Bolt Corrosion/ Pitting??

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Tomc1990

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

Pretty new to here, so apologies if this has been covered before, but my old stalking rifle is starting to pick up some black pitting on the bolt (see pictures). Is this normal? Is there anyway to clean it up?

Any help gratefully appreciated!

Tom

IMG_3366.jpg IMG_3367.jpg IMG_3368.jpg
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
No, it's not normal on a well maintained rifle, I've seen Mauser rifles and "Mauser Patents" rifles...think the British Pattern 14...that are now a hundred years old others from WWII and the extractor is as good as the day it was made. Save for loss of blue.

Pitting is loss of metal caused by failing to remove rust. So under that rust the metal is attacked. That metal, now gone, is gone for good. "You failed to maintain your weapon"...as they say. However it won't affect how it shoots.

This is perhaps too many folk on here "boasting" about how they only clean their rifle once a year or such and so. Mine gets cleaned every outing regardless of if it's fired a round and the exterior surfaces wiped with an oily cloth.

I am sorry if it's "tough love" but it's down to poor maintenance at some point in its life. Either a previous owner or its current owner. Only you know who the culprit is.
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
With too much oil that would have not happened. No oil... not a good idea. I never understand how people can suggest steel on steel should run dry.
edi
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
This is perhaps too many folk on here "boasting" about how they only clean their rifle once a year or such and so. Mine gets cleaned every outing regardless of if it's fired a round and the exterior surfaces wiped with an oily cloth

I don't bother with any complex and in-depth bore cleaning regime, all mine get is a pull through with a boresnake. You're quite right about the need to keep exterior metal in decent condition though
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
I don't bother with any complex and in-depth bore cleaning regime

I don't either WS. As with you I can't see the benefit.

A run through ten or so strokes with a oil soaked phosphor bronze brush then a swab out with a piece of 4x2 on a brass jag. And then a run through to oil the bore with either a clean patch moistened with oil or, if I have one, a nylon bristle brush. I used to use Edna Parker's "AC Oil" but I've about used all that up.

So now I've gone to "Young's .303" (that I've never much liked) and KG4. I never leave "Young's .303" in the bore as it is a water attractant. Hence the KG4.

Then a wipe over the outside metal with an oily rag.
 
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ejg

Well-Known Member
After a rainy outing I flush the bolt either with wd40 or similar, wipe down air blow off excess and spray with teflon grease from a spray can. smear all over the bolt except the bolt face. I then wipe off and leave a thin layer grease on the body a bit more on the cam and lugs. I prefer too much grease vs too little. Then again we have a very wet climate. I do not entertain a deer hunting rifle that shoots over 1/2" unless it's an open sight bush gun. Grease, oil on the bolt does no harm to accuracy.
I have a 1909 Argentino Mauser that doesn't have a single bit of pitting. (The previous owners cared for it well)
edi
 
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Tartan_Terrier

Well-Known Member
A mate of mine had a Brno where the bolt looked even worse than that, as a previous owner had stored the bolt in a cheap leather bolt holster (looked like some Spanish tourist crap). The rest of the rifle was like new though.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Any thing that holds moisture against the surface will cause putting sooner or latter. Anything is salty or corrosive will cause pitting even quicker. A quick patch down the barrel and wipe over with an oily cloth takes little time and also allows you to check over the rifle before using it again. Nothing worse than finding a screw loose at 4am on a dark morning when you take out of the slip in a muddy field!
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
I'd just follow up that when actually shooting the thing I clean ALL the oil out of the barrel and chamber beforehand AND make sure that the locking parts of the lugs on the bolt and the locking recesses (either at the front like a Mauser or at the rear like an Enfield or whatever else) are also oil free.

As oil in any of those places will increase pressure (the barrel and/or chamber) and/or increase thrust on the bolt lugs (chamber and bolt lugs and recesses) both of which are bad things. Wet cartridges from getting rain on them also increase pressure and thrust.

This then alters the point of impact of the fifred round. Although at Bisley on wet days there were two schools. Some shots would purposely, briefly, dip the cartridge in water to get UNIFORM displacement of impact from shot to shot (so shooting with "wet" ammunition) others would obsess to the point of fetish to trying to keep everything bone dry.

I'll also admit to re-cleaning rifles and shot guns the next day after shooting also after the clean when you got back if it's been out in damp conditions. Just in case anything has been overlooked or developed in the twenty-four hours since.

The sole exception (unless it's got wet) is that I never clean a bore or chamber of a .22 Rimfire unless to remove the waxy deposit around the extractors on the bolt or it has become sluggish to reload.
 
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Ranger22

Well-Known Member
If the outside of your bolt is in that state, what's the inside like? I would be having a full strip down
 

Apthorpe

Well-Known Member
A mate of mine had a Brno where the bolt looked even worse than that, as a previous owner had stored the bolt in a cheap leather bolt holster (looked like some Spanish tourist crap). The rest of the rifle was like new though.
This sounds like valuable advice. I haven't had this problem but it sounds very plausible that storing gun parts in iffy leather might be a bad idea. Tannic acids and the leather holding damp could both cause nasty results.
 

lister

Well-Known Member
A mate of mine had a Brno where the bolt looked even worse than that, as a previous owner had stored the bolt in a cheap leather bolt holster (looked like some Spanish tourist crap). The rest of the rifle was like new though.

good post is the bolt stored in the rifle or is it in contact with something else
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Tannic acids and the leather holding damp could both cause nasty results.

I used to see some terrible pitting and rusting on pistols and revolvers. You could tell a revolver long after if it had endured such as there'd be rust all over the cylinder outside except what had been its "twelve o'clock and six o'clock" surfaces when it had been lain in the holster.
 

lister

Well-Known Member
This sounds like valuable advice. I haven't had this problem but it sounds very plausible that storing gun parts in iffy leather might be a bad idea. Tannic acids and the leather holding damp could both cause nasty results.


I made a bullet wallet out of a piece of soft leather after two days the brass had turned green bought a proper job from Mel on this site
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
previous owner had stored the bolt in a cheap leather bolt holster (looked like some Spanish tourist crap)

Idiotic things. Safest place for any rifle bolt is in the rifle. I used to know a bloke who wandered about with one stuck on his hip like he was John Wayne :cuckoo:
 
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