Ever spent a full Saturday in your garage trying to scrub the last remnants of brown gooey cosmoline off of your military surplus rifle? There’s an easier way, my friend. Lots of easier ways, actually. I describe some of the most common methods in this video.


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23 Responses to “How To Remove Cosmoline From Military Surplus Rifles”

  1. Wayne Greene

    i like to take the time and really clean the metal with hoppes 9. this also lets you inspect ALL the parts, as far as the wood goes. if its too bad i will let the stock sit tween my dash and seat in the ole pickum up truck in the summer a couple of days and weep it out. then clean it with non acetone fingernail polish remover. it doesn't strip the wood and leaves that nice patina an ole rifle gets.

    Reply
  2. Steve Swope

    This probably sounds goofy but I use diaper wipes to clean the majority of the the cosmoline.. Diaper wipes can clean anything.

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  3. Ray Wasinger III

    tis the season … gift wrap storage containers would have the long skinny format needed … but check chemical compatibility before using it.

    Reply
  4. Jon Register

    I like to use hot water and simple green for all of the metal. For the wood I put it in the sun and wipe it off continually. This works pretty well for me.

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  5. Douglas E. Thede

    I use plane old stoddard solvent I get from service station suppliers.the nice thing is its not flamable and you can clean the stock off with it

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  6. Jay Cormier

    Gasoline……worked the best for me. IF…….I was told correctly many, many years ago…..Cosmo was designed to be cleaned with Gas. However….gas isn't as cheap as it was 8 to 11 years ago when I did most of my cosmo-cleaning. However……..I'd still use it today. Of course….when/if you use gasoline…..wear your rubber gloves/protective apron/ operate in a well-ventilated area…..etc. I cleaned all my metal/wood/etc. 'outside' in the warmer-weather months. I then sprayed/soaked/wiped down all the metal parts w/some sort(s) of oil(s). The 'wood' was thoroughly died by the Sun and Mother Natures wind…..then given a few coats of BLO. To each their own….what you want to use……

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  7. Ralph McLean

    A couple of suggestions for heat sources: A hair dryer working in 6-8 inch segments, and/or a heat lamp done pretty much the same way. As for another idea for a trough when you need one: try a plastic window box-type planter, and plug the drain holes if it has them. You can also use a heavy-duty flower delivery box, just line it with heavy plastic, and seal it with duct tape. Both are cheap, and disposable, assuming that you can find them…

    Reply
  8. Lucky Gunner Ammo

    That's an awesome idea Steve, I'll have to try that.

    Reply
  9. Brent Walter

    I have cleaned up quite a few nasty milsurp stocks (Type 53s especially). The stock I bake in the oven at about 175 degrees and periodically wiping down to remove the "sweat". Put tinfoil down on the rack to keep the cosmoline from dripping down.

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  10. Joe Ondish

    Gas is definitely the way to go in cleaning, but with the cost, it doesn't make much sense now. The cheaper, effective alternative is mineral spirits/paint thinner. It cuts through the cosmoline and essentially melts it off. Makes cleaning as easy as possible…all things considering!

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  11. Carol Walter

    Makes all of the baked goods smell so good, too. lol

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  12. LG Chris

    Yeah, I was gonna say… sounds great but how long before your kitchen smells normal again?

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  13. LG Chris

    I tried a hair dryer on the stock once, but it was taking forever so I gave up and left outside in the sun… maybe the one we have isn't hot enough. I also thought of the window planter idea while I was at the hardware store, but when I got home it was about 2 inches too short for my receiver!

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  14. Carol Walter

    LG Chris Truthfully doesn't smell for very long. Of course, the stock doesn't stay in the oven for long periods of time.

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  15. Marshal Truckie

    As a professional I would belay the use of large amounts of gasoline in a shop to clean guns…….Smoke um if you got um!

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  16. LG Chris

    Safety first, kids!

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  17. Bill Durham

    On SKS, Don't forget the gas piston.i did. nothing like hot Cosmo flying everywhere.

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  18. David Smith

    Your PVC tube is about the cheapest yet secure method available for soaking. Gutters and trays allow for more evaporation, thereby creating the need to replenish your solvent of choice…and increases the amount of fumes from the entire exercise. My four trials (2 SKSs, 1 Moisin Nagant, 1 Czech Mauser) were a mixture of heat and kerosene (but NOT at the same time, LOL!) and varied from 1 1/2 to 3 days (mostly due to work at my day job).

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  19. David Smith

    EngineBrite and Gunk both knock cosmoline off most surfaces, but (a) make sure you are outside, the fumes are nasty, and (b) since both are aerosols, surround your cleaning area with sheet plastic or garbage bags…

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  20. Lucky Gunner Ammo

    Thanks David – both good tips!

    Reply
  21. Lucky Gunner Ammo

    Thanks David – both good tips!

    Reply
  22. Kevin Thompson

    I used Simple Green on the SKS I bought and believe that it did a great job, especially on the stock.

    Reply
  23. Boston George

    clean all the metal in mineral spirits buy new monte carlo stock 69.00 keep wood for what ever have like new rifle old wood stock dont matter to me just want a great shooting rifle

    Reply

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