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Old December 12, 2019, 08:34 PM   #1
unclejack37
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SKS Rifle

Last year I came across a SKS rifle from a private seller for a good price. All of the serial numbers matched and the Bayonet was still connected along with the cleaning kit still in the stock. After shooting the gun several times I decided to clean it. That's when I noticed that the bolt, which has a floating firing pin was packed with cosmoline. Turns out there is cosmoline in the gas tube, barrel, magazine, everywhere. What's the best stuff to use to clean it out. I went thru a bottle of Hoops #9, 2 cans of carb cleaner just to clean the bolt. I have to clean the brush after each stroke down the barrel. Any suggestions will help.
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Old December 12, 2019, 09:11 PM   #2
American Man
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https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/h...urplus-rifles/

If it were me, I would go with the mineral spirits route rather than mess with all the diesel and kerosene... I learned something new today.

Last edited by American Man; December 12, 2019 at 09:20 PM.
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Old December 12, 2019, 09:59 PM   #3
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Mineral spirits, a plastic tub long enough to submerge the parts to be cleaned and a paint brush rated for oil paints is the cheapest route, if you don't have access to a parts washer
set-up. Do not try to degrease the wood stock, or the wood will shrink. This is important for the SKS- you'll have gas leakage problems if it shrinks ....there are cheap cures to the problem, but don't make it a problem in the first place, right?

I highly recommend Murray's Guns firing pin with return spring .... do that, thank me later ..... I was on of the guys that got a bad batch of poorly heat treated firing pins ... and they made it right, paid shipping and all ...Good People.
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Old December 12, 2019, 10:42 PM   #4
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https://murraysguns.com/sks-firing-pins/

You're welcome, in advance.
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Old December 13, 2019, 07:28 AM   #5
JJ45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejack37 View Post
Last year I came across a SKS rifle from a private seller for a good price. All of the serial numbers matched and the Bayonet was still connected along with the cleaning kit still in the stock. After shooting the gun several times I decided to clean it. That's when I noticed that the bolt, which has a floating firing pin was packed with cosmoline. Turns out there is cosmoline in the gas tube, barrel, magazine, everywhere. What's the best stuff to use to clean it out. I went thru a bottle of Hoops #9, 2 cans of carb cleaner just to clean the bolt. I have to clean the brush after each stroke down the barrel. Any suggestions will help.
If the firing pin channel was packed with cosmoline when you fired it, there was a risk of a slam fire event where you may empty the magazine full auto. The FP, unable to "float" because of the packed grease, gets stuck in it's forward position.

I haven't done it but some have taken the barrel/action, bolt, gas tube to the car wash . IMO, it's really about a good non-toxic solvent/degreaser as you will use a lot of it and some elbow grease.

I have found the SKS quite simple and would rate the bolt assembly, even though simple to strip, as the most stubborn part of an SKS to disassemble.

Personally, I wouldn't waste money on a spring loaded FP. That would be somewhat redundant as the Soviets found it was not needed and discontinued it after the first couple years of production. 1950, I think was the last year. After a good initial cleaning and some regular inspection it should be no problem.

Last edited by JJ45; December 13, 2019 at 07:44 AM.
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Old December 13, 2019, 10:36 AM   #6
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As far as the stock is concerned, if the wood seems sound I've found that sunlight works good. Let the sun "cook it" for awhile, and wipe off the residue that comes up. It can take some time to keep repeating it, but at least you're not adding any other contaminants to the wood. Depending on where you live, certain times of the year may see better results than others...
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Old December 13, 2019, 11:27 AM   #7
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That would be somewhat redundant as the Soviets found it was not needed and discontinued it after the first couple years of production.
The Soviets eliminated a lot of things to cut costs ...... it was part of the original design for a reason ...... it was determined to be economically unnecessary.... what the hell did they care if the gun doubled occasionally if used with soft primers? Their military doctrine revolved around masses of troops attaining fire superiority .... an extra bullet in the air would not trouble them in the least.
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Old December 13, 2019, 01:49 PM   #8
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That would be somewhat redundant as the Soviets found it was not needed and discontinued it after the first couple years of production.
I don't doubt that someone in the Soviet system decided it was not needed, but that doesn't mean it was a gun designer, or even any kind of engineer.

decisions made by "good Party Members" often overrode those made by people who were merely technically skilled in the field.

Think of Chernobyl for one of, if not the biggest example.
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Old December 13, 2019, 02:01 PM   #9
T. O'Heir
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It's a wonder it didn't blow up.
Highly unlikely to be Cosmoline unless the seller put it there. Doesn't matter anyway. Grease is grease.
Take the stock off, disassemble the rifle and drop the whole thing in a tub/container of mineral spirits and leave it there for 24 hours. Then clean it the way you should have in the first place.
Wipe the excess sludge off the stock, DO NOT PUT ANY OF THE SLUDGE DOWN ANY DRAIN, and apply some BLO.
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Old December 13, 2019, 06:08 PM   #10
unclejack37
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Hey guys thanks for the feedback. I like the video from lucky gunner. It should be pretty easy to slap some PVC together to make a tub filled with mineral spirits.

