HELP with very longterm storage of firearms


December 18, 2006, 09:03 AM
I am getting ready to move to turkey for 2 years. Any ideas on how to store my firearms that long, without any worries of rust/corrosion?

I usually store my firearms greased with Brownells action lube and then wrap them in a silicone cloth. I am afraid to do this for 2 years though, because I am afraid of chemical reactions that will cause them to rust.

Thanks for any input you guys may be able to provide.

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December 18, 2006, 09:04 AM
Cosmoline would seem to have a proven track record in such uses.


Sleeping Dog
December 18, 2006, 09:19 AM
R.I.G. Rust Inhibiting Grease should hold them for a couple of years.

Ben Shepherd
December 18, 2006, 09:32 AM
As Sleeping Dog posted, go get some RIG grease. That should work just fine. We have a couple of Viet Nam vets here at work that swear by it for rust prevention. If it works in a jungle environment, it should preform fine anywhere in the U.S.

December 18, 2006, 10:01 AM
Did you say 2 years? I wouldn't call that "very long term".

Clean and lube, put it somewhere dry.

If you were talking about 20 years. . . I guess some of the other suggestions would work. . .

I guess what I am saying is I wouldn't worry about it so much.

December 18, 2006, 02:28 PM
We inherited a few guns from an old man that died. They were in a shed that we know was not opened for at least 10 years. They were in a box with a light coat of oil (a very strong smelling oil, don't know what it was) sitting in there cardboard boxes in the regally 99% humidity of south Louisiana.

2 years doesn't seam all that bad some heavy RIG grease should work fine.

December 18, 2006, 03:46 PM
another vote for cosmoline!

December 18, 2006, 04:46 PM
You can buy heat-sealable bags and VCI (vapor corrosion inhibitor) paper from Brownells, put the gun in the bag with a few sheets of the paper, and seal the end with a hot iron. The VCI paper releases chemicals that are adsorbed onto the surface of the metal and inhibit rust. Unlike grease, no cleanup is required, and some members here have stated that the .mil is now using VCI-impregnated bags for arms storage instead of cosmoline.

December 18, 2006, 06:20 PM
CombatArmsUSAF: My most recent PCS was OCONUS and I was in the same boat. I asked the same questions, did a lot of searches, and eventually arrived at my own successful solution.

1. Remove any wood/antler stocks or grips and store separately.

2. Weapons are slathered with a heavy coat of normal gun oil (your choice: CLP, Rem Oil, RIG Grease, etc). Dissassemble and coat main parts (slides, frame, reciver, barrels, etc.). Applying oil with a shaving brush or small soft paint brush will get the oil into crevices, rails, triggers, hammers, etc.. Not enough to drip off of the weapon but enough to give a "wet" appearance. Don't forget to liberally coat interior of barrels.

3. Handguns go into silicon impregnated gun sock (available at most gun shops, online, or WalMart), then into pistol sized vapor barrier protection bags. Throw in a couple of vapor inhibitor chips. Seal by folding or tape.

4. Rifles/Shotguns into silicon impregnated gun sleeve and the long gun size vapor barrier bags. Throw in chips. Seal by folding or tape.

5. Leave them with your trusted agent and give that person instructions to store weapons in a dry room temperature location (not an attic; not a damp basement). Have person agree not to break seals on stored bags or take weapons in and out of storage configuration.

The vapor barrier bags I bought were opaque red in color (Kleenbore Products?) and I got them from Midway or Brownells for a coupla bucks apiece (forgot which). They are 100% impermeable to water vapor and impregnated with some sort of chemical protectant. Do not use commercial ziplocs or such...they will allow in microscopic amounts of humidity.

The links below show some of these products from Brownells.

Years ago I had an oiled commercial M-1 carbine get seriously rusted sitting in a footlocker in a basement for 3 years.

Nowdays, I go overboard: Oil, Silicon Sleeve/Sock, Vapor Inhibitor Chips, and Vapor Barrier Bags. Weapons were absolutely fine after 2+ years and I suspect would have been good to go for another 8 years.

BTW: I stuck a last minute Mossberg 500 into a vapor barrier bag with a light coat of oil (no silicone sleeve or inhibitor chips); I just pressed as much air out of the vapor bag as possible and roll- folded the top without sealing it with tape. It also survived my absence without any rust.

Don't store any weapons with bare metal contacting foam (like in a plastic pistol case) or non-impregnated cloth (like a pistol rug or blanket). These materials will absorb and hold small amounts of water vapor from the air and cause rust where they touch the weapon.

Do not use WD-40 as it will evaporate and not provide any long term rust protection.

Small parts (or even entire weapons) can be put into wide-mouth, screw-top, liquid-tight plastic toiletry or kitchen containers, and immersed with oil. Cheapest would be to get something like a large shatterproof nalgene bottle and a can or two of Mobil One Synthetic Engine Oil (which works as well as any gun oil).

In any event, I had great results with oil and vapor barrier bags (which is how the Army currently ships/long-term stores its weapons).

Good luck...

cracked butt
December 18, 2006, 06:59 PM
Coat everyhting inside and out with RIG.

