First time cleaning AR

I’m planning on picking up an AR soon (hoping tomorrow). I’m wondering if I have everything I need. The first thing I’m planning to due is clean, inspect, and learn the rifle. I just watched some videos on cleaning. This one specifically this one. https://youtu.be/xW4DQ5QlwrA

Will Hoppes 9 work well for the AR? This is what I use on my pistols. Would CLP be better for an AR or does it really matter?

He mentions not getting lube in the lower. Can I use hopped 9 bore cleaner in the lower? I’ve heard others use CLP but isn’t that also a cleaner/ lube? I am pretty liberal with hoppes 9 bore cleaner on my pistols and conservative with the lube. I’ve seen multiple sources that say ARs should be run wet and the bolt carrier group should be lined liberally. All that being said, the AR platform is brand new to me. Should I just wipe it clean and move on? He actually seems to be on the side of minimal cleaning for maintenance in this video (other than the bolt carrier group).

Any other comments to help?

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As a retired Army guy, I used CLP on my issued M16A2 and later my M4A1. They ran great with good ol CLP Break Free. My ARs get Rem Oil and Mil Tech One these days.

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Keep watching YouTube and you’ll get all kinds of opinions. There is such a thing as over maintaining your rifle. But you’ll have to play with yours and figure out what works best.

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My $0.02… hoppes is totally fine.

Make sure you get a chamber brush.

I will very lightly oil the entire BCG, and use grease (or a little extra oil) on the contact points.

Also…

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To answer your question YES lube and clean the SNOT out of your BCG as often as you like. Grease or lube your trigger pins and rotating parts every now and then. I am also a fan of cleaning the area just forward of the feed ramps where the locking lugs go when the bolt goes home. They make special tools and swabs for it but a cotton ball or patch on a 90* “pick tool” works great too.

This is where folks get sideways with me.

LEAVE YOUR BORE ALONE. If you must drag something through the bore make it a DRY bore snake. Do NOT scrub the copper out of it after every range trip with Hoppes #9 or other just leave it be. You just spent XYZ number of rounds getting it sighted in and shooting well don’t screw up all that ammo and work by cleaning the bore. If you clean it you will go straight back to zero and need to put another 50+ rounds through it to get it accurate again. If you leave it alone the very first shot out of your tube will go where you aim it. Keep shooting it dirty until the accuracy goes away (about 750 - 1K rounds). THEN go clean the snot out of it and take it back to the range and dump 50 rounds through it and leave it for the next range trip. I’ve done the tests I’ve checked with other shooters, this is how you make the first shot just as accurate as the last shot you took.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Does this advice change based on the frequency you shoot?

I ask because my one scoped rifle (where I care about accuracy) might go with me to the range and I shoot for groups, and then it gets cleaned and put back in the safe. That particular rifle may not go back out again for several months (I shoot other firearms). I dont mind not cleaning it if I take it back out soon, but something about leaving a dirty firearm laying around gives me the heebie jeebies.

Is that a valid concern?

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Great question. I was wondering the same thing. My .308 does not get shot as often as I like.

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@Harvey & @Virgil_H I can give you MY experience as born out over the years that I have been practicing this methodology. I did this with my primary match/precision rifle and I would go weeks to several months w/o shooting it and it never dissapointed me on a CBS. My hunting rifles get fired 1 mebby two shots per year given the opportunity to take game, they have never failed to put the boolit where it was sent to, the bores have not been cleaned in at least a decade. Occasionally I will shoot 10 - 20 rounds out of them for pre-season warm up and they group just as well as the last time. My AR - 10 has about 700 rnds through it w/o cleaning over the span of 3 - 4 years and this hunting season I used it to effect a 478 yard DRT shot (lasered after the fact). I have a Kinber 83G (22LR) that has over 3K rounds through it and I swear the last group I shot was the tightest yet.

So, IMHO it does not hurt your stick at all to leave the bore “dirty”. That said since my hunting rifles sit for the better part of a year I will look down the tube prior to heading out and invariably there are dust bunnies living in there so I drag a dry bore snake through and go hunting. I have experienced no ill effects from this effort.

Here is the caveat everyone looks for, except the 22 all the ammo run through my sticks are hand loaded. I don’t shoot “bulk ammo” from questionable sources and NEVER shoot steel case or Berdan primer’d ammo. I also won’t shoot anything older than 1950. From then on you were out of the woods from mercuric primers and corrosive US ammo. I did shoot some 1902 vintage 30-40 Krag through my 1898 Krag rifle and DID scrub the he!! out of it 3 times as it was literally “gun cotton” powder but I wanted to see what it would do. It went bang and was Meh accurate.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Thank you sir. That makes sense. I appreciate you sharing your experience and insights with us.

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@Virgil_H there was a thread on here, something like “How often do you clean” that I laid the whole sorted tail out about how I came to this epiphany and the gent who I believe was the OP but mebby not verified the concept with his own experience. Don’t have a link.

OH, if your tube gets rained/snowed on it is permissible to run a patch down the tube to protect it with some lite gun oil (NOT solvent, not CLP not cleaner OIL ((10W-30 works well)) of your personal flavor but you WILL have to shoot the bore back in. It just doesn’t take as long as a full scrub.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Roger that brother. Thanks again.

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Cleaned it for the first time. It was much simpler than expected. I took the BCG apart and back together 4 or 5 times.

How do y’all feel about grease on the charging handle? I’ve never used grease, I’ve seen some issues with it before. BUT the charging handle looks like a good place for it.

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You can try it if you like but in general if everything is lined up right the charging handle kind of just “floats” in the groove. The only real bearing surface is under where the gas key goes through and it pushes up against the BCG. I only like grease on parts that rotate or pivot around pins, simply because to make them work there is clearance and greaser stays better than oil on the rubby bits.

FWIW an old time assembly trick for an AR BCG is to submerge it in 10W-30 for a day or two if it is Parkerized or Phosphate coated as the oil actually seeps into the coating and maintains lubricity better. Suggest you hip fire or bench fire it for the first 10 rounds as it will spray hot oil EVERYWHERE but somehow primarily into your face :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :sunglasses:

Cheers,

Craig6

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