Cleaning a Mosin Nagant barrel


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1-1 Banger
July 9, 2014, 05:07 PM
What is a good way to clean all the cosmoline and other assorted crap out of the barrel of a Mosin? I was thinking of getting some of that foaming Gunslick stuff or whatever it's called. I know I can only wring so much accuracy out of a 91/30 but I was planning on shooting it out as far as I can so I'd like the barrel to be as clean as humanly possible.

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TheVision
July 9, 2014, 05:50 PM
WD-40, kerosene, or diesel.

morcey2
July 9, 2014, 06:06 PM
Hot water.

After you get the cosmoline out, foaming bore cleaner is a great way to get the other fouling out. I've used the Gunslick version on quite a few mosins and mausers with good results.

Matt

Jackal
July 9, 2014, 06:25 PM
The single best tool for first time Mosin cleaning is Patience.:)

LUCKYDAWG13
July 9, 2014, 06:40 PM
take the barrel off the stock i used mineral spirits i put the action end in
a plastic tub and plugged that end and filled the barrel up let soak over night
i cleaned the wood with denatured alcohol just dap on a rag and wipe. dont
sand the wood you will find a lot of prof marks on the stock. when you restain
or you can just put the stock in a trash bag put it in your car on a hot day
and wipe all the cosmorline off lots of ways on YouTube

ArchAngelCD
July 9, 2014, 08:22 PM
Mineral spirits does work very well for removing cosmoline. I don't think bore foam will clean out the barrel until you get the cosmoline out.

Benzine and Petroleum naphtha mixed are best but both are hazardous and carcinogens so mineral spirits is much safer.

Dmitri Popov
July 9, 2014, 09:13 PM
Clean as you would a muzzleloader. Hot water is best. Take the barrel/action out of the stock and soak in a bathtube of very hot water. Clean. Repeat. Then plug end of barrel, and fill up bore with almost boiling water. Let sit for a while til the whole barrel is really hot. With an oven mit, dump out water and refill with hot water. Then dump, and clean. If you are still geting cosmoline, just repeat. I don't like using any harsh chemicals when I use a gun, not because I'm afraid I'll mess something up, but because due to a previous work accident my lungs are still very sensitive to certain chemical fumes. This method absolutly works, and your significant other won't complain about smells ;)

This is also the best way to clean your rifle after shooting corosive ammo.

Lj1941
July 9, 2014, 09:28 PM
The single best tool for first time Mosin cleaning is Patience.:)
AND A LOT OF ELBOW GREASE.When you think you have i

caribou
July 9, 2014, 09:35 PM
I used a rod and brush and push most of the gunk out in plugs. Once free of most of the cosmo, I then used solvents with the brush. I often use gasoline outside and a coffee can and flush/scrub/flush the bore with gas until its shiny and clean. Boiling hot water and a light oiling will complete the cleaning.

As above, removeing cosmo or just for routine cleaning, doing so with Boiling water is the best, cheapest and surest way to keep a barrel rust free. It will do a fine job for non corrosive ammo use as well. It works by dissolving the salts, as water does, and the heat will remove all the water as steam. I pour it from a kettle into the chamber, scrub, flush again, scrub, flush and shake the extra water off, then prop against a wall and let the steam out, and the heat cool off....Then a bit of solvent and patches, than a light oiling and your good to go.

Treat the chamber with chamber brush, or a 20 gauge brush, and be sure to get all the cosmo outta the chamber. If you dont, you can have issues with sticking cases.

I take the action outta the wood and I apply spare cosmo to the metal thats under the wood, barrel and action if it dosent have it.

westerbk
July 9, 2014, 09:45 PM
Well....what I did, and there was not a lot if cosmoline in my barrel was go out and shoot it. I put 20 rounds through it. Then gave it a good cleaning with CLP and the barrel brush. Shot it a few times since, spray the CLP down the barrel and run a bore snake through it about 4-5 times. The inside shines like a diamond.

But for the more traditional route....I would go with hot water just like cleaning my black powder rifle.

