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Thread: Light rust in bore

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Light rust in bore

    After a thorough cleaning of my hawken and letting it sit a few days I always have a slight bit of rust in the bore. My regimen includes a thorough swabbing with the breech end in a bucket of water till I get clean patches. Then I pull it out and swab it a few more times for good measure. WD40 soaking then let it drip upside down for a few then swab the excess WD out and finish with a well saturated patch of bore butter. This is after sitting a week or so after this regimen.


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  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Some oils and solvents after sitting in the bore a few days can pull dirt and grime out of the bore. Some of them also turn brown or a rust color also and I have heard of BB doing this. I'd reoil the bore and keep checking.
    Aim small, miss small!

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Light rusting is "normal" and nothing to worry about. You can probably reduce or eliminate it by using something other than WD40 to displace residual moisture after hot water cleaning. I'm not sure if the bore butter is doing you any favors either.

    A lanolin-based hair dressing will emulsify any water, protect the surface and lubricate it without using petroleum.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooman76 View Post
    Some oils and solvents after sitting in the bore a few days can pull dirt and grime out of the bore. Some of them also turn brown or a rust color also and I have heard of BB doing this. I'd reoil the bore and keep checking.
    Ya that's what I typically do is keep checking back especially at the end of the season I just would sleep better if I could not have this happen.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Light rusting is "normal" and nothing to worry about. You can probably reduce or eliminate it by using something other than WD40 to displace residual moisture after hot water cleaning. I'm not sure if the bore butter is doing you any favors either.

    A lanolin-based hair dressing will emulsify any water, protect the surface and lubricate it without using petroleum.
    I kinda figured this too but I can't sleep at night thinking about rust in my bore and become obsessed with checking it.

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  6. #6
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    I am guessing you live in a somewhat humid climate? As your barrel is "'COOLING"' it is also developing condensation. I live in a dry climate, and also get those rusty patches..... and I also clean with hot water. Mainly because I want all the fouling to flush out of the breech end. WD-40 is "'supposed"' to displace water. That is what the "'WD"' signifies..................... yea right. WD-40 has no lasting lubricating qualities to speak of.

  7. #7
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    no rust should be present, especially light rust. Any rust is NOT normal.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by triggerhappy243 View Post
    I am guessing you live in a somewhat humid climate? As your barrel is "'COOLING"' it is also developing condensation. I live in a dry climate, and also get those rusty patches..... and I also clean with hot water. Mainly because I want all the fouling to flush out of the breech end. WD-40 is "'supposed"' to displace water. That is what the "'WD"' signifies..................... yea right. WD-40 has no lasting lubricating qualities to speak of.
    Muggy state of Georgia

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  9. #9
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    try replacin' the WD-40 with 91% alcohol for water removal after cleanin' followed by a few dry patches & replace the bore-butter with Birchwood-Casey Barricade for storage lubrication/bore-protection purposes.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I would concurr with the gentleman that rust is not normal in Colorado, but I can assure that it IS in the mid-Atlantic and Gulf coastal states. IF the OP lives in an urban area the normal pollutants in the air will cause corrosion even of stainless steels if left dry and unprotected.
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  11. #11
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    then I suggest those on the oceans find an actual product that works. Rust is not normal and no gun respecting person would ever allow the slightest amount of rust on their firearms.

  12. #12
    The most effective thing for removal of water from the crannies of metal is heat. With a shotgun your barrel's last contact with anything aqueous should be boiling water, poured through with the barrels detached, and held in something like a twisted towel or wooden tongs so that you don't drop them. In a rifle you can probably make an extended funnel with a cartridge case. Water will give out about nine times as much heat as the same weight of steel will absorb, if the temperatures equalize. So it doesn't take much to get the barrel hot enough to evaporate itself bone-dry with only a little airflow.

    My climate isn't very humid, and the nightly change in temperature isn't enough to produce much condensation. So my case may not be as much as some people's. I have never had trouble using WD40, but I hear some people have, and I'm prepared to believe that a good mineral oil or grease is more reliable. I have also heard adverse reports on 3 in 1 oil as a rust preventative. Again, sometimes it is fine, but it has been made over a long period, in many places.

