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Discussion Starter #1
My local gun store is mainly a cop shop and receives firearms from departments state wide. In a recent shipment, one of the J frames had some severe corrosion that exceeds pitting. The majority of the corrosion was under the grips and on the backstrap. The damage is cosmetic, but quite deep.

I'm wondering what on earth would corrode aluminum that severely? :ek:
 

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Other than dipping it in acid, I'd bet on sweat. It is nothing more than salt water after all.

I've been collecting older S&Ws for years and it is very common to remove the grips from blued guns that look perfectly fine on the outside but are rusted under the grips.

Normal cleaning practice takes care of exposed surfaces but nobody takes the grips off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've had rust crop up even on stainless S&Ws exactly as you describe. :) This is an actual removal of the aluminum. I'll try to get some pics Monday.
 

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Aluminum can "corrode" and this typically takes the form of a very hard, white crusty substance.

One way aluminum frames can corrode is if the anodizing is compromised and Pachmayr grips are used.
Pachmayr grips have a steel liner inside and the edges of the liner often protrude through the rubber and position the grips on the frame.
If bare steel comes in contact with bare aluminum, you get electrolysis. This is where the galvanic action of the steel against the aluminum simply eats the aluminum.

One effective way to prevent corrosion under the grips on any gun frame is to apply a medium thick coat of a good wax like Johnson's Paste wax.
Don't wipe it off, just let it dry for at least 20 minutes before re-installing the grips.
Unlike oils or grease, the wax stays put and prevents rust.
DON'T use car wax.
 

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You are what you eat and if a lot of Mexican or Italian foods are in your diet your perspiration can be more corrosive, especially on unprotected aluminum alloy than expected. Toss in a hot wet climate like here in NE FL and it can be a deadly combination.

Another good reason for a Glock or SWaMPy.

Geoff
Who tends toward a bland mid-western boring diet with too many carbs. Sigh.
 

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The suggestion to use Johnson's Paste Wax is very good and I used to use it when long term storage was expected. Recently I discovered something even better that seems to be the standard for firearms museums. That is Renaissance wax polish. It leaves an invisible layer. You just put on a thin coat, let it dry and then buff gently with a clean rag. Good stuff.
 

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I don't know about firearms frames but I had a tom cat "mark" the rear brake pedal on my BMW motorcycle & it took less than a week to oxidise around a quarter of the metal. :shock:
 

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Oddbod said:
I don't know about firearms frames but I had a tom cat "mark" the rear brake pedal on my BMW motorcycle & it took less than a week to oxidise around a quarter of the metal. :shock:
Cat urine is amazingly ... "potent." :shock: The animals evolved in the North African savannah, an arid place, and the cats evolved a biology that was very selfish of water as there wasn't much to go around.
I would definantly try to avoid letting stray cats "mark" your guns. :shocked:
 

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Man, I LOVE this forum! Where else can you learn about the relative strengths and weaknesses of MIM parts one day and cat urine the next? This place is just so cool! 8) 8)
 

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IrishCop et. al.,

to Irish: YEP! GREAT folks/posts here! = and you wonder WHY i'll still be on the forum when "duckie" & i are resident on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica?

to ALL: fyi, both "stainless" & "alloy" gun parts/frames corrode in "coastal areas". (that may be ONE reason why the corrosion in the handgun mentioned above happened.) ======> when i was a deputy in Galveston County, TX in the early '70s, i had a S&W Model 64 "pencil barrel" .38SPL revolver, that i THOUGHT would be immune to "salt in the air".
(fyi, in Galveston you can sit & watch your "blued" handguns rust right before your eyes! - in point of fact, at least one GPD officer was shot by a BG mostly because his Model 28 was "rusted shut" & wouldn't shoot.)

to keep mine from suffering the same fate as other "cop's guns", i used to wash mine in the dishwasher & then coat it with car wax.

yours, sw
 

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I've seen references that the aluminum alloy used in early M16 and XM16E1 receivers could exfoliate to the point where holes would appear in the magwell and carrying handle.
 

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Al Thompson,

IF the little J-frame has "saltwater cancer", i PITY the person who bought it! = been there, done that, didn't have a fine time!!!!

yours, sw
 
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