October 5th, 2017

How to Clean and Maintain AR-Platform Modern Sporting Rifles

AR15 AR-15 Cleaning bolt grease carbon removal black rifle

We call them “black rifles”, but that shouldn’t refer to all the carbon and gunk on the inside. AR-platform rifles can be maintenance-intensive beasts. But some AR owners make the situation worse by not regularly cleaning important small parts, or by using too much oily/greasy lubricants in the wrong places. A properly maintained and lubricated AR15 can shoot hundreds of rounds (between cleanings) without a problem. If you learn where (and where not) to apply lubricant, you’ll find that your AR will run more reliably and the task of cleaning the bolt and bolt carrier will be less of a burden.

Here is a good video that explains AR-15 Cleaning and Maintenance. In this 30-minute NSSF video, Gunsite Academy instructor and gunsmith Cory Trapp discusses the proper way to clean and maintain the AR-15 carbine. Very knowledgeable, Trapp provides rock-solid advice for AR owners. Along with cleaning producedures, this video explains how to inspect key components and how to function-test your AR before each shooting session.

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical 1 Comment »
January 16th, 2016

Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty — How to Clean Your AR

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

AR-platform rifles can be maintenance-intensive beasts. But some AR owners make the situation worse by not regularly cleaning important small parts, or by using too much oily/greasy lubricants in the wrong places. A properly maintained and lubricated AR15 can shoot hundreds of rounds (between cleanings) without a problem. If you learn where (and where not) to apply lubricant, you’ll find that your AR will run more reliably and the task of cleaning the bolt and bolt carrier will be less of a burden.

Here is a good video that explains AR-15 Cleaning and Maintenance. In this 30-minute NSSF video, Gunsite Academy instructor and gunsmith Cory Trapp discusses the proper way to clean and maintain the AR-15 carbine. Very knowledgeable, Trapp provides rock-solid advice for AR owners. Along with cleaning producedures, this video explains how to inspect key components and how to function-test your AR before each shooting session.

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

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July 9th, 2014

Problems with “Do-It-Yourself” AR-15s

Commentary by Robert Whitley
In recent years several major firearms component suppliers have promoted the idea of the “do-it-yourself” AR-15 build up. In one sense this is a good thing because it promotes peoples’ education and understanding of firearms, but the down side of this is some folks are assembling and modifying AR-15s without an understanding of the rifle and without the necessary skills and tools to do things properly. The net result of this “do-it-yourself” work can be an AR-15 that is non-functional, problematic or dangerous. Here are two examples of common issues with “do-it-yourself” modifications.

Opening Up the Ejection Port
One common modification for AR-15’s is the opening up of the ejection port. This is typically done to permit more room for ejection or loading of the rifle, and it is also typically done in conjunction with a side charging handle modification.

AR-15 Buffer installation

A common issue I have seen with this modification is that the person opening up the port removes the upper right hand carrier support and riding surface. The net result of this is that the carrier sits loose in the upper receiver when the bolt is in lock-up and this can have very detrimental effects on the function and accuracy of the AR-15. Below are more pictures of one that I saw recently.

Click Arrows to See all FOUR Pictures

Upper Receiver Harmed by Modification
Caption
Upper Receiver Harmed by Modification
Carrier Crooked Wear
Caption
Carrier Crooked Wear
Receiver Showing Gas Key Hits
Caption
Receiver Showing Gas Key Hits
Gas Key Hitting Receiver
Caption
Gas Key Hitting Receiver

Wrong Buffer Installed
Another common mistake is the use of an improper buffer with the rifle (i.e. like using a carbine buffer in a standard rifle length buffer tube). There are many after market buffers being sold out there, but if the wrong buffer is used with the rifle, it can allow the bolt carrier to cycle too far back so that the rear of the carrier gas key becomes the stop for the carrier (i.e. when it smashes into the upper part of the lower receiver – OUCH!).

AR-15 Buffer installation

We have even seen situations where the gas key is snapped right off the carrier from this, and it completely disables the rifle and can also cause extensive damage to the firearm as well. Unfortunately we have seen this situation far too often and it is clear that a person needs to fully understand how the buffer assembly works if “do-it-yourself” work is going to be done to the buffer assembly, since everything done to the buffer assembly has an effect on the rifle, its function and accuracy.

While I applaud the person who is self-reliant and has a “can do” attitude, the other side of this is when it comes to a firearm, “do-it-yourself” work should only be done when and if one fully understands the rifle and how it functions and how the work will affect the rifle.

