View Full Version : New to polishing up C&Rs

May 31, 2008, 10:07 AM
I'm looking to start a collection of C&Rs and to refinish some of them to take to the range and hunt with. For example, looking at some SKSs and Mosin Nagants 91/30 and M44, Mausers, so on.

What would I need to get going? I've got basic tools, no dremels or anything of that sort. Will I be needing special tools? Chemicals? I imagine there must be some strange screws or something or another that requires something a bit special. I dunno, I'm new, ha.

Advice for a new guy?

T. O'Heir
May 31, 2008, 08:39 PM
Just cleaning the wood and metal is all you really need to do with most milsurps. Normal rifle cleaning tools and products for the metal. Any wood cleaning product for the stock. Then use Boiled Linseed Oil(BLO) to refinish. It's the normal stock oil. Any paint supply shop will have it.
If there's cosmoline, mineral spirits works well and doesn't cost a ton of money. A bag of 0000 steel wool and oil will remove any light rust without bothering the finish. Other than that, there are not a lot of tools required. No rotary tools, period.
Some screws have metric threads, but you rarely need to do anything to them. Gunparts usually has replacements for any missing screws.
Good detailed stripping and assembling instructions(and sight adjustment) for most of 'em can be had here. http://www.surplusrifle.com/index.asp
Rear sights get adjusted, if they're adjustable at all, by moving them in the direction you want the group to go. Front sights(not all milsurp rear sights are windage adjustable) go in the opposite direction you want the group to go. A sight mover or a plastic hammer and a brass punch will move either.

June 2, 2008, 10:22 AM
Thank you very much, lookin' forward to some projects.

June 2, 2008, 12:50 PM
To remove cosmoline from metal, all you need is boiling water and cheap carb cleaner. I dunk small parts into a cheap foil baking pan full of boiling water; you don't want to use your good pots and pans for obvious reasons. ;) I only use the carb cleaner on parts that are too big or cumbersome to fit in the pan of boiling water. Dry the parts thoroughly, of course.

The stocks can be stripped with mineral spirits or Easy-Off Oven Cleaner, but if you want something easier that doesn't commit you to an all-out refinishing job, you can "sweat" the cosmo out. This can be done in an oven on low heat if the stock is small enough (which a Mosin-Nagant stock probably isn't), or if you live in a hot area like I do, you can leave the stock outside in direct sunlight on a hot day. Surplusrifle.com even has an article on building a "Cosmo Can" out of a galvanized steel garbage can and some cheap light fixtures. :cool: Using these methods, heavy cosmo buildup will drip off, but light cosmo buildup will form droplets that need to be wiped off with a rag or they will be reabsorbed as the stock cools.

Unlike on metal parts, I don't like to use boiling water on stocks because it makes the wood swell but doesn't seem to do a good job of getting the cosmo out.

M3 Pilot
June 2, 2008, 10:08 PM
If you're gonna sweat out the cosmoline outside as mentioned above,try sealing the stock inside a black plastic trash bag before you set it out in the sun. Worked pretty well for me.

June 7, 2008, 07:39 PM
Assuming you have your C&R license, send a copy to Brownell's and Midway to get the dealer discounts. It can help you save about 30% on costs.