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Old 09-04-2017, 12:58 PM
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You guys were incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and helpful last year when I inquired about my dad's revolver. You helped me understand and appreciate the historic value of my New Century, Triple Lock, .44 Special as well as the sentimental value of its personal history.

Your interest and support led me to try to take greater care of this weapon. I enthusiastically purchased an SKB waterproof gun case, cut out the gun silhouette in the foam, added space for some rounds, thoroughly cleaned and oiled the revolver, covered it with the second layer of foam, placed the gun's holster on top of that foam and closed the lid.

I checked on it from time to time - all was well. I was proud.

I opened the gun case two days ago and found the revolver covered in rust. Not the kind of rust that looks and feels like a smooth smear of brown on a steel carving knife but 3-dimensional hillocks of rust that felt sharp and tough. They did not yield to smearing finger pressure or fingernail picking. These rocky rust islands were in many discreet locations all over the gun.

The cylinder had rust on the outside but not inside the ammo tubes (sorry, don't know the correct nomenclature); on the barrel, but not in the bore; many spots on the frame. Even the backside surfaces of the two ivory grips had rust on the edges that rest on the steel frame (and now, are apparently permanently stained).

I removed the cylinder and the cover plate worried there would be rust on all the internal springs, levers, and slides and axels but they were all OK. At least, regarding functionality, the gun was not compromised. But it looked like C***!

I got out my Hoppe's #9, gun oil, Q-tips, razor blades, 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper, and my dads Herters needle file assortment and went to work.

Very tough rust! I spent an entire day working this stuff off the gun. While doing that, I tried to work through what the underlying cause of the rust was...I believe it was the holster.

I had been diligent about IT, too. It was all dried out and stiff, so I got out the Lexol and gave the holster a deep cleaning and moisturizing treatment. When I stored it on the foam on top of the gun it never occurred to me I was putting a 'water bomb' in the sealed container with my pistol! Unbelievable! I really amaze myself, sometimes.

In any case, the rust is gone. Unfortunately, the blued finish is now in substantially worse condition than before.

I have two questions for you all:

1. Now what? Should I just leave well enough alone and rack this up to experience - letting the gun record this as additional history; or should I seek out a gunsmith to re-blue the gun (I emailed S&W to see if they provide such services), or?

I doubt that I will ever sell the gun, so preserving the historic value from a collectors perspective isn't striking me as particularly important; and subconsciously, I probably want to erase the evidence of my mistake. But, what action is in the gun's best interest?

2. What are the safe and sane methods of storing a weapon? (is the SKB case overkill because its sealed?)

Thanks again!
Jim Simpson
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:07 PM
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Sorry to hear that happened. I know you must be very frustrated with the whole situation. I made a fair amount of mistakes with firearms when I first started collecting, and I am fortunate that I had the opportunity to make these mistakes on firearms that aren't quite as sentimentally and monetarily valuable as this one.

I store my firearms in silicon impregnated bore stores. Protective Gun Cases Silicone Treated - Bore Stores

It wouldn't hurt to store it in the presence of dessicant packet / cannister either.

Smith & Wesson won't refinish your revolver due to its age. If you decide to refinish it, I have heard good things about Ford's but have no personal experience with them. Personally, I think I would leave it alone. I have only had a few items from my collection refinished and pretty much regretted all of them.

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Old 09-04-2017, 01:13 PM
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Foam containers will attract and hold moisture. I don't store anything in foam. That may have been part of the issue, along with the holster. Not good to store in a leather holster either. I have pictures somewhere of a Colt Python my friend stored in a holster for 30 years.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:39 PM
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There are commercial products designed for storage, check Brownells.
Regardless of what they may be, I will not store any gun enclosed in anything.

All of mine that are stored are "open" to air circulation.
NEVER store a gun in a closed foam case, or in or touching leather.

As far as restoration goes, I'm seeing bad results from Ford's mentioned on a Colt forum.
They seem to have gone downhill from those reports. If true, I would not send a classic to them today.
I've seen a couple photos that looked atrocious.
Denis
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:55 PM
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Guns of that era were blued using a dry process called Carbona/Charcoal (or as S&W called it "Carbonia") bluing... modern chemical bluing processes just cannot match it in color hue and luster.

Turnbull Restorations (Restoration Services - Turnbull Manufacturing Company) can do that process, it isn't cheap, but they're probably the best bet for getting your gun back to original era look, and I wouldn't waste the time or money in having it chemically blued... as it will scream "refinished" in my opinion.

I see you're up by Folsom Lake... I'm in the Sac River Delta Region, so we're both in a somewhat humid location.

