to say exactly.

I had been running it "Until it wouldn't run anymore" to see what that round count was. Somewhere over 2,000 rounds, I lost count, and shortly after that it started sorta acting up. I could hardly charge it, but once charged it ran OK, it would extract reliably, it just didn't eject very "vigorously". I went out to go shooting a bit with my brother and his buddy, and it was just all done. (frog remembers that day, if he sees this, it was the day that "Mike" guy blew up his AR.) So I pulled it apart, yanked a bore snake through it, wiped off the BCG and slopped it up with Break Free and away we went. I prolly put another 100 rounds or so through it that day.

Then the Ciener kit arrived, and I put probably 500 rounds or so of .22LR through it, and it was after that that I shot those pics.

All that to say that I would reasonably guess around 2,500-2,750 rounds, of which around 500 were 22 LR.

It is my speculation that the vast majority of that "Grit" is from the 22LR, and the general slime is from the Break Free. In any case Carb Cleaner does a number on it all. It's hell on the last of my Bowflage though. :(

Posted by: PipeRain May 10 2008, 05:29 PM

QUOTE (ScottFN308 @ May 10 2008, 11:02 AM) *
Yeah, the .22 kit would make sense.

I have never had the chance to mess about with one much.


Dude.

Get one.

Unless you have 10,000 + rounds in addittion to your "Stash" it is the only way to fly.

Posted by: ScottFN308 May 10 2008, 06:29 PM

QUOTE (PipeRain @ May 10 2008, 07:29 PM) *
Dude.

Get one.

Unless you have 10,000 + rounds in addittion to your "Stash" it is the only way to fly.


Yeah, I am going to eventually. I read TI's thread about the Black Dog mags, and they
seem like the way to go. I do have about 14,000 rds of 5.56mm put back, that I bought
years ago when it was cheap, (no way I could afford it now), but it would be nice to have
a .22LR kit to add to the flexability of the AR.

Regards,

Scott

Posted by: Ghost26 May 11 2008, 07:31 AM

Great post PR! Excellent pics too!

I was just wondering why no mention was made of cleaning the gas tube? You can buy gas tube cleaning swabs (basically very thin, long, pipe cleaners) While spraying the bore / barrel with solvent, spray some in the gas tube then swab out. The gas tube can and does get carbon fouled and a fouled tube will cause cycling problems.

Ghost26

Posted by: PipeRain May 11 2008, 01:33 PM

QUOTE (Ghost26 @ May 11 2008, 06:31 AM) *
Great post PR! Excellent pics too!

I was just wondering why no mention was made of cleaning the gas tube? You can buy gas tube cleaning swabs (basically very thin, long, pipe cleaners) While spraying the bore / barrel with solvent, spray some in the gas tube then swab out. The gas tube can and does get carbon fouled and a fouled tube will cause cycling problems.

Ghost26


Well, I've gotten asked that a couple times, and the answer is essentially two-fold.

1) I've never seen, nor reliably heard of, a gas-tube blockage that wasn't a result of someone shooting liquid up the gas tube, then ramming a swab / pipe cleaner up there. All it takes is one or two times with a a Break-Free soaked pipe cleaner in the gas tube, and after a very few rounds you have a carbon plug in there.

2) I'm out of long pipe cleaners anyway. rofl.gif

Posted by: ScottFN308 May 11 2008, 01:50 PM

I have cleaned gas tubes, but I take them out of the rifle first.

Regards,

Scott

Posted by: Pilgrim May 11 2008, 09:04 PM

If I put one of those mongo sized pipe cleaners into the gas tube, I do so with it dry, and I keep the muzzle up when pulling out the pipe cleaner so any possible debris will hopefully fall out. I don't do that very often.

I never really see the gas tube get all that dirty anyway.

Then again I've never really looked inside the gas tube either. think.gif

Posted by: PatriotAr15 May 27 2008, 08:05 PM

Wow do I Feel overwhelmed.
I thought all I needed was Hoppes and CLP . Course I kinda figured a better lube might fix a problem with a certain charging handle (Which I mentioned in another thread).. I will have to look for that tetra gun oil you speak of...

THANKS FOR THE POST! bow.gif

Posted by: Tango Alpha Jun 5 2008, 04:27 PM

You're supposed to clean these things?

Posted by: currahee Jun 12 2008, 07:56 PM

Here is a brief video I made regarding the operation and maintenance of ARs. I would hope that most of ya'll can do it, but if you want to explain it to someone else this would be helpful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjhal3Q-adk

I've also got one on AKs and Glocks if you go to my profile.

Posted by: Leonidas Oct 4 2010, 12:26 PM

On not being a Smarmy fuck.Admins ban this piece of trash.

Posted by: Doc G Oct 4 2010, 07:10 PM

big help to a rookie on the AR platform. Thanks.

Posted by: ROWSCO Sep 25 2015, 12:13 PM

Pipe Rain if your still around that was a great how to. If you can do that with carry pistols and make a sort of video infomercial deal I can get it distributed locally.

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