When in the field you may need to clean or make small repairs to your AR-15. To do this we want a small and light weight kit that has all the bare essentials. Keep in mind the purpose of this kit is to keep your gun up and running. We're not trying to get the gun up to "safe queen" standards, we just want it clean enough that it will run reliably until we can do a complete cleaning. This pack is meant to fit in a backpack in case you are on foot in the middle of nowhere.
Carry Bag: You have many options for a carry bag. I went with a Magpul DAKA Light pouch because it is big enough to hold what I need and it's tough enough to get the job done without ripping. You could use a gallon zip loc bag although it will probably need to be replaced from time to time and the zipper on the DAKA bag is much easier to ensure its closed rather than a zip loc bag. The last thing you want is the contents of your Field Kit dumped all over inside your assault pack or ruck.
Boresnake: The standard .223/5.56 Boresenake is quick and easy to use and will get the bore clean enough for a field cleaning. Most of the time this would be my go to in the field.
Cleaning rods: We need something to clean the chamber and that requires cleaning rods. I took the rods from a standard GI Cleaning Kit. If I really want to save weight just the handle rod and one extra rod will get the chamber clean and the Boresake can handle the rest of the barrel. But the 2 extra rods only add another 2 ounces, and give me the ability to use patches if I want.
Chamber and Bore Brush: Took these from a standard GI Cleaning Kit.
Patches: Just a small stack of patches. They weigh almost nothing.
Cleaning Solvent and Lube: We want a small bottle of lube and solvent. Slip 2000 EWL comes in a 1oz bottle which is a perfect size. Put some tape over the bottles to keep the caps from coming loose. The last thing we want is lube or solvent spilling all over. For the solvent I used the bottle that comes with the standard GI cleaning kit and put some solvent in it, and also taped the cap in place. Both the solvent and lube are stored in a small zip bag.
Brush: We need a cleaning brush of some sort. I have just a nylon brush for field cleaning.
That's it for cleaning. The above will provide you with the most cleaning bang for your weight/size buck.
Parts for Field Repairs:
Replacement parts: You may need replacement parts in the field. Bolt related parts are probably the number one thing you may need. What I have in my kit is the following:
- Spare Bolt
Firing Pin Firing Pin Retaining Pin
- Extractor Spring with Buffer
- Extractor Pin
- Extractor Spring O-Ring
- Cam Pin
- 3 Gas Rings
- Ejector Spring
- Ejector Roll Pin
You could shear lugs off the bolt so a spare bolt is great if you have one. In most cases if I'm having a problem with the extractor or ejector I'm just going to swap the bolt out with my spare bolt and work on the bad bolt when I have time with parts from the rehab kit. Don't forget a small punch so you can remove the pins in the bolt.
If you have a spare Bolt Carrier Group you can pull the bolt, firing pin, firing pin retaining pin and cam pin from it for your field kit.
If you don't have a spare bolt a Bolt Rebuilt kit is cheap.
A lot of field repair kits have springs and detents in them for other parts of the gun. There isn't a reason to be disassembling those parts of the gun in the field. My guns have self contained triggers so I do not have a trigger or hammer spring, disconnector or any trigger parts. If you have a standard trigger those might be something you want to include. Disconnector spring also in case you lose it while replacing a damaged disconnector. The likelihood of those breaking is low but disconnectors have been known to break. If you do include them don't forget the right size punch to get the trigger/hammer pins out.
Tools for Repairs and Cleaning:
Multi tool: You should have a multi-tool in the field as they are useful for all sorts of things, not just working on your rifle. I store this in my chest rig and not in the kit as I may need it for other tasks. Unfortunately this alone doesn't do everything I need so I have more gun specific tools.
Real Avid Gun Tool Pro AR15: This has a lot of different tools for cleaning and working on your AR. It has the most common size Torx and Allen hex bit sizes, carbon scrapers, a small pin punch and a corner of the frame was designed to act as a hammer. My only complaint is this thing is a bit chunky with a weight of 12.5oz by itself and 15.2oz with the MOLLE case that includes an A1/A2 front sight adjuster. Most of the time I just store this in a pack and leave the case at home.
Bondhus Gorilla Grip Torx Key: This covers the few Torx sizes the Avid tool doesn't. Your gun may be different. Look at your gun and determine what tools you need in case something comes loose and it needs to be tightened. That M-LOK sling swivel may come loose while on patrol and you will need a way to fix it.
Between the three tools I can tighten up any loose Torx or Allen screws on my ARs and do just about anything else I might need to do in the field.