How to Clean Your AR

First things first. As with any firearm, before you begin cleaning your AR, be sure to clear your rifle.

  • Drop the magazine.
  • Open the chamber.
  • Visually inspect to ensure there are no rounds loaded.

Now, let’s start cleaning!

Follow These Basic Steps:

  1. Start with a clear and safe firearm
  2. Pull back on the charging handle
  3. Push the bottom of the bolt release to lock the carrier to the rear
  4. Visually and physically inspect the chamber
  5. Push the top of the bolt release to release the bolt
  6. Place on safe
  7. Use a non-marring tool or your fingers to push out the pin
  8. Separate the upper and lower
  9. Pull the charging handle partially out and remove the bolt carrier group and then the charging handle—the charging handle has little ears that have to fit through the cut slots in the upper receiver
  10. Field strip the bolt
  11. Push out the cotter pin
  12. Remove the firing pin
  13. Rotate the cam 90 degrees and remove
  14. Pull the bolt out of the carrier
  15. Push out the ejector pin
  16. Separate the ejector from the bolt
  17. Wipe down the firing pin, ejector pin, cotter pin and cam with a rag
  18. Use a nylon brush to scrub the bolt ejector and carrier, then wipe down with a rag

To Reassemble The Bolt:

  1. Place the ejector into the bolt and return the pin
  2. Place the bolt inside the carrier; be sure the bolt is correctly oriented with the ejector facing the ejection port
  3. Return cam and rotate 90 degrees
  4. Return firing pin and cotter pin
  5. Take your nylon brush and scrub around the gas tube area
  6. Use a cotton swab around the gas tube
  7. Scrub inside the receiver and wipe down with a rag
  8. Using a chamber brush insert into the chamber and turn multiple times
  9. With a .22 barrel brush, use a chamber swab to clean the locking lugs
  10. Pull the oiled barrel brush through the barrel always pulling the direction the rounds travel
  11. Pull an oiled patch through the barrel after the first patch continue pulling dry patches until they are clean
  12. Push down the butter retainer and remove the buffer and spring
  13. Wipe down the buffer and spring
  14. Use a nylon brush to scrub the lower then wipe down with a rag
  15. Return the buffer and spring
  16. Wipe down charging handle
  17. Insert bolt carrier group with the bolt extended
  18. Reassemble and do a function test

Do you have any AR cleaning tips? Share them with us in the comment section.

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Comments (10)

  1. I agree with JiminGA…give some instructions for proper lubrication too!!! The video gives the impression all that is required is to disassemble and wipe down…along with “lube as you see fit!” Not good!!!

  2. I’ll take a fired brass shell and crimp the open end to create a flat scraping tool that won’t scratch the metal, but will remove carbon build-up like crazy!

  3. I was taught to never push a Q tip into the gas tube because they can get stuck. A pipe cleaner was recommended as a better alternative.

  4. Since the video is aimed at AT newbies, adding instructions on lubrication would be helpful prevent those newbies from running a completely dry gun.

  5. #1] take a shaving cream brush {the old fashion kind} cut the bristles off in a cone shape leaving about one inch , you will find it is nice and stiff for cleaning and lubing.
    #2] at a medical supply store you can get q-tips with a long handle perfect for that reach a regular q-tip can’t get to
    BE S A F E

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