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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Real Avid AR-15 Scraper Tool

A firearm is a machine.  The enemies of machines are heat and friction.  As carbon builds up through firing, carbon will accumulate, creating more friction and causing critical surfaces to go out of tolerance.

Taking carbon off a bolt carrier group can be a pain.  Real Avid's AR-15 Scraper Tool takes a swing at easing your cleaning burdens.

First off, to get an idea of how I clean my guns.  In my mind, once a gun is fired, it is never clean.  No matter what you do, I guarantee that somewhere there is some amount of crud in the gun.  YMMV.  I believe in cleaning the gun until its reasonably clean.  No carbon or crud that I can get to is left, but its not white glove.  I'm also not one of those guys that says 2k rounds and a squirt of CLP is all you ever need.  I have time to clean my guns so they work every time I need them, so I take that time.

So, what is the AR-15 Scraper supposed to do?  Scrape carbon.  This is not for cleaning gunk from the crevices of the upper.  It is designed to remove carbon from the BCG, either as a quick field cleaning or a detailed cleaning.

Here's what it's supposed to clean, from the company's website:

  Inside boat tail
  Bolt tail shoulder
  Bolt waist
  Behind cartridge extractor
  Small diameter of firing pin
  Large diameter of firing pin
  Bolt face
  Bolt tail
  Bolt lugs
  Bolt cam pin
  2 surfaces inside bolt carrier

The tool is two sharpened ends, one which is designed to clean the interior of the bolt carrier, and a more complicated end that does pretty much everything else.

The tool has a rugged black handle, which is lightly textured, and serves to cover whichever end is not currently being used.  I have found that it is most practical to keep the smooth-edged carrier scraper end out of the handle for storage or transport, as the bolt cleaning end will snag on or cut everything you don't want it to.

When using this tool, be sure of your grip before you apply any serious pressure.  The tool can swivel out from the handle, and it can bite your hand.

After a few weeks of shooting, we can say that this thing is amazing.  Normally when it's time to clean up after a day at the range, we are digging through our cleaning kits and pouches for razor blades, picks, knives, screwdrivers and all sorts of miscellaneous items that have been re-purposed to clean the bolt carrier group.  This tool simplifies all that, and is small and self-contained, with no parts to lose.

The Scraper is very well-designed, and each notch, hook, and edge of it has been ingeniously designed to clean a specific part, with some edges doing double duty and cleaning multiple parts.  At first it did look a bit intimidating, and our first few sessions with the tool were spent going over the diagram of what part each section of the tool was designed to clean.  We finally went at it without the instructions, and discovered that the tool was very intuitive and held tight tolerances, making it easy to remember what cleaned what. 

The compact nature and ease of use makes this tool a great addition to any range bag.  With this tool, a Bore Snake, and a little can of CLP, you could keep your AR running for an extended period with a kit that can fit in an admin pouch. 

After using this tool, we can't imagine cleaning our rifles without it.  Being able to clean an AR in the time it takes to clean a couple of Glocks is a welcome feeling after a long day at the range.

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