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How to Remove Pitting from a Gun in 3 Easy Steps: Full Guide

How to Remove Pitting from a Gun

I’ll admit that when I was a newbie, I was too lazy to take care of my guns, and I learned the hard way how IMPORTANT it is.

If I had just taken the initiative and learned how to remove pitting from a gun, maybe it could’ve been avoided.

If you fail to perform timely repairs, pitting would slowly weaken the weapon’s structural integrity, and stress corrosion cracking is inevitable.

Nonetheless, removing pitting on firearms is a task that requires a fair bit of preparation and skill.

One mistake is enough to cause irreversible damages! 

In this article, I’ll talk about everything you need to know about pitting and how to remove it from your firearm.

How to Remove Pitting from a Gun

Before I start, here’s a quick reminder.

If you are a beginner and don’t have a lot of confidence in your skills, I recommend sending your gun to a professional.

There is no need to attempt to remove the pitting on your own, knowing that the final result will not end up being according to your exact liking.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Safety gear

To effectively eliminate pitting, you need something that allows you to remove surface rust.

For such a job, I use a standard bead blaster or 0000 steel wool (or any other fine steel wool).

If you run into incredibly stubborn rust build-up, consider using solutions like EXO Rust or Naval Jelly.

Remember to ALWAYS put on protective gear as you work around chemicals and flying particles!

I always keep my goggles, gloves, and face mask on when I remove putting.

Work in a brightly lit, well-ventilated space so you could observe the progress and let the chemical fumes escape.

Removing Pitting and Corrosion

Rifle workstation

Step 1: Remove All the Rust

Proceed to get rid of every scrap of rust you could see on the surface of the pit using the bead blaster or similar tools.

It’s of utmost importance that there is NO leftover rust, whether stubborn or light surface rust, around if you want to refinish it later.

If the pitting is relatively shallow, I usually just sand away the holes here and then parkerize it, which provides my gun with a nice appearance.

If the pit holes are deep, move to step 2 after you are done removing the rust.

Step 2: Patch the Pitting Holes

If the pitting already causes fairly deep holes, you need to patch them by welding them before applying refinishes is possible. 

Remember to stay focused!

If you let the temperature pass beyond a sustainable level, some essential components might deform.

I’ve unfortunately had one of my weapons deformed because of it.

Therefore, I wrap a towel around the holes and use assistant drip water if needed to regulate the temperature.

Instead of patching the pit holes in quick succession, take some time off to let everything cool down between welds.

Step 3: Sand and Apply Refinish

You have to sand and polish the welding area in the final step until it seems smooth enough for refinishing.

Don’t get too aggressive here, or you will end up with a lumpy finish layer.

If you want to outfit your gun with some rust protection, you can never go wrong with bluing or cold blue.

Other protective coatings are also available on the market, so choose one that suits your needs and requirements the most.

After the refinishing process is complete, leave the gun alone for a couple of hours, and that should be it.

What You Need to Know About Pitting and Corrosion

Rusty gun

Causes of Pitting and Corrosion

Many things could initiate pitting on guns such as:

  • Surface scratches
  • Finish defects
  • Damages on the protective coating
  • Shooting corrosive ammunition.

Metal oxidation and lack of maintenance nonetheless play primary roles in the pitting mechanism.

After it forms, pitting would steadily penetrate the gunmetal mass and damage the structure.

In most cases, the loss of metal could be seen through the appearance of holes on the surface.

Once the dissolution of metal caused by pitting reaches a certain level, the firearm would crack or outright break apart.

How to Eliminate Pitting

Because guns are repeatedly subjected to recoil, you have to be careful and precise while removing pitting.

The LAST thing you ever want to do is to deform your weapon’s critical components or cause further damage to the already weakened structure.

Overall, you have to get rid of all heavy rust and pitted metal, patch the holes, sand the patch smooth and apply finishes.

If everything goes smoothly, your pitting-covered firearm will look just like new again at the end of the day!

How to Avoid Pitting

It’s not too complicated to keep pitting and corrosion away from your firearms. All you have to do is perform regular inspections and maintenance.

After each shooting session, clean every gun you use thoroughly, no matter what type of ammunition you shoot with.

Please pay attention to your gun cage and ensure that its contents are not exposed to harmful elements.

That is usually more than enough to prevent pitting from forming on your precious weapon for most of the time.

Even if pitting does appear, you should be able to spot and take care of it in the early stage, which minimizes the damage extent.


That concludes my guide on how to remove pitting from your gun!

I know it can be a hassle to clean and maintain your guns, but it’s one of the most IMPORTANT things to prevent them from being damaged.

A gun with pitting is as good as gone, so check up on yours regularly and handle the problem as early as possible.

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