SKS and other surplus rifles

I just acquired a 1968 Yugo SKS a couple days ago. I bought it as a collectible. my buddy said it won’t cycle. bought it off him for $260. I urge anyone who ever buys any surplus rifle to make sure you clean the Cosmoline from it! his gas piston (as well as the rest of the gun) was doused in cosmoline and could not cycle! Luckily he barely fired it a few times and nothing went wrong. Barrel rifling is in amazing condition!

im thinking of starting a topic on cleaning cosmoline or maybe making a video :wink:

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Man, what a lucky deal. I have an old Mosin that came covered in cosmoline. After pouring boiling water over it to rinse as much of it off, I soaked every part possible in my own Ed’s Red type brew for a week. It doesn’t shoot that great, but at least I cleaned all that stuff off.

Anyway, I bet he now regrets selling it!

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Brake parts cleaner on anything steel will make getting rid of that crap a breeze and you can squirt it straight into all those tiny nooks and crannies where it really hides out.
Keep it off wood and plastic though or you will be hating life!!

I just picked up a 1957 Russian letter SKS that hadn’t been fired since it’s arsenal rebuild…also full of cosmoline in the gas system.
Congrats on your new acquisition!

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@Equin he also has a mosin I will probably commandeer lol.

@Comanchero45 how do you like the Russian?

I was planning on using mineral spirits to clean it, Any chance I can get that brew recipe off ya? I’ve been told mineral spirits are fine to use on the wood also. Trial and error On this gun I guess :salute:

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Congrats on the SKS, lookin good.

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Diesel fuel or kerosene works well. Not as hard on the wood.

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I have used all kinds of stuff but tend to use diesel then I use a regular cleaner.

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I haven’t fired this one yet, just got it last weekend. Made the mistake of getting rid of my last Russian…it was the best shooting, most accurate SKS I have ever fired. I’m hoping this one will follow in its footsteps.

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Here’s a recipe for the Ed’s Red formula:

http://www.frfrogspad.com/homemade.htm

I didn’t have kerosene, so I used some engine oil I had laying around. I just mixed it all outdoors and hoped for the best. I didn’t let that stuff touch the wood stock, though.

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oh god… please card most of the cosmoline off the wood and then take the rifle stocks outside… put them on a cotton towel and allow the sun to remove as much as possible… Turn the towel every 5 or so hours.(Alternatively an oven on 90 degree’s will work. WATCH it closely in the oven!)
once no significant oil shows on your towel. Get yourself some Citrol and clean to preferred state. Toothbrush works great with this application.
my .02.

Make sure to use a boiled linseed oil to retreat your stocks afterwards or your stock oil of preference.

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Yeah, I left the stock outside in the hot Texas sun. Funny you mention linseed oil. I had some boiled linseed oil leftover from when I applied it to my Garand’s stock, so that’s what I used on the Mosin’s wood.

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I use Berkebile Gum Cutter 2+2 (outdoors) on the metal and turpentine on the wood. Lots of cotton rags.

To put a new finish on use two coats 50/50 BOILED linseed oil and turpentine - wipe off after 20 minutes and dry overnight. Thereafter five or six more rubs with straight boiled linseed oil (again, wipe off any that hasn’t soaked in after 20 minutes). Use 0000 steel wool before each coat. Then I wax with BriWax. Holds up great and is a nice matte weatherproof finish.

The purists use raw linseed oil. But that never really dries and, on hot days, is a tacky mess.

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I do not use linseed oil. I use tongue oil. It gives a hard and dry water resistant finish.

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I ended up using mineral spirits and boiled linseed oil, worked good. Might try that briwax once I see how the linseed feels after a couple sessions.

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Lookn good!

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@LonewolfMcQuade thanks brother!

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Raw linseed oil only good for fence boards. Boiled linseed has chemicals in it to make it harden and dry somewhat but requires many hours of hand rubbing before you can handle it. I use Birchwood Casey Stock Finish as it dries completely and you can adjust the finish from matt to polished. Some modern plastic sprays work well but old stocks once in cosmoline usually don’t take well to these finishes. If you have a matching number SKS and just a clean will do it then keep it as is, hard to find original SKS’s that have not been refinished at some point. Original finish always brings higher $$ even in an SKS.

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Still have cosmoline seeping out of wood on my 2A after 7years. Every time it’s in the sun.

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This is why I will “cook” old military stocks in my oven at 150 degrees. It speeds up the process of getting rid of the preservatives they soak them in. Usually about 6 hours.

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I use this method as well

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