I've been using Borestores for everything in my safe for the last 20 years... the only issue I had was with a couple of revolvers I had refinished through S&W back when they stopped doing their own in house bluing and started farming the work out.

The silicone in the borestores reacted with the bluing, and over time (about a year) those two guns developed a weird white milky haze in the finish that will not come out.

Everything else that I have that's blued, rifles, shotguns and handguns of various manufacture are fine in the borestores.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:58 PM
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Excuse me, but razor blades, sandpaper, and files?
DUDE, STOP.

A cursory review of the subject in this forum will reveal that the most recommended course of action for rust is a gentle application of Kroil and 0000 bronze wool. Once clean metal (or hopefully some remaining finish) is reached, an application of Renaissance Wax will help preserve the metal.

And yes storing in contact with a holster is a classic and predictable way to ruin a finish; storing in contact with foam is a modern equivalent. others have already mentioned some good alternatives.

Anyway, good luck!
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:59 PM
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Rio Laxas:
I checked out the Bore Stores. Thanks. I will keep those in mind as I read other recommendations. I had on my list of things to do: find desiccant containers to put in my SKB storage box. Now you have me questioning that box...

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Old 09-04-2017, 02:03 PM
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The ones I don't shoot as often as I'd like because of playing favorites with more recent acquisitions get cleaned lubed and stocks removed then placed in a Z-Corr Pistol Storage and Preservation Bag from Amazon along with a Flambeau Zerust Rust and Corrosion Inhibitor from Midway.

You could probably use a gallon size Slider Zip Lock freezer bag(not storage bag) with a silica gel pack on the cheap.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:12 PM
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Nightowl:
I purchased the SKB case at Bass Pro Shop after asking a gun salesman at the counter for a recommendation... Not an excuse, just an observation to myself that I should approach people with no economic interest at stake. Like you and your Forum brothers.

In retrospect, I have had the gun (and a number of other weapons) stored in open air and have never had rust grow on them. Just got to the point where I felt I was not taking proper care of them. Will certainly be recalibrating my approach.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:25 PM
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Gunhacker:

Thanks for the Restoration Services recommendation. I will check them out. I was born in Georgia, so it is hard for me to think of this area as being humid...but I know we get some of those monsoon storms coming up from the southwest...

Bore Stores scores again!

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Old 09-04-2017, 02:43 PM
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Glad you caught it before any more damage. I cringed when I read 600grit wet or dry razor blades and files, but it doesn't look as bad as I expected. You "checked on it from time to time and everything was ok" until a few days ago. What changed? Location? Humidity? In AC and heated space? To suddenly happen makes me think something environmental. While foam and leather are not good for storage, usually not the cause of something sudden.

Had a friend whose reloading and gun storage was in a building out back of his house. All was well until they put in a pool, that would have been OK, but they stored pool chemicals in adjacent room. He took out rifle (had been in house), went shooting, brought it home and put in out building, one week later you could barely see down the barrel and everything else steel had rust. Chlorine and salts are not gun friendly.

On the question of refinish or not, I would leave it as is. Thanks for sharing this cautionary tale with the forum, may save someone else's S&W!
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:51 PM
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Codenamedave:

Dude, I stopped! But, in my defence, I did search other forums to get recommendations on how to clean the rust off the gun. Kroil was never mentioned. However, Ballistol, Breakfree, Hoppe's #9 and RemOil got many hits. I had Hoppe's #9 so I used that.

Other recommendations were quite explicit, too - particularly the use of a razor blade to get between the rust and the steel. This approach worked the best of all - cause soaking didn't do a thing. I was able to remove, in one pass (in most cases) almost all of the rust pile with no scratching. The bronze wool (which I failed to include in my list of tools and supplies) was OK but really, I preferred the 600 wet or dry dipped in the Hoppe's #9 - less apparent scratching. The Herters files were used as picks to clean rust out of historic nicks and gouges and to smooth some sharp edges I came across that were also from historic damage. The result is a clean and smooth surface with no scratches but where the bluing has been thinned or removed.

Just FYI, I have personally designed and built many high speed tape drives back in the day. I am pretty competent as an engineer, I know what tight tolerances are, I know how to assemble complex machinery, and I know how to use tools and not damage equipment.

I know your comments are intended to help and I take them in that spirit.

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:33 PM
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As far as using brass or copper wool for rust removal, about any light machine oil will work OK, along with penetrating oil, kerosene, or even bore cleaner.

