View Full Version : Rust Freckling....suggestions for removing

December 12, 2009, 12:33 PM
I just bought a gun for my daughter and it has a light freckling of rust. Someone suggested steel wool would be the best way to get some of it off. I am not familar with how to do it and what type to use. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

December 12, 2009, 12:40 PM

dissolves and prevents rust and can even be used as a lubricant.



James K
December 12, 2009, 12:40 PM
I don't like to use steel wool, but the usual advice is to use 0000 steel wool and oil to remove rust speckles.

My own preference is to use brass or copper wool (sold as pot scrubbers) and oil, since steel wool, even fine, can scratch bluing. Once the freckling is removed, degrease the surface and swab with cold blue. The brass/copper will stick in the rusted spots and the cold blue will darken it. (I like G96 Paste Blue, but any good cold blue will do the job.

Do NOT remove all the blue and reblue with cold blue. The result will NOT be permanent and the gun will look far worse than it does now.


December 12, 2009, 02:42 PM
I'm a Yankee so had to look up Freckling to see just what it meant. Okay, as noyes has suggested, Kroil oils is great stuff and the only thing I don't like about it, is the smell especially in the house. I have always used 0000 steel wool and just about any machine oil would easily take care of any green rust Fleckering as It has not had time to take root.

I like Jim Keenan's idea and I'm going to be trying it to see how it works. Thanks Jim. :)

Be Safe !!!

December 12, 2009, 06:41 PM
I use CLP and a soft bronze 12ga bore brush; liberally saturate the freckled area and gently buff with the bronze brush...

December 16, 2009, 11:43 AM
I'm sure the guys here know what they are talking about but I have a terrible time thinking of using steel wool on a gun.

I've had good luck with CLP and elbow grease.

I'm not sure where you can buy the elbow grease any more, though. I bought it on special at Alpha-Beta before they went under. Got enough to last a life time and, hopefully, pass on to any children I may have in the future.

Oh, and a cloth.

December 16, 2009, 03:26 PM
Google Blue Ridge Bluing. 85.00 + shipping to and back. He buffs and hot blues to look like it's NIB.

December 16, 2009, 03:26 PM
I'm sure the guys here know what they are talking about but I have a terrible time thinking of using steel wool on a gun.

On a carbon steel gun, #0000 (AKA #4/0) is very fine and barely scratches.
Any rust itself is a mild abrasive 9same as rouge).
Light rubbing and frequent wiping off and adding new the oil works well.

If you rub hard enough or long enough you can start to rub through the bluing.

James K
December 16, 2009, 09:32 PM
On a sporting rifle, 0000 steel wool and oil will work OK, but scratches will show up under magnification. But with an antique gun, where finish means dollars, anything that removes finish, even slightly, is a no-no.


December 22, 2009, 11:03 PM
Flintz Metal Polish applied with a cotton cleaning patch. Flintz is non-abrasive and I think you will find it easier on the bluing than steel wool.

James K
December 22, 2009, 11:23 PM
Flintz and other polishes, including jeweler's rouge and toothpaste, are mild abrasives. If they weren't they wouldn't polish anything. Still, probably better than steel wool.


December 23, 2009, 01:22 AM
Jim, you do realize that the final step in the bluing process is burnishing/buffing with 0000 steel wool?

I can tell you from a good bit of experience that 0000 steel wool (in the absence of other abrasives such as rust particles) will not harm a blued finish unless you get aggressive.

The rust particles, on the other hand (or any other abrasive) will definitely damage the finish if rubbed around on it--regardless of the method used to do it.

Spent a lot of time removing light surface rust from guns. Tried it with rags and with steel wool. Tried it with oil and without oil. The best way I found--best in terms of minimal damage to the finish while still effective at removing the rust--was to use 0000 steel wool dry. NO oil.

Dust the steel wool out frequently and dust off the surface of the gun frequently to prevent the rust particles from building up and being rubbed around on the finish. Go slowly so you can keep track of the condition of the finish--if there's a lot of rust being removed it's hard to keep the particles from doing some damage to the finish but you can minimize it if you don't get in a hurry or get overly aggressive.

If you use oil during this process it's hard to keep the rust particles from being rubbed around on the surface because they will be caught by the oil and held in the wool and on the surface.

After the rust is removed, oil the surface to prevent a recurrence.

I know that's not what sounds right but that's what works best in my experience.

I do agree with Jim that if the gun has any collectability the finish should definitely not be messed with by an amateur.