    I think a slightly heavier oil is less likely to be accidentally wiped off surfaces, and my favourite is car gear oil. Unlike engine oil it doesn't contain detergents etc., which might behave differently over long-term storage when cold, from what they do inside an engine hotter than boiling water.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubba.50 View Post
    try replacin' the WD-40 with 91% alcohol for water removal after cleanin' followed by a few dry patches & replace the bore-butter with Birchwood-Casey Barricade for storage lubrication/bore-protection purposes.

    I I have a can of denatured alcohol for this reason in my bench area. I use it to get moisture out, to prevent cross contamination of multiple types of solvent in bores, to clean things. Learned this doing hi voltage work for the power company. It's one of the only things you can use to get rid of 1000s of contaminants without electrical tracking and leave no residue behind

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    WD-40 is fine for getting rid of the water and can work fine here also as a light lubricant but it is very dry here and humidity is often in single digits. WD-40 dries so it's more like a dry lubricant. If it's not working for you, then get something better like Barricade.
    Aim small, miss small!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    aarolar, I live in the humid Hudson Valley and will get a light amount of rust if I don't carefully clean, dry, and oil the bores of my ML's. After a thorough cleaning with your favorite BP solvent, dry the bore thoroughly, and apply a liberal amount of WD-40 downbore and with a patch soaked in it. Leave it in the bbl. overnight. After a day or two, soak a patch or two in ATF, then swab the bore with it, and rub down the rest of the exposed metal with it*. You can store the gun bore up or down, but check it periodically for signs of rust. As I said in my 1st sentence, I get very little rust using one of "evil" petrochemicals in my bbls. and no ensuing accuracy problems either. If rust does occur, it's usually due to poor cleaning, not drying the bore enough, or not using enough ATF afterward.

    Hope this helps!


    *Sometimes I use Marvel Mystery Oil + either WD-40 or ATF those patches.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    then I suggest those on the oceans find an actual product that works. Rust is not normal and no gun respecting person would ever allow the slightest amount of rust on their firearms.
    The light brown surface rust inside the bore of a black powder muzzleloader is akin to browning on the outside and does no harm. Some old timers actually felt it beneficial as with use the bore was conditioned in a manner similar to a cast iron skillet...

    But as for rust being normal or not, what works for you in Colorado I guarantee does not work on the Atlantic coast.

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  17. #17
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    there should never ever be rust of any amount in a barrel or chamber or lock or anywhere on an ml. that's almost always a case of not cleaning properly and then not oiling/lubing properly, if done at all. if yer lazy about gun cleaning, yer gun and you will both pay a negligence price.

    after a shooting session with a hooked breech plug flintlock's barrel, such as a hawken style, i'll pull the barrel, stick the ignition end of the barrel in a bucket of tepid, not warm or hot, water and use a patched jag to dissolve all the bp residue. only takes 4 to 6 pumps to get the tube down to gleaming metal. a scraper for the breech face, then a few more pumps of water. (note: if you have a patent breech, the breech flue needs cleaning with small diameter brush such as a .22, with patch wrapped around it - failure to do this will create mitigating rust). patched jag to dry, sloppy wet patched jag with some oil based product such as break free clp or wd-40 (never ever had a problem with good ol' wd # 40). the flint lock gets pulled and goes into a bucket of warm to hot water and brushed good, patted dry, hair dryer or heat gun to fully dry if there's no hot sun, sprayed with wd-40 and the excess patted off. i'd do the same with a cap lock. after over 4 months of storage, the barrel and lock look like new. been doing this for decades and if some of y'all think it's not good, it sure works fine for me or i'd change pronto. enjoy.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  18. #18
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    wd 40 is your issue (my opine), get a good gun oil and your rust should not be an issue.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Many of us here have taken to using ready mixed windscreen wash for BP bore cleaning.Followed by several dry Patches then a patch with Engine Oil.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Can't argue with that method, Col4570!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check