Steel Horse Rider
July 9, 2014, 11:03 PM
Mineral spirits or WD 40 work great for getting the bulk of the cosmoline out. Shoot it some and then swab with WD-40 again. Repeat about twenty times......

desidog
July 10, 2014, 11:32 AM
Its summer...I'd proceed in roughly this order:
Get some black trash bags, take the rifle apart, put the pieces in a trash bag or two, place said bags in direct sunlight on a hot day, drink a cold beer, stand by with 2-5 rolls of paper towel (depending on brand), and go 'til your elbow gives out...then repeat the beer and get back to work!

scaatylobo
July 10, 2014, 03:06 PM
This was told to me by a fellow shooter.

he was asked about cleaning corrosive ammo from a barrel,his STRONG suggestion was Ballistol.

I did that with both SMLE's and both MN's and so far NO rust or corrosion.

AND they did not require lots of elbow grease either.

I did reclean them a month later and got more crud from barrels = but no rust !.

Deus Machina
July 11, 2014, 05:54 AM
Out of the barrel, the quickest way is to push a very snug patch down the barrel. Then a second or even third. That takes care of 99% of it. Then scrub with patches and mineral spirits.
Worked for me.

midland man
July 11, 2014, 10:47 AM
after you get the grease out I recommend straight ammonia its what I use to remove copper you can get ammonia at your local store cheap and it eats copper and it doesn't hurt the barrel the wipes will come out blue as that's were the ammonia eats the copper out! when the wipes come out no more blue after several applications and soakings with brushing with plastic brushes once the rags or wipes come out no blue color on them then the copper is gone! :)

LeonCarr
July 11, 2014, 11:03 AM
Mix up a gallon of Ed's Red. That will get most of the cosmoline and powder fouling out, especially if soaked overnight.

For the copper fouling, 10% Janitor's Ammonia (Available at ACE Hardware) mixed with Ivory Soap will get the copper fouling out and the soap helps it stick to the bore and work better.

Both of the recipes for the above are available at www.frfrogspad.com under Homemade Cleaners and Lubricants. Use at your own risk and take all safety precautions.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

wendellgj
July 11, 2014, 11:05 AM
I was reading the wows of another trying all the solvents that deteriorate skin and lung tissue well along with doing a good job on your dishes. Some even made the (Cosmoline) harden but he finally tried gasoline which after all the other chemicals many of which have been mentioned here that did not work all that well cleaned it up exceptionally well. Of course gasoline is highly flammable and should be used outside in my opinion for ventilation, face shield, rubber gloves, the whole nine yards. How many of you have been in chemical accidents? Or subjected to enough residual solvents and heavy metals to cause central nervous system and muscle nerve damage? Us folks that love this subject ourselves to massive doses. Read the labels as it is a horrible way to live after you lose the above mentioned systems.

herrwalther
July 11, 2014, 12:50 PM
The single best tool for first time Mosin cleaning is Patience.

This and mineral spirits. Brake cleaner in an aerosol can is useful for getting out cosmoline that has worked down deep in the rifling. But mineral spirits will take care of the rest.

Palehorseman
July 12, 2014, 11:01 PM
take the barrel off the stock i used mineral spirits i put the action end in
a plastic tub and plugged that end and filled the barrel up let soak over night
i cleaned the wood with denatured alcohol just dap on a rag and wipe. dont
sand the wood you will find a lot of prof marks on the stock. when you restain
or you can just put the stock in a trash bag put it in your car on a hot day
and wipe all the cosmorline off lots of ways on YouTube
Most of the refurbed combloc Mosines have a shellac finish, (especially Russian ones) and alcohol is death incarnate to shellac.

M1GarandDeerHunter
July 13, 2014, 01:56 AM
I have cleaned up a bunch of these rifles, my standard proceedure is to disassemble the metal from the wood, boil a big pot of water with a little soap in it like Dawn, and pour it over the metal surfaces. It melts like butter. I push a jag thru the barrel to get cosmo out, the excess and then take a funnel and pour boiling water down the barrel. That usually get rid of most of it. While its steaming hot, I take soapy water and a tooth brush and scrub the nooks and crannys. This pretty much degreases the rifle. I follow with a cleaning with whatever gun solvent strikes my fancy (rifle bore cleaner, hoppes, clp whatever) and wipe her down. This puts oil back into the metal keep it from rusting. Last, but not least, take a 20 ga, or some larger synthetic brush, (I attach to a drill) and clean the chamber. Look it over carefully. Crud here leads to sticky operations. I clean the barrel with an ammonia based cleaner to get crud, copper or whatever is left. I wipe any excess grease out of the stock, typically there isnt that much. Lube her up, and reassemble. There are many ways to do it. This one doesnt cost much in the way of chemicals or solvents.
When I clean after using corrosive ammo, boiling water with a touch of soap and wipe out letting the heat dry the metal then standard cleaning procedure with a bore cleaner and oil. Never any rust problems. :D

