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AR-15/M4 Firearm Maintenance: Part 2 Cleaning

In this informative piece, we move forward in our AR-15/M4 firearm maintenance series. The second installment focuses keenly on the cleaning process of this versatile firearm. In doing so, we reveal essential tools and expert techniques to yield optimal results. This segment fast-tracks your proficiency by demonstrating the initial steps; inserting the Sinclair International ar-15 cleaning link to secure the receiver open, which simplifies cleaning from the breech.

Pivotal to the process is the correct cleansing of the upper receiver, the interface for the bolt. The easy-to-follow guidelines utilize the Brownells AR-15/M4 upper receiver cleaning kit, ensuring pristine maintenance. Through the components in this kit, alongside M-pro 7 cleaning solution, the article aims to leave no trace of carbon build-up. The series continues, presenting crucial instructions for barrel and flash hider cleaning, before focusing on the somewhat intricate areas- the bolt and the carrier.

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Table of Contents

Securing the Rifle for Cleaning

When cleaning your AR-15/M4, it is of utmost importance to secure the rifle. The Sinclair International ar-15 Cleaning Link is a tool specifically designed for this task. It enables the secure holding of the receiver in an open, accessible position, which is a great assistance when cleaning from the breech. By placing your rifle in a cradle and installing the link according to instructions, you can effortlessly ensure its stability throughout the cleaning process.

Using the Sinclair International ar-15 Cleaning Link

The Sinclair International Cleaning Link is an essential tool in any firearm owner’s cleaning arsenal. It is specifically designed for the AR15/M4 rifle. To use it, place the rifle in a cradle, and insert the Cleaning Link – it will securely hold the receiver open, providing optimal access for thorough cleaning. It’s a straightforward process, which when mastered, ensures greater effectiveness of the cleaning job.

Procedures to safely hold the rifle

To ensure that your rifle is safely secured in the cradle, follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. Place the rifle with its muzzle facing away from you, ensure the rifle is unloaded, and insert the Cleaning Link as per the instructions provided. This positions the firearm appropriately and ensures that the upper receiver is held open securely. This safe positioning not only protects you, but also your firearm, which is crucial for maintaining its functionality and longevity.

Upper Receiver Cleaning

Cleanliness in the upper receiver is paramount in retaining rifle efficiency as it houses the bolt carrier group which is key in the firing process. Thus, a cleaning kit specifically designed to target the unique attributes of this part such as the Brownells AR-15 Upper Receiver Cleaning Kit is crucial in the maintenance routine.

Using the Brownells ar-15 Upper Receiver Cleaning Kit

This kit was curated with various tools and accessories to thoroughly clean the upper receiver. Start by attaching the bronze brush provided in the kit. A light misting of the brush with M-pro 7, a specially formulated cleaning solution, enhances its effectiveness in removing any carbon deposits. The kit also includes a wool mop to remove any leftover residue ensuring a comprehensive clean.

Techniques for brushing inner surfaces

When using the Brownells AR-15 Upper Receiver Cleaning Kit, brushing technique can significantly impact the effectiveness of the clean. Gently brushing the interior surfaces in a systematic, crisscross pattern ensures every nook is covered. Use enough pressure to dislodge stubborn deposits, but remember to stay gentle so as not to damage the surface. A proper brushing session involves multiple passes to ensure thoroughness but remember to reapply M-pro 7 when the brush starts drying out.

Removing carbon residue with a wool mop

The wool mop included in the Brownells ar-15 Upper Receiver Cleaning Kit plays a crucial role in removing carbon residue. The mop is designed to fit snugly into the upper receiver to maximise it’s cleaning potential. For optimal results, swipe the mop across the inner surfaces of the upper receiver until all visible carbon residue is removed. Should any tough residue remain, lightly mist with M-pro 7 and repeat the process.

Barrel Cleaning

Barrel cleanliness is a pivotal aspect of the AR-15/M4’s performance. Neglecting this part of the rifle may result in higher risk of malfunction and operational errors. A well-maintained barrel ensures the firearm’s accuracy and reliability.

Importance of a bore guide

A bore guide helps to center the cleaning rod in the bore, reducing the risk of damaging the muzzle, throat, and chamber. It is of the utmost importance to use a bore guide as it prevents the solvent from leaking into the gun’s action, an area that could be adversely affected by the harsh cleaning chemicals.

