Building a “battlefield pickup”

I have no racial prejudices against guns. I don’t care if they are pink, black, white, yellow or purple. I am prejudiced against rust and it cuts deep to see a gun owner intentionally rust up his rifle1 !

tailo at AR-15 wanted a “battlefield pickup” look so he used bleach to rust it up.

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

  1. Specifically the red oxide of iron, I know that blue is technically rust ;) 

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.


  • Very cool and unique. As for the rust, looking abused isn’t the same as actually being abused. It’s still nice and shiny where it counts.

  • Matt Groom

    That’s sorta like spray painting your truck with brown paint so that it looks like you went muddin’.

  • me

    Battlefield pick up? Looks more like a battlefield dig up.

  • Joel

    I think that it’s kind of a cool idea, assuming you have the money to burn on it. It would get some looks at the range. Might be fun to shoot in competition against guys with multi-thousand dollar ARs. The only thing that I would have done differently is that I would have removed a lot of the finish before “rusting” the gun. That would have looked ‘more authentic’

  • Michael Pham

    Did you mean bleach*?

    “Now, I wanted a “range beater/battlefield pickup” so I pulled the barrel with RIG and rusted it with bleach. “

  • Merc

    Why the heck would you do that?!?

    As someone who cannot legally own one of these, I’m deeply saddened by that picture.

  • Gregor

    Back in the 80s the kids cut holes in perfectly fine jeans and now they put rust on new guns… Anyway, looks cool 🙂

  • 032125

    If you read through the whole thread you might get the impression that this guy and his crew will do most anything for attention and/or cheap high fives.

    It’s not a bad idea per se; a lot of sword collectors will patina expensive swords along he same lines, but I’d hate to see this done to an Arsenal.

  • jdun1911


    Because they can. There was someone a couple years back that threw his brand new AR15 onto the driveway more than once to make it look like battle worn. He made a Youtube video doing it. An instant classic.

    The other extreme are people that wants that firearms to be spotless. They get a heart attack or go ballistic when they noticed a minor starch. These people whine to high heavens to everybody.

    My suggestion is have fun with your firearms. Don’t get stress out on the little things in life. Not worth it from my personal experiences.

  • subase

    Well I guess eventually their had to be a backlash to the pimped up tacticool rifles.

  • charles222

    Joel-LOL. That would be frickin hilarious, especially if you won.

  • Clodboy

    Reminds me of the battlefield pickups in Far Cry 2 – apparently, grizzled evil mercenaries completely ignore the need for any and all cleaning and maintenance of their weapons, presumably because in their hands, weapons never jam, even though the gun is guaranteed to go kaboom after a few hundred rounds in the hands of the player.

    Speaking of which, whoever wrote the article on Far Cry 2 at IMFDB ( ) is a genius:
    “The failure animation shows the barrel defying physics in order to make one final lunge at the operator’s skull for not knowing how to maintain a firearm.” 😀

  • Would you trust your life in Combat, to a guy that rusts his weapon, to look “Mad Max”?

  • Elkroppo

    I am a huge car and gun nut, and I think this is much the same as seeing a rusted out mid 90s toyota. There are millions of tjem,

  • Elkroppo

    oops! Millions of them, they are cheaply built, and will run for forever.

  • To each his own, but purposely rusting a gun offends me.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Agree with Merc; that’s just wrong!

  • Freiheit

    That just seems like extra effort. Some friends of mine have rifles that are rough because they go out and shoot 1000 rounds every other weekend. They practice dumping an empty rifle and transitioning to a handgun. The rifles get set on the tailgate and not on a changing pad.

    If you’ve got a rifle that looks like its been through hell but you only have a case of ammo down the pipe, I just don’t get it.

  • 4Cammer

    Makes as much sense as a “rat rod” made with all new parts or a factory worn and checked Stratocaster. Poor gun….

  • Gabe

    We can’t get these in Canada 🙁
    Only CZ 858s and those are a little too expensive to justify doing this.
    Maybe with an SKS though…

  • Looks like shit. Probably smells nauseating like chlorine. Atrocious.

  • A person has every right to do with his property as he wishes … I just really really wish he had not done that.

  • Bandito762

    I don’t understand this, but I guess it is his gun and his money. I just don’t want to be next to him at the range when this thing tears itself apart.

  • John Connor

    If he wanted it to look like that he could abuse the crap out of it legitimately but no, Bleach it is. Now to clean the puke out of my mouth.

  • Pete Sheppard

    A “Somali Pirate Pickup” or “Liberian Militia Pickup” perhaps. I’ve seen photos of their sorry weapons, and they looked like that.

  • Gerald

    I’ll take the minority stand here and say that I like it. It is not a rare or restricted weapon like a full-auto or a Spas-12 where there are only so many in the country and no more on the way. It is an AK, and there are more AKs out there than all other weapons put together. If he wants to “decorate” one to make it look like it survived a war-zone then good on him. Cosmetic wear does not hurt the gun, and I honestly like to see something new every once in a while amid a sea of tacticooled AR-15s that everyone and their mother owns.

  • Jim

    I like the BFPU look, when its done with say steel wool. I don’t think outright rust adds anything beyond that. Honestly though the bleach doesn’t matter because it being a weld build, it is not really worth anything anyway.

  • subase

    It would have been smarter to use fake rust instead of real rust.

  • must be nice to have $$$ and time to waste seem a bit foolish to bleach and wreck a good ak but his $$$ not mine anything i own i care for and shure as heck clean polish and make shure everthing work,s that guy need,s some leasion,s on that with the ak

  • I have to agree with Merc….

    Also as someone who cannot own a real one of these I just cannot stomach teh idea of deliberately trashing a classic arm like this. To be honest I prefered teh photo he had of teh AK BEFORE he started his rust treatment – that was a well worn and used look, far more authentic to how the vast majority of third world AKs look like…

    What this guys seems to have gone for is the Bad Company 2 Vietnam look! LOL

    (Postscript: Ironically as an airsofter we DO do this sort of things to airsoft AKs to make them look a little more realistic – we call it ‘weathering’. But teh whole idea is to make your toy AK look like a real service AK that you have seen in a photo – I have never seen an AK in this bad a condition!)

  • TGM

    I think it bears mentioning that this particular semi-automatic AK clone was built from a damaged parts kit before it was assembled and antiqued.

  • Hasn’t this guy ever heard of paint?

    Could be painted to look rusted without actually damaging the gun.

    How do you keep the rusted look from eating it’s way completely thru the gun?

  • Matt

    I think you mean prejudiced there, amigo. Yes, I’m an editing geek.

  • Stefan

    Why? Go to Afghanistan and get a real one!

  • SEAL76

    Screwing up a perfectly good AK 47 seems like a waste of time.

  • hedghog

    if you want the BFPU look. just buy your ar 15-parts from SARCO!

    that will save you a few steps!

  • gdog

    It was not a classic or new AK, it was a failed build that another novice builder gave up on. No collectable firearms were harmed. This guy resurrected weapon with a weld build. Then he decided to torture test it to see just how much abuse the legendary AK could really take. Here is the video:

  • tailo

    Actually, I’m the guy that rusted that AK.

    Bleach was not the only compound I used to rust the steel, urine works great also!

    You also have to put some dents in to it….

  • tailo

    Actually, it failed because I had grease in the chamber, it collected dirt and caused the case to get stuck. It was not a failed build after we pissed in the barrel it started working again.

    Heres what it looks like today:

  • DoubleNaughtSpy

    It’s his rifle. None of you should say a goddamned thing about what he does to it.

  • Claudia Carpio

    Thank you for your blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic.