2 Easy Methods On How To Remove Pitting From Gun Barrel

If you’re a gun enthusiast you’ve probably faced pitting issues with your guns. It can severely degrade your gun’s accuracy as well as create safety concerns. Whether it’s inside pitting or outside pitting, getting rid of it is a must.

So, how to remove pitting from gun barrel? 

The pitting removal method totally depends on the severity of pitting. If the pitting isn’t too deep then it can be removed by using sandpaper. Another way to remove pitting is by filling the pits with filler and hardener. Moreover, minor pitting or rust can be easily removed by using cleaners.

Want to know more about removing pitting from a gun barrel? We’ve covered all there’s to know about the topic

Is it Rust or Pitting?

Now you took a look at the discoloration on the gun. However, it might be rust too. So what’s the difference anyway?

Rust can be identified when you’ll notice that the metal has started to brown and corrosions are appearing. Pitting can be identified by the damage in the metal in particular areas.

Pitting is a deep form of rust. It happens when you let rust go on for too long and it damages the metal. It’s a form of localized corrosion that leads to holes in the metal. It is usually limited to certain areas. It attacks quickly and is difficult to detect. 

Corrosion and rust are terms that are frequently used together. While both corrosion and rust are oxidation reactions, there are some distinctions. Rusting is a process that happens on the edges of ferrous alloys. Corrosion can occur on ceramic and plastics, for example.

If you’re not careful you’ll discover that rust. Moreover, pitting can create problems on your benelli super black eagler.

How do I Clean Minor Pitting Out of a Rifle Barrel?

To eliminate the rust, clean or scour the pits. Bead blasting is a different approach to cleaning minor pleating. The pitted pistol barrel will need to be refinished after being filed and sanded smooth.

If you have a gun that was once blued but now has minor pitting in the barrel you might want to take care of it. So, how to remove pitting from a blued gun?

Remove pitting from a blued gun using 0000 super fine steel wool and vaseline. Another less known method for removing pitting from blued guns involves carpenter pencil. Scrub the pencil’s lead all over the minor rust spot. Don’t worry this won’t take off any bluing, However, it will remove light surface rust. Then clean the rifle with a clean dry rag.

When cleaning a blued gun we’ve found the Red Devil 0000 Super Fine Steel Wool to be the best in quality. It helps to remove pitting better than any fine steel wool currently available in the market.

After removing the pitting from the gun you might want to enhance its appearance. We advise you to give the wooden stock on the rifle a good polish. You can use Old English furniture polish on the gun. It won’t make scratches go away but it will make them look more natural. This will enhance the overall look of the gun.

Did you buy an antique gun from an auction? After buying the gun did you discover that it had a heavily pitted barrel? Are you wondering, “How do I clean a pitted barrel?”

Using a cleaning tool, remove any loose particles from the action bolt, receiver, frame, and chamber. A light application of cleaner can be used to remove heavy clogs. Then, before brushing, let it sit for a few minutes. Remove the removed debris with a wipe or cloth. Add bore cleaner to a cleaning patch before moving on to the barrel. Then, using a cleaning rod with a brush, pass it through the barrel.

When cleaning a rifle make sure that you have a steady hand. Making a mistake when cleaning a gun can harm the gun in the long run.

The Best Ways to Remove Heavy Pitting and Corrosion

Use the above methods in order to remove pitting when it’s moderate or light. However, when it comes to heavy pitting, things get a bit more difficult. 

There are multiple methods available through which heavy pitting can be removed.

How to remove heavy rust?

Put the rifle barrel in a bowl of vinegar and leave it overnight to remove heavy rust. Remove the barrel from the vinegar dish once it has soaked thoroughly. Then use steel wool or a wire brush to clean the rust away. Vinegar can be used to remove large amounts of rust from metal.

How to remove pitting from a gun?

Get rid of all the rust you can see on the surface of the pitting using a bead blaster. Make sure that no rust can be seen in the end. If the pitting is not too deep then sand away the holes and then parkerize it.  If the pitting has some deep holes, then patch the holes by welding.

We’ve used these bead blasters before and we also recommend them to our friends. Here is the selection of bead blasters that you can choose from-

Method 1: Good ol’ Traditional Way

If you’re looking to remove pitting from the gun barrel through the traditional way you’re in luck. We’ve covered removing pitting the traditional way in detail. The work involves a little bit of drilling inside the barrel. Don’t worry we’ll guide you through the process and what you’ll need.

Inside of The Barrel

The pitting inside of the barrel can be removed by a boring process.  The pitting will then be removed through a honing process.

Source: AR15.com
Necessary Tools

A couple of tools are needed to remove pitting from inside the barrel.

  • Oil

If you’re planning on removing pitting the traditional way you can use the DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill. We’ve also used the drill when removing and other works and it doesn’t disappoint.

Step 1: The Prep

Insert extra oil inside the barrel. Attach the honing stones to the honing tool. Then connect the electric drill to the honing tool.

Step 2: Pitting Removal Process

Then add the honing tool into the bore and move the honing tool back and forth using an electric drill for power. Run the honing tool from the back of the choke to the front of the chamber. 

Step 3: Finishing Touch

After the honing process using the 80 grit stone clean the insides of the barrel. Then use 120 grit stone to polish the insides of the barrel.

Outside of The Barrel

If there’s pitting on the outside of the barrel then we will need to fix it. However, all of the pitting can’t be removed without removing the metal.

Source: Reddit
Necessary Tools

These are the necessary tools required for the pitting removal process.

Step 1: Removing the Rust

Using a Bead Blaster, remove all rust from the barrel’s surface. You could sand out the holes here and then parkerize it if the pitting is somewhat shallow. This should give your pistol a pleasing aesthetic.