RG7X
July 13, 2014, 07:58 AM
Boiling water and Windex. Usually shines up nicely and gets the job done. I tried the boiling water by itself once but after a few days I noticed a bunch of crud caking up in the bore.

Robbins290
July 13, 2014, 08:03 AM
Mineral spirets worked good for me. Kinda messy. But a its safe for the finish on the wood

diyj98
July 14, 2014, 09:25 AM
Soaking them in kerosine will get rid of the all the old grease and gunk.

Centurian22
July 14, 2014, 10:15 AM
Looks like your question has been covered well. As for long distance Mosin shooting, check out the Facebook group "Long range Mosin shooting/hunting" lots of great info.

dmurdach
July 14, 2014, 10:31 AM
I use a heatgun and a lot of paper towels.

19-3Ben
July 14, 2014, 10:39 AM
When i had my C&R license and I was buying a lot of milsurp, I actually went down to goodwill and bought a pot for the sole purpose of boiling rifle parts. Worked like a charm.

BCRider
July 14, 2014, 12:27 PM
A lot of the replies are jumping around and talking about different things.

The bag and sun trick or using a heat gun is for sweating the cosmoline out of the wood.

The hot water is GENERALLY for cleaning after shooting corrosive primer ammo. Although I suppose it could work to some extent for cosmoline in the bore. It would be a slow way to do it though.

I would not shoot out the cosmoline. It's usually thick enough that it could act like a plugged bore. At the very least the peak pressure for the first couple of rounds would jump to well over SAMMI maximum allowances!

Alcohol hardly touches cosmoline. You want mineral spirits, Varsol, low odor paint thinner or even lacquer thinner. The last being VERY flammable and having toxic fumes so use outdoors and away from any flames or sparks. Besides, alcohol is THE SOLVENT for melting shellac. So if you want to keep the finish on the wood looking fairly stock then don't let alcohol anywhere near.

I found that the two I've got were in the cosmoline for so many years that the shellac simply flaked off from the rub down to get the cosmoline off. It kept flaking during the plastic bag sweating sessions too. In the end it was so spotty I gave up and stripped it all off and refinished with boiled linseed oil.

Plan on wearing out at least one bronze bore brush. You'll run the brush 10 to 12 times, then patch out the goop until the patches are clean. If you run the brush another dozen times you'll get a whole extra batch of goop coming out on the patches. I wore out three brushes cleaning two Mosin barrels until after brushing the patches came out only light grey. But the bores went from dark to shiny. So the cost and elbow grease was worth it.

There's most likely also a lot of copper fouling. Again, you'll go through a lot of the copper solvent of choice. That darn flashed plating on the steel jacket bullets comes off just way too easily.

You'll also want to get a couple of different bore brushes for cleaning the chamber using a rod extension and a hand drill. Lots of stories to indicate that the sticky bolt issue is due to packed and dried cosmoline on the chamber walls forming a lock.

dmurdach
July 14, 2014, 04:06 PM
I actually used the heat gun on all the metal parts as well, it doesn't take much to melt the cosmoline and then just soak it up as it melts. On the barrel i just get it warm to the touch and start running patches through. Re warm the barrel as needed until the patches come out clean.

19-3Ben
July 14, 2014, 04:17 PM
BCRider- I actually boil the metal bits of the guns to get the cosmo out. Once you heat up cosmo it melts and becomes highly viscous. Being a waxy/oily substance, it is lighter that water, and when submerged, will float to the surface. I have even gone so far as to take the bolt apart and take all the bits and throw them in the boiling water, then put them in my convection toaster oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes to let the hot air circulate all around it and dry out the nooks and crannies.

