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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked this up a few days ago. Needed a new No. 1 Mk.III so I figured this would fit the bill for now. Didn’t cost too much, but the caveat was that I don’t know what I’m gonna see until I clean this gawd awful amount of cosmoline off.

1941 Ishapore with the grenade firing wire wrap. Appears to be matching from what I can see. Doesn’t seem like it’s in bad shape, but this has got to be the worst cosomoline mess I’ve ever seen out of the literal dozens of rifles I’ve cleaned up. The cosmoline looks worse in person than it does in the pictures.

Only real issue I see so far is the broken handguard, but I should be able to cannibalize one from a DP rifle.

Is there any easy way to get the stock off with the wire wrapping so I can clean the cosmoline off?

 

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You don’t want to remove the wire wrap. You’ll never get it back on and it’ll be boogered even more than it is.
Scrub with kerosine and nylon brushes and lots of rags
 

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Scrub with kerosene and nylon brushes and lots of rags
@MilsurpDan , I'll second LMs comment above. Any aromatic hydrocarbon will do to remove the grease - petrol, kerosene, turpentine, ethanol, acetone. They may be considered 'nasty' in the state of California (as most things are...) but they have worked forever and are the best choice for a rapid (well, hours, not weeks) and thorough job.

Don't be tempted by "nice" emvyromentully frendlee citrus strippers or other henbane based 'safe' agents. They just don't dissolve petroleum based greases which cosmolene is.

Your top handguard can be repaired in situ. Cut, form and glue a a supporting tongue under the rear piece to be glued to the underside of the existing front piece and it'll be as good as gold. The parts stores will have old, dark, crappy timbers - get one, as it will match. Spend a little time with a Japanese saw squaring off the existing timber and the replacement part. Use a quality wood timber, not poxy. No need to use poxy. Just in case I'm not clear, NO NEED TO USE EPOXY - it's hard to work with, unforgiving and really bloody hard to clean up afterwards. Quality PVA timber glue makes bonds stronger then the parent timber. Its why cabinet makers use it.

You'll have a very interesting rifle with a history in your colleciton in a short time. Revive the story, it's real.

Good find!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys! I’m gonna try to get the metal parts that I can remove off and remove the cosmoline. If I can’t get the wire wrapping off, then no big deal. Unfortunately it’s not hot enough outside where I can just sit it in the sun and let it all melt off.

Would acetone or any of the other mentioned solvents ruin the finish on the stock? I’d prefer to do the safest method. I have some mineral spirits, but I don’t know if that’ll mess up the stock finish or not.
 

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If I can’t get the wire wrapping off, then no big deal.

Would acetone or any of the other mentioned solvents ruin the finish on the stock? I’d prefer to do the safest method. I have some mineral spirits, but I don’t know if that’ll mess up the stock finish or not.
1. You can't, that wire wrapping is meant to be there permanently. You could re-wrap it, if you had time, patience and know-how. But it probably won't look like is now. So best put that dream aside.

2. None of the solvents will "ruin" the raw linseed oil finish on your stock. It's not a flash Weatherby custom 300 Win Mag hunter with gold inlaid engraving. It's a service rifle. The 'finish' you see is decades of filth, oil, sweat, grime, soil and other unmentionables. It is timber finished in raw linseed oil. Nuttin else...

Hope that helps..
 

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@MilsurpDan ,
No need to use poxy. Just in case I'm not clear, NO NEED TO USE EPOXY - it's hard to work with, unforgiving and really bloody hard to clean up afterwards. Quality PVA timber glue makes bonds stronger then the parent timber. Its why cabinet makers use it.
YEAH!!.....
Sorry. You made the old carpenter come out of me :cool:

Without repeating what has already been said, I'll just add a little.
Get any thoughts of unwrapping out of the mind right now. Too many have already gone that route back when they were dirt cheap and sacrificial. That is why we see so many buggered GF rifles on the secondary market today. Only the unlearned buy them before learning from that mistake. It also means those formerly dirt cheap rifles are worth more today when in unmolested condition.

Many tried to rewrap and failed miserably. Only a handful who were coached and could follow instructions succeeded. They knew to source the correct wire, build the proper jigs to suit the need, and could keep a keen eye on steady hands while maintaining proper tension.
Of those, only a couple (to the best of my knowledge) were able to tuck and solder correctly. That includes not setting the wood afire in the process.
When done, they needed to wait a long time for the correct patina to set in before the rifle looked "real" again. They may still be waiting for all I know?

What you have is an Enfield oddity left over from turbulent times. It was called upon to fulfill a need at a point in history. It's ugly but it's the real deal.
If you want a pretty rifle, buy another. Don't try to make this one better. Just degrease it so everyone can see what she is and had done.

You'll probably decide to get a cup launcher...maybe?

BTW, Yours is an earlier GF rifle. Not one of the thousands made up for India's post independence era partitioning civil strife and border skirmishes.
She may have been there, but was wearing the same ww2 dress she's wearing today..

For the sake of sentiment I wouldn't repair the handguard either. Call her a wounded war horse. Let her display a scar and tell a story.
 

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And I thought my was a mess. Not even close. You win. That should keep you busy for 3 days of cleaning. I wonder if the barrel is any good? My bet, it does not headspace on a FIELD gauge.
I'd lightly scrub the entire stock and rifle with mineral spirits using tooth brushes and clean cotton T shirt rags. It looks like a gallon or two will clean it. Parts that come off can be soaked in an open top, 5 gallon bucket filled with some gas. Let it sit over night to soak metal parts in gas. Then brush them down and reclean in mineral spirits to get rid of the gas smell. All left over dirty gas and mineral spirits can be used to spray poison ivy or poison oak. Just as good as Round Up. Any dirty rags utilized to clean that mess, throw in the burn barrel and get rid of ASAP-- not in the trash. What garbage pile did that rifle come from?
Here is my worst condition Enfield Cosmosaurus
 
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