Blue vs. Stainless
It is no mystery that a Blued Barrel is more prone to surface rust than Stainless Steel. That’s not to say Stainless doesn’t rust at all, that’s not true, but the speed between the two varies greatly.
On saying that, I was surprised to find during my recent couple of days in the Kaimanawa Ranges, that it only took a matter of hours after the barrel on my X-Bolt got wet that it started developing rust spots on the Blued Barrel! Needless to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with the situation and considering we were out for another day, keen to do something about.
Well – it was my Pro-Shot Metal Care Cloth to the rescue!
I picked this up a bit of a whim one day at Serious Shooters, and have carried it my rifle maintenance bag, along with a bore snake and some spare tape for the barrel. I had generally used it just to wipe the rifle down after a day at the range. So this was the first time giving it a proper test!
The cloth is impregnated with a silicone that is said to both remove rust/marks and protect it. I followed the (simple) instructions – wiped the gun down and left it for a couple of minutes. It was about this point I started pondering the building of a Stainless Steel Bush Pig – any excuse to ponder the next gun build I guess.
After a good couple of minutes, I started to wipe down the barrel, I image a second clean cloth would be a good option for this, but then it’s more to carry – so I used the same cloth. Lo and behold, most the marking ended up on the barrel!
Wouldn’t call it perfect, but certainly a whole lot better than it was. In addition, it now had a thin silicone on it, so the rust spots didn’t come back, despite another day in the wet.
While these days, the blued rifle may not be the logical best choice for a wet environment, this also shows that a little surface marking isn’t something to worry about – and with a little care, can easily be dealt with. Certainly, if you have one of these handy little cloths on you.
On my return home, I stripped the rifle action down and gave the underside a good clean out – shaking loose a little bit of dirt and greenery that got trapped between the floated barrel and the stock during the bush bashing.
It also gave me a chance to check out the stock and start looking to waterproof the wood. Another article.