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Old 07-18-2020, 01:13 PM
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Default Cleaning my Lever Action

I recently bought a Rossi lever action 357 rifle which I like very much. I'm a reloader and I cast my own bullets. This gun is getting a steady diet of cast 124 grain bullets, lubed with Liquid Alox and powered by Unique powder.
The owners manual doesn't say much about maintenance except to keep the gun wiped down. I'm wondering how you all maintain your well-used lever action firearms. It doesn't seem like it would be easy to disassemble the gun. I'm wondering if I can hold it upside down and spray the action out with gun scrubber, being careful to keep the solvent off the wood. I built this gun vice to hold it for cleaning.
Though I haven't seen any leading to speak of, I routinely drag a wad of Copper Chore Boy pad through the bore with a piece of weed eater cord. I don't think that could do the bore any harm. Do you?
But my main concern is keeping the action clean. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 07-18-2020, 01:28 PM
Flattop5 Flattop5 is offline
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I would caution you about Gun Scrubber. I used it on a Marlin 30-30 lever action once, and it instantly caused the inner receiver to rust. In, like, 4 minutes. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that Gun Scrubber itself did that. Perhaps I wasn't following the directions properly. But, still, I would caution people about that type of cleaner (i.e., a cleaner that instantly "de-oils/de-greases" the gun followed by lots of air).



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Old 07-18-2020, 02:07 PM
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Some will regard this as heresy, but a lifetime of experience has shown me that you rarely need to deep-clean the innards of lever guns and revolvers. Sure, it's always possible you'll drop one in a creek somewhere, or take an extended journey in a dusty desert, in which case a thorough teardown and cleaning is called for. But in normal use, most lever guns and revolvers do nicely with just a drop or two of gun oil being put in strategic areas every now and again.

The Rossi 92 is not the hardest lever gun to take apart and reassemble, but neither is it as easy as, say, a Marlin 336. It's good to know how to do it if it has to be done, but fortunately those occasions are rare.
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Old 07-18-2020, 02:29 PM
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I have 3 Henry lever guns, 45, 357 and 22 carbines. I clean them inside out every time I shoot them unless I know Iíll be shooting them in a day or two. I do the same with all my guns.

Iím a believer that clean and properly maintained firearms will function better and last longer if kept clean and lubed.

If you donít want to take your rifle down at least run a bore snake through it and use a toothbrush soaked in Hoppes or similar and get the fowling out of the action as much as possible. Then flush with gun scrubber then oil everything.

About gun scrubber, itís a solvent and strips all grease and oil away. Thereís nothing in it that would cause rust. Stripping the oil away leaves metal unprotected but I canít see any way metal would rust in minutes. Iíve used gun scrubber for decades and other similar products and have never had a problem. Just be sure to use it in a well ventilated area. Itís hard on the liver and if Iím going to destroy my liver I can think of more fun ways to do it.
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Old 07-18-2020, 02:30 PM
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One of the things I really enjoy after I buy a gun in the class of the Rossi is to take it apart and see if it needs any attention inside.The Rossi is very responsive to this and you get to learn how to repair any possible future problems.
If I were you I would find a good youtube video and then take the rifle apart looking for rough spots and burrs.After proper oiling I would only take the rifle down once a year unless a problem crops up.
One thing to not remove is the either the left or right cartridge guides unless you are experiencing feeding problem.
Mine is an older one and after dis-assembly I ran a Q-tip through the inside surfaces looking for burrs and after carefully smoothing them the little carbine is as slick as a sewing machine!
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:18 PM
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My brother in law has a 336. "Oh",he says,"I caint git a shell inta the chamber". First thing i did was to put a brush into the muzzle. Out comes a 3030 case,minus the head. Complete head seperation.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:27 PM
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I'm not schooled about model 92's (or Rossi specifically). However, with model 94's I heard they are a pain in the arse to tear down. So, I didn't even try it. As soon as I bought my first one, eons ago, I took the butt stock off, opened the action, doused the whole thing with Gun Scrubber (muzzle up of course). Then I sprayed the action with a light coat of oil, put the stock back on and worked the action for, well, quite a while to get it smoother.

