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Removing Bluing

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by MI2600, Mar 1, 2018.

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  1. MI2600

    MI2600 Member

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    I have a '92 Winchester that was reblued. Excellent job overall, however some parts were blued that shouldn't have been. In particular, the bolt locking bars and the hammer.

    Is there an easy way to remove the bluing?
     
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  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    The Birchwood Casey 3-pack Bluing kit includes a bottle of bluing remover. This can be found at nearly any gunshop, sporting goods store, or most Walmarts.
     
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  3. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    Naval jelly works too.
     
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  4. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Vinegar and some 0000 steel wool.
     
  5. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Muriatic Acid does it quick, but you would have to polish the parts afterwards.
     
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  6. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    We used a form of muriatic acid (swimming pool or toilet bowl cleaner). It stripped it muy pronto like entropy said but that's OK. It was a bluing class and we went straight to polishing.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have used Evapo Rust and Brownell's Steel White to remove rust, but they sure take off the blue. It is just smooth iron oxide, after all.
    Thing is, they did not leave nice clean bare metal you would want to put right back in the gun, they leave an uneven dingy gray surface. Figure on polishing. I was doing water damaged magazine bodies and didn't care about appearance I just wanted them usable.
     
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  9. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

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    If you do use the stronger acid types--muriatic is actually hydrochloric acid do so in areas of good ventilation either outside or under a vent hood. After Chemistry classes, I am a fraidey cat on some chemicals--strong acids rate up there on the fraidey scale. Also, make sure to have a neutralizing agent immediately at hand such as Baking soda and plenty of water to rinse. Use full safety equipment designed to resist acids and eye protection rated for bad chemicals.

    Evapo rust, Birchwood bluing remover, vinegar, even citric acid, etc. do the job without as much fuss and are safer to use. Make sure to degrease thoroughly before using removers for best results. Still use eye protection though at a minimum. Just learned from Jim W. about Steel White above so have no opinion on that one.
     
  10. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    NOTE: Evapo-Rust doesn’t taste good, keep mouth closed when using it.
     
  11. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    You sound like someone who knows from experience
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    IIRC, the early hammers were color case hardened, the later ones were like the '94, bright on the sides and blued on the top.

    Jim
     
  13. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    It’s a good thing that it’s a safe product. :barf:
     
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  14. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    vinegar takes about 2 hours, leaves metal in the same condition it was before, but with no bluing. I use it to parkerize.
     
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  15. Mr. Standfast

    Mr. Standfast Member

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    We have had plenty of good answers here. I'd use phosphoric acid, which more or less is naval jelly, after careful degreasing and cleaning. It is dirt that may produce a piebald effect. With the strong acids (and hydrochloric is less dangerous, concentration being equal, than nitric etc.), I would start with them so diluted as to do nothing visible, and increase by stages until it does.

    I have seen it said that hydrochloric acid leaves steel very prone to after-rusting. But I have found it not to, if the parts are boiled in a couple of changes of clean water, then oiled. Phosphoric leaves a very fine pearly texture, which blues or case-hardens very well, and looks right on an old gun. If you want bright steel, see what steel wool will do - maybe all you need - or some kind of fine abrasive paste on an old toothbrush or pencil eraser. You can buy your choice of abrasive powders for gemstone polishing from a lapidary dealer, or syringes of diamond paste on eBay at a remarkably low price for diamonds. It may be cubic zirconia, but it works.
     
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