M14 and M1A Talk M14 and M1A rifles - General Posting

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Old 04-08-2008, 10:35   #1
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Cleaning the M1A

I've gone from person to person hearing many different things about cleaning the M1A rifle with various procedures and products, and was wondering if I could get a few opinions on how y'all out there clean your M1A's from the barrel, to receiver to gas system ext. So what do you all of you use in the ways of powder solvent, gun lubes, items to clean the barrel ext.? Mine I've cleaned up a good amount on the barrel and receiver, but was wondering also what people use to clean the gas plug and piston as I'm looking down them and cant get them as clean as I'd like.

Any opinions would be nice.
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Old 04-08-2008, 16:08   #2
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Originally Posted by E.D. Montechizuma View Post
I've gone from person to person hearing many different things about cleaning the M1A rifle with various procedures and products, and was wondering if I could get a few opinions on how y'all out there clean your M1A's from the barrel, to receiver to gas system ext. So what do you all of you use in the ways of powder solvent, gun lubes, items to clean the barrel ext.? Mine I've cleaned up a good amount on the barrel and receiver, but was wondering also what people use to clean the gas plug and piston as I'm looking down them and cant get them as clean as I'd like.

Any opinions would be nice.
I personally bought a M14 Cleaning kit that fits into the butt of the gun. I also use breakfree on my rifle. It will clean the barrel, the chamber and your gas system.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:10   #3
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You use drill bits to clean the GS. Check these tools.
http://www.sadlak.com/si_tools.html
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Old 04-11-2008, 14:06   #4
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i use the drill bits from sadlak. They clean the carbon from the gas system really well. I use a boresnake for the barrel and the regular M14 chamber brush for the chamber. Make sure the chamber is dry of all oil and grease when you are done. Its not supposed to be oiled.
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Old 04-14-2008, 17:04   #5
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Good old Hoppes #9 bore solvent, Otis pull through system, Lubri-plate or similar grease for the contact points.

As far as the gas system, you only need to wipe the piston and gas plug with a saturated patch and wipe dry. The piston will have stains but it won't matter. Gas system should not need cleaning but every 300 rounds or so. The tip test will tell you if it is needed.
(Lock the bolt back, tip the muzzle up, you should hear the piston sliding back by gravity. If it is slow, it needs cleaning.)

Also, drill bits and M14 chamber brush as other posters wisely advised.

You didn't ask about the bolt. It should be disassembled, cleaned, and lubed with Breakfree, or similar, every now and again. Don't forget to grease the bolt roller. Trigger group too.

I also like to take apart the rear sight on a new rifle and grease all components that bear on each other.

Don't forget to clean and lightly lube mags as needed.

I hope this is helpful. There are books and Military manuals available too.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:22   #6
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Thanks for the advice guys, its definatally appreciated.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:08   #7
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Oh also as well, I was wondering if the small gas tube between the barrel and piston assembly ever has to be cleaned, as I'm sure if theres carbon deposits in the gas chamber there would obviousally be deposits in that little tube.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:40   #8
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I use a cleaning rod with a bore guide and a kleanbore brass jag and cotton patches. I first swab the bore with a cotton patch liberally soaked in break free CLP then wait 30 minutes and run dry patches till they come out clean and thats it for the bore. On rare occasions i use a bore brush only if the residue is being stubborn. I use the an M14 ratchet chamber brush for the chamber Ill liberally soak the brush with BF CLP and scrubs the chamber a bit then clean off the chamber brush with gun scrubber and then wrap a dry patch around it and wipe out the chamber and repeat till the patch comes out clean. and thats it for the bore and chamber.

for the gas system I swab out the gas block with a 45 cal bore brush soaked with CLP and patch dry till the patches come out clean the piston I cover in clp and wipe with patches till its clean and dry and for carbon build up in the piston the drill bit tools are quite handy I then put a just dab of super lube grease on the threads of the gas plug and reassemble everything.

for the receiver Ill wipe out the old grease and apply new grease I use the super lube grease for that too. if the bolt face needs cleaning ill use a toothbrush soaked in CLP and give a scrubbing and wipe with a patch. that about sums up my cleaning procedure.

