AR and AK Maintenance Tips

Learning how to efficiently maintain and take good care of your Rifle is essential. After all, it can end up leading up to a life and death situation, and if for whatever reason your Rifle jams or malfunctions, then that’s bad. And even if you’re a recreational or competitive shooter, it’s still important for the sake of home protection. As such, we decided to suggest a few quick ways of how to maintain AR and AK and keep it ready for when you need it most.

how to maintain AR and AK

how to maintain AR and AK

1. Clean Your Rifle

This is a relatively simple thing to do that should be part of your regular activity after going hunting or shooting at the gun range.

Using solvent, oil, a basic rifle cleaning kit, a chamber brush that is specific to your gun’s caliber is one of the best ways to keep your AR and AK perform better for many years to come. It is also crucial that you clean your rifle’s chamber and barrel from rear to front.

Also, usually the bolt carrier group is what ends up taking the most punishment that comes with firing. So it’s best to strip it, apply solvent on the relevant parts and let the coating sit while you continue on to the rifle’s barrel, upper, and fire-control group.

2. Examine the FCG & Lower Receiver

You should take a look into the trigger assembly area. If you see any evidence of grime or gunk, then don’t worry. You can just clean that right off anyway. However, if you see pieces of primers, then that’s not great. What this means is that your primers are occasionally getting blown out of their cartridges, which would indicate pressure problems with your ammo or perhaps overheating problems.

3. Keep an Eye on the Gas Rings

Essentially, there are 3 gas rings on the bolt that make up a dynamic seal in between the Rifle’s bolt and bolt carrier. If your weapon is in constant use, it’s only a matter of time before those gas rings begin to wear. It is important for you to consistently keep an eye on your gas rings every time you are cleaning your rifle. If any look damaged or worse for wear then you should replace them before firing your weapon again.

You can test them out by simply extending the bolt out of the bolt carrier as far as possible. Stand the bolt and carrier vertically on a flat surface. If the carrier isn’t slipping downwards, then it’s all good. If not and the carrier collapses, then the rings are faulty and need replacing asap.

4. Take a Look at the Firing Pin

As you maintain your Rifle, take a look at the firing pin and look at the tip. The firing pin should normally be smooth and rounded. This means it shouldn’t have any chips or abnormal dents. If you see these signs then the firing pin was probably not of the best quality and you should get yourself a new one.

5. Check the Rifle’s Extractor and spring

Take a look at your Rifle’s extractor as that tends to be a common failing point. In normal cases, it should be whole and show some nice sharp edges. Moreover, make sure you take a look at the spring and booster. For those unfamiliar, that is a plastic insert inside the spring. If anything looks weird, you can easily replace it.

6. Assess Your Magazine

Using high-quality mags helps make sure that your rifle gives off a consistent feeding of the rounds. Skimping on cheaper mags may save you money in the beginning, but they aren’t reliable and tend to bend or crack as time passes. It’s for this reason that you should always examine your magazines and give their interiors a good inspection and wipe down. If there’s any wear or evident damage present, then don’t be surprised if you start having feeding issues.

If you can’t always pay for the higher-end magazines, then you can always just keep a small set in hand for situations when you need the most reliability.

7. Always Lubricate

When it comes to guns, friction is your enemy. And while AR-15s and AK’s tend to be reliable, you should always make sure that all lube-points have been covered before you head off to your next hunt or to the gun range. It is necessary that you well lubricate the machine as it ensures that your weapon cycles smoothly each time the trigger goes off.

For example, there are multiple lube-points on AR-15s, where some points require only a slight oil application, whereas the rest require more. Generally, points like your FCG, mag release& bolt catch button, as well as safety selector should all get a drop or two of lubricant. However, if you aren’t too confident about what your rifle’s lube points are, then you can always refer to your weapon’s manual. If you don’t have one, or lost it, then you can find many helpful guides online to point you in the right direction.

8. Polish AK’s Wood-stock

If you own an AK, then this is most applicable to you. You need to consistently polish the wood (any good furniture polish will do) to help keep it from rotting or chipping.

9. Perform a Complete Rifle Check

The final thing to do after a proper maintenance session is to reassemble the parts and perform a function check. Now, make sure you have put away all your ammunition and that there isn’t any round still stuck in the chamber before doing this.

Afterward, simply point the rifle somewhere safe, then pull the bolt and release it forward. Make sure the rifle’s safety is on, then pull the trigger. If the rifle’s hammer doesn’t fall, then that’s good. After that, flip it from safe to fire and pull the trigger. If the hammer drops, then you’re all good to go.

10. Keep A Consistent Maintenance Schedule

This is especially applicable to beginners/amateurs as while it may sound tedious, having a prompt maintenance schedule is important. And depending on how you use your rifle and how often you use it, it will vary. Whether it be weekly or monthly, taking time off to even just do a quick clean will be beneficial in helping you take care of your rifle’s internal components and keep it firing for years.


If you keep these suggestions of how to maintain AR and AK in mind then you can be confident that you will a long-lasting and much more reliable AK or AR-15. Also, do remember to purchase high-quality components, they may be expensive at first but they will definitely save you loads in the long run and make your life a lot less stressful, in regards to maintenance.

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