Once you know the tricks, there isn’t much to it. Make sure therifle is unloaded, close the bolt and put the safety on. Grab the rear ofthe triggerguard and pull it down. If the rifle is a tightly-fittedglass-bedded one, you can put a section of cleaning rod sideways through therear to give you more leverage.
Once the triggerguard is pivoted down, pullthe whole trigger assembly straight down out of the rifle. Now, pivot therear of the receiver up and out of the stock. The stock has a lip at thefront, and it is hooked under the front handguard bolster. Once you have thereceiver and stock apart, you’ve done the easy stuff.
Study the recoil spring and guide rod. Take a digital picture ifyou have to. Now grasp the recoil spring rod head and push it toward themuzzle. The hooks on the end will come off the lifter.
Pull the spring out and set it aside. (Have a place for it, it is always greasy and dirty.) Pushthe front receiver pin out. Now pry the cartridge guard out of the receiver,and the lifter and latch will fall out.
The last part is the bolt and operating rod. Look at the rail therod runs in. Just forward of the rear sight you’ll see a notch. Run the rodback until it gets to that notch, and lift the rod up (toward the sight)and out of the rail. You may have to fiddle with it a bit.
Once the rod is off, the bolt is left. You’ll have to lift the front of the bolt and line upthe firing pin tail with the notch in the receiver web. Turn the receiverover for a good look. I’ve done this to hundreds of Garands, and I stillhave to rattle the bolt around to get it to clear.
Once the bolt is out, you’re done. You do not need to take the gascylinder off. You do not need to disassemble the bolt. Clean the powderresidue off, oil the internals, and apply a good brand of oil-resistantgrease to the cam slots in the op rod.
The tricks to reassembly are as follows: once you’ve gotten thebolt back in (the reverse of the rattling it around until it fits routine)push the op rod up into the handguard, and line up the bolt and op rod atthe rear notch.
Push the rod down to capture the bolt lug, and push back andforth around the notch until the op rod fits back into the rail. Once in,run it forward. Turn the rifle over. Install the lifter in the receiver andline up the internals with the front pin hole. Push the pin through,capturing the parts.
Press the round shield in place, and slide the recoilspring down the op rod. Compress the spring with one hand while you lift thelifter with your other to line up the lifter lugs with the spring guide.Once it has caught, ease it down. Hook the stock under the front handguardbolster and pivot in place.
Push the trigger assembly straight up into thestock in its guide slots and once solidly in place, pivot the trigger guardto the stock until it locks. Glass-bedded rifles might need a strike withthe heel of the hand to close and latch the triggerguard.