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  #1  
Old 12-18-2011, 08:42 PM
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Default Cleaning the M&P 15

Recently I bought the M&P 15 sport after looking at them over the last few weeks. I have an 15 22 for 2 years now and love it but wanted something new to play with. My question is, how much different is it to clean the the 15 22? I really don't know much about how the gas block works and what to make sure gets cleaned after firing. I want to clean and lube the barrel before taking it to the range for the first time.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:00 PM
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There is a ton of cleaning information for AR-15s on the internet. Do a simple Google search and Youtube search and you will get lots of write-ups and videos. The bolt carrier group is much more complex than your 15-22, and has some specific things to clean/maintain. The barrel cleans essentially the same way, as does the inside of the upper receiver. One big expection, you will need to keep the star chamber and chamber clean on your Sport. You don't need to clean anything in the front sight base (gas block), nor do you need to clean the gas tube. Those take care of themselves. A lot of the carbon is blown back into the bolt carrier group and the front of the upper, so that is where you will need to clean.

Congrats on your purchase and enjoy.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:30 PM
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I first owned a 15-22. I bought a 15-Sport recently. Due to the time-sucking holiday season, I've not been able to get to the range. I have cleaned it.

The very basics of field stripping the 15-Sport is the same as the 15-22. Cleaning the barrel is the same process.

The difference is the the 15-Sport's bolt carrier, bolt, & chamber. For the initial cleaning, I followed the printed directions step-by-step. I had no issues.

When you have everything taken apart, you can see how the parts interact as a complete system. What I can see:

1. At some point, I might need a pipe cleaner to swab out the gas key.

2. Carbon buildup will most likely be at the bolt tail, and inside the bolt carrier. A soak in carbon cleaning solvent should do the trick.

3. Old school cleaning should work well. If I need to make things easier, there are special tools to make the process scraping off carbon quicker. (CAT M-4, CRT-15, dental picks, etc...)

4. I'll pick up an AR chamber brush the next time I'm at the LGS.

Now regarding how the gas block basically works...

The front A2 sight post mates with a port in the barrel. This redirects a portion of the hot gasses created by the propellant down the gas tube, into the bolt carrier gas key.

The firing sequence begins about 7:33 into the video. Gas block about 10:00 into the video.

The M16 Rifle (1966) - YouTube

I love the old military training reels. Another favorite is the military promo film reel on the Armalite AR-10.

The Armalite AR-10 Rifle - YouTube

Last edited by JaPes; 12-18-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I'll go through the manual, and read up on google. I've seen a lot of sites that show AR cleaning but nothing I saw was for the M&P 15, I'm assuming they are all pretty much the same so I can go by the youtube videos also. Thanks again guys.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:07 AM
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The M&P 15 is an AR-15. All ARs are pretty much the same, regardless of who makes them.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:00 PM
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AR is an AR dude. They clean the same regardless of logo.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:31 PM
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rtquig,

As others have said, cleaning a direct impingement AR is the same no matter the brand name engraved on the upper and/or lower.

When looking at cleaning videos on YouTube, I try to assess the credibility of the source. I found one video that was produced by the National Shooting Sports Federation (N.S.S.F).

Clean your AR-15 - NSSF Shooting Sportscast - YouTube

Hope it helps.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:08 AM
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JaPes, Thanks I'll look at the site. I told my wife I will leave the M&P in the box until Christmas day, then I take it apart and clean it. I don't think you can go wrong if you follow the NSSF video.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:59 AM
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That video seems okay, but clicking through it I noticed a couple problems. One, don't lubricate your buffer spring. It should be dry, or at most just use the slight residue of oil left on your hands to rub it down before reinserting. Second, don't use a dental pick in your star chamber. Yeah it's easy, but it also has the potential of scratching the barrel extension.

I'm sure there are more issues, to me, in that video, but everyone has their quirks when cleaning ARs. Good luck.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:35 PM
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I watched the youtube video, its pretty straight forward. I also think the dental pick is a little too much, I prefer cleaner and Q-tips and a brass brush, but I have to assume this guy does this a lot and knows how to use the dental tool without hurt the gun.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:41 AM
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The NSSF video is a good starting point.

There are various methods, tools, & solvents that can be used to clean a firearm that can be used in an infinite combination.

No matter the method espoused by faceless individuals on an Internet forum, the basic goals are the same.

Clean out barrel
Clean out chamber
Clean bolt carrier
Clean bolt
Lube

Find the combo that works for you.

I use:

Otis flexible rod cleaning kit.
C.A.T. M4 tool. *
Talon Lug cleaning tool *
.223/5.56 chamber brush *
Hoppes No. 9
Rem Oil
Rags

* These tools aren't necessary, they just make the cleaning process faster for me.

I also keep a bore snake & Hoppes spray gun cleaner in my range bag just in case.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:57 PM
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NSSF video is ok, but I found the albeit shorter video by Shooting USATV much better, to the point, and I don't like the fact that the dude in other video uses a pick on chamber. Marring is a bad deal any way you slice it.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:01 PM
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No pick needed. Take a section of cleaning rod and screw in the chamber brush then attach the other end to a cordless drill. Squirt/spray a little solvent of your choice in there (I use brake parts cleaner). Hit it with the chamber brush using the drill and your chamber will be clean very quick with no damage.

