Best AR DIY Cleaning Gear?

By Will Dabbs, MD
Posted in #Gear
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Best AR DIY Cleaning Gear?

July 31st, 2020

5 minute read

The AR is the most popular rifle in America. Estimates vary widely, but there appear to be upwards of ten million samples in circulation. That’s one rifle for every 33 Americans. For all its many manifest virtues, however, the traditional direct gas impingement system brings a few maintenance requirements.

Real Avid makes the gear that makes maintaining your SAINT rifle easy. Image: Real Avid

While piston-operated designs like the Kalashnikov are theoretically more resistant to neglect, the direct gas impingement AR action is designed for accuracy, simplicity and light weight. However, a side effect of the design is that gas tapped from the bore is piped back directly into the gun’s receiver area. As a result, there are some cleaning requirements for a firearm like this.

Will tried out a trio of cool Real Avid gear for cleaning and maintaining his SAINT rifle.

So how to best keep your firearm effectively cleaned and maintained? Nobody does a better job at cracking that particular nut than Real Avid.

AR15 Micro Tool

The most useful maintenance tools will be the ones that easily go with you to the range. The AR15 Micro Tool from Real Avid actually hangs off your keychain, making it incredibly easy to always have with you. Incorporating 18 different tools into a single compact rig, the AR15 Micro Tool addresses a myriad of pesky problems without taking up much space.

The AR15 Micro Tool fits on your keychain and includes 18 different AR tools. Image: Real Avid

Steel scrapers fit the firing pin and bolt tail. A rotating, locking pin punch helps you liberate both takedown pins as well as the hammer and trigger sort. Compact wrenches help manage railed accessories, while a front sight adjustment tool makes elevation adjustments a snap. There’s even a bottle opener thrown in to help you recover from a long day on the range.

The Micro Tool even includes a handy bottle opener. Image: Real Avid

Carbon Boss-AR15

A potential factor in the reliability of a dirty AR rifle is the bolt carrier group (BCG), as gunk gets blown right back into this component during normal operations. Unfortunately, some of the tough to reach bits can be pretty darn important. The Carbon Boss-AR15 is that third hand you need to access those hard-to-reach spaces. The whole rig fits into an included ballistic nylon sheath, and the stainless steel components are not hardened unduly so as to prevent damage to your BCG.

The Carbon Boss is designed to help you clean and maintain your AR’s bolt carrier group. Image: Real Avid

A fold-out pin punch helps with disassembly chores, while a cotter pin grabber also cleans the bolt face and behind the extractor. Dedicated tools clean and scrape the interior, exterior and shoulder of the bolt in a single operation. Another set of edges cleans gunk off the firing pin along its variegated length. There is a component designed to clean between the bolt lugs and another to address the inside of the bolt carrier. A cam pin scraper tidies that bit as well.

The Carbon Boss-AR15 comes with its own handy ballistic nylon sheath. Image: Real Avid

Once you’re done with the heavy lifting, a 360-degree metal bolt tail polishing brush finishes everything off nicely. I can attest to the fact that this thing will just spoil you rotten.

AR15 Pro Pack

The Pro Pack is a premium general-purpose cleaning kit for AR15 rifles. The whole shebang fits into its own compact carrying case that is small enough to be forgotten in your range bag. The AR15 Pro Pack has everything you need to maintain everything about your favorite black rifle.

The Real Avid AR15 Pro Pack is a full-function AR cleaning kit in a handy carrying pouch.

A segmented cleaning rod features a T-handle along with several fittings. A phosphor bronze bore brush muscles out that really nasty stuff, while a slotted tip accepts patches for a final polishing. Unique star-shaped chamber brushes remove the crud from that hard-access chamber area. Straight and angled cleaning picks address the tedious bits, while a custom-designed bolt carrier brush keeps that critical piece running both smoothly and well.

The Pro Pack also includes a handy quick reference field guide.

There is a universal pin punch as well as a chamber safety flag. Everything snaps in place within the handy carrying case. Once sealed, the case is weatherproof and inconspicuous.

Dedicated scraping tools manage both diameters of the firing pin along with bolt and bolt carrier surfaces both inside and out. Specific angles address the bolt lugs, the bolt waist, the bolt face and that pesky space behind the extractor. Literally everything you might need for proper detailed maintenance of your SAINT rifle rides in that tidy little case. There are even spaces to keep everything organized just in case you’re an inveterate pig like me.

Will’s hands-on testing of the three Real Avid cleaning tools left him very impressed with the company’s offerings.

You’re not just born knowing how to do all this stuff. As such there’s even a quick reference field guide. These handy little flashcards include all the information you need to keep your Saint marching on reliably.


Many’s the hour I have spent toiling over some filthy M16 rifle in a vain attempt at satisfying the first sergeant. The weapons we used when I wore the uniform were kept absolutely spotless. Back then, however, it was all about unfiltered elbow grease. Real Avid helps you do it so much better — and easier.

Real Avid’s combination of innovative design and rock-solid usability make their products very appealing to firearms enthusiasts. Image: Real Avid

In my opinion, Real Avid is the industry leader in dedicated cleaning and support gear for a wide variety of popular firearms. Their tools are well-reasoned, rugged, effective and reasonably priced. Real Avid offers something for any conceivable application. Adding some of this gear to your kit will keep your firearm running more smoothly and make life that much simpler.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Will Dabbs, MD

Will Dabbs, MD

Will was raised in the Mississippi Delta and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After eight years flying Army helicopters, he left the military as a Major to attend medical school. Will operates an Urgent Care clinic in his small Southern town and works as the plant physician for the local Winchester ammunition plant. He is married to his high school sweetheart, has three adult children, and has written for the gun press for a quarter century.

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