How to Remove Rust from a Gun: A Complete Guide.

To remove rust from a gun without damaging bluing, mix baking soda and water, then apply it to the affected area with a soft cloth. Rinse and dry the gun thoroughly after cleaning.

Rust on guns can be a real headache for gun owners, especially if they have to remove it without damaging their gun’s bluing. This can be a tricky process, but knowing the right techniques and materials can help make it easier.

While there are many commercial rust removers out there, some can be harsh and may eventually damage the bluing of your gun over time. In this article, we’ll discuss a tried-and-true method for removing rust from your gun without damaging its bluing. With a little bit of effort and patience, you can restore your gun’s shine and keep it looking great for years to come.

How to Remove Rust from a Gun: A Complete Guide.


Step 1: Disassemble The Gun

Importance Of Disassembly Before Rust Removal

Disassembling your gun is an essential step of removing rust. It will prevent damage to its internal workings, and enable you to clean it thoroughly and identify any part that needs replacement. Here are some reasons why gun disassembly is necessary:

  • Cleaning – it’s easier to clean the gun parts after disassembling them. Removing rust affects the metal quality; cleaning the gun will eliminate rust particles and maintain its longevity.
  • Inspection – disassembly lets you examine each part and spot any damage, wear, or corrosion that needs repairs and replacements.
  • Safety – disassembling your gun ensures that it’s unloaded and free from any live rounds that can cause accidents.

Safety Precautions To Observe During Gun Disassembly

Gun disassembly may be tricky, and some parts may pose a safety risk if not handled correctly. Here are some safety precautions that you must observe when disassembling a gun:

  • Unload the gun – ensure that you unload your gun before disassembly. Check the chamber and magazine to make sure that there are no live rounds.
  • Use safety gear – always wear eye protection, gloves, and other protective equipment when disassembling your gun. Chemicals and corrosives can cause skin irritation or injury from the sharp parts.
  • Follow the manual – disassemble the gun according to the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional help if you’re unsure.

Proper Instructions On How To Disassemble A Gun

Disassembling your gun can be overwhelming, mainly if you’re doing it for the first time. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Unload the gun completely by checking the chamber and the magazine for any live rounds.
  • Remove the slide by pulling it back and locking it into place. If it doesn’t lock in place, you need to do it manually.
  • Remove the recoil spring by pushing it forward and lifting it out of the tube.
  • Take out the barrel and bushing by turning the barrel bushing counterclockwise and remove it from the slide.
  • Remove the frame pin by punching it out using a punch tool and hammer.
  • Take off the mainspring housing by removing the mainspring housing pin or just push it down and rotate it clockwise.
  • Detach the grip safety by compressing it and pushing it toward the back of the gun frame.
  • Remove the sear spring by compressing it and pulling it out of the frame.
  • Finally, remove the sear, hammer, and magazine catch, which will require pin punches and a hammer.

Disassembling your gun before removing rust is a vital process that helps maintain the gun’s safety, longevity and performance. Always ensure that you follow the safety precautions and manufacturer’s instructions to avoid accidents or damaging your gun.

Step 2: Inspection Of The Gun For Rust Damage

Importance Of Inspecting A Gun For Rust Damage Before Removal

Before starting the rust removal process, it is crucial to inspect the gun thoroughly to identify any existing or potential rust damage. It is essential to check all the visible parts, including crevices, corners, and nooks, to ensure that you don’t miss any rust-damaged areas.

Detailed Description Of How To Inspect A Gun For Rust Damage

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to inspect a gun for rust damage:

  • Unload the gun: Safety should always be your top priority. Ensure that the gun is empty before beginning the inspection process.
  • Check the exterior: Examine the gun’s exterior, including the frame and barrel, for any signs of rust. Pay more attention to the areas that are more vulnerable to rust, such as the trigger and the muzzle.
  • Check the inside of the barrel: Use a flashlight to look inside the bore and check for any rust or residue. If you notice any rust, stop inspecting and proceed to removal.
  • Check small parts and crevices: Inspect small components like screws, springs, and pins for any visible rust. Rust can often accumulate in these small parts, so it’s crucial to check them individually.
  • Look out for discoloration: Discoloration, including brown or orange markings, may be a tell-tale sign of rust damage. Therefore, it’s essential to inspect every inch of the gun’s visible parts.
  • Check for pitting: Pitting refers to the erosion or corrosion of the metal surface, leaving small indentations on the metal. These indentations can lead to weakening the gun structure, so it’s essential to inspect thoroughly.

Inspecting a gun for rust damage before removing it is a crucial step in the gun-cleaning process. We hope the above guide helps you identify any rust damage on your gun and take the necessary steps to remove it.

Step 3: Applying Rust Remover To The Gun

Importance Of Rust Remover In Gun Rust Removal

Removing rust from a gun requires the use of a rust remover. This is important as a rust remover is specifically made to meet the needs of gun owners. Choosing the right rust remover significantly impacts the success of the process.

Without using a rust remover, it is difficult to get rid of rust entirely. Rust remover has special ingredients that penetrate the rust, loosening it from the surface and making it easy to wipe it off.

Types Of Rust Remover For Guns

There are three types of rust removers commonly used by gun owners:

  • Chemical rust remover – chemical rust removers use acids to dissolve rust on metal surfaces and are the most popular type of rust remover used on guns. They are highly effective and typically require a minimal amount of elbow grease.
  • Electrolyte rust remover – electrolyte rust removers are best suited for removing rust from small intricate pieces. The process involves soaking the rusted gun part in a solution having electrolytes.
  • Mechanical rust remover – mechanical rust removers are the simplest and most straightforward type of rust remover. They rely on materials like wire brushes, sandpapers, and scrub pads to remove rust.

