My Classic Army SLR105 Steel Version has lived a very colorful life so far. It’s been to several OLCMSS events, law enforcement training scenarios and casually used in a few film projects. Not too shabby, eh? If she’s that famous / precious, why don’t I treat her better? Let me elaborate.
To those that don’t know me, it appears I’m a dead beat Airsoft replica owner but I swear it’s not like that. After each event, I normally wipe down my gear and guns, dry them thoroughly and put them away. I empty my midcap to keep the springs strong, I charge my pistol mags to keep the seals fresh. I do as much post game prep as I do pregame prep. So why did the AK rust in the sealed gun bag?
One word: oil
I didn’t oil the steel parts of the gun. Coming from a very dry environment (SoCal) rust has never been an issue so I’ve never had to. I had my replicas in the garage, in gun bags for the better part of 10 years with not a single rust issue. One season in my Western NY garage and poof, rust city. Lesson learned.
To remove the rust, I used #0000 super-fine steel wool and WD40.
WORD OF CAUTION: This method will remove any paint/bluing that is on the impacted pieces. You will have a clean steel finish, maybe some paint/bluing will remain, but there is no guarantee. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
First I disassembled the AEG to isolate the rusty pieces. I applied the WD40 directly to the affected areas, wiped it down with a paper towel and let it sit for a few minutes. Next I used the steel wool to scuz the rusty pieces. I didn’t put too much pressure on it, just enough to remove the deep pitted rust. Again, I let it sit for a few minutes then wiped away the oily-rust with a paper towel. The process is not always 100% effective on the first pass so you may need to do it a few times to make sure you get all that nasty rust out of there. In the end, I spent maybe 30 minutes on this entire process and my AEG is back to a very clean condition. I did notice that on the now-clean-pieces, the finish was totally removed, leaving a very dark steel color. I personally love this look.. looks distressed and ‘field-used’. Once I was happy with the results, I wiped the restored pieces with an oil-laden rag to make sure the rust doesn’t return as easily.
Overall, great results for minimal effort. Here are a few pics of the rust and finished results.