How To Remove Pitting From A Gun: Tips And Tricks

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Firearms that haven’t receive proper maintenance for a long time often experience corrosion and pitting is considered to be among the most extreme consequences. In the case you fail to perform timely repairs, pitting would slowly weaken the structural integrity of the weapon and stress corrosion cracking is inevitable. That is why if you detect pitting on one of your older guns, it’s essential to take care of it as soon as possible. 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.

Want to get rid of the pitting on your weapon but don’t know much about its requirements and procedures?  If that happens to be the case then you have come to the right place. In this article, you would be introduced to everything you need to know about pitting as well as how to remove pitting from a gun. The mechanism of pitting, measures to keep pitting from appearing on your weapons, ….you could acquire a lot of useful details regarding pitting down below. Just put the information you learn here into practice and pitting would no longer be a serious issue that you constantly have to worry about.

What You Need To Keep In Mind About Pitting Corrosion

  • The Cause Of Pitting Corrosion

There are many things that could initiate the formation of pitting on guns: surface scratches, finish defects, damages on the protective coating, shooting corrosive ammunition,… Metal oxidation and lack of maintenance nonetheless play the primary roles in the pitting mechanism. After it forms, pitting would steadily penetrate the mass of the gun metal and damage the structure in the process. In most of the case, 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.   

  • Appropriate Methods To Eliminate Pitting

Considering the fact that 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 critical components of your weapon or cause further damage to the already weakened structure. Overall, you have to get rid of all the rust, patch the holes, sand the patch smooth and apply finishes. If everything goes smoothly, your pitting-covered firearm would look just like new again at the end of the day

  • Best Way To Avoid Pitting

It’s actually not too complicated to keep pitting corrosion away from your firearms, all you have to do to perform regular inspections and maintenances. After each shooting session, clean every gun that you use thoroughly no matter what type of ammunition you shot with. In addition to that, pay attention to your gun cage and make sure that its content is not exposed to harmful elements in the surroundings. 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.   

Removing Pitting From A Gun: The Ultimate Guide For Novices

Quick Reminder: Don’t really have a lot of confidence in your skills and abilities? Then it probably bests that you send your gun to a workshop and let the professionals take over the pitting removal. There is no need to attempt to remove the pitting on your own knowing that the final result is highly likely not to your liking.

Gather Necessary Equipment And Materials

In order to effectively eliminate pitting, you need something that allows you to remove the rust on the metal surface. For such a job, a standard bead blaster or a fine 0000 steel wool should suffice. In the case you run into incredibly stubborn rust build-ups, consider using solutions like EXO Rust or Naval Jelly. As you have to work around chemicals and flying particles, put on protective gears for the duration of the project. At the very least, you have to wear a pair of goggles, gloves and facemask.  Work in a brightly lit well-ventilated space so you could observe the progress and let the chemical fume escape.

The Removal Of Pitting Corrosion

  • 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 around if you want to apply refinishes later on. In the case the pitting is rather shallow, you could simply sand away the holes here and then parkerize it. That should provide your gun with a pretty nice appearance. If the pitting holes are deep, move to step 2 after you done removing the rust.

  • Step 2: Patch The Pitting Holes

If the pitting already causes fairly deep holes, you need to patch them by wielding before applying refinishes is possible. This is the point where you have to stay concentrated: if you let the temperature pass beyond a sustainable level, some essential components might deform. Therefore, wrap a towel around the holes and use assistant drip water if needed in order to regulate the temperature. Instead of patching the pitting holes in quick succession, take some time off to let everything cool down between welds.  

  • Step 3: Sand And Apply Refinish

In the final step, you have to sand and polish the wielding area until it seems smooth enough for refinish. Don’t get too aggressive here or you will end up with lumpy finish layer. In the case you want to outfit your gun with some sort of rust protection, bluing is a great idea. Other protective coatings are also available on the market so choose one that suits your needs and requirements the most. After the refinish process is complete, leave the gun alone for a couple of hours and that should be it.

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.