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Cleaning dried cosmoline

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I recently purchased a surplus rifle, and it's coated and packed with cosmoline (both medal and wood parts).

 

I've done a web search on multiple ways to remove the gunk ... I'm looking for someone who's done the work before and therefore has a proven, easy to follow method.

 

Thanks,

Tim


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You can clean the metal with auto parts cleaner or bore cleaner and a brush. I cleaned up a NPM carnine stock by putting it in the dishwasher. A Garand stock doesn't fit in my dishwasher. There are pro's and cons about the dishwasher method but it worked for me. The CMP website has a lot of info that may help.

 

What are you trying to clean up?


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You can clean the metal with auto parts cleaner or bore cleaner and a brush.

 

 

Gasoline and elbow grease (NO SMOKING!) for cleaning the cosmoline off the metal on your weapon. Not easy, but...once it's clean, make sure you properly oil it! Either gasoline or auto parts cleaner will leave the metal VERY dry, once the cosmoline is removed. Don't want it to rust once all that cosmoline is off. I've never tried the dishwasher trick myself, but heard various reports about it (some pro, some con). I'm a fan of setting the stock out in the sun and then wiping the oil/grease/cosmoline off as it "sweats" out of the wood. Again, slow and deliberate, but there's no way it'll hurt the wood, either.

 

Good luck,

Thrasher


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Had good luck getting nasty Russian cosmoline off of SKSs and AKs with WD-40 and a toothbrush, and elbow grease.

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Clear PVC cleaner does an amazing job of removing cosmoline!!

Wont harm a blued or parkerized finish, nor wood stocks.

Watch it around some plastics though thumbsup.gif


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Find someone with a non solvent (thermal) parts washer. It has worked the best. And gets all of the cosmoline out. It dose not continue to bleed out when the weapon is fired and heats up internally. Drys out the stock, but that is what they make linseed oil for.

 

No parts washer? Use the orange clean spray cleaner. It is comparable to the active ingredients in the non solvent parts washing fluid. But will not work as well due to there being no heat.

 

Good luck and remember to oil it afterward.


Dirteater101

 

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Old Trooper Gunsmiths

 

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Boiling water

 

I have tried many methods from chemicals to steamers. By far the easiest in my opinion is to use boiling water. It doesn't get any easier and it's quick. Remove the stock and pour boiling water over everything while holding the muzzle. Or if you have an old strainer, disassemble the rifle, put the parts in it, then pour on boiling water. All grease will melt away in seconds and the water evaporates, then just grease/oil as normal. No chemicals involved and water is cheap! I fill a 3qt pot, bring it to a boil and pour right in the backyard. Give it a try. thumbsup.gif


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Bore cleaner and a toothbrush works well for me in a pinch. But I prefer to use kerosene, a toothbrush and a LOT of towels.

 

I know people always talk about using gasoline to clean parts but I would advise against it. It is just far too flammable to safely use. Gasoline can turn into flammable vapors in sub freezing temperatures while kerosene needs to be well over 100 degrees to start giving off vapors.

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Bore cleaner and a toothbrush works well for me in a pinch. But I prefer to use kerosene, a toothbrush and a LOT of towels.

 

I know people always talk about using gasoline to clean parts but I would advise against it. It is just far too flammable to safely use. Gasoline can turn into flammable vapors in sub freezing temperatures while kerosene needs to be well over 100 degrees to start giving off vapors.

 

Yep gasoline can go boom rather easily.

 

Read the link about steam cleaning and you'll realize that you may not need any solvent except steam. Anyone who doubts the power of water to scour should take a look at the Grand Canyon :) Years ago when I worked for a member of the House Armed Services Committee in Congress I saw tests of a high-pressure steam system used to clean military weapons. There's a mention of this Mini-Max system here: http://www.ofee.gov/wpr/cleaning.asp -



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I'm a fan of setting the stock out in the sun and then wiping the oil/grease/cosmoline off as it "sweats" out of the wood.

 

I did that yesterday (I didn;t try to, but it happened) I lift my rifle in the back of the car after the parade, and it sweat alll the junk out of it. probaly about 90+ degrees in the car too.


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Exposure to Mother Nature (the sun) or a hand held hair blow dryer will allow you to easily remove the majority of the surface cosmolene and also extract much of what has impregnated the stock furniture. Then for a final clean up (if necessary) you can use odorless mineral spirits and a soft rag which will remove any residual cosmolene without harming any finish applied to any metal or wood part I have ever come across in the dozens of milsurp rifles I have cleaned over the years.

 

Good luck and please share some pictures onece you have her all cleaned up and presentable :D .

 

Tim


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I used boiling water for a bunch of unissued Thompson mags, bolt and receiver, worked great and readily available, just boil the kettle.

I also use boiling water to clean my Lee Enfields after Ive had them at the range and have been using old cordite ammo.

But oil everything afterward, no cosmoline means no protection.

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Exposure to Mother Nature (the sun) or a hand held hair blow dryer will allow you to easily remove the majority of the surface cosmolene and also extract much of what has impregnated the stock furniture. Then for a final clean up (if necessary) you can use odorless mineral spirits and a soft rag which will remove any residual cosmolene without harming any finish applied to any metal or wood part I have ever come across in the dozens of milsurp rifles I have cleaned over the years.

 

Good luck and please share some pictures onece you have her all cleaned up and presentable :D .

 

Tim

Ive used the blow dryer method and mineral spirits method for years on dozens of cosmo-drenched rifles and have always been pleased with the results. Good luck on whatever method you choose and please feel free to post pics of whatever you are working on thumbsup.gif

Terry


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