Newbie gas gun maintenance question

This is a discussion on Newbie gas gun maintenance question within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I recently came into a Chinese Norinco SKS that I'm impatient to try out. It's basically a gift from a family member who hasn't shot ...

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Thread: Newbie gas gun maintenance question

  1. #1
    Member Array xsquidgator's Avatar
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    Newbie gas gun maintenance question

    I recently came into a Chinese Norinco SKS that I'm impatient to try out. It's basically a gift from a family member who hasn't shot in years, who loaned it to one of his friends, and there's no info on it at all, no manual, no papers, nada.

    It appeared to me to have never been fired, since I noticed what looked like thick reddish orange grease coating many of the parts and nooks/crannies. I got a decent set of instructions from the web, and today I spent a couple of hours dissassembling and cleaning up every bit of the heavy red grease (cosmoline?) that I could wash out of it. When I took the gas piston apart, there were huge slugs of grease in there. I do want to totally remove this grease, correct? My belief is that the gun's action wouldn't work properly with all that sticky grease in there.

    A couple hours later, and I had it cleaned up considerably, with some lube oil in the moving parts where I thought it would need it. Is this the way a gas operated rifle should be kept? I heard you were supposed to remove the cosmoline, which is what I think this gunk was. I can't imagine the vietcong carrying this thing and using it in the jungle while full of sticky grease.

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    You should get all traces of sticky Cosmoline out/off of the operating system and all internals. Mineral Spirits AKA common Paint Thinner usually works just peachy.
    A soak in Mineral Spirits in combination with some assorted brushes and a toothbrush and Q~Tips plus Pipe Cleaners are useful also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    You should get all traces of sticky Cosmoline out/off of the operating system and all internals. Mineral Spirits AKA common Paint Thinner usually works just peachy.
    A soak in Mineral Spirits in combination with some assorted brushes and a toothbrush and Q~Tips plus Pipe Cleaners are useful also.
    Great, thanks for the tips. I thought I knew, but it's always nice to confirm stuff like that. I'm sure I'll continue to get grease out of it. I went through 1/4 of a BIG jar of Hoppes #9 today, along with untold cleaning patches and shop towels. The small parts I soaked in Hoppes and scubbed/wiped with toothbrush, q-tips, and the blue ragpaper towels.

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    QTips and toothbrushes are great. If yours is like mine, be careful to keep the bolt oiled. It's not stainless or blued and mine has a permanent thumbprint on it from a careless incident.

    SKS's are great guns. They eat any ammo you feed it. Like AK47s they just don't jam, even if you try. There are dozens of accessories if you like it and want to dress it up at a later time.
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    I have a different SKS question for those of you with SKSs: have you had problems with slamfires? I'm particularly leary of this since I have a Chinese SKS that has the free-floating firing pin. Yesterday I disassembled the bolt and removed lots of cosmoline from the inside surfaces and from the firing pin. The firing pin moves to the finger touch, but I'm a little nervous about shooting this SKS for the first time because often while cycling the bolt, I'll look at the boltface and see the firing pin protruding. It always goes back in with a very light finger touch...

    I've seen replacement SKS firing pin kits for about $35 on the internet that are supposed to fix this, by adding a firing pin spring back into the bolt that apparently is on the original Soviet SKS rifles. Anyone here have any experience or recommendations on this issue?

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    My understanding is a cosmoline in the firing pin area causes the slam fires. If you have cleaned it, you should have no problem.
    You could always test it on empties with the primer painted to show any posssible strikes.
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    I use boiling water on all my Mil-Surp Mosin guns. Especially the bolts and firing pins. Use swaps and wipes with CLP afterwards to put the protectant back on them.

    You can use a hair dryer or a heat gun if you are really careful to sweat the cosmo out of the stock.

