/k/ - Weapons Wiki

This is how to remove cosmoline in the most effective and efficient manner from your newly-acquired Moist Nugget or other military surplus firearm.

Steps for the /k/ Approved Method[]

Needed tools: Cosmoline soaked weapon; rags or paper towels; screw driver and tools for disassembly of firearm; bore brush; chamber brush; bore pull-through or cleaning rod; a good non-polar solvent (mineral spirits being one of the most preferred, another being kerosene); patch cloth for the bore; a bucket or stray or something to pour the solvent into; a brush; gun oil

Step 1: Disassemble rifle.  Need not be a total disassembly. For bolt action rifles, the action should be removed from the stock and the bolt should field stripped.

Step 2: Separate the stock and the metal parts from the action so that the stock won't come into contact with any solvents used on the metal parts.

Step 3: Pour solvent into bucket and place the smaller metal pieces into the bucket so that they are at least mostly submerged.

Step 4: Scrub the parts with the brush, making sure to use liberal amounts of the solvent, so that all of the cosmoline from the metal parts is dissolved into the solvent. Also make sure to get the outside of the barreled action at this time.

Step 5: Pour solvent down the bore of the barreled action repeatedly. Then using the bore brush soaked in the solvent and cleaning rod, scrub the bore thoroughly, making sure all visible cosmoline is dissolved from it.  Then use alternating dry and wet patches to make sure all of the cosmoline is removed from the bore, just as you would do when cleaning a rifle after shooting it.

Step 6: Soak the chamber brush in the solvent, place in into the chamber and spin it.  Repeat this several times, and then wipe the chamber a few times with alternating dry and wet patches to make sure the cosmolione is out of the chamber.

Step 7: Wipe the cosmoline off of the inner and outer surfaces of the stock with rags or paper towels.  Sometimes if there is dirt in addition to cosmoline on the outside of the stock, it can help if the rag is lightly damp with water.  Do not scrub the stock with the rag as you do not want to harm the stock's finish, wipe only.

Step 8: Remove all of the metal parts from the solvent, wipe the solvent off of them with paper towels or clean rags, and let them dry.

Step 9: With the gun oil, re-oil all of the metal parts after the solvent has gone from them.

Step 10: Reassemble firearm. Iz done, Ivan. Iz done.

Methods That Will NOT Work Correctly[]

Hot Water Combined With Wiping:  This melts the cosmoline, but there will be some left behind on the surfaces.  This is OK for non-critical components of the rifle, but will not be effective enough to remove enough of the cosmoline from the bore, chamber, and some camming surfaces.  To remove the cosmoline from these, use the "/k/ Approved Method" with a proper non-polar solvent that will easily dissolve the cosmoline as outlined above. It should be noted that any cosmoline left in the bore and chamber can cause problems with the function of the firearm (such as the dreaded Mosin "sticky-bolt") and even can cause risk of the firearm exploding and harming the shooter in some cases.  Care should always be taken to totally remove grease from the chamber and barrel of a firearm for these reasons, and only a correct solvent such as mineral spirits will be assured to do this with cosmoline.

Hot Water Alone: Water is not a non-polar solvent and it will not dissolve cosmoline, not even if the water is at boiling point.  Just because the cosmoline melts, does in now way mean that it is all being removed from the surface.  With this method, you are ensuring cosmoline will visibly remain on some surfaces, will not be removed enough from the bore and chamber for safe use of the firearm, and are at grave risk to harm of your firearm or person should you not go back and use the "/k/ Approved Method" for cosmoline removal from the bore and chamber.

Sweating Cosmoline Out of the Stock: This is pretty much a waste of time as stocks that are soaked in cosmoline will pretty much always sweat out some if they ever get hot enough, such as when shooting a lot quickly.  This "problem" does slowly lessen over time, but attempting to sweat it out with artificial methods generally doesn't make enough of a difference to be worth the effort.  Also, some methods of heating the stock can damage the finish or wood.  Any method anyone recommends that calls for any type of solvent or chemical applied to the stock should NEVER be used.  These almost all damage the finish and/or wood of the stock.  It is advised to merely wipe the cosmoline off of the surface as per the "/k/ Approved Method" outlined above.