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Discussion Starter #1
All,

I've got a '51 Colt Navy that needs a good cleaning. What would you suggest for cleaning years of crud from around the nipples? Get a wrench and remove them? What sort of cleaner? :confused:
 

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Hot water & Ballistol. Coat liberally with Ballistol...let set overnight....put cylinder in boiling water and watch the crud melt off. fwiw
 

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What ^^ he said
 

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As described, penetrating oil and boiling water but you need not go the big bucks rout on Balistol. ATF or ATF mixed 50-50 with paint thinner will work as well or better than Balistol. Once boiled, cleaned and dried, ATF makes a very good wipe down oil.
 

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There were a half a dozen spots of rust on the cylinder. I used penetration oil and a rag. This did not work. So I used coconut oil and a steel pad very carefully. This also do did not work. I then soaked it in a penetrating oil for six hours. It faded the cilinder, but a good amount of the grey patina is still there. This worked, except for a couple spots that I will not try to remove. Next, I am going to wax it properly.

The reason I was a little aggressive with the cleaning is that there were too many rust spots on the cylinder. I could not sell it that way and expect to still get anywhere near it's full value. It was a balancing act. So I at least was able to remove most of the rust.
 

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I'd suggest first putting generous drops of Kroil on the nipples from the outside and the inside and give it at least 24 hours to soak and penetrate into the nipple threads.

Then, use a better quality modern nipple wrench to remove the nipples.
With those out, you can use any number of methods to clean the cylinder and nipples.
A good method would be an ultrasonic cleaner with a water based cleaning solution.
Ordinary kitchen cleaner mixed with hot water works well.

If this is a modern gun, I'd probably replace the nipples with new ones, and put a dab of a good anti-seize on the threads.
 

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Does soaking in Kroil eat away the finish or patina of a pistol? I am thinking of spraying the Kroil onto a rusty barrel. I want to be able to wipe it off, leaving a rust free barrel.
 

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As described, penetrating oil and boiling water but you need not go the big bucks rout on Balistol. ATF or ATF mixed 50-50 with paint thinner will work as well or better than Balistol. Once boiled, cleaned and dried, ATF makes a very good wipe down oil.
Would not the barrel turn black? I see you are using a penetrating oil to get rid of the rust first. However, I suspect some will remain irregardless of the solvent or penetrating oil used. What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't want to lose any patina, so put the cylinder in boiling water to remove old crud? Use Kroil or ATF to wipe down? For penetrating oil in removing the nipples, should I soak in Kroil?

I saw a YouTube video of an antique pistol being "boiled" and the guy used an old "fry daddy" to boil his parts. Is this what everyone is using?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't want to lose any patina, so put the cylinder in boiling water to remove old crud? Use Kroil or ATF to wipe down? For penetrating oil in removing the nipples, should I soak in Kroil?

I saw a YouTube video of an antique pistol being "boiled" and the guy used an old "fry daddy" to boil his parts. Is this what everyone is using?
anybody?
 

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Boiling water and a brush won't remove any genuine patina. ATF/Acetone also loosens up old crud, and it might also do the trick on the nipples. Let it soak for 3-4 days in a sealed jar. Won't hurt the patina either.
 

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If it is Black Powder "crud" then simple Boiling in Soapy Water is perfect.

If it is Petroleum based crud with dust and whatever hardened in, as one can sometimes find in the Mechanism or Arbor, then any friendly Solvent and some time soaking ought to do it, followed by a nice tidy up using Aerosol Brake Cleaner ( leaves no residue ).

A fine gauge Bristle Bronze "Tooth Brush" style of Brush is also nice to use to help hasten or loosen build ups which the Boiling or Solvent are working on.
 
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