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rust problems on stainless SIG barrels?

This is a discussion on rust problems on stainless SIG barrels? within the SIG Sauer Pistols forums, part of the SIG Sauer Forum category; Anyone else having rust problems on stainless SIG barrels? Currently, this is only affecting my P226 X5 L1 (2013) and P229 Sport (1997). And ONLY ...

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Old 08-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #1
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rust problems on stainless SIG barrels?

Anyone else having rust problems on stainless SIG barrels? Currently, this is only affecting my P226 X5 L1 (2013) and P229 Sport (1997). And ONLY the barrels (frame and slide have no rust despite being in close contact, even touching the rusting barrel), and only on the hood and a bit on the tip of the barrel where it makes contact with the slide. Also, the compensator screw on the P229 Sport.

I'm pretty meticulous about my guns - always cleaning within a couple days of any range session, usually that very night. I also have 3 of those rechargeable dehumidifiers in my safe and I'm swapping and recharging them on a weekly basis. NONE of my other guns have rust problems, however, I don't have that many stainless pieces.

In full disclosure, I've probably put at least a thousand rounds in both of them, and I bought the P229 Sport used, so who knows how many rounds that had. My theory is that the barrel is made of a different type of steel than the frame and slide, and is less resistant to corrosion. Perhaps, there used to be some sort of coating over the stainless that prevented rust, but after a thousand rounds, that coating is gone. Hence, the rusting is only on contact areas. Also, these might be "german" barrels, and different from US made SIG barrels (e.g. stainless 1911, and... interestingly enough, I just went through the SIG pistol catalog, and I couldn't find any other model that had a stainless barrel - even my P220 MSE has a nitron barrel).

So the first picture below is the P229 Sport barrel. This was def rust - I brushed it for a half-hour and it would not come out. Finally, I resorted to 3000 grit paper and I lightly passed it back and forth until the rust disappeared. The second picture is after I had removed the rust. This was already the second time I had to remove rust from the barrels. I usually over-lubricate with TW25B on all of my guns, and so after the first time I discovered the rust, I made sure that the barrel was lubricated, but then I wiped it all off with a paper towel. Unfortunately, it rusted over in picture #1, but more evenly. So then, I decided to try coating the barrel in Seal 1 CLP. Unfortunately, picture #3 shows the results after a couple months. I just finished removing rust from the barrels again. For the next experiment, I've over-lubricated the barrel with TW25B, but this time, I'm storing them in the safe in a ziplock bag with desiccant bags. If that doesn't work, I'll try again, this time with some sort of silicone coating. Maybe I should just do that now, but I wanted to experiment to see if the TW25B is breaking down into a liquid that causes rust (I don't think that is the case).

I'm not upset at all - the SIG pistols have "done their job" at the range and provided me with hours of immaculate performance and sheer entertainment. Just mildly curious. My house does gets very humid in the summer - however, I have a dehumidifier running 24/7 near the safe (it pulls out about 2 gallons of water / day) and I have been diligent in keeping the rechargeable dehumidifiers in the safe charged. I also have Bar-sto barrels (haven't quite got around to fitting them) and they have shown no signs of rust even while sitting out on my workbench for the last year. If I have to remove rust from the SIG barrels more than twice a year, I might consider just replacing the barrels with Bar-sto barrels. Not that I mind cleaning them, it's just I don't like using the grit paper on the barrels over the long run.

Anyone have any ideas?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rust1.jpg (1.08 MB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg rust2.jpg (1.02 MB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg rust3.jpg (1.14 MB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg rust4.jpg (1.45 MB, 46 views)
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:07 PM   #2
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Older SIG barrels are a strong chromoly steel, a type of carbon steel that can rust.

Usually wiping them with oil at each cleaning should keep them rust-free, but apparently not in your case. You might try re-bluing them with a cold blue process like Van's Gun Blue. While bluing is not the most effective corrosion protection, it's significantly better than no finish at all.

I would think the later stainless barrels may not be as strong as the earlier carbon steel barrels, but then again I'm not sure if SIG applies further processing such as heat treating.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:50 PM   #3
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I would advise switching from TW25B to a better gun grease and use a good gun oil. I came to the conclusion quite a while back that TW2B doesn't hold up as well during an extended range session as do other greases. And I'm not convinced it is all that great for rust prevention; especially for long-term.

I have been using M-Pro 7 Gun Oil for a while and really like it. It is heavy and pretty much stays where I put it. And I haven't had any rust issues yet.

M-Pro7 Gun Oil LPX - MPro7

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Old 08-27-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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I may be wrong, but I don't think that Sig uses stainless in the majority of their barrels.
Stainless steel can rust, or I should say oxidize, but I believe these are chrome-moly steel.
The problem is just as you have used 3000 grit paper to clean it off before, steel is porous so there might have been some rust left in the pores, returning so quickly. You may try some OOOO steel wool with Kroil to get rid of the light rust, then degrease, and then use a preservative oil.
I also can understand your humidity problem, as I also live in a very humid area. I would recommend either getting a Rig rag, to wipe them down with, before storing them, or getting Break-Free "Collector".
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:30 PM   #5
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I just noticed some very, very slight rust on the top of my 229-40 (1994 mfg.)
Not nearly as bad at the photos you posted.
I'm gonna try to remove it with some Never Dull. Steel wool leaves metal behind and contributes to the problem.

I just switched from Lucas Oil Extreme Gun Grease to Tetra. I'll see how that works out.

I too, clean after every range outing and keep a coating of grease on the barrel between range trips. I keep mine in the center console of my car at work all day, so, I am going to throw some desiccant bags in there from this point.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GoneBallisticInAlabama View Post
I have been using M-Pro 7 Gun Oil for a while and really like it. It is heavy and pretty much stays where I put it. And I haven't had any rust issues yet.
I actually regularly use M-Pro7 for areas I can't get to, so I will experiment with its long term storage use on my SIG barrels and report back. I've been a pretty big fan of TW25B, because when I put a glob of it in the SIG internals, after a thousand rounds, it's still there, not even dirty (more a testament to SIG pistols, than TW25B, I guess). I might switch back to M-Pro7 for the rails and barrel now.

At the NRA convention, I stopped by the TW25B booth, and the seller was advocating actually rubbing the grease into the slide and frame for long term protection (that's what gave me the idea). Of course, his view was biased since he was trying to sell TW25B. When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:01 PM   #7
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The Nevr Dull did a fantastic job removing minor rust. Hopefully the Tetra will stop it from returning
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:09 PM   #8
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all my sigs are the blued model and have no issues with rust, I do wipe them down with an oily rag though.
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