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Old 03-31-2011, 05:40 AM
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Default Cleaning Old Revolvers With Surface Rust and Light Pitting

Most of my revolvers are stainless, except for a couple that are blued and in excellent condition. However, recently I have started to take an interest in older blued guns that have seen a lot of use and may have some surface rust and light pitting. After researching the Forum, this seems to sum up the process for dealing with these problems:

Use 0000 brass wool with Kroil or Break Free to remove the rust, then apply a coat of Renaissance wax.

Anybody got anything to add? I would appreciate any and all advice and/or information on this subject.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:01 AM
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sounds like you got it covered.

i use LSA oil 0000 steel wool and Renaissance wax
seems to work for me....
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:24 AM
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The steel wool does not scratch or remove any blue?
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:29 AM
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I found a badly pitted Marlin 336 that came with a very cheap price tag. I found some 000 steel wool and used some of Hoppes brand oil I have and gave it a good scrubbing. I expected the little remaining bluing to come right off and I was just going to give it a cold bluing to coat it again. None of the bluing came off from the steel wool that I could tell. I figured it would clean up to the bare steel. I didnít really lay into it that hard but then again I donít know the differences in bluing used or how it is applied. I have no doubt some if it came off but it was very minimal. So if you use some bronze or copper wool that is softer than steel and some good oil then you should be safe.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4-Screw View Post
The steel wool does not scratch or remove any blue?
It will remove bluing, but it takes a lot of work! Go easy, and you will have no problem. If you encounter spots that are a bit too tough for the steel wool, put a drop of oil on it and use the edge of a copper penny to scrape the rust spot away.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:01 AM
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I suppose brass wool is better but I've used steel wool (0000) for years and have not seen any bad effects from it. I was told by a local gunsmith in the 80's to do this and it sure works for me. You don't have to rub all that hard and it pops the bluing back to life. If I had rust spots I would add gun oil to the steel wool and rub lightly.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:05 AM
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If you want an eye opener at times, take a strong white light and take a look at the blue of an otherwise good looking old revolver. Now and again you will see a brown tint, thats rust folks. Used in moderation the 0000 steel wool and oil works just fine.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:40 AM
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For what it's worth, brass or bronze wool is definitely easier on the finish, and should last a long time. It also has the added advantage of not rusting. Any little pieces of steel wool that break and get in the action etc. of WILL rust.

Bronze/brass wool can be obtained from furniture and cabinet finishing supply store.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:43 AM
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Anyone ever use Ballistol to coat/penetrate.lube/oil their guns to protect against rust?

I usually just store mine with a light coating of oil in the bore and chambers, and then I keep the outside of the gun clean and dry...wiped with a soft, clean, and dry towel.

I did notice on a blued gun the other day that there was a brown tint to the towel when I lightly used some Flitz on it. That worried me a bit.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:01 AM
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Never use steel wool coarser than 4/0.
I have almost entirely abandoned the use of ANY steel wool.
It WILL scratch the pre-war carbona blue on highly polished guns. Look at one with a 5X magnifier BEFORE and after using 4/0 steel wool. You will see fine scratches from 4/0 steel wool.

I use only the fine bronze wool from Brownell's with any good oil. 'CorrosionX' seems to dissolve rust as well as or better than anything else. Time and a warm environment help.

I do not wax guns, but I seldom display either.
RIG is my favorite. A super thin coat applied with the sheepskin "RIG-Rag" is the least obnoxious coating there is EXCEPT for wax. The coating is so thin it does not make hands and objects the gun lays on oily.

Some of the 'brown tint' seen on a gun is rust, some is merely dried oil.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:13 AM
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When using a penny to scrape larger sections of rust, be sure it is a "copper" penny, I believe you have to get back to the 50's to get one that is all copper.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:51 AM
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Steel wool of 0000 will work. There is one minor issue and that is it can leave small particles embedded in the surface. They can rust and cause issues if you decide to refinish. Copper wool doesn't have the same issues.

Something else that works very well is some Kroil and a stick of white chalk to rub off the rust. That is what I use to remove rust from Damascus barrels with out damaging the original delicate pattern.

