Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Gunsmithing & Do-It-Yourself Projects > Cleaning and Maintenance > absolute beginner. cleaning older rifles

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:42 AM   #1
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Default absolute beginner. cleaning older rifles

Hi,

From canada
I stopped in to ask for some advice. I have some old guns I want to fix up and clean. My dad passed years ago and we never sold his guns. They're just sitting there in a cabinet and I thought I'd fix up/clean them. I have no real experience outside some .22 shooting in scouts. We learnt gun safety but never how-to clean them. He had .22, 30/30 lever action and shotguns (one pump action) that I know off hand. They're now 20yrs old +/-..

I intend on searching, I admit the post is somewhat generalized.. But its important to me I don't damage them in the process. I saw the post about favorite/best supplies… I'm going to town tomorrow to see what's available locally, and if I might need to order online.

Any help, or advice to steer me in the right direction would be appreciated. I'd like to eventually shoot them. (yes - they are licensed, under my mother's name)

Thanks for stopping by
Geoff

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Old 08-26-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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Cleaning any firearm is a simple process,but you need to know how to break down each weapon in order to give it a good cleaning on the inside of the action's.Depending on your mechanical ability,this can be very hard to do,and then putting everything back together where the firearm will function afterwards.
If you feel that you can tackle,the dis-assembly/reassembly of each gun,then you can look on YouTube and find hundreds of video's showing you how to take your guns apart in order to clean them inside and out.

You will need to have the correct tools also.Common screwdrivers will ruin the screws on guns,you really need a set of gunsmith screwdrivers.They are made specifically for the screws that are on guns.Most guns are also held together with pins,and you will need a punch set in order to remove them.
I'm not trying to scare you with this,I love taking my guns apart,and cleaning them.But,it isn't as simple as squirting some liquid on them,and wiping it off.

If you don't think you can handle this,just find a local gunsmith to give them a good cleaning.It usually doesn't cost too much.

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Old 08-26-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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+1 Texhillbilly...Also, if you are not too familiar with firearms, not a bad idea to have said gunsmith give them a basic functions check as well. Safety first...

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Old 08-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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Freeballer, if you can post make and model, or at least good photos here, we can possibly steer you to an owner's manual for your guns.

SOME guns, like a S&W revolver, really do not need disassembly for routine maintenance. Some do.

Products? The standard cleaner for about 100 years has been Hoppes #9. There ARE other products. Another good one is CLP- Clean, Lube, Protect.

Depending on what you have, you may need something to clean the bores. Traditionally that meant a cleaning rod, bores brushes, patch holder and patches. Again, there are other systems.

For now, you might limit yourself to wiping down the metal exterior of the guns with a lightly oiled soft cloth (a light oil, such as Rem-oil, or even 3-1 will do) Avoid WD-40.

However, please remember RULE NUMBER ONE- ALWAYS clear a firearm YOURSELF before assuming it is not loaded. Again, we get folks here with experience levels ranging from greener than grass, to gun manufacturers- we don't know you, nor your comfort level.

If you're experienced, good to go. If you need some guidance, let us know, we'll try to help.

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Old 08-26-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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very good suggestions given so far. and i agree with all of them. first rule though is to practice safe gun handling practices, such as making sure it's unloaded.

gun cleaning is an important part of how well a gun functions and retains it's value also. an improperly cared for firearm is worth much less than the same firearm cleaned and maintained that looks almost like new.

if unsure, by all means let a gunsmith take care of them for you. also, many gunsmiths would probably be glad to show you how to take care of them, and show you how to clean them. find a good and competent gunsmith and get to know him. let him clean them and check them out to make sure they are still safe to operate.

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:05 AM   #6
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yes. safety is number one.. Couldn't agree more.
And ty for the replies. I do appreciate it, beleive me.

I'd say I'm somewhat mechanically inclined, so long as the instructions or illustrations are clear. If we're talking disassembly, are there any decent sets of screwdrivers, punch sets that would be under $100? If I can't afford the proper tools, or just not comfortable, it might be a better idea for those needing takedown/disassembly to go to gunsmith. Speaking of which, I found out -- there are NONE in yellow pages. But I'm hoping i might get lucky.

I will definitely post some more info about which models I have and/or pictures. I found two cleaning kits locally; hoppes deluxe and outers 28pc deluxe. The difference seems to be that the hoppes has #9 solvent, lubrication oil..

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:22 AM   #7
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Yes, you can get some decent screwdriver sets for well under $100. I have a set of Chapman's that I have used for 25 years- one handle, 1 extension, one rachet, set of hollow ground bits. But push come to shove, check Lowes and Home Depot for some of the $8-$9 sets they run on sale. Key thing is a curved, hollow ground bit that FITS the screw slot (file to fit if needed) Won't slip, won't bugger up screw heads.

You can wait a bit for punches for most guns- I usually make the ones I need for a specific purpose- usually a bit of brass.

Owner's Manuals- a LOT of makers have them on line. Here is a source of a LOT of manuals- http://stevespages.com/page7b.htm (Plug- if you guys use Steves stuff, send him a buck to keep the website going)

As far as routine maintenance, you should be able to do that on your own- as millions of soldiers have done routine cleaning of their firearms since..... well, since they HAD firearms!

Your use of the term "Yellow Pages" dates you. Google "gun repair" and name of your city.

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:47 AM   #8
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awesome. bookmarked

I just mean in the general sense. Google brought up a forum that I could post/msg.. but thats it so far. I'm sure if I did, I should eventually find a name/email. I also looked for ranges/clubs, but there's only one here...

Maybe a stupid question but do you need alot of different bits types (philips, sloted, torx, hex, robertson), or just making sure it is the correct type? I have a 56-piece set that came with my drill. They seem to fit the bill..

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:59 AM   #9
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MOST firearms use slotted screws. I have one 45 (a ParaOrdnance) that also needs a hex wrench. Dan Wesson Revolvers use little allen screws (comes on their combination tool) but those are some of the few exceptions.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:15 AM   #10
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Barrel cleaning-

ATF will loosen up old dirt,

Clear-strip brush solvent will wash it down,

Mobil1 will lube it for you.

DO NOT use these products on the exterior or finish

of your guns-

barrel cleaning ONLY

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