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Posted: 8/9/2011 5:18:18 PM EDT
Hello all I have recently purchased my very own M1A standard and excited to get it out to the range. I shoot my buddies all the time and love it.  However, I have a few questions. I am sure some of this has been answered countless times but I am having trouble finding my exact answers. Here goes..... I just got it home and put it in my safe until I learn how to prep it for first time shoot. I understand you do not have to break it down every time out like the AR (i shoot around 500 rounds every trip out with my AR). For prep for the first shoot I clean the barrel out with some solvent (I know to set it mag side facing up). Should i run any kind of lubricant through the barrel or just clean the barrel with solvent and dry it? what about in between shoots when it is in my safe? Do i put any preservative/protectorant in the barrel? Also I am to understand that you clean the gas cylinder out out after every 300-500ish rounds, correct? Again though, do I need to do that before I shoot for first time? I have locked the bolt back and tilted the rifle at 60-70 degree angle and I can here the piston slide back and forth, but it is a long sliding sound (if that makes sense). It isn't like I tilt the rifle and it slides quick and easy. It is slow(ish). Also, the rifle is run dry....I thoroughly wipe the gas cylinder and piston dry, correct? Grease all metal on metal slide points. Lastly, what tools are an absolute must? Sorry for the long post. I just want to make sure I treat her right. Thanks in advance for any answers.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:45:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2011 6:46:59 PM EDT by Hitman77]
After a typical trip to the range (100 rounds or so), I just run a bore snake through her and put her in the safe.  
I don't tare her down and give her a good cleaning until I've put about 1000 rounds through her.  I've never
cleaned the piston.  The op rod, bolt, and receiver, if it shines, it gets grease.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:12:29 AM EDT
It is important to thoroughly grease the bolt roller.
Several people sell a tool that makes this easy.
For range work I grease rubbing parts fairly heavy, light for the field.
Gas system dry, I would certainly check it before going to the range for the first time. Mine slide easy.
I leave CLP in the bores on general principle for storage. Chromed bores are very forgiving.
Go to www.m14fl.com, they have a number of mechanical things you can check and they have loads of info on M14/M1A’s.
How often it should be cleaned is a matter of philosophy to a point. Personally for range and hunting weapons serviceably clean is good enough. However I keep my goto weapons military clean and ready to go. YMMV
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 2:00:08 PM EDT
If you have a chrome bore/barrel, cleaning will be easy.  If not, then you'll need a copper solvent of some kind to remove the residue from the bullet jackets.

CLP is your friend, and a light coat on everything including the bore after cleaning won't hurt anything.

Grease the locking lugs and heavily grease the bolt roller and its track in the operating rod.  I also like to grease where the lug on the operating lug contacts the receiver.

Get and M14 combo tool, which can be found at Cheaper than Dirt, Fulton Armory, etc..  It is useful for checking the gas system, and can also be used to disassemble the bolt.  Also, if your rifle stock has the cutouts for putting a GI cleaning kit inside, get one.  Just load it in and forget about it, until you have a problem at the rance and need a combo tool, touch of grease, or a cleaning rod.
Link Posted: 8/14/2011 6:09:57 AM EDT
Good advise from all.  A .45acp case makes a dandy bolt roller greaser.  Grease the shinny spots and light oil on the rest.  After I clean my gas cylinder it gets one drop of #9.  I've replaced the extractors on both my M1A's with the USGI part.  Sadlak makes some very fine tools for the M1A.

Sadlak tools
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