View Full Version : Dad's Horrible Rusty Shotgun

April 23, 2011, 11:48 AM
We just found this in the storage shed, and I have no idea where to even start...



I know it's not worth any money, but was hoping the was something I could do to clean it up a bit and give it back to him (probably just a wall hanger at this point.). I'm guessing that a true refinish project would be insanely expensive, if even possible?

Can I clean up the rust (and how) and then send it off for a duracoat or something? Or can I bead blast it, then have it coated?

Does anyone have any advice on where to even start? What a mess :)

April 23, 2011, 12:21 PM
Yeah, that one won't buff out.
But it can be saved.
Fortunately, if the rust doesn't go too deep, both outside and inside the barrel, shotguns mostly don't care about rust.
One of the benefits of a smoothbore.
Start with checking the depth of the rust pits with a small pick.
If they are anything less than surface, with hardly any depth to them,
then the gun might not be safe.
If it passes this test, use a very fine steel wool, wet sandpaper, or even better, copper scrub, with a fine oil, like automatic transmission oil.
Inside the barrel, too.
Lightly clean and see what happens.
If most of the rust can be removed, then surface bluing, like the kind that comes in tubes from Birchwood Casey will make the gun look quite good.
As for the internals, remove barrel and stock and soak in ATF for maybe days.
Then check the action, or have someone knowledgeable check.
And even if it doesn't turn out pristine, and if it passes safety checks, it'll still be useful.

April 23, 2011, 12:38 PM
I have an old 12 gauge pump, that my son gave me about 25 years ago, that is was in about same condition, and still is. BUT it has never failed to answer the call, when called upon to do the job. A little rust certainly does not hurt the operation, at least on mine.:rolleyes:

April 23, 2011, 12:55 PM
This might surprise you but I have seen worse and this one might just clean up better than you think. I'm guessing the the bore doesn't look al that bad. This still has a thin look to it as oppose to the large scab patches when they really go bad. First try some 000 steel wool and a good lubricant type, like Strong-Arm, Kroil or equal. Heck, even WD-40 might work on this. I also us a prodect by Heat, called deisle fuel stabalizer. Go slow and you may want to soak it. See where this first pass takes you. It's taking a beating but shld still be very servicable..... ;)

I did one, for a friend that was so bad that it had lots of thick rust scabs. I took it all apart and the owner had it bead blasted and ceramacoated black. I then put it back together and worked out fine. It was a J.C. Higgins pump.

Be Safe !!!

Old Grump
April 23, 2011, 01:10 PM
I have a 16 gauge that was cut down exactly like that by a previous owner. I have been trying to find a barrel for it for 12 years. When or if I ever find one then I will make a new stock but till then it sits in pieces with the receiver in one hiding place and the sawed off barrel in another. I haven't tried to clean off the rust yet, just oiled the dickens out of it to stop it from getting worse. I have shot it and it is mechanically sound but oh so illegal in so many ways.

April 23, 2011, 01:22 PM
As other have said, it can be saved. 0000 steel wool, liberal amounts of Hoppes #9, a light touch, and, above all, patience, and you can get rid of the rust. Get some Brownell's Oxpho-blue or Dicropan T-4 if you want/need to cold blue it. Just make sure it's 100% degreased, and that's includes your fingerprints.

April 23, 2011, 01:25 PM
I suspect your first chore should be measuring that rascal, are you sure it's legal?

April 23, 2011, 02:30 PM
Overall length 26 inches minium. Barrel length 18 inches measured from breech face to muzzle.

Note some state laws differ on the overall length (Michigan 30 inches).

10 Beers
April 23, 2011, 03:06 PM
Sell it to the nearest pawnshop for 20 bucks.

April 23, 2011, 04:58 PM
If all else fails, it's always worth $50 at a gun buyback.

April 23, 2011, 05:02 PM
Wow, thanks for the info and taking time to reply.

