Mosin-Nagant First Cleaning Questions


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MrSpiffy
December 11, 2008, 09:41 PM
I purchased a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 from Gander Mountain a couple weeks ago, and am curious as to what I need to do to get it ready for use.

The gun is clean on the outside. I realize I need to clean the barrel before firing. But do I need to degrease the rest of the action? Or is the grease fine? It looks like the bolt and action were greased up for rust prevention and/or lubrication. Should I use grease on those items? Or should I use gun oil?

I'm new to the whole gun thing, so I'm still getting acquainted with everything. :)

Thanks!

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sturmgewehr667
December 11, 2008, 09:44 PM
that grease is called cosmoline. you will eventually hate it. you can shoot the gun with it on there, but you should bake the stock in the oven and degrease the action to get all the cosmoline out.

NCsmitty
December 11, 2008, 10:06 PM
You also need to thoroughly clean the chamber area as it can cause stuck cases from firing if there is still cosmoline in the chamber. It is often difficult to remove if it has dried and stuck to the chamber walls. Sometimes a shotgun brush will help.

NCsmitty

chemistpc5
December 11, 2008, 10:07 PM
you'll enjoy your new gun. Definitely clean the barrel of cosmoline. Someone said you needed to boil it to break it free. I think you can use a good solvent a wire brush and plenty of elbow grease. I looked down the barrel of a mosin that I thought the barrel was rusted but a gunsmith told the owner to remove the cosmoline from their 60 year new gun. I was fascinated by the barrel length. Does your gun have the standard barrel or carbine? Good luck.M

Nugilum
December 11, 2008, 10:16 PM
You clean a Mosin Nagant? :confused:

BigNYMini
December 11, 2008, 11:00 PM
Uber war sticks need baths too :D

jws527
December 11, 2008, 11:13 PM
I've used the same basic procedure on all of my cosmo encrusted C&R rifles: a good dousing with hot (near boiling) water followed by warm water with dish soap. Repeat if necessary. It may not be the absolute fastest method, but it's clean, cheap, and easy (I try to avoid working with solvents and other chemicals whenever possible). Then dry it and lube it as normal with your favorite preservative (I use Breakfree).

Wooden stocks can be wrapped in newspaper and then placed inside a black plastic garbage bag and left in the sun, perhaps on the dashboard of a vehicle. This should allow the cosmo embedded in the stock to leak out - though you may consider leaving at least some of it in there, since it does help to preserve the wood (some may bubble to the surface from time to time if the bore gets hot enough while shooting - not a big deal).

WardenWolf
December 11, 2008, 11:15 PM
LPS Electro Contact Cleaner. Get a spray bottle of that. It will soon be your friend. One of the best damn degreasers I've ever seen. And doesn't wreck stuff.

MrSpiffy
December 11, 2008, 11:34 PM
Thanks for all the great advice! :)

I got a little over-anxious and did a bit of cleaning already. I used some Hoppe's #9 to take the grease out of the barrel (with a bore snake) and from the bolt, and used some on qtips in the chamber area to get into the tougher spots. I did not take the action apart, as I don't have a set of brass punches to drift the pins out. But I did take the bolt entirely apart and degrease it. I then sprayed everything on the bolt, and where it slides, with Break Free CLR. It definitely slides nicely, now.

Will I still need to do some cleaning on the action? Or is the grease okay in there for now? Is it safe to fire, at this point?

MrSpiffy
December 11, 2008, 11:38 PM
I was fascinated by the barrel length. Does your gun have the standard barrel or carbine?

Mine's a standard barrel length, not a carbine. It looks to be an all-original 91/30, actually. All the numbers seem to match.

expvideo
December 12, 2008, 03:09 AM
What I did was got a big plastic container, broke the whole thing down, and put all of the metal parts in the container. Then I sprayed them with brake cleaner, scrubbed them, sprayed them again, and so on until they were clean.

I took the stock and put it in the bathtub. I boiled a large pot of water, poured it over the stock and scrubbed. I repeated this step about a half-dozen times. I let the stock dry, lightly sanded it, gave it a few coats of that wood oil that's name escapes me at the moment, and gave it three sealing coats of ployurithane semi-gloss. This whole process took about a week. Then I used a gun blueing pen to fix the worn areas of the blueing on the metal parts, gave them all a bath in Marvel Mystery oil, did a final cleaning of the barrel, and put it all back together.

It was a lot of work, but I ended up with a beautiful piece of WWII memorabilia that functions beautifully. I purchased a Mosin sling for it, and I was even more happy with it. I ended up giving it to my dad because his hunting rifles were stolen, but while I had it it was one of my favorite guns. It was absolutely stunning once I had it cleaned up. It was a lot of work, but it was completely worth it.

