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GUNS Magazine September 2011 Digital Edition - Page 28

• G L E N Z E d I k E R • WhAT kEEPS IT RUNNING? AR-15 prep for sport and war. or the purposes of this, there are at the least two F essential “ways” AR-15 owners run their guns. There are competitive shooters or sport shooters, or anyone who uncases an AR-15 for a day at the range. Then there are the professionals or others who own and operate an AR-15 as a tactical or defensive weapon. This bunch needs a rifle or carbine kept at the ready, and ready to deliver reliable service at any old time. The way the firearm is maintained can and should reflect on these demands. The competition shooter tends advised. The reader’s contention was to run a rifle hard. A lot of rounds, that lube did nothing but attract dirt. I a lot of heat, a lot of friction. The disagree. other group relies on their AR-15s to Lubricant, grease or oil, serves deliver flawless function, on demand. more functions than to simply make There are no alibi strings on a 2-way metal more slippery. Wet lubes do rifle range. All are indeed attract grit. The after essentially the lube also suspends it. same thing: maximum Lubed parts usually performance, maximum come clean more easily. reliability, and I throw Lube provides a film to maximum longevity separate opposing metal in there, too. Impact, surfaces which provides friction and heat cause chambers are often neglected and a little cushion and even parts wear. Wear frequent contributors to function adds a little “heat sink” and stress lead to problems (related). get it clean, effect. All good. What’s malfunctioning parts and do it each time the barrel is not good is polluted cleaned. I use a .357 nylon bore and components. lube! No question about brush, then wrap a patch around that. Keep it clean! No Lube? it to swab out the loosened gorp. Now we get back to I recently had a cleaning out the locking-lug lubrication based on comment from a reader recesses used to require creativity, the rifle use. For those on a statement I made but the right tools can make you who take their AR-15s about plated bolt feel like a dadburn dentist with all to the range, run them carriers. I said they still the cool swabs some have seen so until they are just slap need lubrication. He fit to provide us with. The tool in out of fun (or ammo), said they didn’t. He went the center is from Sinclair. or until the match is on to mention a specific over, should follow what test done on a specific I call the “oil-change” plated carrier where it routine. That is lube the was demonstrated there parts before use, run the was no appreciable wear rifle, clean the parts and and no malfunctions relube before next use. after a good number of The right lubes are oil rounds. I don’t doubt and grease. that a bit. I will answer For those who keep herein the same as I This is indispensable. It’s a mark an AR-15 at the ready, responded to his note. Brown carrier scraper. It gets the which almost always The first point was that carbon out from the bolt recess in means that firearm will I’m in no position to the carrier. It’s the only way I’ve be stored somewhere ever tell someone not to ever gotten this spot truly clean. other than a gun safe lubricate a gun part! If The next best alternative is gm (maybe even cased in the part maker says not Top Engine cleaner, available at the trunk of a police to lubricate it, then the your local chevy dealer’s parts cruiser), I don’t think part purchaser has been counter. it’s wise at all to keep 28 For those who need to keep an aR-15 at the ready, and well lubed, something like this works well. It’s a 2-part “plating,” in essence, that provides lubricating properties but in a dry form. It’s action magic II from Brownells. get the metal down to only metal before applying. graphite powder works too. Oils with additives are popular. honestly, I don’t keep lube on the rifle long enough to know if they really matter. I’m mostly looking for something that penetrates well but doesn’t run off and hide. The best way to really (really) remove all traces of lube is something like this. You might want to do this before applying any sort of “dry” lube. Brake cleaner, or electrical cleaner, will strip it all away down to the metal. however, make sure something comes back to the surface afterward or that totally bare metal may just decide to fuse to the next part in contact with it. Yep. Post-use corrosion is virtually inevitable. the parts heavily lubed. Over time, and it’s not much time necessarily, really effective lubes tend to either run away to points where they don’t do much good, or they thicken. Specifically, that’s oil and grease, in order. Probably the best means of lubrication is something “dry.” There are lubes that leave a relatively light film behind which is entirely adequate to provide reliable, unimpeded function and parts protection. I certainly would avoid even light grease on a firearm stored for ready use. Since there are nearly always two hands, on the other hand, grease is my overall preference for hard use in a competition rifle — where it can be used. WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER 2011

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