DEAR LABBY Q&A

Submit a question to the Ballistic Experts in our Lab

Dear Labby Q&A

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

If you would like to submit a story related to shooting, hunting, or handloading, we would like to read it. Please submit your story here. If it is accepted, your story will be printed on our site, with your name in the by-line.

Submit your Story

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letters To The Editor

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Free Trial Subscription to
Handloader or Rifle Magazine

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

LONG-TERM / ALL-WEATHER FIREARMS PROTECTION

LONG-TERM / ALL-WEATHER FIREARMS PROTECTION
Mike “The Guru” Whitlock

THE #1 CAUSE OF RUST, CORROSION, SURFACE PITTING, DULL / OXIDIZED BLUE (EXTERNALLY OR INSIDE THE BARREL) IS “OWNER NEGLECT” !!!!!!! BLUED-CARBON STEELS ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TO BEHOLD, BUT THEY ARE ALSO THE MOST DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN & OFFER THE LEAST AMOUNT OF SURFACE PROTECTION !!!!  AT SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE, I WILL BE REVIEWING SEVERAL OF THE MOST “HIGH-TECH SURFACE FINISHES” AVAILABLE ON PLANET EARTH.

THIS CAN BE CAUSED BY DAMP / IMPROPER STORAGE CONDITIONS, STORAGE CASES WHICH ARE NOT “BREATHABLE”, LACK OF MOISTURE ABSORBING PRODUCTS INSIDE STORAGE SAFES, EXPOSURE TO HARSH WEATHER CONDITIONS, CONTACT WITH SWEAT & SKIN OILS, & GENERAL “OXIDATION” FROM EXPOSURE TO THE ATMOSPHERE.

BLUED FINISH:  THESE ARE THE MOST COMMON FINISH APPLIED TO FIREARMS. IT OFFERS LOTS OF “BLING”, BUT ONLY IF THE BASE METAL HAS BEEN HIGHLY-POLISHED (THINK “COLT ROYAL BLUE” & PRE-WW-2 WINCHESTERS, & S&W REVOLVERS) BEFORE BEING SUBMERGED IN THAT BATH OF HOT BLUING SALTS. BLUE LOOKS REALLY PRETTY & SPARKLY, BUT PROVIDES ZERO PROTECTION TO THE METAL’S SURFACE, FROM HARMFUL CONTAMINANTS. BLUING A FIREARM, IS CHEMICALLY A “CONTROLLED RUSTING PROCESS” AND IT ONLY WORKS ON METALS CONTAINING “FERROUS OXIDE” PROPERTIES. 

BLUED SURFACES BECOME DULL & LIFE-LESS, PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF EXPOSURE TO THE OXYGEN IN THE ATMOSPHERE—“OXIDATION” !!!!!!!!!! WHAT MUST BE DONE, IS TO KEEP THE O2 FROM MAKING CONTACT WITH THE METAL’S SURFACE. A THIN COAT OF OIL IS GOOD, BUT IT WIPES OFF TOO EASILY & THUS DOES NOT PROVIDE LONG-TERM PROTECTION. WELL NEVER FEAR !!!! YOUR PERSONAL “GURU” IS HERE TO TEACH YOU THE METHOD, TO HALT THE MADNESS AT LEAST FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME…………

NOTE: OXIDATION IS BEST DESCRIBED, AS THE ORIGINAL HI-POLISH HAS BECOME “FADED / DULL / LIFE-LESS” IN IT’S APPEARANCE. IF YOUR FIREARM EXITED THE FACTORY WITH A “NON-REFLECTIVE MATTE FINISH”, IT ALSO NEEDS A PERIODIC DEEP-CLEANING TO MAINTAIN IT’S ORIGINAL APPEARANCE.   

