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So, there is a chance I might buy a rifle stored in cosmoline. I have only cleaned up some small parts stored in cosmoline. A few questions.

  • How far back would you consider a gun stored in cosmoline?
  • How do you clean the steel parts?
  • How do you clean the wood?
  • Is this a really nasty piece of work or not?

TIA
I ran across this stuff on a work party in 1964. wreaked a uniform, boots, sox , the manicure, etc. Official remover in the Marines is boiling water in a 55 gal drum. Boil for a couple months. What works is gas. Yeah I know. Spare me... I also helped put it on a 100 old BAR's that were going to some South American country.
 

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After WWII a massive number of small arms were rebuilt and stored in cosmoline for long-term storage purposes. Special drum-shaped barrels were made to store M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, M1903s, M1911 pistols, etc. Spare rifle barrels and zillions of other parts made during the Korean war in the early 1950s were also were stored in cosmoline. So cosmoline doesn't mean its a NOS rifle or pistol, it just means an item was put into long-term storage, usually in the 1940s-1950s. Many freshly rebuilt rifles after WWII were immediately stored in cosmoline, so they are often refurbished rifles in new condition. That said, I hope you get this item and that you enjoy it.

Pic is from 1947, here is I think a dozen re-built WWII Garands coated in cosmoline going into a special barrel for long-term storage (Source: Scott Duff; The M1 Garand: Post War War II, page 16)
View attachment 470968
...lots and lots of storage drums filled with freshly re-built, cosmoline soaked, M1 rifles circa 1947:
View attachment 470969
(Many were presumably removed a few years later during the Korean War/early 1950s)

One more random tip/request. I would save the cosmoline in a jar if you can. When I re-parkerize an M1 Garand receiver or other vintage parts like a bolt, op rod, etc - I would afterwards coat the newly parked metal with old cosmoline, and let it sit outside in the hot sun for a day or two. If in the winter, I would place the part coated in cosmoline in front of a space heater on cardboard or something that will absorb the quasi-liquid cosmoline once it became hot and dripped off the metal.

It might be my imagination and it may sound crazy, but I think if the cosmoline is allowed to 'oxidize' via heat onto parkerized/phosphated metal - it gives the metal a very slight greenish tint, and therefore a slightly 'vintage' look. I have run out of old cosmoline at this point, but would be happy to 're-use and re-cycle' some of your old cosmoline if you collect enough of it for a small jar. I have a BM59 project that will be freshly parkerized, and I want to give it the "cosmoline treatment" afterwards...again, it might be my imagination, but an old collector told me about this little tip. Hence this odd-ball request.

Here’s what’s left of cosmoline that I pushed out an M1 barrel (via a wooden dowel rod) into this little plastic medicine bottle. It was enough to coat 2 or 3 M1 receivers. I need a little bit more of this nasty stuff for my BM59 project… View attachment 470967
 

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Congratulations and not reparked. Now you need to find a proper scope and rings.
 
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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Hello, Bavo....
At least, you knew what you were bidding on and won.
That was the June of 43 rifle.
I think so. The barrel is marked 3/43 so it would be a few more months until it was matched to a serial number. This one got high as well but as you say I could at least see that it looked pretty good to me. This might sound stupid but I fell in love with the 7 marking on the stock. 7 is my lucky number, my birthday, and on my license plate. I am fortunate enough to have a birthday on December 7th. So, I think the rifle was probably about 1k high but now I know I have one and I can now look for a scope and rings.

Material property Cylinder Office supplies Metal Composite material


Wood Material property Everyday carry Auto part Metal
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
So, you folks that have one of these rifles with the mount what height rings would you get for an Alaskan or Weaver 330 scoope?
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
I found a site that has rebuilt Alaskan scopes for sale. Not cheap but they sure look good. Ordered the scope and Redfield Vertical split rings today. I will post pics when I get them and the rifle.
 
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So, there is a chance I might buy a rifle stored in cosmoline. I have only cleaned up some small parts stored in cosmoline. A few questions.

  • How far back would you consider a gun stored in cosmoline?
  • How do you clean the steel parts?
  • How do you clean the wood?
  • Is this a really nasty piece of work or not?

TIA
I usually lay it out on my back porch in the sun on newspaper and the heat liquifies the cosmoline. Then I spray WD 40 on parts and clean with a nylon brush and shop rags. May take several times to sweat all the grease out of the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone. Just an update on that rifle. The auction went too high for me to bid again so I ended up getting an 03 A4 that was not in cosmoline.









 

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Nice find and win ! . . . But I think you missed out on the Cosmoline experience. It's just one of those
surplus events that reveals, ya never know exactly what ya get till the Cosmo is gone !
I've only done 6 and had only one bad apple.
.
Have you borescoped it as yet ?
Is that pix the new -03 sitting in your safe ? ? Is see lonely !
 

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Discussion Starter · #96 ·
Nice find and win ! . . . But I think you missed out on the Cosmoline experience. It's just one of those
surplus events that reveals, ya never know exactly what ya get till the Cosmo is gone !
I've only done 6 and had only one bad apple.
.
Have you borescoped it as yet ?
Is that pix the new -03 sitting in your safe ? ? Is see lonely !
Agreed. If I get a chance at a cosmoline rifle I will take it but that one got too high for me. I was especially taken with the mummy wrap but I guess so are the collectors. No borescope. It shoots quite well so far.

Don't worry, it has plenty of company. Right now I don't have an empty spot in either of my two safes.
 

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Hello,
I'm glad you finally found one in your budget range.
That mummy wrapped one could have been new or not. That was a big gamble, it's good you sat that hand out... Best of all, you are happy with what you have.
 
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