Advice needed, cleaning a revolver

Discussion in 'How to' started by Feral, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    Here's some backstory.

    My father inherited a Rossi .38 sp snub nose revolver from my grandfather. My grandfather died about ten years ago and I never knew of the pistol until recently we went shooting and he showed up with it.

    It was made somewhere between 30-40 years ago because it is Interarms Rossi, which was before Taurus obtained them.

    Anyways. I asked him for the revolver this week so that I can clean it for him. Unknown to him I commissioned Zookeper to make a holster for it. That will be his Father's Day surprise.

    Functionally speaking, it works fine. The ejector star lines up just right and ejects properly. SA and DA both work smoothly. The hammer is a little stiff but smooth otherwise. The firing pin is loose, but I believe that is by design.

    It has a lot of residue caked onto it. The finish is nearly perfect. There's no sign of rust except on the chamber beneath the ejector star.

    It's not nickel plated. Some sort of bluing.

    How should I proceed with a thorough cleaning? I know what I need to do to a revolver but should I soak it in CLP overnight before proceeding?

    Thanks all.
     
  2. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    An overnight soak will help loosen the crud and wont hurt the finish. The old Rossi's were good guns but not great. Just a little on the soft side. Yes the firing pin is suppose to move a little.
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Try WD-40 to cut the old congealed oil and crud.

    If that doesn't work, try a bore solvent like Hoppes #9.

    Remove the grips first, whether they are wood or plastic or rubber.
    If the grips need to be cleaned, that's a separate process.
     
  4. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    Exactly. WD-40 will have a little more force from being an aerosol than simply soaking in a pan over night. If you had a sonic cleaner full of Hoppes #9 the soaking might be better. A gun cleaning toothbrush with large and small bristle ends will help to get into places you can't get with a patch and fingers.

    Blast it with the WD-40 and let it sit over night. Follow up the next day with Hoppes #9 and the scrub brush. Then regular bore cleaning and lube. For wood grips use an oil soap and follow up with with with a furniture polish. Don't scrub too hard with the oil soap. Plastic or rubber grips use Armor All cleaner meant for vehicle vinyl and leather. Dry them real good then wipe with a damp cloth with a little dish soap on it then rinse and dry again.

    follow up with a cleaning report!
     
  5. mrhutch

    mrhutch Member

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    Brake cleaner to degrease. Then use clp. Soak for 20 minutes, hit with a brass brush, wipe clean and repeat until rust is gone.
     
  6. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    I will post before and after pictures.

    Including an after picture in the new Zookeper leather.

    Thanks everyone for the advice.
     
  7. Glockenator

    Glockenator heathen infidel savage

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    If it were mine, I would remove the grips and soak it overnight in a pan with it submerged in paint thinner. Real paint thinner (mineral spirits - not the odorless crap). That stuff if relatively cheap (it would take a fair amount to submerge a whole gun), and does a pretty good job of cutting junk.

    Soaking in WD-40 would work pretty well too, but that much would be fairly expensive. It is a pretty good degreaser, but a worthless lubricant and fairly worthless penetrant for seized threads.

    Hoppe's #9 or Kroil would be even better, but really expensive.
     
  8. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    Wouldn't the fluid leaking into the inside of the revolver be a concern?
     
  9. Glockenator

    Glockenator heathen infidel savage

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    Good question. Been a long time since I even looked at a revolver. I'm not sure what kind of cavities revolvers have inside. Paint thinner, WD-40, gun solvents, etc. wouldn't hurt anything inside, but you wouldn't want the solvent to stay in there. It would eventually run out and/or evaporate. I don't think it would cause any problems.
     
  10. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    First thing-- Remove the grips. Solvent on wood is bad. Rubber not so bad but not good.

    Make sure you brass brush (wet with solvent) the cylinders and barrel, plastic toothbrush with Hoppes scrub the ejector rod and star along with any other build up or indications of build up anywhere else on the outside or inside you can see.

    Wipe with soft cloth as you give it a good WD40 spray all over. Use the little red tube for concentration and pressure in all nooks and crannys. Toothbrush for cleaning out any gunk build-up or caked grease and the like. Dry it with soft cloth and light overall lube with Rem oil or similar. Cloth patch with oil down the barrel and in the cylinders. #9 or WD is cleaner, Rem Oil is lube. Very light. Do not let it make a dust trap and turn to gunk.

    Once you are done, replace the grips and close the cylinder and cock the hammer. Goes without saying maintain muzzle discipline so I will not say it. Try to wiggle the cylinder. Make sure it does not wiggle much at all. Tight fit is necessary. Looseness is bad. Verify unloaded and look down the barrel. Make sure line up of barrel and cylinder is good. Lead or copper shavings off the projectile from the cone is bad. Make sure it does not have looseness. If it has looseness get a good smith to look at it.

    Once all that is complete, holster it in the new leather.

    Hold it above your head with your left hand, right hand on your heart (as if pledging or saluting flag) look at it up above with appreciative eyes and speak in a firm voice 3 times-- Wheel Guns Rule. Do that ritual a time or 2 and shoot that weapon 2 or 3 times over a month and you will truly understand and believe it.

    Nemo*


    *Wheelguns Rule, honest and for true, they really really do
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  11. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    Happy Father's Day everyone! Here are some pics
     
  12. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    ImageUploadedByGeorgia Packing1497797375.483989.jpg

    Here's the revolver with the grips removed. I just finished soaking it with CLP. I took a wire brush to it to remove the tough deposits. Then a nylon brush to the cavities along the firearm.

    After that I did the usual cleaning of the bore and chambers. It was remarkably clean and in fair condition for a 30-40 year old gun.

    I used a can of compressed air to remove any remaining CLP left behind in cracks so that it wouldn't attract dust and debris.

    Then I gave the entire revolver a wipe down with a silicon rag to leave a nice thin film on it.

    The rubber grips I washed with soapy warm water and then scrubbed the grips with an old toothbrush.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  13. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    ImageUploadedByGeorgia Packing1497797458.647807.jpg
    ImageUploadedByGeorgia Packing1497797468.562302.jpg

    Here's the end result! I had Zookeper make this holster for it.

    It has a king cobra accent near the thumb break.

    I'll be giving my grand-dad's gun back to my father today for Father's Day. The holster will be the surprise.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  14. Glockenator

    Glockenator heathen infidel savage

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    Wow - it looks really nice. I'm glad to see that it turned out well, and that was a great idea to give it back, especially with the nice holster.
     
  15. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    The wire brush worked miracles. I watched decades of exterior build up come off.
     
  16. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    Did you do the completion ritual properly?

    Nemo