How do you clean...

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Mosin, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Mosin

    Mosin Well-Known Member

    A gas tube?... Colt AR-15, DI.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    Usually they aren't cleaned. They do however, make long pipe cleaners that will fit the gas tube.

  3. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

  4. Mosin

    Mosin Well-Known Member

    ive been running a cmmg .22 conversion a lot. I just read here that can foul the gas tube.
  5. treehugger49

    treehugger49 New Member

    The short answer: You don't.

    After shooting your .22 conversion, the next round or two of your AR's designed ammo will clean it out.
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    Ive never cleaned one to be honest ive seen them get bent from a soldier trying to pry at the end that extends into the reciever overcleaning but they generally dont fail or need any cleaning.

    Gas pistons need occasional cleaning gastubes dont.

    If you run enough 22lr to lead up a gastube you cant clean them without some extremely toxic liquids and metals. Just keep a spare on hand they are only 10$ or so. A piper cleaner isnt going to remove annealed on lead deposits.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  7. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

    I always give mine a shot of brake cleaner after going out and shooting a metric **** ton of .22lr . thats about as good as it gets if I dont have the .223 bolt or ammo with me to clean it out
  8. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

    I use brake cleaner in my gas tube irregardless of what I shoot. Just make sure you run a patch with a minute amount of lube through the barrel immediately afterwards.
  9. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    A little Squirt of "Gun Scrubber" is all I use.

    And even that probably isn't necessaery, but it gives me the warm fuzzies!:D
  10. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    First of all like JonM advised, I have been in the AR industry for years as well as the military and law enforcement. I have never cleaned a Gas Tube. They are cheap so if I ever needed to work on one I would simply buy a new one. They do make items that will clean them but I would never recommend cleaning them while they are installed on the rifle even if I thought I needed to clean one?????
    The reason is you would have to clean them from the rear in the Receiver and any carbon or debris that would be in the tube could be loosened and block or obstruct the gas port in the barrel or internal front sight opening.
    So with that said, I would like to share some advise. First of all do not clean the gas tube and certainly never use Q-Tips to clean inside the Carrier Key. If you feel like you have to clean the inside of the Carrier Key use a Pipe Cleaner! I have had rifles come in on occasion that would no longer function with seemingly no reason! It was a piece of cotton from the Q-Tip that had came off the Q-Tip during cleaning and was unnoticed. When the gun is fired it burns the cotton in the Carrier Key and turns it jet black. So it can not be easily seen down in the Carrier Key Gas Tube Hole.
    And finally! Always clean the AR rifle bore with the Front Sight in the straight up position (Or Sight on Top). By cleaning it upside down and the fact while you are pushing a wet patch with solvent or bore cleaner down the barrel you are first of all creating a hydraulic type situation like priming a pump. With the sight down you are pushing solvent right down in the gas port opening with the hydraulic action as well as our old friend Mr. Gravity. With the solvent in the gas tube or gas port it can easily create carbon build up as the fuel (Solvent) ignites from the heat of the round being fired. At that point it is like a blast furnace inside the Gas Tube!
    I have an AR that has had an estimate of 25,000+ rounds and has been rebarreled "obviously" that I still have the original gas tube on it and it has never been cleaned. *By the way good Gas Tubes are Stainless Steal.

  11. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

    Never actually heard of a stoppage from the gas tube being clogged up. The only gas tube issues I have seen have been when the barrel nut wasn't lined up correctly, and it pushed the tube out of alignment with the gas key, causing leakage. If properly installed, you will never have to touch the gas tube unless you change barrels. I just do it at the end of a shooting because I don't want carbon in my rifle. One second squirt and I am done with the gas tube.
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    I have personally seen, and changed the gas tubes on, SBR's that have had reliability issues from gas tubes caked with crap. Granted, these were police guns (Pierce County SWAT) that saw many times the number of rounds an average shooter would put through a plinker.

    A shot of brake cleaner or other solvent and a long pipe cleaner is all you need. Takes about 15 seconds. Then a couple of shots of compressed air and you are good to go.

    For just random plinking and shooting less than, like, 10,000 rounds a year, I would agree you don't need to clean them.

    With a lot of .22lr going through them, I would recommend it.

  13. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

    I am thinking of gettting a .22 conversion kit. If I do, I will get an adjustable gas block so I can just shut the gas off to the tube when I shoot .22 like a friend recommended. Either that, or just build a dedicated .22LR upper that doesn't have a gas port in the barrel (I found a kit that includes a barrel). That should solve any carbon problems in the tube.
  14. slog

    slog New Member

    There are some small bore bristle brushes you can get for cleaning oil holes in an engine block during a rebuild. I suppose that would work. Soak your tube in a strong solvent like kerosene or mineral spirits (kerosene may affect some platings) and then give her a nice bore scrub. I'd make sure you blow it out really good with compressed air afterwards, maybe take a lighter to it, get all the residue off and out of it.