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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am embarrassed to say that I carelessly allowed rust to form on the slide of my Thunder 380. Now I want to remove it and restore the slide.

It appears that the slide is painted black, because the "finish" came off with a little vinegar and a tooth brush, which I used to try to remove the largest rust spot.

Can anyone confirm is the slide is in fact painted? Can you more experienced owners/smiths suggest a method to remove all rust spots? Can I spray paint the slide?

I appreciate all info the forum members can provide.

Thank you.
 

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Howdy Pat, my Bersa Thunder 380 has what they call a Matte Black finish and I do believe it is some form of paint but I am not sure. I do know some of the metal slide is beginning to show from many many years carrying it and use on the range. Hopefully some one more knowledgeable can answer this. I too would love to know.

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The term on the box says "Matte Blue". This means hot blue, a solution with bluing salts. This is a very traditional finish used for at least 100 years in America. I verified this by calling Bersa Sales who didn't know much about guns but were darn nice and helpful. They called Argentina and spoke to a supervisor in the factory who confirmed this is just a hot blue process. Colt, Smith & Wesson and Ruger used this finish from the beginning and it is still in common use. Your Bersa slide is not polished, just deeply blued.

Cleaning rust off blued gun steel is simple if you follow these instructions exactly: Buy some OOOO Steel Wool(very fine), don't use coarse steel wool. Wet the rust area with 3 in 1 Oil, Break Free CLP, or standard gun oil. Now take the very fine steel wool and gently rub the rust away, keeping the area completely wet with oil during the process. This works so well that you can remove rust from a high gloss blued surface such as a S&W Revolver, Browning Rifle, and so forth, with no damage to finish on the gun.

In your case, you used acid(vinegar) on your blued surface and will have to live with that new look or have it refinished. Be prepared to spend a $100 to refinish. Good news is that it is just the slide, which you can take off and mail to have refinished. Before you do anything, test the gun out and see if is working properly. Perhaps you could find a local gun shop who does bluing, but few do. Or you could just buy some cold blue from Midway and do a patch up job. Good Luck ! Spray painting with standard paint may not work too well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Mountain Walker for contacting Bersa and for providing this valuable information.

The Thunder 380 shoots fine, so I will be using the 0000 steel wool and gun oil. This will be a winter project for me.

I will take photos of the before and after condition, and post them when completed.

This Bersa forum is so helpful and full of sharing/caring Bersa enthusiasts. Thank you!
 

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Pat, I for one am looking forward to your before and after pictures since my Bersa 380 is showing some wear and tear from many years of use. This is the first pistol and first Bersa I have ever owned and I would like to keep it looking as great as it shoots.

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I used 0000 and 30 weight motor oil and worked . Will only take a few minutes no need to wait for winter.

Want to keep Blue pistols looking better. Use a good wood or floor paste wax . Many car wax has compound to remove small scratch . This will remove bluing on many guns also . I use on blue and stainless. Helps protect carry if caught in rain.
 
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