restoring a rusty gun?

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holepoker
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Joined: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 7:16pm
restoring a rusty gun?

I recently got a few old guns. they are all rusty and the stocks are dirty and in rough shape. does any body have any pointers or tricks on the best way to remove rust without damaging the guns. what should i use for rust removal? whats the best way to restore the stocks? any input will be appreciated .

thanks

hillfarmer
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Joined: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 9:26pm

If your comfortable stripping the firearms down thats best place to start. At first spray them down with somthing cheap like wd40 fom walmart let it soak dont be shy use alote.when you clean up the area if its not to pited I use a fine plastic scrub pad and then flitz metal poish.Were its thick and deep polish and blue job is the only fix. you can use very fine steel wool to get the caked area free use lots of machine oil and go very lightpressure.

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Allen
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Joined: Wednesday, January 9, 2002 - 12:00am

If the metal is pitted, and it likely is, there is no "restoring" them to original glory.

The best out there for removing oxidized iron is hydrochloric acid. Right up there with it is phosphoric acid. In order for them to be effective you will need pretty strong stuff, so wear nitrile gloves when handling it.

Basically get yourself a cheap plastic sled to use as a scrubbing tub. Then pour your acid into the sled and using steel wool scrub hard. Don't use real coarse steel wool either or you will scratch the metal. Use fine or very fine wool.

I did this to an old Rem model 7600 that I inherited as a learning project, then reblued the metal. Took a fair amount of time and when done I wasn't that happy with it. Don't even think I would have been much happier with the final product if I had sent it away to be hot blued. The pits from the rust really stand out and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it.

There are lots of commercially available products that contain the acids. Even Scheels carries stuff specifically intended for this.

For the wood, on that you can do a much better job. Simply sand the wood down and use a tongue oil stain. There are lots of websites out there that can help describe this better with pictures than I can do on a text forum.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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Allen
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Joined: Wednesday, January 9, 2002 - 12:00am

BTW, using acid WILL remove the bluing!

Figured I better get that disclaimer out there just in case I wasn't clear in my last post.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

greg69
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Joined: Sunday, December 2, 2007 - 10:14am

If the rifling is pitted the gun is just a mantlepiece right?

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bobkat
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Joined: Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 12:00am

Not necessarily, Greg. A lot of old guns are rusted and rilfing pitted and make great shooters that are fun to go out and shoot for old times sake, etc. They won't be bench rest guns but especially the really old ones are really fun to shoot with black powder/lead bullets, etc. There's a real demand for old guns like these.
One thing to remember that if these guns are old enough or have any original collecter value at all, is not to try to strip them down and refinish them. You might end up with a nice looking gun, but it's value would be way down. You could ruin a valuable collecter gun.

Shaky Jake
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Joined: Sunday, November 4, 2007 - 9:18pm

What guns did you get? Some might be worth sending to a pro,some might not.

kennybob
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Joined: Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 12:00am

clean them but don't go crazy.A nice plum colored patina is desireable in collector fire arms.Do what ever you need to to the interal parts and bore.But don't mess with the stock finish,or externial metal surface to much.First I would remove the stock and wood parts,and soak the steel parts in diesl fuel.

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StevePike
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Joined: Friday, January 4, 2002 - 12:00am

It all depends what you want to do with the guns too. Are they sentimental and you wouldn't sell them for anything? Are you looking to just shoot or hunt with them? First thing is make sure they are safe to shoot, then find out what they are worth, THEN decide to clean, reblue, etc.

You can't aim a duck to death.

Foxedu2
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Joined: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:02pm

Might i suggest , PB Blast , and some 000 steel wool,that's what i used to restore a 1894 marlin, that had gone thru a fire. i had to replace the forearm. but as far as the metal, it cleaned real nice then, i had it re-blued, and it now looks and shoots like brand new rifle. 

tinlaw
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Joined: Friday, November 5, 2010 - 1:38pm

If they have any collector value, don't touch them.  If you want to use them and they have no value, then restore them.  Doing a restoration effectively destroys the value.

tinlaw