Mag issue fix

While I was at John’s Guns yesterday, I picked up 2 Beretta Mags for $35. Both were USGI contract M9 mags, one new in the wrapper, the other used.

The used one had some minor surface rust, but the inside, spring, mag lips, and follower all looked to be in good shape, so I figured it was worth it to pick it up and clean it up.

Well, I started cleaning it today, and just couldn’t get the rust off. No matter how much Hoppe’s #9 I used and no matter how hard I scrubbed with the nylon bristle toothbrush, I couldn’t get it off. I even did the apply and let it soak method, but alas, still nothing. So, I went to Dad.

He looked at it, scratched it with his fingernail, confirmed it was surface rust, and said to boil it. I said huh? And these are the steps you do…

  1. Get a pot of water boiling on the stove.
  2. Once the water reaches a boil, drop the item in you want to clean.
  3. Let it sit there for a minute, then take some tongs and move it around in the boiling water.
  4. After that, take it out, but be careful, since the part will be hot (don’t ask how I figured that one out :P)
  5. Quickly dry it off.
  6. Get a toothbrush, dip it in some Hoppe’s, and scrub really good, making sure to cover it really well (I did this one side at a time on my mag).
  7. Once you’ve got it good and scrubbed, clean the brush, and start scrubbing again. Don’t dip it in the Hoppe’s again, just scrub away.
  8. Wipe off the brush again, and wipe off the part.
  9. Make sure and oil the part once you’re completely done cleaning it.

 For those who want to know the science behind it, I’ll do the best I can. The hot water heats the magazine, causing the pores of the metal to open. When the pores of the metal open, the boiling action of the water works a lot like Oxiclean, which is it gets bubble blasted (like sand or bead blasting, just with lots of bubbles instead) and breaks up and makes the lighter stuff loosen up and fall off.

For the heavier stuff that didn’t come off in the boiling water, the Hoppe’s works wonders. Again, like above, since the magazine is still hot, the pores of the metal are still open, meaning the Hoppe’s can do its job a lot better. Couple the Hoppe’s with the vigorous scrubbing action, and that removes the heavy stuff, especially when you go back and do it again with the dry, clean brush.

Now, the oiling is a critical step and can’t be skipped. Since the pores of the metal are open, leaving it clean and dry will mean the rust will come back and be a lot worse. However, by oiling while the magazine is still fairly warm, the oil gets down into the pores of the metal and actually will increase the protection against rust and other elements, instead of just sitting on the surface hanging out. If  you don’t oil it and let it cool down first, then oil, humidity gets trapped in the pores instead and eventually cause it to rust again.

What I really liked, was by doing it this way, you don’t remove the finish on the magazine. My initial thought was to hit it with some fine steel wool, but I was worried about removing the finish. By doing it this way, you get a clean part and leave the part better protected.

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