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Old January 28, 2005, 06:30 AM   #1
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Help on cleaning an old rifle, PLEASE!

I was talking to my dad today about rifles and what i was looking to buy etc.. He looks at me, gets up goes into his room and comes back with a pretty old winchester 22 single shot top loader rifle thats been sitting in his closet for about 30 years. hmm let me tell you was i excited when he gave it to me. the blueing on the rifle is lightly spotted with rust and inside the barrel has a lot of dust and cobwebs etc.. I blew out most of the dirt and you can see through it pretty good. So i called a Gunsmith and was told he would charge about $300+ to reblue and clean out the barrel, refinish the stock and make sure it works. WOW is that really that expensive. My old man told me he spent about $40.00 for the rifle new, fired it once then put it behind the door.
So my question is// Can i clean this myself, not that im cheap but i would really like to show it off and tell people that i did it on my own. I was thinking of just dunking the barrel in some bucket of stuff to get rid of the rust. Im a complete newbie when it comes to this sort of thing. Man if any of you have pity on me and want to give me a step by step with a list of what i would need i would be grateful.
thank you
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Old January 28, 2005, 08:10 AM   #2
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Definitely can do it yourself

If the rust on the barrel is light, some fine steel wool will take it right off...If heavier, it'll still work but may leave some pits....Then buy some "cold blue", follow the directions, and it will turn out pretty good....

Over at (I think) they have diagrams for dissasembly of many different guns.... Or ask around on the 'boards for instructions... Carefully take it apart (if you have a digital camera take pictures as you do so) and clean everything up...Oil it up nice and put it back together.

If you take your time, you can probably make it look almost like new, for a few dollars worth of materials....
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Old January 28, 2005, 11:12 AM   #3
bill k
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Find a different gunsmith, my gunsmith charged me $45.00 to clean and safety inspect my Weatherby 7 mm mag after hunting season, he charged me $50.00 for my BAR. I would guess a single shot should be less. An old rifle like that I would argue should be inspected my a gunsmith before shooting. As mentioned by dfaug find a manual and reblue yourself if need be.
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Old January 28, 2005, 11:23 AM   #4
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i wouldnt bother with the gunsmith, do the rust on the metal like said above. you can also refinish the wood easily yourself too.
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Old January 28, 2005, 01:47 PM   #5
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I'd ask that gunsmith if robbing banks was his day job? :barf:
You can clean up that rust with four 0 (0000) steel wool and WD-40. Soak a piece of the steel wool with the WD-40 and rub the rusted surfaces gently until the rust is gone. Give the barrel a good cleaning with a good solvent and tight patched. Refinishing a stock is easy, remove the old finish, sand and fill the wood and use whatever type finishing material you like. (oil, Varathane, whatever you think you'd like best.) A product like Varathane would probably be the easiest, but oil is nice and any field induced boo-boos on the stack are more easily taken care of.
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Old January 28, 2005, 10:32 PM   #6
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Use 0000 steel wool and oil to take care of the exterior of the metal parts. Just don't rub too hard or you will remove the blue. Get a 22 caliber cleaning kit from wallyworld and clean the bore. Unless it's really beat up, leave the wood alone and clean with furniture polish. Dents in the wood can be steamed out with a wet washcloth and steam iron.
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Old January 28, 2005, 11:28 PM   #7
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you guys are great

great advice.. thanks a whole bunch.. hmm but what aobut the inside of the barrel.. anything special i should know about that. will that brake free work on it.. also i bought some of that blue wonder i was going to use on the barrel. Anyone ever use that stuff? thanks again.

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Old January 29, 2005, 12:49 AM   #8
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For inside the barrel. Buy a couple of GOOD .22 CLEANING brushes. One steel, the other copper. ONLY use the steel one if AFTER using the copper one and then cleaning it with Hoppes (or your choice of cleaner) you still see plenty of rust. Then use the steel one.

Worst case, just shoot it. But that CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS if barrel has any major blockage. Again, clean it first. If you are not satisfied, have it test fired by a gunsmith for safety reasons.

As a gunsmith, I concur. Go find a different gunsmith. A DCOA (Disassemble, Clean, Oil, Assemble) shouldn't be more than your dad paid for it in the first place. No higher than $50.
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Old January 29, 2005, 06:42 AM   #9
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you guys are the best

man i guess this is it.. im going to go home and set everything up to get ready for my weekend project. i'll try to post pics monday or tuesday.
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Old January 29, 2005, 01:05 PM   #10
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I don't think the $300 is out of line since, in the first post, accordingtone "called" the gunsmith and described what sounds like a restoration, not just a cleaning and safety check.
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Old January 29, 2005, 08:30 PM   #11
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For light surface rust, I prefer not to use steel wool, which can scratch the bluing. Go down to the super market to the cleaning supplies department and get some brass wool or copper wool that is used for cleaning pots and pans. Use that with oil and I think the rust will come off with minimal damage and no need to cold blue anything.

As to cleaning, what exact model is that gun. There are a few Winchester .22's that can't be cleaned from the breech, but that is the way to clean a rifle if you can. Since they had non-corrosive ammo way back in the old days 30 years ago, I doubt that the barrel has anything in it except dirt and dust. If you do buy a steel brush, use it only if you have to; .22 barrel steel is fairly soft and can be damaged by a steel brush.

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Old February 1, 2005, 01:55 AM   #12
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I never had so much fun as i did learning how to clean this gun. Keep in mind that i have never pulled apart a gun or tried to fix one. actually i really did not know how most of them work besides you pulling the trigger and it goes bang.
Well it all pulled apart in no time and it only took about an hour to really clean the barrel out. No prob. its not too shinny but its very smooth. I used lots of brake-free on pretty much everything. lots of dirt.. i mean a lot of dirt. I used 000 steel wool and a Gun blueing cleaner on the barrel. took off all the rust in no time. i dunno if i was supposed to but i used to 000 on the wood too. worked great! all in all it took about 5 hours but the rifle looks almost new. I tried to take pics but my digi cam is not working. i can not wait to shoot it. Its a Winchester Model 55 top loading single shot 22. there was no numbers on it. Thanks again for all of your guys help. I can not wait to pull something else apart and clean it.
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Old February 1, 2005, 12:43 PM   #13
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FWIW, I don't clean .22LR bores unless they stop shooting well or there is some obvious reason (ton o' dust, blockage, etc). They do just fine if you leave them alone.
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Old February 2, 2005, 12:40 AM   #14
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I recently "discovered" a great rust remover that's real gentle on non-rusty parts or parts you don't want scratched. It's a household cleaner called "Bar Keeper's Friend." It's a powder that comes in a can exactly like those Ajax scrubbing powders, except no bleach and it KILLS rust.

I have only used it in limited circumstances, so if you try it, use on an inconspicuous spot first!
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