Rust on Stainless Steel Gun?


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03cobra456
December 18, 2006, 01:00 AM
ok here's the deal. i just aquired a new smith and wesson 5946. it has been in storage in a contaier right next to the ocean. ( literally )

i noticed that there is a little rust starting to appear on the gun in various places. my question is, what can i use to take the rust off? i was going to use flitz, but i cannot have any kind of shine on the gun b/c it is used for law enforcement.

basically my question is, what can i use to take rust off a gun and not leave a shine on the gun.

thanks in advance
steve

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HiTech78
December 18, 2006, 01:11 AM
Bit confused here....you have rust on stainless steel? Stainless steel does not rust.

51Cards
December 18, 2006, 01:20 AM
Oil and a wood stick. If it's brushed stainless, ScotchBrite (verrrrrry gently). If it's eadblast, no idea --- but you'll get plenty of good ideas here.

03cobra456
December 18, 2006, 01:22 AM
the smith & wesson 5946 is made of stainless steel. and yes it had rust. not a lot, more like spot rusting

mete
December 18, 2006, 06:53 AM
Sometimes rust is contamination -particles of carbon steel -they rust and it can continue into the stainless steel !!

rustymaggot
December 18, 2006, 07:28 AM
stainless steel can rust.

easiest way to remove it without damaging the surface is extremely fine steel wool with soap in it. they sell pre soaped steel woll pads at supermarkets. make sure the steel woll is so fine that it looks like cotton. so fine you cant tell its steel. that shouldnt change the finish. its what us vintage motorcycle guys use to remove rust from chrome and aluminum engine cases.

T J
December 18, 2006, 08:15 AM
I have a stainless steel pistol that developed rust on the bead blast finish on the top of the slide soon after I got it. It was thought that the bead blast media was contaminated with carbon steel from another gun(s) and this then was transfered to the stainless finish where it rusted. The pistol was new, and I gave it back to the factory to fix up. Not sure what they did to correct the situation, but it has been good ever since returned.

highlander 5
December 18, 2006, 09:31 AM
I work for a major jet engine manufacturer and we use all kinds of exotic SS for our parts when exposed to the elements SS will rust but not pit. there is not always room in our parts area to store everything so some parts are left outside. after they are cleaned machined you'd never know they were rusty.
Sheet metal parts scotch brite and a little elbow grease.
BTW SS is rust resistant not rust proof a true SS would be to brittle for any type of use

Old Fuff
December 18, 2006, 09:47 AM
Never use steel wool on a stainless steel gun. Particles of the wool can get embedded into the finish, and they will rust, and quickly so! ScotchBrite pads are plastic, and therefore O.K.

Jim Watson
December 18, 2006, 10:02 AM
Try rubbing it off with a wood stick, a brass tool made from a cartridge case mouth squashed flat, or the edge of a real copper penny. You will then have to get off the brass tracks but it won't mar the steel... much. Scotchbrite is abrasive grit on a plastic web, it will definitely change the texture of the beaded surfaces.

I bought a stainless SA that came in with orange flecks on the slide. They cleaned up pretty well, I did not want to send the gun back, it was the last of a discontinued model I wanted.

The stainless alloys used in guns are chosen for reasonable rust resistance, reasonable strength for the loads, and as easy machining as possible for the job. They are not picked for the maximum corrosion resistance.

jmorris
December 18, 2006, 10:15 AM
If the surface you want to clean up is bead blasted, blasting it again would be the easiest way to go. Tape/bag everything you donít want hit, begin with the nozzle far away from the part and only move as close as necessary. BTW many SS alloys will rust. If SS will attract a magnet it will be more likely to corrode/rust. Most SS firearm parts and magazines fall into this category.

DogBonz
December 18, 2006, 10:20 AM
Bit confused here....you have rust on stainless steel? Stainless steel does not rust.


SS can, and does rust. In order for weapons grade SS to be strong enough to contain the violent forces in a gun, there must be a lot of carbon added to it. The more carbon in steel, the more easily it will rust. Think of it rust resistant, just like a bulletproof vest is bullet resistant.

ZeSpectre
December 18, 2006, 10:37 AM
Another trick that works for small spots is one of those white, gritty type of erasers that some pencils have.

