is cleaning your AR a waste of time?

Another interesting post over at Vuurwapen Blog…Cleaning your AR-15 is Pretty Much a Waste of Time.

And yet, the “clean your AR-15″ mantra is repeated over and over, in gun stores, online, at shooting ranges, in military training, and so on.

Over the past few years, I’ve fired a number of ARs (and a number of other weapons, for that matter) for thousands of rounds without any sort of cleaning whatsoever – in most cases, I just kept adding lubricant to the weapon. Recently, as you can see right below this post, I fired close to 3000 rounds through a 5.45 AR-15 without cleaning or lubrication.

After reading what he has to say I kind of have to agree with him; but that agreement is entirely on an academic level, because I religiously clean my weapons every time I use them. The Army kind of hammers that into you very early on; and to be honest, I get a meditative enjoyment out of doing it. However, the proof is in the doing and the author has posted video of weapons being fired for thousands of rounds without issues.

Personally, I don’t think that the carbon build-up from firing is so much the issue as are the environmental factors. Dirt, moisture, mud, sand etc. in combination with lubricants and carbon can’t be doing your weapon any good. But that’s not what the author is saying here.



2 thoughts on “is cleaning your AR a waste of time?”

  1. My personal take on this issue of cleaning vs. not cleaning is based on use and conditions and not just a ‘yes/no’ response.

    If you are in the service and not firing your weapon regularly but need it to fire with regularity – CLEAN IT REGULARLY! It may not be the amount of rounds going through it so much as the sand, mud, moisture… that will cause your weapon to malfunction. Not to mention there is a confidence/psychological factor for a troop. Cleaning Rituals create a sense of control under very uncertain conditions and also gives troops a productive thing to do during down time – which there can be a lot of.

    If you are a range daddy or, dare I say it, an LEO who maintains a rifle for duty, cleaning the rifle all the time might not be as critical since the conditions/environment of the weapon is pretty stable in comparison.

    So, long winded response wrapped up, I don’t think there is ONE answer that is absolutely right on this. Like most things, you have to consider all the who,what,where,why,how factors that apply to YOU and your particular conditions.

  2. I found that the best method to improve the AR platform rifle through cleaning is to clear and then open the rifle BEFORE you get into a demanding situation where you may have to rely on the weapon.

    First, remove the bolt carrier group and put it to the side. Place the upper receiver to the same side. Now take the lower reveiver and place it on the opposite side.

    Now reach back and pick up the scraped up, dirty, $50 AK rifle with no finish or stock that you found in the last hooch you searched. Load an almost full magazine into the AK. Stow the AR for return later unless you can document its destruction.

    Fire the AK. Repeat.

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