How to restore a rusty gun?

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Eris
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How to restore a rusty gun?

#1 Post by Eris » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:01 pm

About 40 years ago my parents bought a Mossberg 500A shotgun for some reason, and then never used it. It's literally still in the original box and as far as I know has never been fired. But it was really just neglected all those years and now it has pretty bad rust on the barrel. Expand the photo to see it. Do you think I could clean up the rust myself, or should I take this to a gunsmith to have it restored?

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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#2 Post by SubRosa » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:06 pm

It's a $150-$200 gun. Re-bluing will be around $100-$150, so your call.

I'd use Naval Jelly on the rust (it will remove bluing, too), and paint the thing flat black with VHT hi-temp & call it good.

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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#3 Post by Eris » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:17 pm

Hmm. Looks like there's a little rust inside the barrel too
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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#4 Post by Marlene » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:19 pm

An alternative to Subs version would be scrubbing the rust off with with OOOO steel wool and gun oil (inside and out), and just keep it oiled to prevent rust. You could touch up the scrubbed areas with some cold blue (follow the directions on the package) or not.

There are definitely prettier options for finish restoration than my or Subs' suggestions, but they'd be a bunch of money that this gun probably doesn't merit. Cheaper than good quality restoration work would be to replace the barrel and magazine tube, both of which are comparatively inexpensive for a gun like this and can be swapped easily at home.

Also, put a shoulder stock on that thing if you want it to do very much other than look scary. Pistol grip shotguns are nearly useless except for a very narrow set of combat situations.

These are guns that lots of folks put fancy upgrade stocks and barrels and magazines on. That means you can find lightly used factory parts pretty easily at low prices.
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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#5 Post by Bucolic » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:23 pm

I heartily endorse the advice to get rid of the pistol grip. They are painful to shoot and very hard to point.

If it were mine, I would scrub it with steel wool, oil it well and have fun shooting the crap out of it. If it would feed the Aquila 1.75 inch shells with the little OPSol adapter, you probably could get ten or twelve in the magazine and have a bunch of fun.


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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#6 Post by Bisbee » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:02 pm

Eeew! That's nasty. That there is the perfect gun to get into amateur gunsmithing. It's fun refinishing a gun and you can't exactly lower the value of that gun anymore no matter what you do to it.

I second Marlene's suggestion of using steel wool to even out the surface of the outside and get rid of the rust. If it were mine, I'd consider hitting it with hi-temp BBQ flat black paint as SubRosa suggests. Many of those guns originally came painted flat black anyway so... just don't use any harsh cleaners on it afterwards or it'll attack the paint. But even if that happens you can always respray it.

If going that route of painting the barrel and magazine, douse it with carb cleaner to get rid of any steel wool particles before painting.

Rust in the barrel can be removed with steel wool as well but leave wet with oil as Marlene described. No point in painting the inside of a barrel that will just get blasted out with shot.

Have fun with this one! :hbd:
Last edited by Bisbee on Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#7 Post by Bisbee » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Oh, and take the barrel and magazine tube out of the receiver before you attack it with steel wool. I'm assuming the receiver is not rusty and is actually pretty OK looking. You don't want to scratch up any surfaces you don't need to refinish.

Look on YouTube to find a video how to take down a Mossberg 500. There are billions. That shotgun is the basis of countless modifications and accessories.

Look on eBay for used barrels and magazines (and other accessories like butt stocks and such). Price them out and don't spend too much money. The point is to have fun with this shooter.

Oh, and yes, watch some YouTube vids on Gun Mishaps and see how many people hurt themselves shooting shotguns without full buttstocks. Study them to avoid doing the same thing. That pistol grip needs to be held tight along with the front handle since the shotgun will tend to jump up and out of the hands to possibly hit you in the face. Shoot it once with that in mind and you'll understand what it wants to do and how to compensate. The set up right now is not designed to aim so much as shoot from the hip. Keep it far away from your face.
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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#8 Post by Eris » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:16 am

Blech. I took it apart and got the rust off - there wasn't as much as I thought, so that was easy. But now I can't get the trigger assembly back in. I slide the front tabs into the slots on the receiver, and then the rear end will *not* go down.

EDIT - Spoke too soon. The cartridge interrupter is a little bowed - I just had to press on it while inserting the trigger. All reassembled now! Just need to hit the bare metal with some paint, get a new stock, and I'l be good to go. Thanks to everyone for the advice!
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Re: How to restore a rusty gun?

#9 Post by Bucolic » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:04 am

As you have found out, it is best done with three hands...




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