Saturday, February 14, 2009

Knowing enough to be dangerous usually the worst level of knowledge: enough to think you know what you're doing but usually missing some key piece of information. I demonstrated this tonight when cleaning the cosmo off of my Steyr M95 (spare me the psychoanalysis of cleaning guns alone on Valentine's Day). Anyway, my gun is absolutely CAKED in the stuff, so I bust out the mineral spirits for the small metal parts and get a heat gun for the furniture and larger metal parts (barrel/receiver). Unfortunately, I hit a snag early when the front barrel band won't come off. This is the very first step in disassembling an M95, so we've got a problem. Three hours later, it's finally off (dried and hardened cosmo acted like superglue). Llike I said, everything is absolutely coated in cosmo, so I start giving the barrel/receiver the business with the heat gun. The cosmo is coming off nicely until I realize that there is some smoke in the air, just a few wisps. Shut off the heat gun, wipe off the gun, everything seems fine. Check the heat gun settings...low is 750 F and high is 1000 F. That's considerably higher than I thought. Oops. Cosmo MELTS around 120 F and has a flashpoint of 365 F...that might explain the smoke.