The firing pin assembly was very stiff inside and barely moved. I don't know how close I was to a slam fire but I'm glad I didn't have to experience that. It took a while to clean that up but you can shake it now hear it rattle.

The previous owner did a real good job of cleaning the the outside of the gun. It didn't look as bad as the one on Lucky gunner on the outside but the inside is packed with cosmoline. I'll start to disassemble the rifle this weekend and lets see how it goes. I'll try to post pics after the clean up.

Thanks again guys.
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Old December 13, 2019, 06:44 PM   #11
JJ45
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One more thing. Upon reassembly, a "floating" SKS firing pin can be installed upside down. At the first shot, it will stick in the forward position. Almost certain to slam fire and at worst an out of battery detonation.

I'm not into shooting SKSs much anymore but when I used to field strip the weapon I always shook the bolt assembly to make sure the FP was moving freely. Turn it, shake it, and you should hear a slight clicking sound if the FP is free.

Also, I never lube the FP or it's channel, keep it dry and use steel case, hard primered ammo. The SKS was designed to use this ammo.
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Old December 14, 2019, 01:02 AM   #12
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1. Heat, then wipe.
2. Heat, then wipe.
3. Heat, then wipe.
By this time you might be to the point of being able to clean the remaining goo with mineral spirits, or gun solvent.
One old Cruffler trick was to wrap a cosmoline coated gun in newspaper, place it in a black plastic trash bag, and store it in the sun. Changing the newspaper daily as it soaked up the goo.
On many of my greased up milsurps I cut the process short with careful use of a heat gun.
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Old December 14, 2019, 06:51 AM   #13
JJ45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob86 View Post
The Soviets eliminated a lot of things to cut costs ...... it was part of the original design for a reason ...... it was determined to be economically unnecessary.... what the hell did they care if the gun doubled occasionally if used with soft primers? Their military doctrine revolved around masses of troops attaining fire superiority .... an extra bullet in the air would not trouble them in the least.
Very true Jimbo and the Soviets were not in the least hesitant in sacrificing their troops en masse...Zhukov was once asked why he used regular troops and penal battalions to clear a mine field by just charging through it on foot...he said the same number of casualties would be taken if the field was defended by artillery fire as they advanced so what's the difference?!!!

What puzzles me about the SKS as a military weapon is the profusion of relatively bright chromed bayonets...Camoflage be danged! I know the original was a blued spike and there are a lot of dark blades but I think it was a part of Ivan's military doctrine....the psychological effect of a thousand plus infantry all with bright blades advancing would spook the heck out of the defenders, never mind the casualties!
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Old December 18, 2019, 05:30 PM   #14
seanc
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One old Cruffler trick was to wrap a cosmoline coated gun in newspaper, place it in a black plastic trash bag, and store it in the sun. Changing the newspaper daily as it soaked up the goo.
That's what I did with mine. Better results in the summer than this time of year .
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Old January 14, 2020, 05:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejack37 View Post
Last year I came across a SKS rifle from a private seller for a good price. All of the serial numbers matched and the Bayonet was still connected along with the cleaning kit still in the stock. After shooting the gun several times I decided to clean it. That's when I noticed that the bolt, which has a floating firing pin was packed with cosmoline. Turns out there is cosmoline in the gas tube, barrel, magazine, everywhere. What's the best stuff to use to clean it out. I went thru a bottle of Hoops #9, 2 cans of carb cleaner just to clean the bolt. I have to clean the brush after each stroke down the barrel. Any suggestions will help.
Tank of hot water. Grease melts & floats to the top. When you pull the action & parts out, they're hot & dry quickly. There will still be a light layer on them as you pull them up out of the bath. Regular solvents should be able to handle that last little bit.
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Old January 15, 2020, 07:38 PM   #16
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Congratulations on the SKS. Fine firearm imo. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my Chinese Norinco. Another vote for Murrays firing pin. Relatively very inexpensive. There’s no reason not to, any opposition to it is plain silly, border line ignorant. Google or YouTube SKS stuck firing pin and you’ll see the wisdom behind doing it. May never be needed but boy if it were, you’d wish you had done it, especially if the gun was being fired by a youngster in training.
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Old January 15, 2020, 07:53 PM   #17
Steve in PA
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While changing the firing pin on the SKS is a simple task, calling opposition to it as being ignorant?

And before someone runs off at the mouth, yeah....I have an SKS. I also have M1 Carbine, two AR rifles, AK variant and a few others. Clean out all the cosmoline.
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Old January 15, 2020, 09:25 PM   #18
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Nice collection

Last edited by SEHunter; January 15, 2020 at 09:31 PM.
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