I pulled my trusty 870 express 12 guage out of the gun cabinet last night in anticipation of today's duck hunt. Much to my disgust, there was some surface rust on it. Now I know i put plenty of oil on the gun before storage, because it still looked deep black (wet looking). Well, my disgust went away today. First the gun got me out of a jam when i sunk both feet knee deep in the mud. I used her as a walking stick to get unstuck. Between this, sitting in the marsh and doing some walking, the gun got plenty muddy. Later my cousin was push poling the boat and lost the push pole (those fancy aluminum push poles dont float) and I used my 870 as a paddle to get the boat back to where the pushpole was dropped. Even after all this, the gun functioned flawlessly everytime i pulled the trigger. I get home and do a thorough cleaning and find mud, water, and marsh grass inside. This gun just amazes me at its relentlessness and ability to work in adverse conditions. It aint pretty, but i love my 870!! Now my questions....The 870 express isn't known for its quality finish, and that's my only complaint about it. The dull blueing rusts fairly easily. After a few years of use, some of the blueing is starting to wear thru and looks more gray than black (even some shiny spots now). I hate to spend the money and be without it long enough to have it sent out and recoated. I mean, lets face it, its only a 250 dollar gun, why spend that much to refinish it? Lots of people have told me to just steel wool the gun real good to remove rust, etc, spray it with some kind of solvent (brake cleaner seems popular) and spray paint it black. Anybody done this? How durable is it? Basically i dont wanna hafta do this more than once a year. Should i prime it first? I do take care of my guns, but my shotguns dont get babied. This is not an expensive trap/skeet shooting gun, its a working gun with synthetic stocks.