Gummed up Colt

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by dons2346, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. dons2346

    dons2346 Active Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,661
    Location:
    Move between WA and points south
    I have a Colt Pocket Pistol, 380 hammerless that is all gummed up. I can get it field stripped but everything in the receiver is gummed up with what looks like cosmoline (sp?). The safety will barely move and the grip safety is real stiff and sometimes not disengage.

    In preparation for the magic elixir (SBGO), what can I soak the piece in to remove the hardened up stuff or should I take to a smith and let him take it apart?
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,743
    Location:
    Imperial, MO
    They are not exactly a super easy gun to get back together but a nice little dip in a hot solution of Simple green and water will get all that crud out. Blast is with air if you have a compressor, otherwise denatured alcohol will dry it out. If your going to oil it, oil it well, Simple green will dry out the action right quick. BTW, get the grips off before you do any of this
  3. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,659
    You can drop it in a bucket of mineral spirits, or just soak it down with WD 40.
  4. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Dardanelle, AR
    Helix' idea sounds pretty good. The hotter, the better and it should come off pretty easy.

    Remember, if you use wD-40, it comtains water and will not keep things from rusting. But, you are going to oil it up good afterwards, so no worries there.
  5. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    I thought WD-40 was hydrophobic - it's supposed to displace moisture (WD = Water Displacing)? Hadn't heard that it contained water. Very interesting.
    Well, I went to the WD-40 web site and found the following info:

    What does WD-40 stand for?
    WD-40 literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt. That's the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed WD-40 back in 1953. The chemist, Norm Larsen, was attempting to concoct a formula to prevent corrosion-a task which is done by displacing water. Norm's persistence paid off when he perfected the formula on his 40th try. Please see Our History for more information.

    Top

    What does WD-40 contain?
    While the ingredients in WD-40 are secret, we can tell you what WD-40 does NOT contain. WD-40 does not contain silicone, kerosene, water, wax, graphite, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or any known cancer-causing agents.
    Top

    What is the shelf life of WD-40?
    Indefinite. While some products may have an expiration date, WD-40 lasts so long that a "use by" date isn't necessary.

    Top

    How long does WD-40 last after application?
    While this may vary depending on the application, WD-40 remains effective even after it appears to dry. The corrosion and rust protection ingredients remain adhered to the surface. External conditions may, of course, require additional applications of WD-40 for maximum protection.
  6. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,977
    WD-40 is good stuff as long as you don't try to exceed it's limitations by using it as a lube. I've heard so many stories on line about it gumming up actions and leaving sludge or varnish behind and it's all just BS repeated by people that never used it.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  7. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,743
    Location:
    Imperial, MO
    WD 40 is good stuff but it is a terrible preservative. Yes it displaces moisture but it is not a drying agent. I've seen mechanical internals look fantastic on some parts and heavily corroded on others all in the same area. Mainly bc it moves the moisture and in a sealed area ie a gun with little or no air flow, the moisture just moves on to a unprotected part. Not that is not good stuff to free up rusty parts but I've seen many revolvers all gummed up bc the last thing used on them was WD40. They are not just stories, Colt warned officers carrying revolvers to never store their guns and protect them with WD40. It varnishes up much like gasoline and makes a really sticky film that will render a action useless until cleaned with aggressive cleaners like break free. Ive seen it so bad it overpowered a hammer spring on a Detective spc. Pulled the trigger and the hammer fell very slowly. 2 little shots of CLP and it was like new. I'm not saying this happens in a matter of days but a year later.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  8. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Dardanelle, AR
    Thanks for the clarification Jim. I guess I was misinformed. I'll still never let it touch one of my guns.
  9. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,977
    My dad owned 30 guns at the time of his death. He hadn't fired one in at least 20 years before that but he cleaned them with WD-40. He wiped the exterior with 3N1 oil but the insides got nothing but WD. When I inherited them they functioned fine and were rust free. I use it to displace water when I clean my black powder guns. Once it dries I follow up with Remoil in the actions. No rust, no gumminess, no varnish.
  10. dons2346

    dons2346 Active Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,661
    Location:
    Move between WA and points south
    I'm not a great fan of WD40 and would never think to use it on a gun. The simple green/water solution sounds promising as does the mineral spirits.

    Thanks
  11. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,659
    I have been using WD 40 PROFESSIONALLY for almost 40 years. I have never seen it gum anything up.
    "Professionally" means as a gunsmith, gun collector, cutler, cutlery collector, jeweler, steam and refrigeration engineer, and musician (yes, I used it on my strings!)
  12. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,514
    Location:
    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    a good grade of mineral spirits is the ticket or go buy automotive spray on carb and brake clean.the pressure in the cans usually will remove crud after it sets. old semperfi
  13. Telcotech

    Telcotech Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    North Central Iowa
    old semperfi has the right ticket......used both methods with great success. I've always been told not to use WD-40 on prts that are going to be stored for any length of time, because of the so called gumming issue. Have not experianced this problem myself though, but I have used CRC-56 for the last 30+ yrs. on my firearms; pump shotguns, bolt action rifles, all my semi-auto pistols, and my revolvers.....love the stuff and have had no issues with it. Just another option that's available for gun lubricants.
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,400
    My experience with WD-40 is that under some conditions it can mildew and damage metal or wood. I use it on the garage door.

    FWIW, my "go to" for general cleaning and light preservation is G96 Gun Treatment. I have not found any negatives in using it to de-gunk and clean and for limited preservation (RIG is best for long-term preservation). The spray cleaners are good for removing old grease and dirt, but they do remove all oil and preservative, so the gun will require oiling after its use.

    Jim
  15. dons2346

    dons2346 Active Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,661
    Location:
    Move between WA and points south
    I'll clean the piece when I get the SBGO in hand. I really don't want to clean it and leave bare metal exposed just because of the local climate right now. Still get a little rain and the humidity is pretty high. Things tend to rust pretty quick.
  16. JUNKKING

    JUNKKING Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    Just East of Pittsburgh PA
    I love Simple Green and CLR seems it will clean anything!
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Technical Questions & Information Colt Single Action Army New Frontier 3d generation Apr 1, 2014
Technical Questions & Information Colt 1855 Root revolver Feb 10, 2014
Technical Questions & Information Colt 1911A1 engraved need opinion Feb 8, 2014
Technical Questions & Information colt 1908 25 cal. Feb 5, 2014
Technical Questions & Information Looking for information on a Single Action Colt Replica. Jan 14, 2014