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Silver Bullet Member
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Hi Paul,

The first rule is to do no harm. Most will need no more than a light wipe with a slightly damp oily soft cloth on the metal (q-tips for the nooks and crannies), and a light wipe down of the wood with a slightly damp (water) cloth. Bores can be passed through with any good gun oil and a patch. Milsurps and other C&R guns don't need to be pretty, and certainly don't need any altered original finish. If finish gets damaged, history and value are lost.

Now, if some have deteriorated with invasive rust/mold etc., a little more careful cleaning may be in order to halt the rot. Take a look at the following link from 7.62X54r.net. It has some suggestions which can be employed for the tougher cases.

Less is always more when it comes to cleaning!

Best of luck for your friend.

http://62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinCleaning.htm
 

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There is actually something I have been thinking about for a while in terms of proper cleaning procedures, which is compatibility of different cleaners and lubricants (both between the two and mutual within each category). I don't mean to hijack the thread - I just wanted to continue the discussion of the OP's topic. I believe industrial procedures for changing lubricant types can be quite strict - you first remove all traces of the old lubricant through proper cleaning and then introduce a new one. With guns though it can be a huge - let's say, burden :). However, imagine: what if some specific pairs of cleaners/lubes are chemically incompatible and would produce an undesirable chemical reaction, with the outcome being, say, toxic or corrosive? Or simply causing the lube properties to degrade? I may be overthinking this, but, with a myriad cleaners and lubricants on the market with all sorts of different formulations, it's hypothetically possible. Has anyone had bad experiences with chemical incompatibilities? I only had a suspected case of incompatibility between a polypropylene hardware box and the oil on the gun I stored in it (it seemed to have caused corrosion at the place of contact, which was a wake-up call - I am now much more mindful of what touches what).
 

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Diamond Bullet Member
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As said, don't "improve" them by refinishing stocks and such, which will ruin them for collectors.

If unfired, a good old classic Hoppe's #9 patch or two through the bores followed by dry patches followed by a lightly oiled patch should do fine.

Wipe down the metal with a rag lightly soaked in CLP or good gun oil.

Don't wax the stocks but if they are very dirty (unlikely) a light rub with Murphy's Oil Soap and quick drying with a towel is all they need.

Real light surface rust is another story -I use Blue Magic Metal Cream followed by CLP, again not needed if the guns have been cared for.

Many industrial chemicals like carb cleaner will destroy stock finishes and even bluing, so use old-school gun products only.
 

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I'd add that storage goes hand-in-hand with cleaning. I'm sure it's like cleaning though: lots of effective ways to accomplish the task.

My best advice is for this guy to join the 'boards. He can ask specific questions, discuss special cases, get historical information on said firearms, as well as sell them to people who will treat them with respect , should he ever grow tired of anything.
 

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Hi Paul,

The first rule is to do no harm. Most will need no more than a light wipe with a slightly damp oily soft cloth on the metal (q-tips for the nooks and crannies), and a light wipe down of the wood with a slightly damp (water) cloth. Bores can be passed through with any good gun oil and a patch. Milsurps and other C&R guns don't need to be pretty, and certainly don't need any altered original finish. If finish gets damaged, history and value are lost.

Now, if some have deteriorated with invasive rust/mold etc., a little more careful cleaning may be in order to halt the rot. Take a look at the following link from 7.62X54r.net. It has some suggestions which can be employed for the tougher cases.

Less is always more when it comes to cleaning!

Best of luck for your friend.

http://62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinCleaning.htm
I'm a believer in highly diluted Murphy's soap in water for cleaning the years of filth away. Key words "highly diluted."
 

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+1. I'm another fan of highly diluted Murphy's Oil Soap.

I learned about it from a skilled caretaker at the National Cathedral, cleaning intricate wood carvings very carefully. He said it was all they would ever use on rare or delicate wood and he had worked in museums before that.

Since my guns are my cathedral, I figured it was good enough for them.

I'm a believer in highly diluted Murphy's soap in water for cleaning the years of filth away. Key words "highly diluted."
 

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Just make sure they are cleaned after shooting, especially with any military surplus ammo that is corrosive. But if the bores are dirty or rusty a thorough cleaning should be implemented. Hoppes9 or whatever other cleaning agent someone likes if they already have a preference. Otherwise, there is good advice here above for helping to preserve and keep clean and doing preventative maintenance to help them last a long time. Could help to know the condition of them and if they were shot and not cleaned or what. But it's always nice to preserve their originality as much as possible, especially if they are historically significant!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Gents, I'm good and I will pass these cleaning tips on to my Friend.