Several years ago I ruined the finish (or a lot of it) on my Hi-Standard .22 Olympic Rapid Fire pistol by carrying it in a plastic case with foam lining. I had kept it in that case for at least 15 years without any problem. One day I opened the case at the range and the H-S was covered with rust. No warning at all. Anyway, I managed to get much of the rust off using the oil/copper wool method, but the gun will never be the same as it has some localized pitting. I had to completely tear it down as some of the internal sear mechanism was also rusty, and that is not much fun to do on a H-S. All I can attribute it to is that the foam lining may have begun to deteriorate with age and must have given off something corrosive.

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Old 09-04-2017, 03:41 PM
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S&Wucla:

Well, you have me reconsidering the underlying cause of the rust. All my weapons have been stored, unprotected (not in a case or glove, etc.) in a locked storage cabinet (not a gun safe) that is not airtight in the garage.
In Granite Bay that adds up to temperature swings of ~ 40 - 110 degrees and humidity of 15 - 100 % (raining) but mostly ~ 60% max.

I bought the gun case, brought it and the gun into the house (air conditioned and heated) and stored it in a drawer in my chest of drawers in my bedroom closet. The indoor heating & cooling range is around 68 - 85 degrees. No sense of what the humidity would be with the air conditioner turned on.

But, now that I have gone through this thought process, when I first stored the gun inside in the case was in the fall (no air conditioning); most of the times I checked the gun was also when the house was being heated in the winter and early spring. Lastly, was a few months ago in the early summer when it was hot and we were in cooling mode. Then the other day when I found the rust.

Maybe moisture laden air got trapped in the case the last time I checked it...There was junk growing on the leather, too, that had not been there earlier.

It is becoming clear that some kind of desiccant will be important. I don't understand why no rust would show up when stored in the garage...

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Old 09-04-2017, 03:44 PM
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For long term storage I have had good results with R-I-G, rust inhibiting grease that has been on the market for 80 plus years, and for shorter term storage I use Clenzoil as it doesn't harm wood or leather. There may be something better on the market, but I have had good service with those products.

For long term storage in the gun safe I use bags my wife made from my old T-Shirts.

I have never had a problem in 40 years or so.

Edited for grammar

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Old 09-04-2017, 04:07 PM
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DWalt:

I should make clear the method I used with the razor blade. NOT as a knife drawing the sharpened edge across the rust or even scratching at the rust, but as a wood plane held at a very shallow angle to cut through the rust pile. After the majority of the pile is removed in this manner, very light passes can hone the remaining rust film off the steel with no apparent damage. This works well on flat and convex surfaces. Changing razor blades frequently is good practice.

After your experience with your .22 and the plastic case, what have you been using for storage?

The idea of the foam outgassing chemicals is a real consideration. However, in this case, it was quite apparent that the surface of the gun which was resting against the foam was NOT attacked by rust. This was a key element in my suspicion that the rust was caused by moisture from the holster as it came to equilibrium with the surrounding air. Also, the Lexol leather conditioner could also have chemicals that aided in the formation of rust. The only good news was that the holster was in really good condition after the Lexol treatment and being sealed in the gun case.

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:13 PM
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"After your experience with your .22 and the plastic case, what have you been using for storage?"

My usual - inside a 1.75 L Crown Royal bag inside my safe. I keep all my guns waxed.
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:33 PM
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DWalt:

Can I assume a Crown Royal bag is a plastic zip lock type bag? You are the second person to mention waxing their weapons (don't take that personally...). I have not done that. Sounds smart. I am guessing any automotive or furniture was would be appropriate. Do you only wax the external surfaces or would you disassemble the weapon and do all the parts and pieces?

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Old 09-04-2017, 04:46 PM
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Never seen a Crown Royal bag made of plastic.
What has the world come to????
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:16 PM
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Dpris:

Thanks for the hint! I went to my bar cabinet and found my Crown Royal but, alas, no bag! Don't those have red satin draw strings? Classic.

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Old 09-04-2017, 05:43 PM
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It'd be a sad day when a bottle of CR came in a plastic bag...
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Turnbull Restorations (Restoration Services - Turnbull Manufacturing Company) can do that process, it isn't cheap, but they're probably the best bet for getting your gun back to original era look,
To my knowledge, Turnbull will no longer work on any Smith & Wesson firearm and it's been that way for some time (years) now. His current love affair with handguns is limited to Colts and Rugers. He's been at this long enough and is good enough at what he does that he'll only work on what is of interest to him. Apparently his sphere of interest does not include Smith & Wesson. His work is enormously expensive BUT the finish product is an expression of that cost. It's exquisitely executed and drop dead gorgeous.

I've had this discussion with folks on this board before regarding Turnbull. His charcoal hot oven bluing is beautiful and about as close as you can now get to Smith & Wesson's Carbonia Bright Blue but is not exactly identical. One of the ingredients Smith & Wesson used is no longer available.

