Most corrosion-resistant light rifle?



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  • Most corrosion-resistant light rifle?

    A friend and I were visiting today and started talking about which stainless light rifle would stand up to bad weather the best. My Winchester stainless has everything stainless, or a matching alloy, and does a great job not rusting. (It has had a little under the bases and between the magazine spring and floor plate, but it wiped off.) However, it isnít light. It weighs nine pounds five ounces ready to go. His ultra light Ruger stainless has a blue magazine spring and mag box. I know the Kimber Montanas have some blue parts in them. Tikkas look like the bolt release and safety are blued. Brownings have a blued magazine. Would the best rust-proof rifle be a 700? The only blued part I could see was the bolt head. Iím just curious as to what rifles you have found that stand up well to the weather.

  • #2
    corrosion-resistant Rifle

    If you want the ultmate corrosin resistant rifle just pick your rifle without worry about metal, Then send it to Mr Birdsong and have BlackT or greenT finish applied. You can submerge your rifle for weeks in salt water with out crrosion, you also don't need to use oil anymore. The finish cost $150 plus shiping. It's the finish the seals use on the weapons they swim with. below is a article on the Black T finish.
    DR B


    • #3
      Mr. Birdsongs Black T finish

      Dr T thanks for that tip I've been hearing about a miracle black finish for years and never could find the information or location of it you just made my day and a 442 smith will be on its way in a day or two.It's my carry gun and as I sweat alot rust is a problem down here you just cured that for me thanks again and I will let you know how it turns out.Good Shooting Ronnie


      • #4

        Is the finish applied to the chamber and bore? Seems you would still have to worry about that area.



        • #5
          Rust Proofing?

          The coatings, they are various, all are good, some are better and there are newer and better coming out all the time. Without getting into specifics, when the coatings are applied, they are not put into the chamber or bore. If in the bore the first few shot would burn it out, so no help there. Also, this stuff (polymer) has a slight build up to it, I am told .0004", That's 4 ten thousandths of an inch, not much but inside the chamber and bore could alter the dimensions, but like I said it wouldn't last anyway.

          This treatment is good and a help in preventing rust, but still needs some care, just as stainless steel does, if in a salt water environment. In areas where there is no salt air or salt mist, rust is much less of a problem. Even hunting in the rain for days will not rust a well blued gun with a minimum of care (a little oil here and there) . There are many rust inhibitor lubricants that are helpful in this situation. There is no reason to be paranoid about a rifle rusting into oblivion during a ten day hunt. I have carried blued rifles in saddle scabbards for days in the rain and never had anything but slight surface rust which easily wipped off with an oiled cloth. Now these treatments are good I'm not saying they don't work, I have several guns with these treatments. They are a good finish and I like the matte non glare look, but they do require some care in the rub points of the action, where the stuff wears off, (and it does wear off) and in the bore.

          I own a rifle which is a pre-64 Winchester M70 in 375 H&H which spent 22 years hunting in southeast Alaska, it was never reblued or coated with anything, it has very little blue remaining, the stock shows signs of rough use, the bore is perfect, it shoots very well, it has a 25" barrel, and a receiver sight, 100% original, parts wise. It is not ruined. It belonged to a guide, an old navy buddy, who came here in 1979. You can use blued guns in Alaska. Just my unsolicited opinion.

          Good shootin'.

          Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


          • #6
            Black-T Green-T

            You need to check out the Black-T and Green-T finishes. they are diffrent than what you are use to. They don't require oil, their is no build up they are thiner than Blueing and is much thiner than the tolerances in your firearm. They also wear better than Blueing. I copied a description for you since I don't think youbothered to read the link I Posted.

            "The finishes by Wilson, Baer, Gunsite, Thunder Ranch etc. are all the same – they are all basically KG Guncote, which is a DuPont spray-on, bake-on telflon product. Although it is very rust resistant, it is not particularly durable (despite what they say).

            I'll cut to the chase and tell you that the best finish to fit your bill is a proprietary finish called Black-T developed and done exclusively by W.E. Birdsong and Associates.

