How to Remove Rust from a Gun: A Full Guide

Remove rust form gun

Life is getting too busy, and sometimes it is hard to find time for your hobbies. Yet alone, finding your loved gun rusted would certainly make you feel sad.

After all, guns are made out of metal, and they do corrode.
Extensive use, high humidity, and contact with water or sweat-prone guns to corrosion.
In this blog, I will be discussing a stepwise comprehensive approach to making your gun shine again.

Don’t worry. Removing rust from a gun is not that hard of a job. All you have to do is safely dispose of the ammunition, identify rusty points, disassemble the gun, soak the rusty points with specialized gun oil, wait till the rust soften, use steel wool or specialized barrel brush to rinse off the rust, mope the gun dry and reassemble it.

Rust may be confined to the Surface or be pitting inside the metal.

Besides aesthetics, rust will also degrade your guns’ performance; therefore, thorough cleansing of rust is important.

Understanding the anatomy of the gun is crucial.

Guns come in different sizes, shapes, and functionality.

Some guns are referred to as short guns, and some are rifles, some automatic, and others semiautomatic.

Brief Functional Anatomy of the gun

A Gun Consist of three basic parts

  1. Action: This is the principal part of a gun where all the mechanics happens, from bullet loading to cartridge Disposal. This is the part that, if rusted, has a profound effect on guns’ performance.
  2. Stock: This part is held by the shooter and helps dampens the recoil of the gun. Depending on the gun, the stock may be made out of metal, wood, or hard plastic. If the stock gets rusty, it impacts aesthetics, but performance is not usually affected.
  3. A barrel: is a metallic tube that helps direct the projectile in the intended direction. It may be riffled or non-riffled. This part is mainly affected by rust owing to the exhaust of gases and gun powder. Cleaning this part improves the gun performance and target shooting.
Parts of Gun

Items Needed for Rust Removal

Here is a list of items that you will need for rust removal.

  1. Oil is the core element that not only helps remove the rust but also prolongs’ gun life. There are a wide variety of oils available on the market. You can use Three in One Oil, Motor Oil or Rem Oil. All will do the job nicely.
  2. Steel Wool helps scratch the rust off without leaving any surface marks. It also helps the gun shine. It is mainly used for innocent light rust and will start failing for deep-rooted rust.
  3. Brushes come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. They may be made up of nylon or steel. They are used to scratch off the stubborn rust. Depending on the area being cleaned, you may need a bottle or hand brush.
  4. Sand Paper is graded from coarse (40 to 60 grit) to superfine (360 and above). The finer the grit, the lesser the scratch.
  5. Napkins to wipe off excessive oil
Gun Oil

Stepwise Approach to removing Rust

Stepwise removing rust from gun

Step 1 Safety

Work in a quiet room away from family. Use latex gloves if necessary. Make sure the gun is not loaded with ammunition and is pointed away from you.

Step 2 Disassembly

Video Record yourself if necessary. It will make reassembling the gun quite easy. Scrutinize each part and place them separately on a clean napkin.

Step 3 Lubrication

Use a piece of cloth or foam to lubricate the rusty parts. Avoid using excessive quantities of oil. Wait till the rust shows signs of losing.

Step 4 Scrubbing

A. Try using steel wool on the exterior surfaces of the gun as it leaves minimal marks. Using your thumb and index finger, make your way all the way to the endpoint. Use napkins to mope the loose rust. Repeat with lubrication and scrubbing if there are still signs of rust.

B. Use Nylon hand brush on rust that is hard and difficult to scrub off with steel wool. The barrel should be scrubbed gently with nylon bottle brushes.

C. If Nylon brushes come to no rescue, use sandpaper. Start with super fine grit. Use sandpaper cautiously because it has the maximum capability to leave scratch marks but, on the other hand, is too effective at removing rust.

D. Steel Brushes should be the last resort for removing rust. Steel bottle brushes should be used with extreme caution in cleaning the barrel because it may damage the gun’s rifling.

Step 5 Mopping

Mopping the gun is very important because any of the leftover oil has the capability to attract dust particles hence interfering with the mechanics of the gun. Consider using a Microfiber towel for best results. It leaves little to no small threads.

When mopping the barrel, use a piece of cloth and tie it hard with double knot to a nylon wire, Use a stiff steel wire to guide the nylon wire out of the barrel. Now push the cloth out from other side. Repeat it multiple of times till there is no residual oil left in the barrel.

