Cleaning a Russian rifle


March 6, 2011, 09:53 PM
Did them Rooskies ever CLEAN their rifles?
Ok, I bought a Russian bolt rifle. A 7.62 X 54R Mosin Nagant from Cabellas. Paid $89.95 for it plus shipping. Worth every penny I paid. (I think) All matching numbers, including the bayonet. I began to clean the bore. Patch after patch with solvent came out dirty. Then I attacked it with copper solvent and brushes. I've used several bore cleaning solvents, a bunch of brushes, & a pile of patches now for four days. I think that by now I have removed enough copper and enough powder residue from the bore to offer up the copper to a scrap metal dealer. I have a stack of blue, (then green) used patches that resembles a snowdrift.
Under a bore light, the bore now appears to be pretty clean with bright sharp rifling. BUT, I still get slightly dark patches when I run a clean patch through the bore. Folks believe me when I tell you that I have cleaned the H - - - out of that bore. It is finally coming to be fairly clean and the patches turn only light blue after sitting in the bore for about 10 minutes. (as opposed to turning dark purple and then bileous green)
I don't think that this rifle ever had its bore cleaned properly for copper or powder fouling.
And yet the Rooskies killed a lot of Germans with these rifles.
Any of youse got stories about how dirty your Mosey bore was?


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March 6, 2011, 10:00 PM
I gave up after about 30 patches. If its been dirty for 70+ years then it should be fine if I clean it after I shoot it. If being dirty was seriously harmful to these guns, they wouldn't be around today, it seems.

March 6, 2011, 10:03 PM
Here is a good resource (

I used the instructions to clean the Mosin that I recently picked up. YMMV.

There is a lot of history and other resources on the site. Hope it helps.

March 6, 2011, 11:17 PM
Nope, been cleaning it since I got it, and I clean it good when I do, and the chambers is the first to get the cosmo worked outta.

I use boiling water and some dish soap with a bronze brush, when I have it and the bore is as new today as when it was made.

I have had the same problems, with other rifles as you, but with shooting and scrubbing, it all gets better with time and sweat.

Mosin Nagant's are Awsome.

Frozen North
March 6, 2011, 11:37 PM
I feel your pain. I got so many blue patches out of my latest 91-30, you would swear they were firing smurfs through there.

Don't even get me started on getting the cosmo off of it! ;)

March 6, 2011, 11:39 PM
In Soviet Russia, you don't clean gun. Gun cleans YOU!

March 6, 2011, 11:44 PM
I've had good results with OVERSIZED brushes in the 8mm range, a bench vise, a high-quality cleaning rod and bore gel. You mount the barrel, sans stock, in the vice, scrub the bore a bit, run patches, and repeat.

Trouble with leaving it is the corrosion will continue. The rough surface will trap corrosive crud as you shoot it more. Whether or not the barrel is too far gone to worry about anymore is a judgment call. One thing you can do in the future is spend some extra for a hand pick minty bore.

fireman 9731
March 7, 2011, 12:11 AM
All of mine have had new bores in them, but a Bore Snake can do in 15 seconds what 50 patches can do in 30 minutes.

March 7, 2011, 05:09 PM
+1 Fireman. Got one for ALL my guns. ESPECIALLY if you have a Mosin. Shoot 10 rounds of wolf, and it's dirty again... >.< You burn patches trying to clean them - one or two passes with my snake, and it's bright and shiny again. They're well worth the $15 or so! :)

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