View Full Version : Importrance of Removing Rust

09-15-2007, 10:05 PM
So I just bought a used rifle with a bit of surface rust/ discoloration. I plan on repainting the thing with aluma-hyde anyways.. but do I still need to remove the rust first or can i just paint over it without worrying about the rust doing further damage?

If I need to remove it.. should I use a rust/ blue remover or use the oil and fine steel wool method?

09-15-2007, 10:17 PM
Rust is VERY hard and thus very brittle. You absolutely NEED to remove the rust if you are planning on doing anything with it. If you paint over the rust it will most likely break off at some point revealing bare metal allowing further rust and damage to occur. You also will have uneven surface finish and even worse yet you can trap air/water in the highs/lows of the rust and have rust continue to build underneat the new paint job.

Think of it like a tooth. You have a tooth that is decayed and your dentist looksat it and says "well...we're putting a crown on it so no need to clean it up first." You'd probably just out of the seat and run for your life. Same thing with rust and metal.

Also a word of advice; metal finish shows through paint because of the surface level, flatness, angle of reflection, etc. If you do anything to the surface make sure to make it all even before starting to refinish it or the final finish will be horribly uneven and probably worse than when you first started.

As for what method to go by, I'd say it depends on the type, location, and extent of damage. If it's just on the surface it could probably be easily taken off with steel wool, if it's in tight places to reach a solvent might be better. Whatever you do assume that the inside of the gun is ten times worse than the outside (even if it's not under visual inspection) and clean the action, pins, moving parts, and especially the barrel as the rust will act as an abrasive against the inside and with a high velocity bullet pushing it down the length of the barrel you are only asking for trouble. If the previous owner didn't care enough or was unable to wipe the outside of gun down from time to time, even with visual reminders like rust starting, than assume that the inside was cleaned even less and with less care. A thorough cleaning, and not just with cleaners, is probably in order for ALL surfaces, inside and out and unless you know for sure you might want to find someone who has some gauges to check the headspace and do some normal function testing (like knocking the buttstock to see if the trigger/sear is alright).

Safety first.

09-15-2007, 10:17 PM
you need to remove the rust before painting or it will ruin your paint job
just like when they restore a car they remove all the rust before paint.

09-15-2007, 10:25 PM
Darn.. not having to remove it would certainly be easier! I think I'll buy some of the Birchwood Casey stuff for the job. Too bad I already put in my order to Brownells a few days ago.. now I have to give Turners my business cause they're just so darn close and time is of the essence!

09-16-2007, 3:44 PM
The stuff will work....but seriously...bead blasting is best and about the only way ((I know of)) to make 100% sure its gone from the nooks/pits.

Find a auto repair and/or body shop...LEAVE THE GUN IN THE CAR and go in and ask them if they're willing to bead blast it for you...BEAD BLAST NOT SAND BLAST...sand blasting is extremely harsh.

Most places I've litterally walked in off the street, told 'em what I was doing and for anywhere from $5 to $20 was outta there in under 20 minutes.... call around if you dont feel comfy walking in. But STAY WITH THE GUN!!!!!!!!!!!

BRING A PLASTIC TRASH BAG to have them dump it in when they're done...DONT get fingerprints on it as that WILL start the rust process again faster than you would believe....................

09-16-2007, 5:19 PM
Went out and picked up some EVAPO RUST at the local Auto Zone.. heard good things about it so i'll soon find out.

09-16-2007, 8:09 PM
Try ANY chemical on an unseen portion of metal first!

Chemicals respond differently to different metals. One chemical might be made for aluminum parts and it will pit the steel of the gun, or you might bleech the finish off the rest of the gun, etc. A good number of rust strippers are acid and can even burn the metal. Just be careful, follow the directions, and try it on somewhere under the stock line, behind a plate, etc. first.

09-16-2007, 10:35 PM
I believe that it is super fine bronze wool (00) that should be used to remove surface rust if there is any good finish worth preserving. Even better is the "Gun Brite Metal Cleaning Pad" & oil. Either method will remove surface rust while leaving behind specks of unprotected bare metal...

09-16-2007, 10:44 PM
I bought a Mossberg M44 that had some surface rust and used this (http://www.big45metalcleaner.com/) with some oil. Didn't harm the bluing and took off the rust easier than steel wool.