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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am new to the m1a's, i took my gas cylinder plug out and tightened it using the combo tool but i didnt use the wrench. Is this bad? is there something i need to do to revert anything i did? Buying a wrench btw :)

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Yes

tightening the plug without using a wrench on the cylinder can warp and/or crack the cylinder, damage the splines or cylinder recesses, and causes variation in the amount of torque. In extreme cases it can bend the barrel. Either use a wrench, or place the cylinder in padded vise jaws and just 'snug' it, or in a pinch use a large crescent wrench. do not tighten.
 

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I am new to the m1a's, i took my gas cylinder plug out and tightened it using the combo tool but i didnt use the wrench. Is this bad? is there something i need to do to revert anything i did? Buying a wrench btw :)

M1a Scout
That's exactly what the combo tool was designed for. Soldiers in the field only had the combo tool, no gas cylinder wrenches.

The important thing is to grasp the gas cylinder with your off hand, not the barrel or stock. I also recommend using an original USGI combination tool, not a copy.

The gas cylinder wrenches are certainly a handy tool and are a necessity when installing or removing the castle nut.
 

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tightening the plug without using a wrench on the cylinder can warp and/or crack the cylinder, damage the splines or cylinder recesses, and causes variation in the amount of torque. In extreme cases it can bend the barrel. Either use a wrench, or place the cylinder in padded vise jaws and just 'snug' it, or in a pinch use a large crescent wrench. do not tighten.
I'm sorry, but bend the barrel????
 

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Bottom line is without using opposing force from the wrench/tool loosening the gas plug itself, you can torque the gas cylinder itself and it is on a series of splines that align it with the overall system. A piece of leather/heavy cloth to avoid marring/scratching and use of Channel Locks will work if no wrench is available as well as bench vise(not always handy.) Some of those gas plugs are in there quite tight, even seized, and lots of torque could do damage to the barrel/gas cylinder if not supported. I would get me one of those wrench/tools to work with your rifle, small price to pay.
 

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Bend the barrel?

Yup, seen it more than once. Not sure how 'they' did it, as I would have said it can't be done, but somehow 'they' found a way.
 

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Yup, seen it more than once. Not sure how 'they' did it, as I would have said it can't be done, but somehow 'they' found a way.
Personally I don't have a problem believing "they" can bend a barrel with their bare hands. I have seen them break an anvil with a rubber mallet.GI1
 

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What about the gas cylinder lock screw on an M1? Would you give the same advice about it? If so, where would one obtain some type of supporting "wrench" for the M1? Do they even exist?

I suppose one can conjure up almost any scenario, but until I can see this to be a significant problem I believe I would forget about it. Any gorilla can destroy just about anything, but using common sense and reasonable care, it is unlikely damage will occur.
 

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I only have the combo tool and have never used a gas cylinder wrench.

I'm not saying not to get one, just saying I never used one. No problems so far - 17 years.
 

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Good discussion I think...

Not everyone out there will know these things without experience...

Would somebody consider posting pics of the two tools being discussed and a brief tutorial?

(unless it's already Been Done!?)

GI2

CAVman in Wyoming
 
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Makes sense...

Bottom line is without using opposing force from the wrench/tool loosening the gas plug itself, you can torque the gas cylinder itself and it is on a series of splines that align it with the overall system. A piece of leather/heavy cloth to avoid marring/scratching and use of Channel Locks will work if no wrench is available as well as bench vise(not always handy.) Some of those gas plugs are in there quite tight, even seized, and lots of torque could do damage to the barrel/gas cylinder if not supported. I would get me one of those wrench/tools to work with your rifle, small price to pay.
Never used the combo tool, always a wrench or socket. I used the GC lock tool along with the wrench or socket to stabilize the GC. Not good at explaining things but here is what I did. Put the GC tool on the GC lock and a socket wrench on the GP. Put them on so you can sqeeze them together to loosen the GP. Installation was the reverse...sqeezed them together to tighten the GP.

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What about the gas cylinder lock screw on an M1? Would you give the same advice about it? If so, where would one obtain some type of supporting "wrench" for the M1? Do they even exist?

I suppose one can conjure up almost any scenario, but until I can see this to be a significant problem I believe I would forget about it. Any gorilla can destroy just about anything, but using common sense and reasonable care, it is unlikely damage will occur.
Yes, they exist. I know B.A.D. has a gas cylinder wrench that is for the m14 on one end, and the M1 on the other end. Others may also make them.

the BAD wrench...http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...m1-m14-m1a-gas-cylinder-wrench-prod32304.aspx
 

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here is the Sadlak tool from Brownelle's, but personally I would order direct from Sadlak bacause of how helpful they have been to me and many others. They can answer almost any question you have about anything they sell. Righthand, the Sadlak rep/CS agent is a member on this site. PM her, or call her, she is very nice. Smart too!

http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...ls/m14-m1a-gas-cylinder-wrench-prod32464.aspx
 

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It's always safer to use a wrench to hold the gas lock while loosening or tightening the gas plug. However I doubt that you will hurt anything if you don't use the wrench unless the plug is over tightened. The problem is that some folks will stick a screw driver between the barrel and gas cylinder while attempting to loosen a tight plug. This will dent the gas cylinder, which is relatively soft, resulting in a stuck piston. The same thing can happen if the gas cylinder is held in a vise that's too tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the replys. Just to clarify I did use the combo tool from Springfield and I did not use my hands to hold the gas lock, I think I had my hands on the stock. It's a new m1a and it was not a struggle to get the plug out. And I don't think I tightend it up too much because after I went shooting I noticed the plug was loose. Buying a gc wrench, thanks again.
 

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Yup, seen it more than once. Not sure how 'they' did it, as I would have said it can't be done, but somehow 'they' found a way.
I don't doubt someone bent a barrel, I'm just saying you could rip the hex off the end of the gas plug before you bent the barrel.
But stranger things have happened, I guess. Just beyond me...
 

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well i bought a wrench. but had i known
i would have just used a crescent wrench
and a piece of leather. yours was not gorilla
tight so i do not think you did any harm.
if you have a large crescent wrench pad it
with leather and use that.
Lruss
 

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Suggestion only, but once you get the plug out and do reinstall it as tight as it should be, take a white, red, etc. paint pen and put a small dot/line so next time you will know how much to tighten back to the original spot. Sure someone here can give you the suggested torque(seems like something on the order of 30+lbs/ft.???) but you want it tight or rifle will malfunction if plug comes loose. I put a small amount of Never Seeze on the plug threads but I tighten mine quite a bit and bring it back so the white dots line up.
 

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A little never seize and just not over tightening has always worked for me.

If the plug was stuck I'd get the channel locks out.
 
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