Step 2: Taking Care of the Pitting Holes

If the pitting has already caused deep holes, you must use them to patch the holes. Don’t try to fix the pitting holes too soon. Allow time for everything to cool down in between welds.

Step 3: Sand the barrel

In the final stage, sand and polish the wielding area until it appears smooth enough to refinish.

Method 2: Filling the Pits

Another method of removing pitting from the gun barrel is to fill the pits.

Necessary Components

These components are needed to fill the pits in a gun barrel.

The products that we’ve mentioned can be found easily online or at any hardware store. When going about filling the pits it’s necessary to use a good quality Body Repair Filler. Therefore, you might want to take a look at 3M Body Filler W Hardener.


The following steps describe in detail how to fill the pits in your gun. 

  1. Mix the two-part auto body repair filler and hardener in the proper proportions. Then, using a putty knife, mix the two components together until they are smooth. Keep in mind that a two-part filler only takes a few minutes to cure. As a result, combine the elements as soon as possible and work rapidly.
  1. Using the edge of a plastic putty knife, spread the mixed filler over the pitted metal. To remove the excess filler, drag the knife’s edge over the surface. As a result, the pits have been flattened to resemble the rest of the metal.
  1. Sand the metal and hardened filler with an 80-grit sanding block if necessary. Then, using a dry rag, wipe away the dust.
  1. Sand the object completely using a sanding block and 400-grit wet-sanding sandpaper. Before sandblasting, lubricate the sandpaper with water from a spray bottle, then add more water as needed to keep the sandpaper and metal wet.

Before applying rust-proof primer, mop up the sanding dust and dry the metal with clean towels.


You can use an angle grinder to level the pits if the metal item is extremely heavy and thick. Although this is a challenging task, it does not demand the use of an auto-body filler.

Which Method is the Best?

From the two methods that we’ve mentioned above, it’s a little bit hard to declare just one the best. However, for argument’s sake, we would recommend the traditional method for removing pitting from the gun barrel

The reasoning is that it helps to remove pitting which is both deep and shallow. The pitting inside the barrel is also taken care of with the traditional method.

The second method of filling the pits is easier but not as beneficial as the traditional method.

If you’re not a fan of either of the methods, you can take some preventive measures. One such prevention tactic is to control rust is browning gun barrels with vinegar. This doesn’t remove rust entirely but rather controls its spread. 

Still Can’t Remove the Pitting?

Tried all the known methods for removing pitting but still can’t? If the DIY way doesn’t bring results you can try getting help from a professional gunsmith. They have greater resources and have more experience than the average Joe. So, whether it be removing the pitting or cutting down the barrel, taking it to a gunsmith is preferable.

How to repair rust in pitting?

Apply Eastwood Fast Etch to the rusted areas. To prevent the Fast Etch from evaporating before it can be used, cover the area with plastic wrap.

Next, apply a coat of Eastwood Rust Encapsulator to the area. This enters deeply into the pits and binds to the metal. Thus preventing rust from returning or expanding by absorbing moisture. Scrape all of the Rust Encapsulator from the panel except what got into the pits and sand it down. The naked metal will be left largely untouched.

The Eastwood Rust Encapsulator in the pits will prevent tiny rust from developing. This will allow you to apply body filler over it safely. Because body filler is penetrable, it will not seal out moisture as well.

Mix your body filler and spread it thinly and evenly around the affected area. Most of it will wind up as dust on the floor in the end. Sand in one direction first, then the other. Start with a coarser grain, such as 80 grit, if you have a lot of filler to sand, but 180 grit would probably suffice.

You can rapidly disclose any high or low places in the bodywork by using a sanding block.

Preventive Measure

Some preventive measures can be taken to protect guns from pitting. We’ll be going over those in detail.

Regular Cleaning

Using solvents and a very gritty cloth rag, clean off the outer parts. Then, using a brush, remove all visible rust from the bore. After that, completely disassemble it and clean the entire shotgun.

Providing Best Storage

Gun cases are great for keeping your gun’s zero safes from bumps on the trip. They are not, however, suitable for long-term storage. Store the firearms at 70 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 50 to 55 percent. Using a dehumidifier, you can simulate similar conditions in your safe. You can use a Lockdown Goldenrod, which heats up and circulates warm, dry air throughout the safe.

Oil Check

There are numerous gun oils and lubes on the market today. We like Rem Oil, but CLP versions that double as a cleaning, lubricant, and protectant are also good. Don’t use too much gun lubricant, no matter what. Excessive oil attracts dirt and might stymie actions, especially in cold temperatures.


Have you read through our article on removing pitting from gun barrels? Still, have some questions for us?  We’ve answered the most common ones for you. 

What are the Causes of Pitting and Corrosion?

Pitting on weapons can be caused by a variety of factors. This includes surface scratches, finish flaws, and the use of corrosive ammunition. Despite this, metal oxidation and a lack of maintenance have a role in pitting. Pitting would gradually penetrate the gunmetal and ruin the structure once it formed. In most cases, the metal loss was visible as the formation of holes on the surface.

How Can I Prevent Pitting?

After each shooting session, thoroughly clean all of your guns. Regardless of the ammunition you used, you’ll have to do this. Please keep an eye on your gun cage and make sure it isn’t exposed to any potentially unsafe elements.

Bottom Line

If you’re an antique gun collector it’s common to ponder, “How to Remove Pitting from Gun Barrel?

Pitting is a massive source of problems for gun owners. It can destroy the quality and look of a good gun. Luckily there are ways to go about removing pitting from the gun barrel.

After reading our article on removing pitting did you find something interesting? Let us know in the comments.