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I had the same problems when I used a paint-stripping gun: the less powerful "embossing" gun, rated at 300W, just melts the solder without destroying everything for miles around.
I use a 300W "craft" hot air gun - I think it cost £3 S/H on Ebay. Play it over the soldered area for a few seconds, and just lift off the components with tweezers. If you're worried about the part overheating, stick a small piece of aluminium foil over it, exposing just the leads.
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