Maintaining your AR-15 upper is crucial for ensuring the peak performance and longevity of your rifle. The upper receiver, which houses essential components such as the barrel, bolt carrier group, and charging handle, plays a vital role in the firearm’s accuracy and reliability. Here are key steps to keep your upper in optimal condition:
- Regular Cleaning: Regular cleaning is fundamental to preventing carbon buildup and corrosion. Begin by field-stripping the upper receiver, removing the bolt carrier group, charging handle, and handguard. Clean these components with a suitable solvent and a nylon brush to remove fouling and residue. Pay special attention to the chamber and barrel, as any build-up in these areas can affect accuracy.
- Inspect the Barrel: The barrel is a critical component influencing the rifle’s accuracy. Inspect it for any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. Use a bore brush to clean the barrel, and if necessary, run a patch soaked in solvent through it. Check the muzzle crown for any dings or irregularities that could impact bullet trajectory.
- Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) Maintenance: Disassemble the bolt carrier group and clean each part thoroughly. Pay attention to the gas rings, ensuring they are in good condition. Lubricate the BCG with a high-quality gun oil, and be mindful not to over-lubricate AR15 Upper, as excess oil can attract dirt and debris.
- Check Gas System: Inspect the gas tube and gas block for any carbon buildup or blockages. A clean and unobstructed gas system is essential for proper cycling. Use a pipe cleaner or a specialized tool to clear any debris from the gas tube.
- Handguard and Rail System: Clean the handguard and rail system, removing any dirt or grime that may accumulate during use. Ensure accessories like optics and lights are securely attached and properly aligned.
- Function Check: After cleaning and reassembly, conduct a function check to ensure all components operate smoothly. Check the safety selector, trigger, and overall functionality of the upper receiver.
- Lubrication: Apply a light coat of lubricant to moving parts, such as the bolt carrier group and charging handle. Use a lubricant suitable for firearms and avoid excessive application.
Regular maintenance not only preserves the reliability of your AR-15 but also contributes to its overall lifespan. By investing time and effort into proper upper receiver care, you can enjoy consistent performance and accuracy from your rifle.