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I don't have a lot of experience, and I'm still learning the basics. No problem though, right? I've found helpful folks on a few forums with all sorts of good advice and help.

So, my first contribution back (so that someone else can find it by searching) comes at the expense of some finish.

The story begins with me reading a thread somewhere (different forum, can't find the link right now) about cleaning the bolt of 10/22 rifles with Simple Green. Simple Green is a relatively laid-back sort of household cleaner. I clean all sorts of stuff with it, and even used it to remove wax and build up from my skis before before shaping the bases and re-waxing.

Since the bolt cleaning on my 10/22 went so well, I decided to clean the bolt of my Ruger MK II pistol and the mainspring housing as well. Bad idea.

As it turns out, a five minute soak in Simple Green stripped the black finish right off. I can't say exactly what sort of finishes it will and won't damage, but I will never use it again on anything but bare metal.
Actually, I'll probably never use it again on any gun part, since I now feel incredibly foolish. The shame!

I'll try to post pictures later, when I figure out where my camera is hiding.
I think just sticking to bare metal is a better idea, simple green is also good for cleaning after corrosive ammo but really almost any aggressive cleaner can do damge if it goes somewhere unintended that is the nature of the beast even Ed's Red if it was allowed to get on the finish of your stock would do damage to the finish, it's either that or you use a cleaner that probably is not much of a cleaner.
No pictures yet - I had a family emergency to deal with.

After reassembling everything, I think it's safe to say that I overreacted a little. finish came off, but there's still black finish on the gun. You can tell a difference by looking, but it's not terrible. I do plan on having the gun refinished now. Of course, now I have to choose a color. Black, like the original finish? Olive drab? Coyote tan? Tough decision!

I'll probably use simple green again, but only on bare steel - and only when there's no chance of it coming into contact with a finished surface. This means it's probably reserved for the occasional complete teardown cleanings when I have individual parts removed and isolated.

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