Video: AR-15 Cleaning and Maintenance


Courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Gunsite Instructor Cory Trapp goes through AR-15 disassembly, cleaning, maintenance and inspection.

This is one of the better videos I've seen on this subject, especially how Trapp dispells several AR-15 myths related to lubrication and reliability.

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He covers:

  • AR-15 disassembly and reassembly
  • Why the .223 and 5.56 are not interchangeable
  • AR-15 feedramps: Standard M16 vs. M4 styles
  • AR-15 Bolt disassembly and maintenance tips
  • Trigger group cleaning (what not to do)
  • How to replace the extractor spring
  • Spare parts you need on hand for your AR-15
  • How to properly reassemble the bolt assembly
  • Why you should not lubricate your lower or the buffer
  • What to look for when doing an inspection
  • The AR function check you should do each time you reassemble your AR

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  1. This is a very good video. One minor point where I disagree however is that I also like to add some lube to the bottom of the bolt carrier where it rides over the hammer. This is a very high friction point of metal to metal contact, and I definitely like to have some lube there!

    Another option, and one I like a lot, is to have the BCG and/or hammer (or the full trigger group) plated with either Robar’s NP3+ nickel/teflon coating or Fail Zero’s EXO nickel/boron coating. Both have extremely high lubricity and will greatly reduce the need for additional lubricant. NP3+ has the advantages of higher lubricity & corrosion resistance, while EXO has the advantage of being considerably harder and therefore much more durable. So take your pick.

    Personally my ‘go to’ AR uses a Fail Zero upper receiver that’s been plated in their EXO coating & then finished in matte black teflon on the outside. (I don’t like the dull gray look of either NP3/NP3+ or EXO as an external finish, and EXO does have the advantage of being able to have another finish applied over top of it. NP3 & NP3+ are far too slick to hold another coating. EXO also has the advantage of extending the life of the upper receiver by essentially eliminating wear.) On the inside of my carbine the trigger group & charging handle have both been plated in EXO, and the bolt carrier group has been plated in NP3+. This is a kind of ‘best of both worlds’ approach that pretty much eliminates the need for additional lubricant all together. I keep a can of Rem Oil in my kit, but I have yet to actually need it even when firing hundreds of rounds of ammo in a single day, even the extra dirty Russian steel cased stuff! The carbine just keeps chugging along without any problems. The other advantage is that fouling doesn’t stick to either NP3/NP3+ or EXO. This makes cleaning a breeze! Just wipe everything down with a dry paper towel and you’re pretty much done other than the bore. Honestly, this is the biggest reason I chose NP3+ & EXO plated parts when build this carbine; I’m lazy & don’t like scraping carbon. 😉

    On my other AR’s, which are not NP3+ & EXO plated, I generally use a good gun grease on the rails & underside of the BCG as well as a bit on the bolt’s locking lugs. Other than that I keep the aforementioned can of Rem Oil in my kit and give the BCG & the inside of the upper a good squirt every couple hundred rounds or so. AR’s generally like to run wet! That’s an important thing to remember if you want your gun to run reliably. In foul weather conditions, especially with blowing sand & dirt, it is also very helpful to keep the ejection port cover closed & a magazine in place to keep as much debris out of the gun as possible! AR’s have gotten a reputation as being somewhat unreliable, but, in my experience, as long as you keep the weapon properly lubed it will run reliably a very long time!

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