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Posted: 10/19/2004 5:31:42 PM EST
Decided to really clean out the gas system on my M1A- took a 1 inch patch on a rod, a little solvent, ran it down the gas cylinder. Lots of dirt, so I decided to do it again. This patch snagged about 4 inches down and would not come out. There appeared to be an edge or ring. I finally fished it out with a bent hanger using a fiber optic light but what a pain, took 45 minutes.

So - a few questions. Can the gas cylinder be easily removed to remove foreign objects? Was I wasting my time or looking for trouble cleaning this way? How do you recommend cleaning out the gas cylinder, and how often?
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 5:28:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2004 5:35:34 AM EST by Sukebe]
Usually you have to remove the gas cylinder from the barel to give it a proper cleaning. In your case (stuck patch), I would have suggested you take the rifle out of the stock and lock the op-rod to the rear. Then using a ridged piece of plastic or a brass rod, push the patch out from the gas piston hole.

To remove the gas cylinder, you have to remove the flash suppressor. For this, you should have flash suppressor nut "plyers". Once the flash suppressor is removed, unscrew the gas cylinder plug, the gas cylinder lock and remove the gas piston. The pull off the gas cylinder. Cleaning the gas cylinder is recommended every 400-500 rounds.
To learn proper care of your M1A, I suggest you read Scott Duffs M14 owners guide.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 5:30:26 AM EST
See if you can download an owners manul from www.springfield-armory.com to assist you with this. I think they have a PDF manual on-line under the rifle section...

First, you are cleaning your gas system incorrectly. The gas system is fouled with carbon, which you clean out by using proper sized drill bits. Also check out Brownell's, as they offer proper tools for the job.

If you look at the bottom of your gas tube near the muzzle end, you will see a small hole. While looking at this hole (in your UNLOADED gun) with the muzzle pointed up, pull the op rod back. If your gas piston slowly and smoothly lowers itself downwards, the system is running fine. If not, it needs a cleaning. How often you clean depends on shootign conditions and how much carbon your ammo deposits. I went well over 1,000 rounds in my first M1A, and have no idea how many rounds it fired before that-before I cleaned it. It was still running fine. I clean the gas system now maybe every 400-500 rounds. One of my friends cleans his EVERY time after a range session. Unnecessary, IMO.

Do not use any oil in your gas system, as it is designed to run dry.

Hope this helps. I'm also relatively new to the rifle, and it has quickly become my favorite.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 5:34:05 AM EST
xray, I rarely clean mine, neither do most people I know. Just make sure gas piston moves freely. Lock your bolt to the rear and tip your rifle up and down. You should hear the piston sliding in the cylinder. If it moves freely, leave it alone. You are just placing extra wear on the cylinder, piston and plug when you mess with it.

Having said that, if you do clean it, be careful and use patches that are not so tight fitting. Did you try removing the stock and just pulling the patch out through the back of the cylinder?
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 5:35:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sukebe:
Usually you have to remove the gas cylinder from the barel to give it a proper cleaning.




I strongly disagree with this advice. Read the manual. Springfield DOES have a PDF manual listed on their site.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 5:42:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By SP10:

First, you are cleaning your gas system incorrectly. The gas system is fouled with carbon, which you clean out by using proper sized drill bits. Also check out Brownell's, as they offer proper tools for the job.



Please be clear. Drill bits are used to clean the inside of the gas piston and the gas cylinder plug. Not the "gas system". Do not put a drill bit in your gas cylinder!
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 11:36:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2004 11:37:25 AM EST by 50cal]
The rings machined on the gas piton actually act as a scraper in the gas system to keep it cleaned out. I have no idea when the last time I had the gas system apart.

Like Fox said, lock the op-rod to the rear. Tilt rifle back and forth. If you hear the piston sliding, everythings cool.
If you can't hear it, remove the action from the stock and watch it move.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 4:07:35 PM EST
i have a reamer for cleaning out the cylinder, my father gave it to me , he's had it for years , it looks like a chamber reamer and fits the cylinder perfectly, a few turns and it really cleans out the carbon, i dont know if he bought it or something he had made up, i'll have to ask him..
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