I have only once taken the action out of the stock and plan to never again unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:10   #9
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Well, I can only offer that after my last completely thorough cleaning which involved removing the action from the stock, I completely lost my zero. I went hunting with the rifle yesterday and missed pigs 2x at the 200-300 range. At first I was all WTF?? I went to the range afterwards and my rounds were not even on the paper any longer.

I figured that since the scope and irons are hard mounted to the action that simply removing the action from the stock would not be a big deal but I guess I was wrong. From now on, I will thoroughly clean the rifle through the pipe with a Bore Snake, Hopps and a good scrubbing at the throat like I usually do but I will not be de-bedding the action from the stock again to clean the gas area anytime soon.
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Last edited by GuapOh; 11-14-2010 at 10:12.
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Old 12-05-2010, 19:48   #10
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help!

ive put about 500 rounds through my SA ma1 nm. the gas piston was a little sluggish when i did the tip test ive read about, so i figured it was about time to open up the gas cylinder and clean it out.

i have the gas tube wrench in the cleaning kit and went to unscrew the cap, and for the life of me i couldnt get it done. i worked it like the picture in the manual that came with my rifle where the guy was standing with the rifle butt on the ground, holding the forward part of the weapon with one hand and twisting with the other. i even double checkd my righty-tighty-lefty-loosey.

after several tries, i opened up my rudimentary tool kit and got out an actual wrench. its small and didnt allow much more torque than the purpose made gas tube wrench i had just tried. and still no luck! im no lou ferrigno, but im not a spaghetti arms either... is there a trick to this or could mine have just been overtorqued at springfield?

any suggestions?

Last edited by farjon; 12-05-2010 at 19:51.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:26   #11
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Originally Posted by farjon View Post
ive put about 500 rounds through my SA ma1 nm. the gas piston was a little sluggish when i did the tip test ive read about, so i figured it was about time to open up the gas cylinder and clean it out.

i have the gas tube wrench in the cleaning kit and went to unscrew the cap, and for the life of me i couldnt get it done. i worked it like the picture in the manual that came with my rifle where the guy was standing with the rifle butt on the ground, holding the forward part of the weapon with one hand and twisting with the other. i even double checkd my righty-tighty-lefty-loosey.

after several tries, i opened up my rudimentary tool kit and got out an actual wrench. its small and didnt allow much more torque than the purpose made gas tube wrench i had just tried. and still no luck! im no lou ferrigno, but im not a spaghetti arms either... is there a trick to this or could mine have just been overtorqued at springfield?

any suggestions?

sounds like its seized up on ya. if you dont put some high temp grease of some type the threads will seize up. what Id do is put some heat to it and try again.
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Old 12-09-2010, 16:51   #12
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hmm... i think ill just bring my gas plug tool with me next time i fire a couple of magazines down range, that should heat it up pretty good. if that doesnt work i think i might just start looking for a smith to take a look at it. sigh.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:18   #13
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Buy the gas tube cylinder wrench. I ordered the wrench and while waiting put some kroil oil around the plug. After i got the wrench it poped right off. Not sure if the oil seeped into the threads or not, but thats what worked for me. I wouldn't try removing it without the wrench as you could damage the gas cylinder.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:57   #14
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Yeah, always use the cylinder wrench when removing/installing the gas plug. When reinstalling the plug, either coat the thread with anti-seize (not oil or grease) or leave both male and female threads completly dry. That plug can get real hot and oil or grease can carbonize and practically wled them together. If that happens it'll take a good soaking with a penetrating oil to break them loose again.

Dave
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Old 12-21-2010, 20:39   #15
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The first time I tried to unscrew the gas plug from my M1A, I had to use a pipe wrench to provide opposite direction torque as I used the gas plug wrench on the plug itself. I just wrapped the barrel and gas tube with a towel to prevent marring, used a 12" pipe wrench, and, after a good solid turn, the gas plug loosened and I was able to remove it.

When I reassembled it, I put anti-sieze compound on the threads, and then only tightened it with a mild turn of the gas plug wrench. I didn't try to He-Man the plug as tight as it came from the factory.