    If your better half doesn't mind, set the stove on about 150-175 and set the stock in the oven. Just put something under it to catch the drippings.
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    Neat ideas on getting rid of the cosmoline. Whatever I did was good enough for the simple SKS design, because I took it out to the range today and shot it for I think its very first time ever. Worked like a champ, no problems at all and especially none of the dreaded slamfires (I was waiting for one). My only complaint (not about the rifle) is the 10 round strippers I was able to buy locally don't work too well, they stick and I wouldn't really want to have to rely on these guys to get 10 rounds loaded in a hurry. Years ago I used Mauser 5 round strippers in a K98 and they worked a lot better than these rough things! But even so, the SKS is a lot of fun to shoot - I just placed an order for 1000 rounds of 7.62x39 from one of the surplus places, can't wait.

    By the way, what exactly is CLP? I use gun scrubber in a can or non-chlorinated brake cleaner in a can sometimes, followed by immersion or wiping with Hoppes #9 solvent, followed by wiping and oiling with some Hoppes gun oil or RemOil in a can. Since the Hoppes is largely kerosene with some other stuff, I wonder if it has enough lubricating ability to just fire a gun after cleaning off the dirt with Hoppes, and omitting the oiling parts of the cleaning procedure.

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    CLP is Break-Free. Can get it at most gun stores. The Army has used it for the 17 years I have been in the guard. Have tried a bunch of different things. And it keeps coming back to Break-Free.

    Another thing to try on the barrel...

    http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews/copperout/index.asp
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    After better than 1,000 rounds, I've never had an issue with slamfires and my firing pin is as free as yours is. The pin itself doesn't seem to be heavy enough to set off a primer by itself.

    As for the stripper clips, I've always had poor luck as well. Your best bet is to lift up a little on the tip of the top round with your finger while pushing down as far back on the head of the case as possible with your thumb. This helps keep the extractor groove from binding in the clip.
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    Member Array xsquidgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopperKnight View Post
    After better than 1,000 rounds, I've never had an issue with slamfires and my firing pin is as free as yours is. The pin itself doesn't seem to be heavy enough to set off a primer by itself.

    As for the stripper clips, I've always had poor luck as well. Your best bet is to lift up a little on the tip of the top round with your finger while pushing down as far back on the head of the case as possible with your thumb. This helps keep the extractor groove from binding in the clip.
    Thanks for the excellent tip! I went and tried it with one of my not so good stripper clips and it fed smoothly.

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    Thumbs up cleaning/lube products

    there is a relatively new product available called corrosionx that i have been using with amazing results. actually seems to bond to the metal to protect & lube at the same time. the crap & dirt doesn't stick & moving parts are slick as can be. i have been using it on my mini -30 ( which is ss ) & can't say enough good things about it. doesn't stink & a little goes a long way. i think you guys will like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbrktrt View Post
    there is a relatively new product available called corrosionx that i have been using with amazing results. actually seems to bond to the metal to protect & lube at the same time. the crap & dirt doesn't stick & moving parts are slick as can be. i have been using it on my mini -30 ( which is ss ) & can't say enough good things about it. doesn't stink & a little goes a long way. i think you guys will like it.
    Sounds interesting. Which variety do you use (spray bottle, aerosol can?) Also, if you've ever used CLP (aka "Break Free"), how would you compare the two products? CLP sounds somewhat similar, maybe not quite as powerful at adhering to metal surfaces with electrically charged molecules and such. I can get CLP at the Walmart here in FL but would have to mail order the corrosionx.

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    Since it seems we have a number of SKS owners, I have an SKS issue and would appreciate any advice available! I just got a Yugo that functions flawlessly. The trigger sucks. How do I go about "tightening" the trigger, getting rid of the excessive creep and moderate overtravel? Thanks!
    Tim
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    xsquidgator - i use the product in the squeeze bottle simply because you need so very little to do the job. clp/breakfree is an excellent product i have used extensively. but upon trying corrisionx i have to say it is a much better product. you are right it is pretty much mail order right now but what isn't? it is worth the 2-3 days shipping time. if you don't like it i would be glad to buy the remainder of the product.let me know if you choose to try it & your opinion. thanks, Pat ps i have no affiliation with this company. just a very satisfied customer.

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