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Can stainless steel guns still rust?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by stzd8, Jan 26, 2005.

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  1. stzd8

    stzd8 Member

    Nov 7, 2004
    I know its a silly question, but I had a Beretta 92 stainless. Even though I kept it up to cleanness I sometimes I would see like 'spots' of something that I need to rub off really hard.

    And since I am in a highly humid area currently, Panama (Panama city) I was wondering what else can I do to prevent little spots here and there. It may not be rust but I know is not like liquid spots neither, since it sometimes is so hard to rub off that I may need to scratch it off.
  2. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

    Oct 28, 2004
    Rocky Mount, NC, USA
    Yes, all steel rusts. Some just do it less than others (hence stainLESS).

    you should always leave a light coat of oil on the gun.
    If you don't like having oil on the gun then try Sentry Solutions Tuff-cloth or Tuff-Glide (same thing, but tuff cloth comes on a cloth).
    It wipes onto the steel and dries leaving a tiny bit of stuff for lube and protection.
  3. seed

    seed Member

    Jul 14, 2004
    Yes, stainless can rust. But you can protect it very easily. Definitely do a search on this and other forums on rust, corrosion, lubricants, etc. A couple of years ago, I did and it paid off. I learned A LOT. There is a test posted all over the place where someone did an unofficial experiment with different products. It didn't have every protectant/lube available on the market, but it did have a lot. It concluded that for protection, Eezox was the best.

    Then I did a little experiment of my own, imitating the original, only I used little steel strips and used some of the same products as in the original, and then also included a few more products not tested in the original. I found that indeed Eezox was a superb protectant, but so was Corrosion X and a little surprisingly, FP-10. Break-free was just a short step below these products. I was surprised that FP-10 was so good, because it was so much less toxic than any of the other products. I somehow found it hard to believe it would outperform so many others and hold its own with the other two already mentioned...but it did.

    The Sentry products were a big disappointment. They fell far short of the mark. And just for the hell of it, I did some strips with the moly products they sell. I knew they were not protectants, but I wanted to see what would happen to them. Well, the strips treated with the moly seemed to corrode faster and to a worse degree than the untreated control strips. BUT, strangely the strips which were treated with the Sentry moly products and then coated with different protectant products actually resisted corrosion very well. It was as if the moly acted like a sponge and highly absorbed either the salt water and corroded at an accelerated rate, or the protectant which added to the displacement of the salt solution.

    Now, I cannot attest to how well these products hold up in terms of staying on the metal and not rubbing off, especially dry, but I can tell you that generally I use the FP-10 for my guns because it is an excellent lube (and protectant) and is pretty non-toxic...it has no solvent. For my pocket knife, I used Eezox, which I let stand on it over-night before I rubbed off the residual. No rust problems, although my sweat is not cursed like that of many unfortunates. But I would have no problem using Corrosion X in its place.

    One final note: long after my little experiment I purchased some Renaissance wax and tried it on my brother's Makarov, which is the only blued pistol between us. I was curious if the wax would hold up better than the liquid protectants. I haven't run any experiments on it, nor do I plan to, but his Mak is holding up just fine.
  4. stans

    stans Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    central Virginia
    Yep, stainless guns will rust, just takes more effort. They will turn orange, but generally will not pit and that is the big difference with carbon steel. A wipe down with Breakfree CLP works well on stainless, but I think a good wax coating would work.
  5. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    Wayne, Mi
    yep they fo thats why its called Stain less not rustless
  6. outofbattery

    outofbattery Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Then why do the Germans call it " rostfrei " "rustfree" ? :neener:

    Yes , obviously it will : some grades oxidize more readily than others .
  7. mete

    mete Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    rostfrei or inox or stainless steel mean the same.Various steels are used in guns and they may have various heat treatments, each has an effect on rust resistance . In addition if the gun is machined ,ground, plolished on equipment used for carbon steel ,the stainless can pick up bits of carbon steel on the surface which will rust and continue to rust into the stainless.Stainless stell is also supposed to have 'passivation' treatment which cleans the surface and builds up an oxide layer which is protective.Sometimes they forget!!
  8. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    mete -

    Thanks for a great explanation.

    Same reasons why I no longer suggest to folks to use 0000 steel wool many times, instead the finest grit of Scotchbrite pad. If the steel wool is NOT properly removed - the left over bits rust. Example, cleaning a shotgun chamber, with wisps of 0000 on a brush.

    Same principle with Platinum. Separate bench and tools. Plat. would become contaiminated if a tool used for gold was used on it.

    For my SS guns:

    -RIG ( Rust inhibiting grease) - for CCW or Storage - Always for long term storage.
    - A Good Carnuba car wax ( I use Mother's [tm] brand)-for CCW , display, or short time storage.
  9. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Lakewood, CO
    Within a month of moving from Colorado (dry) to Virginia (wet as all hell), ALL my stainless guns had acquired rust. *&^%!
  10. NMshooter

    NMshooter Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Flitz is wonderful stuff.
  11. DBR

    DBR Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Different stainless alloys have very different resistance to corrosion. Unfortunately, the alloys commonly used for firearms are usually not among the most corrosion resistant.

    Electropolishing greatly improves the corrosion resistance of common stainless alloys by removing some of the iron atoms from the surface but it leaves a very shinny surface. Marine hardware is commonly electropolished.

    The shinny surface probably could be dulled down with judicious use of abrasive blasting provided the media contained no iron. Steel wool or any other iron containing product should never be used on SS.

    Eezox is probably the best generally available protectant because it is about 35% heavier than water so it doesn't get floated off the surface by sweat or condensation. Also Eezox does not continue to vaporize noticeably after the solvent is gone. In other words, it stays put. It is a very good semidry lubricant if you follow the directions.
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