How To Remove Rust From A Gun Without Damaging Bluing

Gun bluing is one of the key features of a gun. It helps protect the metal from oxidation resulting in rust. Removing rust from the gun needs scraping which can affect the bluing, meaning that most of the metal will likely get exposed. This is why it can get tricky trying to remove rust from the gun without affecting the bluing.

Fortunately, there are some tried and tested methods that will not affect the bluing and will return your gun to pristine condition. If you are dealing with excess oxidation of your gun, here are tips on how to remove rust from a gun without damaging the bluing.


Protect your gun from moisture

Before you get to the point of removing rust from your gun, you will need to protect it. One of the causes of rust is moisture accumulation, which increases oxidation on steel and iron surfaces. We recommend that you wipe off your gun with a clean cloth to prevent rust. When your gun is properly dried, there will be fewer chances of rust developing.

Another good measure is to put your gun in a safe with a desiccant. The desiccant will ensure that all the surplus water is eliminated. Therefore, a good way of preventing rust is by keeping your gun clean and dry.

Use steel wool and lubricating oil

There are two important ingredients when removing rust from your gun; a slightly abrasive material like steel wool and light oil. Steel wool is one of the friendliest materials for removing rust on a gun. It is usually very smooth and is also easy to use.  However, you should only use the 0000 type of steel wool.

To lubricate your gun, apply oil. While any type of oil will serve the purposes, there are special oils and environment-friendly gun cleaning solvents that are specially made for guns. To begin breaking down the rust apply, some light oil on the nooks and crannies.

If the gun is seriously rusted, you can use a chemical rust remover or an acid to dissolve the rust. Pour oil around the rusted place. Ensure that you apply only a few drips and not large amounts.

You can now rub the gun surface using the steel wool pad. Avoid putting a lot of pressure as this can damage the gun’s bluing. You can then add the gun cleaner to the steel wool and rub the rusted surface lightly. You should let the oil sit and use a napkin/cloth to rub the gun. If there are any remaining traces of rust, you can repeat the process.

Use a battery charger

This can be a great way of rust removal especially for aluminum, copper, brass, and all kinds of alloy. You will need a battery charger, baking soda, a rod, and a plastic container. Ensure that your gun isn’t loaded.

You should then mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a gallon of water to make an electrolyte. You should then carefully put the steel rod in the container. The solution will be the cathode while the steel rod will act as the positive terminal.

The cathode should be connected to the rusted area while the anode should be connected to the rod. Plug in the charge. You will start to see bubbles in the water an indication that the rust is coming off. Allow the gun to sit for 3 to 5 hours. You should remove the gun from the solution and wipe using a cotton cloth.

Use of a Dremel rotary tool

A Dremel rotary tool can be a good choice for removing rust and cleaning up the old and damaged rifle and pistol markings. Dremels are made of silicon carbide and are effective for removing rust and corrosion from guns. You should choose the Dremel rotary tool with small wheels and points to remove the rust.

It’s advisable to use rubberized silicon carbine as these are usually softer than the bonded abrasive, and don’t affect the metal quality.  Use the abrasive wheel to remove corrosion and rust.

Use the WD-40 process

Many experts recommend the use of WD-40 to remove rust on guns as it helps to displace moisture and rust. You will need to spray the substance on the rusted surface until the surface is fully soaked. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Use a cloth to wipe the gun. You can also use the brush to clean off the rust. Respray the WD-40 on the gun, allowing it to sit for 10 minutes.

If there are any stubborn rusts, you can wipe them off with sandpaper. But before using the sandpaper, keep reapplying the WD-40. If there are small rust remains, you can remove these with steel wool. After removing all the rust, apply another layer of the WD-40.

Baking soda

If there is a small layer of rust on your gun surface, you can remove it with baking soda. You should mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Apply the solution to your gun, and let it sit for one hour. Use steel wool or wire brush to clean the rust from your gun. You can then wipe away the solution from your gun with a soft cloth.

Final thoughts

A rusty gun will often look old and ugly. This can also raise several safety and performance issues. This is because a rusted surface will result in drag that can cause pressure and friction. The friction in the key parts of the gun will mean different things. The rusty magazine may fail to load while the rusty barrel may cause an explosion.

Protecting your gun from rust requires that you clean and oil it properly. You should then store it in a cool and dry place.  If there is a rust that has already developed on your gun, you will need to remove it in a way that protects the bluing. We recommend that you follow the above tips in rust removal to protect the bluing. When you do so, you will have a perfectly-working weapon that will always be ready to protect you.

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