Detailed Instructions On How To Apply Rust Remover To A Gun

  • First, you need to select the rust remover based on the type of rust your gun has. Spray or apply the rust remover onto the affected area.
  • Once you apply the rust remover, leave it on for a minute or two, depending on the amount and type of rust you are dealing with. The chemical reaction between the rust remover and the rust changes the rust’s structure and provides an easier cleaning solution.
  • Take a wire brush or a scrub pad and scrub the rusted area with a little pressure. Rust removers create a slippery surface as they break down rust, so ensure that you have a good grip on the gun.
  • Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away the rust and rust remover residue.
  • Repeat the process if there is still rust left on the surface.
  • Once you have finished using the rust remover, wipe the gun with a clean, dry cloth to remove any remaining residue, giving your gun a clean, polished look.

Remember, if you are dealing with a large piece or an intricate design, you might need to use different tools and methods to reach smaller areas adequately.

Step 4: Scrubbing And Cleaning The Gun

Scrubbing and cleaning a gun is a crucial step in the process of removing rust from its surface. This step ensures that all residues left behind by the rust remover are thoroughly removed from the gun. In this section, we will highlight the importance of scrubbing and cleaning a gun after applying rust remover, along with the materials needed and detailed instructions to do it effectively.

Importance Of Scrubbing And Cleaning A Gun After Applying Rust Remover

  • Rust remover leaves behind residues that can cause damage to the gun if not cleaned.
  • Cleaning the gun after rust remover application ensures a smooth surface maintains the gun’s aesthetics.
  • It prevents any future rusting from occurring.

Materials Needed For Scrubbing And Cleaning A Gun

  • Nylon or brass brush
  • Cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Gun lubricant

Detailed Instructions On How To Scrub And Clean A Gun

  • Using a nylon or brass brush, gently scrub the surface of the gun to remove any rust remover residues.
  • Use cotton swabs and a cloth to clean all the intricate parts and crevices of the gun, especially the trigger guard, safety detent, and magazine release button. By doing this, you can ensure no residues are left behind.
  • After cleaning, dry the gun with a clean cloth.
  • Finally, apply a gun lubricant uniformly. This step prevents any future rusting from occurring and ensures the gun functions smoothly.

Scrubbing and cleaning a gun after rust remover application is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked. It is essential to follow the detailed instructions provided to ensure that the gun’s surface is clean, and all residues left behind by the rust remover are eliminated, thus preventing any future corrosion and maintaining its aesthetics.

Step 5: Drying And Reassembling The Gun

Importance Of Proper Drying And Reassembly After Rust Removal

After removing rust from your gun, the next critical step is to ensure that it is dried correctly before reassembling it. Improper drying can cause further damage to the gun and undo your earlier efforts. Additionally, reassembling the gun incorrectly may cause safety issues or decrease the effectiveness of the firearm.

Therefore, it’s crucial to follow detailed instructions for drying and reassembling your gun.

Detailed Instructions On How To Dry And Reassemble A Gun

Drying a gun may seem simple, but if not done properly, moisture can accumulate in the gun and cause more rust or even damage the internal components. The drying process should be thorough to ensure there’s no moisture left in your gun.

  • Wipe the gun: Using a clean and dry towel, wipe all parts of the gun to remove any remaining rust remover or moisture.
  • Air drying: Place all parts of the gun in a dry and airy location. Allow the gun to dry for at least 24 hours, ensuring that the gun is not in direct sunlight or in a humid place.
  • Lubrication: After ensuring your gun is completely dry, you need to lubricate all the components. Apply a very thin coat of gun oil on all metal parts of the gun.
  • Reassembly: After the oiling process, it’s time to start reassembling your gun. Reassemble your gun by reversing the process of disassembling it. Make sure to pay extra attention to the correct order of parts and connections.
  • Function testing: After reassembling your gun, carefully function test it to ensure it’s working correctly before taking it to the shooting range.

Proper drying and reassembly is crucial to ensure your gun continues to function efficiently without causing any safety issues. Follow the steps mentioned above to ensure the process is correct and thorough.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Remove Rust From A Gun Without Damaging Bluing

How Does Rust Affect The Bluing On A Gun?

Over time, rust can eat away at the bluing on a gun, causing it to become brittle and eventually flake off.

Can Rust Be Removed From A Gun Without Damaging The Bluing?

Yes, it is possible to remove rust from a gun without damaging the bluing by using specific products and methods.

What Products Should I Use To Remove Rust From My Gun?

There are many rust removal products designed specifically for firearms, including solvents, oils, and rust removers. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Can I Remove Rust From My Gun At Home?

Yes, it is possible to remove rust from your gun at home with the right tools and products. However, it’s important to take safety precautions and follow product instructions carefully.

Do I Need To Re-Blue My Gun After Removing Rust?

In some cases, it may be necessary to re-blue your gun after removing rust, especially if the bluing has been damaged. It’s always best to consult with a professional before attempting to re-blue a firearm.


Rust is a natural enemy to guns, causing both functional and aesthetic damage. However, removing rust from a gun without damaging the bluing is an essential skill for any gun owner or enthusiast. From taking necessary precautions to investing in the right tools, we have highlighted techniques and tips on how to restore your gun to its former glory.

Always remember to clean and oil your gun regularly to prevent rust in the first place. But if it’s already too late, you can use home remedies or commercial rust removers to tackle the problem. And always remember, patience and care are key when removing rust without causing harm to your gun’s bluing.

With the right approach, you can safely and effectively remove rust from your gun, ensuring its longevity and functionality for years to come.

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