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In this guide, I shall show you different ways to remove rust from a gun without damaging bluing.
Most firearms are protected from rusting using a black oxide coating. (Source)
And because removing rust in most cases requires scraping, most gun owners end up damaging the bluing and making the matters worse for their guns.
Luckily, if you’ve never done this before and would want to get rid of the rust by yourself, then follow the simple steps I’ve highlighted below.
Top Ways on How to Remove Rust from A Gun Without Damaging Bluing
Before we begin, it’s always important to first figure what causes rust. There are three common causes, and they include:
- Rain may have soaked the barrel
- Sweat from your hands
- High humidity in the storage area
If you live in high humid areas, it means that you have no other option other than to get yourself the best gun-safe dehumidifier.
Additionally, you should also regularly clean your firearm before storage.
This will help remove sweat and moisture on the gun surface.
Luckily, I have written a guide to help you understand how regularly you need to clean your gun.
1. Using WD-40 Process
WD-40 is a common product used for ages to help get rid of rust and eliminate squeaks in most household appliances.
While in normal cases, you’d just simply spray the product to the rusted surface until soaked and allow up to 10 minutes, in the case of a gun barrel, you’ll need to allow for up to 48 hours.
Allowing the WD40 to soak for 10 minutes only works when there’s no much rust on the gun bluing.
When using WD40, you will also need the following materials:
- Copper Penny
A copper penny is soft and won’t scrape the same as regular steel wool.
Use the penny’s edge to scrape loose rust and avoid digging in as you might ruin the bluing or leave some copper stains behind.
I’ve used this product to remove rust from the flat blued surface of my Marlin 39 receiver.
2. Oil And 0000 Steel Wool
Oil and 0000 steel wool are other great ingredients that will help you remove rust from a gun without damaging the bluing.
0000 steel wool is a slightly abrasive material and does a great job in scrubbing off the rust and other stains from gun surfaces without damaging the original finish.
Regarding the type of oil for this purpose, I’d recommend Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil, which I’ve also recommended in my guide on the top gun cleaning solvents on the market.
First, you’ll need to apply the oil around the rusted surface- apply a few drops and not in large quantities.
After oil application, you’ll need to rub the surface using the 000-steel wool and don’t apply too much pressure in this case as it can damage the firearm bluing.
You can also apply a gun cleaner on the steel wool as you rub the rusted surface.
Let the oil sit and use a napkin or a gun cleaning patch to clean the gun surface after removing the rust.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda will work perfectly when there isn’t much rust.
However, if the rust situation is too much, I would highly recommend using WD40 and the 000 steel wool method mentioned above.
To remove rust from gun bluing, mix some baking powder with water to form a thick paste.
Apply the paste to the affected surface and let it sit for around 1 hour.
Use 000 steel wool or a wire brush to remove the rust from your gun surface and wipe away any remaining product from your gun.
4. A Battery Charger
This method works perfectly, especially when removing rust from the surface made of copper, brass, aluminum, and all sorts of alloy.
In this case, the materials you will need are baking soda, a battery charger, a plastic container, and a steel rod.
Make sure that your gun isn’t loaded- then, in a gallon of water, add a tablespoon of baking soda to create a perfect electrolyte.
Put the steel road in the container to act as a positive terminal and the solution as the cathode.
Place the rusted surface to the cathode and connect the anode to the steel rod.
Plugin the charge, and you should see some bubbles indicating some form of reaction which should clear off the rust problem.
Allow your gun to soak for around 3-5 hours, and then remove it from the solution and wipe it clean and dry using a cotton cloth.
5. Dremel Rotary Tool
A Dremel rotary tool is a perfect tool for cleaning and removing rust from the old and damaged pistol and rifle markings.
Dremels are comprised of silicon carbide and work perfectly in removing corrosion and rust from air rifles.
It’s essential to go for a Dremel rotary with small wheels and point to help remove all rust from your weapon.
I would also recommend rubberized silicon carbine as they are quite softer than their counterparts, the bonded abrasive, and they don’t affect your gun’s metal quality.
On How to Remove Rust from A Gun Without Damaging Bluing
Above are some of the best methods on how to remove rust from a gun without damaging bluing.
I’ve seen some people recommend Naval Jelly as a solution for removing rust.
However, I highly suggest you not use this product to damage bluing even before removing the rust.
After the rust removal process is over, I would also recommend you learn and understand the factors that contribute to rusting and, if possible, understand ways to prevent them.
After all, taking care of your rifle should be a priority because, in the long run, the cost of repairs or replacement are not relatively cheap.