active vs. inactive rust


April 5, 2013, 06:05 PM
I've been noticing mild rust on a gun, and I'm wondering what the issue is. When i say mild, I mean that you can only see most of it under a flashlight. If you have to use a bright light to see it, is that inactive rust? I've always read to remove "active rust" with steel wool.

Also, these guns are stored in silicone treated gun socks, so I'm not sure how moisture could condense to form any sort of rust. Is it possible that this is just old rust re-appearing?

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April 5, 2013, 06:22 PM
Get a sheep skin pad and work some RIG into the wool, then wipe down your guns before putting them into the sock.

April 5, 2013, 06:38 PM
I'd never thought of that. Usually I sprayed it with rem-oil and wiped it down with a microfiber cloth. I've never used RIG grease. Is it thick like cosmoline, or is it more of a polishing agent you don't have to actively remove when you use the gun?

April 6, 2013, 03:53 AM
As far as I'm concerned rust is rust and it should be removed ASAP and then prevented thereafter.

RIG is an excellent rust preventer, but you won't want to have it on the gun when you're out in the field. Try Breakfree Collector ( It's an excellent rust preventing oil that you could leave on the gun.

April 6, 2013, 12:09 PM
Breakfree CLP works very well.

Put a relatively heavy coat on, wipe it around to get 100% coverage, let it sit a few minutes, wipe lightly to remove excess.

You have to cover EVERYTHING at least the first time.

April 6, 2013, 12:45 PM
Bluing is rust.

It's possible when you say you can only see it in bright light, that could just mean the bluing is thinning and starting to turn brown.

R.I.G. grease is about the same consistency as Vaseline, and is odorless.
No need to remove it before use.
And you don't put enough on the gun to get it on your clothes or anything.

I have used RIG and a RIG-RAG applicator on an extensive gun collection for close to 50 years.
It just flat out works!


Jolly Rogers
April 9, 2013, 06:10 AM

April 9, 2013, 08:06 AM
there is no "inactive" rust, Rust never sleeps!
all you can do is slow it down, or completely remove it back to bare metal

April 9, 2013, 01:52 PM
a silicone impregnated sock can hold moisture if it gets too damp. I am not sure what the life span is on one of those things but I cant imagine they are effective for ever. Also there is rust caused by surface contaminants. A gun sock will not protect against sweat, food particles, stray electrical current. acidic vapors in the area or incompatible cleaning products.

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