How to Remove Rust From a Gun

Photo: trigger guard, crane, frame of Smith & Wesson Model 66 357 Magnum Stainless Combat Revolver
Even stainless steel can rust. Photo copyright Russ Chastain

Removing surface rust from a gun without damaging the finish can be tricky if you don't know how, but there's really nothing to it. Keeping your gun free of rust helps preserve your gun's beauty and value.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5+ minutes

Here's How:

  1. Find some light oil, fine steel wool, and a suitable work surface that won't scratch up your gun.
  2. Check whether the gun is loaded; if so, unload it
  1. Apply some oil on and around any rust spots.
  2. Making sure to keep oil present at all times (add some if you need to), gently rub rusty area with steel wool.
  3. Wipe with an old rag or paper towel occasionally to remove rusty oil and to inspect the surface.
  4. Repeat as necessary until no rust is left.
  5. Apply a light, even coat of oil to all steel surfaces.


  1. ALWAYS keep guns pointed in a safe direction.
  2. Never use abrasives, like sandpaper or emery cloth, on your gun.
  3. After removing rust, keep that spot oiled and keep your eye on it. It will often be the first spot to rust in the future.
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Your Citation
Chastain, Russ. "How to Remove Rust From a Gun." ThoughtCo, Aug. 31, 2015, Chastain, Russ. (2015, August 31). How to Remove Rust From a Gun. Retrieved from Chastain, Russ. "How to Remove Rust From a Gun." ThoughtCo. (accessed September 22, 2017).