I’m really lazy about cleaning some guns, like AR-15s…. I should have taken some better before pics as I’m not really sure when they were cleaned last but it was several years and they were getting kidna gross. They had developed a protective coat of that uniquely greasy looking blend of carbon and Rem Oil. For better or for worse my experience has been that if you just spray a little Rem Oil on an AR after you shoot it the thing will keep working more or less indefinitely. But it’s a cold day and it seems like maybe it’s time to clean these things to keep them in top notch fighting condition. That and I picked up a few cans of foaming engine degreaser on the clearance section at Wal Mart for $2 and I’m curious to give it a try.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures but my preferred technique is to take the lower and upper apart and put them out on the driveway and hose them down with degreaser. Although I have seen better foaming action from engine degreaser this stuff seems to work well enough and after sitting for half an hour or I hose them off and they seem mostly devoid of the grime which had once infested all the crevices.
The problem after this is that I’m not entirely convinced that I got all the foaming stuff out with just the hose and there is still a bit of crud in various places. The logical solution, in my mind, is to give them all a nice foamy bath. Obviously a few rifles don’t need a whole bathtub fully and I settled for a five gallon bucket with a bunch of Palmolive to cut any remaining crud. If your wife is anything like mine you will get a bunch of funny looks about why you are running a bunch of hot water into a five gallon bucket full of rifle parts in the bath tub, ignore this and press on. After they have a bit of scrubbing in the bath I then give a nice hot water rinse.
The only remaining problem is how to get the remaining water out of the nooks and crannies. The easiest way to do this is throw the whole mess in the oven at 250 degrees for an hour or two. That temp was low enough to be safe for plastic but I had already removed all the easily removable plastic bits so there really was nothing to worry about except the daggers shooting from the wife’s eyes about just WTF I was doing putting a bunch of guns in her oven.
Coming out of the oven everything was pretty much clean and dry with the only remaining step being to oil up which is pretty important as completely bare steel is prone to rust as I discovered with a 10/22 I gave this treatment a few years ago.