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Since I am new to the ar-15 I have some more questions after dissasembly and cleaning after firing 100rds. I removed my buffer spring for cleaning and I was wondering does the buffer spring have a certain end that goes into the buffer tube because I know most guns have specific ways that recoil springs go in. I also bought pipe cleaners for my gas tube but have only used it on bolt cleaning because I read that using pipe cleaners on the gas tube makes it worse by clogging the gas tube is this true? I would like to clean it some how if possible. Thanks
 

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I'm not an expert on ARs but I don't think the buffer spring needs to go in a specific way. Also you really don't need to clean it very often, I almost never remove mine for cleaning.

I've also been told that the gas tube doesn't need to be cleaned at all.

I only have a few years experience with them but I've never had a failure.
 

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Gas tubes on AR's aren't really known for clogging up all that often. In fact, I can't recall a single occasion where I've ever heard anyone saying anything about having one plug up. If you're really worried about it, I might ... MIGHT squirt some kinda cleaner down the gas tube once every 1,000 rounds or so and then blast it out with some compressed air. (Probably easier to just replace the gas tube entirely. Knock out a roll pin or two, pull it out, wiggle in the new one, tap in the old pins (or new, if included), and call it a done deal. But again, not exactly a common fail point on AR's.

Mainly, AR's tend to like to run a little wet and clean, primarily with regard to the bolt carrier assembly. Take it out, scrub it down (as well as the inside of the upper receiver, where a lot of the carbon tends to wind up), lube it up, and reassemble. Done. It's not an AK, where you can pretty much lube the thing with phlegm and/or saliva and still have a functional rifle*, but it's not so sensitive that the tiniest bit of dirt or carbon is going to make the thing seize up, especially after just 100 rounds.





*Do not try this at home, kids.


If you have any doubts about an AR's ability to go more than 100 rounds without a malfunction, I submit the following anecdotal evidence:

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSizVpfqFtw[/ame]
 

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Also not an expert but all I have ever done is pull the bolt, swap the barrel and chamber, lube it all up and put it back together. I think I cleaned the trigger area once after many, many rounds. I have never touched the gas tube or other inner workings.
 

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If you are going to use a cleaner on the gas tube I think automotive brake cleaner would be the way to go. Just wear safety glasses in case it sprays back at you. It won't leave any residue and should do a good job.
 

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Seafoam Deep Creep also works pretty good at removing carbon from stuff. It's sorta like a CLP, too, because it's also a pretty good lube (maybe not an ideal lube for firearms, but it works for a lot of other stuff better than WD-40).
 

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Well, if you run 800+ rounds through your AR at a really high rate of fire as in the video above, then yeah, replacing the barrel between range sessions might actually be necessary. :D
 

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If you think you need to clean it, clean it. Do it right, and you won't hurt anything. Plenty of people do.

If you don't feel like cleaning it, don't. There are ARs out there of all gas-system lengths and employed in a multitude of uses that haven't seen this area cleaned in thousands if not tens of thousands of rounds, and they're still patent when examined upon replacement.

It's really as simple as that.

This is one of those areas that'll have otherwise sane and sensible AR-owners ending up in fistfights. When they're sober. :nuts:

Much more important to an AR's function is proper and abundant lubrication as well as end-user checks before use (to catch component breakage prior to use; the P&S Forums have a wonderful EUC card for download, free, set up for printing on 8 and 1/2 by 11" paper that you then quad-fold to range-card size). That, plus proper preventative maintenance (retirement of used parts before breakage), will keep your AR chugging along for tens of thousands of trouble-free rounds, even without any cleaning at all.

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?95136-BCM-Filthy-14

One of my favorite local instructors was an agency-level armorer on the M4/M16 platform. He goes completely against his Marine dogma and advocates a simpe cycle of "lube, shoot, repeat." Instead of focusing on cleaning, he places emphasis on active pre-use inspections as well as adopting a preventative maintenance regimen to head-off trouble. His guns are filthy. But they all run great.

ARs aren't my primary guns. My highest round-count AR currently only has about 2.5K rounds through her (as opposed to my main training pistol, which has logged over 47,000 rounds of 9x19 in that same 5-year period). I have yet to clean her....... ;)
 

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Seafoam Deep Creep also works pretty good at removing carbon from stuff. It's sorta like a CLP, too, because it's also a pretty good lube (maybe not an ideal lube for firearms, but it works for a lot of other stuff better than WD-40).
Kroil is some really good penetrating oil too. I've had great luck using it for bore cleaner and rusted suspension parts. I swear by that stuff but it can be a pain to get. I had to order it direct and give them a company name.
 

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Last line was classic!
I love the interweb. ;)
Not sure I understand? :confused:

Or maybe I caused the confusion..... :eek:

I didn't mean that I've never cleaned my main training pistol! :eek: The reference to the training pistol was parenthetical - I haven't cleaned my previous "range/training beater" AR in the 2.5K rounds I've shot her, though. :)

As for that 47K+ round-count pistol. I tend to clean that gun once a year (currently probably somewhere around 3.5-4K rounds per year on that gun), or if I've got a class that I *really* want to learn the shooting material in. Earlier in the spring, I attended a class focused on speed, so for that I brought out this gun, which is essentially my cheater, and also gave it a pretty thorough basic cleaning. Now, last weekend, for example, Buckeye Firearms Association hosted an "Immediate Action under Duress" class aimed specifically at robust weapons manipulations while injured or from unconventional positions. For this class, I specifically went into it with the range/training copy of my carry gun completely dirty and low on lube, with nearly 2K's worth of carbon and grime on her from earlier this season and not having been lubed since the last class. I figure that if it actually suffered a stoppage that wasn't induced, that was even better, given the specific learning objectives of the class.

