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Stainless steel rust removal and polishing

(-----) September 26, 2018

Q. Okay so first things first, I found your forum through a google search and though I didn't find an answer to my question, ended up reading for over an hour before posting this. Very informative. With that out of the way here's the current situation.

I recently bought a Springfield 1911 A1 stainless steel model. I got a fantastic deal and the gun is in relatively good condition for being 15 years old. I noticed quite a few scratches along some of the flats of the slide area, along with what appeared to be minor surface rust (I really thought it would come off with a bit of gun oil and elbow grease) two hours later some rust gone but no joy. After researching online I'm not sure what to do. I want the rust gone but am worried about damaging the finish. The gun has two different finishes and both have accumulated some rust spots. The flat portions of the gun are more refined and shined. I wouldn't say mirror finish by any stretch but definitely have a shine to them. The contoured portions of the gun, the top and rounded underside of the slide are both more of a matte almost bead blasted finish. Does anyone have any ideas for rust removal that won't damage the two different finishes?

Steven Crisp
Hobbyist - Shawnee, Oklahoma / United States

Environmentally-friendly Citric Acid-based Processes for Passivation of Stainless Steel
stellar Citrisurf citric acid passivation

A. Hi Steven. I'm not a gun hobbyist, so unfamiliar with model numbers, but it's pretty common to have some areas polished and some glass bead blasted for a more matte finish, so I'll guess that's what you've got.

The stainless will need to be passivated to prevent re-rusting, and a citric acid passivation formula may remove very light rust. If not, you can use Barkeepers Friend [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] before the passivation.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 9, 2018

Hello Steven. Sounds like a beautiful rifle. Stainless rust removal is quite easy.

Barry's Restore It All Products, an advertiser here, has a very effective solution for this called the EZ Shine Polishing Cloth (www.barrysrestoreitall.com). Everything you need is in the cloth to remove and protect from further rusting. Also works great on blue steel and wood stocks. Good shooting.

Barry Feinman
Barry Feinman
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California

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