I've used OO steel wool soaked in hoppes to remove rust off of cheap guns I've gotten good prices on because they were rusty. The trick is to not use a lot of pressure. A green scouring pad is courser, and can remove the finish. Bronze wool is a good idea, I don't know where to buy that though.
For the guns I own that don't see a lot of action, I put hoppes gun grease liberally on all of the metal before storage. I also use the gun grease on the hidden parts of guns I use more regular - underside of barrel between stock, all over barrel under handguards, etc. I stored a parkerized MAS-36 for 5 years in a foam rifle case in humid northern AL with no damage - but, I'd completely disassembled the gun and coated everything, down to the inside of the bolt. Hoppes gun grease is the closest think I've found to cosmoline for long term storage. If I could buy cosmo at walmart, I'd use it since I don't mind cleaning weapons anyway. Only downside to hoppes gun grease is your semis smoke a lot more under rapid fire as the grease cooks off from under the handguards.