How do you clean the gas tube on your FAL?


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goon
October 17, 2004, 12:09 AM
I was cleaning my FAL tonight and I tried to clean the gas tube without taking it off the gun. I tried to use a cleaning patch on a section of rod but I ended up getting it stuck. The resulting hour long struggle to get it unstuck resulted in me unscrewing both ends of the gas tube, then inserting a length of cleaning rod through the breech end of the tube and beating the blockage back so I could get enough clearance to get the gas tube off.
Anyhow, this does not seem to be the correct way to clean the damn thing. It also doesn't seem to be made to be taken off for cleaning like the gas tube on an AK or SKS is.
How should I clean it?

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Thrash1982
October 17, 2004, 04:46 PM
I've had the same trouble. Stuck a cleaning rod and patch down it and gotten it stuck. Took forever to get it outta there. So far I haven't figured out a good way to clean it. You might try looking on www.falfiles.com If they don't know then nobody knows.

Black Snowman
October 17, 2004, 05:44 PM
Clean it? . . . I don't think I understand the question . . .

Just kidding. It really doesn't get very dirty passed the first few inches and trying to get it spotless will do nothing for the reliability or longevity of the weapon and increase the risk of damaging or clogging part of the system.

Granted, this is coming from someone who negligenty blew his up (http://home.kc.rr.com/bsmith1952/img/Guns/falboom/falboom.html) so take it with a grain of salt ;)

hksw
October 17, 2004, 05:56 PM
I use a .45 cal Bore Snake.

goon
October 17, 2004, 06:29 PM
hksw - do you use the boresnake with the tube still attached to the gun?
Here is my situation. For some reason, my entire gas system likes to rust all to hell with in a couple days if I don't clean it just about every day. I am using noncorrosive Portugese and Austrailian surplus. I do consider all surplus to be suspect anymore, and as such I clean with ammonia based cleaner when I use it. But I have also noticed this with my handloads, which I know are noncorrosive. To give you an idea, I cleaned it up last night and there was rust on the gas plug this morning.
So I have resolved myself to cleaning it every time as best I can. The gas tube on it doesn't seem to be made to come off every time you clean it like the one on the AK or SKS does, so I want to find a way to clean it with the tube still on the gun. I am thinking about maybe trying a .44, .45, or .41 caliber cleaning brush on a section of cleaning rod. I don't want to take it off every time as that seems like it will put unnecessary wear on the parts of the gas system.
Also, is there any type of lubricant that I can use on the inside of the gas tube. I read somewhere that the piston should not be oiled, so I haven't been oiling it. But this rusting crap with the inside of the gas block, gas plug, tube, and regulator is beginning to tick me off. I am really starting to like the FAL now that I have it working right and am leaning toward keeping it, but it is a PITA where this is concerned.
Can anyone help me out with this?

Black Snowman - I always worry about that type of thing too, especially now that my brother has started reloading for his SKS. I make him keep his powder somewhere else and triple check before I start loading. I only use Unique for handguns and Win 748 for rifles (although I will need a replacement as 748 is hard to get). One powder for each. That way I don't have to worry about six types of powder getting all mixed around and confusing me. Add in that Unique is a flake powder and 748 is a ball powder and you would also see the difference if you somehow did manage to fill your casings with the wrong one. I check every powdered case to insure against overcharging them before I finish loading them, so I would notice it.
I try to work at least two failsafes into my reloading procedures to protect me from any lapses in judgement or attention and simplifying what powders I have around helps me with that.

NoHarmNoFAL
October 17, 2004, 08:08 PM
Buy a new gas tube if your is rusting regularly after cleaning there is something wrong with it. Is it pitted or is the finish worn badly? Is the inside dull and rough?

Do not oil anything in the gas system EVER.

I have used a 45 cal. brush and patch to clean mine and had no trouble what so ever and it is a crappy kit gun. Don't get to wild on scrubbing with a brush in there you will do more harm than good.

Keep in mind FAL's were designed to be used by people who were unaccustomed to wearing shirts and shoes so maintenance is proportional. I is fine to clean everything down after a range trip but be gentle and avoid the brushes, use patches and solvents.

goon
October 17, 2004, 09:17 PM
Buy a new gas tube if your is rusting regularly after cleaning there is something wrong with it.

If that is the case I might as well just toss the whole gun. It regularly gets rust on the whole gas system except for the piston, which is stainless. It also gets it in the holes of the muzzle brake, but I can get in to those to clean them. It also rusts on the bottom of the grenade launcher sight where the hot gas gets vented up against it.

