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Thread: Cleaning an SKS

  1. #1
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    Default Cleaning an SKS

    I got a new Chinese SKS and it had cosmoline in all the crevices. I took it apart to clean it and also to start making it my Modern Rifle project (more on that later).

    I know I can use brake parts cleaner to clean the cosmo off of parts like the receiver, but I'm not so sure about springs. I'm asking what is the best way to totally clean a rifle, which types of products do you use on certain parts. My goal is no damage to any part(s).

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    submerge it in mineral spirits.. 30min all cosmoline will be gone then oil everything.

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    +1 on Mineral Spirits.
    Wire brush on springs and in crevices.

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    Hoppes #9 or Breakfree(CLP)...Takes a bit longer, but lets You get to know Your firearm intimately...Should clean it at least 3 times to make sure every thing is clean,lubed and rust free..

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    Small parts I can use mineral spirits. What type of container would you use to soak the receiver? I assume this needs to get done outdoors.

    Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.

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    whatever size container you can fit your parts in need of cleaning in.
    A you tube post by DeAndre McInnis "Erwin Rommel was a smart mother f@cker."

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    I used Kerosene in a PVC filled pipe for the receiver, and small parts in an old ammo can. I now go to a friends small engine repair shop and use his parts washer, then put all the small parts in an ultrasonic heated parts washer, blow dry, and light coat of CLP.

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    I like using Hoppe's. I put the small parts in a bottle with the Hoppe's and put it on top of an old fish tank pump. Larger parts go in a stainless steel tray. I use duct tape to hold it on the pump since it will vibrate off. This acts like a gentle sonic cleaner. Alternately I've put the bottle or tray on the dehumidifier to get the vibrational action. I've tried mineral spirits but it left some of the cosmoline on the parts. I believe it was the higher molecular weight component that wasn't particulary soluable in the mineral spirits.

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    I had three Yugos several years back that were full of cosmo. I used Hoppe's for the barreled action. For the smaller parts I got one of those large, clear plastic pretzel containers and put a few in at a time, some individually, with some lacquer thinner. I let them soak for an hour or so and then swooshed them around for a few minutes. This worked great...even on the tough parts like the spring, bolt and magazine. Best of all, you're not touching the solvent while doing the cleaning. Even the spring came out like new.
    Last edited by DC Gun Nut; 12-09-2012 at 08:17 AM.

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    So mineral spirits won't hurt the rifle at all? Maybe folow the mineral spirits with hoppes, then oil? Or just wash in mineral spirits and then oil?

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    I find the easiest way to remove cosmoline is to submerge the parts in boiling water, let them sit for 20 - 30 mins, remove and dry. All cosmoline melts off and stays on top of the water.

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    I assume mineral spirits will not dissolve or damage PVC piping or the solvent that glues it together? I'm thinking of buying a three foot pipe 4 inches wide or so, glue a bottom cap on it, then fill with mineral spirits, and drop in the receiver.

    What I'm assuming if that people don't like the idea of using brake part cleaner?
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    Do you let them air dry or help them with compressed air, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by eldestbrother View Post
    I find the easiest way to remove cosmoline is to submerge the parts in boiling water, let them sit for 20 - 30 mins, remove and dry. All cosmoline melts off and stays on top of the water.
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    I use compressed air

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    I use compressed air to make sure all nooks and crannies are dry, then oil as needed.

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    So, for the small parts, here is what I'm going to try, and let me know if this will NOT work.

    Take a pot of boiling water and soak the small parts for 20-30 minutes (repeat if cosmoline still detected). Then, take the parts and using compressed air get as much liquid off them followed by an oven bake at like 110 degrees (for maybe 20-30 minutes), to help drive off moisture, but not enough heat to hopefully damage anything.

    Will this work?

    And, I assume there are not any parts that should not go the bath? Bolt parts ok to include?
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    Quote Originally Posted by VA-Vet View Post
    So, for the small parts, here is what I'm going to try, and let me know if this will NOT work.

    Take a pot of boiling water and soak the small parts for 20-30 minutes (repeat if cosmoline still detected). Then, take the parts and using compressed air get as much liquid off them followed by an oven bake at like 110 degrees (for maybe 20-30 minutes), to help drive off moisture, but not enough heat to hopefully damage anything.

    Will this work?

    And, I assume there are not any parts that should not go the bath? Bolt parts ok to include?
    Sounds like too much trouble to me. I just put on some nitrile gloves, poured some kerosene in an old paint roller tray (outdoors, of course), put the disassembled small parts in, held the barrelled action with the receiver down in the pool of kerosene and used an old toothbrush to slather kerosene on and in it, let soak a while, wiped w/paper towel, then wiped it off with a fresh paper towel and applied some WD-40. Then the bore was cleaned last the normal way. Total of maybe 10 minutes invested (less soaking time, during which I was doing other stuff).




