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Thread: Stainless Steel Doesn't Rust - My Patootie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    21st August 2016
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    Stainless Steel Doesn't Rust - My Patootie

    A few weeks ago I picked up an SR1911 CMD in a private sale. The price was good and the owner said the pistol had only about 500 rounds through it, and the lack of external wear bore that out - the pistol was in very good shape.

    I recently took off the factory grips to work on an ambi safety install and was surprised to find this:

    Ruger Rust.jpg

    The corrosion is all located under the grip areas on both sides. My suspicion is the pistol was stored in a damp environment for a time and the grips absorbed some moisture and this is the result. What's interesting is that there's no evidence of rust on any of the carbon steel parts (mainspring housing, grip safety, hammer, sights, ejector, etc.)

    I'm not really upset - the rust is very superficial and will easily clean up with a green scrubbie pad and some CLP. I've had other 'stainless' pistols (and knives) that would corrode, including one memorable S&W 3rd Gen semi-auto that would start to rust if you just looked at it wrong.

    This just highlights the fundamental fact that ALL steel will corrode under the right conditions. Cleaning, lubrication AND a light coat of oil is always appropriate!
    Likes (1) :
    woolieworm (3rd October 2016)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    24th July 2005
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    For stainless steel to be really stainless it would make the metal so weak you could bend it with your bare hands.
    So they add other elements to make it strong. It is more rust resistent than blue metal.
    Acouple of thoughts is to use Birchwood Casey Barricade. I use it on the outside of my guns and they stay brand new condition with no rust.
    Alight mist and wipe off the excess is all you need.
    second I have been running G10 grips on my stainless guns and I don't see anything even starting under the grips.
    I'm thinking the metal reacts with certain wood types in some cases.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    21st August 2016
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    T-Tac,

    Thanks. I think a regular wipe down with Break-Free CLP will do just fine. I actually like the looks of the Ruger factory grips but end up changing them out anyway for other options just to test. Right now this pistol is wearing a set of plain old plastic 1911 grips that I think work quite well and can be found easily for less than $10/set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    28th January 2005
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    South Texas
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    The good thing thing is, it well clean up.
    " I'm your huckelberry".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    14th August 2011
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    Arizona
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    In general, stainless steel is more resistant to rust than mild steel. Some of the different grades of stainless are more resistant than other grades. On a side note, a magnet will also stick to some stainless steel, the 400 series for example. Without knowing what what series Ruger uses, we do not know how resistant it it to rusting. But I suspect it is a 400 series and therefor more prone to rusting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    21st September 2008
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    Who ever said that stainless guns won't rust?

    Not sure about frames, but 1911 stainless barrels are 400 series, if I remember right... which as you say happily sticks to a magnet and is not all that stainless.

    The good news is that, as others have said, these marks clean up easily. On my stainless Para (the frame and slide of which will cling on to a big speaker magnet strongly enough for foul language to be required during separation), I found many such marks early on. More recently, I'm being very generous with CLP under the grips (they're plastic) and they haven't reappeared.

    But when they DID appear, an oily fingernail was all it took to remove them.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    12th June 2009
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    NYS
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    A Good Cleaning & Removing any rust from that firearm & then giving it a good treatment, With some EEZOX, will protect that Gun, From any further Rust issues etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    29th November 2007
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    Glendale, Arizona
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    There is not enough Nickel content in the Stainless Steel used in firearms manufacturing to be totally rust proof. It is only rust resistant. Meaning it is less likely to rust than carbon steel.

  9. #9
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    20th July 2008
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    Most people overlook the key word in stainLESS not stain proof. Less tells it all. Protect the stainless with good wax and examine when cleaned.
    Last edited by lashlaruhe; 18th July 2017 at 11:41.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    21st September 2008
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    Even high-nickel, good quality variants of stainless steel (not suitable for guns) will rust given the right (i.e. wrong) conditions. A long time ago I got hold of a nice, sturdy, non-magnetic stainless shelf case (the type they use in restaurant kitchens), which had been stain-free for over a decade, despite heat, humidity and some abuse. Then I stored a couple of plastic tubs of granular chlorine (for swimming pools) for a friend... bad, bad, idea. The tubs didn't even touch it, I'd placed them on the floor, under it! A month or so later when I removed them and peered under the bottom shelf, I was horrified to see two almost perfectly circular rust patterns, right over where the tubs had been. It cleaned up well with some scrubbing. That day's lesson: even really good stainless steel isn't really stainless.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

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