1100 Ring Rust

Dear Technoid,

I have an 12 gauge 1100 which I shoot clean and dry. External wipe-down after shooting, and magazine tube cleaning before tournament use, but typically not between practice sessions. With this gun, that works.

I carry CLP for emergencies, but only needed to resort to it once. It worked. I use CLP regularly on a more temperamental 20 gauge 1100 that my sons use. It works there too. I rarely get rust around the rings after storage. My friends complain they often do. It seems the times I do get ‘ring rust’ is after I shoot AA reloads.

A shooting friend works with plastic at an experimental lab. He claims he made the first batch of Remington plastic shotgun shells. I asked him. He seems to think that my observation could be true, i.e. rust when I shoot AA’s. He gave a technical answer supporting his thoughts, but it went over my head.

A) Whadda think; and

B) If we presume my observation is correct, do you think shooting with CLP would prevent the ‘ring rust’?


Dear Thomas

I did experience some ring rust on my 1100s from time to time, but just assumed that was due to my usual slothful gun non-maintenance regime. I never associated it with any particular hull. When I remembered to slop some BreakFree on the tube and rings, there was never any problem.

I am no plastics engineer by a long shot (or a short one either, for that matter). The only rust that I could associate with plastic hulls was chamber rust in my Belgian Brownings. Those suckers would rust while you watched. It didn’t happen as much with Reifenhauser hulls, but it sure did with the AA compression formed hulls. I always sort of thought that the hull left a thin laminate of plastic in the chamber which trapped water vapor between the steel and the plastic, promoting rust. This was just my theory and I never bothered to consult a higher authority (such as someone who actually knew something). A little scrubbing and a squirt with anything handy always cleaned the chambers up if I didn’t let it go too long. In Europe it was common to order the FN Brownings with chromed chambers. I have even heard of the Brits using stainless steel chamber liners.

As to ring rust being due to the AA hull, I dunno. Any contaminates or moisture from the AA hull would have to travel up the barrel, through the ports and onto the magazine tube and rings. While not impossible, that seems a stretch.

My uneducated guess is that ring rust has something to do with heating and cooling of moisture laden air caused by the hot gasses operating the action. Something precipitates moisture and then the crud and carbon holds it on the rings and tube. Changing the metals in the magazine tube and rings to stainless (as in the 11-87) won’t stop the moisture from accumulating, but will stop the moisture from rusting the steel. That’s my best guess and I’m sticking with it until I actually talk to someone who knows the facts.

Bottom line: if your gun rusts when you shoot it clean and dry, but not when you shoot it wet with BreakFree CLP, shoot it wet.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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1 Response to 1100 Ring Rust

  1. Jan Nielsen says:

    Several types of plastic will release hydrochloric acid when burned. I haven’t shot AA cases for a long time, but I seem to remember the surface on the inside of spent AA hulls (compression-formed) would show signs of scorching – they were certainly not as smooth as on the outside. If small amounts of hydrochloric acid are released it would explain the rust on the Remington innards. My dad once had a harmless plastic fire in a garbage can in his workshop. The next day, all tools in the room had started to rust, and had to be cleaned and oiled.

    On a side note: A friend of mine has “rusty fingers” and the chambers in his Miroku 800 will turn red after a few days if not oiled immediately after use.


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