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Old March 24, 2013, 06:08 PM   #1
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Removing HEAVY rust???

Looking at buying a very rusted Ruger MK 2 10 inch barrel pistol. I'm thinking of using steel wool on all of it, then spray with duracoat or something similar. I see Brownells has a gallon of rust remover and curious if there is any other way to remove it after using the steel wool or wire wheel. It is pitted so not just simple surface rust.
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:18 PM   #2
James K
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Rust remover will remove both rust and bluing. It is a mild acid, so it can be removed with water, but remove it as soon as possible after you get the rust/blue off. I suggest detail stripping the pistol but not removing the sights. With all the parts out of it, the frame should be easy to clean up as much as it is going to clean, then you can polish as you want and put on the coating.

Just make sure you plug the barrel with wooden plugs so the blue remover and water don't get into the bore and possibly damage it (or damage it more) and of course to keep the Duracoat out. Make the plugs long enough so you can use them to handle the barrel/receiver while you are working on it.

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Old March 24, 2013, 06:21 PM   #3
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Naval Jelly is really good on heavy rust.
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Old March 24, 2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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Depending on your definition of course but Naval Jelly doesn't do much for 'heavy ' rust [pitting].
If you remove the surface rust what did you want to do with the pits ? Do you want to just have a serviceble gun ? Or something that looks presentable? Pits can be ground out but that may cause other problems .You can plate the gun to fill the pits.
In any case these solutions will cost more than the gun is worth.I suggest you grind and wire brush then gun to a reasonable level then Naval Jelly to clean out the pits ,then careful keep the barrel cleaned and lubed.
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:51 PM   #5
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I'm going to say something that I heard. I never tried it, and only heard it once. I worked w/ a guy, he told me his dad used to buy old guns, and if they were rusty, he would soak them in Coca Cola. He said his dad had these long 6" PVC pipes w/ a cap glued on one end. Then he'd go to Walmart and buy 2 litre cokes for like 99 cents or something. Then stick the gun in the pipe w/ the coke. I dont know how long or anything else. Like I say, I just heard this. But I haven't discounted it, I've heard stories that coke will eat a penny etc., trying to convice people how bad it is for your teeth.
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Old March 24, 2013, 10:01 PM   #6
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I have been doing gunsmithing now for 46 years.

In my experience, the best things there are for removing really heavy rust are files, metal cutting sand paper and stones.

On some guns it may be realistic to take off about 2/3 or ¾ of the pitting, sand blast the surface and refinish to a dull matt finish. It’s false economy to restore a gun that is not highly collectable to a point you spend as much money (or too many hours) as it would take you to buy a new one.
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Old March 25, 2013, 02:56 AM   #7
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Coca Cola is the biggest buyer of phosphoric acid !! Navel Jelly is phosphoric acid in a gel !! Phosphoric acid is a mild acid There should be many acids that will do a similar job.
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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The problem with rust, is that if you don't either get it all off or most of it and seal the rest, it'll just start growing again. The best way is to abrasive blast it and then seal it with some type of quality firearms finish. If you want to make it look cosmetically decent, you can fill the pitting with an epoxy and then do some "body work" on it. The epoxy would be invisible under a spray on finish.

Another method is to use electricity. You'll need some washing soda (Not baking soda), a plastic container and a DC power supply. Mix the soda with water in the container. Use an electrode for the positive side. You can use any conducting metal but it should have a large surface like a strip of iron, etc. The negative lead goes to the part you want to clean. The dirt, crud, rust, etc leaves the negative side and moves to the positive side. I have used this method on a really fouled and slightly rusted rifle bore with excellent results. Use caution. It's electricity and water, plus: It will remove metal.

Now having said all of that: How rusted is "very rusted"? As bad as this one?
Or this one?
Very often, the rust isn't as bad as it looks but if you let it go, it will get worse than it looks!

As far as the worth of the pistol.....well...uhmm...A year ago, it was worth a LOT less than it is now. A year from now, it may be worth more than it's weight in gold! Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
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Old March 25, 2013, 01:44 PM   #9
Bill DeShivs
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Plating, per se, will not fill pitting. It will, however make it look worse.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old March 25, 2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, good ideas here. I haven't even seen the gun, just pics on GunBroker. Its a Ruger MK2 with the 10 inch barrel, will be for my use only at farm, etc, not a beauty to show around. I just want to get the rust off, duracoat or Alumi-Hyde it without the rust returning. Not concerned about the pitting, just don't want it to return. I just bought a LNIB one, thought I'd work and play with the rusted one.
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:14 AM   #11
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As Macs said, the electrolysis method is best. It gets all the rust and only the rust.
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:26 AM   #12
Jim Watson
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I have read good things about electrolytic rust removal.

I have used auto supply Evaporust and Brownell's Steel Bright and they will work well enough for most purposes.

I think I would then blast with bead or grit, whatever was recommended by the brand of coating, so as to get a uniform surface instead of random rust pits, then spray n bake. It won't be pretty but it will be serviceable and protected from future rust.

I worked in fertilizer R&D and saw craftsmen soaking rusty tools and parts in ammonium phosphate or straight phosphoric acid. It worked well enough for hard use in a factory, but I don't think it is great for fine work like a gun. Why fool with Coca Cola and other home remedies when you can get the real stuff?
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:37 AM   #13
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Get some molasses from the local co-op, mix 9 parts water and one part molsses. soak the parts for a few days and test for rust removal. This process is slow but it takes ALL the rust off, even into the deep pits.

The nice thing is it enviromental frendly as you are just using a biodegradeable product.

Old engine restorers use this to get the rust off of old portable engine blocks.
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:45 AM   #14
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That's why coke works so nicely, the sugar acts as the reducing agent, the acid get the stuff into solution. Basically navy jelly with molasses.
I used to love being able to hit hard at 1000 yards. As I get older I find hitting a mini ram at 200 yards with the 22 oddly more satisfying.
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Old March 28, 2013, 06:53 PM   #15
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I suggest detail stripping the pistol but not removing the sights.
James, so you meant paint with the sights on?
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:30 PM   #16
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Go outside of the house and use toilet bowl cleaner to strip the remaining blue. It's quick. Wear rubber gloves and dispose of everything into a sealed plastic bag when you're done. After the bluing has been removed, hit it with 0000 steel wool to remove the rust. Then hit it with 400 grit emery paper (or maybe even coarser) to polish it.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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Old March 29, 2013, 06:38 AM   #17
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I have read good things about electrolytic rust removal.

i use reverse electrolysis for all my rust removal projects. Most folks use Arm and Hammer washing soda for their reverse electrolysis; i prefer Red Devil lye.

Do it outdoors and be careful: The procedure generates hydrogen gas. Metal parts will have a black coating when removed from the solution. This must be removed quickly. If allowed to dry its hard to remove. Oil the de-rusted metal ASAP.
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