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Thread: fouled and rusty bore - advice please!

  1. #1

    fouled and rusty bore - advice please!

    Hi folks,

    I've just inherited a Steyr-Mannlicher model L, probably mid 1970s vintage.

    It is a lovely gun, and the previous owner took meticulous care of the outside. But doesn't seem to have done anything witht he bore. Doing a little detective work, the last time the bore was cleaned was at least 6 years ago, and it was shot fairly regularly during that time (first swab of the action even came out with pine needles).

    On initial inspection, there was a very visible build up of fouling and rust in the bore. I've spent 2 evenings alternating a bronze brush and Wipeout. The patches are still coming out black, though there has been a reduction in visible crud in the barrel by about half.

    I'd be very grateful if people could suggest where to go next with the cleaning.

  2. #2
    Try a piece of tight fitting green scouring pad cut to size on your jag with some bore cleaner and then some bore polish. It won't damage the barrel but will help clear the crud.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jager SA View Post
    Try a piece of tight fitting green scouring pad cut to size on your jag with some bore cleaner and then some bore polish. It won't damage the barrel but will help clear the crud.
    I would be wary of using Scotchbrite, it certainly is abrasive enough to remove metal, I use it to condition the surface of stainless steel and that means it is cutting and removing the chrome oxide apart from the iron, chrome and nickel.

    I would be looking for something along the lines of phosphoric acid, something which would deal with the ferric oxide but not the metal itself.

    Museum conservation department would be a good start.

    ​Alan

  4. #4
    I've a 1918 vintage M1917 that when I first acquired it was as rough as a badger's bum and I eventually rebarrelled it (or rather Norman Clark did...).
    However, the rifle grouped very well with the old barrel for the first four rounds (open "combat" sights, 100 yards, sub 1") which was super...5th round onwards opened the group to 3" at the same range.
    Cleaning was a bore (very punny) and would wear out brushes quickly. I used the standard clean out much like you have.

    Question: does the bore have visible rifling after your scrubbing? Can you see the bottoms of the lands ok? If they are clean and sharp'ish then I think about puting some rounds down and re-cleaning before anything more brutal.
    A good friend was in National Service in the 1950s and they used to burnish their rifles with a Bren Gun cleaning system with a gauze patch: beautifully shiny bore that shot awfully badly.

    An obvious point: have you had a gunsmith (and I mean that, not a shot owner) actually look it over? Might be wise unless it looks suberb elsewhere as you never know...

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jager SA View Post
    Try a piece of tight fitting green scouring pad cut to size on your jag with some bore cleaner and then some bore polish. It won't damage the barrel but will help clear the crud.
    Sorry but I would be very wary of that. The edges of the lands/grooves would very likely shave some of the scouring pad off, then you have the problem of getting rid of every bit of it...not easy I would say.
    I would suggest some foam bore cleaner, follow the instructions and leave for the suggested time, use the bronze brush then clean out with patch/jag and inspect. See what progress you make.
    Patience and persistence pays off.
    Last edited by private fraser; 06-06-2013 at 09:02.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jager SA View Post
    Try a piece of tight fitting green scouring pad cut to size on your jag with some bore cleaner and then some bore polish. It won't damage the barrel but will help clear the crud.
    I've been using this method for years never had any issues with whatsoever. As long as you use care with the process.

  7. #7
    If you've nothing to lose try a snug fitting patch-wrapped jag coated with either JB Bore Compound or Solvo Auto Sol and go to it as a 70's kid might after watching the Partridge Family!



    Cheers

    K

  8. #8
    Fine steel wool wrapped around the jag and three in one oil , several good strokes and then patch and clean Insect the bore ,if clean but grey put a tight patch on the jag ,apply some cheap toothpaste and polish the bore until an improvement is observed ,change patches as they become fouled .Finally use Hoppes9 or C2R to remove copper fouling.Shoot 5 rounds and clean again ,if it's coppering up lap again with patch and toothpaste ,I have used Parker-Hale "MOTTY" paste in the past but it's now acollectors item in it's own right.I had a No4 lee enfield which a previous owner had used with corrosive ammo and not properly cleaned and was red rusty.It took some time and a lot of elbow grease and I finally resorted to using T-cut on the patches .It worked and the rifle shot well afterwards albeit with a sligtly grey bore in the lands.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by waterford103 View Post
    Fine steel wool wrapped around the jag and three in one oil , several good strokes and then patch and clean Insect the bore ,if clean but grey put a tight patch on the jag ,apply some cheap toothpaste and polish the bore until an improvement is observed.
    Apart from adding Extra (lots of 0's) "fine steel wool" this is a top suggestion. I had forgotton how well toothpaste will polish plastic and steel which is strange given I used it only two weeks ago when refurbishing a set of Apel rings & mounts.

    K

  10. #10
    Not mentioned as yet, that I can see.

    If it is this far gone, use the black powder method (used on heavily carboned machine guns and similar) to get rid of the crud as you can be there 'forever' with chemicals if the basics are filthy.

    1. Remove action from stock, any sights, mounts, bolt (obviously).

    2. Wear thick stock gloves. Small funnel, boiling water and soap/detergent and really scrub the bore with your phos bronze brush. It will, eventually start to come out fairly clear.

    3. Flush through with another litre of just boiling water.

    4. Leave to stand and cool. The heat retained in the barrel will dry it out quite quickly in less than 10 minutes (have a brew)

    5. Take a clean phos bronze brush and use any one of the many chemicals listed above to scrub the barrel through a few times (10 times maybe?)

    6. Pull through patches until they come out near as clean in the normal way (maybe 5-10+)

    7. Lightly oil a final patch for storing and leave for a day or two.

    8. Remove from storage, push clean patches through and examine bore by looking at a bright white wall or using a bore light. Anything left behind will be pitting (especially ahead of the chamber and at muzzle), you will have to live with it unless severe in which case get a second opinion on whether to use at all.

    You can repeat all of the above. I have used it on rifles and old english shotguns (105 years old..) with excellent results.

    Good luck.
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

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