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AR gas tube cleaning?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by grizz, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. grizz

    grizz Well-Known Member

    How often do you clean the inside of the gas tube on your AR?

    I just noticed a few places that sell special long, skinny brushes for the task and it got me thinking.
  2. Chris Orndorff

    Chris Orndorff Active Member

  3. grizz

    grizz Well-Known Member

    I should have searched before I posted. :banghead: Sorry. I guess the consensus is that nobody cleans it, it's a waste of time to clean it, you don't need to clean it, it cleans itself, etc.
  4. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    One of the rebuild requirements and a good place to check if you start getting failures to eject and can't find a usual source.
    Gas tubes aren't generally cleaned and should be replaced at 3500-5000 rounds.
    Earlier if you are shooting a lot of full auto. Say every 3000-4000 rounds.
  5. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    You can actually clog a gas tube by shooting ammo with a higher percentage of calcium carbonate; but if you use good quality NATO ammo, that won't be an issue as keeping the calcium carbonate below a certain level is part of the spec.

    The numbers Onmilo look very similar to the numbers reported with early problems of gas tube clogging during the 1960s. There were a number of changes made to the ammo that pretty much eliminated that problem though. My own experience has been that gas tube can go over 10k rounds easily without any cleaning.
  6. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Well-Known Member

    The long "pipe cleaners" are relatively inexpensive compared to all the rest of your AR gear. It seems like cheap insurance to run one through the gas tube evey 500 - 1000 rounds or so.
  7. raz-0

    raz-0 Well-Known Member

    Right up until the pipecleaners leave something in your gas tube and bunge the whole thing up.

    Heck, gas tubes are cheap enough that one every 5-7k rounds is not a hassle, and youcan't effectively run a pipecleaner throguht he tube without performing the same tasks needed to replace the thing. $15 bucks from bronwells...not that big of a deal.
  8. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    I've been playing with ARs since before I bought my first one in 1989. I even worked briefly for an SOT building M16s out of old Nesard parts kits. I've never personally run across a gas tube that was clogged by fouling. I have run across several gas tubes with those long fuzzy pipe cleaners or various other foreign objects stuck in them and stopping function.

    I do not clean my gas tubes at all. If I replace the barrel, I'll replace the gas tube. My thought is that if 15,000-30,000 psi of hot gas after every single shot isn't keeping the gas tube clean enough, I am not likely to do any better with a long fuzzy pipe cleaner.
  9. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    And that really is the crux of the argument, isn't it? What is a fuzzy pipe cleaner going to remove that 30K psi isn't?
  10. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    A new 20 guage bore brush, or a worn 12 will clean the tube.
  11. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    You are able to fit a 20ga bore brush into the gas tube of an AR15?
  12. Kentak

    Kentak Well-Known Member

    He didn't say it would be easy. LOL
  13. Quintin Likely

    Quintin Likely Well-Known Member

    Clean the gas tube by replacing it whenever you rebarrel the upper.
  14. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    I think you replace it when you get the 20 ga. bore brush stuck in it.

    Of course, there is a difference in cleaning the chamber versus cleaning the gas tube. Surely KQ misread something and was referring to the chamber?
  15. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    Biggest problem I have seen with gas tubes is severe erosion at the gas block gas port.
  16. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Well-Known Member

    now this thread got me to thinking. I don't believe I have ever cleaned, or replaced a gas tube in any of my Ar15 rifles. That includes the first one I bought back in 1968, a Colt Sporter. I have not shot that one in awhile, and should take it to the range.
  17. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    I posed this question to a guy that is a depot level armorer for the military once. He said "You don't."

    He also said that if I did, he'd be happy to help me replace the tube when I got something stuck in it trying to.

    Hint: Grizz, this individual knows Correia quite well.
  18. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    i used to clean them, but haven't in a long time because i'm lazy, but i'm fuzzy on how people are getting things stuck in them. i used pipe cleaners, and would stick them in and pull them out. no big deal.

    how do things get stuck in there? pipe cleaners aren't exactly delicate
  19. grizz

    grizz Well-Known Member

    Ok, well, thanks to the replies I don't plan on ever cleaning the inside of the gas tube on my ARs.

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