Bruce

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Old 09-04-2017, 06:04 PM
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I would not use a Ziploc plastic bag, even with some rust protector chips. Cloth (like Crown Royal) seems better to me. My one rust experience was in a plastic case. Now my guns live in a safe. The safe is in a basement but two dehumidifiers run all the time. A rechargeable dessicant is in the safe. The guns in the safe are in cloth bags or naked. Everything breathes. The guns are oiled.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:48 PM
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Any type wax is OK. I use Johnson's Paste Wax, have for many years.

"Don't those have red satin draw strings? "
CR bags are blue with gold stitching and drawstrings. There are two sizes, small ones are for 750 ml bottles, large ones for 1.75 l. I have also been known to use worn-out white cotton athletic socks to store guns in.

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Old 09-04-2017, 07:11 PM
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BruceM:

Thanks for the heads up. I wonder if he drinks Crown Royal?

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Old 09-04-2017, 09:28 PM
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Thanks for the heads up. Sorry about your predicament.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:06 PM
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I keep a dehumidifier in my gun storage room. Whirlpool. And a hygrometer to help monitor humidity levels. I oil the internals of the guns that aren't used often. Once every year or two. Oil the internals of guns I use after each use.

I put Renaissance Wax on the externals of guns I care about...usually old blued guns. Oil on externals of guns I care less about - polymer guns or fairly worn finishes. I do keep my handguns in gun rugs mostly, but with the other precautions I haven't had rust issues to speak of yet.

Probably the best thing I've done so far is get my basement waterproofed. It used to flood after heavy storms during wet spells. YIKES!

Sometimes I wonder if those big heavy duty safes trap in moisture, too. I have ventilated steel security cabinets, locked and bolted to the wall. Having a fan run in your gun room might help, too.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:06 PM
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I've never stored anything in a leather holster, so I have no clue if the Lexol could have been a factor.
I do know for sure that years ago Colt sold some of their Python Hunter and other models in Haliburton aluminum cases with foam lining, and as the foam deteriorated, the guns rusted badly!! I have a friend who had two of them, and I saw the results. Neither one had ever been fired!
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:00 AM
amazingflapjack amazingflapjack is offline
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I clean mine and wrap them in old, clean T-shirt material. Then I put them in S&W boxes with foam liners, then in the safe. The house is A?C'ed all the time-never had a problem.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:59 AM
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A guy at work, likes to drink, gave me a bunch of Crown Royal cloth bags that have pull strings on them. I store two S&W M&P 38spl revolvers in them as well as few other small guns.. One cloth bag from each end of the longer guns and stored that way in my safe. I do run a dehumidifier 24/7 in the closet where the safe is kept. I have had no problems with the revolvers rusting.

I have a cabinet for my rifles and I noticed when I shine a bright flashlight on the barrels I can see light rust in the blue finish. I waxed them with Renwax and the rust doesn't seem to be getting worse. I don't know what to do with the rusting. Is there something to use to remove the rust and not the bluing? I am afraid the rusting might end up pitting the metal but not sure if it will.

Like the OP I wonder what to do and I sure don't want to use something that will remove the bluing along with the rust.
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gman51 View Post
A guy at work, likes to drink, gave me a bunch of Crown Royal cloth bags that have pull strings on them. I store two S&W M&P 38spl revolvers in them as well as few other small guns.. One cloth bag from each end of the longer guns and stored that way in my safe. I do run a dehumidifier 24/7 in the closet where the safe is kept. I have had no problems with the revolvers rusting.

I have a cabinet for my rifles and I noticed when I shine a bright flashlight on the barrels I can see light rust in the blue finish. I waxed them with Renwax and the rust doesn't seem to be getting worse. I don't know what to do with the rusting. Is there something to use to remove the rust and not the bluing? I am afraid the rusting might end up pitting the metal but not sure if it will.

Like the OP I wonder what to do and I sure don't want to use something that will remove the bluing along with the rust.
Bronze wool (0000) with oil---any oil----removes rust, but not bluing---unless you were to apply significant pressure---a no-no.

As an aside, bluing is rust---black oxide by name----really tough rust. Any thing which removes rust will remove bluing if you work at it. Don't work at it.

Your mention of "Renwax" finally got through to me. The makers of same have a product ("PRE-LIM")---a surface cleaner---used with a rag. The red stuff on your rag when you finish is rust----rust you didn't even know was there----unless you examine your guns with a high intensity light. Such examinations are highly informative---also scary. For whatever reason, guns finished with a matte blue seem especially prone to this (more or less) invisible rust---not so much with the high polish finish.

