Cosmoline!!! Need HELP...
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default Cosmoline!!! Need HELP...

Need some input on the best ways to remove cosmoline from a SKS I just purchased. I was planning on completely stripping the rifle and soaking the metal parts in mineral spirits. Is this a good approach or would kerosene/ gasoline be better? How bout WD-40 or carb cleaner? How about the wood. can a blow dryer work to help "bleed out" or mabey an oven at very low temp? Any help would be great; I want to get this done as easily and efficiently as can be done.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:44 AM   #2
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DO NOT US GASman spare your self from catching on fire! Kerosene works good on metal I do not know about the wood. I think if you wear some gloves and safety glasses while using a cotton rag that is soaked in kerosene and take some time it will do the job for you. You can soak metal in the kerosene with no damage done. A quick wiping will not harm the wood, after you get the creosote off I would put on a few coats of tung oil. Also lay the rags you use out flat and outside, as if you smash them up with creosote and kerosene on them they may spontaneously com bust. Don't mean to be a safety nut but I've had some nasty creosote burns on my skin and I can't imagine the stuff in your eyes...

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Old 09-10-2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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If you have access to a solvent tank I would use that. Maybe a psi washer. Lots of Q-Tips and lots of time.

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Old 09-10-2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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Brake cleaner for the metal parts works as well as anything, it's it pretty cheap compared to commercial gun solvents (Gun Scrubber, etc.). Really hot running water and a stiff brush works without the need for solvents. A heat gun, a lot of time with a hair dryer or suspended over a wood stove will leech the cosmoline from the wood.

If you're single, the oven would work pretty well I bet, just check it often and wipe away any oils immediately so they don't just sit there and cook.

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Old 09-10-2008, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK37 View Post
Need some input on the best ways to remove cosmoline from a SKS I just purchased. I was planning on completely stripping the rifle and soaking the metal parts in mineral spirits. Is this a good approach or would kerosene/ gasoline be better? How bout WD-40 or carb cleaner? How about the wood. can a blow dryer work to help "bleed out" or mabey an oven at very low temp? Any help would be great; I want to get this done as easily and efficiently as can be done.
Is brake cleaner and carb. cleaner about the same or is one better for this job? Anybody know if WD-40 will help too ?
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:30 PM   #6
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I tend to use heat.

Put it in your oven on the top rack on broil, heat as low as it will go. Put a cookie sheet underneath it to catch the droppings.

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Old 09-10-2008, 07:41 PM   #7
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I use gas or carb cleaner to remove cosmoline. Either one does a pretty good job of getting it all off there. Put some gas on some patches and wipe the areas you can get to, you can soak parts which have hard to reach areas on them.

Yes, it can be dangerous to use gas, but use your head and DON'T smoke while using it and you'll be fine. Do it outside or in the garage to keep the fumes out of the house.

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Old 09-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #8
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Stay away from the gas. Warmth works well on wood- wrap in brown paper bags, put in a black plastic garbage bag, lay in sun. surplusrifle.com has some good info on getting cosmo off. Be sure to clean bolt really well- there is no firing pin spring, and one stuck in cosmoline will make your rifle go full auto- NOT a good experience.

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Old 09-10-2008, 10:11 PM   #9
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I cleaned my YUGO and my Chinese with K1 kerosene took less than a Gal. to do both,other tools used small 2' wide paint brush two cheap stiff tooth brushes and my 200 psi air compressor. I took the trigger group,bolt,magazine all the springs and gas piston & short rod and let them soak while doing the receivers. Kerosene is less flammable then the other cleaners plus I reused it to burn brush piles later.

I wear some old rubber gloves coat the receiver from one end to the other and let it soak for about 15 min. Then use a combination of the two brushes to scrub it,if I come across a place I can't get into I use the high pressure air to blow it out,kerosene soften and dissolves the cosmo really well. Once it's clean I wipe it down dry and used the air to blow any remaining cleaner and gunk out of area's I can't wipe off and then applied a very light coat of oil over the entire receiver and barrel. Go ahead and clean the bore and ream the chamber out while you at this stage and do the gas port inside the gas block as well.

Next I take each individual part and do the same with them,I leave the gas piston dry once cleaned,lightly oil the trigger group and use gun grease where needed,I clean the gas tube like it were a rifle barrel using patches and a appropriate size bore brush. As far as the bolt goes I use a different method I boil mine for about 45 min. Every 15 min I grab it with some tongs and work the bolt back and forth which moves the firing pin inside the bolt,then blast it from front and back with high pressure air then back in the pot,I repeat the process about three times.

It's worked for me for the past three years with no problems each time I clean my SKS I wash the bolt down with cheap brake clean the kind that leaves no residue,I also make sure I put about 1/3 of a can through the firing pin hole and I don't and you shouldn't use any oil or grease on the firing pin area whatsoever. Some like to take the bolt apart and thats fine do what you feel most comfortable with,I shoot mostly reloads so I don't have much of a problem with my rifle getting as dirty as I would using some of the Russian ammo.

When reassembling repack the short rod and spring under the rear sight with some quality molly or gun grease I put a little gun grease or molly grease in my hand and work it into the recoil spring. leave the gas piston and inside of the tube dry unless it going into longterm storage any oil there just helps the residue build up quicker. Use your favorite gun oil and grease sparingly more is not always better it just attract more dirt. As far as the stock goes I sweated mine out in the hot sun water and chemicals aren't the best thing to use on these types of stocks that have been soaking in cosmo for 30+ years,sometime it makes the grain of the wood swell and can cause things like the trigger group not to fit back in tightly . Take your time and do it right the first time around and you will have allot more time shooting than dealing with problems.

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Old 09-11-2008, 01:34 AM   #10
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What Res45 said! My Yugo was PACKED with cosmoline in every nook and cranny - it took me almost 3 hours to clean it properly. I used #2 heating oil (similar to kerosene, same as diesel fuel) and brake cleaner, I used #2 oil because I am in the oil business and I had a whole truck full! To do it right you must remove the barreled action from the stock, take the magazine off, gas tube and piston/spring. Remove everything you can and scrub witha tooth brush. Make sure you clean the bore of all grease before firing the gun! I refinished the stock also - it became very sticky from some of the solvent, and since it was a rough finish I sanded and re-oiled it. It came out nice for an SKS.

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