When I got my first SKS (a Norinco) I used to grease the gas piston. It never had a problem, but was very messy to clean. Still, it kept it lubed better than oil, as the oil would blow out the vents quickly. Then I read about keeping it dry. My Yugo has always been kept dry in the gas tube/piston, and cleanup is much easier - not nearly as much gunk. I get a little carbon buildup on the front of the piston, but a swipe with fine steel wool takes it right off.
NRA. Whatever--I use a light lubricant on piston to reduce wear on the gas tube wall. I have never had a problem with it. NRA actually I do work on my own firearms and it's probabably better than most gunsmiths. I know run your vehicle without oil and see how long it lasts. You AR guys--oil or no oil on rings?
alan c. - The general rule for me has been: do not oil the gas piston (Garand, FN-49, FN-FAL, M14/M1A, SKS, or AK). Now the mouse gun is different, the rings get oil.
I have seen flames shooting out of the holes on an AK, one day at the range, and told the guy he was not doing himself any favors, and could have problems because the gas piston was designed to run dry. He said his gunsmith told him the same thing, because it could increase the pressure enough to blow the gas system apart.
On the AR-15 the rings are further from the hottest gasses, and besides they are in the bolt behind the bullet. It never made sense to me to put the super hot gasses back there anyhow (DON'T BLAME ME FOR THAT!)
I like the gas system on the FN-49, (almost the same as the FN-FAL; both designed by Saive at FN), and it definitely goes the route, DRY.
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