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  1. I have to admit, I’ve never been “zooted” on a cosmoline and brake cleaner combo.

    Come to think of it, I’ve never used brake cleaner on any gun.

      • We used carburetor cleaner. Couple of guys in the shower with it putting out full hot water. Everyone else saturating with carb cleaner and scrubbing what needed scrubbing on the M16s. Quick rinse in super hot water. Air dry and oil as needed.

  2. tried brake cleaner on the red polishing compound left in the trigger group of a new ruger super redhawk. doesn’t work… that polishing compound is like cement once it’s dry.

  3. Cosmoline…when some chemist somewhere said “hey, let’s make a rust inhibitor that combines the most annoying properties of Vaseline and ear wax!”

  4. Did this when I bought my Mosin-Nagant. Cleaned it in my garage with the door closed cause it was winter time. Looked just like that.

    Also I use non chlorinated brake cleaner on my guns after a range trip. Works very well and after 2 or three passes with a Bore snake and some oil patches, as clean and oiled as can be.

  5. I seen cosmoline and it made me think of cosmonaut, cosmonaut rhymes with supernaut, I like Black Sabbath. Then I thought, does Black Sabbath have any songs about cats? that cat looks like it likes tuna but can it tune a piano, then I thought Hot Tuna really wasn’t that bands first choice, and did Paul Katner own an AK. Then I heard Jefferson Airplanes Lawman and I thought what’s worse then a dead skunk on your piano a deceased beaver on your organ. Then I got worried my brake fluid wasn’t 4DOT and when I went out to make sure it was, a cat ran out from underneath the car. I didnt have any empty cosmoline cans so I throwed my harmonica at it, it’s in the key of C but when it hit it sounded more like D. I had opened my windows before all this happened but since I ain’t got no window screens and the flys kept coming in and that made me think, “flys all green an buzzin in this dungeon of despair, prisoners grumbling piss their clothes and scratch their matted hair.
    All men be cursed”. Then Lil Wayne popped in my head and ” I -feel -like -dying” then I thought why’d they name them cosmonaut anyway and what do they call a chinese spaceman?
    It’s a whole lot easier buying gunms not covered in cosmoline.

      • Brilliant is the correct answer jwm. On his alt possum posts some quite insightful and thought provoking stuff. With correct punctuation, spelling, & diction even. This is his just for funsies William S. Borough’s like account…

        And no, I won’t out the other.

    • β€œIt’s a whole lot easier buying gunms not covered in cosmoline.”
      Damn skippy, that possum thought chain just gave me brain damage…
      The lunatic is on the grass, a marsupial.
      taikonauts=Chinese spaceman, quite the space oddity.

    • It’s that marsupial boilermaker. The other day, Manse suggested that possum cut his ‘shine with something lighter, and then next we start talking about cosmoline and brake cleaner…

      I found a certain logical progression in his chain of thoughts, so should I be worried?

  6. Back in my construction days… I had an employee who was a part time farmer when we built a large addition to a house for some Indian people. One day he pulled a rag out of his pocket and sniffed it and with a puzzled look on his face asked me to ‘smell this’. It was brake cleaner.

    The next day I cut a hole just big enough to stick your head through in a wall where a doorway was to go, to make sure that I wouldn’t cut through any electric wires or water pipes, etc. I turned to my farmer/employee and said ‘take a look in there’. ‘Oh! Damn you! I only made you smell brake cleaner!’ The moral of the story is if you think brake cleaner is potent, you’ve never smelled last night’s Indian food.

  7. I haven’t done it in a while. But my favorite method of getting rid of cosmoline was boiling water with some simple green in it. Worked and I don’t think it was toxic.

    • I sent my 1903a3 stock to our local smith. Did not cost much, but process was time consuming. I tried different methods first myself. Paper towels wrapped around stock and placed in black trash bag. Leave on dash in hot SC summertime. Finally got frustrated with it. Believe he did what you did as he has several vats set up in his shop to refinish stocks and such.
      Hate that Cosmoline..but it works.

    • Many years ago now, I heard about this gun store that also specialized in older guns and collectors items along with modern day guns and accessories. Had to take a road trip to get there so me and a buddy set out to the store in another town.

      They had a bunch of stuff, most of it too expensive for my budget at the time. But they had this sign that said “Authentic Soviet Army surplus SKS rifle $40.00”. I had thought previously thought about getting an SKS just to have one, so this immediately attracted me. Told the guy I wanted just one and he said I would need to buy a whole case. So I said $40.00 per rifle and a whole case was going to be a little more than what I had considered. But he corrected me and said “No, its $40.00 per case not per rifle”, well, I perked up and although I only wanted one a whole case at $40.00 was OK with me so of course I splurged and got three cases thinking I would give them away as unique gifts to friends as they were a piece of history. So they were four rifles per wooden case, marked with the Tula Arsenal markings, the cases ranged in dates but they were all in the 1947 – 1948 time frame, and they were also marked with the Soviet Army markings and in the original wooden factory storage crates. The crates appeared to have suffered a little bit of water exposure at some point in their history but were intact.

