Originally Posted by Last Resort
Well, it seems that I didn't do all my homework. Tonight I was introduced to Cosmoline. My rifle is drenched in it. After reading, it seems it can be quite a process to remove all this gunk. As it is the dead of winter, it seems my options are somewhat limited without harsh chemicals. Anybody have any suggestions for the quickest/easiest way to get this thing ready to shoot? Also, (I know some of you won't like this) I plan on changing over to the black sport stock. I'm wondering if rather than going to all the trouble of cleaning the cosmoline off the wood and re-finishing, if I should just take the rifle apart and put the sport stock on right off the bat. That way I could leave the wood preserved in cosmoline, and clean all the pieces while they are apart. Your thoughts?
If you ventilate extremely well and choose your times appropriately, the kitchen is a great place to remove cosmoline. The small parts can be boiled in water, in a big enough pot that you never intend to use for anything else but hare-brained gun projects, and then gone over with an old toothbrush and a small, small amount of some sort of solvent (you really can't get completely away from chemicals to get it all off) like mineral spirits.
The barrel is a bit tougher to clean with just boiling water, but repeated applications and elbow grease will get you through.. Some folks go all the way and then do it electronically, too, either through expensive kits or a completely Rube Goldberg DIY project
to remove all the copper and lead fouling.
I tend to use a combination of boiling water on small parts and then steam on the larger parts, stocks included. Nobody is going to fault you for completely removing the wooden stock and replacing it so long as you preserve it, but I wouldn't just let it sit in the cosmoline. One great method for removal is to stick it in a black plastic trash bag inside your car (again, careful with the wife's nose and sense of dignity) during the warm months, which will drip it off slowly. Others go all out with harsh chemicals like oven cleaners in an effort to do it ASAP. Check at surplusrifles
for more ideas on cosmoline, and have fun with it.