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I recently purchased a USGI gas cylinder to put on my M1A. I was wondering it would be a drop in part, or if fitting would be required, and if I should have a gunsmith do it, or if I can do it myself (I have plenty of tools and a Castle-nut Wrench)
 

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Easily done, it just slips off and on. The hardest part will be taking the flash suppressor off.

Just make sure the gas port lines up properly (it should). The only fitting necessary would be if it was too loose (rotationally and axially). This can be resolved by peening the slots on the barrel the gas cylinder splines slip into and shimming the gas system for proper lock timing. This is totally optional though, the rifle will run fine regardless.
 

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Might be a good time to get a shim kit as well and get the correct timing on the GC lock. I mean, if you have to remove the FH, might as well. It has always improved accuracy in my experience.
 
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A USGI gas cylinder will usually slip on a USGI barrel with little or no effort. They were intended to be moved for cleaning.

On the other hand, commercial gas cylinders and commercial barrels will usually have much tighter tolerances than their USGI counterparts. The use of oil and a mallet is often in order. RNGR2
 
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