limited redeeming personal growth found in M-22 disassembly!
It should be noted that my first attempt at cleaning the internal guts of an M-22 was my first and my last. While I was successful in my endeavor, it is not a task I wish to repeat. Special kudos and the elusive "Steiner White Glue Contortion Award" should go out to Mike Rivkin and the entire optical service crew at Deutsche Optik for successfully restoring hundreds of used IDF Steiner 7X50's back to amazingly good health. Since the DO optical shop is still open, I would give the good folks there a call at (619-491-9270) to see if they would be willing to accommodate "M-22 servicing" requests. Since I am pretty sure that Mike still has periodic nightmares of seeing a room full of techs toiling away with the removal of "official Steiner white silicone glue," maybe the master himself can lend some additional wisdom to this post.
A quick look at the issues.............................................
The Hazy Prism Issue:
M-22's were supposed to be impervious to water in the "battlefield setting." Well, after looking through hundreds of surplus units, it appears that this was not the case. Moisture and outright water would usually find a way in, either
around poorly glued Makrolon pieces or possibly through structural cracks. Usually, this condition was found only on one side of the unit. The unofficial battlefield "quick repair" was to pull the hinge and replace the bad side with the same side cannibalized from another unit (usually having the same problem). The bad side was usually scrapped or saved for surplus disposal, depending on the condition.
The Collimation Issue:
Collimation was not generally a major problem unless the unit had hinge damage from an accidental drop or started life deformed straight from the factory. When I did find collimation errors, I would pull the hinge, and replace one side with another until the error was down to a degree (or two). Finding perfection (< 1 degree off) was pretty much illusive, so there really is some point of no return with this glass. But, I am sure that some of the OM's out there might have special tricks and techniques to rectify the impossible.
The N2 Leakage Issue:
I really question how well the nitrogen held within the M-22 body. Using silicon glue as a quasi-structural component for the body's integrity is not the most reassuring design concept. My best guess is that N2 leakage would have been fairly common in all the binoculars, especially over a period of years. This logic also goes for the purge space between the objective and the laser filter.
The Parts Issue:
Finding parts for the M-22 is not a major concern. Glass can still be obtained from Pioneer and many external parts and rubber armor can still be purchased through Optic Options, at 1-800-872-0273.
Visit (http://www.binocularsource.com). Laser filter replacements are no longer available.
The Abrasive Grime Build-Up Issue:
(The following process can be used to safely clean, renew, and protect rubber armor on any binocular, but this works like magic on an M-22!)
As far a cleaning the naturally porous and sticky rubber found on the M-22, I tested and tried several dozen products over countless months with little success. Finally my trusty BMW mechanic suggest that I try a product called Castrol Super Clean (http://www.castrolusa.com/products/product_questions.asp?product_id=44&product_category=6). He claimed it was the "end all" cleaner for his big rubber "o" rings and other assorted grimy rubber products. This product can