      We set out for home with our find and it occurred to us that we didn’t know if there were actually rifles in the case or not. The cases did seem to be really big and heavy considering there were only four rifles in there.

      So we get home and open one of the cases. We did not see any rifles. Instead we were greeted with this big block of basically hard solidified cosmoline. It filled the whole case, a neat rectangular block of cosmoline that had been there since the 1947 – 1948 time frame.

      So we started figuring out how we were going to get the rifles out of the cosmoline. So we ended up figuring out that heat was going to be needed to get the cosmoline to melt. We constricted a table like platform with a screen top and were planning to use some industrial grade heat lamps used in paint shops to “bake” the paint on cars. So we found the lamps and set up our “cosmoline eradication” creation. The plan was to let the cosmoline melt away and drip through the screen into a catch pan under the table platform.

      So we started breaking away the wood from the cosmoline, and some chunks of it broke off revealing something that did not look like an SKS rifle. So all excited and everything we began breaking chunks of the cosmoline away until we could tell what it was. It was a Soviet Army Degtyarev light machine gun Model 1940 used by the Russian army in WWII. There were three in the case with their magazines wrapped in some type of heavy paper. We opened the rest of the cases and eventually broke off enough cosmoline to reveal they held only SKS rifles.

      We set the cosmoline encased guns on the table we had created and turned on the heat lamps and waited. It worked, took a while but it worked. Now all we needed to do was clean off any that remained and over time we did that. But the first thing we cleaned as best we could, not knowing anything about how to take it apart yet, was the Degtyarev light machine gun. Then my buddy said “is this legal?”. So we kinda felt like “yeah, probably but I wanna shoot it.” So being the law abiding guys we are we called a guy at a local gun store who we knew had an uncle that worked with the ATF a lot as a consultant. He contacted someone he knew at the ATF who came over to take a look.

      We realted the tale of how we came into possession of these without revealing the place we got them from. The ATF guy said “yep, ya can’t have these. I’m going to need to take them with me.” We kind of moaned a little and asked if we could fire them first at least once. the ATF guy said “Look, we have people who know about these old guns from WWI. Let me get one of them to take a look and take it apart to clean it. If they say its ok before we send them off to be destroyed you can fire them.”

      So we got to fire them, and eneded up with crates of authentic SKS rifles free of cosmoline essentially straight from the original factory assembly line. After a few years of research, these guns were packed so well in cosmoline because they were intended to be stockpiled in case the Russian Army needed them to invade Germany. But history changed things, developments along the way changed the guns the Russians used, and these set in a bunker for years until someone came along and discovered them.

      We later contacted the gun store we had gotten these from. They opened up the crates of what they had not sold and found three more Degtyarev light machine guns. But they could legally have them because they were licensed properly to sell machine guns, but they did contact the ATF who in turn tried to get the importer to let them look at records and remaining stock but it was too late as all the weapons had been sold off to various entities. So someplace in the U.S. today, due to clerical error and mis-marked crates and not realizing what was actually in the crates, there are probably Degtyarev light machine guns out there some place in someones collection of guns.

        • it was $40.00 per case.

          SKS’s were dirt cheap back then. Which is why I thought that $40.00 per rifle was steep (until he told me it was per case), because at the time you could pick them up all day long for as little as $10.00 individually if you shopped the right places. These guys had picked up whole cases of them for $10.00 per case from the importer who just wanted to get rid of them.

          You could also pick up quality basic AR’s with no options back then for as little as $200.00, sometimes less, if you shopped in the right places. A premium AR from a well known company could be gotten for between $300.00 – $500.00 depending on options selected, today these would sell for ~ $2,000.00. I still have a Colt AR I got back then, $175.00 on sale, it was my first AR. I’ve got a dozen AR platforms now in multiple calibers and configured for different purposes, built them all except that Colt.

          yes kids, you missed it.

  8. one of my bil’s, a teatotaler, urethaned a table in his basement. dinner with a zombie that day.
    my friend bondobrain loved to shoot imron no respirator. hoowah looked effective.

  9. When in the Army I would take my M16 and 1911 (yes, I was in the Army back when we still had 1911’s) into the boiler room. There was a steam relief valve in the piping, I would open the valve and hold the lower, bolt and barrel groups into the stream of super hot steam. It would come out spotlessly clean and because it was so hot that any moisture was immeditely evaporated. Worked great.
    To clean my stainless revolvers, I take the grips off and run them through a dishwasher cycle. Gets them very clean.

    • Ha, Obviously you have never heard of gunpowder tea… Oh, and the lead content is less than Flint Michigan’s drinking water.

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