Removing rusty finger prints from 1861 Springfield


May 7, 2012, 11:58 PM
I was showing my friend my new 1861 Armisport Springfield rifle. However, I forgot to wipe the barrel down after the handled it. That was two week's ago. Now I have rusty fingerprints on my barrel. What is the best way to remove these fingerprints from my rifle barrel? With no blueing on the rifle; I will have to oil the barrel down each time. Thanks for your response.

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4v50 Gary
May 8, 2012, 01:51 AM
Polish it like the soldiers did. I would use Fitz polish.

May 8, 2012, 04:21 AM
scotch brite saturated in gun oil or wd 40 will remove rusty finger prints don't use it on any polished brass or metal.

you can get a buffing wheel and make that bad boy shine like a piece of chrome but you will still need to keep it well lubed to keep it from rusting.

May 8, 2012, 01:49 PM
What about using Never Dull on 1861 Springfield barrel?

May 8, 2012, 02:45 PM
I would start with oil or wd_40 on a cloth and rub vigorously. I would not use anything abrasive unless there was no other resort.

May 8, 2012, 08:07 PM
Try the WD-40 first with a cloth the a on a scotch brite pad.

May 8, 2012, 08:37 PM
WD-40 on 0000 steel wool is the only way to go.

May 8, 2012, 08:52 PM
Actually, 0000 steel wool washed in an oil solvent (WD-40 is an option) and then thoroughly dried is best. The steel wool will remove rust flakes just fine, and won't harm the finish. However, using a solvent in conjunction with the steel wool will result in fine scratches. Rust particles are abrasive, and using a solvent will retain the particles the wool breaks off in suspension, thus creating an abrasive fluid. Just keep the wool dry and frequently blow the rust particles out.

4v50 Gary
May 8, 2012, 09:44 PM
BTW, if the gun is not going to be fired, treat the metal with RIG gun grease or better yet, Rennaisance Wax. Coat and buff in. No more worries about rust.

May 8, 2012, 10:36 PM
Steel wool is not the best thing to use IMO you might get away with using steel wool on steel but never and I mean never under any circumstances use steel wool on stainless steel because it will cause SS to rust like hell and steel wool will remove bluing.
you would be better off using a small stainless steel wire brush.
as I mentioned in an earlier post use scotch brite scotch brite is an abrasive but does not dig in the metal like steel wool will.
you would be better off using fine wet sanding paper than steel wool or a wire brush
and don't use water when using wet sanding paper use gun oil.
don't use powder solvent because it will dissolve the adhesives in the paper.

we use sand paper to fine sand gun barrels receivers etc. and stocks before and during finishing process.

there is a process in auto body work that applies to finishing fire arms when painting which is called color sanding I follow the same procedure

May 8, 2012, 10:43 PM
BTW, if the gun is not going to be fired, treat the metal with RIG gun grease or better yet, Rennaisance Wax. Coat and buff in. No more worries about rust
Absolutley very good advice!
or cosmoline caked all over it is better than nothing. there is a reason that surplus rifles are caked with the crap because seawater cant even touch the stuff.
the thing about gun oil in time it will wear off and oxidization can take place, gun grease or rennasance wax dont wear off very easy

May 8, 2012, 10:59 PM
jewelers rouge

a very fine abrasive(as fine as I have ever used)

good luck

May 8, 2012, 11:46 PM
jewelers rouge and a cleaning rag will work in a pinch for sure
jewelers rouge and a buffing wheel makes fer purdy and shiny:D

then again there is buffing compound that is a little easier to apply than jewelers rouge, pretty much jewelers rouge in liquid form:cool:

Fingers McGee
May 9, 2012, 12:05 PM
IMNSHO, RB 17 and 0000 steel wool is the best method for removing rust on any surface. It will not damage blued parts.

May 9, 2012, 02:02 PM
Since I gather the barrel on this Springfield is in the white the rust stains will have etched lightly into the metal. You're simply going to have to remove the rust along with a little of the metal around the rust mark to get it back to the original finish. How deep this goes will depend on the level of patina on the barrel already. If the metal is darker grey then some minor blending may be enough to remove the rusty finger marks well enough. If it's a silvery looking finish then you'll need to get a little more aggresive.

Unfortunetly this means using some sort of abrasive. Which you choose will depend on the surface sheen the barrel has at present. There's a wide universe of options between a mirror like finish and a coarse brushed finish. You'll want to first experiment with your choice along the belly of the barrel where it's hidden by the stock to find which of all the options mentioned so far results in the best match of finish texture.

To you folks saying that steel wool is bad I'd contest that. The steel of the barrel would need to be pretty darn soft for it to cause any serious cutting action on anything but the softer bonded on rust particles. The stuff I get from the paint departments has been used for "carding" blued and browned guns by me to repair small rust spots by cutting away the raised bits and the oil used darkens the spots to blend into the blueing well. This use did not in any way scratch or remove the blueing. As for using it dry to avoid "carrying an abrasive slurry" I can see that. But it would really only be an issue on a mirror finish sort of texture. And so much will depend on the level of surface texture that the OP is trying to match as to any issue of the wool or anything else scratching the finish.

DavidB2, if you keep your guns oiled with a decent gun oil simply handling them the one time should really not have resulted in rust so quickly. I've got any number of "in the white" steel tooling and bits of stuff around my shop that I've made up over the years. They don't rust as easily as you've encountered. I'd suspect that the cabinet or safe you're keeping the guns in may have some humidity issues for the finger marks to appear so easily. You may want to look into some sort of in cabinet heater such as the Goldenrod or similar to warm the insides and raise the dewpoint of the air in the cabinet.

May 9, 2012, 09:34 PM
As i said that it would be ok to use on carbon based metal but will cause stainless to rust period it don't matter how little cutting action the steel wool cuts in if you don't believe me then try it on a piece of stainless
I am a Master welder metal fabricator for 30 years and have a pretty good background on metallurgical properties and alloys and owned and operated my own racing chassis shop which requires pretty extensive knowlege of many diffrent types of metals so I am not just talking out the side of my neck:rolleyes:

any one who would recomend using steel wool on a stainless fire arm is giving out bad information.

May 11, 2012, 02:47 PM
The most amazing thing I have learned about cleaning gun finishes is a product called Scrub Budz .
I am not certain about that spelling, you can look it up on eBay and get it right. It is an Amway branded product.
As to what it is, I amsure you have seen & heard about Chore Boy scrubbing pads which are made out of copper.
Scrub Budz are the same sort of stuff but made of stainless steel. They are much coarser than any steel wool you are accustomed to I'm certain.
Now the majic part. These scrubber pads must ONLY be used dry on a blued firearm, and when used as described there will be absolutely no damage to the blueing on the firearm. Positively amazing.
Now how it will work for the OP's problem of rusty fingerprinting on a gun with barely any finish, I don't know.
I have also found that the RB17 product is a superb rust removing product that when used with an appropriate abrasive media, removes even scaly rust deposits without affecting the surrounding areas.
I also like the rubberised abrasive scrubbing blocks available in several differing grades of abrasive. Again, these must be used dry, but can remove oxidation from many types of metals without abrading the base metal to any appreciable degree.

May 12, 2012, 12:51 AM
You could always use a combination of brick dust, ash, olive oil or peanut oil like the old fellas did.

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