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Old November 16, 2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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How long does it take for rust to develop?

Hi everybody. I have a question I've always wanted to ask. When you touch a blued firearm, how long does it take for rust to develop? When the bluing is touched, do you absolutely have to oil that spot that night? I use a blued gun for hunting and sometimes I touch the bluing and end up oiling it to be safe but my dad insists it really isn't necessary to constantly oil it even when you touch it. Is this true?
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Old November 16, 2012, 07:46 PM   #2
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Depends on the climate where you live. The higher the humidity, the faster rust will form.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:08 PM   #3
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I worked in a bearing factory and had as a desk paper weight a complex shaped helicopter bearing race. It was blued like a gun and dipped in a preservative oil..
One mornig I came in and saw a perfect set of finger prints in rust !! I asked those who had been in my office the day before and found the culprite !!
He admitted he had a problem with that [in a bearing factory ! ] They make special soaps and lotions for people like that .
Oxidation can take place in a fraction of a second .That can be easliy demonstrated in a laboratory.
The bearing example is fairly rare but oils in you fingers can contain a number of chemicals including salt , that can cause rust.I even came across a federal inspection specification that stated "this operation will not be done by women " This because at certain times of the month a woman's chemistry can change greatly !!
It's always a good practice to wipe down a gun after use with oil.
I use a rag with RIG grease.
And Watson , bring your revolver !

Last edited by mete; November 17, 2012 at 05:13 AM.
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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Im not so sure about oiling the gun every time you touch it . What I do is wipe it down with one of my used gun cleaning rags that has oils all over it .I really think you sould wipe the gun down after touch the blueing . Not sure if oiling it is all that necessary.
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Old November 17, 2012, 08:24 AM   #5
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I never leave prints on any firearm.
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Old November 18, 2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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That is like asking how long is a piece of string. Seriously, rust is dependant upon temperature, moisture and oxygen. The lower they all are, the lower is the propensity for rust. Practically, whenever I handle a firearm, I wipe it with an oiled cloth before putting it away.
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Old November 19, 2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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It is dependent upon how acidic that person's sweat is (or isn't). Everyone is different. My fingerprints don't seem to do much damage if left on the metal for a day or two but I used to shoot competition with a guy whose sweat would cause stainless steel to rust in an hour or less. If he touched a blued gun you better have an oily rag real handy. I did not believe it until I saw it happen. It was amazing. My advice is to wipe the gun down with a slightly oily rag as soon as you notice any prints on it. Polarized oils are available which will neutralize the acid and prevent corrosion. I used to work for a gunshop that set up at a LOT of gunshows in the midwest. One of my jobs was to keep a close eye on 3 or 4 tables filled with handguns that were being handled constantly by the public and make sure they stayed oiled. We never had any of them rust but it was a full time job. I kept a small brush loaded with oil and just constantly picked up guns some one had just set down and re oiled them. Then at the end of the show they all had to be reoiled and put back in their boxes. A brush works much better than a rag. Our oil of choice was Birchwood Casey's Sheath. I do not know if it is still being produced. It is a polarizing oil and works very well. All I use now is Breakfree CLP or Collector and it does a very good job on all of my blued steel guns. I have shot matches several times in pouring rain and then drove home an hour away and pulled the blued guns out of my bag and headed for the air compressor to blow all of the water out of it. With nothing but CLP on the metal they did not rust after that abuse. Just stay on top of it and keep them oiled.

Last edited by drail; November 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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About 2 months.

I hadn't even looked at my home defense shotgun in that time. Made me sick the other day when I got it out and found spots of pitted rust on it's finish. I guess moisture from the shower did the dead. The bore is still perfect, but the outside has lost resale value.
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:22 PM   #9
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Its not difficult to make a gun oil rag. An old cotton shirt will do just fine. Wash and dry the old shirt (no fabric softener please), then cut a square about 12"x12" add some oil to it and wipe down your weapon. Do not throw away the rag. Instead, fold it up and put it in a zip lock bag. Next time you wipe down your weapon, add a little oil to the rag and wipe down again. Fold the rag back up and put it back into the zip lock. After a few applications, you will not have to re oil the rag for quit a while. My wipe down rags are kept in my rifle and pistol hard cases.
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Old November 19, 2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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I think i found a reason

My gun safe sits in my basement. Many years I had no rust problems. BUT THEN! I thought I should buy some descant (sp) I found that they filled with moisture and when full seemed to loose an acid? of something that
really got my attention big time I removed both of them and have had no problems since. I believe that when full they actually create a chemical that
made my guns rust big time.
I'm pretty sure they were the probelm
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Old November 20, 2012, 01:24 AM   #11
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I live in Colorado. Rust on guns is non-existent.

Ok, not really. But I touch and handle my guns without wiping them down all the time. Zero rust.
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Old November 20, 2012, 01:25 AM   #12
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it depends. keep them out of the cellar, the attic, and maybe with some packets for starters. Stainless steel firearms help your cause as well.
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
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