Firearm reconditioning: How to remove rusty spots WITHOUT removing any of the blue?
I hate to admit it, but I have a few rifles & pistols that haven't been adequately cared for, or "properly" stored. The issues are scratches & dings in the stock/forearm wood, and rusty spots/areas on the blued steel. I just ordered a de-humidifier (EV-500 model) for my safe (which is <8 cubic feet), so I should be good-to-go, after I tape/caulk all holes/seams, and install an adhesive foam door seal. So NOW is when I want to get everything that I keep in the safe into good cosmetic condition.
Reconditioning the wooden stuff should be pretty straight-forward, I think. I bought a package of 220/320/400 grit sandpaper and a can of mohogany 225 stain. Then I plan to finish up with a few coats of urethane. I have also ordered a couple of soft cases (I already have 2 hard cases - 1 rifle & 1 pistol) so no more nicks or scratches occur on any firearms that are being transported/used, or otherwise taken out of the safe.
The problem I am running into involves reconditioning of the blued barrels and other blued steel parts. Unfortunately, I have NO previous experience in this area. The products that I have purchased are "krudkutter" rust remover (it's water soluble), and "permablue" liquid gun blue (which I haven't tried yet, because I haven't gotten to that step yet). It is at the first step (de-rusting the steel), where I am faltering.
Since I am at the beginning of the "learning curve", I started out on a spare clip for my 9mm, which had a few areas of light rust on it, with 1 spot being somewhat rougher. First I tried scotchbrite on the more lightly rusted areas. But I noticed that it was too abrasive on the blueing that I DO NOT want removed, leaving scratches and lightened-up areas on it.
After reading the instructions on the rust remover bottle, I tried my hand at it, on the areas where rust was present, only to find that it instantly (and completely) removed all of the surrounding blueing, before even beginning to remove any rust. So I took another look at the bottle, now seeing the (very) fine print that states that if used on firearms, it WILL remove the blueing - Ooops!
I am now looking at a clip that I'm not seeing any actual rust on, but is now covered with un-blued areas around where the light rust spots were, and where the solution ran. But after letting it soak for like a half hour, like it suggested for areas where the rust is thicker, there is now a black, rough-looking "coating" over it, reminiscent of the permatex "rust avenger" (also water-based) stuff that I have used in the past (but never on firearms) to form a "primer" coat on rusted metal that paint can be applied onto.
What is the correct stuff to use to remove the rust WITHOUT removing any of the existing blueing? I am now at a standstill, waiting for some answers, before going on to the next step, of re-blueing only the spots where there was rust.
Or does it come down to simply taping off the areas that do not need any re-conditioning, which probably accounts for at least 80-85% of the blued steel?