How to Clean Rust off a Gun [And Prevent It From Appearing]

How to Clean Rust off a Gun [And Prevent It From Appearing]

There are certain things in life we can’t avoid. Everything that is born must die, time only goes forward, and all that made of (most) metal will eventually rust.

A rusting firearm is one of the worst things that can happen to a passionate gun owner, but unfortunately, that is how it sometimes goes.

In these cases, the best you can do is learn how to clean rust off a gun, and look for effective ways to prevent it from happening again.

Read on to find out more.

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Why Is My Gun Rusting?

In terms of science, rust is due to oxidation, which is the combination of moisture and oxygen on a metal surface.

Over time, the metal surface of your gun can accumulate small particles of dust, water vapor, and salt. Additionally, when you fire your gun, the chemical reactions that happened attract a lot of biological debris to it.

Furthermore, if you do not clean your gun regularly, it will become more vulnerable to rusting. What is more, if a weapon is not stored properly, it will slowly but surely become rusty.

Why Is My Gun Rusting
Source

Now, what is important for you to know is how to deal with this rust. Before we continue, though, a fundamental note: always make sure your weapon is unloaded before you start cleaning it.

How to Clean Rust off a Gun? 5 Methods

How to Clean Rust off a Gun? 5 Methods
  1. Steel Wool Pads
  2. Gun Oil
  3. WD-40
  4. Vinegar
  5. Battery Charger

1. Steel Wool Pads

You can use steel wool pads to remove rust, but only if there is a tiny amount of rust that has not bonded itself to the metal.

This is one of the most basic methods of removing rust. Remember to avoid applying too much pressure when scrubbing, since any oil and abrasive material also removes the bluing of the weapon.

2. Gun Oil

If the first method does not work, then it is time to add some gun oil to the mix. Apply the oil to the rusted spots, and leave it to soak in. This will loosen the rust from the metal parts, and you should be able to easily rub the rust away.

Feel free to use a steel wool, dry cloth or copper brush to wipe off the rust. If you notice that the oil is changing color from clear to rusty, this means it is working, and you are making progress.

Last but not least, since it can get quite messy, do not forget to wipe off any excess oil from the weapon parts.

3. WD-40

WD-40 is a great solution for getting rust off a gun. Using it is, perhaps, the easiest method of all, and the upside is that it will not affect the bluing of the metal surface. On the downside, it will not work against tough ingrained rust.

Here are the steps on how to clean surface rust off a gun using WD-40:

  1. Spray the gun with the WD-40.
  2. Leave it for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Respray the area.
  4. Wipe the surface with a soft cloth.

4. Vinegar

Removing rust from yourgun with vinegar is a cost-effective way to clean your firearm.

Apply some vinegar on to a cotton cloth and massage it over the rusty area. Soak the rust well, but don’t use too much vinegar, since it will spill onto parts you don’t want to be treated.

Allow the vinegar to work its magic for an hour or two. After allowing the vinegar to loosen the rust, scrub the damaged area with the brush, followed by the steel wool.

The vinegar can be reapplied as needed. If rust traces remain, reapply and leave to soak before repeating the brush and steel wool operation.

Once the rust has been eliminated, make sure to remove the excessive vinegar using a clean cloth. Afterward, you should apply some gun oil to a rag and thoroughly rub the affected area. If it still feels rough, apply a bit more oil to the steel wool and smooth it out.

5. Use a Battery Charger

If your firearm is copper, brass, aluminum, or an alloy, and is heavily impacted by rust, you can try using a battery charger to clean it.

Before we start, you need to prepare:

  • A rebar
  • A large plastic basin
  • A pair of battery clamps
  • Washing soda (Sodium Carbonate)
  • Distilled Water
  • Metal Wire
  • Alligator Clips
  • Wooden dowel, metal rod or stick
  • Safety gloves

You need to make an alkaline bath first by mixing 1 tablespoon of washing soda per gallon of water in a plastic container. Then make a way to keep the rebar under the water near the gun.

Attach the positive (red wire) clamp to the rebar, and the negative (black wire) to the firearm that is in the alkaline bath.

Then, switch on the battery charger to a low setting. The mixture will begin to bubble and the rust will start to fall off the gun, shifting onto the rebar and into the water.

A few hours later, you can remove your gun from the mixture (after you’ve turned the battery charger off safely). The rust on the surface will have been removed, and you can easily wipe away the remaining rust spots with a rag.

Gun Rust Prevention

Gun rust prevention is absolutely essential. In fact, it is much better to try to prevent your firearm from rusting than to deal with the consequences.

Here are some tips on how to prevent your gun from rusting:

  • Store your gun properly, buy a quality gun case. Proper storage will minimize the chances of rust. You should also invest in a quality gun case that is dustproof, waterproof, and shockproof, if you do not already own one. Keep your gun safely stored in a temperature controlled area around 70 °F (21 °C), and with a humidity of 50% – 55%.
  • Regularly clean and oil your gun, especially after using it in bad weather. Cleaning and lubricating your firearm regularly will remove any tiny particles that could lead to rust.
  • Refrain from using corrosive ammo. The primer in older ammo contains potassium chlorate, which deposits salt when fired. Add some moisture, and it’s basically the same as exposing your gun to saltwater.

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Final Words

Gun rust prevention will protect your firearm from damage, and extend its life. If it is already too late, and your gun has become rusty, you can easily refer to our article on how to remove rust from a gun.

Do you know any other proven methods of removing rust from a firearm? Share them in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out our business directory.

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