How to Use Gun Bluing

by Zach Lazzari
Bluing puts a nice finish on your gun.

Bluing puts a nice finish on your gun.

Bluing is a protective coating for the metal parts of a gun. Bluing puts a finish on the metal while providing a layer of protection against water and rust. Putting on a new layer of bluing requires cleaning and removal of the old bluing. It also requires the removal of any existing rust. The overall process is simple and easily completed in a few hours.

Prep Work

  1. Cover a table with plastic or disposable towels to create a working space. Disassemble the gun to isolate the metal parts. Do not use bluing around any wood sections of the gun. Put acetone (nail polish remover) on a rag and wipe all the metal surfaces to remove oils from the gun. Wear surgical gloves during the entire process to prevent skin contact with chemicals.

Rust and Old Bluing Removal

  1. Before applying new bluing, you must remove any rust and all the old bluing. Apply a layer of chemical blue and rust removal to the metal and scrub with steel wool until the metal is polished. Numerous brands produce a blue and rust remover chemical agent. Use sandpaper to remove rust and bluing from threaded areas and difficult sections of the gun. Rinse the metal in a sink and do a thorough check for any missed rust and blue spots. Do a second scrub and rinse if necessary. Wipe the metal dry with a towel.

Application of Bluing

  1. Use the applicator that comes with the bluing to start the new finish. Most brands have an application method included with the chemical. If no applicator is included, use cotton balls to apply the blue. Apply an even coat of blue over the entire metal surface. Follow the bluing manufacturer's instructions for this process. Some bluing agents require a rinse under water after application and others only require a simple drying period. The specifications are located on the bottle. Add multiple coats of bluing until the desired color is reached.

Finishing Touches

  1. Inspect the new finish for cracks, fissures and any missed sections of metal. Dip a toothpick in the bluing to apply small touches on these sections. Leave the gun overnight to ensure the bluing is completely cured. Wipe the metal surfaces with a gun oil cloth to complete the process and prepare for use in the field.

About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a freelance outdoor writer specializing in hunting, fly fishing and the general outdoors. He guided fly fishing trips for 10 years in Colorado, Alaska, Montana and Patagonia-Chile. Zach lives in Montana and splits time between the river and keyboard.

Photo Credits

  • RaidenV/iStock/Getty Images