I went shooting with our veterinarian on March eleventh. I brought my SMLE No.4Mk1 and my most recent Mosin acquisition, a second arsenal refurbished model 91/30 retired PU - type sniper.
I cleaned both rifles after the outing, following procedures used when corrosive ammunition has been fired. I put the rifles back on the rack with damp bores, put the bolts in the safe, and went about my business.
Two days later I returned, wiped down all the metal with a cloth dampened lightly with CLP, and ran patches through the bores of both rifles. The SMLE patch had just a tinge of gray (I clean vigorously the first time, then expect the CLP I leave in the bore to loosen what I missed the first time.
The patch I ran through the Mosin was a lot darker, and showed a tinge of green mixed with the gray. Seeing green indicates that some of the gilding (jacket material) is still stuck in the grooves. I thought "No biggie", ran a brush soaked in Hoppes Lead and Copper through the bore and let it sit overnight.
Okay. It is now two weeks later, and I punch the Mosin in the morning and in the evening, and I'm still bringing out crud. It's as if there are strata of carbon, gilding, and lead packed into spectacularly deep grooves. The cleaning rod swivels like a barber pole going down the bore; a much more positive feel than my other C&R milsurps.
I checked my other retired PU and the two Mosins closest to it on the rack, and upon close examination it appears that it, too, has very deep grooves compared to the "stock" 91/30's.
I'll have to fly this by the folks over at The Gun Thing, but not tonight.
See, I told you it was trivial...