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How many rounds w/o cleaning until complete failure?

This is a discussion on How many rounds w/o cleaning until complete failure? within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; My setup is heavy guys. Trying to look at slimming down any accessories I can think of and the first thing comes to mine is ...


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Old March 18th, 2017, 10:27 PM   #1
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How many rounds w/o cleaning until complete failure?

My setup is heavy guys. Trying to look at slimming down any accessories I can think of and the first thing comes to mine is the cleaning kit I store in the butstock.

My question is, in a scenario where you don't have the ability to clean your gun after each shooting, how many rounds can our M1a cycle through before the carbon build up gets too much and she starts jamming?

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Old March 18th, 2017, 10:36 PM   #2
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I've shot 2,000+ rounds through one of mine as an experiment like this, no failures yet, no cleaning the gas system, internals, or barrel for 13 years. Just only have wiped the top of the bolt and exterior with oil and a small rag to keep it looking good.
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Old March 18th, 2017, 10:37 PM   #3
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I went though around 500 rounds of dirty Tula in my Chinese Polytech M14S before cleaning. Never had a problem. I think these M14's can go much much longer than 500 rounds. How much? I don't know.

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Old March 18th, 2017, 10:38 PM   #4
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I was using almost all clean commercial ammo, a little steel cased ammo to try it, and some mil surp.
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Old March 18th, 2017, 10:40 PM   #5
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Some years ago they ran a torture test in one of the glossies, Shooting Times I think where they compared a Chinese M14 and an M1a and let em rip until failure. The Chinese rifle ran but briefly before falling completely, the M1A did quit running after several thousand rounds if I recall, but once cleaned continued to run.

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Old March 19th, 2017, 03:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S33401 View Post
My setup is heavy guys. Trying to look at slimming down any accessories I can think of and the first thing comes to mine is the cleaning kit I store in the butstock.

My question is, in a scenario where you don't have the ability to clean your gun after each shooting, how many rounds can our M1a cycle through before the carbon build up gets too much and she starts jamming?
I am curious to know what possible scenario could arise where you do not have the ability to clean the gun but have to shoot thousands of rounds?

(Although, most of the people into match shooting I knew usually just punched the bore and did a general wipe-down after a match or practice. Thorough cleanings were reserved for after the shooting season.)

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Old March 19th, 2017, 04:53 AM   #7
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The NRA American Rifle magazine some years ago published a similar test between the M1A and the Chicom version and somewhere around 700+ rounds the Chinese M14 lost it's headspace due to hardness of the bolt lugs and failed to fire. The M1A went on for large number of rounds with no failures if I recall. Isolated incident, possibly but it did happen. If the rifle became so fouled that the gas system "quit" you could possibly keep on running the rifle manually, think of it as a bolt action rifle.

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Old March 19th, 2017, 05:05 AM   #8
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The carbon itself is not the concern. The M14 gas cylinder/piston design is quite remarkable.

The main concern is that over time, carbon attracts moisture. Moisture promotes corrosion. If you live in a environment with high humidity or extreme cold, you need to clean the rifle more often.

Try removing the gas plug from an M1A that's been sitting around for 20 years.

You can save weight by ditching the cleaning rods and getting a pull-thru cable from Otis or Boresnake.

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Last edited by KurtC; March 19th, 2017 at 05:20 AM.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 06:26 AM   #9
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It's going to depend on how dirty your ammo is when fired and how humid it is in your area.

I would think someone in low humidity climates will be able to fire more than someone in Florida, using the same ammo.

I've never kept anything in the butt stock hold. It's a waste unless your in a foxhole. Most people aren't and can make better accommodations.

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Old March 19th, 2017, 06:39 AM   #10
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It's going to depend on how dirty your ammo is when fired and how humid it is in your area.

I would think someone in low humidity climates will be able to fire more than someone in Florida, using the same ammo.

I've never kept anything in the butt stock hold. It's a waste unless your in a foxhole. Most people aren't and can make better accommodations.
^^^ to many variables to answer this question.^^^

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Old March 19th, 2017, 06:40 AM   #11
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A bit off-topic here - several years ago I did a similar test with my Beretta 391 "Urika" 12 gauge trap gun because a fellow shooter was bragging on how his Remington 1100 would fire forever when dirty, so we agreed to a shoot-off without cleaning. He was using factory-new AA loads and I shot my loads of Red Dot - which is not the cleanest-burning powder around.

The 1100 failed due to short-stroking after 9 boxes of ammo, a total of 225 rounds or so. He scrubbed it and we continued over the course of three weeks and the 1100 kept failing at about the same point. My 391 never did fail to feed, chamber, extract or eject through over 100 boxes (2500 rounds) of my dirty Red Dot loads. I finally gave up as the gun was so dirty I could not stand to look at it. After cleaning, the only difference was some discoloration in the gas system. I can say with confidence the 391 is probably the most reliable gas shotgun around.

My shooting buddy traded in the 1100 for a Beretta and is still happy about it.

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Old March 19th, 2017, 11:02 AM   #12
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Failure

This will not answer your question but it will give you a little insight as to cleaning the barrel...I phoned Sierra bullets and asked them about the round count on their test barrel in .308 caliber and when they needed to clean theirs and was told that about 200 rounds the barrel would start to foul out and would shoot like a shotgun and after a dozen or so rounds later it would go back to shooting very accurately for a couple hundred more...

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Old March 19th, 2017, 11:58 AM   #13
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Lots of opinions!!!
Sounds like each owner should do what he/she is comfortable with.
But....if I were a prepper, I would keep my shtf firearms clean. Kind of counter productive to go into an emergency situation in the hole.

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Old March 19th, 2017, 12:19 PM   #14
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After each range outing (~200rounds) I would clean the gas system and notice a lot of carbon. I'm using mostly hirtengerber ammo. This leads me thinking what if I needed to grab my gun and go, who in their right mind would grab the gas wrench and tools to clean the gas system from carbon build up out on the field.

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Old March 19th, 2017, 12:49 PM   #15
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I have a picture of an M14 dated September 14, 1961 that shows an M14 on top of a pile of 30,000 rounds fired in one day in the same rifle at the Springfield Armory. This was part of the standard testing for both the M1 and the M14. Impressed the heck out of me. It doesn't say if it was semi-auto or full auto-my guess was semi.

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