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I just bought my first ar-15 type rifle, a M&P 15 sport II. I have spent some time cleaning and inspecting it before shooting for the first time. I am surprised at what I am getting out of the barrel. I've been using CLP and swatches. The patches were coming out pretty clean until I ran a bronze brush through the barrel. I was surprised at how dirty the patches were (a very dark grey, almost black) after that. Is this from factory preservative in the rifling grooves? I've gone through several iterations of brush followed by swatches and they still look pretty dark for the first few swatches after the brush. It's been a while since I purchased a new gun (and mostly handguns and shotguns before) so maybe I'm forgetting how much preservative a new gun might have out of the box. Anyway, my questions are:
1. How clean does it need to be to shoot safely.?
2. Does this sound like normal S&W factory preservative?
3. Should I be using a stronger solvent (hoppes #9 or maybe something compatible with CLP)?
Thanks for your advice!
 

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I wouldn’t think S&W would have put any preservative in the barrel. It is probably just residue from them cutting the rifling grooves. You have done enough to shoot it safely. I use H#9 on everything I clean. Have fun.
 

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I don't use bronze/brass brushes anymore. In fact when Gearchecker stops by next week, he's getting all mine (I have a lot of them). I only use nylon brushes and patch pullers and BTE solvent followed by some Hoppes No.9 and no brass or aluminum cleaning rods either, just carbon fiber rods. Finally, I always use a cleaning tube that protects the action from any solvent getting in it. Solvents will eventually gum up the works and I use Jewel Triggers, very expensive and very sensitive to contamination. Very adjustable for trigger pull, let off and pre travel too. I can set them down to 1/2 ounce pull with no chance of a bang fire.

Welcome to the forum and have fun. The above is what I do which may or may not be what you do.

When I buy a new piece, it always gets cleaned before any cartridge is ignited inside.
 
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I clean everything before I shoot it. By clean, I mean it's clean when the patch comes out clean - they're cheap. I bought a new Remington 870 a few years back that took forever to clean out whatever presentative they coated it in - same with a Makarov.
 

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I clean every pistol after shooting it, but I don't with rifles and have never had a failure.

Now, to be sure, I usually shoot a minimum of 200 rounds per range outing if shooting a pistol, but almost always shoot under 50 rounds when rifle shooting.

I know some who don't clean their AR's until they shoot over a 1000 rounds, though they might yank the bolt carrier group, wipe off, oil and re-install, but that's it.
 

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Yes, clean them until patches are clean. The manfacturers use a rust preventing coating and will not act as a lubricant. They need to be thoroughly cleaned and lubed before use. Welcome to the forum.
 
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Thanks for all your replies. I appreciate the information. I'll continue with a bit more cleaning and then lube. I do have a bore guide I'm using and have ordered a one piece rod and nylon brushes.
Always clean a new or old gun before firing it. If you used CLP you really do not need to "lube" it. Maybe a bit more on the bolt.
 

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Put me in the "Always Clean A New Gun" camp. The only one that didn't need cleaning was a Springfield XD that the LGS owner cleaned because he was bored. I must admit that he often cleans his guns before sale. The worst one was a NIB Rossi Rio Bravo that I bought at a gun sale on an impulse. It was filthy and full of swarf. It took forever to clean that gunk out of there. I also knew that the lever action was "rough" when I bought it but thought that it would smooth out with cleaning and use. It did eventually but it took a lot of working and oiling to get it where it was acceptable. I should have bought a Henry.

My M&P 15 was pretty dirty also.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I also clean before shooting a new/newly bought used firearms. Usually clean them right after range time but of late have been a little lazy. One thing I wish gun shops would do is clean their used guns...I have not bought a few handguns for this reason...couldn't tell if things were rusty of just dirty. I know the LGS focus on new gun sales but one would think, as with selling anything, you would want to make the item your selling as appealing as possible for the sale.
 
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I don't use bronze/brass brushes anymore. In fact when Gearchecker stops by next week, he's getting all mine (I have a lot of them). I only use nylon brushes and patch pullers and BTE solvent followed by some Hoppes No.9 and no brass or aluminum cleaning rods either, just carbon fiber rods. Finally, I always use a cleaning tube that protects the action from any solvent getting in it. Solvents will eventually gum up the works and I use Jewel Triggers, very expensive and very sensitive to contamination. Very adjustable for trigger pull, let off and pre travel too. I can set them down to 1/2 ounce pull with no chance of a bang fire.

Welcome to the forum and have fun. The above is what I do which may or may not be what you do.

When I buy a new piece, it always gets cleaned before any cartridge is ignited inside.
Does Hoppes have any other number besides a 9?
 

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Every new gun get's cleaned. I degrease with rubbing alcohol and lube up with Slip2000. No need for the patches to come out clean IMO. My .mil days are over and I don't spend much time cleaning any gun and I don't use a cleaning rods on any long gun, only bore snakes. Shooting 100-200 rounds, I only pass the bore snake through maybe 10 times max. Sometimes I'll use a chamber brush.

The rest of the AR gets wiped down and relubed with Slip. No other cleaning products and I only scrap the back side of the bolt with a spent 5.56 cartridge. YMMV but I find by only using Slip from the get go, cleaning is easier with time.
 
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