            Black-T was developed as a finish for the external mechanical parts of Navy submarines. They needed a finish that would keep rust and corrosion from salt at bay, and did not need lubrication. Soon after they won contracts for submarine parts, it was discovered that it worked extremely well for small arms.

            Unlike the DuPont products, it is not merely sprayed on, but actually penetrates the metal. It is therefore slightly more durable than a good bluing job, and much more durable than any of the spray-on bake-on finishes. Once applied, it needs nothing – no lubrication, and no special care. As the metal is completely bonded, it simply cannot rust.

            A few things to be aware of with Birdsong: 1) Since he deals almost exclusively with government contracts, it may be a while before you get your gun back. 2) Prices are very reasonable. $150 for a long gun. 3) Walter Birdsong is the nicest southern gentleman you'll ever meet. He still answers his own phone. 4) Since he has so much work with government contracts, he doesn't advertise and isn't particularly looking for end-user work, so he's hard to locate. But he is very personable and helpful if you do catch up with him, and I can help you with that: W.E Birdsong & Assoc.,Inc. 1435 Monterey Rd. Florence, MS 39073 601-939-7448. "

            DR B


            • #7

              This is probably going to sound odd to many of you blokes out there, but I like the ritual of cleaning and caring for my firearms, along with other equiptment. It is a show of respect, in my mind, for what the bits do for you over the years, providing you with meat fur and adventure, not to mention safe returns. I still like nice wood and blued finish, shiny or matt. But, this is a different world, not truly mine anymore. Sure, technological advances have made so many things so much easier, but is that necessarily a good thing? Somehow, something is lost in the process, but that is, methinks, the nature of so-called progr ess. Like the guy(s) who think that because a Pre-64 Winchester is not as slick as some of the newer firearms, there probably isn't anything really that special about them. Right....


              • #8
                Most corrosion-resistant light rifle?

                I have a friend like you Murphy he professes to get into the process of hunting, so he made a Cherokee Bow and wooden arrows that he fletched with turkey feathers from a brid he killed. Personally I prefer to live in the 21st century. I love to see what new things come out each year many of which increase the amount of time that I can hunt. If I have the choice of hunting or cleaning a rifle I'll take hunting.
                Also having a low mantince rifle in the field has many advantages, Mr Birdsong told me if the rifle gets muddy or dirty just find some clean water a stream, pond, or hose and wash it off and keep on going. No smelly oil to alert game either.
                The name of this thread was "Most corrosion-resistant light rifle"
                I know pyridine shifts for you old guys are tough, but give it a try some time.
                DR B


                • #9
                  Rifle Care

                  DR B,

                  Thanks very much for that insight on Black T, and settin' me straight on that. I have two rifles with Black T, well one for sure and one from Dakota that they advertise as Black T, and they tell me they send it off and have it done, it must be to Mr. Birdsong. The other is a stainless Black T coated rifle. It is very good, no doubt about it. But, like blueing it does wear off at the rub points in the action after a few hundred strokes. I don't think it is put into the barrel or if so, like blueing it will wear/burn off. If this is the same stuff used on submarine parts, it's also the same stuff used for small arms treatment in the brown water Navy. And, oh yeah, everybody there likes it. It saves a lot of cleaning up time on your gear when you get back, we always liked that.

                  I have washed off rifles in the clear river water, blued rifles, and yes I put oil on them after and had a coat of oil on them before the dip.

                  There is nothing wrong with low maintenance rifles, I didn't disagree with that. I just see so much of "you gotta have stainless steel and synthetic or your rifle will be ruined in one hunt" and that isn't true. An individual who can ruin a blue/ walnut rifle in one hunt can also ruin a stainless/synthetic rifle in one hunt. It seems you are saying there would be no time to hunt if one were to bring a blued gun to the field for all the time would be spent "cleaning it".

                  You were the guy who questioned the premium bullets post with "what did bullets do before premium bullets, bounce off?" well I'll hand that back to you, how did a rifle ever survive Alaska, before stainless steel, or super finishes?