Honestly, I don't think it needs to be in there as tight as the factory makes it. My guess as to why they do this is possibly because they're afraid of it getting lost, but even if I just lightly screw it in and then give it a single, but firm, turn of the wrench, I don't think it's in any danger of u screwing and getting lost.
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Old 01-10-2011, 21:10   #16
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Originally Posted by briflemn View Post
Yeah, always use the cylinder wrench when removing/installing the gas plug. When reinstalling the plug, either coat the thread with anti-seize (not oil or grease) or leave both male and female threads completly dry. That plug can get real hot and oil or grease can carbonize and practically wled them together. If that happens it'll take a good soaking with a penetrating oil to break them loose again.

Dave
That is really good advice. Thanks Dave. I knew that but had forgotten.
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Old 01-11-2011, 14:45   #17
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Originally Posted by HighDesertWolf View Post
I use a cleaning rod with a bore guide and a kleanbore brass jag and cotton patches. I first swab the bore with a cotton patch liberally soaked in break free CLP then wait 30 minutes and run dry patches till they come out clean and thats it for the bore. On rare occasions i use a bore brush only if the residue is being stubborn. I use the an M14 ratchet chamber brush for the chamber Ill liberally soak the brush with BF CLP and scrubs the chamber a bit then clean off the chamber brush with gun scrubber and then wrap a dry patch around it and wipe out the chamber and repeat till the patch comes out clean. and thats it for the bore and chamber.

for the gas system I swab out the gas block with a 45 cal bore brush soaked with CLP and patch dry till the patches come out clean the piston I cover in clp and wipe with patches till its clean and dry and for carbon build up in the piston the drill bit tools are quite handy I then put a just dab of super lube grease on the threads of the gas plug and reassemble everything.

for the receiver Ill wipe out the old grease and apply new grease I use the super lube grease for that too. if the bolt face needs cleaning ill use a toothbrush soaked in CLP and give a scrubbing and wipe with a patch. that about sums up my cleaning procedure.

I have only once taken the action out of the stock and plan to never again unless absolutely necessary.
I just bought my first M1A and haven't taken it apart yet, only cleaned the bore. I have, however, owned several Mini 14's in the past and disassembled them often. As far as I can tell, the M1A is pretty much the same as the Mini and the only problem I ever had was getting the bolt out of the receiver and then back in again. Am I missing something here?
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Old 01-14-2011, 16:49   #18
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There are some excellent maintenance resources for the M1a out there these days ... things that used to cost money like videos. Do a search on youtube.com for M1a disassembly and reassembly and you'll be amazed at what is available.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:39   #19
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Originally Posted by briflemn View Post
Yeah, always use the cylinder wrench when removing/installing the gas plug. When reinstalling the plug, either coat the thread with anti-seize (not oil or grease) or leave both male and female threads completly dry. That plug can get real hot and oil or grease can carbonize and practically wled them together. If that happens it'll take a good soaking with a penetrating oil to break them loose again.

Dave

been using super lube "grease" for years on muzzle loaders and more recently on my M1A not one problem with this "grease"
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Old 01-19-2011, 13:06   #20
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well i got the gas cylindar wrench, and no luck. i even mildly heated the threads with a lighter. ill try soaking it in some penetrating oil, ill have to grab some next time im by a hardware store. if that doesnt work, i guess that gas cylindar just isnt ever going to get cleaned hah
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Old 01-19-2011, 14:09   #21
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You need a propane torch,.....a second set of hands would be nice as well.
I've always kept the threads lubed with a small amount of nickel anti-seize
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Old 01-19-2011, 15:06   #22
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I was never going to repeat this but one time at the range, I saw a guy spraying cleaner degreaser in the little hole where you see the piston. I ask him what he was doing and he said cleaning his piston. I then walked off saying to myself just keep your mouth shut. No way to do it, but it might help.
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Old 03-01-2011, 17:28   #23
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I don't get it. Why didn't you speak up and help him?
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:49   #24
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I didn't add that part. I tried to tell him how to clean it but before I could say much he said, it's my gun. I could tell by the tone of his voice, he did not want my advice.
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Old 03-02-2011, 18:50   #25
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Originally Posted by DNS View Post
I didn't add that part. I tried to tell him how to clean it but before I could say much he said, it's my gun. I could tell by the tone of his voice, he did not want my advice.
I understand, some people just don't want any help. On the other hand, I appreciate any help I can get
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