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Old September 16, 2009, 10:59 PM   #1
zxcvbob
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Kosmolene

The Tokarev ammo and spare magazines that I ordered came today. Holy moly. The mags were *packed* with brown cosmolene and wrapped in greasy waxed paper. I've got most of it out with gasoline and a chip brush, then a blast of cmpressed air. But how to really get them clean without taking them apart?

If I put them on a piece of newspaper and slowly heat with a hair dryer, will the stuff melt and drip out? (I don't want to hurt the spring with too much heat.) I could also use boiling water or my wife's steam-jet cleaner if that would work better.

Or I could soak them in some clean gasoline...
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Old September 17, 2009, 06:59 AM   #2
F. Guffey
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zxcvbob, I will do nothing to encourage you to use gasoline in an open container, I have plunge cans I have never used, (plunge can: fancy way to put gasoline on a rag without risking a spill)

In the old days rifles and Browning 50 Cal and 30 Cal MGs went to the shower, the petrol- chemical based cosmolene? was caught in the the grease trap, then the weapons were taken apart and oiled. The hair dryer should not produce enough heat to damage the springs, the air flowing through the heating elements is not in the dryer long enough, the hair dryer should have a thermal protection circuit that protects against overheating.

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Old September 17, 2009, 07:37 AM   #3
the rifleer
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If they are all steel then you can melt it off with a propane torch. the problem is that you used gas on them, so that probably isnt too smart.
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Old September 17, 2009, 07:48 AM   #4
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Denatured alcohol dissolves the lanolin (the main ingredient) in cosmolene. If it's the main ingredient in Kosmolene is a different issue.

Try dunking & shaking in a container of it (Taking all fireproofing precautions.)
It may need to soak a little if it's really hardened.
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Old September 17, 2009, 08:26 AM   #5
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Try soaking it in a tub or bucket of mineral spirits - it's an excellent solvent of cosmoline without being as poisonous or flammable as gasoline.
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Old September 17, 2009, 08:43 AM   #6
F. Guffey
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wogpotter,

"Chemically, cosmoline is a homogeneous mixture of oily and waxy long-chain, non-polar hydrocarbons. It is always brown in color, and can differ in viscosity and shear strength. Cosmoline melts at 130-150 °F (45–52 °C) and has a flashpoint of 365 °F (185 °C)".

and if I wanted to burn cosmoline I would ignite it with a torch, it melts between 130-150 degree F.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmoline

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Old September 17, 2009, 09:16 AM   #7
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A boiling water bath with some Spic and Span added to it works wonders at removing cosmoline.
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Old September 17, 2009, 09:25 AM   #8
zxcvbob
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Thanks. I didn't remember if cosmolene (sp?) had any soap in it to prevent it from melting, like axle grease, or if it was just thick nasty vaseline.

(I'm using a small amount gasoline where there's no source of ignition; not even a lightbulb. But I'll switch to something less volatile now that I've got most of it under control.
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Old September 17, 2009, 09:44 AM   #9
cougar gt-e
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Read this link -- it's pretty good

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu23.htm
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Old September 17, 2009, 02:21 PM   #10
mp25ds4
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put them on a pan in the oven set at 200 degrees, the cosmoline will heat up and run off into the pan
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Old September 17, 2009, 09:48 PM   #11
raftman
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Why do you wanna get the mags clean specifically without taking them apart?
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Old September 17, 2009, 10:05 PM   #12
zxcvbob
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Quote:
Why do you wanna get the mags clean specifically without taking them apart?
Very good question. I asked myself that earlier and realized I didn't have an answer, so I took them apart
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:21 PM   #13
BobbyT
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Hair dryer won't come anywhere close to the heat needed for damage. Submerging them in boiling water would heat them far more, and still be nothing.

I don't like the hot water approach because I don't trust myself to get it all out of every nook and cranny. Any liquid petroleum distillate is going to act as a solvent; you could use diesel as it's less volatile than gas.

Taking apart the mags is very simple. Push up the little tab in the bottom and then slide the plate off the front. I know someone will complain, but I just used WD-40 since I didn't have any mineral spirits around, and then wrapped each piece in a paper towel to blot the residue off before reassembling.

Take apart the mag that came with the pistol and wasn't packed with cosmo, because it likely still has it underneath the follower and such.
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Old September 19, 2009, 07:13 AM   #14
Chris_B
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Quote:
The Tokarev ammo and spare magazines that I ordered came today. Holy moly. The mags were *packed* with brown cosmolene and wrapped in greasy waxed paper. I've got most of it out with gasoline and a chip brush, then a blast of cmpressed air. But how to really get them clean without taking them apart?

If I put them on a piece of newspaper and slowly heat with a hair dryer, will the stuff melt and drip out? (I don't want to hurt the spring with too much heat.) I could also use boiling water or my wife's steam-jet cleaner if that would work better.

Or I could soak them in some clean gasoline...
Use a hairdrier
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Old September 19, 2009, 08:17 AM   #15
m&p45acp10+1
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Zep Orange Peel Spray

I use it all of the time. My first experinces with it were at work cleaning industrial parts for conveyor motors, and forklift parts (all of which come slothered in cosmoline.) It is organic so no fumes, smells like oranges, does not mar plastic or wood, and can be purchased at Home Depot. I took a can home to clean up an SKS that my neighbor bought and it worked like a charm. Just remeber to oil all of the metal parts when you are done.
I buy it by the case because I use it on a lot of suff, so I always have a can handy.
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Old September 19, 2009, 04:47 PM   #16
gyvel
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Just go to Wal-Mart and get a gallon of mineral spirits. That will take care of your cosmoline problem.
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Old September 27, 2009, 05:51 PM   #17
rocinante
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brake cleaner and mineral spirits for the win
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