These barrels were completely covered in a layer of rust. This is how they look after the Kroil and chalk treatment.

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Old 03-31-2011, 03:19 PM
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Bill

I think, but am not absolutely certain, that chalk is very much like
pumice, or even sandstone, that is used for highly polishing wood.
The chalk should be a very very fine abrasive, and you'd want to
use oil, as you did, of course. Its finer than 0000 steel wool, so
perhaps is even better.

As to another tip, for stuck screws, and even rust, Oil of Wintergreen
is suppossed to be the finest molecular structure oil in existence.
It has a unique scent to it ( to say the least ), but with a bit of
soaking time, it really gets into tight places.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:52 PM
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"Look at one with a 5X magnifier BEFORE and after using 4/0 steel wool. You will see fine scratches from 4/0 steel wool."

Lee's right. One is fooling himself to think that 4/0 steel wool won't impair a surface finish.

I'm also another happy RIG fan for 30-something years. Never any rust. I also think that long term use of RIG improves the appearance of the patina of antique guns with less than perfect finishes.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:24 PM
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Bruce

I think exactly the same thing happens when using Rig Grease. After
the passes of some months, the blue seems to look better. Its
almost as through there is something in the grease that is reacting
with the blue.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:33 PM
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I have found that the brass strip from a 5.56 stripper clip works well for the removal of rust also.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:13 PM
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si--------

Last edited by sw282; 07-02-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Big 45 Frontier Metal cleaner

I read about this stuff on the 1911 Forum. I ordered it for $5 and it works very well compared to steel wool. It looks like the by-product of some kind of industrial process that someone discovered would be good for guns. I have used it on rust spots and also to delead barrels.

Big 45 Frontier Metal Cleaner

Has anyone else tried it?
-Chuck
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:06 PM
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Question

I just ordered a pad. I recently acquired a rough 1917 with a bulged barrel that is in good functional condition and will try the rust removal feature.

I will post pics, before and after as well as side by side,rubbed
next to un-rubbed.

Seems like it would remove or scratch the blue at least to some degree.



Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck17 View Post
I read about this stuff on the 1911 Forum. I ordered it for $5 and it works very well compared to steel wool. It looks like the by-product of some kind of industrial process that someone discovered would be good for guns. I have used it on rust spots and also to delead barrels.

Big 45 Frontier Metal Cleaner

Has anyone else tried it?
-Chuck
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Bruce

I think exactly the same thing happens when using Rig Grease. After
the passes of some months, the blue seems to look better. Its
almost as through there is something in the grease that is reacting
with the blue.

Regards, Mike Priwer

i am a newcomer to RIG....i have the lambskin applicator..so far i have been impressed
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:34 PM
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I just ordered the Big 45 Frontier Metal Cleaner. For $5 including shipping, you can't go wrong. I was holding off ordering some brass wool from Brownells which would have cost close to $20 including shipping. The reviews sound like it is a good product and safe to use on an old valuable gun.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:53 PM
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Metal wools work because their edges are sharp.

However, depending upon how much rust needs to be removed and how it's done, keep in mind that the bits of wool as well as the bits of rust that accumulate are abrasives themselves especially as they build up in any oil used.

If using oil to reduce the amount of abrasion/suspend the debris, frequent flushing and changes of the oil are needed in my experience.

For light rust haze, I have used metal wools and turpentine.

The chalk idea is new to me but should work well so I will try it.

I have not tried some of the chemical removers and would not on any rust-blued gun.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:55 PM
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Default Chalk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bates View Post
...Something else that works very well is some Kroil and a stick of white chalk to rub off the rust. That is what I use to remove rust from Damascus barrels with out damaging the original delicate pattern.

These barrels were completely covered in a layer of rust. This is how they look after the Kroil and chalk treatment.
Bill,

Please advise what type/brand of chalk you use.

Thank you,
tp
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:33 AM
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I use 0000 steel wool and nitro-solvent. My understanding, which seems to born out in practice, is that the solvent neutralises the rust. Whatever you do, don't use rust killer/remover - it removes the bluing just like that!

