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Hello! It’s my understanding that the M1A/M14 requires grease on some of it’s components in order to function properly and reduce excessive wear. In my experience, though, grease seems to attract small particulates and fine sand much more than a lightly oiled or even dry firearm would, specifically in a desert environment. Were there any exceptions to using grease for M14’s fielded in Iraq and Afghanistan? And did any of these exceptions prove to be good enough, or were the rifles’ service lives significantly shortened?

TIA!
Sean Morrissey
 

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The M14 requires very little grease. You can see the exact locations in Chapter 5 of the Field Manual...


Basically, the inside of the operating rod cam (outside of the bolt roller), the lugs and rear top of the bolt and the bolt camming lug on the hammer. It is designed to run without any grease in arctic conditions. Use a light coat of CLP on all other metal.
 

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With the M14's open action you definitely need to keep debris of all types away from it. However, some lubrication is essential for proper functioning ans to prevent excessive wear, just do not over do it. Here is a sand test video which includes the M1A:

 

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In Hatchers Book of the Garand it says the M1 rifle was to be lubricated with oil. Grease was an alternative for use in severe conditions of rain or spray from salt water. The greasing of the M1A is probably a carry over from experience in VN
 

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h the M14's open action you definitely need to keep debris of all types away from it. However, some lubrication is essential for proper functioning ans to prevent excessive wear, just do not over do it. Here is a sand test video which includes the M1A:

I don't know Ian however I do know Karl, these tests were how shall I say it comical.... What person be they Solder, Sailor or Marine subjects there equipment too this abuse. They don't they keep them as protected as they can, just like the guy next too them does.
 

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in RVN, we were sent cases of a product called Dri-Slide by the manufacturer for use on our weapons, best stuff I ever used (and still do) since it replaces both grease and oil, dries to a water resistant, dust and debris resistant coating that absorbs into the parkerizing and leaves a grey-black finish...
 

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The one thing I learned from the tests, do not put crap into your weapon!
yeah, and if the wind is strong enough to blow pebbles the way the video does you don't need to be shooting in it. I wish mikem0331 was here to see that video. he actually used an m14 in the middle east and im curious how well it did.
 

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No more wet/muddy stuff for me. Never had any of my rifles near sand. I like grease and plenty of it. Scrub it off occasionally and apply more. 54 years of doing it that way so I'm too old to change now.
 

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in RVN, we were sent cases of a product called Dri-Slide by the manufacturer for use on our weapons, best stuff I ever used (and still do) since it replaces both grease and oil, dries to a water resistant, dust and debris resistant coating that absorbs into the parkerizing and leaves a grey-black finish...
Is this the stuff?

429603
 

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Grease should only be applied in very light quantities. Basically it's a wipe on, wipe off process applied with your fingers. Grease should not be used in very sandy or dusty conditions or in sub-zero weather.

I was firing in the FORSCOM matches at Ft. Ord one year on a very windy day. During the rattle battle (all sustained fire) my M14 collected enough sand that it seized up and bent the op rod. This put me out of the match. Note that the ranges at Ft. Ord were on the beach among the sand dunes. I didn't have a lot of grease on the rifle, but it was enough to screw things up in those conditions. A lesson learned!
 

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A friend who served in Iraq carried an m14. His very short summary, "My weapon of choice." His perspective was entirely utilitarian, as opposed to including some romantic angle. After retiring, as a civilian, he doesn't like guns. He's not judgmental about those who do, just not for him.
 

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The various internet “mud tests” as mentioned are pure comedy for people that don’t know much about firearms. I watched the two knuckleheads in the videos above shovel a bunch of mud into the the action of an AK-47, and of course like any firearm it choked immediately. Stick a bunch of mud or sand into the action of any firearm and you will have problems.

The AR-15 has the advantage of a relatively closed action when the dust cover is shut. So I “guess” it would be good in these types of tests with the dust cover closed. But of course in reality Murphy’s Law states that when the rifle gets immersed in the mud the dust cover will probably be open and all that wonderful goo or sand will get into the bolt carrier, and if enough crud gets in there it will be game over just like with any other rifle.
 

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Mr. Miyagi's axiom: Wipe on, wipe off. I use my pinky and only get the external parts to show they aren't dry, like a glisten. Not what I called Marine Corps Dry for the desert in my day of real carry, but not glopped on so that you see white or brown or red or whatever you'r choice of grease is. Not wet, not dry, if that makes any sense.
 
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