Kruzr
December 18, 2006, 10:54 AM
SS can, and does rust. In order for weapons grade SS to be strong enough to contain the violent forces in a gun, there must be a lot of carbon added to it. The more carbon in steel, the more easily it will rust. Think of it rust resistant, just like a bulletproof vest is bullet resistant.

Carbon doesn't form iron oxide, IRON does. It's the iron in the 400 series stainless steels that rusts (and make it magnetic.)

GreyMauser
December 18, 2006, 11:00 AM
Try the finest grade you can find of bronze wool, not steel wool. Usually available at ACE hardware. Some danger of polishing, but eliminates the carbon steel transfer problem.

If you are near saltwater, you're probably close to a marine supply store, like West Marine. They carry a stainless steel cleaner paste madeby Wichardt. Works with minimal polishing effect.

Clipper
December 18, 2006, 03:01 PM
You'd be surprised what you can accomplish with an old toothbrush (or a rag on easily accessed areas) and some tooth polish...

Caimlas
December 18, 2006, 04:54 PM
Bit confused here....you have rust on stainless steel? Stainless steel does not rust.

Yes, it does. if you've carried stainless steel guns on a hot day, or live near the ocean where there will be a lot of aerosolized salts in the air, you'll realize it does.

It's not as prone to rust, but it does rust when moisture and salt interact.Even expensive stainless steel; there's still iron in it.

Can't say I've got an answer for the original question, aside from using a fine brass brush or some steel wool over the whole gun - including the rusted parts, degreasing, and then spraying the whole thing with something like Allumihide or one of the other 'gun coat' spray paints out there. Something like dark grey, black, or OD maybe? Depends on how thoroughly it's rusted, IMO.

Plink
December 18, 2006, 07:10 PM
Stainless steel most definately can rust, especially the high carbon stainless used in guns and high quality knife blades. I've had all of them rust at one time or another. The best way to remove rust on stainless is the same way you'd remove it on blued steel. Extra fine steel wool (0000) and gun oil. Rub gently and the rust will dissolve without effecting the finish of the metal.

dfariswheel
December 18, 2006, 07:37 PM
"Extra fine steel wool (0000) and gun oil"

NO.....NEVER use steel wool on a stainless or aluminum gun. Tiny particles of mild steel will embed into the metal and rust later, damaging the finish.

For stainless the best option are Scotchbrite abrasive pads.
These are not only used to remove light rust from stainless, they are also used to restore scratched or marred areas.

thirty-thirty
December 18, 2006, 08:29 PM
Many stainless guns have regular steel lockwork inside. The advantage of stainless is that they are much more forgiving to sweaty hands. You still have to take care of them.

My old Redhawk is stainless yet deeply pitted in some areas, too deep to clean up. No problem though, it shoots great!
I have many stainless handguns and rifles. I like the low maintenance. I don't like the bright shiny looks of them for pragmatic rather than cosmetic reasons and wish to put a flat black finsh on them all. I have heard of a company in Arizona that does an excellent job, but I'd rather not mail guns. Other than Dura-Coat, is there any kind of black or blued-like finish I can get done by a local gunsmith that will work on stainless?

ChrisS.
December 19, 2006, 01:07 AM
There are several ss cleansers on the shelves of grocery stores. The one my good ol' granny swore by can be purchased at any grocery store for around a buck in the cleanser isle. Then hop a couple isles over & pick up a soft to medium strength bristled tooth brush, the cheaper the better. Take it home, add water & scrub in light circular motions checking regularly. Aside from that; as previously suggested, bead blast it.

03cobra456
December 19, 2006, 01:08 AM
where can i buy "Scotchbrite abrasive pads.". i am going to try the pencil eraser first, but if that doesnt work, i'll use the pads.

also, does anybody reccomend a good gun oil and solvent i can use while cleaning the gun. the one my police department gave me sucks

51Cards
December 19, 2006, 01:17 AM
Scotchbrite is at just about any hardware store. A lot of supermarkets, too, in the dish-n-pot cleaning section. I've even seen it in a 7-11.

It's not good stuff for beadblast finishes!!!

Watch where the fine particles of the pad go!!! ABRASIVE!!!

LIGHT touch!!!

