My local LGS loves me- I spend so much with them. They know me well.
I was in last week and they showed me a 'smoking' deal on a Sig P220 Elite Stainless.
The only drawback- it was previously owned near the ocean and there was rust/corrosion of the metal around/under the wooden grips. The wooden grips were toast also [I am ok with that- as I have smaller hands, and plan on doing the E2 grip change].
They detail stripped, sonic cleaned and put it back into working condition.
However, the rust spots still are there and are a blackish color.
I have a plan, but need your advice.
My Plan- to use something like Jasco's Metal Etch [acid rust treatment] and clean the metal [after my own detail trip] properly.
After this, I will be sure there are no rust traces in the metal.
After that, I am considering sending the frame to SIg for a bead-blast- to match the slide and remove the discoloration.
Can anyone see anything I am missing? Is this a solid plan, or is there a better option?
Thanks in advance.
Sig P225 and a bunch of non-sigs.
If you could post a picture, it may help with assessing the effort needed.
If it's only under the grips where pitting will not be visible, this should be an easy fix. Not sure you need the metal etch step.
I bead-blasted pitting on a stainless gun that I bought as a project then used sandpaper to restore the brushed finish. This was not under the grips...if you know what to look for, you can still find the deeper pits but no one has ever noticed, only I know they are there.
It will be a few weeks before I can post any pictures. It is on lay-a-way at the LGS, and then a 10 day wait once paid for.
There is a bit of 'freckling' around the edges of the grips on the steel that is visible when the grips are installed, but most is underneath.
I am happy at the discount it brings, but want to be sure the rust never comes back.
Sig P225 and a bunch of non-sigs.
The metal etch certainly won't hurt as it will turn the iron oxide in the deep pits to iron phosphate. The follow on bead blast will smooth out the appearance. Your plan is good, I think.
I have removed all traces of minor rust from stainless steel SIGs, but if you’re going to have the gun refinished, it’s hardly worth the effort, I believe.
As for keeping it from coming back, there are literally countless rust-preventing products that will do the job. Use them properly and conscientiously, and there will be no problem in any reasonable environment. I carried a (carbon steel) S&W model 10 revolver for years under conditions in hot and humid weather that constantly exposed it to perspiration, and it never developed a speck of rust because I maintained it properly.
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Have it Passivated.
Especially after bead blasting, if that is what you intend to do.
Passivating stainless is usually done with a nitric acid bath to remove surface iron leaving more chromium etc. Citric acid is an option that doesn't remove as much metal.
This is a WAG, as I've no experience using either aci. I do use bulk SS spring stock that comes passivated. The passivation dulls and discolors the spring metal, so I'll use a buffer to bring back the shine (i.e. remove the passivation).
Phosphoric acid, which I've often used to convert rust, dulls the finish also, but much less. For a SS slide that's got rust pits, I'd use phosphoric to convert the rust before bead blasting. The apply oil to surface. SS is corrosion resistant, not corrosion proof, so a wipe down with rust preventative is good in any case.
In either case, the passivated surface is not, IMO, particularly durable in that it can wear off, leaving good ol' stainless behind.
If passivating *after* bead blasting, as suggested (and I'm not meaning to argue here), I'd want apply a drop of the acid to a hidden spot to check the results before doing the whole thing.
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