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Vinegar for Rifle Rust Removal

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  • Vinegar for Rifle Rust Removal


    I went to Fort Lakeley with a freshly defarbed rifle and have been unable to get all the rust off. At this point I am considering using vinegar and baking soda, but I am unsure of the best way to go about this. I’ve done this to cast iron pans, but what to do about the bore of the rifle has me scratching my head.

    Also, I have never fully taken apart my rifle before (before this defarb the thing has worked like a charm since the 1970s.) i’m nervous to do so but I know after a full submersion the insides are probably rusting too.

    I’ve searched to no avail, does anyone have a helpful link or advice handy?

    Korey Jameson

  • #2
    Vinegar and baking soda can do the trick, but it takes some scrubbing with 000 steel wool to really get down to it being removed.

    Here is what I have done that has worked pretty well for me:

    You can disassemble your musket and soak the parts in a rust removing solution available at auto parts stores. It will remove everything but the metal and turn it all a dull gray. This is remedied by polishing with progressively finer grades of metal sanding paper (also available at the store). Sand the progression (fine, finer, finest, super-fine, etc.) and finish with 000 steel wool and the gun parts should be bright and shiny. This will also work for a bayonet in similar condition.

    For the barrel, if the trough you soak the parts in is long enough, you can submerge the barrel in the solution and it will remove all of the aforementioned rust and the crud from inside the barrel. From there, just clean the barrel as you would normally.

    The lock may require disassembly, but also maybe just need the hammer removed. Once all items are dry and clean, you can oil the musket with Hoppes gun oil lubricant and I recommend a coat of Bore Butter for the musket's barrel inside and out.

    Oil the stock with linseed oil and let it dry.

    Reassemble the entire project and get ready for the next event!

    Hope this helps!
    Ivan Ingraham
    AC Moderator