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 Maintenance & Troubleshooting
 unable to remove gas piston
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PDW
Starting Member


Belgium
9 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2015 :  04:11:53 AM  Show Profile Send PDW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was inspecting and cleaning a newly acquired M1 carbine (Original USGI 1944) with the intention of taking it to the range afterwards. I was worried about possible grease in the 'gas area' and also the gas piston didn't move easily at all.
So I unscrewed the gas piston nut (no signs of staking), but for some reason, the piston won't come out. I carefully removed visible dirt and grease and applied some Ballistol, let it work and repeated the cleaning. The piston now moves back and forward with relative ease, but it still wont come out. I guess this isn't normal. Anyway, I removed the remaining Ballistol as good as possible and screwed the piston nut back on tight.
The piston moves, but I couldn't inspect the inside space between the barrel and the back of the gas piston. Question: is this a common problem? More important question: what's the risk of ruining this carbine if I shoot it?

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swampmolly
Senior Member



USA
764 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2015 :  06:44:53 AM  Show Profile Send swampmolly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am thinking as long as the nut is on tight it would not cause a huge problem to fire the rifle. The worst that would happen is that it would not eject the empty casing. If it does work properly the general consensus would be to leave it alone and keep cleaning it with solvent from time to time.
There must be a ridge of carbon built up on the cylinder wall that keeps the piston from coming out of the cylinder. If you really must get the piston out because the gas system is plugged and not ejecting, I suppose you could back the nut off a few turns and use the gas pressure to break the carbon ring. I would wait to hear from others here on the forum for verification of these thoughts or other suggestions.
SM

Edited by - swampmolly on 04/21/2015 09:46:26 AM
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Tuna
Moderator



3124 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2015 :  12:49:11 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What has happened is there is a hard ring of carbine that formed around the piston between it and the castle nut. The piston can come out but the main reason now is why? Unless you are having a problem with the carbine not functioning properly then you leave the castle nut and piston ALONE!!!
It is not meant to be take out for any form of routine cleaning. If you clean your bore properly, then plenty of bore cleaner can get down into the piston area and when you fire the carbine the hot gases vaporize anything in the gas cylinder. Just a drop of lube if you want on the piston is the only thing you need to do. Now just be sure you do not apply too much force when the nut goes back on. If you crack the gas cylinder the barrel is no good and has to be replaced. Welding will not hold and brazing just lets go even quicker. So we will just leave the gas system alone in the future right? RIGHT!!!! Now go out and shoot your carbine and enjoy it.
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phh1
Greenhorn Member



France
36 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2015 :  2:12:00 PM  Show Profile Send phh1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It took me a few hours to remove the gas piston of my m1. Because of a ring of calamine, and because the metal where the piston works is polished just like the piston and cylinder in an engine. I removed it only once since I got the carbine. I could get it moving the piston back and forward several times with my fingers. I used "degrip-oil" which is like WD 40, and it took a long long time... I think I won't remove it till a long time !

Edited by - phh1 on 04/21/2015 2:15:13 PM
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rhineriver1
Advanced Member



Switzerland
271 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2015 :  03:44:49 AM  Show Profile Send rhineriver1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
PDW: I hope you did not try to remove the piston from your "collector grade" Rock-Ola Carbine. It's better to leave it as it is. My gunsmith is dealing with M1 Carbines since many decades. He told me that he never had any problems with gas pistons. He uses WD 40 if the piston is not moving. With my own carbines, I had never a malfunction of pistons. So it's not necessary to remove nut and piston.
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PDW
Starting Member



Belgium
9 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2015 :  04:32:12 AM  Show Profile Send PDW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the replies. I know gas pistons and their nuts are not meant to be fiddled with, but when it comes to old guns, I'm always a bit scared of things I cannot see...
rhineriver1, Tuna, I used extreme caution and the proper tool to do it. The Rock-Ola looks exactly the same as before, but now it's clean, the old clogged grease is gone and the piston is moving nice.
I have no intention to shoot this carbine often (I use my Standard Products 'mix-master' rebuild for that), but I just have the urge to check if it works properly. I'll try to set my worries aside and shoot a couple of rounds next time I go to the range. If it works fine, I'll be happy and I'll keep treating the carbine as a jewel in my collection. Anyway, I'll let you guys know what happened when it's done.
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PDW
Starting Member



Belgium
9 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2015 :  4:22:51 PM  Show Profile Send PDW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just got back from the range. 1st magazine: One ejection problem after firing the 3rd round. 2nd magazine: No malfunctions.
Gas piston is now moving absolutely smooth and the piston nut is still firm in its place. This gun is totally awesome and I will no longer have any worries about gas pistons!
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Murkan Mike
Starting Member



