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Anybody have any recommendations on how to remove mild surface corrosion without damaging the original finish of the pistol? Just a couple of spots on my new (old) Bankers Special I would like to clean up.
 

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I'll defer to keystone's experience but even 0000 steelwool scares me. I'd use brass wool and a oil lube.
 

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Blue Wonder and 0000 Steel wool. You will be amazed.
Never tried that particular method before; but have seen the results and many destroyed finishes from owners going to town with steel wool. The trouble with steel wool is it is hard enough to remove the bluing surrounding the pitting. The old tried and true method to remove rust on blued firearms is using a good penetrating oil and an old copper penny (not a new penny which is copper plated zinc). Copper is hard enough to break the rust pitting from the surface but soft enough that it will not scratch or remove finish from the blued surface. It's as simple as allowing the penetrating oil to soak in (Kroil is the best) and then using the copper penny to scrap the surface. Once you see the oil turn brown, wipe it away and apply fresh oil and continue to scrape the surface. Once all the rust is removed the surface will feel smooth as you scrape and only fine copper residue will be left in the pores of the surface. A gentle wipe with a good wax, I use Flitz Waxx (not polish) removes the copper residue from the pores of the metal and all the rust is removed.

The thing to remember is bluing is a form or rust so any "rust remover" will remove finish.
 

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Who said anything about "Going to town" Lol. I guess I assumed I was pretending everyone had a brain. I have used that method for years and never have anything left but a beautiful firearm. Sure, you can hurt the gun but I think you kinda need to lose touch with logic for a minute to do so.

Check out Youtube, there are some blue wonder videos on there that will show a fella demonstrating it, they are informative.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all of the recommendations. I have read about the penny method in the past, and may start with that.Thanks everybody.
 

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"Bronze Wool" - Used sensibly, it is stronger than the minute-fine Iron Oxide, yet soft enough not to erode the Blue-Oxide of 'Blueing'.

Get it from Brownells or ebay...

I myself would never, ever, use Steel Wool....ever...
 

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I'm with the "School of Bronze". Bronze wool is available at almost any True Value. Soaked in Kroil or other penetrating oil, it will NOT remove bluing. Just go slow; about the only thing that might screw this up is an over application of "elbow grease." Mop the area gently with a paper towel frequently to see how you're doing. I just did a 1976 "Liberty" Ruger SA that looked like it was covered with freckles of rust. Now it looks very blue. Fortunately the previous owners either believed in cleaning the bore and chambers or just didn't shoot the poor old thing. I will do both.

Good luck with your cleanup!
 

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I just got done ordering another Hoppes rust and lead remover cloth. I've kept one in a zip lock bag for 15-20 yrs now. its finally just falling apart. I've had good luck with cleaning up those used guns that need a little cleaning up when I get them home. But like Keystone said, assuming people use some brains with the elbow grease. It also worked well with cleaning up a peacekeeper 22 cylinder that was sent to me with lead build up around the cylinder. It will take off the bluing if too much wiping and too much pressure is used, as it removes rust chemically because it is a cloth and not at all abrasive. I am speaking of the one I've used that's many years old. I'm hoping the one I just ordered is the same.
 

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+1 What would you say. Any of these methods work if you possess anything between your ears. I've used the lead cloth, flitz, bronze, steel and have achieved the desired results without a glitch.

Many years ago, a Wonderful Gunsmith who happens to be a family friend had a few sets of barrels on his porch hanging up and they were all rusty. I asked him what the heck he was doing and he told me he was restoring the barrels. I said "Well Yeah, they look terrible" and he informed me he was just about done with them. He said "Watch this" and he took steel wool and rubbed the barrels and those ugly rust pipes turned into beautiful works of art right before my eyes. I asked him if this was a "Trade Secret" and he said "No stupid, how do you think you rust blue a gun?". I said "Well how do you do the final finish" and he said "Steel Wool" From that day forward, I have never had a problem with using steel wool. Some of the finest shotguns in the world are rubbed beautiful with it. I truly believe all the negative energy around the steel wool was caused by Wool Fools! Not much upstairs if you can't take oooo wool to a gun and not rub it silver.
 

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My method used on customer guns was to soak the rusty areas with a good penetrating fluid like Kroil or CLP Breakfree for several days.
This softens and loosens the rust.

After soaking I applied more fluid then "scrubbed" the rusty areas with a brass "toothbrush".
For large crusty areas I used brass sheet or a real brass cartridge case with the mouth smashed flat and filed into a chisel edge to scrape the areas.

After removal, flush the area with a solvent to remove the dirty fluid, then apply a coat of CLP Breakfree. This protects the surface, prevents further rust, and continues to "work" on any remaining rust.

Many people do use steel wool, but you also have to be careful.
One sign of improper use of steel wool is when improperly used, the steel wool will "bounce over" hard crusty spots and this leaves a crater-like effect of missing bluing with the rust spot in the middle.

The main point of rust removal is to use a good penetrating product and allow several days soak time to soften the rust.
 

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I've always wanted to try rust bluing. I have read that the European manufacturers just stacked barrels and other parts outside in a high humidity area and wet them down every so often until a rust coating appeared, then wire brushed them. I also read an article once about placing parts to be rust blued in a sealed container with nitric and hydrochloric acid vapors to speed up the rusting process. Of course, one would want to seal or mask off areas not to be rusted, like the bore. Steel will not rust much if the relative humidity is below 50%. That also depends on the alloy. I've had some guns that rust very easily in damp weather and others that do not. My worst were a Winchester Model 97 and a Remington Model 11, both shotguns - the barrel of the former and the reciever of the latter.
 
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