Rifle RX: AR-15 Speed Clean Rifles

How to get your gun back in the fight in 20 minutes flat!

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Speed Clean Rifles!

I love to shoot, but I hate to clean guns. AR-platform rifles run well even when caked with crud, but sooner or later, you do have to clean even the most abuse-immune AR-type rifle. Cleaning is never fun, but there are a few tools, tips and techniques that can reduce the pain and get you back to shooting a little faster.

1. OPEN & DEGREASE: Remove the rear pin so the upper receiver is pivoted open. The gun is like a big clothespin that keeps snapping shut at the wrong time. So, pick up a Sinclair AR-15 Cleaning Link from Brownells. The Cleaning Link will keep the upper tipped open at exactly the proper angle for cleaning. No more pinched fingers. Remove the charging handle and the bolt carrier group. Break down the bolt carrier group. Put the parts in a container. (I use a stainless steel salad bowl that was liberated from my wife’s kitchen for the chore.) Then dump in some solvent. I like Brownells TCE Cleaner-Degreaser, which I get by the gallon. You don’t need to submerge them, but make sure all the parts are coated well. Then set these parts aside to soak and every now and then give the container a shake-and-stir.

2. BORE SCRUBBING: Another must-have tool is a rod guide. There are several on the market, but I like the one that Sinclair has. The rod guide inserts through the upper receiver and into the chamber, where it’s held in place and sealed with an O-ring. The tool makes it much easier to start a patch than trying to guide it through the receiver and into the barrel while perched on the end of the jag. Use an aggressive copper-cutting solvent like Barnes CR10. Run several wet patches through the bore and then follow with a nylon brush that is well coated with solvent. Now let it soak for a while. As you are cleaning the other parts, stop every few minutes to run a few more solvent-soaked patches through the bore.