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Cleaning Interval

This is a discussion on Cleaning Interval within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I went to the range yesterday and fired about 60 rounds out of my M14s. Generally when I fire so few rounds I swab out ...


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Old May 24th, 2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Cleaning Interval

I went to the range yesterday and fired about 60 rounds out of my M14s. Generally when I fire so few rounds I swab out my barrel, clean the gas piston, swab out the gas cylinder, clean the bolt face, clean and re- grease the rails on the receiver where the bolt lugs ride and call it a day. I clean out the gas cylinder with a drill bit after about 5 or 6 hundred rounds, and try to re- grease the op rod / guide between range trips but, I generally dont do a thorough cleaning unless I have a higher round count, get the rifle more dirty or wet. What are your cleaning proceedures?

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Old May 24th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mb3 View Post
I went to the range yesterday and fired about 60 rounds out of my M14s. Generally when I fire so few rounds I swab out my barrel, clean the gas piston, swab out the gas cylinder, clean the bolt face, clean and re- grease the rails on the receiver where the bolt lugs ride and call it a day. I clean out the gas cylinder with a drill bit after about 5 or 6 hundred rounds, and try to re- grease the op rod / guide between range trips but, I generally dont do a thorough cleaning unless I have a higher round count, get the rifle more dirty or wet. What are your cleaning proceedures?
Well, if that discipline has been working well for you, I guess that you should continue it.

However IMO,

Living in a humid climate such as you do, if it were me I would break it all down to clean everything after every range trip no matter how many rounds fired.

That is what I do with my four M14 type rifles. And I live in a pretty arid climate. Always have... for over twelve years now.

Humid climes are worse for anything mechanical that you can name. Burnt gunpowder has a proclivity to attract moisture and to turn it into corrosive elements in a humid climate.

The only thing that I do not break down completely for cleaning after a range trip is the trigger group. For that, I just wipe off all the old grease and bits of brass and re-apply.

Everything else gets completely broken down as far as possible, cleaned and re-greased. Brass particles and crud will gum up the works. Especially the bolt guts.

I enjoy looking at all the parts, checking each one for any abnormal wear.

An added benefit to cleaning after each range trip is;

You always know that it will perform as it is supposed to every time you take it out.

I know when I put it away, that all is good and hence the next time I grab it, I know all is good.

I usually blast off 150 to 200 rounds or more every range trip though. Not worth it to me to shoot less than that every time I go to the range.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:04 PM   #3
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All I do is pull a bore snake through it. Clean the chamber, and bolt face. Knock the big chunks of brass from the rails and put it away. I shoot High power and practice with mine and round count is about 1,200 before I completely break it down and detail clean it. Works just fine and no real loss of accuracy. Gotta remeber these were desinged as combat rifles and in a good firefight you could crank off 200-300 rounds in one day and you had no way to detail clean it in the field. I have M1 garand I do the same way and no problems with either.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:25 PM   #4
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Cleaning interval

Based on advice from a guy in our club (former Army armorer in the late 50s and a High Master shooter) after every range trip, regardless of number of rounds fired, I clean the bore, the chamber and the bolt face. Clean off any accessible greased areas and re-grease. Once a year or every 1000 rounds break down completely and clean and re-grease everything (also if the gun gets wet or exceptionally dirty). Oh yea, I clean the gas system every 300-400 rounds. My rifle is a bedded NM gun.
Tom

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Last edited by T11b; May 24th, 2012 at 07:29 PM. Reason: forgot about gas system
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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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I like to hear how other shooters care for their rifles. Most times there is no right or wrong, sometimes it just breaks down to what works best for the individual. I get the moisture concern, so far I have had not trouble. I bought this rifle in 1992 NIB and she has been steller, despite her owners short commings. I like to detail strip and inspect parts but, sometimes I wonder if continued tearing down and re assembly can cause wear. Anyway, just wanted to hear how others clean their rifles...