Last edited by MAD FALCON; 12-23-2011 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAD FALCON View Post
No pick needed. Take a section of cleaning rod and screw in the chamber brush then attach the other end to a cordless drill. Squirt/spray a little solvent of your choice in there (I use brake parts cleaner). Hit it with the chamber brush using the drill and your chamber will be clean very quick with no damage.
I use an AR chamber brush attached to a section of cleaning rod, but not attached to a drill. I just plunge it in and out. Never tried it on a drill.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:54 PM
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Nobody's going near my AR with power anything. Just do like the GI manual says--3 plunge and turn strokes and move on.

Carbon cutter is good, and a breech guide for the cleaning rod which will otherwise tend to flex. And GI patches (Brownell's) instead of the commercially sold ****.

Only been doing this since 1966 so I'm still learning.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:24 PM
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New to the forum too. I just cleaned my virgin MP 15 Sport out of the box. Watched a three part video for some basic tips. Here is part 1

Cleaning the AR-15 (1/3) - YouTube

One area of variation, however was the extractor portion of the bolt. Held in by a small pin, the video talked about a small spring that could be misplaced when the extractor pin was removed and the extractor lifted off the bolt. I found no such part to the extractor so I assume that the AR15 shown in the video was a different model. BTW, if somebody in this forum would tell me I lost the spring and should get down on my hands and knees and start looking, I would appreciate it.

The rest of the series (3 or 3 on youtube) seemed thorough and was a little more easy to watch with good use of closeups. It was hard to see what the NSSF guy in the video link above, dressed in a black shirt, behind the black metal of the MP 15, was talking about.

Looking forward to my first trip to the range this week. Happy Shooting.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBluffRanger View Post
New to the forum too. I just cleaned my virgin MP 15 Sport out of the box. Watched a three part video for some basic tips. Here is part 1

Cleaning the AR-15 (1/3) - YouTube

One area of variation, however was the extractor portion of the bolt. Held in by a small pin, the video talked about a small spring that could be misplaced when the extractor pin was removed and the extractor lifted off the bolt. I found no such part to the extractor so I assume that the AR15 shown in the video was a different model. BTW, if somebody in this forum would tell me I lost the spring and should get down on my hands and knees and start looking, I would appreciate it.

The rest of the series (3 or 3 on youtube) seemed thorough and was a little more easy to watch with good use of closeups. It was hard to see what the NSSF guy in the video link above, dressed in a black shirt, behind the black metal of the MP 15, was talking about.

Looking forward to my first trip to the range this week. Happy Shooting.
Welcome to the forum! You're going to love shooting that Sport. The spring on the extractor has an o-ring around it on the Sport. Leave it in it's place and you shouldnt lose it. I did the same thing when I first disassembled the rifle. I thought I lost the spring, but it was all there. I figured it out before I spent too much time looking for it.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bat Guano View Post
Nobody's going near my AR with power anything. Just do like the GI manual says--3 plunge and turn strokes and move on.

Carbon cutter is good, and a breech guide for the cleaning rod which will otherwise tend to flex. And GI patches (Brownell's) instead of the commercially sold ****.

Only been doing this since 1966 so I'm still learning.
Explain to me how spinning a chamber brush at low rpm attached to a section of cleaning rod with a cordless drill is going to harm anything other than the dirt that accumulates there ? After all it cant be anywhere near as bad as the explosion that happens everytime the trigger is pulled.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:56 AM
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Different strokes for different folks dude.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:48 PM
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Welcome to the forum! You're going to love shooting that Sport. The spring on the extractor has an o-ring around it on the Sport. Leave it in it's place and you shouldnt lose it. I did the same thing when I first disassembled the rifle. I thought I lost the spring, but it was all there. I figured it out before I spent too much time looking for it.
JT: Thanks for the reply JT. Out of caution, I took it back to dealer and confirmed just as you said. And yes. I put 30 rounds through it at the range with the last ten in the black. Not bad for being out of the sport for 30 years.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RedBluffRanger View Post
JT: Thanks for the reply JT. Out of caution, I took it back to dealer and confirmed just as you said. And yes. I put 30 rounds through it at the range with the last ten in the black. Not bad for being out of the sport for 30 years.
Great to hear you're liking it. You have more will-power than I do. I have a hard time limiting to 30 rounds/range visit.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:10 PM
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Cleaning my MP15 is always a treat, until I get to the bolt. Everything else is simple and fun. However, I always find myself firing up Youtube to disassemble, clean and reassemble the bolt. Unless you do it often, it is a chore.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by pa5906tsw View Post
Cleaning my MP15 is always a treat, until I get to the bolt. Everything else is simple and fun. However, I always find myself firing up Youtube to disassemble, clean and reassemble the bolt. Unless you do it often, it is a chore.
LOL. Try field stripping a Mosin Nagant bolt, and an AR bolt will become 100 times easier.
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