View Full Version : Cleaning the AR's chamber?

November 10, 2012, 01:58 PM
got any recommendations for cleaning the gas chamber of an AR ? or do you just let that crud build up and stay put ?

November 11, 2012, 07:58 AM
I would recommend following the owners manual for field stripping the bolt carrier and cleaning all those parts. you will find a lot of gunk in there if its a gas impingement AR, and that must be cleaned. also, I love taking the gun apart.

November 11, 2012, 08:06 AM
If i would have to depend on you. then clean it.
If "they" are depending on you, never clean it.

November 11, 2012, 08:24 AM
LMAO, Hopefully "I" will be the ONLY one depending on me ! I was wondering what kinda cleaner you use, I've tried all the barrel cleaners I have, plus CLR and something else out of the "Reading Room", but that crud is pretty stubborn, and I haven't found an appropriate sized brush either, any suggestions ?

November 11, 2012, 12:41 PM
I will assume that we are talking about an AR-15/M-16/M-4 type weapon.
"cleaning the gas chamber" is chilling, just the history of the fact...

I run my AR-15/M-16/M4 type weapon's BCG wet with Mobile One. This works well for me and keeps the gunk flowing. After an extended shoot, I break down the weapon, pull the BCG and take it apart (I don't remove the extractor or ejector or any springs etc.). The BC, bolt, firing pin and all goes into a cleaner with 'Hoppies Number 9'.
The 'cleaner' is a cheap denture sonic cleaner that I bought on line for $7 or $8 dollars. It gets new batteries and runs over night, well, till the batteries run down. In the morning, the 'Hoppies' is shot, a thick sediment is floating at the bottom of the cleaner and all of the parts are quite clean. No, not spotless, but close enough for me. A quick brushing with an old tooth brush and put everything back together and hit it with Mobile One.
I don't worry with the gas tube. Anything in it will soon be blown into the gas key and BCG.

I hope this is along the lines of what you are looking for. It works for me and is both cheap and easy.

Be safe,


November 11, 2012, 05:30 PM
When I think chamber on an AR, I think chamber brush.

I guess it does not matter what you consider the chamber, I remove carbon when I can from the bolt and carrier using OTIS ultra bore cleaner and a nylon brush. Stubborn carbon gets scraped off with a brass flat tip.

November 11, 2012, 06:43 PM
Assuming you mean the bolt carrier and bolt, there are two methods; mechanical and chemical.

The chemical method is to use a carbon remover liquid. A good one is Slip 2000 Carbon Killer.
All that's needed is to shake the jar well, soak the parts for about 15 minutes, then brush to finish with an M16 "toothbrush".

The mechanical methods use various types of scraper tools to scrape th carbon out.
Of the available tools, most people consider the C.A.T. M4 and the Magna-Matic, the best because each of these two do it all, where other tools require buying two tools, one for the carrier and one for the bolt.



Using either the chemical or mechanical method will clean the bolt and carrier fast and without lengthy soaking or brushing.

November 11, 2012, 07:45 PM
Slip 2000 carbon Killer. Remember to relube after using the carbon killer because it removes the crud and the lube. You will have a minty fresh weapon.

November 11, 2012, 07:52 PM
A few squirts of Walmart brake cleaner and a toothbrush. Sometimes a .45 nylon bore brush on a cleaning rod.

November 11, 2012, 08:15 PM
Are you talking about the chamber at the breach end of the barrel, or the gas tube, or something else? There is no such part as the "gas chamber."

November 11, 2012, 09:06 PM
Well, the chamber that the gas tube spits gas into directly behind the gas rings is the gas chamber is it not ?

Slip 2000 ? Is that a vehicle Parts store Item ? Brake cleaner's an easy one, but a chamber brush is a little small to match the Bolt.

I do appreciate all the help, even the sarcasm !

November 11, 2012, 09:26 PM
I wasn't being sarcastic, I was trying to understand what part you were referring to. Now i understand its the inside of the bolt carrier. There are several methods for cleaning this, from special tools you can buy, to scraping it with a brass scraper or other similar tool, to soaking the carrier in chemicals, etc. Many have had good results by soaking the carrier in mineral spirits. Slip 2000 isn't a very powerful cleaner by itself, but with some elbow grease works well enough. This area does not need to be spotless, I just try to remove the larger chunks.

ETA: I was thinking regular Slip 2000 (CLP), not the carbon killer. The carbon killer is stronger.

