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Thread: rust/corrosion prevention

  1. #1
    Regular Member EirikBlodok's Avatar
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    rust/corrosion prevention

    Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!

    I'm having an issue with proper rust and or corrosion proofing my firearms that I don't shoot often (storage type stuff not EDC stuff)

    currently I keep them is soft lined cases in my gun safe with anti humidity pellets that I bake off and refresh on a simi regular basis, and what I thought was well oiled

    my issues currently are with my blued/non stainless finished guns, mostly with my non stainless ruger old army's and non stainless Blackhawks.

    anyone have any practical recommendations?

    I really don't want to purchase a 5gallon pail of cosmoline
    1984 Vintage CZ75 Daily Open Carry

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    Welcome to OCDO.

    Rust is the term for corrosion of iron alloys, and is caused by moisture, an oxidant and a susceptible metal. Bluing provides only limited rust protection, being itself a special 'rust', Fe3O4 magnetite black oxide. Bluing needs an oil of some sort to exclude the oxygen.

    Modern weapons surface treatment do a better job of preventing rust.

    I had a spot of right red rust appear on the takedown lever of my H&K and they promptly replaced it.

    Even stainless steel can show rust if the surface iron is not polished off. A test that I did on reactor plant parts had them wrapped in seawater soaked cloth for 24 hours, to be rejected at any hint of red staining of the cloth.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 03-03-2015 at 07:19 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Don't store them in cases, cases hold moisture use a dehumidifier check them often and keep them oiled
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  4. #4
    Regular Member OC Freedom's Avatar
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    Soft cases will hold moisture.

    I lived in Vancouver, Wa. and any place west of the Cascade mountains has a saltiness to the air. So the way I dealt with rust was to clean my firearms after use and then submerge the gun parts in Mobil one full synthetic 5w-30 motor oil. Let the parts drain off for a few minutes, reassemble, and then put the firearm away. Never had a rust issue after that.

  5. #5
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Store them in gun socks. Works for me in SC and MO.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    The industry gold standard? http://industrialcoatingsworld.com/c...stant-coatings

    There are a number of gun-specific suppliers of gun bags with this technology. Somebody used to make plain seets you could put on the bottom of your gun safe and the vapor would migrate and cover everything. Either I am using the wrong search strings or that "cover everything" is why they are no longer around. --Oops! Looks like I finally found something: http://protektite.com/corrosion-inhi...-foam-emitter/

    A very exhaustive review of corrosion resistance at http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=275379 .

    stay safe.
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    Look at Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors (VpCI)

    BullFrog is a good site.

    Emitters work good in closed containers like gun safes. They also make gun sleeves, fluids, sprays, wipes, aerosols, etc.
    Last edited by notalawyer; 03-03-2015 at 04:52 PM.

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    Gun Safe Dehumidifiers

    You might look at something like the Goldenrod gun safe dehumidifier. It raises the temperature in the gun safe slightly inhibiting condensation and rust formation.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/113...ifier-rod-110v

  9. #9
    Regular Member Ironside's Avatar
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    Humidity Rust Prevention

    Here in Florida I installed a red rope light around the inside frame of the safe that stays on 24/7/365. It keeps the interior warm, the humidity abated and has the added benefit of preserving night vision when opening in the middle of the night.

    HTH
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    Warm air can have a higher moisture content than cooler air. At 100°C the moisture can be 100%. At 0°C the moisture is 0%. In between is relative humidity. At the dew point the moisture condenses on cooler surfaces. Heaters are intended to stabilize the temperature above the dew point. The humidity is still there, still causing rust. Like all chemical reactions, corrosion rate is temperature dependent. A higher temperature causes a higher corrosion rate.

    See water h-s Mollier Diagram of enthalpy-entropy.
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  11. #11
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Needing oxygen to get rust? That can't be true. I know a number of old crusty gun guys who live in a vacuum, but who are still pretty corrosive.

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    ... but not iron-bottomed. All sorts of dried matter makes crustiness.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Needing oxygen to get rust? That can't be true. I know a number of old crusty gun guys who live in a vacuum, but who are still pretty corrosive.
    1 - crustiness is a barrier to rust/corrosion.

    1.5 - it is possible to be both crusty and rusty, but practice can fix the latter.

    2 - being corrosive is not the same as being corroded.

    stay safe.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Warm air can have a higher moisture content than cooler air.
    True. Air at 80 deg F and 50% relatively humidity contains more moisture by mass per volume of air than air at 40 deg F and 50% humidity.

    At 100°C the moisture can be 100%. At 0°C the moisture is 0%. In between is relative humidity.
    False. Don't feel bad, Nightmare, as this is a common misperception.

    The relative humidity of an air-water mixture is defined as the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapor (H2O) in the mixture to the equilibrium vapor pressure of water at a given temperature.

