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WTK: Best Way to Clean Surplus Guns

1339 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  loclas
As with most people here, I have and/or get a bunch of old surplus rifles and hand-guns. I have also seen the prices go up on these and they generate a strong collector intrest, probably because unlike Winchesters or Lugers, everyone can afford them.

In my searches for old Mausers and Enfields I have come across many that have been destroyed by the hobby customizer or the over-zealous cleaner.

Much like antique furniture, I am sure there is a correct way to clean and preserve these treasures.

I just don't know for sure what it is!

I generally do a good non-abrasive cleaning, I dont monkey with the wood much.

Is there an acceptable level of restoration that doesnt affect collector value, and what/where is that line?
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For de-greasing of old cosmoline I use mineral spirits mixed with Ford ATF, one quart to four gallons of spirits in an old bluing tank for a good long soak. On wood, to strip before re-finishing use oven cleaner. Depending how oil soaked the stock is, this may need to be done more than once. On walnut stocks I refinish with two coats of hand rubbed Tung oil, then seal with thinned linseed oil, also hand rubbed for three coats. Birch stocks get a thinned maghoney stain. Buff out with 0000 steel wool for military stocks, leave shiney for sporting arms.Oven cleaner will also remove bluing, beats all that polishing off the old finish prior to a re-blue. On light rust, use bronze wool and PB Rust Blaster, it takes it right off without hurting the original finish.
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