How Often To Clean AR15

If you are new to shooting rifles, you may ask about how often to clean AR15? The answer varies based on the amount you shoot. The best advice is to clean the gun as much as you want, however, that may not be necessary. Round counts, environmental factors and usage can influence how much cleaning you need to do.

There are opinions out there stating that you don't need to clean the gun because whatever claims people come up with. The fact is that the gun may still function, but it's not performing at its optimal.

Here is the quick reference guide on how often you should clean your AR15 with other factors involved.

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When To Clean Your AR15

ar15 bcg dissambled

Most of us aren't pushing our guns to the limits. Sure, if you're firing off 20,000 rounds in one go, give it a deep good clean. But for most of us, a typical range day is less than 200 shots. So, a few parting tips:

  • 250 rounds is a good time to clean your AR15
  • If in doubt, clean it right away before storing the gun you just took to the range for a home defense rifle
  • If it's just dirty and it bothers you, clean it 
  • If the charging the bolt feels gritty, clean it
  • If shooting suppressed a lot
  • After every shooting competition
  • If shooting low quality ammo
  • After a paid carbine training session at about 500 - 2000 rounds

Why To Clean The AR15 So Often

Your AR15 rifle is a tool, it's like a car that needs care and maintenance. While they are designed for combat and long firing session, but it doesn't mean post combat, the rifle isn't getting cleaned.

dirty ar15

A clean rifle ensures less chance for malfunction, and it provides the user the opportunity to inspect the rifle for any unnoticed damage. For an AR15, these areas can affect performance and cause jam if not cleaned.

Here are some parts that need deep cleaning when carbon residue is built up around them

  • Gas tube - Ensures proper gas flow, and no clog
  • Bolt and Bolt gas ring - Reduces friction
  • Cam pin - Ensures it can move freely, not too tight or loose
  • Bolt barrier surface - Ensures it can cycle smoothly
  • Underneath the extractor - Ensures no problem ejecting shells
  • Chamber feed ramp - Ensures proper feeding
  • Barrel - Ensures accuracy and group consistency

Recommended Cleaning Tools

Most cleaning kit on the market works just fine for AR15. A good solvent that can break apart the thick carbon residue is a must. Follow up by using a good bush and scraping tool. Our favorite recommendation is the REAL AVID Carbon Boss for cleaning the bolt carrier group. 

The Real AVID Carbon Boss is small, and it's like a swiss army knife to clean all 13 surfaces on an AR15 BCG. It's made of stainless steel and works faster and better than other tools.

For the full list of AR15 cleaning kit, please click here

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