Air Gunner - - Your Letters -


Af­ter shoot­ing in light rain a cou­ple of weeks ago, I fool­ishly locked my most prized airgun back in the cab­i­net with­out giv­ing the steel a wipe with an oiled rag, and have this morn­ing taken it out to find tiny ar­eas of rust on the bar­rel.

I’m dev­as­tated be­cause the ri­fle looks like new, apart from the rust spots! I know there’s plenty of ‘cold’ blue liq­uids and gels avail­able, and my ques­tion is, would any of them match the orig­i­nal blue, or do I have to send the bar­rel away for to­tally re-blu­ing?


GURU SAYS: Some of the mod­ern cold blue prod­ucts are ex­tremely good, but it can be a strug­gle to get re­pairs to blend in with ex­ist­ing blue, so if you want per­fec­tion, a pro­fes­sional re-blue is the only (al­beit ex­pen­sive) op­tion.

Hav­ing said that, I have seen some cold blue re­pairs so good that, un­less you were told they were there, or the light caught them at a pre­cise an­gle that made them more ap­par­ent, you’d be very hard pressed to find them. In your favour is the fact that the rust will be on the sur­face, and should not have pen­e­trated the steel in such a short pe­riod of time.

The key to suc­cess is prepa­ra­tion. First, gen­tly re­move the sur­face rust us­ing very fine wire wool, which will cre­ate small patches of bright steel sur­round­ing the spot that rusted, and make sure that the sur­face of the rusted area is very smooth and any minute rough­ness caused by the rust is gone. Next, thor­oughly de­grease the ar­eas to be blued.

Be­fore pro­gress­ing fur­ther, get your­self safety gog­gles and gloves to pro­tect your eyes and skin against splashes, and it’s best to work over a dis­pos­able sur­face, such as a sheet of news­pa­per.

I ap­ply cold blue paste, which I pre­fer to liq­uids be­cause it does not run, us­ing a fine artist’s paint­brush. Leave for the time as rec­om­mended on the la­bel, then wipe and wash off. Give the area a wipe with an oiled rag, and see how close the colour match is when viewed in day­light. If the re­paired area is too light, de­grease it and ap­ply a sec­ond treat­ment of cold blue, and re­peat un­til the de­sired shade is reached.

All in all, I would sug­gest hav­ing a go with cold blue gel. It isn’t wildly ex­pen­sive, and may well do the job to your sat­is­fac­tion and, if the re­sults fall short of ex­pec­ta­tions, then con­sider hav­ing the whole bar­rel, or ri­fle, pro­fes­sion­ally blued.

Those safety in­struc­tions aren’t there for dec­o­ra­tion. Pro­tec­tive cloth­ing is es­sen­tial

Sur­face rust won’t go away and can spread. Get some oil on it asap

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