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    You can skip the oven, just dry with compressed air, and oil. I suppose you can spray wit WD-40 after the compressed air, then blast with air to get the WD-40 out, or just let dry.

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    In lieu of WD-40, can I use CLP or Hoppes #9 to oil?
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    Quote Originally Posted by VA-Vet View Post
    In lieu of WD-40, can I use CLP or Hoppes #9 to oil?

    I'm not familiar with CLP, but don't use Hoppes to oil-it's strictly a solvent, and has little or no anti-corrosion properties.




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    CLP is fine. I only suggested the use of WD-40 after the boil to displace any water left inside nooks and crannies, instead of putting them in the oven.

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    Personally, I am not a huge fan of using WD40 on guns. Any WD40 that gets left on the gun will gum up over time. It is somewhat harder to find, but I prefer a product called LPS1, that in my experience does not form a gummy film.

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    Using MILITEC-1 for the 1st time and I think I like it. Got about half the parts cleaned and lubed. Some needed a second water boarding (hehehe).

    The trigger group is going out tomorrow for a tuning job.

    VA-Vet
    Last edited by VA-Vet; 12-09-2012 at 04:45 PM. Reason: spelling error
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    Finished cleaning everything. I didn't use the oven. Except for some residue in the magazine and trigger group (which I did not disassemble), everything else is very clean. I oiled everything and put all the parts in a plastic bag until I can figure out a way to clean the receiver. If I were to use any accessories in the house, the other half would kill me.

    Thanks for the suggestions and advice.

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    I have used the PVC pipe cleaning process for a large number of different rifles, including a Chinese SKS recently. I use diesel fuel in the PVC pipe and let the barrel/receiver "soak" for anywhere from a couple days to up to a week, depending on how much cosmoline is on the piece. Never had any issues using this process and you can get a gallon of diesel fairly reasonably in price. If you use the PVC pipe, you will probably want to drill a small hole through the screw on cap, insert a coat hanger through it and make a curved hook so you can suspend the barrel in the pipe without being on the bottom of the pipe with all the sediment.
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    Might sound a bit weird but I bought a deep fryer for turkeys, has a propane hookup along with a 30 gallon pot. Deep enough to clean all parts and to put a receiver and most of a barrel for any of my rifles. I fill pot full of water on patio and let everything soak til clean. Wife don't get mad for me using kitchen, propane does not cost that much to heat water and clean up afterwards just means dumping water.

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    Steam- take your rifle parts over to a do-it-yourself carwash & use the engine steam cleaner, or at home you can fire up the pressure cooker & just leave off the pressure regulator. The column of steam coming out of the top of the pressure cooker via the regulator stem is ideal for melting off cosmoline from metal & wood. Wipe down with a rag sprayed with WD-40, then oil with your
    favorite CLP, then reassemble.

    All that brake cleaner, Hoppes & soaking in kerosine or diesel is too time consuming and pricey.

    Be sure to disassemble the bolt and clean it up by hand. All that soaking and lazy avoidance to doing some real cleaning work won't get out a lot of insoluble stuff I've found in numerous bolts over the years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Relic View Post
    Sounds like too much trouble to me. I just put on some nitrile gloves, poured some kerosene in an old paint roller tray (outdoors, of course), put the disassembled small parts in, held the barrelled action with the receiver down in the pool of kerosene and used an old toothbrush to slather kerosene on and in it, let soak a while, wiped w/paper towel, then wiped it off with a fresh paper towel and applied some WD-40. Then the bore was cleaned last the normal way. Total of maybe 10 minutes invested (less soaking time, during which I was doing other stuff).
    I used diesel and an oil change pan. a parts prush, some toothbrush-shaped cleaning brushes, pipe cleaners, and patches. soaked the smaller parts in a folger's can overnight.

  29. #29
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    I used WalMart non chorinated brake cleaner or carb cleaner on the trigger group.
    Attach the red straw and blast away.
    Then use a rag impregnated with CLP on the assembly; as a lube.

  30. #30
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    Just got finished cleaning a Sino-Albanian...

    Dirt, dirt, everywhere! I'll never be rid of the grit!
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    For the bolt, I soak it in a bottle of hoppes. For 15-20 minutes. Work firing pin back and forth while in the hoppes, to get some fluid action in it, then let it soak more. Took maybe 30 minutes with my most recent m59/66 purchase, and I cleaned other parts while waiting. After 30, it was clean. Pin shook and rattled, and was cosmo free.

