Rifle-Cleaning Tips Video

In this NSSF video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner describes how he cleans his bolt-action rifle and lets shooters in on some tips and tricks. He also challenges some cleaning conventions many shooters believe. The time codes below refer to the running time of minutes: seconds into the video. The full video runs 16:24 — considerably longer than it would have taken to clean the rifle without the play-by-play commentary.

  • @ 0:55 Preferred cleaning solvent: Shooter’s Choice.
  • @ 1:20 Use a small glass jar to hold wet patches instead of applying liquid solvent at the range.
  • @ 2:00 Use a one-piece coated cleaning rod with ball-bearing handle.
  • @ 2:15 Use a chamber guide to keep solvent out of the action.
  • @ 2:30 To wet brushes, pour solvent over them so that excess drops into your glass jar used for patches.
  • @ 2:40 Use a brass brush to scrub the barrel first. Use it both directions.
  • @ 3:15 After scrubbing, remove brush and wipe down cleaning rod with old rag.
  • @ 3:25 Don’t use eyelets to hold cleaning patches.
  • @ 3:40 Use round-nose jags to insert patches into barrel.
  • @ 4:20 Wrap wet patches around jag; don’t apply patches to the front of the jag.
  • @ 5:15 Greenish residue on a wet patch means copper is being cleaned out of the bore.
  • @ 5:25 Immediately cap the solvent jar after use. Prevents accidental spills.
  • @ 5:45 Run dry patches next.
  • @ 6:00 If dry patches don’t have enough contact inside the bore, wrap them diagonally on the jag.
  • @ 6:30 Reinstall bore brush; add solvent, rerun brush through bore.
  • @ 6:50 When running brush back and forth to scrub the bore, tilt the barrel downward to allow solvent to flow toward the muzzle.
  • @ 7:15 Reinstall jag, rerun dry patches until clean.
  • @ 7:45 Apply wet patches.
  • @ 8:15 Using full-strength copper solvent at this point is optional. Recommended: Sweet’s.
  • @ 9:15 Remove Sweet’s from barrel, rod, and brush.
  • @ 9:45 Use old rag to wipe bolt down.
  • @ 10:00 Use nylon brush on bolt face, if necessary, to break up carbon deposits.
  • @ 10:30 Use cotton-tipped swab to clean boltface, if needed.
  • @ 11:00 Use your shoelace to help disassemble bolt, if needed.
  • @ 12:00 Wipe down bolt internal assembly, if needed.
  • @ 12:45 Use Shooter’s Grease for bolt internal lubrication.
  • @ 13:15 Run dry patch to remove Sweet’s from bore, if used.
  • @ 13:45 Run one wet patch with Shooter’s Choice solvent and leave the solvent in.
  • @ 14:00 Wipe down receiver internal parts.
  • @ 14:45 Apply dabs of Shooter’s Choice Grease to back of lugs and bolt body.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. he must have stock in a shoe lace company. by a pair of smooth jaw pliers or put some lead inserts in your vice and you will see how easy it is to take the bolt apart. in the field that might be a handy trick,but im not sure i want a broken shoe lace when i need to do a hasty 10 click hike to get out of indian country. overall some nice gun cleaning info. i really liked the prewet patches.

  2. Good stuff. I agree with his recommendations, but they also aren’t the only way to do things.

    Just make sure you are using good techniques. Most manufacturers are glad to provide gun owners with cleaning instructions. Take advantage of that.

    1. For me to clean my LE6920MPV in 20 mins or less. The CAT 4 tool is fantastic getting the carbon off the bolt carrier and firing pin. It is my understanding this tool was developt by a soldier in the Mideast.

  3. Hello
    The info I have just read is great info on cleaning your AR15 in 20 mins.or less. When I was in the ARMY I would have my team do what we called” bounding over watch.” Its where one soldier would stand watch while the other soldier would clean his weapon”. In Iraq this was done 24/7/365.

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