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Will lighter fluid ruin old bluing?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jeep14636, Dec 24, 2006.

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  1. Jeep14636

    Jeep14636 Member

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    I'm new to this forum so I appologize if this is in the wrong place.

    I have a number of old rifles and shotguns that belonged to my grandfathers. As an avid hunter when I was a kid, I shot most of them and lightly cleaned them periodically over the years. As an adult, I've moved around and subsequently negelected them.

    As a result, two of my single shot shotguns are a little gummed up from what appears to be old yellowed hoppes oil. The lever to break the barrel open is gummed up as well as the triggers. I've heard that you can use lighter fluid to remove this, followed by a new lube (I just purchased some hoppes elite products).

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Scott
     
  2. brett30030

    brett30030 Member

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    I can't say that i have ever heard of using lighter fluid related to gun cleaning. If you value the guns at all, i would recommend that you get a cleaner/degreaser designed especially for guns before experimenting with an unknown. It would be a shame to ruin something that hopefully means so much.
     
  3. Jeep14636

    Jeep14636 Member

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    the meaning of these guns to me is why I'm asking before doing. I'm not in a position to pay a gun smith to clean these, whoever, I want to do the right thing.
     
  4. jondar

    jondar Member

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    Lighter fluid would probably break it loose and you could re-oil it but spray cleaner, even carburetor cleaner works better. Remove the wood and spray clean it, then re-oil it with a good grade of oil.
     
  5. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

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    Doesn't hurt a thing, except maybe the wood. I've used Zippo fluid for removing cosmoline, price tag glue ( :uhoh: ), gum, gunk, and other stuff. Just oil it afterwards, and don't worry. :)
     
  6. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    They make degreasers just for guns. S&W even has one in a spray can. But i doubt lighter fluid would hurt bluing.
     
  7. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Lighter fluid (naphtha) won't hurt a thing. There may be better choices, as said above, but if lighter fluid is what you have, go ahead and use it.
     
  8. brett30030

    brett30030 Member

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    No need to, everything that you could possibly need and more can be had here:

    http://www.brownells.com/selectproducts/page2.html

    Spend a little time searching the web and you can find dozens of sites/articles on the subject.
     
  9. gyp_c2

    gyp_c2 Member

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    well...

    ...I use it all the time...It will remove ALL the lubrication...You MUST re-lube 'cause it'll be dry as a bone ;)
    Make sure to protect any wood or plastic...
     
  10. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    gummed up

    I have read several threads of guns "gummed up" by WD-40 left to sit for extended periods of time.

    The advice usually given is to apply new WD-40 to loosen up the old. Several coats and some time may be required. Once everything is freed up, then throw the WD-40 away and use Hoppes, Eezox, whatever your choice of gun claening supplies.


    Please do not use carb cleaner. It will damage plastic (polymers), rubber (o-rings, etc) and sometimes the finishes appllied to wood.

    Use brake cleaner if you want the effects of GunScrubber at half the price. Will not harm plastic, rubber or finishes (although I would still not intentionally get it on a wood stock...)

    Best regards, Rich
     
  11. jondar

    jondar Member

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    I have used carb cleaner on all my guns for 30 years with no ill effects. The poster is talking about two single barrell shotguns. You just remove the wood and have at it, then re-lube and enjoy. Polymer is another story but I'm not sure the carb cleaner would harm it. Never tried it. Been used for years on carburetors with rubber gaskets and "O" rings galore. Overcautious people have said don't use gas with added ethanol, have used that for years too.
     
  12. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Lighter fluid works very nicely to flush out triggers and bolts, and is pretty much all the little internal parts need for lubrication. Make sure you use heavy grease on the bolt lugs tho...
     
  13. George S.

    George S. Member

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    Non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner is inexpensive and will remove dried-up grease, excessive oil, and even cosmoline. I would remove any wood (stock,grips, handguards, etc.) before spraying it on the parts to be cleaned.

    Use it outside or in the garage as it is pretty stinky; it's flammable so keep it away from open flame or electric heating units.

    It dries fast but you can use a clean dry rag to wipe away any excess. It will remove all grase and oil so you will have to re-apply lubricants at wear/friction points.
     
  14. BB93YJ

    BB93YJ Member

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    At the local gunshop that I spend way too much time in, the gunsmith/owner of the shop's parts cleaner tank is full of (lighterfluid), naptha. He's been doing it this way about fifty years, and no problems so far...
     
  15. rustymaggot

    rustymaggot Member

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    carb cleaner can mess with things. melt plastics, ect. lighter fluid is far safer.

    my opinion is that the best way to un gum a gun is with hoppes9. then oil it. hoppes leaves the metal too dry for my taste. wd-40 will un gum a gun too but its too light for my taste as well.
     
