A Step by Step Guide to Cleaning & Lubricating Your AR15 with Tetra® Gun Care Products

Posted by Steve Hoback, National Sales Manager on 23rd Oct 2015

The AR, or automatic rifle, platform and similar firearms have evolved into the modern sporting rifle, arguably the top-selling, most versatile and most popular firearm today. Let’s take some time to highlight how to properly clean and lubricate your modern sporting rifle using Tetra® Gun care products.

First, as always, ensure that there is no ammunition in the area where you are cleaning the gun, and ensure that the gun is unloaded and cleared. Next, you are ready to break the firearm down to its main components. Before doing so, ensure that you are thoroughly versed in your firearms operator’s manual. If you aren’t sure how to disassemble your AR, purchase an armorer’s manual or view one of the many videos on the subject available on the internet. However, if you are a new owner, don’t be intimidated; the quickest and best way to become familiar with the operation of your firearm is through disassembly and maintenance, as it gives you a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your gun’s parts and functions.

Separate the upper and lower receiver groups and set them aside, then remove the bolt carrier group assembly, to include the charging handle. Disassemble the bolt carrier group by removing the firing pin, retaining pin, firing pin, bolt cam pin and bolt. Next, remove the extractor pin and extractor from the bolt. Set all of these parts aside. You can remove the handguards if you wish, or if you are shooting on a rainy day or in extremely dusty or muddy conditions. Otherwise, leave them on and remove them only for routine or required cleaning of the barrel exterior.

Now that the gun is disassembled, cleaning can begin. Start with the chamber. This is one of the problem areas of modern sporting rifle cleaning, but here is where using the right product helps. Spray Tetra® Gun Action Blaster™ into the chamber and locking lug recesses and allow it to work for a few minutes. While the Action Blaster™ is doing its magic on the chamber, spray some more into the upper receiver. And with the use of Tetra® Gun Double Ended Nylon Brush and ProSmith™ Tapered-Tip Swabs, clean the inside of the upper receiver. Next, clean the lugs and recesses with a chamber brush. Then, scrub the locking lug recesses thoroughly and flush with more Tetra® Gun Action Blaster™. You’ll also find that ProSmith™ Tapered-Tip Swabs are a great tool for scrubbing between the lugs. Wipe out the chamber as well as inside the upper receiver with a clean rag. Once you are sure the chamber area is clean, dry with compressed air, clean rags or swabs.

Now you’re ready to move on to the bore. Remember, always clean from chamber to muzzle to keep fouling from being driven into the upper receiver. Always push patches, brushes and jags completely through the full length of the bore. Start by pushing a few patches soaked with Tetra® Gun Copper Solvent down the barrel and allow it to saturate for 10-15 minutes. Next, apply more solvent to a ProSmith™ Brass Core Bronze or Nylon Brush, and run the brush down the bore 5-10 times. Follow with a solvent-soaked patch to get the loose fouling out, and then push a few Copper Solvent-soaked patches down the bore and allow it to work. Be sure to spray your brush with Tetra® Gun Action Blaster™ to neutralize the Copper Solvent. This will both clean and prolong the life of your brush. Finally, spray the charging handle with Tetra® Gun Spray and wipe clean.

Next, place a ProSmith™ Cleaning Patch on a ProSmith™ Brass Jag. Run patch-covered jags through the bore until they come out clean. Once you get clean patches in this manner, follow up with one patch sprayed with Action Blaster™, and then with one clean, dry patch. When the patches finally come out clean, push a patch soaked with gun cleaning solvent down the bore to remove or neutralize the copper solvent. Follow that with a dry patch and you’re finished cleaning the bore.

At this point, lightly spray the inside and outside of the upper receiver with Tetra® Gun Spray Lubricant, and run a patch dampened with Tetra® Gun Lubricant through the bore. For more thorough bore conditioning, go to the  Tetra® Tech page to read further instructions on using Tetra® Gun Lubricant as a bore conditioner, resulting in higher velocities, increased accuracy, easier cleaning and prolonged barrel life.

The firing pin, firing pin retaining pin, bolt cam pin, and bolt carrier are fairly easy to clean by spraying with Action Blaster™ and wiping clean with a rag. After these parts are clean, give each a light spray with Tetra® Gun Spray Lubricant . The bolt itself can require some serious scrubbing and scraping, but again, the right tools can make this a much easier experience. Spray the bolt thoroughly inside and out with Tetra® Gun Action Blaster™ and allow it to sit (a god idea is to start the cleaning process with this, before moving on to the upper receiver and barrel, to allow the Action Blaster™ to do much of the work for you). After allowing Action Blaster™ to work, scrub the exterior with the steel or bronze brush found in your Tetra® Gun 3-Piece Multi-Purpose Brush Set. Spray more Action Blaster™ and scrub, as needed. After prolonged, high intensity shooting, Tetra® Gun Copper Solvent can be used to effectively remove stubborn fouling, especially on the bolt locking lugs. Once the exterior is clean, thoroughly clean the interior using Action Blaster™ and Tapered-Tip Swabs and pipe cleaners. Once done, lubricate the exterior of the bolt with Tetra® Gun Grease. Apply a small amount, and polish into the surface well, paying particular attention to the locking lugs and waistband of the bolt.

Next, move on to the lower receiver. Remove the buffer assembly and spring. Use compressed air, if possible, to spray out loose dirt and fouling from inside the action. Next, spray the action with Tetra® Gun Spray, and wipe down thoroughly using Tapered-Tip Swabs and a rag. Next, spray some Tetra® Gun Spray on to a clean, lint-free rag, and wipe down the outside of the lower receiver and inside of the magazine well. Do the same with the buffer assembly and recoil spring, and if you removed the handguards, then spray the barrel exterior and inside of the handguards. Once all is clean and lubricated, reassemble, and wipe off any handprints to remove the salts.

Don’t forget to clean your magazines as well. Magazine neglect is one of the greatest causes of malfunctions in auto-loaders like the modern sporting rifle. After disassembling your magazine, spray the inside and outside of the magazine body with Tetra® Gun Spray and wipe clean. Next, do the same to the spring and follower, then reassemble, and once again, wipe away any handprints.

Proper cleaning and lubrication with Tetra® Gun care products and accessories will ensure reliable functionality and add years of longevity to your modern sporting rifle.

Make sure to visit the  Online Store to order the advanced Tetra® Gun care products mentioned in this blog entry.