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Posted: 5/31/2003 2:11:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/31/2003 3:58:49 PM EDT by Matt_B]
Well, I just finished spending 2 hours cleaning my AR after putting it through it's most serious workout yet. Last season, it was just a scoped bench rest gun and I put 350 rounds through it total.
Since I'm finally getting a serious bench rest gun (Remington .308 700LTR) next week, my AR is now my CQB/medium range rifle.

Anyway, last Saturday, I put 276 rounds through it in about 3 hours. Some of that time was spent sighting in and zeroing my EO Tech 552 (and yes, it did the zero at 50 yds. ).

Once I got my AR field stripped, I was surprised to see it wasn't nearly as dirty as I expected, at least when compared to my HK-94 (you want to talk about a filthy running rifle that's a pain to clean). BTW, all I shot in my AR was the Winchester USA Value pack stuff which doesn't seem to be particularly dirty.

Before I took my AR out, I did apply a liberal coating of FP-10 (mmm...cinnamon) to the internals. I have to say the FP-10 held up well. The internals weren't coated in goo and were still we lubed. Kudos to the folks at Firepower for making a great CLP.

As far as the cleaning process, I field stripped the rifle then wiped the lube off of everything. I reapplied FP-10 to each of the bolt/carrier parts and went to work with the standard double headed toothbrush. Except for the bolt, I found all the parts to be pretty clean. I let some Hoppes #9 soak on the the back end of the bolt for a little while and managed to get some of the carbon off but not all of it (I know it really doesn't matter). I spent some time breaking in my new chamber brush (I need to order one of those special handle from GPSS) and getting the locking lugs and chamber face clean. I ran a brass brush (with FP-10) through the bore a few times then ran a few dry patches through till the last one came out completely dry. Then I soaked a patch in Shooter Choices through the bore and let it sit for 15 mins. Ran a dry patch through followed by a patch with FP-10 and dry patches until the last one came out dry. After than I applied FP-10 to all the internals, ran a patch (with FP-10) through the bore, put the rifle back together and wiped it down with an oily (FP-10) rag.

As I clean the AR more, I expect to get faster. I know I don't need to get my rifle "white glove" clean but I prefer to get it as clean as possible to avoid malfunctions and unnecessary wear and tear.

So what I was wondering is how long (on average) do you spend cleaning your AR after a range trip?
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 6:27:15 PM EDT
It takes me about 20 min a rifle, and a hand full of Q-tips per rifle. Swing the upper open and pull the cocking handle and the BC, spray the BC with CLP and set it aside. Wipe down the inside of the upper, and then spray CLP in the extension and gas tube. Use the chamber brush and make a couple of turns, then give the extension (lugs) a new blast of clean CLP to drive the crud into the chamber. Use the Q-tips to clean the crude and finish driving it into the chamber from the lugs. Run a patch down the chamber to drive out the CLP/crude, and then switch over to copper solvent to go to work on the barrel. Once the barrel is clean, I run a coated patch of CLP down the barrel to clean out the last of the copper solvent, then a new patch to clean out any remaining CLP. As for the soaking BC, I pull it apart and start with the small parts, leaving the carrier for last. On the bolt, I use a green scotch brite pad to clean the fouling on the gas section of the bolt, and then push a Q-tip down the firing pin channel to clean out the flakes of sealant, then a fresh shot of CLP, and wiped down. On the carrier, I will push a Q-tip into the key port to clean out the fouling, then use the back of a tooth brush with a rag to get most of the fouling out of the gas chamber, followed by a Q-tip to get out the fouling at the back of the gas chamber and the firing pin entry point. Another shot of CLP, then wiped down. The lower is just cleaned with a Q-tip, then the BC is put back together and the given a light coat of CLP and put back in the rifle. The trick is to allow the CLP enough time to dissolve the fouling so you don’t need to scrub it off. I use BeakfreeCLP and it works really fast on dissolving the fouling. It really helps if you just pull the BC at the range and give it a good shot of CLP to soak on the ride home. Also, only the barrel is really cleaned, the rest of the rifle just gets a oil change. Hope this helps in some way.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 5:14:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dano523: Also, only the barrel is really cleaned, the rest of the rifle just gets a oil change.
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That sums it up perfectly.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 5:56:08 AM EDT
I rent a movie for the evening and spend the whole time in front of the TV cleaning my AR after a day of shooting. I'm really bad about cleaning every bit of crude out of it. Two hours is about right for me. [:D]
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 2:51:09 PM EDT
It took me that long the first time, because I was learning all the parts and carefully cleaning it, but usually it's under 45 minutes for a good detail of everything.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 3:06:33 PM EDT
Holy crap! That's a long time. It takes me about 30 minutes and that's taking my time.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 3:38:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BookHound: Holy crap! That's a long time. It takes me about 30 minutes and that's taking my time.
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Yes, I agree that's a long time. That's why I was looking for a reality check. Then again, I can't think of a situation where are rifle malfunctioned because it was too clean. [:)] I guess I've been conditioned, to some degree, by cleaning my HK-94. The HK-94 (like an MP-5) gets pretty friggin' dirty after 300 rounds since it's uses direct (albeit delayed) blowback instead of the AR's gas system. Plus, the receiver of the HK-94/MP-5 has a lot more nooks and crannies where crap can accumulate when compared to an AR. Next time I clean my AR (which will probably be next weekend), I'm going to time myself. I expect now that I'm a bit more familiar with the AR, I should be able to cut that time in half.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 5:12:40 PM EDT
The length of time required to clean your AR is equal to the amount of therapy you are in need of. (IOW, cleaning your AR is good therapy).
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