  16. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    The lighter fluid will work fine as a mild degreaser and won't hurt a thing. WD40 is a great product for what it is made for, Water Displacing. When you come in from hunting in the rain nothing is better to lift the water off the surfaces of your guns. But, a long term protectant it ain't, nor is it much of a lubricant. All oils are liquid and liquids will evaporate eventually, the degree of goo it leaves behind is what causes our problems

    There are precious few, if any, oils or lubes manufactored for guns. They are either repackaged industrial oils/greases or mixtures of those. Ed's Red (do a web search for how to make it) is as good a mixture for cleaning and protecting as anything packaged in small cans or bottles and sold for big bucks by the ounce in gun stores.

    Simplist effective degreasing product is stoddard solvent, sold as oderless mineral spirits in paint stores and Wal Mart, etc. Oiling afterwards with automotive Automatic Transmission Fluid is great for seasonal protection and lubing triggers - ATF penatrates, won't dry for months and doesn't gum things up when it does.

    Marine greases work well as a heavy gun lube and great rust protection. Long term storage is perhaps best done with Rust Inhibiting Grease (RIG). Failing that, use OMC or Mercury outboard's "High Pressure" grease. These greases are both slippery and totally water-proof. Clean and oil the weapon before its next use if you coat the bore with grease.

    Spay carb or brake cleaners are great for cleaning any oil or grease gummed-up things such as (steel) pistol actions or rifle triggers after disassembly; don't let that stuff get on your gunstock's plastic or varnish-like finish! And, after cleaning, all steel will be at the mercy of any moisture so be sure to lube and protect it soon - with ATF!
     
  17. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    By far the best way to clean any firearm is to dissassemble it and submerse the parts in HOT soapy water followed by a VERY light coating of oil. The urban myth about WD40 gumming up firearms goes back 35/40 years when a batch that had been stored in used (and uncleaned) varnish tanks reached the market and caused some problems. I will only use (personally and when I was a professional smith) Remoil or WD40 for firearm lubrication. I always dried the parts and gave them a light spray of lube then allowed the carrier agent to evaporate before reassembly. The result is a perfectly cleaned firearm that will not attract dirt and dust and will remain gum free.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
  18. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

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    I have never seen WD-40 hurt a firearm finish or gum anything up.

    It works well for removing sticker goo and some carbon fouling. I don't use it to lube anything but it makes a great cleaner for light stuff.
     
  19. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    How about putting them in a dish washer? Would that work?

    Heat dry or non-heat dry if the dishwasher thing works?
     
  20. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Member

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    If you have the metal separate from the wood, you can use a spray can of brake cleaner. Carb cleaner seems to leave some kind of oily residue, brake cleaner does not. You have to grease or oil the parts afterwards.
     
  21. xiphur

    xiphur Member

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    Use mineral spirits.
     
  22. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    WD40 is OK for anything you can wipe off.

    However, I feel that I did gum up a Remington 700 striker
    by just spraying the bolt down and wiping off the outside.
    The problem took a year or so to show up and was
    solved by taking the bolt appart and wiping the striker
    and spring well before reassembly.

    Dec 16 I sprayed some WD40 in a metal cup and left
    it sitting. I checked today Dec25 and it was the consistency of
    warm honey. I suspect as the solvent evaporates, it will
    thicken further.

    WD40 is like a wax dissolved in a penetrating solvent.
    It is a good cheap readily available cleaner/protectant
    for parts that can be wiped off. I would not spray it into
    any complex mechanism that cannot be wiped.
     
  23. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Dishwasher?

    I have never thought about that. I already have wash tanks set up for guns so I wouldn't try it myself and would suggest a very strong relationship with the wife for anyone who does.
     
  24. wildburp

    wildburp member

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    WD 40

    Additional note about the famous WD 40 I read in Popular Science some years back. First, after using it on my guns for a few years for general protection, I heard from somewhere (?) it is not the best agent for this purpose, because it is not a rust preventative, as may be widely believed. The "WD" stands for "Water Displacement"; the formula was discovered accidently by someone looking for something else circa 80 (?) years ago. I'm sure the Internet offers better information than my puny, shrivled memory. And finally, it is not good for the environment - other products are preferable for firearms preservation. WD 40 melts holes in the sun, inviting attention from interstellar predators.

    I am not suggesting any product here; just do the research (much of it available above) and take care of those old fowling pieces! :)

    wb

    Not to be bragging, but the first time ever I fired a 12 guage, I destroyed the first clay pigeon launched in front of me with 00 buck shot. More luck than skill? Maybe, I don't know, but I'll never forget it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
  25. wildburp

    wildburp member

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    more posts

    Interesting. By the time I finished mine above, several others came on line. Good Thread!:)
     
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