View Full Version : rusting

September 9, 2005, 01:27 PM
Have two shotguns with rust. stripped the finish down to metal and removed all the rust. reblued the guns and two days later I already have rust showing. Just wondering if there is something to add after the blue to keep the rust out.

September 9, 2005, 01:55 PM
Re-blued how?

If you applied cold blue it isn't durable at all, and will usually surface rust almost immediately if you don't rinse thoroughly with water, then liberally oil.

If you hot salts blued it in a commercial bluing tank setup, you likely didn't do a good enough job hot rinsing and soaking in oil properly.

September 9, 2005, 02:42 PM
The one approved use for WD-40.. Use immediately after you finish
Your rub down......

September 9, 2005, 02:52 PM
If you want to avoid all of the rusting problems, parkerize them instead of reblueing. Sounds like you live with a lot humidity which in itself will cause rust problems. The simple solution is parkerizing, but sounds like you need to get a dehumidifier or some other water remover to store in your gun cabinet as well.

September 11, 2005, 08:02 PM
Many answers to this one:

All cold blues are acid based to etch the metal surface and grow the black selenium compound crystals. The etching activates the metal, so you have to completely neutralize the acid, then apply something to either occupy the remaining activated surface spots that are microscopically still exposed to the outside world, or react them with something.

The exceptions to the above are those cold blues based exclusively on phosphoric acid (no nitric or hydrochloric acid on the label). These blues will actually perform a kind of cold parkerizing. It is really a dark gray finish, and not as black as the other blues, but much more rugged and less prone to after-rust. Two examples are Van's Gun Blue and Brownells Oxpho-blue.

In all cases, after using, neutralize the acid. Spray with Formula 409 or Fantastik. These cleaning agents are so strongly alkaline they will etch aluminum. (I've heard Simple Green will, too, but haven't tried it yet.) Strongly alkaline cleaners will both wet and penetrate and neutralize acid.

Next you want to rinse well. Rinse with hot water. A hot barrel not only dries quickly, exposed metal tends to form ferrous oxide and ferrous ferric oxide (magnetite) which are blue/black in color and will protect the metal.

Next apply a rust inhibitor that bonds to the metal surface. This will go to activated sites first. Birchwood Casey Sheath and LPS-2 or LPS-3 are examples of this. WD-40 will displace water, but for long-term rust resistance it is inferior to the others I mentioned.

A third option, if the surface rust is fine, just boil the barrel in distilled or deionized water (what comes through a water softener is usually fine). It will turn black. This is the principle rust bluing is based on. You can then wipe most of it off, but what sticks will match the bluing. You still need to use a good rust inhibitor with this.

A forth option: Use the darker blue and then, after rinsing with hot water, apply the less dark, but more protective phosphate bluing as a secondary surfacer to react with activated points remaining on the surface.

A fifth option: A new product called Blue Wonder (http://www.bluewonder.us/) has been introduced. They make an excellent barrel cleaner and also make a cold bluing. I bought some of this and made a test on a piece of steel. I usually do this with any new cold blue I am trying. Its instructions ask you to apply some hair dryer level heat. It reacts very slowly at room temperature, which is good because it means the acids in it aren't very strong and don't etch excessively. The resulting finish, like the phosphate blues I mentioned earlier, does not appear to tend to surface rust easily. It is also darker in appearance and more mirror-like (because it doesn't etch much) than any of the other finishes. I can't tell if it is genuinely darker or if the glossier surface just makes it look that way? It may be the winner, but I haven't got enough experience with it yet to be 100% sure of what it is capable of.


September 12, 2005, 08:19 AM
Rust needs three things to work: Oxygen, moisture and warmth..Remove any of the three and it stops but will start right up again as soon as it has the missing part back. Putting a cold gun into a case and then inside a nice warm car is a recipe for rust. It's much better to not put it into a case until it's warm. This will allow condensation to evaporate.
Bluing or Parkerizing will not prevent rust unless it's oiled. Parkerizing actualy absorbs oil..that's why it's more rust resistant than bluing. If 100% of the rust is not 100% removed prior to finishing with bluing, it will come back.
I have heard of (but never tried) waxing a smooth finish such as bluing with a car wax. It seems like it would be good for a trip into the wet lands but like I said, I've never tried it. I think it would make a mess on a "rough" finish like Parkerizing.
The best solution for a rusty gun is a new finish like.. oh.. umm.. lets see oh yeah! Mac's Tuff-Gun finish. Fast turn around times, a variety of colors, good prices and a written "No Rust" warranty.
Thanks and keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The name Says It All.
Mac's Shootin' Irons (http://www.shootiniron.com)

September 12, 2005, 02:37 PM
thanks for all the information. I had applied cold blue with Birchwood Casey's in a cream. I live in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area and it is a hot humid climate. the barrel seems to be fine and the rust is showing on the receiver. will take these tips into consideration and start back over.

September 12, 2005, 05:26 PM
Glad you're doing ok and can get online, hopefully that means everything is ok with you and your family. I am in Columbus myself and when I do much hunting, it usually invloves some kind of wet weather even in the fall months of dove hunting. I keep a dehumidifier in my safe to help aid with keeping the guns dry. I also parked my hunting shotguns and keep them wiped down with Breakfree CLP. I have several guns that are blued and keep them wiped down while they are in the safe as well just to make sure they keep a coating of rust preventative on them. I don't have any safe queens in my safe, only working guns. I went to using stainless barrels on my rifles to help alleviate the rust with them and have the recievers coated with either paint or parkerized and blued. I can tell from experience in the south, if it can rust, it will if left to its own. I like the Luaer's Duracoat, and have gone to coating my shotguns with it after it is parked and it will not rust like Mac said of his coatings. I have had a many of shotguns brought in that were parked by the factory. When you disassemble them, they are covered with rust below the stock simply because the owner never disassembled the gun and wiped it down. That is the attention each gun around here needs and not just a wipe down of the outside because water will get wherever the metal is and cause the rust.

A good blue job wouldn't hurt the gun you are talking about nor would a good park job either. You could opt for the park and paint job and I think you would be vey happy with it as well. Either way you decide to go, just make sure you learn how to disassemble the gun completely so you can wipe the entire gun down. I had one in the other day that looked almost brand new. The bolt wouldn't let you pull it back to load a shell. It was a duck gun which set off bells in my head. Sure enough, the recoil tube was rusted solid. I had to soak it for a few days just to get the spring and guide out so I could then go back in and remove all the rust out of the tube. I ask the guy jokingly if it was used as a boat paddle, his answer, "of course it was". I have had this happen on more than one occasion so I pretty much knew the answer ahead of time. Just remember to clean and oil the entire gun no matter what you decide to do, that includes the nooks and crannies as well as the mag tubes, barrel, and recoil tubes. Good luck.