How to Clean: MSR-15

How to Clean an MSR 15

The Savage MSR 15 is one of the most popular rifles in the US. It features a Melonite QPQ finish, free-float handguard, nickel-boron coated trigger, and a custom-forged lower receiver for a consistently accurate performance in the range or field.

In this article, you'll learn how to properly disassemble, clean, lubricate, and reassemble an MSR 15 to keep it shooting flawlessly.

What You Need to Clean an MSR 15

If it's your first time cleaning an MSR 15, these are the essential Hoppe’s gun cleaning products you need: 

  • Hoppe's Gun Cleaning Patches are your must-haves to clean the powder fouling inside the barrel. These patches are ideal for pre-cut caliber and gauges, uniformly woven, and ultra-absorbent. Remember not to reuse cleaning patches to prevent dirt and debris deposits in the bore. 
  • Hoppe's Cleaning Swab attaches to the cleaning rod and loosens up the carbon residue and powder fouling. It is available for .410, 12, and 20 gauges and is made from soft cotton fabric. 
  • Hoppe's Utility Brushes clean the gun’s hard-to-reach areas and other interior movable parts. These nylon – or brass – brushes have a large and small bristle ends. 
  • Hoppe's Phosphor Bronze Brush threads onto the cleaning rod to scrub and remove fouling in the bore. Its strong cleaning power provides a deep clean without scratching or damaging the inside of the barrel. 
  • Hoppe’s Cleaning Rods – Rifle attaches to the jag and brush to run through the bore. It has one, three, or four-piece aluminum rod options and a ball-bearing handle, which follows the bore’s handle. It also comes with an easy-carry reusable pouch.  

You can buy these cleaning items individually or purchase a complete Hoppe’s gun cleaning kit with all the necessary tools. 

Hoppe's Rifle & Shotgun Cleaning Kit comes in a storage box that has Hoppe’s Copper Solvent, Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil, cleaning patches, stainless steel cleaning rod, and rod-end accessories. 

Savage MSR 15 Cleaning Procedure 

First, run a safety check. Visually and physically inspect your MSR 15 to make sure that it's unloaded.

  • If the rifle is loaded, engage the safety selector, and remove the magazine.
  • Bring the bolt to the rear, engage the slide stop, and check the chamber.  
  • Keep your ammunition and magazines tucked away from the work area in a safe and secure location, away from children's reach.
  • Practice gun safety rules always.

MSR 15 Disassembly 

To begin disassembly, release the bolt and push out the rear takedown pin.

  • Remove the bolt carrier group by disengaging the charging handle and pulling it slightly rearward. Hold the bolt, remove back from the upper, and set it aside for further disassembly.
  • Remove the charging handle by pulling it out of the upper receiver's rear.
  • To disassemble the bolt carrier group, remove the firing pin retaining pin by pulling it out using a pick or needle-nose pliers. Remove the firing pin by turning the bolt carrier on end and gently tapping it until the firing pin falls out.
  • You're free to remove the cam pin by pushing the bolt to its rearmost position in the carrier, rotating the cam pin 90 degrees, and pulling it out. Pull the bolt out of the carrier's front and set it aside for cleaning.  

MSR 15 Cleaning

To clean and lubricate the MSR 15, try using the high-performance Hoppe's Black Cleaning System, which can withstand an extreme range of temperatures from -65°F to 540°F.

  • Spray the bolt carrier, bolt firing pin, bolt cam, firing pin retainer, and charging handle with Hoppe's Black Cleaner. Let the parts soak for a few minutes to breakdown the residue buildup.
  • Run a cleaning rod with a bronze brush soaked in Hoppe's Black Copper Cleaner through the bore or inside the barrel. Do this a few times from the breech to the muzzle to prevent crown damage. You need to loosen and break down the powder fouling and carbon buildup in the bore.
  • Run some cleaning patches soaked in the copper cleaner through the bore using the cleaning rod with jag. Repeat the process until the last cleaning patch comes back clean.
  • Once the barrel's inside is clean, run a clean patch through it with Hoppe's Black Lubricating Oil to protect the bore from rusting and corrosion.
  • Clean the flash hider by applying Hoppe's gun cleaner to the muzzle and scrubbing it with a utility brush. Carbon buildup and powder fouling in the muzzle can affect the flash hider's effectiveness.
  • Clean the locking lug recesses by using the chamber brush soaked in Hoppe's Black Cleaner. Insert the chamber brush and fully seat it in the locking lug recesses and rotate the handle to spin the brush. Run some cleaning patches through to remove loose residue.
  • To clean the lower part, push out the pivot pin. Put your thumb on the hammer, move the selector to the fire position, and pull the trigger to lower the hammer. Apply Hoppe's Black Cleaner to the interior parts and scrub it with the utility brush. Wipe it down and let dry before lubrication.   

Lubricating the MSR 15 Parts

Once you've wiped down all the parts, you can bring the bolt carrier's pieces back together. Add some Hoppe's Lubricating Oil to the firearm's high-friction areas to protect them and prevent wear.

  • Start with the carrier's exterior and focus on the four bearing surfaces where it contacts the receiver to reduce friction.
  • Lubricate the trigger with a few drops of lubricating oil. Avoid over lubricating to ensure reliable cycling and prevent carbon and powder buildup.  
  • Use the Hoppe's Black Lubricating Cloth to wipe down excess oil and protect all the surfaces.

MSR 15 Reassembly 

The first thing to do is reassemble the bolt carrier group.

  • Insert the bolt to the carrier. Rotate the bolt so that the extractors on the right side and the bolt's hole line up with a cutout on the carrier.
  • Insert the cam pin through the bolt's hole. The bolt will only accept the cam pin from one direction to prevent incorrect assembly. Check the bolt's correct orientation, especially if you are having difficulty inserting the cam pin.
  • Rotate the cam pin 90 degrees to align the firing pin channel. Insert the firing pin into the carrier's rear, push it forward to seat it, and reinstall the firing pin retaining pin from the carrier's left side.
  • Insert the charging handle through the receiver's rear by aligning the tabs on the handle with the cutouts in the upper.
  • Now you can reinstall the bolt carrier group. Check that the bolt is in the forward position for reinstallation and align the carrier key with the charging handle's channel.
  • Align the upper and lower, push the pivot, and rear takedown pins into place.

With the rifle thoroughly clean and reassembled, perform a function test to confirm that the MSR 15 operates correctly by cycling the bolt and ensuring that the safety works correctly.

MSR 15 Cleaning and Maintenance with Hoppe's

By using these cleaning techniques and Hoppe's gun cleaning products, you'll be able to easily keep your Savage MSR 15 functioning smoothly over an extended period of serviceability.