                  I'll admit there is a certain practicality to the non warping synthetic stock, more so than the rust free finish of a rifle. But I will still question the absolute necessity of it. One advantage of it is that blood doesn't hurt the finish. A blued finish will rust quickly if blood is allowed to stay on the surface for any time at all. Also sweaty old horses are hard on a finish. I once knew a guy who accidentally took off part of the finish of a very nice Browning with an errant pack of taco sauce. He literally wiped the blue off to bare white metal, after only one application. I guess Black T is impervious to taco sauce.

                  I'm like Mauserboy. I don't mind cleaning a gun. It is what I call bonding with my rifle. It show appreciation and gratitude, no, not to the inanimate object but to the many people who contributed to it and to the craft and skill that went into it. It also shows an appreciation and respect to those who will own it after I'm gone, or the new owner if I decide to sell it. The same way I enjoy seeing a rifle that is 40 plus years old and showing signs of honest wear with care, but not abuse. Especially when I know that it was carried afield on three continents and has taken all manner of game and still going strong. Yes that is a special kind of appreciation. To me stainless synthetics will never hold that same warm appreciation because I know it's previous owner is like the carpenter who, at the end of the day tosses his hammer into the back of the truck, instead of putting it away in a dry tool box. Oh sure, the hammer is still just as good and will still do the job, but it was abused. To me the S/S rifles of today are designed for this new generation of people who plan to abuse and neglect what I choose to care for. It's a different way of thinking. Maybe I am stuck in the 20th or even the 19th century, but it was that era when men relied so heavily on their firearms for their very existance, that gives me my deep appreciation for them today. What could be a better cap to a hard day of hunting than sitting by a warm campfire with a good rifle in hand , and giving it a little care as we watch the sun setting beyond a mountain. I happen to think this is part of the adverture. Good shootin'.

                  Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


                  • #10
                    Black T, TR-Gunkote, Nylite the same

                    I have been in touch with Gary Junk, an excellent gunsmith who operates Arctic Gunworks in Fairbanks. He does the same kind of coating, which he calls Arctic Kote, and BlackT is the same as TR-Guncote or Nylite, or in his case, Arctic Kote. It is applied as a .0004" layer and baked at 350 degrees. He also has another product that he is sure is more durable then Gunkote/ BlackT. He calls it Cera-Kote, a two part coating that has ceramic particles in it that make it even tougher and long lasting. This comes from him in Satin/Matte Black, Gray or Green. I believe his website is
                    To amend my last posting, in some cases, I would be willing to try this finish on a firearm that needs a full refinishing, like the three screw Super Blackhawk I recently purchased. It needs work. I did not get this gun as a collecter item, so a new finish won't matter. I already replaced the original basepin with a Belt Mountain oversized pin that slipped snugly in and cut the excess side play of the cylinder to very acceptable levels. Arctic Kote would close the working specs of the gun just enough to make it acceptably tighter, not a bad thing. So, for practical reasons, I would try it. I just love the sound of the action, the easier loading and unloading of the gun and the fact that it doesn't patronizingly tell you to read the owner's manual before yadda, yadda.


                    • #11
                      Here's a coating that can be applied to the internals..........Have heard excellent reports on the durability and the self lubricating quality of it.


                      • #12
                        Murphy, Ya done it again.

                        I have some stainless synthetics and I like em. However I can't sit down and watch TV without having a gun in my hands that needs some attention. My family expects it. I can sit for hours rubbing plain old Thompson Center bore butter into a fine walnut stock. Try it some time you'll like what it does.

                        Just recently I was in the Twins Cities visiting my 22 year old son. As I walked in the door of his appartment I could smell gun oil. He was watching TV and spit shining his H.K. USP 40. I couldn't have been prouder!

                        I am not goint to knock the BlackT stuff or any one who likes to be "modern". To each his own! We are all hunters and shooters so we are all on the same side. However there needs to be a little special grace to us old farts who are "old school". Some of us don't use the new fangeled stuff because it isn't part of our isn't what we cut our eye teeth on.

