Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cleaning AR15 gas port and tube

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Nando Aqui, Aug 13, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Nando Aqui

    Nando Aqui Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Missouri
    I asked the following at the AR15.com site:

    "REF: AR15 - Isn't it necessary to clean the gas port (hole on the barrel where gas goes through) and the gas tube once in a while? How? (I can't reach the port; and for the gas tube, I don't have a pipe cleaner that's long enough. As far as using spaghetti, as a news report suggested months ago that some soldiers were doing in Iraq well... it is funny, but that's it.)"

    And received four answers:
    - Two said to leave it alone, don't clean it; and don't try to use an extra long pipe cleaner! (Referring to the gas tube, I guess)
    - The other two said that it wasn't necessary to clean it, but that a blast of carburetor cleaner (from the receiver end) may help in the long run.

    What do you think?

    Alex
     
  2. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,977
    Location:
    centre of the PA
    its pretty self cleaning for crud build up

    i think more ARs have gone offline with pipe cleaners
    lodged in the tube than from gas tube plaque
     
  3. telewinz

    telewinz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,305
    Location:
    Ohio
    I haven't cleaned the gas tube in my SP1 since I got it (25years!) and I only cleaned off the carbon build-up twice. It works just fine.:)
     
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    18,528
    Leave it alone. It doesn't need it. About the best you can do is ultrasonic cleaning and there's not really an affordable home model yet.
     
  5. Nando Aqui

    Nando Aqui Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Missouri
    Best, and easiest to follow and to agree with advice: I'll gladly leave it alone!

    Thanks-

    Alex
     
  6. uglygun

    uglygun Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    528
    only remote situation I could think of where the gas tube could use a cleaning is if you had a 22lr. conversion bolt group in the rifle and shot A LOT of 22lr. Possibly having a bit of lead fouling get up into the gas port and gas tube of the rifle.


    Probably nothing a couple 55k PSI of pressure from a 223Rem couldn't dislodge though.


    Cleaning the gas tube ain't neccesary. Sadly, I remember the poor chap from TFL who went through the trouble of removing the front sight housing for cleaning after 1k rounds, whooie was that not neccesary.... And on a Knights SR15 no less....
     
  7. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    9,040
    Location:
    SouthEast PA
    If it's really a problem, just blast some Gun Scrubber down the tube from the receiver end.

    BTW, Gun Scrubber is miraculous! Just a few blasts removes crud and grease, and returns you to a "just metal" state in a few seconds!
     
  8. BDM

    BDM Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    New England
    at 30,000 psi what ever is in the tube gets blown out as it was designed,some times malfunctions in a rifle can be traced to cleaning habits or procedures that are not needed,this is one,had a buddy insane about always cleaning the gas tube until one day he did have a problem with it,he got the pipe cleaner stuck in the tube,use a soft brush to scrub the part that projects into the upper and use 1 to 2 inches of pipe cleaner just to dry any solvents that get in thats all thats needed.dont force a pipe cleaner the whole length thtas an accident waiting to happen even if it dosent stick you can leave material in the tube.
     
  9. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,738
    Location:
    Harnett County, NC
    IIRC, the gas, once it begins to enter the tube, is at around 16,000 PSI. When it gets to the bolt carrier and starts the carrier moving, the pressure at that point is way down although I don't know that figure. Still, his amount of pressure is tremendous. When combined with the heat, there really isn't any carbon build-up. A gas tube that is not corroded should lalst through several barrels. Gene Stoner argued that it didn't even need to be stainless steel and that EROSION was the main culprit. He was wrong about Stainless Steel, but right about carbon build-up.

    While qualifying with .22lr's in sub-caliber adapters one year, I noted a few malfunctioning guns. Each time, the range officer would pull out a magazine loaded with .223's, swap the bolt, rock the selector to full-auto, and touch off a burst. Happened twice with 20 positions. It was HOT that day too so I'd imagine the little rimfires were fouling the system up something nasty. Before anybody says it, Air Force .22 conversions utilized gas to assist the action, they were not pure blow-back.
     
  10. BDM

    BDM Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    New England
    pressure is higher in 14.5 barrel carbines wich is what I have and use the hotter israeli ammo I suppose a longer barrel and different ammo would effect that #
     
  11. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    9,040
    Location:
    SouthEast PA
    :what:

    Isn't bolt swapping a bad idea? I've never seen a rifle that didn't come with stern warnings about swapping the bolt.

    OTOH, perhaps the writer intended another meaning....
     
  12. cslinger

    cslinger Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,435
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Now I am no expert but.....

    I was under the assumptiont that AR-15s/M16/AR-10s etc. headspace at the barrel which is why this isn't as big of an issue.

