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How Clean Is Clean

This is a discussion on How Clean Is Clean within the Modern M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Originally Posted by KurtC I recommend 8 to 12 weeks of boot camp, but while sheltering-in-place at least take a few minutes to read the ...


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Old April 29th, 2020, 08:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by KurtC View Post
I recommend 8 to 12 weeks of boot camp, but while sheltering-in-place at least take a few minutes to read the manual.

https://archive.org/stream/FM23-81968#page/n30/mode/1up

First of all, you want to pull carbon, dirt and debris out of the rifle, not push it into the rifle. This is especially true with bottleneck cartridges, since the chamber is larger than the bore.

Secondly, pulling the rod, cable or rope allows everything to properly center evenly in the bore. Pushing causes the rod and brush unevenly against the side of the bore.

The manual explains how to do this. In short...

Clean the chamber first, then the bore.

Insert a bare rod carefully down the muzzle. Attach the brush or patch holder at the breech. Pull the rod forward and out. Detach brush or patch. Repeat as necessary.
Exactly!!! I also use a product like the M1 Buddy to catch any solvent when applying to patches or brush before pulling through...
http://m1buddy.com/

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Old April 29th, 2020, 08:42 AM   #17
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I've been told by a smith that he repairs more clean weapons than dirty.
Most of the wear and damage that you see on USGI M14 parts was caused by overcleaning and playing silly games to see who can rip apart the rifle and slap it together the fastest or blindfolded.

Actual US Army service rifles (non combat) only get fired a couple of times a year, 9 rounds for zeroing and 40 for qualification. Infantry units may participate in a live fire exercise now and then.

However, they get cleaned dozens of times a year. For inspections and after field exercises. Blanks are the worst thing ever invented, as all the crap stays in the rifle.

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Old April 29th, 2020, 09:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by danthman114 View Post
I keep all of mine spotless. You don't necessarily have to do that I just like to clean them.
Hey, if you are ever in TN look me up

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Old April 29th, 2020, 10:04 AM   #19
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I've been told by a smith that he repairs more clean weapons than dirty.

This is simply the male equivalent of a gynecological visit.


The gynecologist only sees clean and fresh lady parts. It doesn't mean they KEEP it that way, just that it shows up at the office that way.

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Old April 30th, 2020, 07:33 PM   #20
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cleaning

I use an Otis pull through cleaning cable. After I finish shooting I pull a couple of patches through individually soaked with KG-12. US military uses it to clean copper from artillery pieces. will not harm steel and doesn't stink like Shooters Choice (also recommended). I turn the rifle upside down (muzzle down) on an old rag so any residue runs out. Best stuff I've found to eat copper. Leave overnight. Make sure to lean the rifle at an angle so any cleaner won't run into the gas piston area. Pull through Bronze brushes several times from the chamber to the muzzle. Do the same with patches. If really coppered up you may have to repeat. KG-12 doesn't show the blue-green on the patch that Shooter Choice does. So if you prefer to know if any copper is left use Shooters Choice until no more blue-green. Give the cleaners time to work to dissolve the copper. And what ever you do don't use a stainless steel brush. Bronze brushes are fairly cheap. Wash your brushes out with brake cleaner to get the copper eating solvent off of them.

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Old April 30th, 2020, 08:40 PM   #21
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Kurt C is correct...

For many years starting in the late 19th Century Army small arms manuals contained the following note:

“Experience has shown that the majority of those rifles that become unserviceable do so through the lack of intelligent and proper care and not from firing.”

That quote remains largely ignored... but is absolutely correct. Ask any gunsmith.

I keep it simple:

First I keep the rifle cleaned and protected with a light film of rust-preventing oils and grease... but avoid attracting sand. dust, and belly button lint.

Apply sufficient lube on it to operate reliably and reduce galling of working surfaces. The M14 benefits from light greasing of the bolt lugs, operating rod cam, and op rod track... anyplace you'll find phosphate rubbed off. It doesn't take much.

After firing protect bore surfaces by pulling a patch dampened with some sort of bore cleaner. Use GI bore cleaner if corrosive ammo is used. Even current military bore cleaners contain water to dissolve corrosive residue. Not a problem with 7.62mm ammo except for a single lot of special ammo loaded for a match in the '50s as I recall.

I recommend pull-through devices like Otis kits to avoid damaging a bore with a dirty or scratchy rod. Alternatively clean from the muzzle carefully with a stainless or coated rod and using a rod guide to keep the muzzle from being belled. Otis kits are small and don't damage the bore and you can do it right on the firing line without waving the rifle around or forgetting it later.

A few passes of a brass brush on the Otis and a couple of solvent soaked patches are sufficient. Target shooters will generally do more but take it easy.

The piston and gas cylinder are stainless steel and need to be occasionally cleaned and lubed. Don't use any abrasive. Let the black powder stain alone... get carbon deposits off but don't wear the piston out by overdoing it with abrasives.

Lube? About anything oily. On a training mission to Indonesia I learned that the police used vegetable oil on their small arms. Shocking, but mind you a bottle of break free costs those folks a LOT. I proposed materials easy to get world over and inexpensive... motor oil (especially Mobile 1 or another synthetic) for lube. Perhaps tranny fluid for a cleaner. Took the issue to a Chemical Engineer at Rock Island and a fellow held to be the Army's leading corrosion control expert, and they agreed. In fact the Engineer advised that he used Mobil 1.