Peter
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:59 AM
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I have had great luck with CorrosionX to get surface rust and pitting to a manageble level. CorrosionX responds to heat very well, actually speeds up the process. Here is what I do.

1. Take grips off and soak with CorrosionX
2. Soak inside of Ziploc bag and put gun inside
3. Place in a Borestore
4.On a hot day place in the back window of a car (Where applicable)

After about 4 or 5 hours (gun maybe too hot to handle with bare hands) I pull the gun out blast it off with more CorrosionX. After about the 4th time I will wipe it down with a microfiber rag. Once again this gets the rust to a manageble level. After that you can use some of the methods suggested above to fine tune things.

Chad Gripp
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:07 AM
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Default All-copper pennies...

"When using a penny to scrape larger sections of rust, be sure it is a "copper" penny, I believe you have to get back to the 50's to get one that is all copper."

The cut-off date for the 95% copper pennies is 1981 and before.

Hope this helps!

John
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tango-papa View Post
Bill,

Please advise what type/brand of chalk you use.

Thank you,
tp
I use a plain old stick of white chalkboard type of chalk.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:09 PM
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Soapstone works very well, like chalk.
+1 on CorrosionX.
Don
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bates View Post
I use a plain old stick of white chalkboard type of chalk.
Thank you sir.

tp
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:17 AM
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Believe me when someone mentions 4/0 steel wool and either kroil or break free to clean rust off a firearm I know exactly what he is talking about. Bought one of the police turn in rem 870 12 guage shotguns. This thing had rust every where. disassemblled the shotgun and went to work. In about an hours time you would not believe its the same shotgun. Rust was on the receiver, mag tube, mag tube extension and all over the bbl.Well I'm here to tell you it ain't there anymore. Its been wiped down with a fine cloth sprayed with some oil. I still get some rust color on the rag but gets less each time. I squirt the oil on and rub the steel wool in a circular motion. Could not believe how much rust was getting removed. There are a few pits but for $210 before taxes I'm not the one to complain. Ok yeah the wood needs sanding and refinishing no biggie so bring on the zombies. Frank
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:14 PM
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Another vote for RIG. I have been using RIG for many years also and have never had a gun rust when treated. I don't use the wool applicator because over time it can pick up grit that will scratch the surface. I use a synthetic fabric like a lady's slip is made of. I cut a square (12X12) and apply a few dabs here and there on the fabric. Then I fold it up and heat it a bit on low with the blow hair dryer. I then work it around in my freshly washed hands to evenly distribute the RIG throughout the cloth. I do 3 or 4 at a time and store them in a zip lock.

Generally I have a bag of RIG "rags" for my range bag and one for the bench. There's one in the safe too. The thin fabric releases the RIG and does not pick up grit like the wool or even a cotton blend cloth will. The rig dosen't soak into the synthetic as it will the other stuff. It will have to be recharged a little more often.

I have used 0000 steel wool for years but would be hesitant to use it on an expensive collectable unless the rust was already to the point of ruining the finish. I always rinse the surface well with solvent and dry when using 4 ought and oil or solvent. I have never had a gun re-rust when treated with rig afterward.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:41 PM
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Default Rig? Kroil? CorrosionX? Chalk? Etc...

Is the Rig commonly referred to just the Rig grease in a tube or jar or is there an oil version as well?
Trying to figure out how one would "reload" the Rig-rag/applicator with grease?

Please excuse the ignorance as I'm still attempting to figure out the subtleties in properly maintaining my blued S&W revolvers.

Also, and I know everyone's opinion is, well, different...
But, is it...

First Kroil, then CorrosionX, then Rig or Renaissance Wax and into the safe

or...

First CorrosionX, then Kroil, then Rig or Renaissance Wax and into the safe?

Again, still working through my education of custody and care of these beautiful pieces and want to get it right the first time.
Hoppes and Break Free have always been my choice for Sig's, Hk's and Glocks. But those don't have the same maintenance requirements either.

Gotta remember to get some chalk too.


tp

Last edited by tango-papa; 08-16-2011 at 02:43 PM.
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