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Old November 14, 1999, 01:37 PM   #1
cornered rat
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Location: Minnesota
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I just got some M1 carbine magazines and they are thickly covered in sticky brown grease. What's the best way to clean it off?

If I have to disassemble the mags, how do I remove the floorplate?
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Old November 14, 1999, 01:53 PM   #2
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Try cleaning them with either gasoline or mineral spirits.
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Old November 14, 1999, 02:01 PM   #3
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hi conored rat! I like to put gasoline in
a 1 liter or 2 liter coke bottle and pour it into my greasy mags and gun actions. I use an old dishpan as a catch bassin and another
enpty 2 liter coke bottle to store the cosmoline gasoline after I am done. The dirty gas can be used to clean paint brushes later
if you paint with oil based enamil.DO NOT
IN THE GARBAGE BECAUSE THE GARBAGE TRUCKS HAVE THAT CRUSHER CLAW THAT CONPRESSES THE GARBAGE AND THE GASOLINE FILLED SODA BOTTLES BURST AND MAKE LIKE MOLITIKOF COCKTAILS AND BLOW UP THE GARBAGE TRUCKS. Properly dispose of the gasoline by turning it in to a oil recycling facility or puoring the gas on the ground some place safe. Every 6 years or so I read of exploding garbage trucks done in by 2 liter coke bottles full of dirty gas. And yes
you may have to take the base plate of the mags off to get to the cosmoline inside the mags. Heavy spring tension makes parts fly
across the room ,so beware.Only take one mag at a time apart because parts might not be perfect interchange between mags and you could forget which way a part goes back in
so that you could take apart the next mag to see how the part fits.Cosmoline makes my hands itch really bad so I use rubber gloves.
Pvc plastic-laytex gloves. Gasoline will melt
dishwashing gloves. Gasoline can make some peoples hands itch but the big culperet here is that shi~ty cosmoline crap. Over the years I have learned to truely hate cosmoline.

[This message has been edited by ernest2 (edited November 14, 1999).]
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Old November 14, 1999, 02:59 PM   #4
Ron L
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I've used kerosene to clean cosmoline off of machinery before. It's similar to gasoline, though it isn't as aggressive, so it may take a little more time to get things clean. It also leaves a little bit of an oily film, which, depending on the metal you're cleaning, might be a good thing to help keep moisture from attacking it.

While ernest2 warned about disposing of it properly and using personal chemical protection, such as gloves, I don't agree on pouring any used petroleum product like gas, kerosene, or oil onto the ground. DO NOT contaminate your soil by dumping these things into it. Proper disposal through a recycling center is the only way to go about it. Consider that it doesn't take much to pollute a well water source or a nearby garden.


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Terra-Haute Torque & Recoil Society

[This message has been edited by Ron L (edited November 14, 1999).]
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Old November 14, 1999, 05:42 PM   #5
Jim V
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Or ->TONGUE IN CHEEK<-, add Ivory soap flakes to the gasoline and save it for what ever.


Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

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Old November 14, 1999, 06:42 PM   #6
Joe the Redneck
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Get a can of carb cleaner. It is the best stuff to get cosmo off of metal. Just keep it away from wood; but as you're cleaning mags that won't be a problem. Just give a very light coat of RemOil (or any light oil) because it will leave the metal dry.

Good luck.
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Old November 14, 1999, 07:35 PM   #7
Jeff Thomas
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Many years ago I used gasoline as a solvent, and I also put my bare hands into a lot of very nasty stuff.

Since then I have spent a fair amount of time managing workers compensation programs as part of my job. My perspective has changed.

I strongly suggest you do NOT use gasoline as a solvent. And, spend a little money and buy some good rubber, industrial gloves for working with whatever solvent you do end up using. I've seen and read of some really nasty results with gasoline (like having your face burned off), and a lot of this stuff is not good to have absorbed by your body. Yes, odds are you won't have a fire, and you won't be the guy whose body reacts badly to your solvent of choice. But, to use an analogy, odds are the gun isn't loaded, so why worry about painting people with it? Because sometimes playing the odds is dumb when the downside is so great.

You might see if a friend or local garage auto dealership will allow you to use their solvent tank - that stuff breaks down most grease, and is made to be user-friendly.

