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 Cleaning Question

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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Cleaning Question   Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:25 am

I got to shoot my "new" 1943 Izhevsk 91/30 today for the first time; I fired thirty rounds of Bulgarian light ball silver tip (147 gr steel core FMJ, corrosive primed), and did a full disassembly cleaning when I got home from the range (a bit over an hour after shooting).

I was appalled at how much black I got out of a bore I had thought was clean before I started (considerable effort to remove cosmoline from the bore when I first got the rifle); I was using Hoppe's No. 9 cleaning solvent, and running a bronze brush every fifth patch, and it seemed like I got more black out of the bore than a mere thirty rounds could have deposited -- and I'm not really certain I got it all even then, though I did reach a point where a dry patch came out clean before I oiled the bore, and I'm confident I had to have gotten all the corrosive salts.

This bore certainly wasn't dark enough when I got the rifle to be the source of all that black, but I do note that some of the patches turned green after a few minutes -- could this be copper fouling that the arsenal didn't clean out when they refurbished the piece? If so, I'd like to clear it before I do a lot more shooting...
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SilverTip
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning Question   Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:10 am

I dont have any revelations to relate to you. But I sure can relate to your experience. lol

What I surmise, is that the 'not so dark barrel' really does have alot of shallow pits that are hard to see looking through the bore. I thought I had several 'shiny bores' before I eventually got my chrome lined brand new barrel. WOW The rest paled in comparison. 3 patches and im done. As opposed to 20 and I give up.

There is pics floating around here of a barrel I sectioned. I dont know if it shows up well, but there is ALOT of shallow pitting in it.

Theres probably a truck load of ideas on the FINAL solution to clean that bore completely. Hot soapy water and several scrub sessions perhaps?
I have heard good things about Sweets for copper fouling.
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Zeiss Ikon



Posts : 135
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Join date : 2012-03-10
Age : 58
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning Question   Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:54 pm

SilverTip wrote:
What I surmise, is that the 'not so dark barrel' really does have alot of shallow pits that are hard to see looking through the bore. I thought I had several 'shiny bores' before I eventually got my chrome lined brand new barrel. WOW The rest paled in comparison. 3 patches and im done. As opposed to 20 and I give up.

There is pics floating around here of a barrel I sectioned. I dont know if it shows up well, but there is ALOT of shallow pitting in it.

I think I've seen that photo. Yeah, given all the ammunition this rifle has ever seen was corrosive, I'm sure there is some corrosion in the bore -- I actually thought, briefly, that the arsenal might have blued the bore when they reblued the rifle during refurb, but that would have been obvious when I examined the bore. I can see something copper colored in the grooves near the muzzle; what I may do is get some Sweet's or other copper fouling solvent, make an adapter for my bore brush (so I can pull it as well as push -- male threads on the brush, male on the cleaning rod, but at least they're compatible size and pitch -- yes, the rod is Whitworth, but 55º male thread will still enter a slightly sloppy 60º threaded hole; a coupler nut turned down to fit the bore should do the job), and give it a good copper fouling clean up, then consider whether to lap the bore. I say consider, because it apparently shoots pretty well, and lapping will always soften the rifling a little, and it's a production to do correctly.

Actually, before I consider lapping, before I even shoot again, I should slug the bore; copper in the grooves suggests the grooves might be smaller than the .312 bullets in the surplus ammunition -- and since the sear spring was already Finn bent when I got it, it's just barely possible this was a Finn-to-Russian recapture and has the .308 groove Finn barrel (which would make surplus ammunition a bad idea, though the cases I fired yesterday don't show flattened primers or other pressure signs, as I'd expect if I were shooting military loads with oversize bullets). Let's see, I need three feet of 1/4 inch dowel, cut up in six inch pieces, and a fishing sinker around 8 mm or 5/16 diameter; already have a dial caliper...

How the heck would I tell from proof marks if this rifle had actually been captured, rebarrelled by the Finns, then recaptured and rearsenaled by the Soviets? Is that even a possibility, or would the Red Army have simply scrapped a recaptured 91/30?
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning Question   Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:33 pm

If its a Finn barrel, it will have certain marking that should point to Finn.
Is there an SY anywhere? Is there a T inside a triangle? Is there SA inside a rectangle?

Throw up some photos of the marks.

Heres a good way to ID it. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning Question   Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:38 pm

Okay, it's 100% Izhevsk as far as I can see; not an SA in a square anywhere. There are a lot of little marks with a single digit in a square, but I presume those are arsenal marks from the process of fitting or choosing unmatched components to fit the barrel/receiver -- I see them on the receiver wall, bolt parts, etc. There's also no sign of the "dents" in the side of the magazine that apparently are commonly seen on Finn refurbished rifles (what I've read is that those reduce play around the cartridge shoulder and reduce jamming). That makes it significantly less likely (virtually no chance) to have a bore smaller than .310, from what I understand, which means I should at least be okay with surplus ammunition (but I should be able to manage to slug the bore before I'll be able to shoot again anyway, and I need to do that for future loading activity and such).

At this point, I think I'm safe in presuming the black I'm getting from the bore is just old, old carbon left in the bore by cursory cleaning on many occasions before the rifle was refurbed. Given as well as it seems to shoot, I'm not going to worry about it beyond cleaning thoroughly every time I shoot; eventually, I should get down to metal throughout. As for copper, copper solvent isn't too expensive, so I'll give a good copper cleaning when I can manage it, and see if that changes anything.
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning Question   Sun May 06, 2012 12:27 pm

Finally managed to get the bore slugged -- bought some 1/4 ounce oval sinkers, they measured .350" as received (with a hole through the center, they're to be slipped onto the line). I first tried to slug from the chamber, but couldn't get the (grossly oversize) slug to engrave without applying more force than I was comfortable putting on my cleaning rod and didn't have anything else that would reach that I could hammer on, so I drove the slug back out and restarted it at the muzzle; there, I was able to use a 1/4" pin punch to start (shaving off a generous ring of lead in the process), then a length of 1/4" steel rod (carefully centered to prevent crown damage) to get past the tightest bit, before using the cleaning rod (jag and muzzle protector mounted, and a double patch on the jag to keep it out of contact with the rifling) and some tapping in the tight spots to drive the slug through (tightest at the muzzle and just before the chamber, a little easier between -- the tight muzzle almost certainly has to do with the apparent accuracy of this example, while the tightness close to the chamber might be due to roughness -- corrosion or erosion or even burrs from chambering, though I'd have thought those would have shot out when the rifle was originally in service). I'd have used the short sections of dowel, except that the dowel I had on hand that I had thought was 1/4" was actually 5/16", and was itself a light drive fit in the muzzle; I thought it might just be a little too much fun trying to drive a full bore length of dowel out after getting the slug through.

Final result: bore .302", groove .313". My Bulgarian surplus ammo mics at .312" immediately ahead of the case mouth, which seems perfect for jacketed bullets in this bore (general rule seems to be about .001" smaller than groove), but I'll need .313" - .314" for lead bullets (rule is .001" over groove for soft lead, to exact groove for hard cast, as I recall) -- looks like I'll need to get 0 buckshot (nominal .320, and these days swaged, therefore consistent and accurately sized) and size it for the rabbit loads (I can make a sizing die and punch on my lathe), though Hornady .311 round balls might be okay for a subsonic load (buckshot is a lot cheaper anyway); even a .313" cast bullet would be a tad undersize, though probably close enough to shoot okay (I've seen online sellers who sell cast bullets as large as .314", though).
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