Despite modern production methods and various protective coats that offer optimum resistance against rust and humidity, you still need to take corrective measures to prolong the useful life of your weapons. This little guide is intended to provide some useful information to keep them in the best way, some precautions to protect your collection over time.
Avoid Storing Weapons in Humidity
If possible, it is always better to keep the guns in the house but avoid storing them in misty places such as basements or attics.
The humidity will speed up rusting process especially when it comes to guns or rifles which are free of weather-resistant finishes. Your best bet would be to install a dehumidifier.
Always keep the Weapons Properly Lubricated
Most oils for arms offers good protection against rust, so it is a good idea to lubricate the metal parts with oil before storing the weapons in safes. Alternatively, you can also use a silicone cloth. In addition to the external parts, it’s good to apply a thin layer of oil inside the barrel.
Do remember to remove the oil with some cloth before you shoot.
Use type of oil with caution since not all are suitable for protection against rust.
Leave a Desiccant Inside the Safe
Since the gun safes are closed for a long period of time, it is possible that moisture forms inside them. To prevent this from happening, you should leave a desiccant inside the safe.
On the market, you can find many types of dissecting, however the most used is the silica gel, contained in sachets or bags that we often find in shoe boxes.
Silica gel is an excellent absorbent agent and will keep your valuables dry and safe. To save and have at the same time an abundant supply of desiccant, you can buy cat litter composed of silica gel. The operation is the same as the much more expensive packages of “silica gel”. Simply put a handful of litter in a sock, which will then be hung in the safe, to achieve the same result.
Remember that the desiccant must be refreshed periodically or shall be treated to evaporate the absorbed water. Leaving it overnight above the heater at home will also suffice.
Remove Fingerprints from the Weapons Before Storing in a Safe
No, it’s not for the reason you think.
Before storing the weapons in safe, it is a good idea to remove all fingerprints from the outside of your weapon. This is because some people have very acidic sweat, which can affect the finish and can cause rust.
Not surprisingly, it is often possible to see signs of rust on metal objects which have the form of a fingerprint.
Thoroughly Clean the Arms Before Storing them for a Long Time
Gunshot Residue (GSR) mainly consist of lead, copper and some chemical particles like antimony, barium which are left after using guns can attract moisture. It is advised to properly clean the gun, particularly we recommend a thorough cleaning of the barrel.
Wax to Wooden Parts
If exposed to water or moisture, the wooden parts of arms may swell and crack over time, so it is best to apply a thin layer of wax on them.
Don’t forget to also apply the wax on the insides of the stock. In the safe, you should place the long guns with wooden stock with the barrel pointing downwards.
Use the “Gun Sock”
The “gun” sock “, literally socks for weapons, are treated with silicone fabric bags into which you can put short or long arms.
In addition to protection against moisture, the gun sock also offers effective protection against scratches and abrasions, especially in the safes that are more “crowded”.
Never Block the Barrel
The old Grandpa’s method that involves the insertion of a cork into the barrel to avoid rust is absolutely useless. In fact, plugging the barrel creates a closed environment where it passes little air, thereby increasing the chances of moisture.
Do Not Store Guns in Original Case
The foam used in many cases for guns and cardboard attract and retain moisture. When we open the box or briefcase that contains our new gun, often we notice that the metal parts are wrapped in waxed paper or are well oiled.
This is to prevent the moisture contained in the padding of the case that could damage the weapon while in storage or in the Armory. However, there are synthetic padding that does not retain moisture and are best for storing weapons.
Often Check the Weapons
Do not let your arms for long periods of time locked in the safe. Check them periodically and, if necessary, apply a new layer of protective oil.
There is nothing worse than pulling your favorite guns out of the safes after a long time and discover traces of rust.
Be Careful Which Cleaning Products You Use
As mentioned earlier, many gun oils on the market have properties which protect the weapons from rusting. But some products or solvents can damage the barrel or the protective coat of the weapon.
Always read the label and remove all traces of these products before storing the weapons in safes. Pay attention to the polymer or wood, since some innocuous products on the metal can damage these materials.