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Thread: Best way to remove rust off magazine

  1. #1
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    Best way to remove rust off magazine

    Digging around and cleaning some things up, I ran across about 3-4 mags at the bottom of a box. They are genuine USGI M1 carbine mags that have some pretty thick scuzzy rust marks on them. To be honest, they’ve been in my garage for a few years and looks like it may have been where some mice urine got on them. What’s the best way of removing it and getting a bluing or parking back on them?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Mechanical-read sandpaper or steel wool if it's light enough, or chemical-evaporust or equivalent, it will remove blueing so you would need to reblue the whole item, and for really heavy rust, electro-in a basic solution, attach the item to the Pos(I think) and Neg to a sacrificial iron item, ditto on reblue the whole item.
    Micah 6:8
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  3. #3
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    Phosphoric Acid (Like Navel Jelly) kills rust; I think Citric Acid might do it as well. Worth a try.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    0000 Steel wool and kerosene would be my first choice.

    You're probably going to need to re-blue regardless.

    Naval Jelly will work but there's no way to put that metal back on so you may be just as well off completely stripping them with sand paper and a wire brush. If you have to re-finish them you might as well just use mechanical means to remove the rust and see what's left over when you're done.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    Without photos, I can only imagine amount of rust on your magazines. I personally have successfully cleaned rust off old 15-round military M1 Carbine magazines using a product called G96, which comes in an aerosol spray can. Spray it on and leave it for five or six minutes; lightly rub with Scotch pads -- the non-metallic ones used for dish washing; wipe off with paper towel; repeat if necessary (rare); then give a final coat of G96 which I leave on overnight. Next day, simply polish residue off, and bion, the mags mostly look brand new, with very minimal finish removal. Of course, the very definition of rust is oxidation of the steel, so where there is rust (Fe203) there's no more steel (Fe) -- so the pits will remain. But, the mags are 100% usable and do not (imho) look too bad at all. Amazon lists the stuff at https://www.amazon.com/G96-1055P-Com.../dp/B0000DD5TL if you care to use it. G96 is MY only gun care product!
    BEST!
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  6. #6
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    I’m gonna go the scotch brite and oil bath route. I’ll try to get some pictures up when available.

    As a side note, I’ve known an old timer to dip a rusty Lyman in vinegar overnight to come back to bare metal when there was some light rusting. He had minor pitting in the cavities but he powder coats so he wasn't concerned.

  7. #7
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I have some that I bought already a little rusted. The steel wool route worked, for the most part. I keep them oiled and in a baggie separate from my other ones. They work perfectly fine though.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Brass wool is easier on the bluing than steel wool. Lead wool and oil is the bomb for slow careful removal, last used at the farm decades ago, haven’t thought about it in years.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    How about that product called CLR? It’s advertised to remove rust stains in a bath tub.
    I don’t know if it would harm bluing.

  10. #10
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    Get some "Evapo Rust"!
    https://www.amazon.com/Evapo-Rust-ER.../dp/B00GRSOJSS

    no need to use any abrasives! After I used it to clean out my gas tank on motorcycle and an array of other rust infested tools.

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    CLR is simply a mild acid.

  12. #12
    I would use one of the acid based rust removers mentioned and then parkerize and oil them.

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