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Keeping rust out of minor pitting

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by monotonous_iterancy, Apr 16, 2013.

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  1. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    I've decided that this week I'm going to deal with my rusty SKS once and for all. I've tried (and mentioned here before) to get rid of all of it, but it's never entirely taken. So I'm pulling out all the stops. Steel wool, oil, brass scraping for tough stuff.

    But how do you keep rust from reappearing in small pits? I'm thinking about getting a RIG rag or grease and filling them with it.
     
  2. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Bag the steel wool.

    Are you stripping all the way? Use emery paper - finer and finer as required.

    Very important is CLEANING. Clean with near boiling hot water and Simple Green, rinse with boiling water. Dry very well and oil with a GOOD oil.
     
  3. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    By stripping, do you mean stripping the bluing or the rust? I'd like to keep as much original finish as possible, I don't mind some character. It's not caked on rust, at this point it's just annoying. I'd like to keep this rifle for the rest of my life.

    Does boiling remove the rust? Does it weaken the steel?
     
  4. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    By stripping I meant to bare metal. Now I see that's NOT where you want to go.

    Stick with brass wool and oil. Get in the pits as much as you can, but if the steel is pitted it's already a bit late. Anyway, keep it up. THEN do the water cleaning. You need to get all the salts out of there. The boiling doesn't remove rust and it will not weaken the steel at all. The reason the rust returns to the pits is because of salts/sweaty corrosive junk that only HOT water will remove. Simple Green helps clean that and the oil residue.
     
  5. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Also find a guy in your area that does blueing. YOU may be surprised at how much you will like your reblued gun.

    What gun are we talking about? Is is a true collectable? Never reblue a collectable, but if it's a shooter a nice reblue is something to behold.
     
  6. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    It's an older Norinco, one of the ones with a screw-in barrel. It was a birthday present for myself that I picked out at a gun show around the time of the first panic. Not knowing what I know now, I got this one, which came with an unreliable 30 round duckbill mag. I thought it was a model D, so I didn't mind it being a little banged up. It's actually a run of the mill Norinco, although one of the more desirable ones, so I've been told.

    Recently I replaced that junk mag with a factory 10 rounder. It shoots great now, and the bore is likewise. But I think that whoever had this before me didn't take very good care of it.

    I've thought about possibly having it re-blued someday, but I don't know how much it costs.
     
  7. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Ask around, most areas have a couple guys with bluing tanks. Talk to them and view their work. One guy blued a beater Camp 9 project gun for me. Charged ~$80 (as I recall) for the rifle if I brought it fully prepped. Totally new gun to me. Very nice.
     
  8. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Well, most of the finish on mine is still there. But it's nice to know that it doesn't cost much to refinish it. I've seen a newer Norinco with shinier bluing than mine.

    I actually got a lot of rust off once with #3 wool. It was the first time I ever tried de-rusting anything, and most of it came right off. Though it was probably too course. Now I use 0000 and get frustrated at the lack of results, and the shavings that it leaves behind. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
     
  9. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Problem with steel wool is exactly that. Iron left behind adds to rust problem.
     
  10. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Does that mean that the solution is bronze wool? That leaves behind things too. With steel, so long as I wipe the shavings off I'm fine, right?
     
  11. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Hard to tell how bad it is. When I hear the word "pits" I think bad. You say it keeps coming back - that worries me. You need to clean it with something that will dissolve and remove all the salts - even MPro 7 will help.

    Try some bronze wool. It won't scratch the bluing and the stuff left behind won't rust!

    Steel wool (#0000) will work, just clean it really well when done.
     
  12. natman

    natman Member

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    Gentle rubbing with 0000 steel wool with light oil.

    Once you get the old rust off, keep it from coming back with Breakfree COLLECTOR oil.
     
  13. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

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    +1 for steel wool and kroil. The oil will lift the small metal particles away from the surface as you work the rust off.
     
