Silicone Spray: e.g., "Camp Dry", or ACE Hardware's silicon spray.
Also, if you first degrease the bbl with (automotive) brake cleaner (in the RED can), and the spray blued steel with (ACE Hardware) silicone spray and rub it in with a paper towel, I find it works MUCH, MUCH better at preventing rust due to humidity, finger prints, etc.
It works better than the gun oils and WD-40 on any of my blue (steel) guns. Better than "commercial rust preventatives" leaves the door wide open for a LOT of different products, and so I can't answer that.
But, IF a rust preventative has silicon as a base, or any of the "nano" molecular technology products (e.g., Blingmaster aluminum polish), then I'd say those products are candidates for a trial, for sure.
My beloved Winchester 101 "Special Field" got some fine (wind-blown) snow blasted into the nooks and crannies - mostly between wood and metal, but along the seams between the barrels, etc. as well. And, I was appalled to find how the oil had apparently evaporated to the point of not protecting the bluing and RUST resulted in just a couple days.
Also, I had purchased a fine old Remington 341P (tube fed, 22LR w/ factory peep sights) circa 1937. All the metal bluing surfaces were coated with a thin film of rust - evident by wiping a white cloth over the metal.
I removed the rust film with a 0000 steel wool pad, wetted with Hoppe's gun oil and lightly wiping the metal until no more rust showed on a white towel when I "test wiped" the metal. With the rust removed, I applied gun oil to a rag (I used both Hoppes and Remoil and good old 3 in One oil(s) and stored it in my safe. In two weeks there was MORE rust coming off the barrel, etc.
I repeated the 0000 steel wool routine several times, but each time RUST would come off onto the white towels when I wiped the barrel after a couple weeks or so. This was frustrating, but it all ended when I tried stripping the oil and applying the silicone spray and applying some elbow grease to the silicone and metal.
Now that 341P and all my blue steel guns can sit in the safe for months, or even years between uses and there still is NO RUST wiping off on the white rag with maybe a couple exceptions (where it may have been because I didn't get all the rust off before treating the metal and storing it...perhaps(?)).
I WILL admit to sometimes wiping the guns with some Remoil on top of the silicone (spray), out of shear habit or 'mistrust'. But, since I know the blue would rust w/ only the gun oil applied, and there is no rust occurring in the same time period experienced with the silicone treatment, I have to think it is the silicone treatment that is responsible for stopping the rust.
Want more? While working in the gunshop, we took delivery of some new guns that often would have a dull luster and would leave reddish-brown rust on a white rag after wiping the metal.
Although the shop owner was "old school" and stuck with Remoil (or whatever) as a daily treatment against fingerprints and oxidation, once again the oil treated guns would "show red" in as little as a day or two after wiping with gun oil only. (The exception were the Springfield Armory M1As, etc that came packed in a coating of grease (cosmoline?). But, who would want to cover their prized bird gun with that stuff!?) However, I brought some ACE HARDWARE spray silicone and some BRAKE CLEANER (degreaser) and 0000 steel wool and "had at" a sample of those guns that just wouldn't stop rusting. Problem solved!!
SO! That's my story (And I'm sticking to it!) But, if there is a better "mousetrap" out there, I'm all ears!
The two photos are of a Win mo 52, circa 1933. The bluing came to me looking dull, AND a light film of rust in spite of the obvious care the gun had received over the years. But, after the "degreasing/silicone spray and elbow grease" routine, you can see for yourself how it looks. The silicone actually polishes the bluing on most highly polished metal, I find.
Paul, thanks for the tip on silicone oil. I will try it on some hand tools that got left out in the rain. Years ago, I was given a tip from one of the old-timer dealers in my area, and the best rust inhibiting treatments I have found is a product called RIG, a Rust Inhibiting Grease. Yes it is a grease, and I apply it with a small sheepskin pad and work the grease into the pad. To apply to the gun, you put it on lightly with the pad and rub it in good, it does not leave the gun feeling greasy. I get the jar of RIG, not the pre-greased pad they market. It goes on all my blued weapons, including my Colt and S&W and my M52s.
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