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How to remove rust from gun without damaging bluing

Removing rust from a gun without damaging the bluing (the protective finish on the metal) requires careful and gentle cleaning. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Materials you will need:

  1. Gun oil or CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, and Protectant)

  2. Gun cleaning brushes (nylon or brass)

  3. Gun cleaning patches or cloths

  4. Bore snake or cleaning rod

  5. Bronze or nylon bore brush

  6. Solvent (specifically designed for firearms)

  7. Cotton swabs

  8. Soft, lint-free cloth

  9. Rust remover (optional, only for severe rust)


  1. Safety first: Ensure the gun is unloaded and follow all firearm safety procedures. Remove the magazine and check the chamber to make sure it's clear.

  2. Disassemble (if necessary): Depending on the location and extent of rust, you may need to disassemble the gun to access the affected areas. Refer to your firearm's manual for disassembly instructions.

  3. Apply gun oil or CLP: Generously apply gun oil or CLP to the rusted areas. This will help to loosen the rust and protect the bluing during cleaning.

  4. Let it soak: Allow the gun oil or CLP to sit on the rusted areas for 10-15 minutes. This will help to penetrate and soften the rust.

  5. Use a nylon or brass brush: Gently scrub the rusted areas with a nylon or brass gun cleaning brush. Brush in a circular motion and be gentle to avoid damaging the bluing. Do not use steel wool or abrasive materials.

  6. Use patches or cloths: Wipe off the loosened rust and excess oil using gun cleaning patches or cloths. Continue this process until the patches come out clean.

  7. Clean the bore: If rust is inside the barrel, use a bore snake or cleaning rod with a bronze or nylon bore brush to clean the bore. Follow this with cleaning patches until they come out clean.

  8. Apply solvent: If the rust persists, apply a firearm-specific solvent to the affected areas. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the solvent you are using. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to break down the rust.

  9. Scrub with a brush: Use a soft brush, like a toothbrush or a nylon gun brush, to gently scrub the rusted areas with the solvent.

  10. Wipe and inspect: Wipe off the solvent and rust with clean patches or cloths. Inspect the gun to see if any rust remains.

  11. Apply gun oil: Once all rust has been removed, apply a thin layer of gun oil or CLP to protect the metal surfaces from future rusting. Ensure you wipe off any excess oil.

  12. Reassemble (if disassembled): Reassemble the gun according to your firearm's manual.

  13. Store properly: Store your firearm in a dry, controlled environment to prevent future rusting.

If the rust is particularly stubborn or extensive, you may consider using a rust remover specifically designed for firearms. However, exercise caution and follow the manufacturer's instructions closely, as some rust removers can affect bluing if left on for too long. In most cases, gentle cleaning and regular maintenance should prevent rust from damaging the bluing on your firearm.


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