Procedure to loosen fouling using solvent-soaked patches

Loosening fouling in the barrel is best achieved with the use of a solvent-soaked patch. By running it through the bore manually or with assistance from the cleaning rod, you allow the solvent to dissolve the fouling. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then follow up with a dry patch to absorb the residue.

Use of bronze brush

The bronze brush plays a significant role in barrel cleaning. Wet the brush with the cleaning solvent, then insert it into the bore making 10-15 complete strokes. This helps to remove stuck-on fouling that the solvent-soaked patches may have missed.

Aiming for a clean patch

The goal of barrel cleaning is achieving a clean patch. The process needs to be repeated—alternating between solvent-soaked patches and the bronze brush until the patch comes out clean. At that point, you can be assured that the barrel is completely free from fouling.

AR-15/M4 Firearm Maintenance: Part 2 Cleaning

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Flash Hider Cleaning

A flash hider plays a crucial role in the overall functionality of the AR-15/M4, thus making its cleaning a necessary component of routine firearm maintenance.

Procedure for cleaning the flash hider

Begin cleaning the flash hider by sprinkling or spraying the muzzle with M-pro 7. With the aid of a cleaning brush, gently scrub the flash hider, making sure every crevice is reached.

Effects of the buildup of burnt powder and carbon

Negligence in maintaining the cleanliness of the flash hider can result in a significant buildup of burnt powder and carbon. This unwelcome buildup can hugely impact the flash hider’s effectiveness, altering the firearm’s performance, and eventually damaging it. Regular maintenance ensures that you mitigate these issues.

Cleaning the Locking Lug Recesses

Cleaning the locking lug recesses is an often overlooked but vital aspect of maintaining your AR-15/M4. It’s a final stage in maintaining the upper receiver, aiming to eradicate debris from the deepest reaches of your rifle.

Use of chamber brush in the Brownells ar-15 upper receiver cleaning kit

The chamber brush included in your cleaning kit offers a specialized method for cleaning the locking lug recesses. Dampen the brush with a solvent, then remove the chamber guide and insert the brush, rotating it to ensure the loosening of any stubborn deposits.

Application of solvent and technique in cleaning the lug recesses

Apply solvent sparingly, just enough to get the brush damp. After inserting the brush into the chamber, rotate it. This will ensure the bristles penetrate the recesses. Subsequently, a swab or mop can be used to pick up the loosened debris.

Using Sinclair lug recessed cleaning tool

For a deeper clean, avail of the Sinclair Lug Recessed Cleaning Tool. To utilize this tool, attach the cotton roll included, insert it in the upper, push the swab into the lug recess, and rotate. This method is effective in removing the buildup loosened by the brush.

Bolt Carrier Group Cleaning

Cleaning your bolt carrier group (BCG) is vital for the reliable functioning of your AR-15/M4. A Dirty BCG can degrade performance and potentially lead to failures.

Using Brownells Bolt radius scraper and carrier carbon scraper

The Brownells Bolt Radius Scraper and Carrier Carbon Scraper provide a specialized and effective method for cleaning stubborn areas of the bolt and bolt carrier. These tools are incredibly effective in dealing with the carbon build-ups that are tougher to access and clean.

Process of removing carbon build-up on the bolt tail

To remove carbon buildup at the tail of the bolt, you’ll want to insert it into the Bolt Radius Scraper, rotating the tool around the bolt to effectively remove excess carbon. Accomplishing this takes care of the most formidable carbon build-ups and makes cleaning the rest of the bolt much easier.

Scrubbing procedure to remove remaining fouling

Spray cleaner on the bolt after you’ve removed the excess carbon and use a brush to scrub off any remaining fouling. This process is simple but vital in ensuring it’s thoroughly cleaned.

Technique in cleaning bolt carrier

When it comes to cleaning the bolt carrier, insert the Carrier Carbon Scraper into the carrier and rotate it. This process breaks up hard-to-reach carbon deposits, facilitating their complete removal.

Tips for reaching hard-to-reach carbon deposits

After a few turns, remove the scraper and tap the carrier gently to help dislodge and remove the carbon. Keep alternating between the scraper and the brush until you have removed all the carbon. Once you are satisfied with the scraping, switch to a cleaner and brush to rid the bolt carrier of any remaining carbon.

