How to fix a rusty gun

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by PocketsRN, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. PocketsRN

    PocketsRN New Member

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    I have a black powder revolver that has quite a bit of rust on it. That I can tell, it's only surface rust, but I can't get it off. Any ideas? I tried Hoppe's #9 and Hoppe's Elite, and rubbing it down with steel wool, but it hasn't worked. I completely disassembled it and it's actually been soaking in Hoppe's Elite for the last three weeks, while I figure out what to do with it. Can anyone help me out? Thanks
     
  2. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Which part is rusty?

    Many old revolvers had a finish know as "case color hardening" usually on the frame. I'm not a finishing expert but I believe this process allows rust to begin forming then a cure is applied that stops the oxidation and seals the metal preventing further corrosion.

    Rule number 1 NEVER USE STEEL WOOL ON A GUN!

    You've probably removed any original finish left on the gun and destroyed any collector value it may have had.

    Being an Infantry Vet I've had to clean the rust off of many weapons. They key is to let the area soak in any good solvent then work the area with a nylon bristled brush. These can be found in any commercial gun cleaning kit.

    You should post some pictures of all the parts and zoom in on any markings. I'm sure someone here can give you a good idea of what you've got and potential value...assuming you've not relegated it to shooter status with your steel wool.

    Tack
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Powder solvent does not dissolve rust. Use a good penetrating oil (I like a product called KROIL) Coat it and let sit for a day. For SERIOUS rust, take a COPPER Chore-Boy pot scrubber (be sure it is not copper washed steel, but copper) wet scrubber with oil, rub gently. For light rust, instead of Chore-Boy, use coarse cloth wet with oil, rub until arms falls off, change hands.
     
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  4. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how much rust. For light rust then what you did or what c3 suggests should remove the rust. For heavy rust you have to get aggressive to remove it. Emery cloth or a file. If its heavy rust there is no finish left and there will be pitting. So emery cloth or a file.
     
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Remove Rust

    I have soaked rusty steel in a 50/50 mix of diesel fuel and motor oil.

    I have also used Muriatic acid to eat rust away, then rinse with water and soak in oil. I have done this with rusty tools but it may be too much for a firearm.
     
  6. dhyayi

    dhyayi New Member

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  7. PocketsRN

    PocketsRN New Member

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    Thanks for the help. Luckily it's not an original, just a reproduction. It has a standard blue finish, and I'm worried about going too far and damaging the finish. I'll see if I can get some good photos up today or tomorrow.
     
  8. Fisherking

    Fisherking New Member

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    If its farly heavy rust , soke in Coke the beverage it will take the rust off anything. Break fluid but the bluing will be gone as well.

    F.K.
     
  9. natman

    natman Member

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    Nonsense. I've removed enough rust to build a Fiat with 0000 steel wool and light oil without once damaging any bluing.

    Sure, you can scratch the finish if you use a coarse enough grade of steel wool, but the same holds true of 100 grit sandpaper or a stiff wire wheel.
     
  10. triggerman770

    triggerman770 New Member

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    rusty gun

    quote
    "Break fluid but the bluing will be gone as well."
    what kind of Brake fluid do you use?
    I use it daily to clean guns and in the last 20 years it has never removed bluing.
    and as natman says the 0000 steel wool will not hurt bluing.
    I use evaporust to remove rust and it will remove bluing if left over nite or longer.
    you might try soaking it it turpintine for a day or so, I have gotten good results with that also
     
  11. Fisherking

    Fisherking New Member

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    I clean my guns with brake cleaner . The Brake fluid I use is what you put in the resiviore in your car for Hudrolic Brakes.

    F.K.
     
  12. triggerman770

    triggerman770 New Member

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    cleanin

    I use brake cleaner also and I do use brake fluid for my hydraulics
    just didn't see what is was typing
     
  13. PocketsRN

    PocketsRN New Member

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    Finally got a chance to put a few pics up. Haven't had time the last couple weeks to do anything else with it, though. Will oil help actually take the rust off? I thought it would just lubricate it and maybe keep it from getting worse.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Not very much rust . Oil and 0000 steel wool
     
  15. triggerman770

    triggerman770 New Member

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    rusty gun

    With rust like that I soak it in natural turpetine. It will dissolve the rust. then clean it with a gun solvent of your choice and lightly oil it. you might use a bore brush on the cylinder. I have also found that Ballistol will remove light rust by spraing it on and wiping with a rag.
     
  16. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Are you going to re finish this gun? I'd hate to all your efforts go to pot and have it flash rust on you again. Looks like your in Florida which may bee even worse for bare metal than the PNW.

    Tack
     
  17. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    A lot of suggestions on how to remove rust... I've always used 0000 steel wool and never lost any blue. Your main concern after you get the rust off will be to preserve the funish and prevent rust from coming back. Make wure to give it a good coat of oil before returning it to storage. From what I'm seeing, there is enough rust showing that you may want to consider refinishing it. Hopefully there is no pitting but the cylinders look pretty rusted up.

    Good luck with it ..
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  18. Wilder

    Wilder New Member

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    The shop I work at uses a tank filled with automotive parts solvent to soak in, 0000 steel wool, a stiff wire wheel (will remove finish) and a soft wire wheel (takes some effort to remove finish). For in the chambers I would cut a slot in a wood or plastic dowel, push some 0000 steel wool in the slot and wrap it around the dowel until it has a tight fit in the chamber. Add your solvent of choice and use a drill to spin it in the chambers. Does a good job of removing the rust without removing metal. Elbow grease and a little patience will defeat any rust. The more you want to protect the finish the lighter the touch and the more patience needed. (but then a heavy hand for me means the customer gets a re-blue at my expense)
     
  19. 7mmstw

    7mmstw New Member

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    Concur, What shop do you work at ? Just curious.