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Proper Storage Conditions for a Gun

Updated on July 5, 2011

Proper Gun Storage

Eagerly anticipating this weekend’s hunting trip, you reach into the closet and pull out the gun case. You place it on your workbench and unzip the case, and instead of laying eyes on your gleaming rifle, you are shocked to see your once gorgeous rifle covered in rust. Understanding the proper storage conditions for a gun, and using a few quick steps, will prevent damage to your prized gun while it’s in storage.

Proper Gun Storage Methods

Store a Gun Clean

First thing is ALWAYS check and recheck that your gun is unloaded! Cleaning your gun is the first step to proper storage. Dirt and reside from firing the gun can be corrosive and also attract and hold moisture inside your gun. Break the gun down, following manufacturers directions and clean each part thoroughly, making sure you clean out the bore as well. Lightly oil the barrel and reassemble the gun.

Moisture Protection for your Gun

Moisture is the number one problem for your guns while in storage. The biggest threat is high humidity, or moisture content of the air. Using a good gun oil, use a soft cloth and apply a thin layer of oil over all of the exposed metal parts of the gun. Some ideas are using RIG, or rust inhibiting grease, which is great for long term storage. Break free makes a gun collectors oil that works well also. If you store your guns in a safe, which you should, make sure it is airtight and use a dessicant such as silica gel.

Gun Safe

Storing your guns in a gun safe is ideal. It keeps them safe from being stolen or from other people accessing the guns when they shouldn’t. A safe also allows you to store the gun upright, with air circulating around it, which will help keep it dry and rust free. Storing a gun wrapped in a case or in it’s box prevents air circulation and any moisture in the case will migrate to the gun metal. You can get a heating element for your safe which will help keep the interior moisture free.

Ammo Storage

Today’s modern ammunition, gunpowder, and primers have close to an infinite shelf life if you store it properly. Temperature and moisture are the things to look out for when storing your ammo.
High heat or cold temperatures can degrade the powder in your ammo over time. The heat itself, or exposure to freezing temperatures are the culprit here. Storing your ammo in temps between 45 and 80 degrees is a good start to adding to the longevity of your ammo.

Moisture is another killer of ammo. Heating and cooling cycles can cause condensation inside your casings, especially in modern brass casings. It won’t take many of these cycles, or much moisture, to render your ammo inoperative, just ask a hunter!

The best place to store your ammo is inside, in a nice case or safe. Temperature is more stable indoors, and it keeps the heating and cooling affect of direct sunlight out of the equation. Many modern gun safes are temperature controlled, which helps keep moisture at bay as a side benefit. If you have room in your safe, keeping your ammo in there is not a bad idea!

Gun Storage Safe


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      7 years ago

      Love it. TNx


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