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Junked Desert Eagle Repair

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

TM Desert Eagle found in bin

Fellow AOJ Leader, Pheng, randomly found this, what can only be described as "soiled" Tokyo Marui Desert Eagle in a crate by some bins.

When he said it was stiff, the barrel was blocked and it smelt bad, I didn't think much of it. Then when I received it, he was right. It smelt like urine and mould.

Naturally, my first thought was to throw it in the dishwasher, however, coupled with not being a good idea and my desire to see inside it, I took it apart and oh my. What a mess.

Ceased, smelly and comes with dead cockroach

The inside has what appeared to be urine (or just sour smelling fermented water) inside that had began to rust the inside.

The recoil spring guides were ceased, trigger was stuck and magazine needed to be pried out. At the end of the frame on the inside was a dead cockroach. It was clear that the previous owner who threw it out had no idea what a gem he had and was completely unable to maintain it.

Well... Another man's junk is another man's treasure. The first step was to completely strip it down and give the metal parts a bath in hydrochloric acid to melt off that rust and gunk.

Metal parts fizzing away in hydrochloric acid

The acid bath was amusing to watch as it fizzed away melting off the embedded crust, rust and questionably smelly liquid that was caked on it (I still think it was urine).

It took about 15 minutes to melt away the rust and I happily watched while having a cup of English tea.

Now, I should mention that you should only use hydrochloric acid, if you know what you are doing, and follow the instructions carefully. If you are not confident in this, you can use citric acid, which is much safer, available in many cleaning supply stores, but takes a little longer.

Once it was bathed, I carefully took out the parts, rinsed and brushed them off, then dried them in the scorching Japanese summer sun.

Once they were dried, I brushed them off again to make sure there was no debris and gave them all a coat of white lithium grease for any parts that have metal-on-metal contact and silicone oil on any plastic parts.

The parts where the metal was rusted, I coated in primer and then acrylic paint to prevent it from rusting again. After that it was ready to be put back together.

I put everything back where is was supposed to be, greased up moving parts to make sure everything was okay and it was functioning properly. I was worried the springs would have become brittle, but fortunately when tested, it cycled properly and without issue.

The only issue I then faced was the magazine. Not only did it smell like a dozen drunk college students urinated on it, but it was rusted quite deeply. Getting it apart was hard as the screws were rusted in and the outer steel pressed case was rusted to the other parts. It got thrown into the acid bath for 30 minutes, but even that was not enough. I ended up having to use a brass wire brush to scrape off the rusted areas, get a new rubber seal for the valve (I used an old bicycle valve seal) and put it back together to see if it would hold gas.

The loading spring for the BB's was heavily rusted, but functional, the other parts went back together okay and it held has well enough. However, it is still stiff and does not fit in the magwell easily at all, even with some adjustments. The base plate also has deep rust that just won't come off without brute force. But I like a challenge. So I dremelled off the remaining rust and unfortunately did not have any more primer or paint to repaint it. It does hold has well, but I think the level of corrosion does mean that it will need to be replaced.

I test fired it, and it worked flawlessly, so really, it just needs a new magazine, and it will be ready!

What a beauty!

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