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Old April 29, 2024, 08:53 PM   #1
1972RedNeck
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Rust Repair

Picked up a Smith 28 highway patrolman. Best double action trigger I have ever squeezed. But it has some rust. Tip of the barrel and edges of the cylinder were worn by the holster and then left to rust.

Don't need it to be perfect by any means, mainly just want to protect it. Lightly sand/buff the rust off and then what?

Suggestions?
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Old April 29, 2024, 10:05 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
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Don't sand or buff. You'll remove some of the bluing if you do.

Use a five cent piece and coconut oil (the active ingredient in Frog Lube is coconut oil).
Scrape the rust off. You can use RIG gungrease on the end of the barrel afterward.

If there's pitting and it bothers you, you'll have to have it refinished and reblued.
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Old April 29, 2024, 10:21 PM   #3
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If you use cold blue on it, don't expect it to protect the area-it won't.
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Old April 30, 2024, 10:07 AM   #4
1972RedNeck
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It doesn't bother me, I just want to stop it from rusting more than it is.
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Old April 30, 2024, 04:20 PM   #5
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Another approach is to buy some Gunzilla. It's made from vegetable oils, and it slowly debonds rust from steel. I've taken a small vial of it and set a small rusty tool in it. After a week or two, all the rust is lying on the bottom of the vial. Another time, I wet the rust-pitted bore of a rifle with it and let it sit in a gun vice for six weeks (I was away on business) before running a clean patch through. All the rust, as well as hard carbon mixed with it, came out with the first patch. It was all on one side of that patch, indicating it had not only debonded the rust and carbon but it had all slid to the bottom side of the barrel. My borescope showed nothing was left but bare steel, albeit there were pits where the rust had previously been. In your shoes, since Gunzilla is a finish-safe gun cleaner, I would wet the gun with it, especially on the rusty places, and put it in a plastic bag to prevent drying for a couple of weeks, take it out, and gently wipe the rust off with a rag. Repeat as needed.

Regarding Bill's mention of cold blues, some of them actually seem to activate metal and cause rust. I once had a handful of those little plastic colored yard flags used by the utility companies to mark buried cables and pipes. the "pole" on the flag is a length of carbon steel music wire. I cleaned and degreased the wires and dipped each one in a different cold blue and cold blacking solutions, rinsed them off, wiped them, and let them sit out overhanging the edge of a box so they were exposed to air on all sides of the bluing. After a couple of weeks, they all had rust blooms on them except the two that had been colored by Oxpho-blue and Van's Gun Blue. They remained rust-free. The difference between those two is they are both phosphoric acid-based, while the others are nitric or hydrochloric acid-based. Phosphoric acid solutions phosphatize the surface slightly, so they give you a little bit of preservative effect. I wouldn't count on it without soaking the finished and dried work in water-displacing oil followed by regular gun oil. Oxpho blue is the darker of those two brands, IME. Neither is as dark as something like Brownells 44-40 blue, but it causes the after-rust problem if you don't take care to neutralize it and get the nitric acid traces truely gone.
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Old May 1, 2024, 12:32 AM   #6
1972RedNeck
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Used a nickel as suggested (why a nickel?) and gently scraped the rust off. Rust came right off and I oiled it up and you can't even tell unless you really look for it. Good enough for me.

Still can't get over how good the trigger is. Nothing quite like a quality revolver from back in the day.
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Old May 1, 2024, 10:01 AM   #7
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Brownells has a video I just received today:

https://www.brownells.com/the-trigge...qt_remove-rust

He uses 0000 steel wool which does remove rust, but will affect the blue. That's why I use coconut oil and a nickel or even a copper penny. Penny or brass will leave marks, but they can be removed with gun solvent.
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Old June 10, 2024, 08:23 PM   #8
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Fontier Big 45 Metal Cleaner pads. I highly recommend them.

They are made from a metal softer than bluing, but harder than orange rust. They've been safe on all the guns I have used them on and with a little gun oil really clean things up.

But I am the sort to buff things clear with a Big 45 pad, then boil in water for 45 minutes. I actually made a steam pipe from an old spaghetti pot and a bit of wood stovepipe for shotgun barrels, too.

Buff the conserved crap off gently. Red rust has become black magnetite. Card gently. Repeat if needed.

Then soak in kerosene for a day or so.. final buffing with 0000 steel wool. GENTLY. Then a good soak of clenzoil.

Given the time, you might be shocked at how nice it is under that layer of oxidation.
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Old June 10, 2024, 09:12 PM   #9
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Always used the least aggressive method first, sandpaper is the nuclear option.

Glad the rust came off, I was going to recommend a pencil eraser, then a penny.
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Old June 11, 2024, 12:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
He uses 0000 steel wool which does remove rust, but will affect the blue.
Carding with 0000 steel wool is a common last step in the bluing process. It's even recommended for some cold blues which are less durable than standard bluing.

What will mess up a blued finish in a heartbeat is rubbing iron oxide around on it since iron oxide is a pretty aggressive abrasive.

After having tried several methods, the one that works best for me is to use 0000 steel wool dry. Using it dry makes it easy to keep the removed rust from forming a lapping compound with oil.

People freak out when I suggest using 0000 steel wool without oil, but I've tried it both with and without oil and the outcome heavily favors avoiding oil during the removal process.

First brush off any loose rust with something like a nylon brush, taking care not to rub the loose rust on the finish. So dust off the surface and dust out the brush frequently to keep them both clean

Then, using the 0000 steel wool dry, gently remove the more firmly attached rust. Again, frequently dust the wool and the surface so you're not grinding away the blue with the iron oxide that's being removed.

When you're done, you can touch up any bare spots with a cold blue like Oxpho blue and you should be good to go.

If there's pitting, then that's a different story.
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Old June 11, 2024, 12:49 AM   #11
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John- you're absolutely correct about dry steel wool.
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Old June 12, 2024, 11:04 AM   #12
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Just fyi, when practical, heat the metal to a little over 220 F and expose the rusted area to live steam for a few minutes. That will turn the red oxide to black oxide. (The purpose of heating is to prevent condensation.)

Then proceed with the dry steel wool.
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Old June 13, 2024, 12:11 PM   #13
Nathan
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Quote:
Another approach is to buy some Gunzilla.
I’m going to give this a try. I have a pitted bore that I would like to get all rust out. I also have a couple rust specs on blued guns I’d like to eliminate.
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Old June 13, 2024, 04:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
I’m going to give this a try. I have a pitted bore that I would like to get all rust out. I also have a couple rust specs on blued guns I’d like to eliminate.
have you considered plugging the bore and pouring in some evapo-rust? water soluable, PH neutral, biodegradeable, non-toxic....

followed buy a good brushing and an application of oil, that would be my go to.
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