Rusty barrel cleaning solutions


So, I just purchased my first military surplus rifle and discovered that the bore is full of rust. I was wondering what’s the best way to clean rust out of a barrel? Your opinions and advice are most appreciated.


I’d get other options but steel wool on a cleaning rod maybe.


maybe Vinegar?, haven’t tried it my self


Is it surface rust, light pitting/frosting or full blown dark?


It is brown and in the bore of the rifle.


This is what how the swabs turned out after I ran them through the barrel. Swan 1 is on top, swab 2 is on the bottom.


Before getting too rambunctious with cleaning, just get the surface rust out and then shoot it.
If it shoots well, then there’s no real need to get too aggressive about it.
A rusty barrel can still shoot well and that’s what is important.
For safely removing rust try very fine steel wool soaked in oil.
Or one of the abrasive cleaning compounds with loose fitting patch.
There’s also abrasive bullets that reportedly work, too.
Remember the goal is assure the barrel shoots as well as possible.
How pretty it looks is a secondary consideration.


I wouldn’t use steel wool or any aggressive chemicals. A brass barrel brush in the right diameter with some Hoppes No. 9 will work wonders.


Yup, barrel brush traditional. Swab heavy with patch and olive oil, let sit overnight, repeat. Shoot it. Let the ammo do the rest of the work.


I will use Hoppes #9 with copper remover to scrub out a barrel with a stainless steel toronado brush. Once the majority of junk is out, I will then swab out the barrel until the patches are decent. Then I switch to a bronze brush and just used regular Hoppes. Again, patches till it is clean. Check the bore. It is is good, shoot it and see what it can do. Then I clean it again.


This is a good topic. I’m about to inherit an old shotgun and deer rifle that haven’t seen the daylight in well over 30 years. I hope my grandfather oiled them before putting them in the closet to sit all this time. If not they will likely have some rust. If the barrel inside and out are rusty what are all of my options you all recommend for preservation and occasional use?


Clean it, keep them oiled, have fun.
It is that simple.
Unless they are super expensive and you are looking at investments, then there is not much more that needs to be done.


That was my original plan. Just making sure I wasn’t leaving anything out.

I don’t know what they are yet. I haven’t laid eyes on them myself since I was a teenager…so quite a while. I would like them to be restored short of barrel / stock replacement that much I know. They are family heirlooms I’d like to pass down.


Well post them once you have them! They will be way cool no matter what! Hahhaha


Definitely! I’m trying to stop my aunt from procrastinating so I can come over and get them.