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To some extent that would be a matter of preference but it's pretty close to 12-15 foot pounds as a starting point.
 

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Springfield Armory (the real one) research and development published their findings on the M14 in a report on 17 June 1955. The report is SA-NM11-2612. On page 20 of the report it lists the gas cylinder plug to tightened with a torque of approximately 15 ft lb.

I tighten mine at 120 inch lb (10 ft lb) which seems to be sufficient for my use and it does not come loose.


 

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I go about 15 myself. I do carefully clean the plug threads and use anti sieze too. You get a proper torque that way and it's mucho easier to remove.
 

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Anti Seize +1

Definitely use some sort of anti seize compound and make it tight as you like using the USGI tool. The leverage provided is just about right for 15 to 18 ft/lbs with a good firm squeeze. I just wish someone would make a longer gas cylinder lock wrench so my hands wouldn't be on top of each other when putting it on and taking it off.
 
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