How to clean rusty barrel?


October 15, 2009, 10:37 AM
Hi, I inherited a Ruger No1 and the barrel is rusty. What is the best way to clean this? It is a very nice rifle otherwise. I tried to take pics but they didn't show enough to bother posting. I don't want to use anything too abrasive and cause further damage. thanks.

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October 15, 2009, 10:43 AM
inside outside or both?

October 15, 2009, 10:46 AM
Sorry, Only inside, like it was used with corrosive ammo and never cleaned.

October 15, 2009, 10:51 AM
If it's only inside then I would try letting it soak with a bore paste for 30 minutes and then a good brushing followed by patches run through with a good jag. Use a bore light and see where you are at that point. If it is from never cleaning after using corrosive ammo the barrel may be pitted bad enough that at this point you will see your better of re barreling it.

Edit: this is what I would do, you may want to wait for some more knowledgeable folks to answer.

October 15, 2009, 11:09 AM
I'd use navel jelly, but probably because that's what I have on hand.

jay gatz
October 15, 2009, 11:17 AM
It really depends how rusty it is. When I pulled my grandfather's ariska out of the closet where it had sat for about 16 years since he passed, all I did was run the bore brush down twice, and then cleaner soaked patches until they came out clean. It took a while but the rust came right out without damaging accuracy at all. This was pretty minimal rust, mostly surface from sitting so long without oil or anything in there to preserve it.

October 15, 2009, 11:34 AM
See how it shoots first. If it is reasonably accurate, I'd probably just put a nice thick layer of Kroil in it, let it sit for a while, and use a brass brush to work on it, followed by Hoppes No. 9 and patches, more kroil (etc....), and store with light layer of oil.

But like someone else said, people with more know-how will chime in.....

October 15, 2009, 11:44 AM
I was wondering if I could shoot it out first. I would use lightly loaded lead rounds first. I didn't really know if there would be pressure issues. Any thoughts? It is in .45-70 if anyone cares.

October 15, 2009, 12:34 PM
That would depend on the the amount of rust in there. If it's just a light layer, I'd probably shoot it. I guess it depends on how much that bore has rusted. Wouldn't hurt to have a Smith take a quick look at it and give you his opinion.

October 15, 2009, 12:46 PM
Saturate the bore with Kroil and let it soak for an hour or so. Then run a few Kroil staurated patches to get out the loose stuff. Saturate again and after another hour run a bronze or brass brush through the bore and follow with Kroil patches until they come out to your satisfaction. Kroil is a super penetrating oil that will get under anything that is in the bore including lead and copper. It will be a bit time consuming but well worth the effort. I have used Kroil for many years and swear by it.

October 15, 2009, 12:55 PM
Most likely, since there is no corrosive primed 45-70 ammo made anymore, and hasn't been for at least 60 years, someone shot it with black powder loads and didn't clean it.

First, never, ever use navel jelly on a rifle barrel!!!

I would concur with the Kroil advice.

But if it was me, I would just clean the snot out of it with a bronze brush and Hoppes #9, followed by another good cleaning with JB Bore Paste.

That will take anything out that is going to come out.


October 15, 2009, 02:18 PM
rcmodel thanks for the tip on navel jelly

October 15, 2009, 03:30 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I'll give it a shot this weekend.

October 15, 2009, 07:20 PM
Just keep wiping it down with good gun oil periodically for a period of months the rust will disappear and leave the bluing. I have three old guns that look like new but where rusted when I got them.

October 15, 2009, 11:23 PM
That is for the outside. I hate to see people get in a hurry and steel wool all their blueing. It might work to let oil time to work on the inside, too. Always remember that alot of accuracy comes from the muzzle crown and that can be damaged cleaning.

October 16, 2009, 01:51 AM
I use Birchwood Casey Lead Remover & Polishing Cloth . . . it does an outstanding job and I use it regularly for removing rust, lead, copper, and other types of fouling. Just cut patch size pieces and work thru the barrel several times using a tight fitting jag. Here is what the package says:

"Brings back original luster. Quickly removes leading, burn rings, carbon residue including copper and plastic fouling, rust and tarnish. Excellent for stainless steel, nickel and most metal surfaces. Great for use on handguns, rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders. Can be cut to size for removing unwanted residue inside the chamber, cylinder, forcing cone, bore and choke. Cleans and polishes metal, wood, glass, plastic and porcelain surfaces – ideal for sporting equipment, home and auto use."

Costs about 5 bucks.

October 16, 2009, 01:54 AM
get foaming bore cleaner,wait 45 mins. use hoppes 9, with a brush and patches,then use some clp.

October 18, 2009, 09:39 AM
All rust questions depend on how much rust. I once cleaned a 30-06 barrel that had been fired with corrosive powder and never cleaned afterward. It had about a 1/16" layer of rust which would have been dangerous to shoot. I spent a long time with bronze brushes and oil to remove it. It was then pitted but safe to fire.
If your barrel is badly pitted it will collect lead and copper quickly and really should be replaced.Light rust is best cleaned of rust then polished with one of the bore compounds.

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