View Full Version : Uh-oh, speck of rust on the pistol, now what?

July 19, 2001, 01:27 AM
Today, I while holstering my Witness .45, I noticed a speck of rust near the top strap/tang, where the web of my hand grasps the pistol. Now, I have NEVER had rust appear on any firearm, and promptly wiped it down with Break Free. But, what is the best most efficient way to make the little speck of rust go away for good? I don't want any pitting to start. Any response would be appreciated.

Thanks, Mike

George Stringer
July 19, 2001, 06:28 AM
BigMike, you may have already done it with the break free. What I normally do for surface rust is burnish the area with 0000 steel wool until the rust is gone then oil. George

July 19, 2001, 06:28 AM
A little rubbing with fine steel wool (000 or 0000) soaked in Kroil or Break free will get rid of the orange cancer. Then a nice coat of Breakfree should keep it from coming back

July 19, 2001, 11:21 PM
BigMike, how did it get there? What oils do you use to protect your gun? When was the last time you wiped it down? Where do you live? Do you carry?

October 8, 2007, 03:22 PM
I had the same problem. My dad gave me a polishing product called Nev-R-Dull (looks and feels like greasy cotton ball), which I imagine is gentler on your finish than steel wool.

I've never heard of break-free, but I use my Dad's "Fluid Film", which seems to do a good job preventing rust in the damp basement.

Wolf Lies Down
October 8, 2007, 08:26 PM
It has been my experience that 0000 (quadruple-ought) steel wool can damage the finish of a gun and will dull the finish on a highly-polished stainless steel or nickle-plated weapon. I don't think you should go the steel wool route, but others may have had good luck doing this.

So, how can you prevent this in the future?

One way (besides oiling up the weapon every other day or so) is to use a teensy-weensy little dot of Anhydrous Lanolin on a rag and wipe the entire gun down with it periodically. It protects nicely against fingerprints, spit, blood and other corrosive elements in between cleanings. Naturally, there are other means to accomplish this same thing. I think Remington sells a product that is a chunk of sheepskin saturated with their grease product. I think Hoppe's #9, even the new version, will work and a quick wipedown with a patch will protect. And, don't forget good 'ol petroleum jelly.

Wolf Lies Down

October 8, 2007, 09:01 PM
AutoPistola mentioned Nevr-Dull. Amazing stuff. I'd never attempt to use it on blued steel, but anything polished, it would be the best. I've used it for 30+ years and I've shined up chrome that was rusty enough to think it was a lost cause, yet looked like new when finished. Will not scratch.

I used to use silicone cloths to protect the finish on my guns. Started using Weapon Shield CLP for everything and it does a much better job of protecting the finish than the silicon.

October 8, 2007, 10:45 PM

I own two Witness pistols, one a .45 compact with the Wonder finish, and one full size .45 with the Wonder finish. I also had corrosion problems with both pistols, usually along the frame where it was closest to my body. Living in the tropics they were exposed to frequent warm, moist air in addition to my sweat. Despite preventive measures the pitting corrosion worsened so I sent both pistol frames and slides off to Techplate in California for hard chrome finishing (quick turnaround times and good prices). Problem solved. It is too bad the Wonder finish does not provide the same corrosion protection as the stainless steel finishes on my other pistols.

best wishes- oldandslow

James K
October 9, 2007, 04:36 PM
Steel wool can scratch bluing; I recommend brass or copper wool and oil instead and they will usually work OK.


Wolf Lies Down
October 9, 2007, 11:25 PM
-I have also heard that regular ol' brake fluid on a rag is a gentle rust remover and will not damage the finish on a weapon, however I have not tried it.

Anyone have any experience with brake fluid for this purpose?

Oh, yes! As far as these "wonder drug" polishing preparations that come in a tube go...... While most don't have a particle size big enough to do any physical damage in regards to scratching a finish, many do contain ammonia, which is hydroscopic and MAY contribute to rusting. I don't use them for that reason, but my concern may not be valid since I don't have experience to back up that fear. I would certainly like to know, however.

Can anyone comment authoratitively regarding ammonia in polishing compounds being a source of rust on guns?

Wolf Lies Down

October 10, 2007, 02:18 PM
Your gun is ruined. Send it to me along with $100. I will make sure it gets the treatment that it deserves. (Just kidding)

* Do not use rust removers or cleaners that contain ammonia, it will degrease the gun and that will make the problem worse.
* Do not use brake fluid or ATF as a gun oil. They contain chemicals designed to keep oil from attaching to the metal and will allow the gun to rust.
* If you use solvent that contains ammonia (Butch's Bore Shine, Shooter's Choice, Sweet's 7.62, etc), make sure you completely wipe down the gun after cleaning with gun grease or gun oil.
* Do not use rust removers that contain acid ("naval jelly", "rust neutralizers", "rust converters") as they will remove the bluing.
* Do not use metal polish (Flitz, chrome polish, Brasso, etc) to clean guns. They contain solvents and abrasives. They will degrease your gun and remove the finish.
* Use a light solvent or penetrating oil (CLP, Kroil, Hoppe's #9, etc) to penetrate the rust and stop the corrosion. Brush with a gun cleaning brush (bore brush, bronze parts brush). They are designed for use on guns, they don't scratch.

One of the problems that shooters typically encounter is sweat or alkali dust or soda pop splashes or whatever sitting on a gun for several hours during their range time and starting to rust the metal, and they spot it after the gun is cleaned and freak out. You may be doing everything right, just sweaty palms or contamination.