How to Remove Rust from a Gun: 5 Simple Methods to Get Rid of Heavy Corrosion

rusty gun

Even if you keep your gun in a tiny little safe or in a small wardrobe, dust and moisture will get to it sooner or later, causing rust and corrosion.

Also, the anodized guns that come with special coatings to protect them from rust won’t be protected forever. It’s just a matter of time before it happens.

So, if you want to pass your gun to your offspring, you’ll have to learn how to deal with it.

The good news is, we will show you 5 simple methods that will help you get rid of the rust layer completely. Also, we’ll let you in on some tips that will help you protect your gun from rust for as long as possible, so let’s dive in!


How to Remove Rust off a Gun 

In this section, we’ll discuss several methods by which you can remove the rust from your gun and walk you through them step by step.

As we tested these methods, they came out to be the most effective; yet, the extent of rust has a great impact on effectiveness, so keep in mind that you might need to repeat the process several times with stubborn, deep, and old rust layers.

Preparing the Gun

Removing rust from a gun can be a tough and vigorous process. Before you start on it, make sure your gun is not loaded to avoid injuring yourself or others. Also, it’s better to keep the gun pointed in a safe direction while you’re cleaning it so that you don’t harm anyone if you misfire.

5 Simple Methods to Clean Heavy Rust from a Gun

After preparing the gun, keep it on a flat surface and try to fix it to avoid any sudden slips, then follow the steps according to the method you choose.

1. Using a Dremel

A Dremel is a multifunctional rotary tool that relies on speed like a drill. Ideally, it comes with a toolbox containing several accessories that you can attach to the Dremel to carry different functions.

Dremels have different powers that you get to choose from depending on what you’ll be using them for.

Accordingly, you can use them with different materials starting with delicate ones like glass to more sturdy ones like aluminum and steel. Hence, they’re perfect for carving, sanding, cutting, grinding, sharpening, and of course, cleaning and removing dust.

Surprisingly, you don’t need a high speed to remove the rust, the Dremel 3000 can get it done, and you can also use it to clean up the damaged or worn parts then polish your firearm, giving it a fresh, brand new look.

Steps:

  1. Attach a rubber wheel or cone to the end of the Dremel
  2. Start the Dremel and keep it on the rusted area as it breaks off
  3. Use the Dremel to remove any damaged parts as well
  4. Dip the cone in a polishing prime, then set it to a slower speed
  5. Start applying the polish on the gun’s surface, then use a cotton cloth to remove excess product

2. Using Steel Wool

Steel wool is easy to use, and it’s quite effective in terms of removing rust from a firearm. The trick is to make sure that your gun is well-lubricated before you start rubbing it with steel wool because they’re quite abrasive.

This means that there’s a big chance you may end up scratching off the top layer and ruining the finish of the gun.

To avoid any unnecessary scratches, you’ll need to pour some drops of oil around the rusted surface to keep the steel wool gliding on the surface with ease.

Make sure not to pour a large amount of oil or else your hands will keep slipping away, and you might accidentally fire.

Moreover, try to keep your movements as steady as possible with light rubs that can’t possibly damage the gun.

If the rust is extensive, repeat the process several times rather than going with stronger motions until you get rid of the rust completely.

Steps:

  1. Put some drops of oil over the rusted area
  2. Gently rub the area with steel wool
  3. Use a cotton cloth to remove the broken pieces of rust
  4. Repeat until you get rid of all the rust

3. Using Oil

Relying on steel wool can be a bit too tiring for many of us, although it’s extremely effective. Regardless, you can rely on the oil to do the magic and then go in with the steel wool or even a copper brush for the final touches.

Steps:

  1. Pour some drops of oil on the rusted surface
  2. Leave the oil for 4 to 5 hours to give it enough time to loosen up the rust
  3. Iron a cotton cloth to make it warmer, then use it to wipe off the oil while pressing it against the rusted area
  4. If you couldn’t remove all the rust, re-apply the oil, then let it sink in
  5. Try using a copper brush or stool wool to remove the rust this time, as they’re much stronger
  6. Use a cotton cloth to remove the rust particles that break off, then polish the gun

4. Using a Battery Charger

This is one of the easier ways to remove rust from a gun; however, you have to be extra careful while you’re making the electrolyte, and don’t forget to check if your gun is loaded.

Things You’ll Need: A battery charger, baking soda, a steel rod, and a plastic container.  

Steps:

  1. Put a gallon of water in a plastic container
  2. Add a tablespoon of baking soda, then stir properly to make an electrolyte
  3. Carefully put the steel rod in the container to act as the anode (positive end)
  4. Connect the positive end of the battery to the rod and the negative end (the cathode) to the rusted area
  5. Plug the charger in; you should start seeing bubbles in the water, indicating that it’s working.

After a maximum of 5 hours, remove the plug and use a cotton cloth to wipe off the broken rust particles.

5. Using WD-40

WD-40 is among the most trusted and simplest methods to remove rust from any surface, and it gives you some advantages over the other methods mentioned above.

For starters, it’s not sticky, and it doesn’t have an oily texture, so you won’t struggle with wiping it. Also, it can drive out moisture to prevent the rust from forming one more time, or at least keep the chances of rust-forming as minimal as possible.

Lastly, you don’t need to exert any effort while applying it, you just spray it on the rusted area, and it’ll do its thing.

Steps:

  1. After making sure your gun isn’t loaded, place it on a flat surface
  2. Spray the WD-40 on the rusted area and leave it for an entire day
  3. Re-spray the rusted surface the next day and leave it for a couple of more hours before you wipe it off with a cotton cloth
  4. Repeat if necessary

How to Protect Your Gun from Rust

Moisture is the reason why rust forms in the first place, so if you live in an area with high humidity, you need to put in some effort to keep your gun dry. Here are some tips that will help you protect it against rust:

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

According to where you live and the storing conditions, you should put a schedule and regularly clean your gun. Generally speaking, you should NEVER go for as long as three months without giving your gun a deep clean.

Storage Conditions

Keeping your gun in optimal storage conditions helps with resisting rust. You should keep your gun in a cool and dry space.

This means avoiding attics, trunks, and garages. Moreover, it’s better not to store the gun in its cases without using dehumidifiers as it acts as a moisture trap; however, even with the use of dehumidifiers, you still need to clean the gun regularly. Otherwise, you’re just delaying the rusting.

Conclusion

Rust can be difficult to deal with, but it’s not impossible to remove from a gun if you choose the right technique that matches its extent.

Once you get rid of that nasty rust layer, polish your gun and keep it in a safe place away from moisture and don’t forget to clean it regularly; it’s the most important tip for preventing this from happening again.

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