Collectable guns and rust

Something I am curious about…

I’d like to know what collectors do with rusty guns. I am talking specifically about old milsurps that are rusty. Any other gun probably benefits from full restoration, but collectors and their original milsurp state is a different matter.

I’ve seen a nice video, that included boiling the gun… This brings out some of the old bluing and prevents further rust from forming, basically preserves the gun. That said, I don’t think most people do that.

So, let’s say you got some old milsurp, unique and rare and rusty - what do you do? Looking at you @no1mk3.

Regardless what, oil or not, unless rust is removed, rust colonies will continue to grow, so my question is, do you just live with it or do you do something about it; and what?

Rust is metal cancer, none is good, even a tiny bit is bad. For the sake of longevity, take the hit on loss of material and remove any and all rust. I use gun oil and Brillo pad for light rust, 0000 and oil for heavier. Heavier tools again if it’s bad, but then if it’s that bad the gun is probably rooted anyway.

110% agree with you @Supaduke. However, my question was a bit broader. Not so much the ‘how’, but more ‘do or do not’. But I know some people won’t. So I am intrigued.

Do people hold on to rusty stuff or take a hit and actually clean it up?

Check this out. Right up your alley.

You have no idea, @Gwion. There are a few of those videos, I posted links to all of them somewhere here, in the past…

I actually emailed these (very awesome) guys and asked if they could send me some of that magical bluing solution. I got a reply, no, sorry, has acid and cannot be sent in mail. But, “I taught a guy in AU how to make it, he does it, it’s same, works, tested, etc. Maybe get in touch see what happens.” And gave me guy’s email address.

So I emailed that guy, and what do you know - it’s a tiny connected world. They guy was kind enough to mix me some solution (enough for the rest of my life) and close enough to meet me at Lt. River and drop it off. :smiley: So yeah, right up my alley. It’s project number #4 on my to do list :wink: Slowly getting to it.

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Cool. You can do a couple for me, then. :joy::+1:

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G’day juststarting,
The accepted thought among most collectors is to stop, and permanently neutralize any active rust to prevent further deterioration. We never “restore”, unless an item is in serious “cancer” condition and even then it should be a matter of keeping the piece together rather than letting it die away. If rust is not active, I will leave it as is, but if there is a risk that it is still working beneath the surface, light oil and a copper coin, or stainless steel wool and a bit of care can remove it without seriously affecting original finish though you may lose some patina which can lose some value, Cheers.