I have done work on 4 Mosins in the last few years. Each time I used Engine Degreaser from Wally World on the metal. Take metal outside, put up a tarp so that the barrel can stand against the wall. Put the rest in an aluminum baking pan and spray until the metal is covered in the foam. Rinse the metal in the hottest water that I could stand and towel dry, never a problem. I will remove the old bluing (if necessary) and reblue the metal following the instructions from Birchwood of course.
As for the furniture, I always strip away the old finish then a wash it with paint thinner. I repeat the stripper and thinner routine about three or four times. Each time I let the furniture air dry until I can no longer smell the thinner. I raise any scratches or dents with an iron and damp cloth. Sand as needed #0000 steel wool and then I hand rub Tru-Oil onto the furniture and buff with the #0000 steel wool until I am satisfied with the finish.
Till this day I have not seen any other Mosins that look as good as mine. But then again, I am biased.
The difficult I do immediately, the impossible takes me a few minutes longer.
NRA, U.S. Army (Ret), AGA, F&AM
A Person has to stand for something, or they will fall for anything.
How different the new order would be if we could consult the Veteran instead of the Politician - Henry Miller
The Soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. - Gen. Douglas MacArthur