    I guess I am not technical with it. Just take rags with hoppes or brake parts cleaner and wipe off cosmoline with it. Then lube. None of this diesil stuff, or mineral spirits......Although I might get a glass jar and fill it with mineral spirits to try in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronbo6 View Post
    Personally, I am not a huge fan of using WD40 on guns. Any WD40 that gets left on the gun will gum up over time. It is somewhat harder to find, but I prefer a product called LPS1, that in my experience does not form a gummy film.
    I have more than 40 years of successful use of WD-40 with none of the problems I hear at gun shops and read on the internet. It has proven to be an excellent cleaner and rust preventative without the horrible smell and toxicity of some of the more cool products. It has never harmed any metal or wood finish. I have never had a single instance of the gumming problem. NEVER. I have spent a lot of time studying the chemistry involved and reading just about everything I could find on the subject if for no other reason than to confirm that my practice was sound in theory.

    As I have written on other occasions, I often wonder why WD-40 works so well for me and leaves nothing but a trail of destruction behind so many others who use it. Like many an urban myth, inaccurate stories with scattered bits of truth surrounded by falsehood becomes reality when sufficiently repeated. Once something appears in print on the web, forget it. It's now received as gospel.
    Last edited by Richard in NY*; 12-10-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard in NY* View Post
    I have more than 40 years of successful use of WD-40 with none of the problems I hear at gun shops and read on the internet. It has proven to be an excellent cleaner and rust preventative without the horrible smell and toxicity of some of the more cool products. It has never harmed any metal or wood finish. I have never had a single instance of the gumming problem. NEVER. I have spent a lot of time studying the chemistry involved and reading just about everything I could find on the subject if for no other reason than to confirm that my practice was sound in practice . . .
    I've never seen it gum either, and it's a very proven water displacer and corrosion inhibitor. It's often used by the 55-gallon drumload in industrial applications to prevent corrosion on bare metal subassemblies that will be shipped to other facilities.




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    An engineer at work posted a GC (gas chromatography) trace of WD-40 on the bulletin board. It's pretty much propellant and mineral oil. Mineral oil is also known as baby oil.

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    Well, call me a liar if you want, but I USED TO SOUND JUST LIKE YOU about WD40. Years ago. Defended it. I used it to clean, and coat to prevent rust. Before loading a gun into my safe, I'd coat it in a thin amount of wd40. Then, at my CCW class back in 07, I noticed rust on a makarov I have left in it. In fact, found surface rust beginning on several guns. IT DRIES UP. ITS NOT A LONG LASTING OIL. Its just NOT. Bare metal, when left to the atmosphere, will rust. Even blued metal. Sorry, this was my experience. I PERSONALLY experienced it, did not read about it online, did not buy into a myth. I now only use it partially in cleaning, but never as the final oil.

    With my bp 1860 colt I use it to hose off parts fresh out of water, then dry, hose off again, then dry, then replace with bore butter. No rust yet.

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    WD 40 is penetrating oil its not meant for long periods of lubricant and rust prevention. One should use Ballistol as a long term lubricant and for rust prevention.



    http://www.amazon.com/Ballistol-Mult...ords=ballistol

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    WD-40 is not a rust preventative, never was its purpose. I just suggested it for water displacement, instead of drying the parts in the oven, then blasting with air to remove the WD-40. I only use WD-40 to remove glue residue from stickers placed on the inside of my windshield, and dealer stickers they stick on your car.

  38. #38
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    [QUOTE=Spaxspore;2383633]WD 40 is penetrating oil its not meant for long periods of lubricant and rust prevention. One should use Ballistol as a long term lubricant and for rust prevention.

    Yes, Indeed. Ballistol is top shelf. It also takes cosmolene off effortlessly.

    I am amazed at the ways some of you go about a simple procedure of taking cosmo off a weapon.
    I use the OL Relic method effortlessly and at times have found WD 40 sprayed on weapon/ parts takes
    cosmo off fast and easy. I would submit, if you want to do it fast and easy try either way but if you want to take this task into a tooth ache, many here have shown you the way. How you get there will be the same but the trip can be a lot more difficult, inconvenient and dramatic. / Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruskiegunlover View Post
    Well, call me a liar if you want, but I USED TO SOUND JUST LIKE YOU about WD40. Years ago. Defended it. I used it to clean, and coat to prevent rust. Before loading a gun into my safe, I'd coat it in a thin amount of wd40. Then, at my CCW class back in 07, I noticed rust on a makarov I have left in it. In fact, found surface rust beginning on several guns. IT DRIES UP. ITS NOT A LONG LASTING OIL. Its just NOT. Bare metal, when left to the atmosphere, will rust. Even blued metal. Sorry, this was my experience. I PERSONALLY experienced it, did not read about it online, did not buy into a myth. I now only use it partially in cleaning, but never as the final oil.

