How To Remove Cosmoline from Milsurp Guns [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Outdoor Hub
08-12-2011, 11:10
I had a few folks ask me how to best remove Cosmoline from a firearm. Cosmoline is a Vaseline-type preservative that was used to preserve firearms.

Collectors of C&R (Curio & Relic) firearms often find old firearms that were built around WWI or WWII and then put in storage. These guns were usually just dipped in a big vat of Cosmoline and then put into storage.

Sometimes folks forget what is going on and get all mad at the big Cosmoline mess that must be cleaned up on these old guns. But we ought to remember that Cosmoline is actually our “Friend”.

It has preserved these old guns, like new, under the Cosmoline, and all we have to do is clean them up to have a 50+ year-old, brand new gun.

First, let’s look at some pictures of a Yugo SKS that I found at the gun show last weekend.

It is like-new and has a coating of Cosmoline.

Here it is.

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http://theboxotruth.com/images/e23-1.jpg

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One important thing to remember about Cosmoline is that the guns were “dipped” in a vat of the stuff.

It isn’t just a coating on the exterior, but is in every nook and cranny of the gun.

And it all has to be cleaned out.

Here’s some showing between the stock and barrel assembly.

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http://theboxotruth.com/images/e23-2.jpg

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Here’s some in the grenade launcher sight.

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http://theboxotruth.com/images/e23-3.jpg

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And look at this mess on the bolt face.

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http://theboxotruth.com/images/e23-4.jpg

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And another look.

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http://theboxotruth.com/images/e23-5.jpg

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It is important to remove the stock and all removable parts to be sure you get all the Cosmoline out of the gun.

This one even had it in the butt stock where the cleaning kit is stored.

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http://theboxotruth.com/images/e23-6.jpg

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Now, before anyone says it, Yes, I know that many old guns have a lot more Cosmoline on them than mine did. But it was actually worse than the pictures show. The removal method is the same.

There are many ways to remove Cosmoline. Almost all of them work. Some folks like to heat it up, even in an oven on very low heat, to melt it out.

I like to use Mineral Spirits, sometimes simply called Paint Thinner, to remove the gunk. It is available at any paint department and is relatively

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