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How to clean guns on limited supply of cleaning supplies

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Old 01-06-2012, 05:19 AM   #1
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Default How to clean guns on limited supply of cleaning supplies

Hey everybody. I'm not sure if you guys will remember me or not. I did a post in July that caused alot of drama. It was about surviving in the wilderness for 20 years. I realize now that that is probably not practical. I will still prepare for the worst, but I'm sure I won't last 20 years in the wilderness. Anyway.... here is what I'm wondering now........

If I go out into the wilderness with my AR15 and 200 rounds, and my cleaning supplies.... at what intervals should I clean my gun? Would it be better to immediately clean it after shooting it each time? Or should I clean it on a regularly scheduled interval? do you see my dilemma? I want my cleaning supplies to last the optimal amount of time and at the same time make my gun last the optimal amount of time. what would you guys recommend? do the solvents go bad after a while? that could be a factor right? i would hate to ration it meanwhile neglecting my gun, only to find out that the solvent has lost it's potency. does it matter how many rounds I've shot through it? I would hate to waste an entire clean on just 1 round.

right now Im leaning towards this solution: after shooting the gun, wait 2 weeks or until any hostile threat is gone and then give it a routine clean and lube. If I've gone 2 years without shooting it, maybe give it a routine clean and lube. If when I shoot the gun, it's less than 10 rounds, I will give it a very conservative cleaning. If I shot more than 10 rounds through it, I will give it a generous cleaning.

Here is another tough question: what ratio of cleaning supplies should I take? remember I don't want any excess weight in my pack. So when my solvent runs out, it would be ideal if my lube/patches/brushes were all spent as well. Hopefully that makes sense. Also are there certain parts of an AR 15 that I should worry about cleaning the most? should i not clean the receiver as much as I do the barrel? it seems like the barrel is the main thing I need to keep clean. I plan on getting a "gas pison" model rather than the "direct impingment" model, since it supposedly runs cleaner.... i.e... doesn't poop in it's own action (as somebody stated last July). It just poops on it's own piston now.

Last edited by package81; 01-06-2012 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:38 AM   #2
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Here's what you do for long-term longevity of your choosen platform.

1.Get an AK a boresnake
3.ride out apocalypse

Lol just teasing,but that's actually the reason I choose the AK platform. If I need it to run with minimal maintenance and/or tlc for long periods of time due to necessity... it will. But honestly the AR platform isn't as finicky as people make it out to be,one or two rounds down the pipe by no means warrents a cleaning when supplies are short in my opinion. In a shtf situation I'd be less worried about cleaning my gun after dumping a mag through it,then say... tripping and it landing in a mud puddle. I would stick to running a boresnake through it with a bit of oil after firing it,and reserve actual cleanings for when the gun is actually physically dirty.

I forgot where I heard it but this qoute sums up the AR pretty well to me "The AR will run when its dirty, And it will run when its dry... but it wont run when its dirty AND dry."
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:14 AM   #3
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If I only had 200 rounds for an AR, I would only bother with what I would need to clean mud and dirt off of it. An oily rag, maybe a snake, brush.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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1. Get an AK. Dribble some kind of oil over it now and again.
2. Get a Moisin- Nagant. It has only been cleaned twice since Boris carried it in the Russian revolution.
3. Get a flintlock. Clean it by washing it in the stream. For lube, use a fatty animal that you shot.
4. REAL long term? Do you know what an atlatl is?
What we have here is... failure- to communicate.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Lemme see if I got this straight... you want to get lost somewhere in the big boonies for 20 years? And plan to use your rifle and 200 rounds every couple years? If my calculations are correct you get 10 rnds a year. Personally I would dump the AR and get a .30-30 Marlin- or even the Marlin .45-70 with the little hand loader and frankly a used .22 rifle or pistol. Or a surplus Mauser 8mm with the extra springs and small parts you will need...
Have you ever done something for 20 years? There is only so much quiet time most people can handle. Then your mind begins to play tricks on you...
The human mind needs stimulation.. We are "social" animals, we dwell in groups to share the work and give help when we are sick or injured.. that only other humans (even a woman) can give. I wish you well and Godspeed. Should you happen to live your first winter we would be happy to hear your story. On a personal note.. there is so much to do and learn in the rest of the world
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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I'm changing my cleaning paradigm. I still use Hoppes,

pretty much at the beginning of a formal cleaning session.

But now, I swab the barrel with Automatic Transmission Fluid

every 10 shots or so, to break loose dirt, and avoid a

knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred, six hour cage match

with my rifle bores every time I get back from the range.

I'm also using Mobil-1 synthetic for lube, because, dang, I

gotta eat, too...
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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The simple answer is to learn what to forrage to replace the conveniences of modern life. Many basic auto products can substitute for gun cleaning and lubricating products. A swipe of a dip stick from a long abandoned car can provide all the lube you need, bearing grease, kerosine, mineral spirits, transmission fluid can be all you ever need. Tire weights can be melted to cast bullets...primers and powder are another issue. Point is when you bug out you will need to take food and water before you think about several hundred pounds of ammo and gun supplies. Another alternative is to bury sealed mil surp ammo at strategic locations near your safe house. That way you won't have to hump it...probably still a few million rounds of 7.62 X 39 buried around the world.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #8
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I think the hard truth of the "run to the deep woods when the shtf" situation is that any firearm with a complicated action (like the gas blowback of an AR/M16 variant) requires cleaning, lubrication, and protection from the elements.
You can clean and lube an assault rifle diligently, and prevent rust and buildup that will lead to weapon failure, but once you run out of solvents and lubricant, all it takes is a few days in the woods for the ambient moisture to start the rust. I carried an M16A2 in the desert, the jungle, and the mountains. In the desert, it was a struggle to keep the rifle lubricated due to the heat, dry air, and sand/dust. Rust was largely a non-factor, but after a while things started fouling just from buildup. In the jungle, the main enemy was rust. You could stave off rust by applying a thin sheen of CLP, but as the weapon heated up, that would burn off and you'd need more. The mountains were easier to handle, because it wasn't as humid and far less dusty. But a good snowfall or rainstorm required breaking out cleaning gear.

I guess what I'm trying to get at with that long-winded rambling is that if you're out in no-man's-land wilderness, you want to rely on something more primitive than firearms for survival. A bow and supply of arrows will last you longer without maintenance, doubly so if it's a simple recurve instead of a compound bow. You'll find snares, traps, and deadfalls will net you more meat over time than 200 rounds of ammo.

If you're planning to rely on that AR to survive the end of the world, you want to stick to the median areas between civilization and wilderness. Live in the wild, and plunder the ruins for supplies. There are a bunch of recipes here and online for basic SHTF gun cleaners and lubricants. Hell, a single abandoned car can keep a rifle running using oil and transmission fluid. You'll run out of ammo way before the rifle dies in that situation.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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A little opossum grease on that AR every so often & you should be fine.........
When all else fails.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:04 AM   #10
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a chrome lined chamber chrome lined bore chromed out bcg and an ar15 chromed trigger assembly and an ar15 will outlast any ak47 in the wild. ak47's typically dont have chromed internals. only the barrels and chambers
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