I have yet to detail clean either pistol. Ever. That training copy of my EDC is currently cresting 17K rounds. :p
 

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In the discussion of cleaning the gas tube, I am not sure if anyone has brought up or pointed out, that it was designed to clean itself.

The hot gas pressing through that tube, cleans it everytime you fire. It also then kindly places the carbon into your chamber, for "easier" removal :D.

Should you feel it necessary to clean, as someone else said, brake cleaner, but becareful and don't use the chlorinated stuff...
 

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So what is the best twist rate on an a.r. barrel? I've seen1/7, 1/8, 1/9. Does barrel length effect twist rate?
I'm building a varmit rifle. And trying to do some research.
 

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So what is the best twist rate on an a.r. barrel? I've seen1/7, 1/8, 1/9. Does barrel length effect twist rate?
I'm building a varmit rifle. And trying to do some research.
The powder you plan on using and more so the bullets you plan on shooting are the issues that affect the twist you should be looking at. Barrel length does of course have an effect on velocity, but there is little to do with actual twist rate related to barrel length.

1:7 is typically for heavier bullets, like 80 grains and up. If you shoot higher velocity bullets 70 grains or less, there is no benefit and you will have a slightly higher rate of throat erosion. With 55s, 50s and 40s, you can actually overspin the light varmint bullets and see them become puffs of gray at about 30 to 50 yards.

1:8 is one that a lot of competition shooters favor, specifically in .223 Wylde. You can shoot 50 to 77 grain bullets without much concern and excellent accuracy.

1:9 is also common, more so in the cheaper M4gerys and is too slow for 75/77s and marginal for 69s, but will work okay. You can drop down to 40 grains with no worries and is a common varmint barrel twist in ARs.

1:10 and 1:12 are also common varmint twist barrels. They will shoot the 35-50 grain bullets with the best accuracy and barrel life. If you are building a pure varmint AR, one of these in a 20+ inch barrel with extended length gas system is your best bet. You will probably also want it in .223Rem as opposed the 5.56 or .223 Wylde if ultimate accuracy is the goal.

I usually build all of my personal ARs with 1:8 .223 Wylde barrels, 16 (intermediate gas) or 18 inch (rifle gas). I had a few 20 inch and 24 inch varmint uppers with 1:9 twist Kriegers in .223Rem. I tired of having to clean the chambers every 100 rounds and sold them off. I was able to get 0.3MOA with these as opposed to 0.4MOA with the 18" guns. My AR best set up for varmints is a .223 Wylde, 18" rifle length gas. It is the "2nd" gun on most varmint shooting days and I will shoot it from 200-400 yards.
 

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In the discussion of cleaning the gas tube, I am not sure if anyone has brought up or pointed out, that it was designed to clean itself.

The hot gas pressing through that tube, cleans it everytime you fire. It also then kindly places the carbon into your chamber, for "easier" removal :D.

Should you feel it necessary to clean, as someone else said, brake cleaner, but becareful and don't use the chlorinated stuff...
If I recall my M16 lore correctly the problems with the early Vietnam issue guns had to do with the ammo manufacture switching from a nice clean powder to one that was much dirtier. That is the root of overblown fear of the dirty tube:eek:
 

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The twist rates are inherent to the barrel, and is not dependent on length.
Sorry, I wanted to expand, but hit the "Submit" key too early. :eek:

The twist rate is inherent to the barrel, and is an option that you should select/keep in mind while shopping just as you would the barrel material length, profile, external finish, muzzle type, bore plating, etc., as well as on the AR the gas system length.

The overall consensus is that the faster rate barrels (smaller denominator) should favor a heavier/longer bullet, while slower (larger denominator) favor a lighter bullet.

Currently, most think of a 62 gr. .223/5.56 projectile as the diving line between faster and slower twist-rate barrels, with the 1:8 or even 1:9 being astride this divide - any heavier/longer, and you should go with a 1:7, any lighter, then a 1:12.

In truth, this has a lot more to do with the individual barrel selected, as well as the individual ammo used, and is also heavily dependent on the end-user's need for any particular levels of accuracy.

For example, at most high-end "tactical/defensive" AR classes, you'll see a lot of "mil-spec" carbines with 14.5 to 16-inch 1:7 barrels. With round-counts in the 300 to 1K per day range, as you can imagine, as-cheap-as-you-can-get range-fodder quality ammo is preferred by most students, and 55 gr. ammo is typically favored, particularly for shooting steel targets (as, still, to this day, there is a residual belief by many that the 62 gr. M855 is somehow deleterious to quality AR500 targets that are designed for the purpose).

Zeroing is typically performed at the 50 or 100 yard line, and not only are keyholes rarely witnessed. Similarly, shooters of these 1:7 twist-rate guns often reach out as far as 300 yards using unmagnified optics or ironsights. For example, quarter-scale IPSC plates were used at the Alliance PD facility last weekend, for the "Friends of Pat" memorial celebration and training gathering, even beginner-level shooters were readily and consistently engaging at the 300. Personally, as a true beginner with long-guns, with the 16" 1:7 barrel on my DDM4V5LW, I was easily tossing shot after shot after shot onto an IPSC A-zone, from the prone, at 150 yards, using steel-case Wolf 55 gr. ammo, and I was having no trouble at all shooting 8" movers at the 100, in a dynamic manner.

But that's a rather forgiving way to interpret the BSA template. :)

Unfortunately I do not have the personal experience or knowledge required to really comment on varmint shooting needs in terms of accuracy. Here, not only a more exacting match-up between barrel twist rate and bullet weight may be required, but the needs of this activity may also carry over with implications for the barrel profile, muzzle device/crown selection, as well as other issues such as load selection.
 
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