TODAY, WE WILL REVIEW THE SIMPLE TECHNIQUE I HAVE USED FOR MANY YEARS & HAVE SHARED WITH THOSE PERSONS, WHO HAVE BEEN WILLING TO SIT @ MY BENCH, TAKE NOTES, & ASK QUESTIONS. THIS GENERALLY OCCURS, AFTER AN EXPENSIVE “DETAIL, STRIP, CLEAN, & POLISH” HAS BEEN DONE, ON GRAND-DADDY’S “LEFEVER NITRO-SPECIAL D/B SCATTERGUN”……………….

STEP #1—UNDER STRONG DIRECT LIGHTING, VISUALLY INSPECT THE SURFACE FOR ANY APPARENT RUST / CORROSION / DULL OXIDIZED AREAS. OOOPS, YOU FOUND SOME—–CRAP !!!!!!

STEP #2—PURCHASE A QT. BOTTLE OF “MARVEL MYSTERY OIL” FROM YOUR LOCAL “WALLY-WORLD” OR FAVORITE AUTO PARTS STORE & A BAG OF CLEAN, 4-0 STEEL WOOL.

STEP #3—TEAR OFF A PIECE OF THE WOOL & MOISTEN IT WITH A FEW DROPS OF “MMO”. USE THE PAD TO LIGHTLY SCRUB THE AREA IN QUESTION. THIS WILL REMOVE THE RUST, CORROSION, & DULL BLUING, BUT WILL NOT HARM THE BLUE COLOR !!!!!!!

THIS STEP WILL NOT REMOVE ANY PITS OR SCRATCHES.

STEP #4—SET THE PAD DOWN, GRAB A SHEET OF CLEAN PAPER TOWEL, OR A CLEAN, SOFT TERRY-CLOTH RAG. USE THIS TO WIPE OFF ALL THE “YUK” BEING RELEASED FROM THE METAL’S SURFACE. HERE COMES THE HARD PART:  STARE FOR A LONG TIME @ THAT FILTHY RAG & SAY TO YOURSELF 3 TIMES:  “I AM GUILTY OF FAILURE TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN MY FIREARM”—HURTS, HUH ???

STEP #5—KEEP TURNING THE TOWEL OR USE ANOTHER SHEET OF PAPER TOWEL & KEEP WIPING UNTIL NO MORE DISCOLORATION APPEARS ON THE TOWEL. TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO ADMIRE THAT GORGEOUS BLUED SURFACE OR THAT RICH LOOKING “DULL MATTE FINISH” SOME FOLKS PREFER.

STEP #6—TIME TO POLISH THE METAL !!!!!! YOU WILL NEED A TUBE / TUBE OF YOUR FAVORITE “NON-ABRASIVE METAL POLISHING PASTE” FOR THIS STEP.  MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS: “SIMICHROME”, “MAAS”,OR “FLITZ” (my favorite). USE SMALL DABS & RUB LIGHTLY ONTO THE SURFACE & IMMEDIATELY BUFF-OFF WITH A SOFT TOWEL !!!  TRUST ME ON THIS POINT—“DO NOT ALLOW THE METAL POLISHES DRY !!!. BUFF OFF WITH A CLEAN COTTON CLOTH, ASAP !!!

OK, THE METAL IS NOW BOTH CLEANED & POLISHED. TIME TO APPLY THE PROTECTANT LAST…………..

STEP #7—GRAB A BOTTLE OF YOUR FAVORITE “LIQUID, NON-ABRASIVE, CLEAR-COAT-SAFE” AUTO BODY POLISH & SHAKE WELL !!!! GRAB A SMALL PIECE OF CLEAN COTTON TOWEL & WRAP IT AROUND THE TIP OF YOUR FINGER (S) & APPLY A SMALL AMOUNT TO YOUR FINGER-TIP.