In the for what it's worth category, I have guns on the shelf which have been there for over 20 years----with no rust. The shelves are in a (display) cabinet---not air tight. These guns have have been cleaned----squeaky clean with mineral spirits---each and every part/nook and cranny/screw hole/you name it----rinsed (more mineral spirits)---blown dry---sprayed with CorrosionX (and let sit a spell)---blown as dry as possible---reassembled----wiped down on the exterior with Hoppes #9---dried/polished with cotton cloth. They get dusty in this not air tight cabinet---not as dusty as your furniture----and not dusty frequently. I "dust" them now and again (1-2 times a year), and their shelves, with a vacuum cleaner---and put them back to gather more dust. Just dusty---not rusty.

Ralph Tremaine

As another aside, if you use high pressure air to blow guns/parts dry as I do, see to it your compressor has the very best filter/dryer money can buy between it and your guns/parts. And drain it (and your compressor)---frequently. Nothing is idiot proof!!

Last edited by rct269; 09-05-2017 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:02 AM
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:41 AM
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LSA oil and 0000 steel wool, that's all you need. Cover one side with LSA, let it sit overnight, take the steel wool with the oil still on the gun and lightly go over it. Repeat on other side, it's that easy...
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:09 AM
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Go to the auto parts store get 2 quarts of transmission fluid, go to an Ace hardware store and get 2 quarts of kerosene (used for some heaters) and some some acetone. While your there have them order you some bronze wool if they do not have it in stock. In an open area mix 2 qts of each all together. Put in in a metal pan that you gun fits in and completely submersion gun in it with the grips off. Acetone is highly flammable so keep it somewhere that has no ignition sources. If that is not possible skip the acetone. It will still do the job just much slower. Let the gun soak in this a couple days or so. Remove and lightly scrub with some bronze wool. Most of the rust should come right off. After your done scrubbing with the bronze wool, put it back in the solution and wait a couple days and do it again. The solution will soak into the rust and loosen it. The bronze wool will remove the loose rust while doing little harm to any remaining original finish.

Your scraping with the razor blades, files and sandpaper will remove more than the rust, will mar things and increase the damage.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:44 AM
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What a perfect container for my Dad's revolver! I gotta get some of these!
Plus, while loading the bag, I can drink to his memory. Perfect.

Thanks for the picture.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:49 AM
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Gman51:

Paradise Road posted a photo of the Crown Royal bag. They are so perfect for my Dad's pistols, I will be going to BevMo to acquire a couple. It should be a happy day!

Thanks for your insights.

U2jimbo
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:51 AM
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Some large liquor stores and bars may even give you CR bags.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:54 AM
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Steel Slaver:

Thanks for the detailed recipe for this cleaning fluid. Are you able to save and reuse the solution? I would imagine if I were to filter it through some cheese cloth, it should be reusable.

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Old 09-05-2017, 12:00 PM
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RCT269:

Great suggestions. I will get some of the Pre-lim. All my weapons could use a good cleaning and inspection (although they showed no evidence the other day when I checked on them after finding the rust on my Triple Lock).

Thanks again,
U2jimbo
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:15 PM
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Yes you can save and reuse.Just let it set a while and all the scrud will settle to the bottom, then just pour of the top. It will filter through an old T shirt or the like if you want. You can also put some in a spray botttle and use it on rust bolts etc.

Last edited by steelslaver; 09-05-2017 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:27 PM
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Here are two S&W M&P in Crown Royal bags. Two bags each gun. One is 4" and the other is 5".
Attached Thumbnails
I Screwed Up - Big Time!-crownroyalgun-001-jpg  

Last edited by gman51; 09-05-2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:57 PM
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Anyone out there using Sack-Ups gun sleeves for storage? Good or bad experiences?
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:40 PM
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I assume you're referring to what I term "gun socks". I've used them for years without any problems. They're advertised as being silicone treated, but I respray them with silicone. For long term storage, I then put the guns in Z-Rust bags and seal them with zip ties. If I put several guns in the bag I've found it best to put a tag on the zip tie as to the contents.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
LSA oil and 0000 steel wool, that's all you need.
There are two reasons that you should never use steel wool. 1, it is too abrasive and 2, it leaves small particles of steel on the gun when you are finished. These small particles can then rust when the oil dries and cause freckling on the finish.

Quote:
Any type wax is OK. I use Johnson's Paste Wax, have for many years.
The Curator of the Springfield Museum that stores the S&W collection recommends Renaissance Wax for long term storage. It is a microcrystalline wax whereas some other waxes contain elements not recommended for firearms. If it is good enough for the museum, it is good enough for me.
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