                        I will not hunt out of a thousand dollar port-a-johnny sitting on stilts as I prefer hunting from a ground blind that I constructed out of natural surroundings. I will not wear sent lock because learning to play the wind is how I learned to do it . I very seldom shoot store bought ammo....I gotta roll my own. I will not put any BlackT or similar stuff on any of my blue/walnut guns. I am what I am and thats is old school. The rewards I get from being old school are all the justification that I need. Beside if my father saw my covering up anyone of my blue/walnut guns with rust inhibiter then I would probably get a 75 year old boot in the @ss!

                        As for you younger guys who only have time to stop and smell half the roses. Go put whatever you want on your grandpa's pre 64 Winny and stick in the corner and grab your golf clubs and get gone. As for me I CHOOSE to stay home and clean my guns the old fashioned way!


                        • #13
                          Old Farts

                          That we is ...I reckon.


                          Thanks, your'e right again.


                          I was in Gary's shop on Tuesday checking on my rifle he's building for me. He's building a Montana/Broughton/MPI/NECG for me with his Cera-Kote green finish and a green finished stock. (So I guess I do like those things). He is a good smith and has done work for me in the past. He did two Sako 375's with his Arctic-Kote. One was older and kinda loose the other was near new. The older one tightened up nicely the other took a bit more bolt cycling to work smoothly. This stuff is good on all the internal parts that seem to hold water and collect mud because of that, so that helps to keep the rust down inside where it is more neglected.

                          I have another Sako 338 WM the only 338 I have up here and it is old and loose and can benefit from the coating. I was going to try the Cera-Kote on it but haven't decided if the barrel needs replacing or not and if so I'll probably change calibers to the 9.3 Kabluewy then install in a McMillan stock and coat and bed it then. It had a removable muzzle brake on it when I bought it with a thread protector on it and I wanted to get rid of that but want to be sure it won't shoot before I off the barrel and also would like to find a replacement 338 if that comes to be. Point is the older, worn, loose, (abused) working rifles can benefit in more than one way from the coating.

                          I call this stuff a thin candy shell (As with M&M's) and I'll probably do my new Ruger all weather in 450 Marlin in this new Cera-Kote also, then stuff it in a McMillan OD green stock. Now that would be one tough lookin' 'green machine' butt kickin' rifle. Good shootin'.

                          Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


                          • #14

                            I like em both. I took my blued/wood 350 Rigby mauser I'd built myself on a week long deer hunt on Montague Island last year. I must say, at the end of a long, cold, wet day trudging through the wet stuff, I didn't always have the energy to go through the process of cleaning it, and the salt spray definately sets to rusting stuff up.

                            I just got a ruger ss/syn 350 rem mag, and must say, having low maintenance is a plus. I'm hard on equipment, and plan to do alot of island deer hunting.

                            I'd rather be trudging through the hills than cleaning guns, but to each their own.
                            Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                            If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


                            • #15
                              Stainless verses

                              Damon - I work on Kimber Montanas, SS M70s, SS 700 & 7s, Mausers and pre-64 M70s - they all rust in AK conditions but at different rates due to each part's particular metal characteristics. For a light sheep rifle the little Montanas with Talley rings excell and the only non SS parts I see are in the rather complex trigger. My working gun is a SSM70 35 Whelen Imp.- the floorplate rusts worse than pre-64s but the rest of the gun does well. It weighs a little over 7lbs with a custom barrel/kevlar stock and I have seen them built under 6lbs. 700s do real well for rust but the triggers freeze up. My old sheep rifle is rebarreled pre64 270 Fwt and has spent many nights outside the Bibler under a pack with little rust. All of the coatings offered by AK smiths that I know of are a spray-one/bake in a pizza oven combos which work pretty good unless you hunt around rocks and cut through the coating to raw metal. Robbie Robar's in-the-metal coatings have a excellent repuation with the special ops crowd. For other than winter hunting I use rust inhibiting grease for outside metal and triflow for internals both put on at light as possible. In sub-zero hunting go completely oil free on internals. Major C


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