Our ARs have never run so smoothly or cleanly until we discovered this compact, easy-to-use AR maintenance kit.
by the Shooting Daily staff
How to clean an AR-platform rifle is not something you have to explain to serious MSR owners. For starters, they understand that the AR’s somewhat complex internal workings and the sometimes delicate gas impingement system demands a lot more attention to cleaning protocols than, say, AK-platform rifles. Furthermore, experienced shooters know that no firearm lives by a shoot-and-forget it philosophy. Reliability, accuracy, and longevity depend on basic cleaning maintenance.
Unfortunately, many AR owners fail to appreciate the cleaning and lubrication requirements of their rifles. For those who haven’t bothered to read the instruction manual, or have purchased their first AR second-hand and don’t have a guide book, we’re going to show you the breakdown of the basic AR field-cleaning process.
But before you can get started cleaning your AR, you need a few essential items. Since we’re all about convenient, one-stop shopping, we turn our attention to Otis Technology. Known as the go-to source for military, law enforcement, and civilian hunting and shooting firearms cleaning solutions, Otis makes a turnkey cleaning kit specifically for the 5.56 AR.
The Otis MSR/AR Cleaning system includes everything you need to give your rifle a comprehensive cleaning, all in a lightweight carry pouch. The Star Chamber cleaning tool, O-12 AR cleaner, and Ripcord are sold separately. To see how it works, and how to give your AR a deep-cleaning, check out the Otis cleaning video below.
For experienced AR owners, we want to spice up this discussion by letting you in on a couple of tools you may not even know about…the B.O.N.E. tool and the Star Chamber cleaning tool.
For a slow-mo overview of the basic, down-and-dirty field cleaning process, read on…
Ensure the safety selector is on SAFE. Point the muzzle in a safe direction and remove the magazine (if inserted). Pull back the charging handle and inspect the chamber – visually and manually – to ensure there is no cartridge present.
PRIMARY COMPONENT DISASSEMBLY
UPPER RECEIVER CLEANING
BOLT CARRIER GROUP DISASSEMBLY
BOLT CARRIER GROUP CLEANING
LOWER RECEIVER ASSEMBLY CLEANING
NOTE: You will occasionally want to remove the buffer and buffer spring from the buffer tube (which the buttstock is mounted to). A dirty, dry buffer and buffer spring can create cycling issues. Simply depress the buffer retaining pin and remove the buffer and spring assembly. Wipe clean and lightly lubricate.
BOLT CARRIER GROUP LUBRICATION
Perform a function check of your firearm before storing it or heading to the range. Do it now so you’ll be certain your rifle is ready for action. This video from Brownells fully explains the function-check process. Brownells is also an excellent source for Otis cleaning products.