Need help with M1 Garand from CMP


October 3, 2006, 07:55 PM
Well, I finally received my Correct Grade M1 Garand (H&R) and it was worth the wait. The metal finish is unblemished and the wood is 95%, with just a few minor dings. I am extremely pleased. However, I could use some help. The receiver and barrel are covered with an orange wax preservative. The wood has just a touch of it. I will break the gun down and remove it from the stock, but I know some of the upper wood is difficult to remove. I plan on leaving the handguard on.

Can anyone recommend a good method of removing the wax without marring the wood finish. I was thinking of heating it with a hair dryer, but I figured I would get a good method here as there are plenty of M1 owners at this site.

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Steve in PA
October 3, 2006, 08:07 PM
Its called cosmoline. Break the rifle down, take the stock and/or any other parts you want to clean either use the tub or go outside. Use liberal amounts of mineral spirits with some brushes to really work it into the nooks and crannied of the wood. Use water to rinse everything away.

You don't want to soak the stock with water. There is another method that you will find on Garand boards which includes using a dishwasher. Just make sure you turn it off before it hits the drying cycle.

October 3, 2006, 11:49 PM
I second the mineral spirits. You can pick up a wallpaper tray at Home Depot or Ace Hardware or whatever. Put the stock in , pour some in, and use a paintbrush to work it around; it'll really cut the old grease and oil out of the wood.

Two good things about this way: unlike if water soaks in this won't mess up any proof marks or cartouches in the wood, and when you're done it dries fairly quickly.

October 3, 2006, 11:58 PM
A lot of the Greek returns have a different type of preservative on them. It's not cosmoline. I haven't seen the orange wax you are talking about, but I did receive a couple service grades with a white/clear wax on the wood. I removed it using mineral spirits.

As far as removal of the rear handguard, it's not difficult. Just pull forward and turn. Removing the metal tab off the rear handguard is another issue altogether, and you won't be doing that unless you're swapping metal between handguards.

October 4, 2006, 01:13 AM
Since you said "collector", you may want to be patient and thoroughly research what you're about to do.
You spent the money for a reason, I assume, and one quick way to devalue that Collector is to clean the stock with mineral spirits or put it in the dishwasher or anything else that might change the nature of the stock.

If you don't care, and want to clean it up and shoot it, go ahead and go for it.

But check out the link below to a discussion of exactly this.

Steve in PA
October 4, 2006, 02:16 AM
"Correct" is not the same as "collector"

Correct grade means it will have all Springfield or Winchester parts.

Collector means it will not only have all the same parts, but the same exact parts that the rifle were manufactured with.

Cleaning with mineral spirits will not ruin or de-value your rifle. The dishwasher method may as any cartouche's may be lost.

October 4, 2006, 02:46 AM
We just (today) got our Correct Grade H&R M1 Garand from CMP. Please follow the link below before you ruin a nice rifle.

You may also want to go here for some new screws for the Stacking Swivel and the Furrel since most are staked in place and difficult to remove without some damage.

Steve in PA
October 4, 2006, 03:04 AM
When my 1903A3 came it was covered, I mean covered in cosmoline. So much that I needed to put on rubber gloves to handle it. I stripped it down and cleaned everything with mineral spirits. All the cartouches are still preserved, but on hot, sunny days some of the cosmoline will still bleed from the stock.

October 4, 2006, 08:50 AM
1903A3 covered in cosmoline? Yup, I've been there:

October 4, 2006, 09:03 AM
My 1903A3 wasn't much better than that last one. My service grade Greek HRA M1 did not have much cosmoline at all.

October 4, 2006, 01:52 PM
That 1903 looks just like my .308 (sic) Philippino Enfield when I got it. Swimming in the stuff. Still haven't got it all out of the stock.:D

Dr. Dickie
October 4, 2006, 02:29 PM
I got one Garand and two 03's that were caked in the stuff. Then my last Garand (Greek bring back-service grade) that I got last month, only had a little on it. True crap shoot.
I take the cosmo off with Strypeeze (yep, it even cuts the cosmo off the metal). Then I finish the wood with tung oil. I have not seen any damage from doing that way, but if I had a correct grade, I might do it different.

October 4, 2006, 09:13 PM
CMP service grade a got a couple weeks ago had just a little bit of cosmo on it. Nothing a little bit of mineral spirts and an old paint brush didn't take care of.

October 4, 2006, 09:31 PM
I will admit that mine is relatively clean, compared to some I've seen. I just want to thank the group for all the great answers I've received. I get the feeling that if you guys lived next door, I wouldn't even have to clean the rifle. The lot of you would fight it out over who gets to clean it. Thanks for all the help.

October 5, 2006, 09:52 AM
Nice looking '03. from the pics shown it appears metal and wood condition are at least very good. just curious, what did the finished product look like?
I missed out on the last of the CMP '03's. I did just order a Field Grade Greek return. Just hoping for the best (it's my 1st Garrand). I don't think I'll be disappointed, just wish I had acted earlier to get the better condition Service Grade Greek.

October 6, 2006, 08:57 PM
i ordered up some cosmoline from CMP once and it came with an '03A3 hidden in it. i don't remember my garand having a whole lot on it. i've had some doozy surplus rifles though; 20 pounds of cosmo on 'em.

when i get them, i break them down and scrape all the cosmo off with toothpicks, toothbrushes, screwdrivers, etc. once i've gotten most of it off, i get a wet rag and a steam iron. wet the rag pretty good and fold it once or twice. lay it over the wood and put the iron on it for a couple of seconds. you'll steam out the dents and the heat will suck out most of the cosmoline. just keep the rag wet.

when i finish, i rub some tung oil on them to protect the wood, but it doesn't change the appearance of the wood.

October 6, 2006, 10:49 PM
Nice looking '03. from the pics shown it appears metal and wood condition are at least very good. just curious, what did the finished product look like?

These are the only 'after' photos I have. The stock looks a lot better now because I went at it with sandpaper. Yes, I know, blasphemy, but it was a rearsenal stock. Nothing rare.

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