    They are also talking about swapping the .22 conversion bolt out for the original .223 bolt the gun most likely came with.

    Chris
     
  13. BDM

    BDM Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    New England
    We are not talking bolt swapping,we are talking gas tube but on your comment I wouldnt swap a bolt unles ther was very little wear wich to me is anything under 500 rounds for a new because the components break in diferently,I used an extra bolt I had in a used upper but the bolt was 150 rounds and still very new it worked fine.
     
  14. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    Colorado Springs Colorado
    He was talking about taking out the 22LR bolt and swapping it with the original 223 bolt for the rifle.

    22LR conversions come with a new bolt & mag.
     
  15. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    9,040
    Location:
    SouthEast PA
    doh. my bad.
     
  16. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,738
    Location:
    Harnett County, NC
    Well, no, the range officer had a single bolt carrier assembly in his pocket that he'd put in whatever gun was malfunctioning and shoot a few rounds of standard ball ammo full-auto with that bolt. This would blow out any lube, lead, carbon, or other crap in the tube and allow the gas system to work better.

    Bolts on M-16's are supposed to be interchangeable, but in practice I don't think that interchanging gets done very often. Any rifle that is in spec should show safe headspace with any bolt that's within spec. This isn't an M-1 Garand or an M1903 rifle here. I seriously doubt that a burst or two from an M-16 with whatever serviceable bolt would create any safety hazard whatsoever.
     
  17. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    Colorado Springs Colorado
    Doh! I stand corrected. Sounded like!
     
  18. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    107
    I think 50,000 psi every time the rifle goes off does a fine job of keeping it clear.
     
  19. lavalle

    lavalle Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Hi,

    The other day my AR15 stopped "Running" correctly. The bolt would only move back about 1/2" each shot. Turned out that a primer had blown out of a case and was firmly loged inside the bolt carrier gas port. Took a bit of time to find it. I only found it after reading the other post in this thread.
    Thanks for the help guy's
    I appreciate it.
    :)

    Remember Real Gun control is hitting what you are aiming at.
     
  20. P-32

    P-32 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    the dry side of Washington St
    I have the long pipe cleaners whih you can get from Brownells. I used two of them. So far it looks like I was wasting my time.
     
  21. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Gun Scrubber, like stated before... cleaning the gas system on an AR / M16 isn't like a semi-auto shotgun. I've sprayed out my gas tube for giggles once and don't ever remember a problem on a M16 that was related to a "dirty gas tube". I can tell you all kinds of problems, but never a "dirty gas tube".

    The issue with the bolts, I can answer. Since all the M16's are made by Colt to a service standard +/- what ever it is for military specs, the bolt carrier groups can be changed out, if need be, it's not actually the carrier, but the bolt it self and the wear patterns on the lugs. It is better to keep them matched. Anyone ever seen boot camp weapons disassembled and put into piles for cleaning?

    Don't switch the bolts in you're personal AR's, unless you are replaceing them. It's not considered a "good practice", I wouldn't switch mine in my AR. Remember the M16's cost about $250 and most of them are A2's that were brought into service around 1984, alot of them are old and have been rebuilt, the newer A4's, M4's and M41's cost a bit more but they're under the same specs, just have 'gear queer assistace' that makes live alot easier.
     
  22. Grunt

    Grunt Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    907
    Location:
    Somehwere in 14T NT
    Well, we never tell our students in class to try to clean out the inside of the gas tube and I can't say I ever seen an M-16 or M-4 come back into the armory that had a gas tube plugged with carbon. If I should ever see the day that happens, we drive out the pin, pull out the gas tube, chuck it in the trash parts pile for DRMO and put in a new one. Cleaning problem solved.
     
  23. MisterPX

    MisterPX Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    759
    Location:
    Amerika's Doyleland
    The gas tube is probably the only thing that's "self cleaning" on the rifle.;) If it'll make you feel better, you can shoot some brakleen through it here and there.
     
  24. gyrfalcon16

    gyrfalcon16 member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    36
    Carbon will build up in any gas system... The AR-15 is not immune. I would recommend using bore solvent and AR-15 Gas Tube Pipe Cleaners and then follow that with brake cleaner and a clean pipe-cleaner.

    I'm sure this will upset:fire: a few AR-15 fans, but I believe it to be true:

    The real story behind the AR-15 Gas System

    I've been an AK guy quite a while, and after getting into highpower...I couldn't agree with this guy more about the AR-15.
     
  25. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Oregon Monsoon Central
    Um...guys

    It's not like gas tubes are made of gold or platinum.

    I bought a couple of spares in the unlikely event I need to replace one(probably never) or I'm too lazy to clean mine(much more likely)

    ZM
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page