Cleaning Gas Pistons


August 31, 2004, 01:11 PM
I need a little guidance in keeping my top shape. I have both an SKS and FAL gas piston that have a dry gray coating that I would like to remove in order to keep them new and shiny looking.

Should I use a metallic brush and a solvent/degreaser of some sort in order to accomplish this. I would like to have them nice and new looking but am wary of damaging them. Do you guys have any suggestions?

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August 31, 2004, 01:39 PM
The edge of a sharp knife blade.

August 31, 2004, 01:53 PM
I let mine soak in nitro solvent for about an hour and that got most of it off, but then again, I'm a utilitarian, I don't care too much on how she looks...


August 31, 2004, 02:03 PM
Use a lead-away cloth and lots of elbo grease and you will have them shiny in short order.

August 31, 2004, 02:46 PM
As above, use a Lead Away cloth. It strips the fouling right off with no scrubbing or soaking.

NEVER use any kind of steel blade or scraper, polishing paste, steel wool, or any other type of abrasive.

These can damage the plating, and then the piston fouls MUCH worse, if it isn't actually ruined entirely.

If you want to scrape, use a thin piece of brass. A REAL brass cartridge case with the mouth crushed shut will work.

Gas pistons are tough, but they can be damaged easier than you think.
Damage surface and they're usually ruined.

August 31, 2004, 02:53 PM
I usually use a little bit of solvent and an old bore brush to get the worst of the crud off, then dry and stick back in.

August 31, 2004, 05:50 PM
The edge of a sharp knife blade.

DON'T use any sharp edged tools on a gas piston. I can't speak for them Yooropean models but the L1A1/C1A1 rifles use chromed pistons. A good bronze brush does wonders to clean them up.

cracked butt
August 31, 2004, 07:46 PM
Use a copper penny as a scraper- rememebr only the old (pre-1980?) pennies are made of copper.

September 1, 2004, 09:15 AM
Thanks folks. I really appreciate being able to get a good cross section of opinion so quickly. This will come in handy as I ready my weapons for the Labor Day shoot which of course accompanies my favorite hunting seasons, doves! I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend.

September 1, 2004, 07:08 PM
We used to use Genolite rust remover, but then the L1A1 pistons were public property, not ours

September 2, 2004, 02:16 AM
I use regular cleaning solvent (Hoppe's, Shooter's Choice, etc.) and a brass bristled toothbrush-type outfit on mine. Works fine and doesn't harm the plating. One of the new gels like 'Blue Wonder' might work even better as it'll stay put and not evaporate as quickly, but I haven't tried it yet. Sometimes you need to soak it a while, but it can do that while you're watching TV or whatever.

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