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speaking of cleaning the gas tube, how is that done & are special tools required to remove/re-install it?
You don't remove it, you just use a worn barrel brush and pipe cleaners to ream it out.

To the OP, make absolutely sure that you have all of the carbon out of the rifle. Other than that, you've got to get to know the rifle and figure out if it likes heavy oil, light oil or no oil at all. There is a reason that you have an assigned rifle in the military, this is the main reason.

What are you using for oil? I recommend Break Free CLP, as I know that is what works.
 

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Cleaning the gas tube is something that you might consider after about 5000 rds. They make long pipe cleaners for such a job. Flood the gas tube with good solvent (not breakfree or LSA). I use Shooters Choice bore solvent, it disolves lead, copper and plastic fouling. I use a pipette to squirt solvent directly into the back end of the gas tube.

You do not have to take it off. If you choose to remove the gas tube, drive out the cross pin in the front sight base that retains the tube. Wiggle, cuss, tap and fight it until you kink or otherwise damage the tube. Replace the gas tube with a new one (less than $20) and call it a day. Vow to never remove the gas tube again.

For most folks the only thing you need to do is inspect the tube just behind the Ft. sight base. Look for serious soot on the exterior of the tube. If the tube is bad it will leak gasses and leave a sooty residue on the tube. Replace as necessary. If it is not bad, leave it alone.
Break Free was the only thing we were allowed to use in the service.

LSA is Lubricant, Sub Arctic (or Small Arms, depending on what TM you read) and should only be used in freezing conditions or on pieces that call for it like the Mk. 19.
 
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