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Charlie Harley, #14153

Deep cleaning a SxS action?

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 I have a side-by-side shotgun that has not been fully disassembled in probably 45 years. The action is starting to get stiff, like it needs a deep cleaning. I know enough of my limitations to not take it fully apart myself.

Is there a scrubber product that I can use to penetrate and clean without disassembling, or should I take it to a gunsmith to have this done? As always, I appreciate the Saloon’s wisdom. 

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If it’s a real high dollar gun, like a $20,000 Perazzi, I would go to a pro.  If it’s one of our cowboy action guns, I would remove the buttstock and use an aerosol brake cleaner to blow any crud out of the exposed parts without further disassembly.  Then re-lube and see if it helps.

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J-Bar is right on the money.  One of my SKBs was acting up so I pulled the stock and cleaned the action out and re-lubed it.  It was not difficult at all and helped me understand the function of these guns better.

 

I had the can of brake cleaner spray ready, but I did not need it.  My problem was solved by no longer using CCI shotgun primers.

Edited by TN Mongo, SASS #61450
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38 minutes ago, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

 I have a side-by-side shotgun that has not been fully disassembled in probably 45 years. The action is starting to get stiff, like it needs a deep cleaning. I know enough of my limitations to not take it fully apart myself.

Is there a scrubber product that I can use to penetrate and clean without disassembling, or should I take it to a gunsmith to have this done? As always, I appreciate the Saloon’s wisdom. 

Do what J-Bar & TN Mongo said before you take it to gunsmith for a cleaning, worst case you are out some time and cleaner.  Most good gunsmiths charge $75 and up for a strip and clean on a gun.

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SAFETY GLASSES

———————- WEAR SAFETY GLASSES WHILE DOING THIS

 

While I agree with the advice to flush the action with the full contents of a spray can of brake cleaner ($3-4 at Walmart), I would FIRST squirt a cleaning-lubricant, such as Kroil into the action first and let it set for at least an hour (soften the gunk), then flush with the brake cleaner.  Gunk that’s been built up over 10+ years like that usually won’t clear without a push.

 

Cat Brules

 

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7 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Keep the brake cleaner away from wood and plastic. 

OLG 

Yep! It’ll ruin the coating on the stock. Wear nitrile gloves as well as the safety glasses. 
 

I actually did a receiver flush on a Stevens 311H then lubed it fired it then tore it all the way down. Having no idea what it really looked like before flushing with brake fluid all the way into the action I must say that things looked pretty clean in there. Things weren’t as lubed as I had hoped. I used Pro Shot Teflon based liquid in a needle Oiler.  I bought some Hornady Hot Shot spray to lube things like this in the future. That danged shotgun is still in the box awaiting reassembly. It needs a new stock and forend. 

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I've got a small ultrasonic cleaner that I've used on old shotgun actions.   Heated water and Simple green.  It's amazing to dump something in the bath and turn on the machine.   In no time you can see the black boil out. 

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Brake cleaner works great on metals, and I've used it on polymer Glock frames and the like without issue, but it'll melt clear-plastic mags (don't ask me how I know this). It'll also leave surfaces completely devoid of any oil, so naked steel will quickly flash rust if you don't follow it up with some lube (don't ask me how I know this either).

 

Also wear eye protection because it hurts like hell to get it in the eyes (again, don't ask me how I know this). And last thing... use it in a well-ventilated area (don't ask me how I know this either... he-he-ha-ha he-he).

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Sixgun makes some very good points . Brake cleaner is a non-discriminatory cleaner, it will do the same thing to your eyes and nostrils as it does to the gun. I have done a lot of hurtful things to myself over the years, brake cleaner is worse. but it is pure hell on grease.

 

Imis and his$.02

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