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Joined: 11/24/2014
Posts: 3

ok i only joined this forum one time because im desperate and running out of options. i would appreciate no judgments or nasty comments im just looking for advice. yes i realize i messed up which is why im on here.

my best friend is a longtime hunter and she has an expensive rifle or she says it was expensive. she had it for a while she bought in or around 2008 i think? well she moved and a year later i moved in so we became roommates. long story short, she was having a bbq / hunting party at our rented house and she was complaining about how she needed to clean her rifle its a Dakota chambered something /458 lott. i wasn't really part of the get together but when i heard about each of the hunters were talking about what one can use to clean rifles with to cut costs and comet was mentioned. i didn't know they were joking about a good way to ruin a rifle i thought they were being serious. i wanted to do my friend a favor so i made the mistake of taking the initiative in cleaning her dakota rifle with pipe shaped brush (thin hard metal wire brush) and ajax with warm water to get the crud out. because she works 2 jobs to support her hobby and i just wanted to make her happy. i only wanted to help!

my best friend walked in on me and screamed at me and said it was ruined. she said it took her 8 months to save up for it and she has not been talking to me since and its been two days. is it really ruined? or can i fix it? is a dakota rifle really that expensive? how can i undo the ajax cleaning is there a remedy or a fix? some type of oil i can use to smooth the barrel or something?? she recently tested it with her other hunting friends and when she came back home she said "the range is completely f-cked?" i dont even know what that means because i never hunted before. any advice would help! thank you!!!

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
Yes, a Dakota rifle in .458

Yes, a Dakota rifle in .458 Lott can be expensive $6000+. 

So what is wrong with it?  A little bit of rust in the barrel? 

Cleaning it with Ajax and water really isn't the best thing to do unless it is scalding hot water and then a little oil into the barrel on a patch to prevent rust. 

To clean it up now all that really needs to be done is a through cleaning with the correct oils and solvents shuch a Hope's #9 and a bronze brush to remove the rust, then a light coating of gun oil to prevent it in the future. 

I think that your friend is being over dramatic saying the it is ruined and it would be interesting to see her shoot a .458 Lott.  It is not the normal hunting caliber for big game here in the US and is used mostly for hunting dangerious game in Africa such as lions, buffalo, and elephant.

Joined: 11/24/2014
Posts: 3

yes! my friend was being very dramatic about it she lost her temper and her hunting buddies told her to calm down in saying it wasnt that big of a deal which kind of hinted to me that it could be fixed. it was a party so there was lots of drinking involved. she has been to africa with her grandpa lots of times before but i know they all occurred before she earned her dream rifle the dakota because she bought it in 2008 and her grandpa died almost 2 years before that. she hasnt been to africa since. she's originally from south carolina and she says her grandpa got her into it when she was 6 as a spotter? so maybe it means she spotted animals or something like that? sorry for my ignorance. she says she only uses it for 500+ yard test shots for now and she said she does want to take it with her to africa and alaska but because of all the media coverage on the ebola virus she just wants to wait it out until next year or at least when the talk dies down. she also complained about permits / license (sorry i forgot lol) on kodak bears in alaska when i asked her why she said hunting bears in alaska is crazy expensive. i printed out a big horn canyon ranch hunting area for her last night as a last ditch effort to show her i care. but she rudely grabbed it from my hand read it for a little less than a minute and then threw it on the ground saying "caned / canned hunting? no thanks!" in a sneery attitude. so i think she is still mad at me. 

im not at all against hunting i mean i eat meat and its sure better fate for most animals than most slaughterhouses ive seen and i feel bad because when i told her i never shot a gun before she bought me a silent cat bb rifle and told me i could use it in our backyard. she has way more than just one gun or rifle but as of right now all i know is that she cleaned the dakota herself and its on a mantle as we speak. i dont know how she cleaned it herself but if she did can i still use that Hopes #9?? thank you critter! 

groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539
leave it alone

If you don't know what you are doing, just leave it alone.  Offer to help.  Apologize and leave it alone.  Doesn't sound to me like you did anything unforgiveable.  But don't do anything that might cause more harm.

Joined: 03/31/2009
Posts: 219
I don't believe a wire brush,

I don't believe a wire brush, ajax and hot water will hurt it at all. Use a copper brush ASAP with some cleaning solvent and wipe it down good and give the bore a light shot of oil and Good TO Go.

The steel in the barrel/bore is much harder than any wire cleaning brush you will ever buy. I don't see any big deal here. BUT leave the dam thing alone next time.....LOL

Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 610
if you took the wire brush to

if you took the wire brush to the exterior of the gun and gave the gun a good bath and put some elbow grease into the stock and barrel  and scratched the gun up.  yea, your roommate should be pissed.


your good intentions could be very costly to fix, especially if it was a nice walnut stock with engraving. 

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
Hard lessom. Never ever fool

Hard lessom. Never ever fool with someone's rifle, shotgun or pistol unless invited to. Ajax huh! Kind of funny, I've never heard of that. Doesn't it have chlorine it it? That is a corosive. Need to make sure you get it all out!

Years ago, my first wife decided to do me a favor and re-size some 7mm mag case's for me while I was at work. Got home and looked at them and every case in the box had the shoulder crushed! Back then I used STP to lube case's and it looked like she'd dipped the case's in the stuff. Well nothing happened that I couldn't reverse so I pretty much let it go. Blew out the case's and taught her how to re-size. That was the only time I ever got her to do anything with reloading. 

problem with your situation is the cost of the gun in the first place, $6000? If you had a brand new $50k sport's car in the driveway and the neighbor kid washed it for you while you were asleep but used Brillo pads, I think you'd be upset. Of course the kid didn't do anything a good paint job couldn't fix!

Consider it a tuff lesson and walk away from it!

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
I agree

I have to agree.  NEVER EVER mess with someone elses rifle, unless they specifically ask you for your advise and direction when handing over to you their gun.  The clicker is that being asked for advise first entails that you are more knowlegeable and experienced than they are or they regard you as such.  Yeah never mess with anyones firearms unless given permission, especially if you weren't even part of the original conversation or get-together. 

Ajax or comet is more likely to ruin fine finish of a gun than the rifling inside the bore itself.  But a steel brush intended for something other than a rifle bore will cause damage to a fine barrel.  Never use a steel brush in a bore (there are only a few extreme situation where steel is okay and sometimes needed, but generally stay away from steel brushes in a rifles bore).