Concealed Carry Corner: Preventing Surface Rust On Carry Guns

    Let’s face it, during the summer months, carrying a gun can get a little hot and uncomfortable at times. Naturally during this, the body will sweat and your gun may have sweat on it after a long day of carrying it concealed. It’s not a big deal if it only happens once in a while, but if the handgun isn’t cleaned regularly, it can start to erode the finish off and develop surface rust. There are a few different ways to combat surface rust depending on maintenance and holster type. Let’s dive into the different ways of protecting your gun against surface rust.

    Best Defense Is A Good Offense

    Surface rust generally develops over time and doesn’t happen overnight in most cases. Having the proper holster and maintaining your gun will be a great way to minimize the risk of having surface rust. Even despite regular maintenance and trying to keep your handgun clean, there’s always a chance that a bit of surface rust will pop up on various parts of a handgun. Probably the most common spot is around the iron sights, trigger area and magazine release. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of other places it can happen with enough time. Whether it’s a Glock, Smith & Wesson or SIG, I’ve had little spots start to wear over time and it can rust. One of the easiest ways to combat light surface rust is just a good scrub with a low impact brush and a healthy drop of oil to keep things clean.

    Some surfaces like the cylinder release are something to watch out for over time.

    Cleaning and Repairing

    Probably one of the easiest ways to combat surface rust is just having a set of smaller brushes with oil. Personally, I have the most problems around the base of iron sights and on the magazine release typically. Having something like a small airbrush painting cleaning brush to scrub in hard to reach areas is extremely helpful. Having a brass brush can be helpful at times but can take the finish off some surfaces if you clean too aggressively.

    I’ve carried my original P365 for a few years now and will get a tiny bit of surface junk on the sights.

    If it becomes too much of a hassle and you need a comprehensive fix there are always options. Depending on your finish and color, you can use something like a bluing pen or refinishing it with a coating like Cerakote. Some people would rather keep their sights than swap them for a new pair and that’s an option if you decide to sandblast and coat your sights. It will be a labor intensive project but it’s definitely an option. Having rust on replaceable parts is one of the easiest ways to keep your gun clean without changing many parts but most of the time it can be containable. Another great way to keep sweat and corrosion off the gun is having the right holster and sweat guard to cover your firearm.

    With a little cleaning and gun oil, my sights are as good as new.

    Holster Sweat Guards

    Having the right holster sweat guard is important depending on how much maintenance you do on average. Having something like a medium or high sweat guard will cover the majority of the handgun and keep it safe from elements and corrosion. Kydex does a good job deflecting moisture and things that could get on your gun otherwise. A leather holster can absorb moisture and wear the leather quicker where Kydex doesn’t flex or change over time.

    A medium sweat guard on my Glock 19 holster

    Personally, I prefer carrying a low sweat guard on my holster since it’s a bit more comfortable to me than something with a high sweat guard. Lower sweat guards tend to not dig into my side as much as a higher sweat guard but depending on the holster company, there are usually options to have a modified sweat guard. This newer modified style is growing in popularity but isn’t offered everywhere so it’s important to look around for what works best in your daily carry lifestyle.

    Overall Thoughts

    When you first start carrying a gun, it can be alarming to see a little surface rust on your guns if it’s a new concept to you. Over the years, I have come to the realization that surface rust is going to happen just because of the sweat and corrosive materials that hit your gun through daily use. In the grand scheme of things, it’s easiest just to regularly maintain and clean your firearm in the hot summer months. Holster selection really does help but it will ultimately depend on what’s comfortable for you and if comfort or a higher sweat guard is more important.

    With proper cleaning, your handgun will take care of you for a real long time.

    I have always had the belief to carry with a low sweat guard for a more comfortable carry and instead just maintain my firearm more often. Let me know what you guys do in the comments below. Would you rather have a higher sweat guard to protect your gun or is comfort more important? Be sure to leave your comments below. If you have any questions about concealed carry or just general firearm questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.

    TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner is brought to you by GLOCK


    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.