Monday, July 30, 2018

Chemicals that might remove bluing part 1

Having refinished dozens of firearms I have run into a few that had the bluing removed accidentally by their owners using the wrong chemical to clean the guns.

We have known for years that naval jelly works very well in removing bluing (or any iron oxide). We also know that vinegar works pretty well.

Here is a list of other solutions that I have heard will remove bluing:

Brake Fluid
Brake Cleaner (the older chlorinated kind)
Coca Cola
Critic Acid 
Barkeepers Friend
PB Blaster 

While I didn't have all of these things on hand, I did have some of them, so I decided to try some of them out on a barrel that I was going to polish and reblue anyway.

Normally I use vinegar or Naval Jelly (phosphoric acid) to remove the bluing and rust.

Here are the chemicals we will be trying out and why:

Nail Polish Remover (non-Acetone), people have used this to clean up the paint or nail polish used to fill roll marks. While I have not heard of it taking bluing off, I thought it might good to check in case someone does need to use it.

Brasso, I use this to clean brass and aluminum parts on guns. It removed oxidation and bluing is basically an oxide, what would happen if it came in contact with bluing?

Brake Fluid, I know from experience that brake fluid removes automotive & spray paint and it also causes those surfaces to rust, I thought this would be a good one to test.

Citri-Strip, I use this often to remove the old finish on stocks and because citric acid has been mentioned as a bluing destroyer by other gun owners and Citri-strip is citric acid based I thought I would give it a shot 

Hydrogen Peroxide, I had read that this stuff will remove bluing, but have no first hand knowledge, so I included it.

Comet, I had no Bar Keeper's Friend on hand and Comet is a close competitor to BKF, it also has chlorine in it which has also been listed as an enemy to bluing, so I included it as well

I taped off the six sections and using a cotton ball liberally applied the solutions to the blued steel.

This is a factory blued Ruger 10/22 barrel, it was clean and free of oil.

After 30 minutes, i rinsed the barrel with warm water and dried it with a paper towel. This is what I found......not a thing, the solutions I used had zero affect on the bluing

some close up shots

I really thought we would find at least some of these chemicals would hurt the bluing.....well, this was just one test, there are other solutions I will try out, but now you know for sure that these six solutions will not hurt the bluing on your gun

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