Re: Mauser 24/47 Mauser M48(A)
I'm in the middle of cleaning my 24/47, actually closer to the end now.
I started by slathering the stock with Vaseline (as someone suggested to me) and letting it sit. Then into the oven. I took the handguard out first to check progress and noticed a hairline crack I had not seen before, so the stock came out of the oven at that point. I shored up the crack by letting some super glue seep in and dry so it won't separate or enlarge; it has pretty much disappeared.
The vaseline treatment and the heat didn't lighten the stock at all; after wiping off the excess warm Vaseline the stock looked about the same -- brown as a shoe from the cosmoline. I decided that if I was going to use anything effective on this, I'd try a short spell under the oven cleaner after all. So I sprayed it on and waited a bit. Then I hosed it off and the stock looked the way it should, with that good wood visible, yet with all the important vintage marks and colors still there. Beginner's luck.
I slathered on some Palmolive dish cleaner right away and rinsed off the residue of the oven cleaner, by the way. Checked for any undesirable effects of the chemicals, wiped it dry, then back outside where I cleaned the metal by hand with Hoppe's #9. It worked pretty well. Indoors, I did the finer cleaning, used Blue Wonder Gun Cleaner in the bore (at least one more treatment is on the schedule before I'll be confident that the bore is really clean from end to end). The bore already looks shiny again and the rifling seems in excellent condition.
I sanded the stock a bit with the recommended products and then gave it a drink of Liquid Gold, and the wood dried quickly to a nice darker look. The stock is now ready for the Tung Oil to seal that color a bit; it's basically finished. The metal needs more fine cleaning to be sure the cosmo and dirt is entirely out of the hard to reach corners -- there are some on these guns.
This has been time consuming. None of this is second nature to me, so I have to keep finding things I need and getting ready for my next step. The process has required the willingness to walk away numerous times to let things develop and rest my rubbing and cleaning muscles (and my back).
The upside of all this detailed work is, you come to know your gun extremely well before you ever fire it -- a good thing on any gun but particularly on a C&R. Luckily for me, there have been no significant unpleasant surprises as I examined these parts up close. The front sight needed drifting over but the rear assembly seems in great shape. Everything seems in good mechanical order, and the gun should be a fine shooting example when I'm done, if those sights will line up for me.
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