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Old March 5, 2012, 09:31 AM   #1
Lambdebois
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Best way to clean the cleaning grooves on an ak gas piston?

Hi everyone. I have an AK-47/S that looks like it hadn't been cleaned well in a while. I've been able to get most off it cleaned up but I am having trouble finding away to get the hard buildup out of the cleaning ridges on the gas piston. Any suggestion?
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Old March 5, 2012, 09:34 AM   #2
Mike38
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One of those hooked spring steel picks like a dentist uses? Just a guess, my AK doesn’t have grooves in the piston.
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Old March 5, 2012, 09:45 AM   #3
Lambdebois
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I have thought about something like that. I just dont want to use anything that could scratch the surfaces... Wonder if a paper clip is to hard or not to use...
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Old March 5, 2012, 09:49 AM   #4
plouffedaddy
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The easiest way to clean the grooves is to buy a piston for $10 online that does have the grooves because they're a pain to clean

On a serious note, a copper brush, CLP, elbow grease, and if need be--simple green works for me. If you have a real high round count AK, it probably won't come off unless you put it in an ultrasonic cleaner. But, the good news--it doesn't have to come off to be reliable. It's not like an AR bolt where carbon buildup will cause failures. As long as the area aroudn the grooves is clean it will function 100%. That's why the Ishmash AKs these days don't even have the grooved piston. They just use the smooth one because it works.

I understand wanting it clean though because I'm the same way...
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Old March 5, 2012, 09:59 AM   #5
Lambdebois
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I've been using brass brushes and a power solvent but I'm having a hard time really getting in the groves. There was so much hard gunk on the face of the piston it took me 2 hours to scrub it off. It seems like the gas portion of the gun has been neglected to be cleaned by the person I bought it from. I'm guessing at least a thousand or more rounds...
If it makes a differance... The ak is a pre ban polytech legend. I'd love to keep all the parts original unless I have to replace something. And yes. I just want it clean as its too nice and rare of a rifle IMO not to clean up.
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Old March 5, 2012, 10:25 AM   #6
smoakingun
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easy off oven cleaner. carb cleaner, unitor makes a product called carbon remover that works quite well. Put it in a lathe and polish it off with scotchbrite or fine emory cloth
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Old March 5, 2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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A Polytech! Oh yeah, it makes a difference. Now I'm going to need to see some pictures of this beauty. They are some of the most beautiful AKs out there IMO. I'd try and keep it stock too... I'd take the piston off and let it soak in some simple green overnight and see if that loosens the carbon build up off. It has worked for me in the past...
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Old March 5, 2012, 11:32 AM   #8
mehavey
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To be honest, I'd simply stick the grooved piston end into a cheese glass full of carb cleaner and
leave it there long enough for the solution to do its job. (Wrap some tinfoil around/over the top
of glass top/piston shaft to keep evaporation down.)

Scrub the grooves clean w/ a brass toothbrush from Home Depot if necessary.
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Old March 5, 2012, 12:15 PM   #9
Lambdebois
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate the advice. I have been soaking the end in solvent between scrubbings. I've been scrubbing away at it with #9 and a brass brush and it is slowly coming off. It's just going to be a really long process at this rate. I'll put a pic or two of it up in a bit. Thank you for the compliments about it. I agree completely.
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Old March 5, 2012, 12:46 PM   #10
1Hobie
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http://www.slip2000.com/choketube.html, http://www.slip2000.com/carbonkiller.html.

Anyone try these for what the OP is trying to accomplish? I have some but I haven't been able to go shooting since I received it.

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Old March 5, 2012, 12:48 PM   #11
wogpotter
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When I get a stubborn build up on the front face & grooves of mt FAL piston I use Sweets 7.62. Rips it all right out of/off of there.
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Old March 5, 2012, 03:40 PM   #12
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Bench grinder with a brass brush wheel.... Great on all sorts of carbon crusted pistons, bolts etc. Just don't get nutty with it.... A light touch will suffice.
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Old March 5, 2012, 06:02 PM   #13
Lambdebois
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Well it's almost clean finally. I still have more scrubbing with a twelve guage bore brush on the gas tube the piston goes through. It's getting there but there are still a few ridges of buildup. Or at least I hope that's what it is. We will see. The piston looks fine. Is there a better way too clean those out other than a bore brush, hopps#9, and a lot more elbow grease? There was so much buildup the ports on the gas tube were clogged. The ridges on the piston were 75% full also. It's looking much better now though...

Here is an older pic I have from when I got it about a year and a half ago from a very close friend who knew I had been wanting a pre-ban ak with a milled action, crome lines barrel, spring loaded firing pin, and Bulgarian blond wood for a couple years. I passed on many builds and mac 90 and a few others. One day we went shooting and we were talking about it... and he said "you know I never get to shoot it anymore. I'd consider giving it to you". That was all it took really. I had wanted a legend forever... It came with the bayonet, sling, poly mags and drum, and 4 sealed sleeves of ammo, 800 rnd of various surplus ammo including some steel core in boxes and 20 tracer rounds also.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ak poly n case.JPG (200.7 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by Lambdebois; March 6, 2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old March 5, 2012, 09:05 PM   #14
plouffedaddy
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You have fine taste in AKs sir...
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Old March 5, 2012, 11:04 PM   #15
saitek
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carbon

the best thing i have seen is slip2000 carbon killer ,this stuff is like magic !the ole man uses it on his ar all the time .
http://www.slip2000.com/carbonkiller.html
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Old March 6, 2012, 12:26 AM   #16
Dfariswheel
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Slip 2000 Carbon Killer is the answer.
A 15 minute soak will remove all the carbon.

Probably the absolute worst gun part for carbon build up is the AK-74 muzzle brake. Even hard chrome lined versions are impossible to get clean.

I finally tried Slip 2000. I shook the jar up well to mix it and just dropped a badly fouled AK-74 brake in the jar.
15 minutes later almost all traces of carbon were gone and the hard chrome lining was fully clean like new.

For the gas piston head you can use a BRASS scrapper to scrape the front face to help things along. The crusty carbon will flake off with light scraping, then into the Slip 2000.
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Old March 6, 2012, 12:24 PM   #17
Lambdebois
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Thanks again for the advice. And thanks also for the compliment Plouffedaddy. I didn't know a thing about AK's when I first decided I wanted one. I have to thank my friend who answered all my questions and helped me figure out what I wanted.... It just so happened about a year and a half later... I had been in town visiting and we went shooting.... I told him I still hadn't seen a milled ak in stores like I was looking for. That's when he told me I could have it since he never got to shoot it anymore. I know he turned down a good friend and a co-worker for years who begged him to sell it to him. He was a green beret in nam and said he carried an underfolder that was just like it which was I guess why he wanted it so bad. Of course I told my friend if he ever wanted it back.... all he had to do was ask... and I have also told him I will never sell it. If I need to get rid of it.... I'd give it back to him.

I will have to try some slip 2000 sometime if it would have saved me all the time I spent soaking it in hopps and scrubbing it with a brass brush. There is still a small amount left on the side of the cleaning groove but I'll get it eventually.

As a side note.... I just realized what might work great. I've used spray on gasket remover on valves and automotive pistons and it's about the only thing that I've seen that will literally dissolve hard baked on carbon deposits in minutes.

Last edited by Lambdebois; March 6, 2012 at 08:23 PM.
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