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How to clean an AR-15

Frontier Justice’s Guide to Cleaning an AR-15

How to clean an AR-15

Keeping your firearm clean is an important responsibility for all firearm owners. At Frontier Justice, we proudly support our Second Amendment rights, and part of that support is education on responsible firearm ownership. 

In this blog, we will go over how to properly clean an AR-15 as well as discuss some general firearm cleaning tips. You can also reach out to our firearm experts directly with any questions you have about how to clean an AR-15, or any additional questions about firearm ownership. 

Debunking AR-15 myths with our Co-Founder Mike Brown

How to clean an AR-15

Before we get into the specifics of how to clean an AR-15, here are some general guidelines for cleaning all firearms.

Follow the firearm safety rules

When field stripping and cleaning your AR-15, always keep in mind the four fundamental firearm safety rules

  • Always assume the firearm is loaded
  • Always point the firearm in a safe direction
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire
  • Always know what you’re shooting at, and what’s beyond your target

Use the right equipment

It’s crucial to use the correct supplies when cleaning your firearm. We recommend the cleaning kits from Breakthrough, as they have everything you could possibly need for a thorough cleaning, including brass brushes, jags, and mops. 

Cleaning your AR-15

There’s a lot more nuance to cleaning an AR-15. Specifically, when cleaning the bolt carrier group, which does lots of tasks like feeding rounds into the chamber, extraction, and housing the firing pin. The bolt carrier group really does a lot of the legwork, but there are a handful of other parts and pieces that need to be cleaned out. 

There are specialty cleaning tools that can get you into the grooves and cracks of your AR-15 to make sure all of the carbon buildup is stripped away. The firing pin will also have significant carbon buildup, which can cause light striking issues. This means that the friction is so high that the firing pin travels too slowly and won’t strike the primer with enough force to puncture it, preventing the round from discharging. 

Step-by-step instructions for how to clean a firearm

Extra AR-15 cleaning tips

Knowing how to clean an AR-15 should be enough to keep your tool working smoothly, but here’s a few extra tips to consider while cleaning:

  • Don’t under or over clean: Obviously, not cleaning your firearm enough poses potential jamming, backfiring danger, or other malfunctions due to built up debris. However, cleaning your firearm too often is just a waste of time, and shouldn’t be necessary if you’re using quality firearm cleaning equipment. It’s best to find a happy medium to make sure that you’re not risking any damage to your firearm, one way or the other.   
  • Don’t lubricate your firearm too much: Lubrication is an important part of firearm maintenance, but using too much lube after cleaning can cause many issues. If your firearm is too wet and you carry it every day, that wetness will draw in more dirt and grime. It’s best to hit the essential points of contact on your firearm with a light amount of oil, and use a patch to evenly distribute the oil across the points of contact.
  • Take a Private Lesson: If you’re a new firearm owner, a great way to really learn about your new tool is to take a private lesson with one of Frontier Justice’s firearm experts. In our private lessons, we can tailor our instruction specifically to your firearm and make sure you know everything necessary for proper cleaning, maintenance, operation, and storage of your firearm.

Trust Frontier Justice with all your firearm cleaning needs

Properly cleaning and maintaining your firearm is a responsibility all firearm owners should take seriously. At Frontier Justice, we provide everything you need for a thorough firearm cleaning, from cleaning kits and lubricants to private lessons tailored specifically to your firearm questions. 

Learn more about what makes Frontier Justice different by reaching out to us, signing up for our membership club, scheduling a firearms class, or simply stopping by and checking out our store, boutique, and indoor shooting range for yourself!

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