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Old December 1, 2008, 08:46 PM   #1
PhillipP
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Revolver rusting help

Got a new blued ruger vaquero about a year ago. For the most part very pleased with my purchase...when I first got it it was kept in a safe (which is outside) for about 3 months. I started to notice that there was some rust on the "color case" part of the revolver (the only firearm in the safe to be doing this). I decided that maybe being in the outside safe might be the cause so decided to bring it in the house and keep it there.....Upon inspecting it yesterday I noticed that again the "color case" part of the revolver has a little rusting...Does anyone know any way to prevent this from happening...I would be forever grateful for some answers.

Thank you
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Old December 1, 2008, 08:58 PM   #2
Tom2
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Outside? Yow! What do you put on the guns now to prevent rust, and how are they stored in the "safe"? In cases, hanging on pegs, in a rack or what? at least you checked up on it, maybe more often is better.
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Old December 1, 2008, 08:58 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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Guns that are blued are generally dipped into an acid to promote the blue rusting color. After immersion for a fixed period of time, they are then placed into another tank filled with a neutralizing solution to stop the rust process. I suspect that your gun was not given sufficient time in the neutralizing solution. It might have to go back to Ruger for refinishing. Write it and they'll probably ask you to send it back. Be prepared to wait about six months.
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Old December 1, 2008, 09:16 PM   #4
Tom2
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Real C.C. is a surface treatment that hardens the surface and leaves an attractive mottled finish if desired. I am not sure Ruger uses real C.C. to put the color on their parts, but that kind of finish is not really all that long wearing or rust resistant. Maybe there is some flaw in it, but first let's find out more about the storage and protection used.
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Old December 1, 2008, 09:42 PM   #5
PhillipP
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Thanks for the replies....i'm hoping that the safe wouldn't be the problem...it is a liberty safe that holds about 20 guns...none of the guns in it had any sort of protection on them, they were just stored in it in the same condition I bought them in and this ruger in the only one that had the problem.....the safe is now moved back inside at my fathers house....I now have my guns in my closet on my gun rack...and once again, this is the only gun with the rust problem (its a very small amount, but its still enough for me to worry about)
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Old December 2, 2008, 12:14 PM   #6
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Try some break free CLP.

Apply it liberally, allow it to sit on all the surfaces for 5-10 minutes, then wipe away excess.

Blued guns need an oil film for rust protection.

A Golden rod, light bulb, or desiccant needs to be in any safe.
The mass of guns and safe create a thermal lag when heated and cooled.

Warm air holds more water, and when the temperature rises after cooling the cooler surface can condense water from the now warmer air.
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Old December 3, 2008, 09:51 AM   #7
bobn
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Gary nailed it perfectly. i had the same thing happened to me on another brand color case hardened gun. i tried everything to pull the salts out of the metal. finnally i found that rem oil worked. not the new version with the red icon on it but the original version. it took several soakings to accomplish the task. bobn
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Old December 3, 2008, 10:35 AM   #8
brickeyee
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Quote:
Guns that are blued are generally dipped into an acid to promote the blue rusting color.
Hot bluing is not an acid process at all.
The most common chemicals are Potassium nitrate and sodium hydroxide (lye).

If the part is not adequately rinsed and then oiled potassium can remain on the surface and cause corrosion (the same as with corrisve primers that use potassium chlorate).

Many cold blue solutions are acid type products (often with selenium) and are not nearly as durable as hot blue.
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Old December 4, 2008, 02:24 AM   #9
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More important than that, PhillipP isn't talking about rust on bluing. He's talking about rust on color case hardened steel. Color case hardening isn't a bluing process per se. It is a carburizing process that case hardens the steel and results in some surface coloring, too. It is done by heating the steel to red heat in a closed container surrounded with bone charcoal or leather scrapes or other carbon sources, then quenching it. This hardens the steel surface a few thousandths in, and also porduces the uneven oxide that colors the steel. That oxide is very thin and doesn't offer much corrosion protection and wears off easily, though the hard steel underneath slides very easily against other steel and makes for very smooth feeling actions and triggers or other parts.

