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Can a rusted/pitted gun ever look good again? Re-Blueing?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Orion8472, Mar 15, 2013.

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  1. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Can a rifle/gun that has surface rust and some pitting ever look good again, if refinished and re-blued? Is it a labor intensive thing to accomplish?
     
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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  3. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Wow!!! That's real 1911. Not a 1911 A1, so it was what pre 1918?


    Anyway on topic. I had good friend one that had a badly pitted rifle, mainly on the barrel. He filled the pitting with JB weld sanded it all down and rebuled and while I would not say it looked like new, I will say it dang good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  4. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Only if there is enough metal to polish out the pits.
     
  5. jamesbeat

    jamesbeat Member

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    Parkerizing can also help to disguse pitting to an extent.
    It doesn't fill the pits, but makes them a bit less visually obvious.

    There are methods to actually fill pitting involving copper plating too, I believe.
     
  6. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    'Good' or 'like new'?
    It will never look like new again, without spending as much on it as a new gun is worth.
    But good? I like rust and tarnish, to an extent. It's the sign of a workhorse.
     
  7. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    More and more I am personally inclined to leave things alone ~ but it's really an eye of the beholder thing. Metal lost is metal lost; I don't know that there is a gun product akin to Bondo,
     
  8. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    Neo - as Deep South mentioned, there is JB Weld, a steel-filled epoxy that can be troweled like Bondo and, once fully cured, drilled, sanded, etc., just like a piece of steel.

    Many years ago, I used it to patch a 6-7" crack in the lower block of a Toyota 4WD p/u. The crack was from the bottom of the block going up and curving to the back. It went too high and too far back for me to be able to fill the entire length. As a result, the block re-cracked due to excessive movement/vibration. It did cause the oil loss to slow to 1 quart in 500 miles instead of 1 in 100.
     
  9. jamesbeat

    jamesbeat Member

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    CoRoMo, thanks for that link, I had missed that thread the first time around, and it's one of the best I've ever read!
     
  10. Newcatwalt

    Newcatwalt Member

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    Thanks for the thread. This is first I heard of it and couldn't help watching the whole process. Amazing stuff....
     
  11. akv3g4n

    akv3g4n Member

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    Depending on the extent of the pitting, you may be able to bead blast it and refinish it with DuraCoat or AlumaHydeII. I've had pretty decent luck with AlumaHydeII out of an inexpensive Harbor Freight paint sprayer. It's a little thicker and can fill in some minor voids in the metal.

    Never used DuraCoat.
     
  12. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Here's the story. I took a chance on the word of a person on gunbroker [selling a 1957 Marlin 39a]. Pics weren't very good, but it didn't show the real truth about it. The guy claimed it was good, but there is rust [surface] on the barrel and receiver. The lever is the worst, but is one of those replaceable items, I'm sure. If it can be cleaned up, it will be decent. Wood is a good color and fairly sound. It is partly my fault for not asking some questions before bidding, . . . but for me, it is a common curtesy, and maybe even ethical, for a seller to divulge all information.

    It was gunbroker, so what I got is what I got. Lesson learned.

    Anyway, as per the OP, . . . most of it is surface rust that may be able to be removed. What IS the best way? Some oil and a brillo pad? What's the best method?
     
  13. shep854

    shep854 Member

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    As CoRoMo, illustrated, stippling or engraving can be your friend, if the people involved are good. Can modern finishes actually cover signs of filling and sanding? ETA: glancing over the thread again, I see the question was answered

    All that said, normal wear and use are signs of character in a gun; just be sure the corrosion has been stopped. My S&W 49 has some pitting, but to me, that's sign that it has been put to good use! Also, I'm not as concerned about hard use, if necessary (like that first ding in a new car). Care should not be compromised, though.
     
  14. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    JT Hunter : I hadn't thought about JB Weld for cosmetics- yeh, sure, I bet that would work on more than just car radiators~neat idea.


    Orion8472: for rust, use lots of oil and 0000 steel wool. If you go harsher, you'll be going too fast and risking marring any remaining blue. Resist the urge to use chemicals that desolve rust as they'll eat blue up too ~ as rust and blue are born of simliar chemical reactions.
     
  15. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    I wouldn't be too concerned if I had given about $200 less than I had [about what it would be worth], . . . but I have taken off the handguard and the major pitting seems to be just on the lever. The rust on the barrel appears mostly surface. The insides have a bit of rust coloring in there, so I'll have to see about that, too. Appears sound, though. Just need to find the best way to remove rust, prevent it from spreading, . . . and may see what my local gunsmith can do about re-blueing.

    Neo, thanks for the suggestion. I will give that a try. :)
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  17. shep854

    shep854 Member

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    Neo-Luddite: Wouldn't brass wool be better? Or are you suggesting steel wool since the finish is not an apparent consideration?
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    0000 Extra Fine steel wool & oil.
    I will not harm any remaining bluing.
    It is used by firearms refinishers to card hot salts bluing residue off a new finish.

    Brass wool doesn't work nearly as well.
    Plus, after you get part of the rust off with it, then you have to use copper solvent to get the brass off.

    See the link in post #16 for steel wool & oil results.

    rc
     
  19. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Thanks for moving this thread. I should have put it here to begin with! :eek:

    I did some 0000 steel wool and oil. I got most of the surface rust off, but a lot of the blueing is actually just gone on the top of the barrel around the rear site to just after the handguard. There is a bit of pitting on the left side of the receiver. The lever looks like something was gnawing on it.

    At this point, I am thinking that I may just put it back up on gunbroker and eat the loss. . . .being honest about it [as the original seller should have been]. Functionally, it is good and the bore [after cleaning] looks to be pretty shiney.
     
  20. shep854

    shep854 Member

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    Thanks, RCModel--I'm happy to learn! :)
     
  21. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    Go take a look at the examples at http://www.shootiniron.com/

    Mac does a great job and can bring good looks and utility back to a pitted weapon.

    I had him refinish an AK that had been exposed to melted desiccant which ate the finish off and rusted the heck out of it. It looks better than new and has held up for over 10 years now.
     
  22. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

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    I've resurrected three pistols that were rusty, pitted, etc... did one bead blast with a satin eggshell blue and did the other two - one with dura coat and one with gun kote. They all turned out nice; and still usefull...
     
  23. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    Sure. Just depends on how much money you are willing to spend. Check out the photo galleries here - http://www.gunsmithingonly.com/
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Then you would probably be money ahead to have it professionally re-blued rather then eat the loss by selling it on Gunbroker again.

    Actually a rusty 1957 39A that shoots & works right is a much better gun then a new one that looks nice.

    rc
     
  25. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Thanks, rc. That was the plan [to get an older one in good shape]. Just isn't this one, . . . unless I take it to a professional. Which is what I plan on doing tomorrow to see what it will run me to have it smoothed out and re-blued. If it doesn't cost too much, I'll have him do it, then enjoy it.

    Where can I get a different lever? Are there any slightly larger loop levers out there for it? Grizzly Customs has an awesome looking rifle with a larger loop.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
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