The finish was fine on it but around the threads it is a little thin now. It was 100% parked when I first got it but I took a little finish off the first time I had to remove the rust. It is a real PITA if I don't stay on top of it, and I can't understand why. I have never had a gun with a finish as "weak" as this one.
As of right now it is the only thing I have against it.
It is zeroed and will do about a 1.5 inch group at 100 yards with Port surplus. It is running 100% on about a 3-4 gas setting. I can hit a target about the size of a pie pan with the issue sights at 200 yards every time, and I can break enough clay pigeons with it at that range to make it worthwhile.
The only problem right now is the rusting.
So really, I have to figure out how to beat the rusting.

hksw
October 17, 2004, 09:39 PM
I haven't had any problems with rust so I just pull the snake through the gas tube with it still in place on the rifle.

It sounds to me that your FAL had some corrosive ammo run through it at one time. Try as you might, you haven't been able to remove all of the rust that had developed. Because of this, the rust just regenerates even when you use non-corrosive ammo and clean regularly. Could try rust inhibitor chemicals and cleaners but it'll be difficult to get to the small nooks and cranies. Only other option I can see isto replace the affected parts and make sure you clean out the gas port and barrel before putting new parts on.

NoHarmNoFAL
October 17, 2004, 10:31 PM
Is it a kit gun or a Century or what?

Try this next time you go to the range shoot it and while it is still hot spray it with RemOil the aerosol very liberally especially the places that rust and put it in a gun sock for the trip home. Then check it in a few days.

When I built my FAL it had no finish I mean none. It got a few little spots of rust around the gas plug but nothing major and I rarely cleaned it.

Do you keep it in a damp area like a basement or garage?

What sort of solvent do you clean with? And how do you oil afterwards.

Don't worry we'll get this figured out ;)

goon
October 17, 2004, 11:43 PM
It is an Ohio Rapid Fire Imbel build on an Imbel reciever. I have had it about ten months and I have only fired noncorrosive ammo through it. The finish is parkerizing. I have been cleaning every time I shoot it, and I generally shoot about 100 or so rounds when I have it out. I clean the bore with a treatment of this birchwood casey black powder solvent I have left over that works great on regular fowling. I run a patch through with the solvent on it, let it soak, run a brush through a couple times, then patches until they come out clean. I clean the gas system with the same stuff, although I haven't really found a good way to do that yet. I usually scrub the action with a toothbrush, then I use a light coat of oil on the finish and a few drops on the rails of the bolt carrier. I also have began putting just a drop on the gas regulator to keep the rust at bay.
I basically clean it like I would any other gun and I treat the gas tube like another barrel except it doesn't get any oil.

NoHarmNoFAL
October 18, 2004, 12:05 AM
I would say that the trouble is with the black powder cleaner. Black powder has it’s own unique problems and should not be used as a general solvent. I think that BP cleaners are water based are they not. If it is water based that would explain your problem. Get some shooters choice or Hoppes #9, they have rust inhibitors in them and are decent solvents. I would also just give the gas system a good cleaning with the nitro solvents.

goon
October 18, 2004, 12:37 AM
I'll try some Hoppes. I already have some.

B27
October 18, 2004, 02:33 AM
What NoHarm said.
I think you are using a water based solvent.
I just run a pistol patch with a few drops of Hoppe's #9 or Hoppe's Benchrest down mine and never have had a problem.
And I also shoot lots of milsurp in my two DSA's.

hksw
October 18, 2004, 02:24 PM
I clean the bore with a treatment of this birchwood casey black powder solvent I have left over that works great on regular fowling. I run a patch through with the solvent on it, let it soak, run a brush through a couple times, then patches until they come out clean. I clean the gas system with the same stuff, although I haven't really found a good way to do that yet.

Ah. As others have noted, this could be the problem as the BC77 is mostly water and a few slightly acidic compounds.

Bwana John
October 18, 2004, 04:22 PM
Remove gas plug, gas piston, and spring. Open bolt/carrier. Hold rifle muzzle down, mag well up. Spray carb cleaner for ~7 sec. into piston hole in face of reciever. Shake well. Reasemble

goon
October 18, 2004, 04:30 PM
I'll stop using that stuff as a GP cleaner from now on and only use it to get the heavy fouling off the piston. It does work very well for that.

Arc Angel
October 20, 2004, 02:29 AM
:rolleyes: Yeah, the water-based black powder solvent probably had a lot to do with this. After you’ve cleaned everything out with, either, ‘Hoppes #9’ or, ‘Sweet’s 7.62mm’ solvent, next, dry everything well; and apply, either, Sentry Solutions, ‘Smooth Kote’ dry lubricant or Microlon, ‘Gun Juice’ to the inside of the gas tube and bore. (It’s a good idea to wear Nitrile gloves whenever you clean a gun.)

Do not apply any gun oil to the exterior at this time. Instead, use a good automotive car polish containing Carnauba wax or a firearms’ product like IOSSO, ‘GunBrite’ to coat and polish all exposed metal.

There you have it. Either you live underwater; or your mystery rust problems are completely over. ;)

Here’s some links:

http://www.microlon.com/firearms.asp

http://www.sentrysolutions.com/SmoothKote.shtml

http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/643582

http://www.iosso.com/metal.htm

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