Clean everything thoroughly after using!!!

Don't get the abrasive in any nooks and crannies!!!

mrmeval
December 19, 2006, 02:46 AM
Stainless steel can rust depending on composition. In some cases it's what it's made from that's oxidizing and in others it's the left over iron particulates from the machining process. There are some stainless steels that will corrode but do not show the corrosion as the red iron oxide most people are familiar with.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel

The manufacturing process should have removed any iron particles from the machining process though I don't know how well that would have been done.
Stainless will self-passivate but it's a fairly thin layer. The stainless I deal with has had a forced passivation done to it to cause a thicker anti-corrosion layer to form, as a benefit it also removes iron particles.

Plink
December 19, 2006, 04:48 PM
NO.....NEVER use steel wool on a stainless or aluminum gun. Tiny particles of mild steel will embed into the metal and rust later, damaging the finish.

I've heard that a number of times in the last couple years, and I'm sure Scotchbrite is probably a better option. That said, I've used steel wool and oil on stainless for 30 years. Guns, knives, you name it. I've never seen even the slightest problem with any of them. I'd guess that the oil tends to carry any fine steel particles and keeps it from embedding. Iron oxide based abrasives is a worry though, as it will embed and cause problems. Finer particles I guess.

dfariswheel
December 19, 2006, 07:30 PM
03cobra456:

A good place to buy Scotchbrite pads is in automotive supply houses. They sell these for use in painting cars, and they carry more "grits" than most other places.

The green pads at the grocery store may be too coarse.

Steve Wynn
December 19, 2006, 08:34 PM
I'm with the majority here. NO STEEL WOOL on stainless steel. IT WILL EMBED ITSELF IN THE SS. They also make stainless steel steel wool. I think I bought it from Brownells.

Scotchbrite comes in several different grades. White is extremely fine, grey,red, green then black. Maybe others too.

Steve

Troutman
December 20, 2006, 04:12 AM
After you get the rust off and clean the firearm.
Take a look at

http://www.sentrysolutions.com/TufClothkew.shtml

Tuf Cloth is good to use if you carry 24/7. In areas of salt content use

http://www.sentrysolutions.com/MarineTufCloth.shtml

I use this on my scuba equipment after a dive. I rinse equipment off with fresh-water and let dry, then wipe with this cloth.

For cleaning of firearms, Hoppes #9 is inexpensive and works well. Lots of choices out their for cleaning products.

Jim Watson
December 20, 2006, 10:13 AM
If your stainless steel is so soft that steel wool imbeds in it (Or is it being sucked into the pores that hold the RocketScienceUberNinjaLube?) I think you have a very inferior grade of stainless steel.

HGUNHNTR
December 20, 2006, 11:29 AM
HiTech, stainless steel in guns still contains iron, just put a magnet to it and that is confirmed. Stainless just means it will "stain---less"

brickeyee
December 21, 2006, 05:39 PM
"If your stainless steel is so soft that steel wool imbeds in it (Or is it being sucked into the pores that hold the RocketScienceUberNinjaLube?) I think you have a very inferior grade of stainless steel."

See those nice little scratches in the 'brushed finish'?
You will run carbon steel from the steel wool into them.
It has nothing to do with the grade of stainless. It has to do withthe softness of the steel wool and the hardness of the stainless.
Steel wool is pretty soft stuff. It will 'smear' onto the surface and stick.

Certain grades of stainless can be made non-magnetic, but it depends on the exact crystal structure of the steel.

.45FMJoe
December 21, 2006, 05:57 PM
Bit confused here....you have rust on stainless steel? Stainless steel does not rust.


It's really "stain less" steel. It is not impervious, rather more resistant than regular carbon steel. But stainless still contains carbon steel and the carbon is what rusts.

mete
December 21, 2006, 08:32 PM
This thread is getting funnier all the time !! I might as well through out my Metallurgy degree and start over !!!

Jim Watson
December 21, 2006, 09:08 PM
Steel wool is pretty soft stuff. It will 'smear' onto the surface and stick.

Well, I haven't seen that phenomenon. I steel wooled the rust off that SA with no apparent residue and no stains from retained wool. Nor on S&W revolvers with coke wooled off the cylinders.

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