Have a Great 4th of July

A Historical note on the 4[SUP]th [/SUP]of July;

we declared our Independence from Great Briton on the 4th Of July 1776, however we did not secure our Independence until the defeat of the British at the Battle of Yorktown on 19 October 1781 !

It's one thing to Declare Independence, but it only counts if you Win it !

Should we not celebrate 19 October as well ?
 

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And a further note on this our coming celebratory 4th of July, "Independence Day Should Have Been July 2 –July 2, 1776 is the day that the Continental Congress actually voted for independence. John Adams, in his writings, even noted that July 2 would be remembered in the annals of American history and would be marked with fireworks and celebrations. The written Declaration of Independence was dated July 4 but wasn't actually signed until August 2. Fifty-six delegates eventually signed the document, although all were not present on that day in August." And back to the OP, I agree with all who say clean as little as you can and 'cause no harm' as I learned after I stripped my 1943 91-30 stock and made her purty! Looks good but ruined historically. I have learned a lot here.

paul
 

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Take a dremil with polishing pads and the green buffing compound and....
Like others have said
the point is to preserve the Rifle, how it's done can greatly affect the value
collectors will want it as close as possible to original condition
if it's been through 4 years of hard fighting, trying to make it like showroom new ain't going to sell it to those who know
 

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There is actually something I have been thinking about for a while in terms of proper cleaning procedures, which is compatibility of different cleaners and lubricants (both between the two and mutual within each category). I don't mean to hijack the thread - I just wanted to continue the discussion of the OP's topic. I believe industrial procedures for changing lubricant types can be quite strict - you first remove all traces of the old lubricant through proper cleaning and then introduce a new one. With guns though it can be a huge - let's say, burden :). However, imagine: what if some specific pairs of cleaners/lubes are chemically incompatible and would produce an undesirable chemical reaction, with the outcome being, say, toxic or corrosive? Or simply causing the lube properties to degrade? I may be overthinking this, but, with a myriad cleaners and lubricants on the market with all sorts of different formulations, it's hypothetically possible. Has anyone had bad experiences with chemical incompatibilities? I only had a suspected case of incompatibility between a polypropylene hardware box and the oil on the gun I stored in it (it seemed to have caused corrosion at the place of contact, which was a wake-up call - I am now much more mindful of what touches what).
Don't overthink it. C&R guns are simple steel and wood mechanisms and I've never heard of any such reactions. Best to pull the stock off, clean metal with mineral spirits or alcohol, wipe everything with a lightly greased rag, clean bore with greased patch, clean wood by wiping with a linseed oil finish, and reassemble when the wood dries. If the bores are really bad use very hot water, a touch of hand dishwashing detergent, and scrub the bores, then grease when dry.
I use RIG grease. Penn Reel grease works as well, is cheaper, but is so thick it doesn't look shiny. Oils just do not last, are only good for guns shot and cleaned regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago....

William Faulkner, “Intruder in the Dust”
 

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Well I just got in a Finnish Mosin with what is a very nice stock on it - though it got a real storage ding recently by the look of it. But my cleaning issue is the presence here and there on the stock of collections of tiny black beads of what I surmise is petrified preservative that oozed from the stock under heat, then solidified. These things as I said are clustered, no bigger and a lot smaller, than a pin head. I've been thinking of a hair dryer and a soft cloth. Any suggestions?
 

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The great hunter Frederick Selous wrote in 1907 that all he did to his rifles in the field was to pour three cups of nearly boiling water down the breech with a funnel in camp after hunting all day.

(Followed, I assume, by a patch to dry and then an oily patch.)

Don't overthink it. C&R guns are simple steel and wood mechanisms and I've never heard of any such reactions. Best to pull the stock off, clean metal with mineral spirits or alcohol, wipe everything with a lightly greased rag, clean bore with greased patch, clean wood by wiping with a linseed oil finish, and reassemble when the wood dries. If the bores are really bad use very hot water, a touch of hand dishwashing detergent, and scrub the bores, then grease when dry.
I use RIG grease. Penn Reel grease works as well, is cheaper, but is so thick it doesn't look shiny. Oils just do not last, are only good for guns shot and cleaned regularly.
 

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That's for the corrosive primers of the day. With a touch of detergent, brass brush, followed by patch and lube works as well as any commercial bore cleaner.
 
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