Restoring an old shotgun

Old Painless, who runs the famous Box O’ Truth website, has written a lengthly post on about the process he went through restoring an old shotgun. His post includes lots of photos.

Old Painless uses fine steel wool and WD-40 to remove rust. I personally use #0000 steel wool, which is very fine, and gun oil. This combination does not remove gun bluing if you are gentle. #00000 steel wool can be bought but I think it would be too fine.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • CinSC

    When I read the post I had to smile; my first gun was an Iver Johnson .410. It was a Christmas gift from my father when I was nine years old. I still have it.

    Thanks for the post.

  • tommy2rs

    I’ve had good results using pencil or gum erasers to remove rust. It gets the majority of the rust off without marring the bluing. The residual rust is then easier to remove and requires less use of the steel wool.