Step 6 Inspection

Depending on the gun-type, each and every part should be carefully examined for any residual rust or oil. Following parts should always be reinspected for any left over rust:

  1. Trigger
  2. Slide Stop Lever
  3. The undersurface of Slide Cover
  4. Inside of the barrel
  5. Magazine release
  6. Safety Lever
  7. Firing pin and spring

Step 7 Reassembly

Carefully reassemble the gun, trying not to miss any component. Take help from your disassembly video as required.

How to Prevent Rust on Gun?

Removing rust is time and energy-consuming. Now that you have learned your lesson, lets’ jump into how to prevent rust formation. Rust is a play between water, air, and metal, with later being affected. Preventing their combination is the principal at preventing rust. Following are the steps that will give the best results.

Step 1 Loving your gun

Humans have predilection for taking care of those whom they love. When you start loving your gun you will definitely take care of it.

Step 2 Timely Service

Never leave your gun unserviced after firing shots. Cleaning the residual blast of gases and gun powder is very important. Think of the gun powder as a catalyst for rust.

Step 3 Storage

For short-term storage, always use waterproof cases and try using small silica gel packets inside cases to remove excessive moisture.

In case you are planning for a little longer on leaving your gun alone, always remove ammunition from the gun and place it aside. Garnish the gun with a bit of oil and cover it with a plastic sheet. Always store the gun in a dedicated closet and try using an electric dehumidifier.

Step 4 Regular Checkups

Always keep a keen eye on your stored guns. Do Regular checkups for signs of moisture in the closet. Regularly check the battery status of the electric dehumidifier. To check the status of moisture, you can also place a humidity indicator paper.

Cleaning the Barrel

How to Remove Rust from Inside a Gun Barrel?

The barrel may be smooth outside, but that’s not always the case on the inside. Some guns are Rifled (it’s grooved from inside the barrel for swirling the projectile, making for better stability and penetration). While you may remove the rust but may damage the rifling, that’s why extreme care has to be taken. You need to have

  1. Gun oil
  2. Right size barrel brush, commonly referred to as bottle brush.
  3. A guidewire or a rod
  4. Microfiber cloth

The following steps will help you in getting the best result with no to minimal damage.

Step 1 Take right amount of gun oil and pour it inside the barrel.

Step 2 Use a right-sized (with adequate resistance) nylon brush to rub the inside of the barrel. Take your time and try avoiding rigorous moves. Also, avoid using steel brushes.

Step 3 Examine the barrel and repeat the procedure if necessary.

Step 4 Tie a double knot on to properly sized napkin with nylon wire and attach it to a steel guidewire. Move the napkin inside of the barrel multiples time till it is shiny.

Removing rust from Gun with Vinegar

Using vinegar for rust removal from a gun should be limited to nonexpensive, lightly rusted guns. Only use white distilled vinegar for rust removal. Vinegar will remove rust but can damage the gun’s bluing. It is therefore not recommended too often. Follow these steps if you intend to use it.

Step 1 Disassemble your gun carefully.
Step 2 Take a plastic container and place the parts of the gun inside it. Now pour enough vinegar so that the gun is completely immersed.
Step 3 Wait for at least fifteen to thirty minutes so that the vinegar has enough time for interaction.
Step 4 Use Brownell’s brush to rinse off the rust. Repeat this process multiple times till there is no rust left.
Step 5 Take a Microfiber cloth and remove any leftover vinegar.
Step 6 Now polish the surface with gun oil for best results.
Step 7 Reassemble the gun and, if needed, store it in a cool and dry place away from humidity.

How to Remove Rust from a Gun with wd40?

WD40 is not a rust remover. Rather it is a lubricant and a degreaser, although it can help soften the rust. WD40 has its advantage of being easy to apply, readily available, and cheap. But it also got its downside, i.e., it attracts a lot of debris. From my personal experience, wd40 should only be used when other gun oils are not available on hands.

Disassemble your gun, taking care of any leftover ammunition. Place parts of a gun on a clean piece of cloth. Now spray a layer of WD40 on each part of the gun separately. Use a nylon hand brush to rub off the rust. Wipe off the oil and rust with a microfiber towel. Repeat it multiple times till the shine is restored. Make sure the gun Is dry with no oil left.