I took my wood stocked 97K apart yesterday for the first time... just out of curiosity. This gun has about 2000 shots thru it and still smoked a bit from the breach end (see previous post).
It had a kind of "light bodied" tar on the spring, something that might have been a moly paste at one time on the spring/guide ends, and a slightly excessive amount of grease with the consistency and color of JM Eurolube on the piston and seal... and on the front of the seal as well
. There's the source of the smoking.
The OE seal looked good with no nicks, distortion or contamination, and it was the same diameter, within .0005", as the new spare JM seal I have, so I reused it.
Cleaned and lubricated everything lightly with the appropriate JM lubes and put it back together.
No more smoking, velocity dropped off about 15fps to 855 (no surprise there considering the much more "fluid" grease that I removed and the current cold temps) with a small change in POI but no change in accuracy.
This particular rifle is superbly accurate, so seeing a noticeable improvement at short yardage would be tough.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.