How to Remove Rust from a Gun & Stop Corrosion

Keeping guns in good condition can be difficult. When they are rusty, they are dangerous and need to be treated with care. We’ll talk about different methods of removing rust from your guns and preventing it altogether. Let’s keep reading to learn more!

Remove Rust Using a Steel Wool

Gritty materials can do a number on the surface of guns; handling them incorrectly can make the firearms lose their formerly beautiful sheen. Steel wool pads are great for removing rust, as they are soft and easy to clean surfaces with.

In addition to your steel wool, you will also need lubricant. Any kind of oil will do; for instance a 3-in-1 type that is readily available. Additionally, collect some disposable paper towels or an old newspaper for cleaning up afterward. Now, let’s get started.

  • Find a workable environment free of clutter where you can focus on the task at hand. If need be, wipe down surfaces with paper towels or napkins before handling weapons.
  • With the tip of the gun aimed downward, carefully place it on a steady surface so that there is no chance for the motion to disrupt what you are doing.
  • Next, grab the oil and apply it to all of the rusty parts on the gun. You don’t want to use too much or your work will be ruined.
  • The steel wool makes for a great abrasive material to use when removing rust from metal surfaces. Rubbing the surface slowly without applying too much pressure will be enough to clean off most of the rust without damaging the object itself. It is important not to apply too much force while cleaning because this could destroy what you are trying to preserve.
  • Make sure to spray the steel wool with gun cleaner before rubbing it over the rusted area. Next, get some napkins and clean up all of the residue left behind by the process.

If you happen to notice that the rust is still there after scrubbing it twice, try repeating the process one or two more times. Eventually it will come off for sure.



Preparations before the Maintenance

It is important that before working on any gun – you make sure to unload the weapon first. You may think this has been done but there are many things that could go wrong if you don’t double-check each time. Your main priority should be safety, so don’t take it for granted.

Dealing with Heavy Rust? Perhaps a Dremel is Your Solution!

In this next step, we’ll go over how to treat firearms when they’ve been exposed to excessive amounts of rust. The process is a bit more expensive since it requires the use of a power tool and several accessories; but it will save you time in the long run so if you plan on cleaning your firearm often this is going to be worth it. You’ll want to purchase a Dremel or other rotary brush accessory.

The Dremel is a versatile, rotary tool that operates with small abrasive wheels designed to fight off rust over various surfaces. The efficient little wheels are made of silicon carbide and can tackle many other projects as well- such as removing trigger serrations or giving an edge its rounded shape.

CRATEX offers many different kinds of these high-quality abrasive wheels, available for purchase through their website. Take care when using your tools to clean off rust from the barrel of the gun – this process is easy with a Dremel.

  • Remove any dust or dirt on the gun’s surface by gently rubbing it with a dry cloth.
  • Find a comfortable place to work at home or outside of the house without being interrupted when maintaining your guns.
  • First, start up the Dremel and move it across the rust. Pour oil if needed
  • After each pass, rub the gun down with a damp towel or rag to remove leftover rust particles from it. Take note of how much rust remains on your firearm so you can ensure complete coverage.

That will do for now. You can repeat this process again if necessary to remove all traces of rust. Finally, follow up with a clean, dry cloth to give your metal item the perfect finish.

How to Prevent Rust on the Gun

The best course of action is to be safe rather than sorry. This is why prevention and maintenance are your best bets for keeping your guns in good condition. Here are some tips that will help you prevent rust from happening before it starts to show.

Wipe the Gun Using a Dry Cloth

It is common knowledge that water, specifical moisture in its liquid form, can cause the rusted metal to degrade over time. One way to prevent this from happening – and ensure the longevity of your metal object – is to make sure there are no traces of humidity before it causes too much damage. To do so, all you need is a dry cloth (or paper towel) and a few minutes!

To reduce the risk of getting rust on your guns, use a clean piece of cloth to absorb all remaining moisture from each gun. Once it’s dry, store the weapon in a cool and dry area, such as inside an airtight container with silica gel packs or dehumidifiers included.

Regular maintenance such as oiling a few times a year and wiping down the metal parts of your gun every other week should keep it well lubricated, so that even if exposed to moisture, the steel doesn’t rust.

Where to Store the Gun

It should be noted that the best storage option would be in a cool, dry environment. This is according to National Rifle Association regulations that call for firearms to be stored at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or below with 50-55% humidity in the air.

Of course, not every person has the luxury of storing guns in such a specific location. To make up for this deficit, it is important to store them in the dryest possible place available for as long as possible.

Avoid storing firearms in an attic or garage. Cases are also bad for long-term storage because they are susceptible to trapping moisture, which increases the likelihood of gun parts becoming rusty over time.


You may notice that there are many different ways to take care of your firearms depending on what you’re willing to do. You don’t have to spend a lot of money if you use other means of removing rust from your gun.

Several of these methods have just been discussed. If none work for you, don’t be discouraged – keep trying until you’ve found the perfect solution! Maintaining your gun so it can run smoothly is crucial to avoiding failures or worst case scenario – an accident.

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