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Cleaning/Restoring Mosin Nagant 91/30 - Any tips?

For Christmas my brother got me a cool Nagant. It's in pretty good shape and doesn't have a ton of cosmoline on it, but there is enough to be a pain for sure. These things are notorious for having a really sticky action after a few rounds. It's usually because they didn't get all of the cosmoline out, but it can be a few other things too. On Friday I plan to get this thing into shape for reliable shooting. I want to strip all of the cosmo off, tweak a few things, and ???

I watched a series of videos on youtube about the sticky bolt. I plan on following his suggestions for using some slightly abrasive polishing compound to polish the inside of the chamber and simultaneously cleaning out all of the cosmoline. I also plan on cutting off 1 length of the spring and sanding/polishing and friction points that look problematic also per the video series. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I don't want to change too much just make it shoot nice.

Also, any suggestions for removing the cosmoline? The strap, ammo pouches and other stuff will probably be washed by hand with warm water and detergent if I don't find any better ideas. I've seen a lot of people cleaning off the metal with hot water, heat (parts in the oven), a steam cleaner, etc. That is fine for small parts that I can fit in a pan in the oven, but I don't have a steam cleaner and dont want to put the barrel, etc. in hot water. Would it be OK to put these parts in the oven if I can figure out a way? Any other ideas? What about the wood... I dont need to work out everything as I'm not planning on refinishing it right now, so would an orange-glo type wood polish and/or goo gone work well?
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:26 AM Pudah is offline  
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Social Misfit
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No experience with cosmoline (Although i'm sure simple green would do the job), but for the stock hit it with some Howards Feed N' Wax. Oughta clean it right up.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:05 AM Social Misfit is offline  
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The common recipe I see for cosmo is in a box or trash can with a hot bulb in it. When it gets hot it just drips off. Been awhile since i've read about it so I may be wrong but thats what I remember.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:35 AM TommyTheCat is offline  
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Ummm... just use brake cleaner and some rags, then oil it when you're done.


From the second link down..

Tools & equipment needed:

* End section of a cleaning rod
* 410 or 20 gauge brass brush
* (2) .410 or 20 gauge cotton swab
* Solvent: Hoppes No.9, Sweets, Ed’s Red, Acetone, any good solvent that will eat away the cosmoline
* A drill

Steps taken:

1) Remove the bolt from your rifle.

2) Attach the brush to the end of the cleaning rod.

3) Chuck the cleaning rod into the drill.

4) Dip the brush into the solvent.

*WARNING* Do NOT let the brush come into contact with the rifling. We just want to clean the chamber, not wear down the barrel. While it may not do much damage if the brush touches, why do any damage at all?

5) Put the cleaning rod through the receiver so that the brush is inside the chamber but not touching the rifling.

6) Using low to medium speed run the brush clockwise around the chamber for 10 to 20 seconds.

7) Remove the drill, rod & brush from the rifle.

8) Using a lint free rag and your finger remove as much cosmoline as you can.

9) Replace the brass brush on the cleaning rod with the cotton swab.

10) Dip the cotton swab in the solvent, and repeat steps 5-8.

11) At this point most of the cosmoline should be gone. Replace the solvent & cosmoline soaked swab with a clean one.

12) Run the dry swab the same as above, but for only 5 seconds.

13) Done!

This may not remove all the cosmoline in one go, but the bolt should be easier to open afterwards. If the bolt is easier to open but still “sticky”, simply repeat the procedure until all the cosmoline is gone.

The preferred (and most fun!) method of cleaning is the same as above, but it takes place at the range. Hot cosmoline flows & is much easier to remove than when hardened.

The steps for range cleaning are:

1) Fire 5 shots or so until the chamber is good and hot then open the bolt. The bolt will likely be quite difficult to open by this time, a rubber mallet can come in handy for this purpose.

2) Use your finger to run a lint-free rag dipped in solvent around in the chamber, removing as much cosmoline as you can.

3) Use the dry end of the rag to remove the leftover solvent and some additional cosmoline.

4) Repeat steps 1-3 until the bolt is easy to open.

5) Done! Now, wasn’t that a fun way to clean?
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:16 AM Gearhead is offline  
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I have a Nagant with an action that becomes sticky as fuck after just three rounds. Thanks for the cleaning tips.
Old 01-27-2010, 12:09 PM Daishi is offline  
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this is indeed relevant to my interests
Old 01-27-2010, 10:17 PM Chadwick is offline  
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I broke it down and washed all the metal parts in mineral spirits, then boiled them in water. Later I used some CLP and cleaned, then oiled everything except the chamber. I took a m16 brush with a cloth patch on it, covered it in bore-bright paste, connected it to a drill and polished the inside of the chamber out. I then cleaned well with solvent, put on a light coat of oil and went shoting. After firing about 10-15 rounds I'd pull the bolt out and get a cloth patch into the chamber to get every little bit of melted cosmo left out. After a trip to the range I cleaned the gun well and took a little brake cleaner to the chamber. I put some bore-bright on all of the parts that rub and worked the handle on the bolt a few hundred times. Cleaned and oiled and it's flawless now. I also took a length out on the pin spring. I probably didn't need to do so much, but it worked well. The wood is another story. So far I've just used orange-glo on it. The stock needs to be refinished, so that'll do just fine for now.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:36 PM Pudah is offline  
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