  14. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    Tear it down completely, thoroughly degrease all parts, bead blast all the old finish and rust away until you have new metal with a matte look to it, degrease it a couple more times, then PARKERIZE it all, soak all the parts in oil and re-assemble. Excellent rust-resistance and a much heavier-duty finish than bluing. Just my opinion-YMMV.
     
  15. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    I've never tried kroil.

    If I were to have it re-blued, would it look "natural"? What kind of bluing did they use on these?

    ^ I've heard that parkerizing can fill in small pits, and I have some barely noticeable ones on mine. Wouldn't it make the letterings and markings unreadable though? Is it cost effective?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  16. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    How are you storing it? Well ventilated with a little heat?
    Rust is a disease. Once infected you will have to work hard to prevent a relapse.
     
  17. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    It's in a metal gun cabinet containing a dessicant pack, in a gun sock, as are my other firearms. This rifle already had rust on it before I started doing that.

    Is it possible that the cabinet resting against an exterior wall could be causing moisture build up?
     
  18. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Moisture and salts/corrosives are the enemy. I keep saying over and over, no matter what what decision is made, the rust won't stop until the junk is washed away. In most cases only water based cleaners will do this once in place. Once really clean, then oil. But oil won't get the junk out of existing rust pits.

    I live in a very wet place, I know how to battle this stuff.
     
  19. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    Desiccant packs always become less effective over time and eventually stop working completely. It needs ventilation and a little heat. All air has some moisture. The trick is to prevent that moisture from condensing on the cold steel as the temp/humidity change. Air circulation and slightly elevated temp are tactics to prevent moisture build up.
    I wouldn't use the gun sock. Instead use a Goldenrod or an incandescent bulb inside the cabinet. By keeping the air inside slightly warmer than outside the cabinet, warm/moist air is forced out of the cabinet and prevents condensation. A constant drying effect. Regardless of the actual temp/humidity.
     
  20. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Before a reblue job, I would just sell it and buy a nicer one.
     
  21. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Definitely RIG

    Getting back to one of your original questions, RIG is one of the best at protecting from rust. Most of the guys I know who exhibit at gun shows (and still allow people to handle them) use it on their nice weapons & never have a problem. Another good one that you can spray on is Birchwood Casey's Sheath, which I think has been renamed Barricade. Honestly, I left a dozen or more guns in an un-air conditioned house in Alabama for over a year while I was in Korea, wrapped in mover's kraft pads in a gun safe, all sprayed liberally with good ol' WD-40, which I allowed to dry on the metal before wrapping. Not a single spot of rust when I got back - so when people go off about how crappy it is, I just smile & spray some more. Not to say it is the best by any means, but it's not as bad as some would have you believe ;)
     
  22. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Why so? Wouldn't it cost less to have it refinished than buy a whole new gun?

    Some of the things that keep me from buying a newer Norinco is that mine has a screw-in barrel, as opposed to pinned, so are the newer ones of better construction? Are they both as accurate (as much as an SKS can be)?

    Also, it might be trivial, but I like that mine has darker wood. I like darker wood.

    If I found a Russian, then none of that would matter, but they seem to be fairly difficult to find.
     
  23. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    A good blue job is gonna run about $200 bucks. You should be able to upgrade for equal or less money and end up with a nicer original just like what you have.
     
  24. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    I didn't know it was that expensive. I'll definitely consider it.

    Should I also look at Albanian and Romanian ones too? I don't know much about non-Chinese, non-Russian SKS'. I know that Yugoslavians don't have a chrome lined barrel, which is a must have for me.
     
  25. Lucifer_Sam

    Lucifer_Sam Member

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    Well, since its prone to rust, and you're not that concerned about appearance, you could just do a quick and dirty rust bluing, or just rust blue that areas that are problematic. Degrease as well as you can, apply the solution, let it rust, than steam it over boiling water and card. It looks a bit different than normal rust blue when you steam (at least when I did it), but not bad. After a few repetitions wax it. It would be good practice if you're interested in doing a good rust blue job in the future, too.
     
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