Cleaning the Lower

Cleaning the lower is the final key step in your AR-15/M4 cleaning routine. Cleaning the lower ensures the longevity of the internal components, making sure your AR-15/M4 rifle runs reliably.

Process of setting the upper aside

Start by pushing out the pivot pin and setting the upper aside. This is to make sure the lower is separated from the rest of the firearm, safeguarding the other components from potential damage during the lower cleaning process.

Methods for cleaning the interior

Begin by moving the selector to the fire position and pull the trigger to lower the hammer. Spray the interior with a generous amount of cleaner. Alternatively, you can utilize a cleaner-soaked brush for a more detailed approach.

Techniques in using a vigorous brushing

Once the interior is saturated with cleaner, scrub it in a concerted manner, making sure to reach into all nooks and crannies. This should dislodge most of the residue, which can then be rinsed clean with additional spray cleaner.

Procedure of rinsing with a spray

After a vigorous brushing, reapply spray cleaner to the lower. This is necessary to expel any dislodged dirt and debris, leaving the lower clean and ready to be dried. It wouldn’t hurt to repeat the rinse process to ensure all loose particles have been removed.

Drying Procedure

After the cleaning process, attention must be turned to the appropriate drying procedure. This is important to avoid corrosion or damage to the metal and moving components of the AR-15/M4.

Procedure for air drying the lower

Simply set the lower aside in a well-ventilated area and allow it to air-dry. Make sure it is positioned such that any residual cleaner can drip out and not pool in the lower.

How to wipe down the lower without causing damage

While the lower is air drying, you may want to speed up the process by wiping it down with a dry, soft cloth. Make sure you are gentle and thorough, as aggressive wiping could potentially cause unnecessary harm to the delicate components.

The Importance of Correct Cleaning

Proper cleaning of the AR-15/M4 plays an indispensable part in its functionality, service life, and efficiency. Every part of this firearm has been meticulously engineered for optimal performance, and correct cleaning procedures help ensure this level of performance is maintained.

Impact on the functionality of the AR-15/M4

Accumulated fouling and unaddressed debris have the potential to negatively impact the functioning of your AR-15/M4, possibly causing delays or malfunctions. Correct cleaning prevents this accumulation and promotes the seamless operation of the firearm.

Prevention of potential damage to the firearm

Incorrect cleaning techniques have the potential to inflict damage on your firearm. By adhering to recommended cleaning procedures, you minimize the risk of inadvertently damaging your AR-15/M4 while maintaining its longevity.

Maintaining the longevity of the firearm

Proper cleaning not only keeps your rifle functioning optimally but helps to prolong the life of your AR-15/M4. By ensuring each part of your firearm is thoroughly and regularly maintained, you’ll be investing in its continued performance and longevity.

Conclusion: Essential Aspects of AR-15/M4 Cleaning

In conclusion, the importance of correct cleaning procedures cannot be overstated. It encompasses the thorough and meticulous care of every segment of your AR-15/M4, ensuring the rifle continues to perform at its best.

Reminder of the importance of correct cleaning procedures

Neglecting or implementing improper cleaning techniques can compromise the accuracy, functionality, and service life of your AR-15/M4. Always make sure you understand the correct procedures, employ the right tools, and take your time while cleaning your firearm.

Brief review of the various cleaning stages

This guide has covered the necessary steps for a comprehensive clean, from securing your rifle for cleaning, tackling the upper receiver, the barrel, flash hider, the bolt carrier group, to finally the lower. Each step demands equal attention and care to ensure the longevity and pristine condition of your AR-15/M4 firearm.

Preparing for part three: Proper Lubrication

This cleaning guide provides the foundation for the next step of firearm maintenance – lubrication. Proper lubrication is critical to the function of the AR-15/M4 platform and similarly to cleaning, it requires precise following of directions and best practices. This will be covered later in Part 3 of the AR-15/M4 Firearm Maintenance series.

Remember, appropriate, regular cleaning and maintenance can significantly enhance the lifespan and functionality of your AR-15/M4. This not only builds your understanding and respect for your firearm but is a key contributor to safe firearm ownership.

See the AR-15/M4 Firearm Maintenance: Part 2 Cleaning in detail.