Cleaning a rusty rifle?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by doomrus26, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. doomrus26

    doomrus26 New Member

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    Hello I have a .22 Marlin Golden 39-A Lever Action. This rifle has survived a lot. It’s been in an apartment fire were only a hand full of items even made it out. This gun was my first and it’s noting special but I would like to restore it to a point. The gun was in a cheap fabric case in between a mattress and box spring. During the fire the metal started heating up that cause the wood to warp and change color. Wherever the metal touched the wood it turn black but it looks like it kept the finish. I love the look of the gun and its still working great. The rifle sat in water for two months. But there is no rust in the barrel only everywhere else. But its just surface rust there is hardly pitting. I was wondering how to I go about cleaning off the rust and stop it from coming back. You can see all the pictures of the Rifle on my profile .
     
  2. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Wow, it doesn't look bad at all considering what it's been through.

    I would scrub the rust off with Hoppe's or an oil based solvent (motor oil will help loosen it up too) and a stiff bristled brush, and then if the finish is too messed up or the rust keeps coming back, have the metal refinished.
     

  3. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I just removed a bit of surface rust off my Dad's Marlin with #0000 steel wool soaked in oil. The surface rust came off very nicely. I then cleaned and oiled the whole gun. The bluing is gone from where the rust is but I don't think it will rust any further after removing the rust and oiling. I may get it reblued sometime in the future.
     
  4. ahole

    ahole New Member

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    im sorry to here that you had this loss. But im even more sorry to bear the bad news this gun is now unsafe to fire ever again. the temper of the the metal in the receiver is now changed and is most likely very britel. a very good chance it will crack and go off in your face now. If you are just cleaning it up for looks than i would say use some CBC rust remover along with you oild steel wool. when you done removing the rust get some cold blue and dip the gun and oil it every day for a month.
     
  5. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    What are the first two digits of the serial number?


    The 39a is the finest shooting 22 out there imho. I think you should send it to a reputable gunsmith and have it professionally refinished.
     
  6. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Could be right, but considering the firearm didn't quite get hot enough to actually burn the wood (451 degrees Fahrenheit right?), personally I wouldn't have a problem shooting it. And the OP has already been shooting it.

    That being said, I will not be held liable if it does hurt someone. What I would do is one thing, and I take no responsibility for anyone's actions except my wife and son.
     
  7. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    if the springs still work then it did not hurt the temper in the metal. a 22 rifle is almost all made from soft steel anyway. The springs are hard and the firing pin is hard, but that is about it. barrel steel on US guns (even deer rifles) are most all quite soft. I've drilled and tapped or cut dovetails etc in many many guns. Thank goodness the metal was all soft except for rare exceptions.
     
  8. doomrus26

    doomrus26 New Member

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    Thanks for the all the info its been a little over a year and i took all the advice. I cleaned the gun my self with a little steel wool and a lot of oil. I have to keep it oiled up nice and good all the time because I don't have the funds at the moment to re-blue it. But i will say it works great i have shot a few hundred rounds and it works flawlessly.
     
  9. huffmanite

    huffmanite New Member

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    Whenever I need to deal with rust on a gun, generally use Blue Wonder cleaner with some steel wool. Nice thing about Blue Wonder, does a good job on rust and does not harm blueing. It is a good bore cleaner too. By the way, RB17 and Blue Wonder are basically the same product.
     
  10. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    I would not tell anyone to use a firearm that has been thru a fire. This was not heated evenly. There is no way of knowing what heat treat damage that may have occured. If gas should escape in the shooters face around the firing pin the results could be real bad. I know of no real gunsmith who would recover that rifle for shooting.:(
     
  11. jharder0002

    jharder0002 New Member

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    Why not re-blu it yourself? I did my AR after I cut down the FSB. Mind I wasn't completely worried about the final look of the product as a quad rail went over it, it it turned out great all things considered.

    Left an old rem. .22 out in my garage in the summer and it got the crap rusted out of it. Just took some steel wool and oilto get it off, and then got sandpaper and worked down to 3000 grit and then just applied some bluing agent I got from Buds gun shop. It's not shiny steel anymore, but it's not gonna rust again.
     
  12. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    Cold bluing does nothing to protect against rust. In most cases it actually promotes rust.
     
  13. doomrus26

    doomrus26 New Member

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    Cold bluing is not as good as it claims. I used it on a old mosin nagant. It came out OK but the cold blue is not the same looking and not as strong. When I get the time and money I will get it done. The trigger was gold at one point and the bluing on the receiver and the barrel were different. So one day it will be back to its old glory.
     
  14. superc

    superc Member

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    Any reputable, professional, gunsmith will probably refuse to work on any gun that has been in a fire.
     
  15. skip

    skip New Member

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    I've cleaned surface rust off a few barrels, using a tip I got from one of Brownells books. Rub the barrel with a hard, round, metal shaft. Once I used a screwdriver blade, but since then I've been using hardened metal dowel pins. The rust will turn into a powder that looks like cinnamon, and rubs right off. The blue stays put, and there's no scratching. After it's finished, clean off all the residue and rub it down with oil.

    Hope this helps.
     
  16. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Active Member

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    I was recently given a Browning pump action .22 by my next door neighbour and as he has no interest in guns now he was going to hand it in but then remembered that I have a slight interest in guns :D and gave it to me.

    It was in need of a major cleanout as there was a lot of surface rust and the stock was in need of refurbishing plus it had a crack just behind the rear trigger guard that was about 2" long.

    I pulled the whole thing down and sent the woodwork to a furniture maker cabinent builder who is interested in doing a couple of gunstocks and told him to fix the crack as best as he could and try and make the woodwork look good again.

    In the meantime I stripped the action down and cleaned everything in petrol and assessed what was stuffed and what wasn't and as it turned out everything just needed cleaning,oiling or soaking in WD40/RP7.

    The barrel was a different story externally as it had rust spots everywhere so I grabbed some light grade sandpaper and scuffed up the rust spots and also removed the blueing on the whole barrel.

    The surface rust in some places had gone in a bit further than I thought but not deep enough to worry the integrity of the barrel so I looked around the gun room/man cave and found some Aluminium acid cleaner that was left over from my days as a truck owner driver and proceeded to wash the barrel down with it. This worked a real treat and got down into the rust and removed what was left of the surface rust.

    I washed the remains of the acid cleaner off in cold water,dryed the barrel and then used a wire brush wheel(soft wire) in my drill and polished up the whole barrel and then when all the rust was gone I then got some very fine sand paper and scuffed up the barrel and then applied G96 Cold Blue as per instructions at least 4 times.
    Reckon it still needs at least another 4 coats to darken it up and you can still see where the surface rust has "bitten" into the barrel but it looks a lot better and works a lot better than when I 1st got it.

    I haven't fired it yet as I've been trying to finish off my Ruger M77 22/250AI project rifle and now that this is finished I can get back to getting this 1 up and running,reckon it'll make a brilliant little cabin gun for knocking off rabbits and those foxes that get too close to the 4wd, regards
     

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  17. huffmanite

    huffmanite New Member

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    Gent I've read on other gunsites, not sure here, works as a firearms restorer for a very large gunstore in Ca. He would advise to use a 5 cent coin edge to rub on rust spots. Don't recall if he used the older nickles or newer made nickles to work on rust. Reason for the coin, much less likely to scratch the good metal around the rust.
     
  18. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    I have tried cold bluing many time, following directions, not following directions....except as a touch-up I'd rather pay to get it done right and look good