Heavy Rust - Options?
This is a discussion on Heavy Rust - Options? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Thirty years ago, when I left home and joined the US submarine fleet, Dad's & my guns were put into retirement. Unfortunately, a couple pistols ...
Post By HotGuns
August 16th, 2011 09:09 PM
Heavy Rust - Options?
Thirty years ago, when I left home and joined the US submarine fleet, Dad's & my guns were put into retirement. Unfortunately, a couple pistols have extensive rust damage from water/moisture and years of storage. One of them is the old "Dirty Harry" S&W model 29 44mag with the 8-3/8" barrel. The front sight is all but rotted off and the actual barrel has some decay. The handle/backbone part of the frame is moderately corroded as well.
I have been out of the gun scene for a long time, and was just wondering what my options are. I'm guessing it's cost prohibitive or impossible to repair to like-new condition? Would they be worth anything to sell? I have no plans to use them, and seeing them all messed-up is a downer.
Thanks in advance.
August 16th, 2011 09:09 PM
August 16th, 2011 09:15 PM
Find a local gun smith and ask if they can be restored.
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August 16th, 2011 10:03 PM
"One of them is the old "Dirty Harry" S&W model 29 44mag with the 8-3/8" barrel."
You can have the barrel replaced with a vintage new old stock. There are plenty of S&W barrels out there.
The backstrap is a fairly easy repair.
Deep "all over" heavy pitting is always problematic.
One thing you need to do is remove all of the existing rust in order to see how bad it really is.
You can do that yourself.
Find a suitable container - some plastic will melt so try to find something glass or metal.
Remove the grips and flood the entire firearm with Rust Buster or WD40 spray.
Let it soak for a few days and keep rewetting it with more.
Get a few of those Stainless Steel toothbrushes that they sell at the hardware store - the Stainless bristles are soft enough that they will not scratch the gun metal but, they will get all of the rust out of the pits. Also use fine steel wool.
You will see all of that rust just SPILL off.
After all of the rust is gone then spray with Contact Cleaner Degreaser (also a hardware store item) and then re-oil the entire firearm.
August 16th, 2011 10:29 PM
visit GPI Custom Gunworks Home he can do fantastic things with ugly guns
August 16th, 2011 10:53 PM
There is another option...
Sandblast the heck out of it.
Lauer Weaponry sells a filler spray that will take up the pits. Then Duracoat it. It'll look like new and it will be rustproof.
I did this awhile back with a gun that was turned into the Marshals Office that was found in ditch. It had been there awhile and was pretty rusted up. It was a Heritage 6 shot single action so it was'nt worth much, you can buy them for 150 new.
The Marshal thought I was playing a trick on him, he thought I bought a new gun and switched it out, it looked that good. The pitting was gone,it was smooth and it looked like it came straight out of the box.
So, all is not lost. You'll never have the original finish unless you spend alot of money to get it buffed out and reblued and if the pitting it too deep you cant even do that. Next best thing is to fill it in. Then paint it. At least you'll have a good shooter that although it wont look as good as a new blued gun, at least it wont hurt your feelings to take it out and shoot it.
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August 17th, 2011 12:04 AM
"I have no plans to use them, and seeing them all messed-up is a downer."
Since you mention these two thoughts you might consider just bailing out on them and sending them on down the road for another hobbyist to tinker with. The Model 29 was a premium revolver with a premium finish and realistically cannot be restored in a cost effective manner. Any non-original patch job to the surface finish will still probably be a downer to a fellow who isn't intending to put the guns to work.
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
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August 17th, 2011 07:52 AM
Thanks for the replies. I think my best option is to get rid of them, as Bmcgilvray mentioned. The guns are like having a smashed corvette parked in your driveway, knowing that you will never drive it. It would be cool to have all the guns good as new, but to tell you the truth my dad & I never fired most of them, so not much sentimental value. We both have Weatherby auto 22s, which I just found out have not been in production since '89. Luckily the 22s are still in good shape and will see regular use. Thanks!!!
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