Mineral spirits will thin the cosmo much as it does with other oil based goo. But heat is another way to make the cosmo much easier to work with.

I've found that using heat to get the bulk of the cosmo, and then mineral spirits to thin and wipe up the rest of the surface haze of it makes for relatively quick work of an otherwise laborious task.

stonecutter2
July 14, 2014, 04:25 PM
First, heat the barrel a bit with a blow dryer, or leave it out in the sun on a warm day. It will melt up and soften the cosmoline in the barrel. Might bleed some out of the stock, too.

Then run a patch through to get most of the initial gunk out.

Now get really hot water (not boiling necessarily), a bucket, and a turkey baster. Don't use your wife's Thanksgiving baster, buy a $1.50 cheap jobber at the grocery store dedicated for the job since it'll be going into the chamber a bit.

Suck water up into the baster, turn it bulb down, aim carefully into the barrel in the breech and put the muzzle in the bucket. Up end the baster and squeeze. Give it about 30 seconds, repeat. Now run another patch through to soak up/push out more cosmoline. Using mineral spirits on the patch gets even more of it out fast. Repeat until the patches aren't gross anymore. Then oil well.

After a range session with corrosive ammo, you can also then easily and neatly pour water through the barrel into the bucket to get rid of the salts and keep your barrel in good shape.

The dangers of windex, acetone, or kerosene is that they can spill on your stock and remove finish or at least mess it up. Alcohol will strip the shellac off. Not positive about mineral spirits...that would just strip the oils out of the stock if anything, probably.

dmurdach
July 14, 2014, 04:28 PM
oops

stonecutter2
July 14, 2014, 04:37 PM
A lot of the replies are jumping around and talking about different things.

The bag and sun trick or using a heat gun is for sweating the cosmoline out of the wood.

The hot water is GENERALLY for cleaning after shooting corrosive primer ammo. Although I suppose it could work to some extent for cosmoline in the bore. It would be a slow way to do it though.

I would not shoot out the cosmoline. It's usually thick enough that it could act like a plugged bore. At the very least the peak pressure for the first couple of rounds would jump to well over SAMMI maximum allowances!

Alcohol hardly touches cosmoline. You want mineral spirits, Varsol, low odor paint thinner or even lacquer thinner. The last being VERY flammable and having toxic fumes so use outdoors and away from any flames or sparks. Besides, alcohol is THE SOLVENT for melting shellac. So if you want to keep the finish on the wood looking fairly stock then don't let alcohol anywhere near.

I found that the two I've got were in the cosmoline for so many years that the shellac simply flaked off from the rub down to get the cosmoline off. It kept flaking during the plastic bag sweating sessions too. In the end it was so spotty I gave up and stripped it all off and refinished with boiled linseed oil.

Plan on wearing out at least one bronze bore brush. You'll run the brush 10 to 12 times, then patch out the goop until the patches are clean. If you run the brush another dozen times you'll get a whole extra batch of goop coming out on the patches. I wore out three brushes cleaning two Mosin barrels until after brushing the patches came out only light grey. But the bores went from dark to shiny. So the cost and elbow grease was worth it.

There's most likely also a lot of copper fouling. Again, you'll go through a lot of the copper solvent of choice. That darn flashed plating on the steel jacket bullets comes off just way too easily.

You'll also want to get a couple of different bore brushes for cleaning the chamber using a rod extension and a hand drill. Lots of stories to indicate that the sticky bolt issue is due to packed and dried cosmoline on the chamber walls forming a lock.

Agreed, never shoot out cosmoline. Anything in the bore can be an obstruction. Great way to potentially destroy a milsurp on the first shot.

You are spot on with mineral spirits, but I like to use it sparingly and use hot water to soften/melt the cosmo and get it out.

Not sure I'd scrub a barrel that much with a brush, not that I think the brush would do much damage - but perhaps the metal coil or base over that many times could be nicking stuff that I'd rather it not. I tend to take a less aggressive approach to cleaning, though.

lencac
July 16, 2014, 01:46 PM
I must say I'm amazed how much attention any type of Mosin question garners. :rolleyes:
Plug the muzzle, stand the rifle vertically, muzzle down, fill the barrel with break clean and let sit for a few days. Then everything comes out easy as pie.

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