Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Louisiana--only 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Humidity is above 90% quite often, temperature about as high at midday, and summer thunderstorms are expected on almost a daily basis. I can't imagine a more rust-inducing environment than this semi-tropical bayou country. So when I obtained a carry permit, I was hesitant to make a blued revolver my regular carry weapon. However, I had a reliable 442 Smith and decided to carry it in a pocket holster. Now it is seven years later and the little Smith shows the bluing wear one should anticipate, but not a speck of rust on its steel parts (the frame is alloy). I clean it and wipe it down only after a session at the range, which doesn't occur as often as it should.

Consequently, I am wondering if our primary rationale for stainless handguns, rust prevention, ease of maintenance, etc. is inflated. Have any of my fellow shooters encountered serious rust problems with their blued carry handguns?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
If you carried the little 442 daily, it probably got polished somewhat by the cloth of your pants.

I'm not as close to the coast as you, but I do have to deal with the humidity; I think the biggest problem I've had to contend with regarding rust is the acidic oils transferred to the metal by handling. I'm careful in this regard, so I haven't had any rust issues in quite a long time. I also wipe down things like magazines before putting them in their storage locations, but with a sheen of oil and the low humidity caused by home air conditioning, a quick oily wipe will prevent rust for years.

My most commonly carried gun is a Model 638 in a pocket holster, and yes, I chose the stainless partly due to the perceived resistance to corrosion, but since S&W is no longer making blued J frames, it's sort of a moot question. I'd be somewhat more concerned if I were within a mile or two of salt water, but again, simply being reasonably careful is what counts.

I simply wouldn't carry a blued handgun if it was going to ride close to uncovered skin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
I had some problems with rust on a Taurus 85 that I carried in a pocket holster couple summers ago. I live near San Antonio, gets pretty hot and humid, and sweating is something I do well. I was working outside on a secluded house out by myself every weekend, really didn't want to leave the gun in the truck. Wiped the gun down daily, but one day when I took it out at the end of the day, I had a few rust pits on the cylinder and frame closest to my leg. Man, once those got started, it would reoccur at the drop of a hat. Since then I have gone stainless for my carry guns, and the M-85 has become a purse gun for my wife.

I don't think it would have been a problem just going to the store and sauntering around town, but being outdoors and in an unairconditioned house for extended periods in Texas summer was more than the bluing (and I) could take.

elb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
I believe rust is a problem. My father carries IWB with an untucked shirt and works as a contractor. Sweat, blood, and rust are a way of life for his blued carry piece. He has only been carrying for about 4 months and already I find myself blasting rust off and using quadruple ought fine steel wool to remove the rust on his pistol once a week! I've tried blasting the piece with rust inhibitors, wiping it down daily with silicone, etc etc. Nothing will help as sweat breaks down the rust inhibitors almost instantly.

This has convinced him to go to a stainless piece for his next weapon, but I am attempting to convince him to have the gun refinished in a finish with high rust and stain resistance.

-Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rob,
My 442 hasn't endured the conditions that your father's pistol has, and I can understand why rust in that situation is a problem. However, I have just taken my dog for a one-mile walk in 92 degree temperatures with the little Smith in my right front pocket in an Uncle Mike's holster. This is a regular ritual, and it rides in my pocket while I'm mowing my yard as well. So it does meet the elements fairly often.
I second your recommendation for a strong rust resistant finish for your father's weapon. Curiously, I once had a stainless Ruger Blackhawk rust in the seam where the barrel joins the frame. Never figured out the reason for that. It was a well maintained revolver.
Regards,
Corky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
just an observation......a firearm exposed to sweat and then left sitting around several weeks without wiping down might develop both rust and pitting due to the bodily chlorides in the sweat. Even a SS firearm with uncleaned sweat can suffer pitting over a long time.
A nice dry pocket with the guns moving around is less likely to show it.
Even some leather holsters attract moisture. I like nylon holsters with a soft lining better.
og
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
I think the main variable is the person carrying, moreso than the climate.

Some folks cause rust more than others. I know a couple of people whose sweat is highly corrosive, to the point of rusting 'stainless' knives by the end of the day.

I'm about halfway up the scale on that; I can rust bare steel by touching it, but a wipedown followed by a light brushing with Breakfree in the evening keeps it at bay. I use a shaving brush; it applies a light coat and gets in all the nooks and crannies. I also mainly carry a 442. If its really nasty out I'll switch to a 342. The Grocks are not a problem, of course.

If you have bad problems with rusting, I suggest getting a Marine Tuf-Cloth. They really work. A knifemaker friend supplies them with his high-carbon dive knives and hasn't had any complaints. They list for about 11 bux and last a long time.


Regards,

Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
Hi there,

I live 5 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and the salt spray when it is driven by the wind coats everything.

While the majority of my handguns and long guns are blued, generally rust is not a problem as long as I take the time to keep them wiped down and out of high humidity for a long period of time.

However, when rust pitting does start, it is a problem that can only be corrected by repolishing and rebluing the firearm. I have a blued Browning BPS shotgun that the previous owner allowed to rust and keeping the minute pits free of further rust is a problem that I have solved by flitzing the sides of the reciever where they exist.