Even used motor oil is satisfactory in an emergency. The dark stuff in used oil is trivial in a small arm. And if ya have to pull it out of a vehicle it comes with a handy drop applicator.

It doesn't hurt to use Hoppes for cleaning and light lube... but a good wiping down with a damp rag does most of what's needed.

A toothbrush and a rag are handy.

The principle is that's its important go get crud off and keep something of a lube/protectant on, but there's no functional reason for the white glove routine. Unless you find it fun.

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Last edited by Mark3395; April 30th, 2020 at 08:57 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2020, 10:40 PM   #22
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I run a Hoppe's wet patch through, then a brush a couple times, another wet patch. Then I stand it muzzle down paper till sometime next day. Repeat above again then finish with a dry patch.

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Old May 1st, 2020, 04:43 AM   #23
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Hoppes 9 and copper solvent maybe once a year. I don’t get OCD about cleaning other than making sure they’re clean enough before I put them away. I probably spend more time on the pistons than anything.

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Old May 1st, 2020, 08:23 AM   #24
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The older I get the lazier I get. Unless its a CCW/HD gun, my square range range guns don't get cleaned until accuracy or reliability drops off. My M1a/Socom or M1s get a shot of WipeOut (overnight) and then dry patched and some Kroil or Ballistol.

I do give the range guns a quick wipe down externally with something like Sheath/Barricade or Brownells No.2

My Ruger MKII/IIIs don't get cleaned until about two boxes of Federal AutoMatch have gone thru them before they start to choke.

Even my black powder guns I don't get to them right away. I have left them uncleaned for a week or two and they have been fine, I shoot real holy black and not Pryodex which I find more corrosive.

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Old May 1st, 2020, 08:17 PM   #25
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My service rifle gets cleaned in early spring. I just keep the chamber clean. Other than that, I leave it alone and keep my zeros.

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Old May 2nd, 2020, 06:11 AM   #26
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Lots of people brag about seldom cleaning their guns.

Some people shoot competitions and a malfunction/parts breakage means they lose a few seconds or a stage and have to go to the range bag to retrieve their back up to complete the match.

If that is what your gun is for, more power to you.

There was a comment in (I think the 1st page) about pitting occurring under carbon in the barrels. I've seen pictures of a P09 (CZ P09) on another forum. That gun was used in competition and shoots very nice groups. The owner didn't put a lot of effort into cleaning the barrel, going several competitions/weeks/maybe months between cleanings?? Anyway, the barrels on P09s are known for hardness due to the treatment received at the CZ factory. Some smiths won't ream the chamber anymore to allow longer bullet seating due to the hardness treating resulting in damage to the chamber reamers.

In spite of that treatment, which many people believe protects metal surfaces from corrosion, when he decided to thoroughly clean the barrel he found stubborn areas that looked like carbon build up that weren't coming clean.

He bought a bore scope and found the carbon looking spots were instead pits. The barrel is pitted from end to end. He says it still shoots great.

My outlook has always been, it's mine. I paid for it. I like it. I want to keep it. I want to be able to depend on it. I want it to perform it's intended purpose. So I have to take care of it properly.

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Old May 2nd, 2020, 09:25 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1A's r BEST View Post
Lots of people brag about seldom cleaning their guns.

Some people shoot competitions and a malfunction/parts breakage means they lose a few seconds or a stage and have to go to the range bag to retrieve their back up to complete the match.

If that is what your gun is for, more power to you.

There was a comment in (I think the 1st page) about pitting occurring under carbon in the barrels. I've seen pictures of a P09 (CZ P09) on another forum. That gun was used in competition and shoots very nice groups. The owner didn't put a lot of effort into cleaning the barrel, going several competitions/weeks/maybe months between cleanings?? Anyway, the barrels on P09s are known for hardness due to the treatment received at the CZ factory. Some smiths won't ream the chamber anymore to allow longer bullet seating due to the hardness treating resulting in damage to the chamber reamers.

In spite of that treatment, which many people believe protects metal surfaces from corrosion, when he decided to thoroughly clean the barrel he found stubborn areas that looked like carbon build up that weren't coming clean.

He bought a bore scope and found the carbon looking spots were instead pits. The barrel is pitted from end to end. He says it still shoots great.

My outlook has always been, it's mine. I paid for it. I like it. I want to keep it. I want to be able to depend on it. I want it to perform it's intended purpose. So I have to take care of it properly.
I have had the same experience. My buddy bragged about never cleaning his AR. It finally quit working, so he decided to clean it. Barrel looked like a gravel road after he cleaned the barrel. It was a nice gun too.

All it takes is a little water and time for those iron-iron bonds to be displaced by oxygen (the oxygen in water that is). And then once this process starts, you are on your way to making Fe2O3... and this reaction will continue until it is quenched by oil or eventually no elemental iron left (totally rusted).

Keep oil in your bore!

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Old May 2nd, 2020, 10:01 AM   #28
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Didn't know making a statement would be considered bragging.
Most match shooters know their rifles and most are bedded.

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Old May 2nd, 2020, 10:31 AM   #29
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Didn't know making a statement would be considered bragging.
Most match shooters know their rifles and most are bedded.
It's not and you weren't.

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Old May 2nd, 2020, 12:52 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by danthman114 View Post
I keep all of mine spotless. You don't necessarily have to do that I just like to clean them.
Same here. I just broke all mine out to clean them because I was bored during quarantine only to find out they were already clean from the last time...

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