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Care of Weapons
From Der Rekrut


Below you will find original instructions from an English translation of the 1935 German Army manual for the care of weapons.  Thanks to Michael Bollow for giving us permission to use excerpts of Der Rekrut here on this site.  If you would like to purchase this manual, please visit his website at: http://members.aol.com/soldaten/rekrut.htm
 

Instructions for Using Cleaning Kit No. 34 for Rifles, Carbines, Pistols, Light and Heavy Machine Guns



I. Description of Cleaning Kit No. 34

1.  The cleaning kit and cleaners (except for gun grease, linseed-oil varnish, and cleaning cloth) are kept in a steel case.  The case contains:
1 cleaning chain
1 bore brush
1 oil brush
1 oiler
1 wiper for front end of receiver
a few cleaning patches


 




2. The bore brush is used to loosen the residue left from firing.
3. The oil brush is used to oil or re-oil the inside of the barrel after cleaning.
4. The oiler is used to apply the gun-cleaning oil and for oiling the brush.
5. The wiper is used to clean and oil the front end of the receiver and, with a cleaning patch, to clean the inside of the receiver.
6. The cleaning patches are used
- for removing oil from the cartridge chamber and the inside of the barrel,
- for removing the residue in the cartridge chamber and the inside of the barrel that was loosened by the cleaning brush,
- for cleaning and oiling the front end of the receiver and the inside of the receiver, in conjunction with the wiper, and
- for spot application of oil or limited oiling of all the rifle's steel parts.
 

II. Cleaners and Protective Substances

1. Gun-cleaning oil is used for
a)  cleaning and maintaining the inside of the barrel.
b)  protecting against the harmful effects of residue buildup in the barrel after shooting.
c)  preventing rust formation on bare or burnished steel.
d)  keeping individual parts moveable, particularly when subjected to gases.
2. Gun grease,
Linseed-oil varnish,
Cleaning cloth, and
Wood chips.
 

III. Cleaning Procedure

We differentiate between "everyday" cleaning and "through" cleaning.
1.
a) "Everyday" cleaning is done after drills, targeting exercises, etc., if the weapon is not fired, has not gotten wet, or is not very dusty.
b) "Through" cleaning is done after shooting with live ammunition, dummy cartridges or subcaliber ammunition, when the weapon has gotten wet or very dusty, or if the weapon is to be put in storage.
2.
a) Polish the parts until they are bright and remove black spots (rain spots); grains of rust or rust pits cause premature wear and tear.
b) Heavy residues inside the barrel that cannot be removed by standard cleaning procedures may be removed only by the armorer-artificer by means of a brass wire brush (with 2 rings and 2 cleaning chains).
c) Do not blow out dust, or blow into holes or indentations.  This causes rust.
d) When abrupt temperature changes occur, leave the muzzle cover on the weapon and do not open the bolt assembly until the steel parts no longer have condensation on them.  Only then should you clean the weapon.
 

A. Everyday Cleaning

1. The following steps are valid for machine-gun barrels and the 08 pistol, as applicable.  If doing an everyday cleaning, oil the inside of the barrel and the remove clinging dust and dirt from the outside of the weapon.  To do so, proceed as follows.
a) Remove the muzzle cover and open the receiver cover.
b) Remove the bolt assembly.
c) Lay the cleaning patch in the cleaning chain's double hook.  To do this, open the hook, guide the center of the patch to the swivel, close the hook firmly with your left thumb and index finger, and pull the patch into the hook ends using your right hand.  All of the threads must be caught up in the hook and the loose ends of the patch should be of an even length.
d) Let the cleaning chain drop through the barrel from the breech recess, and pull the dry patch through the barrel.  To do so, set the rifle butt on the ground.  With your left hand, grasp the rifle in between the upper band and the lower band, and with your right hand, pull the cleaning chain through the barrel.
e) Apply oil to the oil brush and oil the inside of the barrel.  Hold the gun as in d).  Be sure that both hooks in the brush's rings are hooked.  To apply oil to the brush:  Take the shaft of the oiler's dropper valve between your index and middle fingers.  Produce a few drops of oil by pressing on the air valve with your thumb.

f) Wipe out the front end of the receiver.
g) Remove and clean the muzzle cover.
h) Wipe and oil the outside of the bolt assembly.
i) Wipe, spot-clean and oil the weapon using the cleaning cloth and an oiled cleaning patch.
Make sure to avoid introducing dirt, sand, etc. through the movements of the cleaning chain, patch and brushes.  Each time you clean the weapon, clean the cleaning kit afterwards.
 

B. Thorough Cleaning

The goal of thorough cleaning of the inside of the barrel is to remove residues left by previous oiling, as well as any foreign material such as dust, dirt, etc.  Furthermore, all external and internal parts of the weapon are cleaned and appropriately treated to protect them from rust.
To perform a thorough cleaning, proceed as follows.
a) Remove the muzzle cover and open the receiver cover.
b) Remove the bolt assembly.
c) Oil the bore brush and pull it through the barrel twice, using the cleaning chain and beginning at the cartridge chamber.
d) Use the cleaning chain to pull two or three cleaning patches through the barrel, one at a time and beginning at the cartridge chamber.  If the cleaning patches do not become very dirty when pulled through, turn the patches inside-out and pull them through again.

e) The inside of the barrel is clean when the last patch pulled through the barrel remains clean.
f) Apply oil to the oil brush and pull it through the barrel once or twice, using the cleaning chain and beginning from the cartridge chamber.
g) Remove and clean the muzzle cover.
h) Wipe out the front end and inside of the receiver.
i) Disassemble, clean and oil the bolt assembly.
k) Clean and oil the remaining steel parts of the weapon, using cleaning patches and the cleaning cloth.
l) Clean and varnish the stock and hand guard.
m) Rub the openings in the stock with gun grease.
 

C. Procedure Before Firing

Before firing the weapon, remove the oil from the inside of the barrel.  Removing the oil ensures that the first shot can be fired accurately.
 

D. Procedure After Firing or When the Weapon has Become Wet or Very Dusty

1. Temporarily oil the inside of the barrel after firing - even when using dummy cartridges - or when the weapon has become wet or very dusty.
2. The purpose of temporary oiling is to remove firing residue or foreign material such as dust, water or snow from the inside of the barrel, thus making a later thorough cleaning easier.  It also protects the inside of the barrel from rust.
3. Temporary oiling should be done as soon as possible after firing, or when the weapon has been subjected to inclement weather, etc., and cannot be cleaned immediately.  Proceed as follows:
a) Remove the muzzle cover and open the receiver cover.
b) Open the bolt assembly and pull it back to the bolt catch.
c) Liberally oil the bore brush and pull it through the barrel once, using the cleaning chain and beginning at the cartridge chamber.
4. To prevent fouling, the weapon must be cleaned within several days after being fired.  (This includes the weapons of soldiers on leave or in the hospital.)

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