Just my $0.02. Don't want to lose you too soon on this forum, CR. I enjoy your posts. Take care.
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Old November 15, 1999, 12:39 PM   #8
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Diesel fuel dissolves cosmoline effectively. I've cleaned firearms so gooed up with cosmoline they looked like they were made of beeswax. I use a recycling parts washer (for auto parts) that filters and reflows the solvent quite nicely.

But a half full paint can or mop bucket of diesel(in a WELL VENTILATED area) a bronze brush for the REALLY hard to clean stuff will do wonders. Gloves are a good idea if your hands are sensitive. If they aren't keep some cornhusker's lotion around to soften your hands back up cause handling the solvent directly will dry your hands out incredibly.

hope it helps,

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Old November 15, 1999, 03:41 PM   #9
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standard cheap rubbing alcohol works without damaging the finish.... but be aware of the flame/flash posibilities....
Old November 15, 1999, 03:41 PM   #10
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dispose of it like any combustible...

[This message has been edited by CHEMNCO917 (edited November 15, 1999).]
Old November 15, 1999, 04:36 PM   #11
4V50 Gary
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Location: Colorado
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Shame on you Jim V. Alternatively, you recycle your old used styrofoam cups into that old gasoline.

An ex-serviceman friend told me they'd use to sneak over to the mess hall and use the steam cleaner.

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Old November 15, 1999, 05:32 PM   #12
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Having read through the posts on how to clean guns/gun parts covered with cosmoline, people spoke of hydrocarbon solvents (gasoline, kerosine, diesel oil), all of which will work, and all of which present some degree of danger.

Nobody, unless I missed amention of it, thougtht of HOT, SOAPY WATER, OR JUST PLAIN OLD FASHIONED HOT WATER. For small parts, get an old pot or other metal container, put the parts in it, add water, and bring the mess to a slow boil.

Rinse with clean, hot water, let the metal air dry, then lightly oil. It worked before, and likely still would.
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Old November 15, 1999, 05:42 PM   #13
Nestor Rivera
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I have had good luck with both Break Free and WD-40 and lots of EG (elbow grese)
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Old November 15, 1999, 08:16 PM   #14
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I agree with Alan wholeheartedly. It has worked for me many times in the past and you don't have the dangers of working with flammable liquids. For what it is worth, I hit the parts with a high pressure air hose rather than letting them air dry and follow up with a light oiling. This is also a great way to clean really dirty firearms after a simple field stripping. Use a light coat of oil where needed.

Take care and God bless,
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Old November 15, 1999, 11:43 PM   #15
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Organic based cleaners like Simple Green work great. Spray the parts/components, scrub with a tooth brush, rinse with warm water in parts tub, dry throughly, then wipe with an oily rag for rust preventative. I've cleaned numerous guns that were in the cosmoline and never had a problem with this method.

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Old November 16, 1999, 01:04 AM   #16
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Hot soapy water and liquid dishwater detergent(dawn is my favorite) is an effective and SAFE why to remove grease and oil. If you never tried it, you'll be amazed at how this stuff cuts grease. Just steal a little from your wife.

Also works great on greasy hands-better than gojo and that other stuff. And makes your hands smooth.

The new guy.

"I'm totin, this pistol because my dang SKS won't fit in my holster"
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Old November 16, 1999, 02:49 AM   #17
Long Path
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Here's another call for hot, soapy water. But sometimes you have parts that are staked or pinned together, so you can't get all the soap or water out easily. Try boiling the parts or pouring boiling water over them. This gets the parts so hot that the water evaporates right off of them afterwards.

For quick and clean, I like brake cleaner. AutoZone had big cans 2 for $3.00 the other day, and that's a LOT of Cosmoline removal for the buck, and brake cleaner, as I learned here, is more consistant about leaving no residue or harming finishes than Carburator Cleaner.

None of that around? Lighter fluid works nicely, but is more expensive.

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


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Old November 16, 1999, 04:50 AM   #18
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Jim, you could also clean that gun with Ivory snow, Ivory flakes, Lux flakes, Chiffon flakes, Palmolive bar, Sweetheart bar, and or an Octagon bar soap. I hear they all keep ya squeeky clean.heehhe
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Old November 16, 1999, 05:12 AM   #19
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I never dreamed there were so many ways to remove cosmoline. I still like the gasoline best cause it is easiest and fastest .I do it outside so that the gasoline fumes are not confined and so not very dangerious.Stay away
from sparks & open flames.Despose of dirty
gasoline at a State Authorized Official Recycling Station.
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