Don't store any weapons with bare metal contacting foam (like in a plastic pistol case) or non-impregnated cloth (like a pistol rug or blanket). These materials will absorb and hold small amounts of water vapor from the air and cause rust where they touch the weapon.

I agree with this one from experience.

December 18, 2006, 08:38 PM
When I went to SEA for 3 years in the early seventies I slathered my rifles with white lithium grease and wrapped them tightly in saran wrap. I then locked them in their cases and left them at my mother's house in humid, hot Albany, GA.

They were just like new when I came back.

December 18, 2006, 08:59 PM
my dad has a lever actgion .30-.30 that hasn't been touched in 10 years. i pulled it out the other day and no rust or anything. all he does to clean it is just spray wd-40 on a paper towel and give the gun a good ruubing. spray the chamber with rem-oil and your good

MSgt B
December 19, 2006, 01:16 AM
Leave them with me. I promise I'll keep them company. I'll even send you pictures of me keeping them company while you're gone.

Seriously, save up your money while you're at the Lick. Just before you PCS, buy a couple shotguns and have them shipped home. They do the most amazing engraving and gold inlay over there for dirt cheap.

You're going to have a great time.

PM me if you get in a jam over the gun thing. I'll help you out. (Langley AFB)

December 19, 2006, 01:26 AM
I agree with cleaning and lubricating the guns. Using vapor corrosion inhibitor paper, but I would throw in some Desiccants Silica Gel packets. You can get them here: I always keep these in my gun safe and they can be reactivated in your oven.

December 19, 2006, 02:57 AM
telperion is right, the military has been using vci bags, called affectionately 'elephant rubbers' for 30 plus years. they can be hard to find, though. i should have bought every one i saw at a gunshow about 2 yrs ago. but I found another solution. vci emitter discs. in an enclosed space, say a guncabinet, or heck, even your closet, you put a disc inside your gunbag, or about 10 discs open in side a closet, and waa laa! no probs. I did an expirement with them last feb. I took a 70 year old marlin 81 dl, that was a complete rust bucket. I thoroughly cleaned it, free of all rust. this gun has no bluing whatsoever. then after I oiled it, I put it in a very old , very absorbent, rifle bag. then threw that in the leaky trunk of my car, from Feb., through the end of April. In Houston I might add. this is how it came out;

not a speck of rust.

December 19, 2006, 03:16 AM
ok, me and my buddies do this alot. we just dont get to shoot as often as we want to we store our guns for years at at time.

best way......
remove all leather and wood, clean well. use a heavy grease or oil and coat em so heavy they are dripping. plastic bag them (with dessicants) and tape em up securly. double or tripple bag em. wrap em in a sheet or whatever and tape again. leave as is or put em into a gun scabbard. alternate things to coat em with is motorcycle chain wax. it sprays on liquid and sets up rather firm. awesome stuff. i use it for all guns that sit longer than a week. also, a piece of cloth wrapped around the gun before plastic bagging helps to avoid sharp edges poking thru. in that case we just saturate the cloth with the oil and bag it up.

fast way............

just remove leather and clean gun normally. grease or wax and plastic bag up with dessicant and wrap up with tape.

the dessicants are very important. bulk dessicant can be made with sheetrock thats been broken into inch size pieces and baked in a oven. put it in sealed container after baking so it doesnt attract moisture and get ruined. bake for a few hours at 275 deg i believe is correct. its what ive done and it works fine. bag it in socks and tie em closed. the sheetrock trick you can re bake em and use em again. dont bake the sock.

Anna's Dad
December 19, 2006, 07:03 PM

December 19, 2006, 10:56 PM
Thanks everybody for your replies, it's always nice to see other people's ways of doing things. I appreciate it.

December 19, 2006, 11:50 PM
Another vote for R.I.G. I have two rifles and three handguns (heirlooms) that have been stored for over 15 years with nothing more than a coat of R.I.G. I take a peak at them once every few years or so....they are doing fine!

January 11, 2007, 10:16 AM

January 11, 2007, 12:58 PM
If you can, store the metal apart from the wood and (old fashioned) hard rubber stocks. Then, as all these good folks have advised--desicate and lube the metal until you're satisfied.

The wood will suffer dearly from such dry storage. The wood will be better off stored wrapped in old blankets at the back of the closet in the 'living' part of the house with nominal humidity of 50% or up. Not by the radiator, and not in the bathroom either.

I like the 'upstairs' storage for older weapons with delicate finish, too (damascas shotguns an old colt's w/ original blue). They will be checked more often and you don't need to slather them in cosmo.

Really, the best bet is a trusted caretaker with a manifest and letter from you if something goes wrong. Hey--enjoy Turkey--I hear the food is great!

January 11, 2007, 10:36 PM
The food in Turkey *is* excellent. The cops carrying MP-5s are interesting. I spent some time there working on an archaeological excavation... good times.

lee n. field
January 11, 2007, 10:52 PM
very longterm storage of firearms

2 Years in my mind doesn't qualify as "very long term". Past my lifetime, a century and up, maybe.

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