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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK. Please don't judge. I learned my lesson.

Anyway, so I was cleaning my AR BCG and was almost done when I decided to run a Tetra gun swab (pointy q-tip with a wooden stem) into the gas key to get some of the gunk out. It is a snug fit, but pretty good at getting out some of that gunk.

The problem is, the stem broke with the cotton inserted into the gas key. UGH! Why do these things happen to me?

Anyway, no matter what I tried I just can't get the cotton out.

Any suggestions? And if I can't get it out, is it safe to shoot a few times to maybe burn it out and then use something a little more foolproof to clear out the debris left behind?
 

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Anyway, no matter what I tried I just can't get the cotton out.
Have you tried removing the key and blowing the obstruction out from the bolt side of the key... say, with compressed air or something like an aerosol can of WD-40?

Just a thought...

Best regards,

Bob
 

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Did you try a hemostat? Depending on how far in it is, a hemostat should be long and thin enough to get in there to pull stuff out.
https://amzn.to/2JTRSOW


Invest in a bunch of pipe cleaners for future use. ;)

https://amzn.to/2wAuW4k

D
 

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Honestly, I'm kinda too chicken to attempt removing the key itself.
In that case, can you use a piece of wire (maybe something like 14-gauge thhn solid or a single conductor stripped from romex), and push the obstruction out from the underside of the bolt carrier itself? Basically, remove the bolt from the carrier and then see if you can reach a piece of (softish) wire up thru the carrier into the gas key, and dislodge it? Kind of a beverly hillbillies approach perhaps, but might be worth a try if you don't want the hassle of removing & re-installing the gas key.
 

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Added thought - might be that you're over-cleaning or over-thinking the cleaning. I sometimes use a pipe cleaner in the gas key, but honestly usually just blow a shot of powder-blast or similar through there with the bcg disassembled. May not be the 'right' way, but it's worked for me for decades now.
 

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Take a piece of fencing wire and cut it off jagged. Bend the last 1/4 inch of the tip back on itself to form a hook barb. Push it in and try snagging the end.

you may want to put some water to compress the cotton and make more room if it won’t come out dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks All! Great suggestions. For cleaning, I'll probably use a pipe cleaner from now on or maybe a traditional qtip where the stem is pliable and won't break.

I did try the "hook" method but to no avail.

Will try to maybe push or blow it out from the other end.
 
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