Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Hoyte, Nov 16, 2020.
I used paint thinner on the metal and wood parts at first then switched to the heat method on the wood afterwards. I swear it seemed to take forever to get the seeping to stop.
This was on Chinese and Russian SKS’s. Since this is in “Handguns” I am guessing this is for handguns and the wood shouldn’t be as big of a deal.
If the coating is really thick/heavy, I would start-out by melting-off as much as could with heat and finishing the job with a mineral spirits bath.
If the coating is not heavy, just the latter should suffice.
(*not on wood)
I like to scrape or melt off any excess first then let the metal parts soak in kerosene or mineral spirits. Then a good scrub with a brass brush or stiff toothbrush. and a final clean with something like Simple Green works wonders. Just make sure to dry and oil everything up afterwards. Trying to remove cosmoline from wood is never easy or quick.
I had to clean off my fair share of cosmoline while I was in the service. I was ornery and returned the favor when I left Germany. My unit didn't know how long it would be for my replacement machinist would arrive so they told me to coat the lathe and milling machine with cosmoline. Man did I ever put a good solid coat on them.
I have heard about putting the stock in a black plastic garbage sack and laying it on the roof in the bright sunshine and letting the heat soak the cosmo out but I didn't have to do that.
Just DO NOT get in a hurry or heat things up hotter than you can handle comfortably
Petroleum products won't affect metal finish, just make sure to oil when done cleaning.
If it happens to be a painted gun the paint will come off just finish cleaning and repaint it.
My dad was a supply Sargent for a tanker battalion after WWII. When I complained about removing cosmoline from an SKS I'd bought using Brake Cleaner he told me how they did it in the army.
They would take a 50 gallon drum, cut the top off, fill it with water and build a fire underneath it. Bring the water to a boil and then hook the metal parts with a wire and drop them into the boiling water for 10 minutes of so. They would then pull them out of the water which would flash dry off the hot metal and wipe off any cosmoline that may remain with a rag. Then they'd apply oil for rust prevention as appropriate after the metal cooled. Used a version of this method on my next surplus gun but poured boiling water from a tea kettle over the parts (outdoors of course) as a big drum or tank of boiling water is a bit of overkill.
I learned another method from a fellow shooter which works great if you live in a hot climate and it happens to be summer. My current state of residence, Arizona fills the requirement. What he does is to set the cosmolined rifle out side on the porch in the sun at100+ degree summer day. The cosmoline would melt off and he would clean anything left with a rag. Don"t forget to put out paper or a container to catch melted cosmoline otherwise its a problem to get rid of the stains.
Thanks everyone for the advice. Wasn’t too keen on the gas smell so I went with the boiling water trick(I also had an old stock pot to use). Took it all right off.
very nice! I tend to use boiling water myself. I’ve tried a few other methods mentioned here but heat definitely makes it more manageable. Beautiful firearm!
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