November 11, 2012, 09:30 PM
I use the chamber brush included in most cleaning kits to break the carbon off the walls of the chamber. Then I'll take a cut in half q-tip in some hemostats, get some CLP on it and use it to mop up the debris. If needed, I'd use a pick to get the material out of the crevices and do the q-tip again.

November 12, 2012, 08:04 PM
Slip 2000 ? Is that a vehicle Parts store Item

Slip 2000 Carbon Killer is bought from Brownell's, Midway, and many gun shops.
It's not an auto store item, it's a gun item.
Buy the big jar and SHAKE IT WELL, it separates and settles fast.

Brake cleaner is mostly a degreaser.
Auto stores do sell dedicated carbon removers, but be careful.... some may attack the finish on gun parts.

November 12, 2012, 09:02 PM
I use brass brushes on the BCG and pipe cleaners for the tube portion.

November 13, 2012, 01:10 AM
The gas tube doesn't need to be cleaned.

November 13, 2012, 10:02 AM
For the bolt carrier, I have found that a 2" patch wrapped around the end of a stripper clip works great to get the buildup of crud from the back of the carrier where the tail of the bolt goes through.


November 13, 2012, 10:38 AM
I do appreciate all the help, even the sarcasm !
He wasn't being sarcastic; just like the rest of us here, he honestly doesn't know which part you're talking about. Some people here think you're talking about the chamber, some think you're talking about the bolt carrier group, and the rest think you're talking about the gas tube.

Well, the chamber that the gas tube spits gas into directly behind the gas rings is the gas chamber is it not ?
To answer your question, it is not. I'm guessing you're either referring to the gas key that's attached to the top of the bolt carrier or you're referring to the inside of the bolt itself.

November 13, 2012, 02:39 PM
The gas tube doesn't need to be cleaned.

I mean the tube on the gas key on the BCG.

November 13, 2012, 07:08 PM
GI Maintenance manuals show using a worn bore brush to clean the gas key by putting the brush on a GI cleaning rod section and pushing and twisting it in the key.

You can do a better job of cleaning the key by using Slip 2000 Carbon Killer.
It gets all the way inside the key passage where the brush can't reach.

November 14, 2012, 01:09 AM
I think too many people are under the opinion that an AR has to be surgically sterilized in order to run reliably, and as a result some have developed cleaning routines that border on ritualistic. I don't spend a lot of time immaculately cleaning my AR's, and have not found that they've functioned any less reliably as a result. Pat Rogers (who knows a thing or two about carbines) wrote a great article a few years back entitled "Keep Your Carbine Running (http://www.ar15.com/content/swat/keepitrunning.pdf)" that argues for the same approach, and it's an exceptionally good read for those who own and shoot the AR platform.

November 14, 2012, 08:56 AM
I agree. Another good article related to Pat Rogers is "Filthy 14", which proves that the AR does not need to be clean to function reliably.

November 14, 2012, 09:27 AM
I'll agree, the AR' biggest concern from my experience in terms of fouling comes when dirt and debris gets into the trigger mechnism, that's when the jamming and issues become a real problem.

For me, I clean my rifle after every shoot, it has a theraputic affect on me and really helps me unwind. There is just something about the process that is just relaxing for me.

For me, I typically just wet a que-tip with some hoppes #9 and drive it into the gas key and let it sit a little while I work my magic on the bolt and locking lugs. this usually takes about 10 minutes, after letting the solvent work on the carbon build up I'll run a few more que-tips through the gas key until they come out clean.

It doesn't take much, and if you keep up on the cleaning it never gets too fouled that it makes it a total PITA to do maintenance on.

I'm a firm believer that if you take care of your firearm, it'll take care of you :)

Hopefully this helps.

November 14, 2012, 10:38 AM
And, where are guys getting "brass brushes?"

November 15, 2012, 01:53 PM
And, where are guys getting "brass brushes?"

Bronze, rather.


November 15, 2012, 07:46 PM
And, where are guys getting "brass brushes?"

I prefer a nylon chamber brush like this (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/375009/montana-x-treme-mtx-ar-15-chamber-brush-8x32-thread-nylon).

November 16, 2012, 05:38 PM
Bronze chamber brush( make sure its lubed) followed by a chamber mop.

Also look up filthy 14, 34,000 rounds with no cleaning and no issues.

November 16, 2012, 07:25 PM
Bronze chamber brush( make sure its lubed) followed by a chamber mop.

Also look up filthy 14, 34,000 rounds with no cleaning and no issues.

Read the thread

November 16, 2012, 07:33 PM
Slip 2000 Carbon Killer takes everything off including your lube. Hit the BCG with some and wipe it off with a white rag.