Robert Whitley
AR-X Enterprises, LLC
199 North Broad Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-8789
www.6mmAR.com

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
August 1st, 2010

BR/PPC Ammo Carriers Hold Cartridges Securely

Many readers have asked, “Is there an ammo case that holds short BR, PPC and Grendel cases securely — one without a lot of extra clearance that allows fired brass to fall out of their slots if the box is tipped?” Yes, the J & J BR-100 Ammo Case fits BR, PPC, and Grendel cases just right. Many folks use the large green/red MTM 100-round ammo boxes for transporting 6BR and 6PPC ammo. The big MTM boxes work fine with loaded rounds, but not so great with fired cases. If you tip the MTM box on its side, the empties can spill out. That’s frustrating if you’ve meticulously sorted your cases. You won’t have this problem with the J & J 100-round BR-100 ammo case. It has tighter vertical clearance, so your empties won’t come out of their slots if the case tips over or is stacked upside down.

BR-100 cases are bargain-priced at just $4.88, and they come in Red, Blue, Smoke, or White colors. In addition to the BR-100 case, varminters who need to carry large numbers of loaded rounds should check out J & J’s 175-round Rifle Ammo Case (photo below). This foam-lined ammo transporter, item LR-175, costs $18.16 and is the largest-capacity ammo case we’ve found. For more info go to JandJProducts.Com.

J&J 175-round rifle ammo case

Permalink Gear Review 2 Comments »
July 11th, 2009

Rifle-Mounted Ammo Carriers — Low-Cost or Tacti-Cool

One of our writers is shooting in the SoCal Precision Rifle Competition (SCPRC) match this weekend. When assembling his gear for this tactical match we realized there was a problem. He needed to carry 10 rounds “at the ready”, but his rifle lacked detachable magazines. He didn’t want to depend on ammo stored in a backpack or carried in a belt caddy. To quickly access the ammo on his belt or in his pack he would have to get up out of firing position. Our challenge was to figure out the most efficient way to stow 10 rounds on the gun itself.

Elastic Ammo Sleeves
To secure the needed 10 rounds on the gun, we looked at a variety of options. First we tried some slide-on elastic sleeves. These were cheap ($4-$6), but the elastic sleeve tended to slide forward on the buttstock, and as it moved forward it could also rotate. Plus these elastic sleeves held only 9 rounds max. One too few. Shown in the photos are the $4.99 Cabela’s 8-round “Bullet Band” and the Allen 9-round ammo carrier ($3.49 on sale at MidwayUSA). Yes our writer could carry an extra round in his pocket, but we figured there was a better solution.

8-Round Eagle Ammo Carrier
Next we looked at the Eagle Industries Gunstock Ammo Carrier. With THREE velcro-secured straps, including one around the back, this holder was secure. It didn’t slide forward or rotate on the butt-stock. However it cost $28.00 locally, and it only held 8 rounds. Too much money for too little capacity….

Plastic Ammo Caddy Solution — 10 Rounds, Zero Dollars
We then came up with a very simple solution. Federal ammunition comes in sturdy, TEN-round plastic ammo caddies that protect the bullet tips. The caddies have plastic loops at either end so that you can carry the unit on a belt (or other strap). These cartridge-holders cost nothing — people toss them into the trash at ranges.

Using strapping tape — one strand through the loops on the backside, and another layer over the top — we had our “field expedient” 10-round ammo carrier for an all-up cost of $0.00. Zip. Nada. (Duct-tape works as well, but the strapping tape is a cleaner install. See photo right.)

Ugly? Yes — but hey, it works.

Another option with the plastic caddy is body-mounting. Using the belt loops, you can sew the cartridge-holder to an elastic (fabric) arm brace and just slip it on your forearm. That gives you a 10-round, easy-access ammo carrier for under $5.00.

Gunstock Ammunition Carrier (Plus Plastic Caddy in Pocket)
OK, even if it IS a cheap, functional solution, some of you guys will NEVER duct-tape a plastic cartridge holder to your $4500.00 tactical wondergun. It’s just not… how shall we say… “Tacti-Cool”. We know that some Tac shooters are acutely image-conscious. For them it would be a major fashion faux pas to duct-tape an ammo caddy to an Accuracy Int’l or GAP Crusader.

Eagle Industries Stock Pack

If you don’t mind dropping $40.00 or so, there is a solution that gives you a proper tactical set-up, PLUS 15 rounds on the rifle. This, ultimately, is what our writer chose. He purchased an Eagle Industries Stock Pack ($39.09). This features a padded, suede cheekpad, and secure elastic straps at the rear and bottom. Our writer now can mount five (5) rounds on the outside of the pack. In addition, he carries ten (10) more rounds on his Federal plastic cartridge holder, stowed in the Stock Pack’s zippered pocket.

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