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Winter coming on must be playing tricks with 'em. Seriously, I hadn't messed with any of mine in quite a while, certainly not in the Spring-Summer-Fall months. Got out for a little funshoot the other day and observed some wandering, uncalled flyers, with two of my Garands. Three or 4 rounds in a 10 ring cloverleaf, the rest of the clip out in the 8 ring boonies. Gas plugs tight, duhhhh, checked front sights for tightness. Yeowww, back & forth rocking of the gas cyl's, just slight but rocking nonetheless. An old friend and great 'smith with old milsurp rifles & pistols, Robert Joseph of Austin ,TX (pardon shameless plug), then taught me a new trick about peening these barrel splines. Blade-peening, 3 or 4 strikes across each spline. Your barrel's splines have probably been roll-peened at some point in time. The blade-peening compensates for a spline that isn't impressed any more by a 1/8" ball bearing or a 1/4" socket. Gas cyl's went back on tight as all git-out, locks bottomed out close to perfect, gas plugs tightened up like a piece of cake, brought everything home. Shots won't wander now. Life is good.
 

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Found using a punch to make small divots inside the spline slots works better for me than peening the top edges of the slots.
 

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I agree with using a small punch .sockets never seemed to work well for me
 

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OK, I am going to try and dig this out of my archives but I know there is actually a suggested method for peening the splines.
I mean that if you peen a particular side (high or low) it forces the gas cylinder slightly to the barrel for a bit more consistency. I am going to dig through my references but you might check also.
Sorry to post without complete info but someone else may have that handy.
 

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OK, I am going to try and dig this out of my archives but I know there is actually a suggested method for peening the splines.
I mean that if you peen a particular side (high or low) it forces the gas cylinder slightly to the barrel for a bit more consistency. I am going to dig through my references but you might check also.
Sorry to post without complete info but someone else may have that handy.
If you can get away with peening the top spline only for a tight fit, that's enough til you have to do it again. That'll lift the rear ring just a hair. Yeah, stagger your peens side to side if you peen the edges. Barrel and gas cyl dimensions vary, and gas cylinders get removed/replaced for various reasons (e.g., at CMP), which loosens them, usually vertically. I've never seen one get thrown off horizontally by peening if the gas cyl's lands are in spec to the barrel's splines. Maybe one light tap to the front sight and you'll be re-zeroed for a long time.
 
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