I just traded for a Stevens 5100 made in 1953. The barrels are clean inside and bright, but the outside has light rust and some pitting. Whats the best way to clean this up. I bought some cold bluing tonight at Wally World to put on after I get the thing cleaned enough, but that's the rub! I don't want to wear a hole in the barrels trying to clean out little pits. It there some substance I can rub on it that will remove the rust so that I can seal it? Thanks.
You can use oil and steel wool to remove the rust and some stuff, if it is pitted, then it needs professional work done with polishers and abrasives, and then a Reblue job done professionally...Cold blue is just not gonna do a good job...
As much as I'll get made fun of for telling you this, there is one little trick that does "kinda work" that I found.
Before I started building guns for a living I like to tinker and stuff at home. My uncle's shot gun had minor pitting on the barrel.
I used a sharp razor blade and very carefully scraped the "pimple" formed by these rust pits. By scraping I literally mean I drug the sharp side of the blade over the area using very light pressure so as not to scratch the good part of the barrel. It's not as bad as it sounds honest.
I then touched up the pitted area with a Sharpie permanent marker. These were very small pits. Then I finished it all off with a light coat of sizing die wax (sold by Sinclair International) and a good buff.
Up close, yes you could see it. From arms length away it was pretty tough to detect.
Again, it's a ghetto way to "fix" it. Bluing the parts after a good polish job is a much better way to go. But that costs money too.
There are several good rust removers on the market. A lighter weight (greater liquidity) one will be a little bit easier to use than Naval Jelly (which does work well). If the pitting is not extensive you might want to smooth the area with a finer grade steel wool pad before bluing. Also, if you have access to a grinder there are a number of polishing wheels on the market. Just study the options before making your decisions.
Thanks all. Oxford, you outdid yourself. That Winchester sounds beautiful. How about fumes? Did you do the bluing in a house or garage?
I went over it yesterday with some coarse steel wool that I already had and some oil (motor oil). Not bad. Today, I went over the gun again with some 4 ought steel wool and Hoppes #9, wiping often. By the time I got done, it looked pretty good. There are still little pits, but no rust. I cleaned it totally with bore cleaner (evaporating type) so it was clean and dry, then wiped it with gun oil. Looks pretty good. I also used steel wool and mineral spirits on the stock and forearm. Took off a lot of grub. I'm letting the wood parts dry well, then I'll hit them with some oil based furniture polish. I'm in Hog Heaven!
Try using Brownells 44-40 for cold-blueing. It works great. I sanded down the barrel of my Stevens Buckhorn using 2000 grit wet/dry paper. It actually polished the metal to a brilliant, mirror-like finish. The blueing job came out awesome. Bottom line, it's the preparation that makes a great job.
I just got through renovating in a sense a nice old very abused LaFever side by side for a friend. The barrel had been on the west coast and was very well rusted and pitted. Navel jelly got rid of the rust, motorized wire brush cleaned out all the pitting to bare metal. 320 grit wet and dry paper carefully used took out about 3/4 of the pits. The rest were deep enough that I was hesitant to take them clear out, too much metal to remove, especially close to the breach with the highest pressure curve. Then it was about 6 coats of tung oil, and recut most of the checkering. Now looks like a nice old gun grandpa had and it shoots well too.
If you want the best thing out there to clean up that old gun, try FLITZ .If you never heard of it go online and see it.I use it alot at work(marine industry)and it WILL take rust off of anything. But note that it has an ammonia base and if you dont wipe it(a glob) off your blueing it will lighten it after 10 minutes or so. Use a shop type rag(cotton) and it will take care of most of the usual , If you find a stubborn spot use a little 000 or 0000 steel wool. I guarranty that once you try it , any polished metal or blued surface within a three block radius of your house will look like it needs some of this stuff to make it pretty again. Its a little expensive, 9 or 10 bucks for a tube, but it goes a long way. It works great on stainless and especially aluminum and other alloys, chrome, nickle, gold, silver, ect. I've also used it to polish out scuffs on the high gloss stock and forend of my browning special sporting clays. Give it a try. shawn