MrSpiffy
December 12, 2008, 07:00 AM
You definitely put plenty of hard work into yours to make it shine! :) Nothing wrong with that at all. I'm sure it's absolutely gorgeous.

I'm not looking to refinish the stock or anything, at this point. I may do that down the road, as it is a bit worn in some places. (Plus, my wife probably wouldn't be terribly excited about me smelling up the place and using her bathtub for a slop sink. We have an apartment...) But I just want to make sure it's good to go for use at the range. I'm guessing that the cleaning I did will be adequate. But I just wanted to know if there's grease in the action, and if I need to remove it or not. I'm sure it'd make it shoot better, if I did remove it and use some Break Free instead of grease. But I don't have a set of punches to take everything apart, nor do I want to. (I was intimidated enough by stripping the bolt apart. Yeah... can you tell I'm new to this? :scrutiny: )

expvideo
December 12, 2008, 08:47 AM
You can take the whole thing apart with a flathead screwdriver. Remove the bolt, undo the screw at the very back of the receiver. Flip the gun over. Undo the screw at the front of the mag well. Loosen the two metal bands that hold the stock and the piece of wood that covers the barrel together. Now you can simply lift the barrel and receiver out of the stock.

Seriously, it breaks down that easily.

Korbin
December 12, 2008, 11:30 AM
Hey I'm in the exact same boat. I bought a 91/30 and cleaned my barrel out with Hoppe's No. 9. It blinds me when I look through the barrel now so I guess it's good.

I was toying with the idea of taking mine to be inspected by a gunsmith before I shoot it. Anybody see any reason to do that? Or am I just being overly cautious?

Let us know what happens, Mr. Spiffy. I'll do the same.

expvideo
December 12, 2008, 12:09 PM
I was toying with the idea of taking mine to be inspected by a gunsmith before I shoot it. Anybody see any reason to do that? Or am I just being overly cautious?
There's no such thing as overly cautious when it comes to firearms, but I think you'll probably be fine without consulting a gunsmith. Just make sure that you have everything cleaned out of the barrel.

WardenWolf
December 12, 2008, 01:04 PM
I would, simply because bolts and other components of these guns were sometimes swapped around. This can create headspacing issues. Or you can just buy a headspace gauge and test it yourself.

My M91/30 was bought from a veteran at the gun show. He'd hand selected a good one, but injuries he'd sustained meant he couldn't handle the recoil anymore. He'd already gotten all the cosomoline out, and had been shooting it, so it had already been effectively put through its paces. Anyone who knows these guns know they can look great but have a shot barrel or they can look like crap but have an excellent barrel. Mine looks pretty good, but the barrel is excellent.

Wedge
December 12, 2008, 01:41 PM
Brake cleaner, mineral spirits, paint brush, pan to catch the drippings.

Take it all apart, clean it with above and put it back together.

The stock may "sweat" cosmo for a while. Try and bake it out or leave in the sun if you can, it definitely helps.

MrSpiffy
December 14, 2008, 06:53 PM
I didn't realize the gun breaks down so easily! Maybe I'll have to take it apart to clean and lube the action a bit.

I did take it out yesterday and had a great time. If anyone's interested in how it shot, here's a little range report:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5154760#post5154760

Avenger
December 14, 2008, 07:39 PM
You can take the whole thing apart with a flathead screwdriver.
Actually, if you want to get into the whole "Mosin Experience", take a look at the tip of the bayonet. It's a perfect #2 flathead screwdriver tip. Any pins in the action are also removable by using the tip of a bullet as a punch (don't hit it with a hammer, please!) to get them moving, then you can use the pliers-ish end of the magazine floorplate to pull the pin the rest of the way out.

BTW yes, I did indeed have too much time and not enough ammo on my hands.

Gottahaveone
December 14, 2008, 07:49 PM
You can thank me later :neener:

http://www.7.62x54r.net/

MrSpiffy
December 14, 2008, 11:01 PM
Actually, if you want to get into the whole "Mosin Experience", take a look at the tip of the bayonet. It's a perfect #2 flathead screwdriver tip. Any pins in the action are also removable by using the tip of a bullet as a punch (don't hit it with a hammer, please!) to get them moving, then you can use the pliers-ish end of the magazine floorplate to pull the pin the rest of the way out.

BTW yes, I did indeed have too much time and not enough ammo on my hands.

I would've never thought of that! :scrutiny: That's ingenious!!

You can thank me later

Already know about it. Definitely a great resource. ;)

wacki
December 14, 2008, 11:07 PM
Here is a pdf instruction on how to clean a Mosin:

http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/cosmoline/pdf/cosmoline.pdf

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