Don Edwards

Lubricating Your AR-15

Don Edwards
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Duration:   2  mins

Don Edwards of Green Line Tactical demonstrates his rifle lubrication method. It’s quick and easy to keep your AR-15 running smoothly on the range—and anywhere you might need it.


The inside of a rifle gets extremely hot when fired repeatedly, and a lot of carbon is blowing in there, so use the right type of oil—one that’s made for rifles. Several thin teflon- or silicon-based lubricants are on the market and are designed more for rust protection on the outside. They will burn off, blow away, and not last very long. Keep a bottle of high-quality rifle lube on hand as part of your defensive gear.


If you clean your AR-15 but don’t lubricate it, it won’t run very well. After about one magazine of ammo, it will start getting sluggish and loaded with carbon. If you leave it dirty but keep it lubed with high-quality lube, it will run for a very long time.


1. Move the bolt forward.
2. Find the two small holes that are in the side of the bolt carrier and put a drop or two of oil inside each hole.
3. Using the thumb, pull back on the charging handle just enough to expose the locking lugs and put a couple drops of oil on them.
4. Turn the rifle on its side, exposing the magazine well. Do the same thing with the thumb, hold it open, and put a couple drops of oil on the locking lugs from this angle.
5. Also put two drops on the bottom shiny friction surface of the bolt carrier itself.
6. Turn the rifle right-side up, lock the bolt to the rear, and leave the charging handle open. Put two drops there on the charging handle and smear them around with your finger. That will keep the charging handle slick too.
7. Work the oil in by moving the charging handle back and forth a few times.

That’s all you need to do to take a rifle that’s acting sluggish on the range during rifle training or practice and get it back in the game.


Be careful how much oil you put on your rifle. If you overlube it, though it doesn’t hurt the rifle, the oil will fly up into your face during a string of fire and you’ll need to stop and clean your glasses before continuing.

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2 Responses to “Lubricating Your AR-15”

  1. CAROL

    Any quick tips on cleaning/lubricating an AR 15 9MM rifle? I know the bolt carrier on the 9MM is different and isn’t gas operated. I can’t find any videos on what parts to lube on the 9mm version. The manual isn’t that great and a video is always better! Any feedback would be appreciated!

  2. Gary Sackman

    I don't own a AR-15, but I have carried and fired an M16A1, including the M203 (grenade launcher version). Except for my GP100, no other weapon was so hard to clean to the armorer's standard as the M16. The GP100 had powder residue, but you could see most of it. The M16 had residue in places that only the armorer would find. We had to field strip the whole rifle and clean the inside and outside. We used Break Free CLP, the issued cleaner. Cleaned great and lubricated the metal surfaces. As far as the action slowing down after repeated firings, we never experienced that even on extended use during qualification on multiple ranges. Guys in my Cavalry unit had to do annual qualification and we had unlimited ammuntion to burn off after the session. We probably fired 300 rounds or more in about 30 minutes. Just loading the magazines slowed us down. We fired so many rounds, the barrels turned red.

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