STEP #8—USE WHATEVER HAND MOTION YOU CHOOSE & APPLY A WELL RUBBED, THIN COAT OF POLISH TO THE METAL. APPLY & ALLOW TIME FOR IT TO DRY COMPLETELY TO A HAZE. USE ANOTHER SOFT CLOTH & BUFF OFF THE DRIED POLISH, SAME AS YOU WOULD ON YOUR AUTO / MOTORCYCLE. STEP BACK & ENJOY GAZING ON THE RESULTS OF ALL THIS EFFORT—WOW !!!!!!!

( GURU’S FAVORITE LIQUID AUTO BODY POLISH, FOR YOUR GUNS & YOUR AUTO:  “NU-FINISH”—IT IS NOT A WAX, BUT A MAN-MADE SYNTHETIC POLYMER & WILL PROTECT THE SURFACE MUCH LONGER THAN PLAIN WAX)

THE METAL’S SURFACE WILL APPEAR TO BE “OILY / WET” BUT IT IS TOTALLY DRY TO THE TOUCH & WILL NOT ATTRACT DUST, DIRT, WATER, OR FINGER-PRINTS !!!!  ONE FINAL TIP, BEFORE I CLOSE OUT THIS “NOVEL”—DO EVERYTHING IN STEPS 1-8, BUT THIS TIME DO IT INSIDE THE BORE OF YOUR FIREARMS BARREL !!!!!!!!! APPLY THE POLYMER SEALER INSIDE EACH CHAMBER OF YOUR REVOLVERS CYLINDER, MAGAZINES (TUBULAR / BOX / INTERNAL) & THE OUTSIDE OF THE SCOPE !!!!!!!!!!!

WOODEN STOCKS:  THEY WILL ALSO NEED SOME “TLC”, BUT ONLY IF THE FINAL FINISH IS A “CLASSIC HAND-RUBBED OIL”

THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE A “HOW TO REFINISH THE WOOD”, BUT JUST TO BRING BACK THE DULLED ORIGINAL FINISH………….

STEP #1—REMOVE THE BARRELED ACTION, TRIGGER GUARD, FLOOR-PLATE, BUTT-PLATE, & SLING-MOUNTING STUDS FROM THE STOCK.

STEP #2—PURCHASE A BOTTLE OF “LEMON-OIL FURNITURE POLISH” FROM YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL STORE & ANOTHER PIECE OF THE STEEL-WOOL. MOISTEN THE WOOL WITH A FEW DROPS OF THE POLISH & BEGIN TO RUB THE STOCK’S SURFACE WITH MODERATE HAND PRESSURE.  YOUR NOT TRYING TO “STRIP THE OLD FINISH”, BUT JUST TO TAKE OFF THE OXIDIZED TOP LAYER.

STEP #3—WIPE OFF THE AREAS YOU JUST “WOOLED” WITH ANOTHER SHEET OF PAPER TOWEL / COTTON TERRY-CLOTH TOWEL. CONTINUE TO WIPE UNTIL ALL THE LEMON OIL HAS BEEN REMOVED.

STEP #4—APPLY A THIN COAT OF “OLD FASHIONED, HARD-WOOD FLOOR POLISH” OR “KIWI NEUTRAL COLOR SHOE POLISH” & ALLOW IT TO DRY COMPLETELY. USE ANOTHER SOFT COTTON TOWEL & BUFF TO A SMOOTH, RICH APPEARANCE.

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE JUST CROSSED THE FINISH-LINE !!!!!!!! PLACE THAT FIREARM BACK INSIDE YOUR GUN-SAFE & CLOSE THE DOOR. FETCH A BOTTLE / CAN, YOU FAVORITE “ADULT BEVERAGE” FROM THE FRIDGE, A CAN OF MIXED-NUTS, & PLOP-DOWN ON THE COUCH AND WATCH YOUR FAVORITE T.V. SHOW—-WELL DONE, OLD CHAP !!!!!!!!!

ANY QUESTIONS FROM THE CLASS ATTENDEES ??????  GOOD, YOU ARE HEREBY DISMISSED & CARRY ON—OOORAH !!!!

“THE GURU”