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Gun Bluing - Creame or Liquid?

The finish on my rifle was looking a little faded and there were a couple of rust spots starting to appear. I have used G96 Gun Blue Creme over the years for spot treatment. While they make a great product, I find the application process inconvenient. For small spots, it is easy to neutralize the treated area with water. For a larger job like the full length of the rifle barrel, neutralizing with water produces some logistic challenges.

There is an alternative that does not need water to neutralize - Brownells Oxpho-Blue. The liquid gun blue wipes on and wipes off. Quick and easy, without water.

Removing oil, grease, dirt and rust is a necessity for either product. However, the Brownells solution claims to work with the presence of a light oil. I did not opt for testing that claim.

After a complete cleaning of the barrel, I rubbed it with #00 steel wool to remove the hazy film. The rust spots needed a little more than steel wool. My Dremel with a fine wire wheel did a quick job of cleaning the rust spots to bear metal.

I did pre-treat the rust spots with a Q-tip swap dipped in Brownells Oxpho-Blue. When there was a close match to the surrounding area, I switched to a cotton swap dipped in the bluing solution to rub the entire barrel; keeping a continuous motion to keep the barrel coated with fresh solution each pass.

As directions indicated, the barrel did begin to darken within a minute. A quick wipe with a clean cloth (micro-fiber towel), followed with a rub down of #00 steel wool was all that was needed to produce a shiny finish.

I was not happy with my first application as I wanted a darker look to the barrel. That required another pass with the bluing solution and within a couple of minutes, the barrel was wiped dry and polished with steel wool. This time the finish was darkened to my liking.

I did a final polish of the barrel using a lambs wool buffing wheel powered by Dremel. The final result is a dark shine that resembles a new gun finish.

And, while this application involved a gun barrel, there are many other uses; such as knife blades or other steel tools that are susceptible to rust.

My choice for bluing is the Brownells Oxpho-Blue for ease of application.

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