Germany
2 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2015 :  3:09:24 PM  Show Profile Send Murkan Mike a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I erroneously forgot to clean the axle grease or cosmoline or some other protectant from what I believe was a GI barrel bought locally in Belgium. I cleaned the inside and outside of the barrel well, but I forgot to take the piston out and clean the gas port. I assembled the carbine, and when it was finished, took it to the range to fire. It functioned well for about 10 rounds, then it started acting up. First it wouldn't cycle, and I had to hand cycle it. Then a few times later, it wouldn't close all the way, and I had to 'hand close' the bolt, by pushing the op rod forward. I took it apart and found that the piston wouldn't budge, in or out. I did a you tube search, and found where everyone suggested using compressed air and filling the barrel with oil. What a mess, and it still wouldn't budge. I took the unswaged nut off, but couldn't get the piston to budge, so I put the barrel, muzzle down in the soft vise, and started dousing it with wd 40, letting it soak in. A few days later, it would push in, but I couldn't remove it. I was getting frustrated and took a pair of side cutters and tried to remove it using the sharp edges to get a grip. No success. So then I soaked the piston area good with WD 40, and very carefully put THE PISTON in the vise (figuring if I ruined the piston I could get another) and used a brass hammer to knock the rifle off of the piston, and that worked. The axle grease had blown into the cylinder formed a black tar like goo, with hard black carbon in it. I used 1000 grit wet and dry sand paper to smooth the shaft of the piston, and cleaned and polished the piston up with the 1000 grit, and used all kinds of solvents to clean the cylinder. It went back together fine, I staked the nut, and she shoots real fine. On the remaining similar barrel that I bought at the same time, I will clean that sucker out perfect before I fire it. I suspect the little bit of axle grease in the drilled area was enough to gum things up. Tru holding the piston in the vise, and knock the barrel off of the piston. I use a few pieces of old leather shoe tongues for protection of the metal pieces.

Edited by - jimb16 on 07/29/2017 7:58:57 PM
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Loose Noose
Starting Member



USA
14 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2015 :  5:47:29 PM  Show Profile Send Loose Noose a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm new to this forum, but have found all the info to be top notch, Incidentally I do small arms repair, not a gunsmith, simply a NRA Certified Amour. About a year ago I came across a Inland M-1 Carbine that would not eject the round after it being fired. Naturally I checked the Gas Piston Housing and found it to be cracked. I tried to tell the guy he needed a new barrel. Instead he insisted that I braze it for him, which I ended up doing, and re-threaded, after test firing the carbine it functioned, so I gave it back to the gentleman. Needless to say that after only firing about one magazine thru the carbine the weld came undone. When I told him what a new barrel would cost, he about keeled over. Last I heard he was going to a gun show and try to sell it, what a jerk.
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105GunGrunt
Starting Member



USA
14 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2017 :  5:00:37 PM  Show Profile Send 105GunGrunt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My comment is not about the piston, it is about the repeated references to WD40. This is not a lubricant. It is not a penetrating oil. It has no lubricating properties whatsoever. I know you probably all know this but it was the Army's 40th attempt at developing a Water Dispersant. Use real penetrating oil if you need to free up a rusted part.
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jimb16
Moderator



USA
3025 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2017 :  7:58:02 PM  Show Profile Send jimb16 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree. If you need to loosen a stuck part, start with a good solvent and let it soak for a couple days. That will normally dissolve the powder fouling and carbon ring. WD 40 is a water dispersant. That is what the WD means. Powder solvents are the answer, not penetrating oils. You want to remove the crap, not grease it up.

OGCA Lifer,NRA Life member, son of a 325th GIR Glider Rider
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Tuna
Moderator



3124 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2017 :  9:17:55 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WD40 came about by two guys who were trying to develop a water displacement for NASA many years ago. It was their 40th try and it worked. WD40 has been give all kinds of praise from doing wonders on metals to making joints not hurt anymore from arthritis. Seems like it's the miracle everything but what it was developed for. I will join 105 and Jim in saying it is not for use with firearms and do not spray it inside any firearms. It will act like a magnet and attract carbon and dirt from shooting. Then it hardens and becomes like concrete and finally building up layers till it stops the action of a weapon from working. I used to wipe down my offshore fishing rods with it before and after fishing to keep salt off the rods. Oh and some claim that it attracts fish. Just spray some on your lure and have at it.
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shadycon
Veteran Member



USA
1350 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2017 :  9:30:23 PM  Show Profile Send shadycon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WD40; works great spraying dist. cap and spark plug wires when going thru some of Fla. swamps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

M1's-R-FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!
TSMG's-R-MORE-FUN!!!!!
ENJOY LIFE & HAVE FUN!!
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