    With my bp 1860 colt I use it to hose off parts fresh out of water, then dry, hose off again, then dry, then replace with bore butter. No rust yet.
    Ruskie:

    I am not implying that you or any other critic of WD-40 is lying. That by definition would require you to have the specific intention to deceive others. Unless you or someone else held some weird animus towards the WD company, or unless you were the seller of a competing product, I can't imagine a rational motive for you or anyone to intentionally promulgate falsehoods about WD-40. I may argue that your powers of observation are faulty, or that you are guilty of jumping to the wrong conclusion concerning causality or contributing to the spread of the inaccurate rumors, but lying? No, I don't think you are a liar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard in NY* View Post
    I have more than 40 years of successful use of WD-40 with none of the problems I hear at gun shops and read on the internet. It has proven to be an excellent cleaner and rust preventative without the horrible smell and toxicity of some of the more cool products. It has never harmed any metal or wood finish. I have never had a single instance of the gumming problem. NEVER. I have spent a lot of time studying the chemistry involved and reading just about everything I could find on the subject if for no other reason than to confirm that my practice was sound in theory.

    As I have written on other occasions, I often wonder why WD-40 works so well for me and leaves nothing but a trail of destruction behind so many others who use it. Like many an urban myth, inaccurate stories with scattered bits of truth surrounded by falsehood becomes reality when sufficiently repeated. Once something appears in print on the web, forget it. It's now received as gospel.
    +1 Never seen a gummy residue. WD dries up eventually with no residue. Only weakness is it is not a medium or long term storage product or a good lube for metal to metal surfaces. It does just what it was designed to: penetrate tight areas and displaces moisture well. The light solvents, oils and DMSO solvent present, breaks up most anything. Heck, when a joint gets to aching at the range from kneeling or such, spray some on and rub it in. The DMSO in it works wonders for inflammation. The professional long distance runners and biciclists use it all the time. WD40, the uber juice! LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Relic View Post
    I've never seen it gum either, and it's a very proven water displacer and corrosion inhibitor. It's often used by the 55-gallon drumload in industrial applications to prevent corrosion on bare metal subassemblies that will be shipped to other facilities.
    The main thing I can tell you about WD40 is I ran a power plant instrumentation shop that maintained a lot of complex and delicate imechanical instruments with very fine clearances, and we wouldn't have the stuff on the property.

    Similarly, there were a number of the bulk 'clean it in a bucket' solvents we wouldn't use.

    Based upon our own internal testing, we went with LPS1 to fill the role that WD40 is usually used for, and for a bulk cleaning solvent, the stuff we found that wouldn't leave residue was a product sold under the name Parts-Kleen.

    Maybe a bit of a film from the WD40 would be a good thing on a gun, but for my uses, I would prefer something that leaves no residue that would get between the rifle and whatever anti-corrosive coating I then choose to put on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard100 View Post
    WD-40 is not a rust preventative, never was its purpose. I just suggested it for water displacement, instead of drying the parts in the oven, then blasting with air to remove the WD-40. I only use WD-40 to remove glue residue from stickers placed on the inside of my windshield, and dealer stickers they stick on your car.
    Howard:

    Like many inventions, the actual real-life uses of WD-40 far exceed the original intentions and theoretical design parameters of those who created it. It may not have been intended as a rust preventive, but it has been proven in many tests to be just that. Google the Brownell rust preventative test.

    By the way, how much of your opinion is based on experience and practice and how much is based on what you have read and heard. Everyone has an opinion, but not every opinion is accurate or rationally arrived at.
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    Now, ONE LUBE or some similar named product in a red spray can, is another story. That stuff sets up exactly like varnish in a few weeks. Craziest stuff I've ever seen marketed as a do-all lube.

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    WD40:

    • 51% Stoddard solvent (mineral spirits)
    • 25% liquefied petroleum gas (presumably as a propellant; carbon dioxide is now used instead to reduce WD-40's considerable flammability) (used to make a good flame thrower in shop class)
    • 15+% mineral oil (light lubricating oil) (mineral oils can be light to heavy in weight...I assume light in WD40)
    • 10-% inert ingredients ( DMSO and ?)

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    3-in-1 Oil is what really wrecks an action and gums everything up. I knew an old-timer gunsmith who claimed the number one job he performed was repairing a firearm that was gummed up by it. All my life I was warned to stay away from the stuff and it was so drilled into my brain that when folks bragged about Break Free, I was dubious because of the 3 attributes! Cleaner? Lubricant? Preservative? Three in one??? Never!

    Of course, I learned later that CLP is not 3-in-1.
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