View Full Version : BASIC AR15 CLEANING KIT

7 November 2009, 07:45
http://quib.weaponevolution.com/Cleaning Kit Intro.JPG

http://quib.weaponevolution.com/Weapon Mtx Warning.jpg


There are cleaning kits on the market today, which strictly address cleaning the AR15. While these kits can be an excellent purchase, I personally feel the best overall cleaning kit, is the kit that the shooter himself pieces together. Piecing together a kit allows the shooter to tailor the kit to his liking, picking and choosing the items he feels will best meet his cleaning needs.

I place cleaning kits into two categories;

1- Field Cleaning Kits
2- Bench Cleaning Kits

Field Cleaning Kits

Field Cleaning Kits are designed to meet the shooters minimum cleaning needs, providing cleaning equipment to perform the basic Preventative Maintenance necessary to sustain reliable operation of the weapon in the field. Examples of some Field Cleaning Kits are the traditional GI Issue Cleaning Kit, and the newer OTIS Cleaning Kit.

Link: http://www.otisgun.com/

These Field Cleaning Kits are again, designed to be compact in size, yet provide the operator/shooter with the necessary cleaning equipment to perform the minimum proper Preventative Maintenance.

My personal choice of the two kits mentioned above, is the GI Issue Cleaning Kit. While the OTIS Kit is an excellent kit, and is being issued to our troops in the field the same as the GI Cleaning Kit, I’m more biased towards the GI Kit simply because it was the kit issued to me during my time in military service.

One feature I personally like about the GI Cleaning Kit, is the ability to assemble and use the sectional cleaning rod to clear the barrel in the event the shooter experiences a stuck case.


Bench Cleaning Kits

Bench cleaning kits with their large items such as one-piece cleaning rods, and one-piece non-rotating chamber brush rods, are of course not ideal for the field simply do to the size of the rods.

With the exception of these large items such as one-piece cleaning rods, and one-piece non-rotating chamber brush rods, the Bench Cleaning Kit can basically consist of the same individual cleaning tools found in the Field Cleaning Kit.

Below is an illustration of my Bench Cleaning Kit.


My Bench Cleaning Kit, consisting of the following;

1- One Piece Cleaning Rod

One piece cleaning rods are very popular and come manufactured from a variety of different materials and lengths. There are steel, stainless steel, composite and even rods covered with exterior coatings for those concerned with bore damage.

2- Chamber Rod and Brush

The key design feature in a good Chamber Rod, is that the handle be fixed and non-rotating. The friction encountered by inserting the Chamber Brush into the chamber, can not be over come by a rod with a rotating handle.

Chamber Brushes come manufactured in the traditional GI stainless/bronze bristled version, and in versions with nylon bristles.

3- Bore Guides

Bore Guides are a cleaning tool that some feel is unnecessary. They are designed to help the individual align the cleaning rod with the bore, and to prevent cleaning rod contact with the bore throat. I personally went for years without one, but one day decided to make my own from materials I had laying around in the shop. This bore guide has now become a commonly used tool in my bench cleaning routine.

Bore Guides come manufactured in materials such as plastic/composite or aluminum, some even designed with a built-in “solvent ports” for applying solvent to the patch after the rod is inserted into the guide. Some manufactures also incorporate into the design, an o-ring at the chamber end of the guide. This o-ring is to prevent solvent from flowing back into the weapons upper receiver.

4- Brushes and Wool Mops

Wool Mops in a variety of sizes, can be useful in applying solvents to the bore, or for cleaning the interior of the lower receiver extension or the interior of the upper receiver.

5- Patches

Patches come in a variety of sizes and materials. Some prefer to custom cut their patches from larger caliber patches. Choice in patch size depends on of course the caliber of the weapon and patch material thickness, but also can be influenced by the diameter of the patch jag used. With the patch jag I use, I found that the 1-1/8th square cotton flannel patches manufactured by Montana X-treme provide the necessary bore fit to properly clean the bore, but not provide unnecessary friction which can often flex or even bend the cleaning rod.

Link: http://www.montanaxtreme.com/products/?id=17&product=Patches

6- Q-tips and Pipe Cleaners

These items can be very handy in cleaning tight spaces. Pipe Cleaners have been an issue item with the GI Cleaning Kit for as long as I can remember, and can be used for internally cleaning the bolt carrier gas key, or the firing pin channel within the bolt. One drawback with Pipe Cleaners is the lint that can be left behind when using a new from the package pipe cleaner. One tip I like to use in these cases, is to run the pipe cleaner through my thumb and index finger. This helps remove loose fibers and material before they can become counter productive to cleaning by depositing themselves on the weapon.

Q-tips are a very handy item to use in cleaning, but a few notes should be observed- Purchase quality Q-tips that have tightly wound fibers, and much along the same lines as with the pipe cleaners, spin the q-tip between the thumb and index finger in the direction the fibers are wound. This will again, prevent loose fibers and material from depositing themselves on the weapon.

Q-tips were a commonly found item in the Arms Rooms of the units I was assigned to, but the Army has a word of caution with their use- Use extreme caution when using q-tips on the carrier gas key. If inserted into the keys gas passage, fiber material may become dislodged and could create problems with the cycling of the weapon due to restriction in the gas path.

7- Solvents

Solvents and oils are a widely discussed topic, with everyone having their preferred brand. My personal choices are the products offered by Break-Free and can be seen in some of my other tutorials involving cleaning and maintenance.

Link: http://www.break-free.com/

8- Bore Brushes and Jags

Bore brushes come in a variety of materials, from stainless to nylon, to the traditional bronze brush. I personally steer clear of the bore brushes manufactured from stainless steel, feeling this hard of a bore brush material is unnecessary.

Brushes made of nylon are popular with those who use stronger copper solvents that can attack and weaken bore brushes made of bronze.

Jags also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with materials ranging from nylon to brass. I personally steer clear of the jags made from cheaper plastic materials, since these can flex under the friction encountered while passing through the bore.

9- Surgeons Forceps

Surgeons Forceps come in handy for holding patches for cleaning in tight spots, or extremely handy for cleaning the locking lug area of the barrel, when used in conjunction with the end of a q-tip. This method can be seen in this forum, under my tutorial titled “Cleaning with Break-Free Bore Cleaning Foam”.

Link: http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1605

10- Nylon-Bronze-Brass Brushes

And finally we have an assortment of nylon and bronze or brass GI Tooth Brushes and specialty round brass brushes. These can come in handy for cleaning the exterior of the bolt carrier, the carbon build-up found present on the bolt tail, or in the case of the smaller specialty brushes, for cleaning stubborn deposits found within the bolts firing pin channel or the interior of the bolt carrier.

This is of course my personal choice in equipment, there may be other items out there you find more useful, or some items I use which you personally find no use for. But, I hope you find this tutorial helpful and possibly give you some ideas in the designing of your own AR15 Basic Cleaning Kit.

18 September 2010, 05:24
Two products I have recently reviewed that make excellent additions to either the Bench or Field AR15 Cleaning Kit:

- The 2010 AR15 Multi-Tool Product Line from Multitasker Tools LLC.


- The MAGNA-MATIC DEFENSE CRT-15 Carbon Removal Tool.