I've never experienced problems with Gun Scrubber either. As has been noted, however, it takes "all" oil and protective coatings off the metal. It's also not to be used with any plastic parts...
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:43 PM
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I used Rossis for years as a cowboy action shooter. And I used Gun Scrubber for years, too. I have Ballistol for lubrication, gun oil, etc.

The ONE thing I can recommend because I sure would never recommend taking a gun apart unless you REALLY know what you're doing is to open the magazine tube to make sure the tube is clean and that the spring is clean. Shooting a lot of lead bullets, as you do and cowboy action shooters do, there can be lead residue in that tube that needs to be swabbed out. The only time I had a Rossi get stuck on me was for that very reason so I learned to open the tube and do a little housekeeping.

The action I clean by blowing Gun Scrubber through it, maybe rub it down with an old T-shirt, get the little spots with a Q-tip, and then spral Ballistol in there. Done and done as far as that's concerned. YMMV as always.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:49 PM
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I stripped it completely when new for a clean and lube.
It was fairly gunky from the factory. A common way to quick clean it is to remove the wood buttstock, turn the rifle muzzle up, and spray a can of non-chlorinated brake cleaner down the barrel, letting it run through the action until it runs clean. Lube as needed.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:58 PM
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There's a good youtube video on cleaning lever rifles by a popular gun guy who goes by H_____k 45. He shows how to remove the lever and then the bolt so he can clean the barrel from the breech and access the rest of the action.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:06 PM
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I like the idea of removing the buttstock then dousing it with your cleaner of choice. Being a cast boolit shooter, if I go that route I'll use Ed's Red.
Ed's Red recipe.
I'll do some research on Youtube and see if a disassembly is practical. Mine does feel a mite gritty.

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Old 07-18-2020, 07:18 PM
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Default Disassembly Causes Wear

You need to keep in mind methods that minimize disassembly. Gun scrubber, Ballistol and an air compressor are your friend. I would never unscrew and drift out fasteners just to get access to the breach for routine cleaning. Get yourself a conical cleaning rod guide made of brass to work bore brushes from the muzzle if you must use a brush. I have several in my cleaning kit to protect the muzzles of lever guns, pump guns, and automatics without breach bore access. Screws are not meant to be used for routine disassembly, let alone drift pins. You will wear out and loosen a gun pretty quick if you frequently disassemble it for simple cleaning.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarebutt View Post
There's a good youtube video on cleaning lever rifles by a popular gun guy who goes by H_____k 45. He shows how to remove the lever and then the bolt so he can clean the barrel from the breech and access the rest of the action.
Does not apply, He's working on a Marlin 336, which is completely different from the OP's Rossi. A Rossi M92 is a clone of the Winchester 1892.

There's some good Youtube videos specifically on the Rossi, just do a search on "cleaning Rossi M92 lever action rifle".

This one is a disassemble and reassemble in under 5 mins:


This one is a generalized lever gun cleaning by "GunBlue490", I really like his videos, they are no nonsense and straightforward without a bunch of excess gabbing.

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Old 07-19-2020, 08:57 AM
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OK. Thanks. Those videos show me it can be done. Doesn't look like something I want to do too often.
As far as removing the stock and flooding the action; I know the magazine follower is made of plastic, so any really aggressive solvent is out. But thanks. The replies here have given me a lot to go on.
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:24 AM
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Cleaners such as gun scrubber don’t cause rust. They remove oil and grease which protect from rust. You have to oil after you clean or you will have rusting. I don’t have any Rossi levers but I have original Wins and Marlins that only fire cast bullets, lubed on 450. Loaded with pistol powders such as Unique. They will get dirty actions compared to guys shooting factory jacketed ammo. I haven’t run into any Win or Marlin lever that takes much smarts to tear down. I would caution rookies to stay away from spool magazines on Savage 99s.
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
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....I know the magazine follower is made of plastic....
There are a few slight tweaks that are fairly universally done to the Rossi 92, and replacing the follower is one of them.

