How To Remove Rust From Your Gun

Feature | How to Remove Rust from Your Gun

Is your gun developing rust? You may be clueless as to how to bring back its pristine condition. Continue reading on to learn how to remove rust from your gun.

Tips on How to Remove Rust from a Firearm

No matter how well you store your firearms and what protective measures you take, chances are you’ll eventually run into that incessant scourge: rust!

But just because rust accumulates on your weapons doesn’t mean that the battle’s over. There are plenty of ways to remove rust from your gun and restore it to working condition.

Let’s go over the best ways to remove rust and how you can delay its onset over time.

What Is Rust and Why Should You Get Rid of It?

What Is Rust and Why Should You Get Rid of It? | How to Remove Rust from Your Gun

In short, rust is just an iron oxide that occurs whenever iron and oxygen are left in the presence of water and/or air moisture for too long.

Aside from in very dry environments, rust will accrue naturally on any iron-based metallic object because there’s always a little bit of ambient humidity in the air.

Over time, it can be very bad for your gun because it can break down and change the metal of your firearm to iron oxide.

It literally forms tiny bubbles or spots on the finish that will eventually gouge out larger chunks of your weapon.

Eventually, the entire firearm can turn to rust and be rendered useless. Granted, this would take quite a long time, but it’s still important to take care of rust as soon as you see it.

The Best Way to Remove Rust


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These days, there are all kinds of fancier chemicals and machines that can ostensibly get rid of rust for you.

But the best way to handle rust on your firearms has stayed the same for a long time: use oil and steel wool.

Regular gun oil, or even oil like WD-40, are fine choices.

You can combine these with a steel wool tool and eliminate most rust on your firearms without using too much strength.

Apply the oil evenly over the surface of your firearm and give it a few times over with the steel wool.

Steel wool is great because it’s tough enough to scrape off any rust that might have built up over the surface of your weapon’s metal parts.

Yet, it’s not so strong that it’ll ruin the finish of your firearm or otherwise scratch its metallic surface.

Brass wool is an especially good choice if you’re concerned about scrapes anyway, as brass is softer than any gunmetal and isn’t capable of damaging a firearm’s surface.

Doing this is pretty quick and easy as it doesn’t matter what technique you use. Just go over the metal until all the rust is gone.

However, if you’ve noticed that your gun has real damage from rust – this can be seen if the rust is eating the base metal and hasn’t just chewed through the finish.

You’ll likely need to take the weapon to a gunsmith for more intense repairs.

Additionally, keep an eye out for any rust spots that have moisture trapped. These may require you to use more brass tools for removal.

Better to Prevent Rust from Accruing in the First Place

Better to Prevent Rust from Accruing in the First Place | How to Remove Rust from Your Gun

Remember, it’s always a smarter idea to stop rust from affecting your firearms in the first place than it is to clean them periodically.

To do this, it’s always a good idea to coat your weapons in protective oil or paint. Good oil can protect your exposed metal from rust over the long-term.

Furthermore, you can store your weapons in dry and cool environments where ambient moisture isn’t that much of a threat.

This won’t eliminate rust entirely, but it will mean that you don’t need to clean your firearms of rust as frequently.

In our book, having to remove rust once in a while is far and away better than doing it every month!

Do you have experience in removing rust from a gun? Please share with us how you went about it in the comments section!

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233 Responses to :
How To Remove Rust From Your Gun

  1. Jane Hawkins says:

    Ok. I read your article and was a little encouraged! I just discovered a gun my Dad gave me before he passed and it’s pitted with rust! I will follow through with your cleaning instructions, but I have a question … would it be beneficial to coat it with petroleum jelly before I “put it away” for another ten years. Thanks for taking the time to deal with my question. J

    1. Matt H says:

      Cosmoline is the classic long-term storage coating for guns. Gun grease works great as well.

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