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Old May 24th, 2012, 07:37 PM   #6
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Just like M1 Garand these are not intended to be detail stripped every time they are fired. If you do the first 10 or so rounds just seat the rifle back into the stock and then you can adjust the sights. That and evey time you unlatch the trigger housing unless you have a synthetic stock it compresses the wood that much more. Leave it be wipe it out clean the bore. The only exception would be if you were in a driving rainstrom where it was soaked then break it down dry it off put some CLP on it and drive on.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T11b View Post
Based on advice from a guy in our club (former Army armorer in the late 50s and a High Master shooter) after every range trip, regardless of number of rounds fired, I clean the bore, the chamber and the bolt face. Clean off any accessible greased areas and re-grease. Once a year or every 1000 rounds break down completely and clean and re-grease everything (also if the gun gets wet or exceptionally dirty). Oh yea, I clean the gas system every 300-400 rounds. My rifle is a bedded NM gun.
Tom
+1 Tom, I just clean the gas system at 500 rounds is the only change.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #8
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Well heck, I have been totally stripping it down every time I shoot it. Guess that is the end of that stuff!

I have been using my sonic cleaner on the gas system parts and the flash hider as well. Mine is a Socom 16 so that thing is a bear to clean by hand.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Cleaning weapons is almost as fun as shooting them!

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Old May 24th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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I clean the bore, chamber, bolt face, and all areas I can get to easily. Regrease as necessary. Clean the gas system about every 500 rounds or so. Tip the piston out. All my sticks are NM and SM rifles so I leave them in the bedding.

Rifles are kept in a conditioned environment and in safes protected with VCI emitters and a dehumidifier. Change the VCI emitters every two years. $20 well spent. Expensive collector rifles are stored in sealed VCI bags. I don't care for oxidation.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #11
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After every range session, I remove separate the trigger group, stock and action. I spray the trigger group and receiver (bolt face and forward areas) with Birchwood-Casey aerosol until it drips out clear, then clean the barrell and relube.
I remove the operating rod and bolt assemblies when the bolt bearing begins to look dry.
Clean the gas system annually (500 rounds or so).
Lots of opinions on cleaning are expressed here. This one makes me feel good. The real answer to your question is...if you really needed the rifle in an emergency, what condition would you want it in RIGHT NOW. If that is not a concern...less often is fine.
I have two rifles. One is my regular range piece, the other is my 'right now' rifle.

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Old May 24th, 2012, 11:05 PM   #12
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Just like Every/Anything else everyone has an opinion. But what it Boils down to is What makes you Comfortable/ Feel Better ?
For me after a Range trip I swab the Bore/chamber with Hoppes run a bore snake through it, chamber brush , clean the bolt face, and any where else I can reach without total tear down. Oil and Grease . Every 500 rounds or so Clean the Gas Cylinder .
Once a Year a Total Cleaning.
And thats what makes me feel Better
I have one Ar 15 that is on it's 3rd barrel , it looks almost as good as the day it came out of the Box.

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Old May 25th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #13
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I, too, pretty much follow charlesPOSTLEwade's routine, unless I've been shooting in the rain or very dusty conditions. I follow the adage that more guns are worn out from over cleaning than shooting. And it helps living in a dry climate. I especially don't like removing bedded rifles from the stock, so if one doesn't get shot much during the year, I forego that part.

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Old May 25th, 2012, 08:46 AM   #14
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Art Luppino gives me a hard time every time he gets one of my rifles - the dirtiest rifles he works on.

When I travel out of town I usually clean the bore, re-grease, and shoot the rifle before heading out. While in competition, usually a long weekend, I just bore snake after each day.

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Old May 25th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesPOSTLEwade View Post
Just like Every/Anything else everyone has an opinion. But what it Boils down to is What makes you Comfortable/ Feel Better ?
For me after a Range trip I swab the Bore/chamber with Hoppes run a bore snake through it, chamber brush , clean the bolt face, and any where else I can reach without total tear down. Oil and Grease . Every 500 rounds or so Clean the Gas Cylinder .
Once a Year a Total Cleaning. And thats what makes me feel Better
I have one Ar 15 that is on it's 3rd barrel , it looks almost as good as the day it came out of the Box.


I too follow the regimen above. And yes, frequent complete disassembly does put additional wear and tear on a rifle. Every time you pull the gas plug/clean/and retorque, you put additional wear on the threads. Same with roll pins/screws etc. I do live in a high humidity area, and yearly pre-treat/soak all outside metal with a slathering of Eezox. Let sit overnight, wipe off, and reassemble. never had rust develop in any unreachable spot. dozier

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