Since bluing is an oxidation process, the only way to correct rust issues is to have the firearm polished and reblued or plated with nickle or hard chrome.

Chris
 
G

·
Here in Birmingham, AL the summer heat and hunidity just kicked in. I usually carry my Mdl 49 bodyguard (all steel) in my right front pocket, in an Uncle Mike's holster. I usually wear BDU-style trousers for work, and have been sweating a lot. My BG just started showing a light layer of rust on the backstrap. I just polished it off, along with blueing.

Has anyone tried waxing their gun, and does it provide better protection?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
Wax works OK. It's common with collectors to wax their collection, which might not see a wipedown for weeks/months on end yet be subjected to casual handling.

Most waxes don't hold up that well to hard handling though.

Pachmayrs sells (or used to) a liquid wax they market for guns.

Knife collectors use a product called Renaissance Wax, AKA Renwax, to protect their collections.

http://www.picreator.co.uk/

Before it became available we used Johnsons Paste Wax or a good caranuba car wax. Renwax seems to hold up better to handling, and doesn't 'build up' as much as others. They claim it doesn't leave microscopic pinholes in the wax coating like other waxes. The stuff is used by museums worldwide and all serious collectors, from autos to dolls to furniture, to arms and armour.

http://nra.nationalfirearms.museum/collector/conservation.asp

is a discussion of preservation at the NRA museum.

Available through most knifemakers supply houses, as well as many other places. Runs about $21 for a 200ml tin.

For hard use pieces in the field, I use Tuf-Cloth or Marine Tuf-Cloth. I also use it on the car gun, which might not get a wipedown that often.

BTW, if all you have are some freckles of rust, the best way to remove them is to apply a penetrating oil or polarized oil for a while, then gently lift the rust flakes with a new razor blade. The actual pit is much smaller than the flake, so once it's removed you need a 10X glass to see the pit. Time-consuming, but is the best way to remove them. Follow up with the polarized oil to stop further corrosion.

Hope this helps.


Regards,

Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
I carried my M49 in my pocket a total of one time. It's too heavy for my pocket, and that one time I carried it I pulled it out to discover a thin sheen of moisture on the backstrap.

My pocket carry holster is a Bob Mika, which protects from moisture pretty well, but all things considered, I'll carry aluminum / stainless and not have to worry so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I'm getting my Kimber Custom Royal hard chromed because it starts to rust when the dog piddles in the yard. Being in Michigan means living with serious humidity all year round.
 
G

·
One of the best things that I think we can do for a gun that we carry IWB is invest in a nice, quality, horsehide holster. You'll keep a lot of sweat off of your gun, that way.
 
G

·
Have any of my fellow shooters encountered serious rust problems with their blued carry handguns?
I have had problems with blued guns in the past..I don't buy them anymore..I live 15 miles from the gulf and am cursed with a "rust touch" drives my gunsmith crazy..my dealer wipes off any gun I check out..they've known me for years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
Mr. Camp is maybe best qualified to answer my query on this topic: Is it just me, or is the bluing on recent-vintage (late 1980's and newer) BHPs rather delicate, when it comes to being broken down by sweat?

I bought a second one in 9mm, partly because it was a good deal, but also due to the tendency the first one has towards rusting, any chance it gets. (Don't worry, I'm onto this problem and little damage has been done, but it's a battle.) A friend or two have reported similar tendencies with their blued BHPs too.

By comparison, my matte finish .40 Browning is unscathed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,867 Posts
Hello. I think that maybe you and I share a similar high PH factor in our perspiration. I've been cursed with the "fingers of rust" and must take extreme care in wiping off my blued finish firearms or they'll rust overnight it seems. This is why I went to the 642 rather than the blued version...even though I much prefer blued handguns.

I've not noticed the blued finish on the Hi Power Standards or earlier blued guns to be more or less suceptible to rusting than any other blued guns. Unlike my STI handguns, which seem to have "thin" blue and would no doubt rust in a heartbeat if allowed (ditto my SIG-Sauers), my blued Hi Powers seem about "normal" in rust resistance...which translates "low" for me, but not noticebly more so than say an S&W revolver.

The matte finish will not rust. It is a baked on epoxy finish, but the hammer, trigger, grip screws,
slide release and thumb safety levers are blued.

Best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
Well, maybe I was just remiss in wiping my carry gun down a time or two then. Have removed the minor pitting from BHP 9mm #1, and applied some warmed up cold blue, as per my local gun-tuner's advice. Seems to be holding up okay.

And for CCW purposes now, 9mm #2 is being carried in rotation with the first one. At least during daytime hours, as only #1 has the tritium sights.

All in all I like the matte finish .40 BHP better anyhow, and will be carrying it more often, to preserve the integrity of my other BHPs.
 
G

·
Another threat for rust is the lining in some gun cases. The corrugated sponge IIRC in S&W cases and other maker's boxes are moisture magnets. One good way to rust a blued gun is just to store it inone of those for awhile.

I try to find cases with polyester fuzzy stuff that won't hold moisture.

Even though i live in Houston, rust hadn't been a problem.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top