    In a mixture of gases, each gas has a partial pressure which is the hypothetical pressure of that gas if it alone occupied the volume of the mixture at the same temperature.

    Vapor pressure or equilibrium vapour pressure is defined as the pressure exerted by a vapor in thermodynamic equilibrium with its condensed phases (solid or liquid) at a given temperature in a closed system. The equilibrium vapor pressure is an indication of a liquid's evaporation rate.

    As the graph clearly shows, atmosphere at -20 deg C (-4 deg F, about what is it outside right now), can still hold plenty of moisture without that moisture precipitating out.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In fact, let's take a closer look at the actual weather conditions at the U.S. Air Force Academy right now:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You you can see, it's -2 deg F (-18.89 deg C) outside right now. Yet the relative humidity is 78%, not 0%, as you claimed it would be, and the dew point is -8 deg F (-22.22 deg C). At a given temperature but independent of barometric pressure, the dew point is a consequence of the absolute humidity, the mass of water per unit volume of air.

    At the dew point the moisture condenses on cooler surfaces. Heaters are intended to stabilize the temperature above the dew point. The humidity is still there, still causing rust.
    True. Rust is an iron oxide, usually red oxide formed by the redox reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture. Rust consists of hydrated iron(III) oxides Fe2O3·nH2O and iron(III) oxide-hydroxide (FeO(OH), Fe(OH)3).

    Like all chemical reactions, corrosion rate is temperature dependent. A higher temperature causes a higher corrosion rate.
    False. Rust in the oxidation of a metal, in particular, iron. It's an exothermic reaction, meaning it gives off heat. Applying heat to endothermic reactions speeds them up. Applying heat to exothermic reactions slows them down, and at some point, actually reverses the reactions. This is why the exothermic "hand warmers" are reenergized by plopping them into boiling water for a few minutes.

    Furthermore, at lower temperatures, the relative humidity is higher, thereby being more readily available to interact with iron and oxygen to cause rust.

    So, how do we prevent rust on our firearm treasures?

    As with other metals, like aluminium, a tightly adhering oxide coating, a passivation layer, protects the bulk iron from further oxidation. The conversion of the passivating ferrous oxide layer to rust results from the combined action of two agents, usually oxygen and water.

    This is why bluing works. It's a technique that can provide limited resistance to rusting for small steel items, such as firearms; for it to be successful, a water-displacing oil is rubbed onto the blued steel and other steel.

    Thus, if you have a blued firearm, you need to ensure it's coated in a water-displacing oil. As for which is best, the debate continues to run rampant, despite a thousand years of data.

    However, I know of no finer essay on this than Day at the Range's Comprehensive Corrosion Test and Comparison of 46 Different Products.

    See water h-s Mollier Diagram of enthalpy-entropy.
    The Mollier Diagram plots lines of constant pressure, constant temperature, and volume, and the abscissa and ordinate represent entropy and heat. It's nearly identical to a psychometric chart, which represents the thermodynamic parameters of moist air at constant temperature.

    According to the Mollier Diagram (as well as the psychometric chart), water vapor depositing on room temperature metal transfers heat from the metal due to the latent heat of evaporation (enthalpy of evaporation) caused by a phase change from gas to liquid. Wet skin in dry air cools as the water evaporates. When water vapor condenses on metal, it warms it. Thus, the cooler the metal, the more rapid the condensation.

    The thing about rust, however, is that it occurs above dew point, too. In actuality, given a piece of iron like a steel handgun, whose temperature is above the dew point, no condensation will accumulate. However, this is simply because the condensation is evaporating faster than water vapor is condensing. At the microscopic level, water vapor contacts the metal all the time. It just doesn't stick around very long, unless the water molecule and an oxygen molecule happen to bump into an unbound iron molecule at the same time. When they do, the iron gives off an electron to the oxygen molecule, aided by the water molecule, which oxidizes the iron into rust, releasing hydrogen gas.

    Bottom Line:

    1. Guns rust faster in cooler temps than they do in warmer temps.

    2. Guns rust faster in higher relative humidity than they do in drier climes.

    3. The presence of chloride ions, such as occurs when the surface is contaminated with salt. The iron doesn't care whether that's from seawater or sweat from your hands, so wash, rinse, and dry your hands thoroughly before cleaning your firearm. Alternatively, just wear gloves made of Buna-N, Perbunan, acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (the purple, hypoallergenic surgical gloves).

    4. Whether your firearm is blued or not, keeping it coated with a quality, moisture-dispersing oil will significantly impede the oxidation process.