Rossi 92 Metal Mag Tube Follower [00146] - $19.95 : Steve's Gunz, Rossi 92 Specialist
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:17 PM
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A quick cleaning would be to flush with diesel then wipe dry.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:40 PM
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Only off Winchester I own is a Uberti 44-40 1876 type. I like the '76 for cleaning because of the removable side panels. I only shoot black powder and was originally concerned about residue. The only area that needs any real concentration is the area immediately around the chamber, that an of course the barrel. I wouldn't be too concerned about a complete tear down except maybe every other shooting session or even a little more. I'm a big fan of Ballistol on everything I shoot, especially black powder. Friends of mine have good luck with Breakfree for in between shooting storage. 92's are miniature 86's and two of the most complicated lever actions John M. ever developed. I used to shoot an '86 with black powder and learned to make up a few words while figuring out how to disassemble and reassemble. Those videos should be big help to you and your Marlin, Good Luck and shoot sharp.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:49 PM
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I have 2 92's. One an Interarms. The other a Navy Arms. Both have been here over 20 years. Both still work as good as new. Neither has ever been disassembled. If either is particular dirty I will wipe the open action with an oily rag/tooth brush. All these rifles get is Unique and cast bullets. Seldom clean the bore as my loads don't lead.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:57 PM
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Easy Peasy, good video, strip and reassembly.


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Old 07-31-2020, 07:17 PM
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For me, picking the right cartridge can result in cleaner guns. Straight walled cases often result in lots of blowback into the action. I have several leverguns and the bottleneck cartridges shoot so much cleaner that they rarely need interior cleaning. I currently shoot mostly Uberti reproductions, 44-40 Henry, 44-40 Model 1866, 45 Colt Model 1873, 45-75 Model 1875, and 45-70 Model 1886. The dirtiest of the bunch is the Model 1873 shooting straight-walled 45 Colt. Actually the Model 1886 shoots pretty clean probably due to the long case.

As for deep cleaning, the Model 1873 is the toughest levergun to strip and reassemble and if I had it to do over, it would be a 44-40, but the 30" Deluxe model was too much to pass up. I am a firm believer or keeping guns oiled and that allows me to shoot them longer between cleaning, but I probably have to do a deep clean my 1873 a few times a year, certainly not every time I take it shooting. If the gun is not running dry, it will shoot a long time without issues and will never rust. If one shoots black powder, that is a whole different story and I don't need that headache.

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Old 07-31-2020, 07:49 PM
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I just bought a Henry rifle. I want to take good care of it. Do you need to deep clean it? I am afraid that if I deep clean it-- I will have parts that I won't know how to put back or worse -- lose some parts.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:14 PM
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Rossi 92s are my favorite leverguns for bumping around in the woods. Yes I have Marlin Texan 336 and Marlin Guide Gun in 45/70 but the two Rossi .44 magnums I have, 16 and 20 inch, are outstanding.

Favorite load is Winchester White Label 240 grain soft points. They shoot very well and make 1900 fps from my 20 inch Rossi.

As for cleaning.. I use Break Free for all of it. Works fine.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flattop5 View Post
I would caution you about Gun Scrubber. I used it on a Marlin 30-30 lever action once, and it instantly caused the inner receiver to rust. In, like, 4 minutes. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that Gun Scrubber itself did that. Perhaps I wasn't following the directions properly. But, still, I would caution people about that type of cleaner (i.e., a cleaner that instantly "de-oils/de-greases" the gun followed by lots of air).



---------------------------

Gunsccrubber is a very good product and cleans crud and debris off very well. Immediately after using Gunscrubber - the parts cleaned MUST be oiled right away! Gunscrubber removes all oil from the pores of the metal!

I've used it for many years and as long as new oil is applied right away, no rust will occur and you will be good to go.

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