It's 18.5" in the barrel, 28" o/a.

I'm surprised so far by how much really is surface rust. I'll try to get some pics as I progress, but it already looks significantly different.

April 23, 2011, 05:11 PM
I have refinished a few rifles with rust (not as bad as yours) and have had some good results. I used emery cloth (80,150) to remove the heavy rust and old finish. I then used some 400 and 800 grit sandpaper followed by some 0000 steel wool followed by some polishing agent (mothers). I got the metal to a high shine and then reblued the guns using a rust blueing agent called Barrel Brown from Laurel Mountain Forge. (http://laurelmountainforge.com/barrel_brown.htm) This is done by rusting the barrel then scalding it in hot distilled water for a few minutes, creating a blue finish.

Here is a before and after



The bluing is very deep and has been quite durable.

April 23, 2011, 05:18 PM
Just curious, but what do you do about the bore? Do you just shoot it a few times and that will basically sand off any rust?

April 23, 2011, 05:19 PM
i'd dump it in a container with a couple quarts of motor oil and let it sit for a few weeks. then take it out and use a wire brush to clean it up inside and out. a little blueing and some sandpaper and wood stain and it will pretty up considerably and work like new.

April 23, 2011, 06:56 PM
From your pictures it looks like a Stevens Model 94, replacement stocks can be had from Boyds gunstocks. The short barrel could be relined to a pistol caliber (38 Special) and use it for a bunny gun or casual plinker.

Navy joe
April 23, 2011, 07:27 PM
I just fixed a 20ga of the exact model in the OP that was rather rusty. Oil and 0000 steel wool on the exterior. Left the rust stains, no need to refinish. I'm proud of the bore though. It had lots of stuff growing in the forcing cone area and the whole thing was dull. I looked around and found an 18" piece of an old Dewey cleaning rod, a 12 ga bore mop, some green liquid rouge and a drill. That thing sparkles now.

April 23, 2011, 10:21 PM
About 11 years ago, I helped my cousin clean-up & restore a rusty Remington 1100 12ga. It took a long time & a [email protected]#% load of Ballistol; www.Ballistol.com but it turned out very well. :)

As for that shotgun, I'd try some Flitz or Ballistol and maybe some 800, 1000, 1200 grade auto body type sandpaper.
To restore the coating/protect it from a top service won't be extremely high.
Look at the prices from www.Black-T.com or www.Bearcoat.com .

ps; The German Ballistol is good for the wood too. ;)

May 1, 2011, 01:07 AM
Farmers where I grew up in the late 1940's and 1950's were a long way from law enforcement, and they had to take care of themselves. Most had nice hunting guns at home, but most also kept a barn gun or truck gun too, sort of like the OP's, and kept a shotgun shell or two in their pockets or stashed near the gun. I imagine a lot of those guns got some back 40 tractor-riding time in too. These guns weren't pretty but were just as deadly as any other shotgun and were very useful for whatever came up around the farm - poisonous snakes, deer in the corn, or rats around the grain bins, or black bears hanging around the hog pens, or foxes in the hen house or a big flock of crows in an old fence line tree by the corn field - or big medicine for an escaped convict - or what have you. There were no cell phones back then, and farms around here were seldom larger than a couple of hundred acres, so a shotgun was also useful for drawing attention if something was wrong, because it gave eveybody on the farm a heads up.

May 1, 2011, 10:49 AM
Well, another alternative(depending on how much u want to spend) would be to media blast the metal with aluminum oxide, fill the pits with DuraFil and then DuraCoat it in the color of your(Dad's) choice..add new stock /forend...new shotgun!

May 1, 2011, 11:16 AM
Does your dad have any desire to see it restored?

May 1, 2011, 01:35 PM
I'd just remove the rust with Naval Jelly, and paint the metal black.

With a strip of 1/2" white surgical adhesive tape down the barrel top for a night sight, it'll make a dandy HD gun.