When it comes to weapon maintenance and upkeep, there is nothing more important for you as an operator or for the longevity of your weapon than proper lubrication and frequent cleaning.
This fact is never more imperative than when it comes to an AR-15. Due to the fact that this weapon is so precise, and all of its parts are so specific and work together in such an exact way, is why this particular rifle needs to be cleaned frequently, thoroughly, and subsequently lubricated properly.
The most important part of your AR-15 that needs to be lubricated regularly is the bolt assembly of your weapon, but it is also important to note that the bore and charging handle should be given a once over with oil, but this doesn’t need to be done nearly as much or as frequent.
Once you have disassembled your weapon and thoroughly cleaned it, it is imperative that you then lubricate it. There are quite a few lubricant options to operators, but it is inevitably up to that specific operator, and the conditions in which your AR-15 is being used.
To name a few, there are dry lubricants, gun grease, or some operators use light oil. Some even use the ‘dripping wet’ technique. Which as it sounds, you cake your AR with a lot of lube to ensure smooth action, but this is not always a good or recommended idea. With excess lube, excess debris from your weapon being fired, along with dirt and anything else floating around in the air can get caught in the lubricant and cause your weapon to jam. But some operators swear by this method and have not had such problems.
While light oils can burn off with the heat of your weapon being fired, or even in the heat of the day if you are in a location that is prone to excessively high temperatures. And dry lubricants are suggested for operators who mainly use their weapon in dry or dusty locations so that the debris does not get stuck in the lube. But dry lubricants are not known for actually helping with the friction of your weapon being fired.
So it is all about location, and preference. When it comes to choosing a specific lubricant for your weapon and environment. But the most suggested and common use of lubricant for an AR-15 is to keep the oil to a minimum, making sure to keep the bolt action lubricated. If you happen to apply too much, don’t worry, take a clean rag and wipe away excess to avoid the possibility of jamming your weapon from debris buildup in the excess lube.
The bolt action, again, should be completely covered with either a light oil or gun grease, it is not suggested to use a dry lubricant for this specific location because of how important it is that this particular part function smoothly. The cam pin needs just a little bit of lubricant just above the firing pin hole. Use a clean finger to rub in the lubricant until it is lightly coated and wipe off any excess with a clean rag. The most important part of your AR-15 to keep lubricated are the rails of the bolt carrier. These rails need frequent lubrication.
Make sure not to over lubricate your weapon, wipe away excess with a rag, and your weapon should be good to go.