    5. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. If you're unfamiliar with the chemistry or thermodynamics yourself, the old watchword applies: Don't try this at home!
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    Last edited by since9; 03-05-2015 at 05:49 AM.
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    All this is why I try to buy more stainless steel firearms then blued ones any more just less hassle with them
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    Gibbs Brand Lubricant

    This is BY FAR the best stuff I've ever found. I picked up a spray can of it at the gun show in Hampton and have been very impressed with it. I have only used the spray can product so I don't know about the other stuff. I drove a nail a few inches into a tree in the back yard and sprayed the exposed part of the nail with the Gibbs stuff. It was there in all kinds of weather and 3 months later there was still no rust at all on it.

    It is pricier than WD40 but is much superior to the WD40. I think this stuff is considerably better than the Frog preservative. One good thing about the Gibbs product is that it is incredibly fluid and will get into any cracks or crevices on a gun.

    I have no connection with the company other than being a highly impressed repeat customer.

    Ron

    http://www.gibbsbrandlubricant.com/

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6L6GC View Post
    This (Gibbs) is BY FAR the best stuff I've ever found. I picked up a spray can of it at the gun show in Hampton and have been very impressed with it. I have only used the spray can product so I don't know about the other stuff. I drove a nail a few inches into a tree in the back yard and sprayed the exposed part of the nail with the Gibbs stuff. It was there in all kinds of weather and 3 months later there was still no rust at all on it.

    It is pricier than WD40 but is much superior to the WD40. I think this stuff is considerably better than the Frog preservative. One good thing about the Gibbs product is that it is incredibly fluid and will get into any cracks or crevices on a gun.

    I have no connection with the company other than being a highly impressed repeat customer.

    Ron
    I'm glad you're impressed, Ron. However, one nail in a tree is hardly a comparative analysis.

    In this properly designed and executed comparative analysis of 46 different products, Gibbs performed as follows (rough stanines - higher is better, 99% is best, meaning better than nearly all):

    Smell/odor: 50%

    Lubrication: 20%

    Corrosion inhibition: 10%

    Frog Lube beat the SNOT out of it in every test. Make that objective test.

    Two products rose to the top of all tests: Frog Lube and Hornady's One Short. The difference is that Frog Lube is personally safe and completely safe with plastics, foams, and rubbers, whereas Hornady's is so chock full of harmful chemicals the warning sheet is half a mile long.

    As a statistician and a guy with a long history of involvement with a wide variety of tests, to see a test of this level of thoroughness among laymen is very rare. While it's clear he employed very few statistical procedures, given the nature of the tests, they weren't required. Simply ranking the products while providing the raw numbers is more than sufficient to properly place the Gibbs product nearly the bottom of the heap where it belongs, and Frog Lube at the top, where it belongs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    All this is why I try to buy more stainless steel firearms then blued ones any more just less hassle with them
    "The chromium in stainless steel when exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere forms a thin invisible layer called chromium oxide. This invisible layer covering the entire surface gives stainless steel its ability to resist stains and rust. If this layer is damaged rust is formed on the surface at the point of that damage."

    The way protective films work uses the microchannel coatings created by both bluing as well as oxidation of the chromium in stainless steel.

    In order for that to work, however, you still need to apply the oxygen displacement film.
    Last edited by since9; 03-09-2015 at 06:34 AM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    What is the problem?

    Welcome to OCDO. I, too, live in the GNW and I have found serenity here. Also.........a great deal of rain.

    This just gives me an excuse to clean my weapons once more. "Why are all those guns out on the table again?" says Herself. "Just cleaning a few, my Love." It works for me. I like guns.
    Last edited by MSG Laigaie; 03-11-2015 at 12:51 PM. Reason: spelig
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

  20. #20
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    Way back when I was instructing, I preached that unnecessary and improper cleaning are the primary source of wear of a modern firearm. It's what the military taught as a form of discipline reinforcement.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Someone on an Alaskan firearms board went to great expense and trouble to do a little testing.
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...uct-evaluation

    I've always been a fan of Eezox (and more recently FrogLube) as preservatives. I had to leave my meager collection in an outdoor shed for three years of hot humid Georgia summers and cold, wet winters while deployed to Germany. Everything got a good coating of Eezox before I left, Parkerized, stainless, blued, and even a few projects that were bare metal. When I got back there wasn't a speck of rust on anything.

    (Eezox is strange in that it's the most amateurish looking packaging of anything tested, but don't let that fool you.)

  22. #22
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    note to self...

    when one is attempting to locate a dealer in the area, one should not type into google ~ 'dicks frog lube' ~ as one will quickly discern goggle provides results on substances unsuitable for the lubrication of firearms.

    and no GUN OIL isn't suitable for lubrication of firearms either!!

    me thinks I need to get out more...sigh!!
    ipse
    Last edited by solus; 03-11-2015 at 05:42 PM.
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