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How to Field Strip a CETME Rifle

Cetme Field Strip


CETME Field Stripping

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Today’s post is to show you how to go about CETME Field Stripping.

As with all gunsmithing, remove all ammunition in the room while you work on your CETME.

I know you are an adult, and smart enough not to accidentally load and fire your gun negligently.  However, but so were thousands of other folks right before they fired an “unloaded” firearm.

I am light on the pictures because I was videotaping the process of CETME Field Stripping, so if anything is unclear just watch the video.

How to Field Strip a CETME Rifle

  1. Remove the magazine. A forward press on the magazine catch will release it. Then just pull it down.
  2. The cocking handle will not work if the firearm is on safe, so put your CETME selector on anything buts “S” – some rifles have “T” for single shot and “R” for burst, mine just has “S” and “F” for fire.  In case you are wondering “T” stands for “Tiro a Tiro” (shot by shot) and “R” stands for “Rafaga (burst).
  3. Pull firmly the cocking handle rearwards.  (The cocking handle is on the left side of the gun forward of the receiver and almost to the front sight).  This is not the easiest thing to do, it’s not like a poodle shooter – you are fighting the resistance of both the recoil and hammer springs.  When you get the handle fully to the rear, push it up into its lock notch.
  4. Check the chamber both physically and visually for any rounds – then do it again – You may think its stupid to do it twice, but there are no records of a negligent discharge by checking twice, and many of them for failing too.
  5. Next perform an “HK Slap” to release the cocking handle so as to relieve the tension on the spring. (Just take the palm of your hand and give a slap to the top of the charging handle to knock it out of its locking slot – This action adds enough cool points to make up for checking the chamber twice – sometimes I do it just so I can feel “Teddy Tacticool”.

Remove the Buttstock

  1.  The buttstock assembly is kept in place by a couple of pins. Those pins are just pushed out like the pins holding an AR together.  Some CETME buttstocks have two holes to put the pins in so you don’t loose them.  (some may tell you to use your magazine feed lips to help remove the pins, but that is stupid because the magazine lips are one of the most stressed parts of your rifle, pretty fragile, and damage there WILL cause cycling problems.
  2. Pull on the butt stock to release the assembly – mine takes a good slap, and not a gentle tug, but they all slide out.
  3. Next you need to remove the fire assembly, it tilts downwards.  A nice slap on the back of the pistol grip towards the muzzle will release it.
  4. Now, with the rear of the gun angled downwards, grab the charging handle and pull it back a little.  The barrel assembly should slide right out.
  5.  That is pretty much fully field stripped, however, if you want to remove the bolt and get to the firing pin, you will have to rotate the bolt head counterclockwise 180°. This can be a little tricky, so you may need to use a pair of pliers.
  6. Next rotate the bolt carrier 90 degrees counterclockwise and remove it to expose the firing pin and spring.
  7. Pull out the firing pin and the firing pin spring.

To Reinstall, Reverse the Order

When installing the barrel, the two round rollers will be pushed out and locked, and the assembly will not slide into the receiver.  The bold has to be retracted to allow the rollers to unlock.  The way I do it is to reverse the bold and slide it backwards and “slam” it – (forcefully, but not violently) in the gun, this unlocks the bolt rollers, so I can then pull the assembly out, and reinstall it normally and it will then slide right in the gun.

Remember, once you get it all back together to function test it to make sure it works.  That is another reason you don’t have ammo in the room.

When function testing a defensive gun that I keep loaded (say my carry pistol) I will then say OUT LOUD “I am done cleaning my gun and am not loading it”  It may seem overkill, but it sets up a mental stumbling block to keep me from function testing my gun after I load it – another way of preventing a negligent discharge from “cleaning my gun”

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