One of the characteristics of very hard steel is that it will rust, but doesn't pit as easily as softer steel. Pits are bad because the rust in them tends to migrate deeper into the metal. You can loosen the surface rust with any penetrating oil, such as Kroil or PB Blaster. Gunzilla, a vegetable oil based bore cleaner, is also very good at removing surface rust.

If you want to do a rigorous job, disassemble and degrease the rusted parts with denatured alcohol, then suspend them in boiling distilled water for 15 or 20 minutes. That will convert loose rust to magnetite (bluing). When you pull it out, pat it down with a towel and grab the barrel with an oven mit and shake it to get any loose water off. After it cools for 5 or 10 minutes, submerge it in WD-40 (get a gallon can from the auto supply) for two or three days. That will pull any remaining water out of the barrel threads and other nooks and crannies. When you pull it out, wipe it down to get rid of the loose black oxide on the surface. What remains has the advantage that it won't promote rust. That's the purpose of the exercise.

Finally, you do need to use a rust inhibitor on this metal whether you boil it or not. Birchwood Casey Sheath or LPS-1 will work. Spray the thing down with it to displace the WD-40 after boiling and wipe away the excess. For longer term storage use LPS-3, which is wax-like, or spray on Boeshield T9, which is also waxy.
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Old December 4, 2008, 10:51 AM   #10
drail
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What Ruger uses is not color case hardening. It is not a hardening process in any sense. It provides almost no wear or corrosion resistance. You need to keep an thin coat of oil/ rust preventative on it at all times. Breakfree Collector or Eezox are very good. The humidity in the safe (or in your closet) needs to be kept as low as possible. The clothing hanging in the closet will absorb moisture from the air and cause rusting. Find a warm dry area away from outside walls to store your guns. Do not store them in a holster or gun rug or case.
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Old December 13, 2008, 12:45 PM   #11
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Dessicant packs!!

Anytime you buy a new piece of electronics, save those packets of dessicant. You know the ones, they are all printed with Do not eat! I probably have ten or so in my safe, no rust issues, and I live in a rain forest!
Don't tell SWMBO, I take my dessicant packs and put them in the oven at low heat for a few hours every few months. That drives out the moisture and 'regenerates' the dessicant.

The dessicant packs are available for purchase from lots of folks as well. Keep the humidity in the safe low, and you will have no rust issues.
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Old December 13, 2008, 01:10 PM   #12
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If you want to use desiccant, Lowes and those sorts of places sell milk cartons full for keeping closet humidity down. Try one of those.
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Old December 13, 2008, 01:33 PM   #13
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Don't let any guns be in close contact with the dessicant. It is basically a chemical sponge soaking up all the moisture in the air and at some point will be saturated. I once put a dessicant can in a gunsafe and had a blued gun setting very close to it but not touching. This gun out of all developed a little bit of brown whiskers on it, which fortunately I found and wiped off with oil before any real damage was done.
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Old December 13, 2008, 08:05 PM   #14
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That's a good warning. I would expect that happened because fine dust from the desiccant wafted onto the gun and, as you say, saturated and began holding moisture against the steel. You can reduce dusting by tying the desiccant into an old pillow case. The cloth will not interfere with moisture finding its way into the desiccant. Indeed, commercial desiccants are packaged in pouches made of Tyvek, whose pores are too small for any practical quantity of dust to get through at all, but the moisture goes right in. All this suggests a gun safe heater is a better way to fight the problem.
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Last edited by Unclenick; December 14, 2008 at 11:59 AM. Reason: correction
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Old January 1, 2009, 11:54 PM   #15
Ricklin
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Silica gel

That's what you want. The closet dehumidifiers are often a salt like material, would not put those any where near fine steel.

Silica gel looks like little glass beads, not very dusty. That's why I save the little packets, they are perfect. The packets are a Tyvek type material.

They are free, perfect for the job, and last 4ever if you do the oven trick as I detailed earlier.

Doesn't get any better than that.
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