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Old December 12, 2019, 12:49 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: October 31, 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,074
Does bluing rub off w/ paper towel?

So far, my ritual after getting a new blued firearm has been to sit down with it, put some oil (Ballistol) on it, and moderately rub the barrel or other blued areas with a paper towel or cloth (old but clean sock). Usually, the paper towel comes back brown or dark orange. I typically re-oil and do this again until nothing comes back. I always figured it was just some rust that occurred in storage and it was good to get it off.

But now I've got a Pietta 1858 black powder revolver (unfired) that I've noticed the blued finish is a bit lighter after doing this, revealing some streaks and smudges in the bluing. I'm thinking: best case scenario is that the dark red rust was giving it a nice dark appearance and after being removed what is left seems lighter.

But a thought occurred to me, what if I'm rubbing off some component of the bluing? I didn't think a paper towel was a danger. Sometimes I *can* see a red tinge like around the hammer in the Pietta that was removed with an oiled paper towel.

Anyways, thoughts? Should I never do this again?
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