storing in handgun in foam lined case


September 18, 2009, 03:56 PM
I've made this thread before but I couldn't find it so here goes. I have some pistols I'm storing long term. I don't shoot them but I love them and have no desire to part with them.

I've heard storage ina foam lined case cause the gun to fall victim to trapped moisture. My question is say I put a silica packet under each foam pad, 2 resting inside the pads and my gun into an airtight ziploc bag with an additional silica packet or 2 inside. Would this now be a sufficient LONG TERM storage solution? 5+ years...I do not own a gun safe or this thread wouldn't be made.


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September 18, 2009, 04:05 PM
I throw a silica bag inside of the gun rug and that is all. I haven't had any problems with that method so far. But I try to keep my place fairly humidity free the best I can within reason.

I had the sights of a stainless Colt fall victim to rust and it was just sitting open in a safe, but tight against a gun rug.

September 18, 2009, 04:43 PM
I would keep it well lubricated with a thick lube. The military uses cosmoline and submerges the gun in it after warming up the grease.

Any one here know a good place to get cosmo or another thick lubricant/protectant in a cheap mass quantity? I may want to store a few of mine long term too.

September 18, 2009, 04:46 PM

I have wrapped oiled-up guns in painters masking paper, then put that in a foam-lined gun case.

It's dry where I am, though. If you're in a humid environment, I don't know what to tell you.

September 18, 2009, 04:47 PM
Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to store blued guns long term with a light coat of oil in a safe with a dehumidifier in a humidity challenged residence?

Just a thought, seems like cleaning off that cosmo junk might do more harm to the firearm than just looking after it.

September 18, 2009, 04:49 PM
Use the same stuff the factory's use.

Vapor-Barrier paper wrapped around the gun in the box.

Use R.I.G. grease for long term storage.
As good or better then cosmolene without the mess.


dagger dog
September 18, 2009, 05:45 PM
Some of the foam used in the less expensive cases can give off vapors that can be corrosive. If you are sure that the foam is ok, your idea with the dessicant packs is a good one, but most of the dessicants become moisture laden after a period and that time period depends on humidity levels where the storing takes place. They can be "recharged" by drying at 200 -250 degrees in your baking oven. But if you want to store and forget, Cosmoline is available through Midway USA and is a well proven bomb proof long term storage method.

September 18, 2009, 05:55 PM
These links may be of interest as they compare various corrosion prevention products...

September 18, 2009, 06:15 PM
great links, thanks.

September 18, 2009, 06:22 PM
I have not had good luck with this as the foam degenerates and the fumes and chemicals can ruin a weapon. MANY other ways to do long term storage without foam. Even a steel single gun safe (the type kept on a night stand) with regularly checked dessicant could be much safer. Good Luck.

The Lone Haranguer
September 18, 2009, 08:53 PM
Styrofoam or other closed cell foam, perhaps. But the soft rubbery foams usually found in cases are open-celled, therefore will absorb moisture and promote rust/corrosion on the handgun if it has no additional protection. You can put a protective coating of some sort on the handgun, put it inside a "zip-lock" plastic bag and then put it in the case.

September 18, 2009, 09:00 PM
I have used a couple of these:

September 18, 2009, 09:17 PM
What RC said about the vapor barrier paper. All of the old guns always came wrapped in them. I would NOT use foam -no way to guarantee all the moisture is out. Not too sure if a small dessicant and then vacuum-sealing would work (assuming coated in preservative)

September 18, 2009, 09:23 PM
Do not store in a foam case unless you want it ruined. My mom had my grandads pristine m10 in a foam case for about 12 years. When I remembered it I asked her about it we pulled it out and it looked like this below. It is off at S&W right now being refinished. I will be posting a write up of the before and after on my website so I hope smith & wesson does a good job it will be out there for everyone to see.

September 18, 2009, 09:34 PM
I was going to suggest the storage bag in the gun case idea.

I've always wondered why gun cases and rugs are lined like they are when the material promotes rust. How many guns have been damaged or ruined?

I had a friend leave a rifle in a foam lined plastic case in his garage/shop while in Iraq. Came back to a rust covered rifle. What a waste.

September 18, 2009, 10:46 PM
I would use either a treated ziplock bag with a vapor lining that inhibits corrosion or one of the grey borestore cloth pouches. The pouches have a special fabic that will wick away moisture. Of course give the guns a good coat of preservative like breakfree collector.

September 18, 2009, 10:56 PM
You can buy spray on cosmoline, hell its FIVE YEAR storage. Unless you have someone taking it out of a safe to oil it once in a while, I wouldn't store it in that soft foam which is made to protect the gun from IMPACT not protect the finish from moisture.

Bore stores aren't bad.

September 18, 2009, 11:12 PM
I have wrapped oiled-up guns in painters masking paper, then put that in a foam-lined gun case.

It's dry where I am, though. If you're in a humid environment, I don't know what to tell you.

+1 but i use wax or plastic lined butcher paper and bore butter... leaves a film that doesn't evaporate- and its non toxic :)

September 18, 2009, 11:50 PM
i had some of that anti corrosion paper left over from my Mossberg box. I wiped the gun dry, wrapped it in that paper, puut in a ziploc along with a few wiped mags and put in an airtight ziploc bag with a silica packet inside. and then into the foam case it went.

that should do me at least for a while, eh???

September 19, 2009, 08:21 AM
A little OT, but...

I will admit that I am not too got at math...

The Brownells gun paper looks like it would work, but in the description it says, "1 square foot of paper protects 1 cubic foot of space."

OK, so we have a piece of paper that measures 12" on all sides - 1 square foot. Now if you have a cubic foot, that is a box that measures 12" on all sides - of which there are 6!

So how does 1 square foot of paper protect 6 square feet of space???


September 19, 2009, 01:30 PM

I use this stuff on my guns when I store them. My guns are in a locked cabinet in my laundry room. Hardly a dry environment. So far I haven't seen and rust on my guns. I also use a Gold Rod and Damp Rid in my cabinet.

September 19, 2009, 01:40 PM
The volume of a 4" x 10" x 50" rifle case, is 1.15 cubic feet. Your 12" square piece of Brownell's paper is not quite big enough to protect the contents of that case.

As to foam damaging rifles, I've stored a bolt rifle in the same foam-lined hardshell riflecase, over a period of 30 years. No dessicants, no fancy rust preventing paper. The rifle was taken out and re-oiled maybe 5 times over those 30 years, and shot/cleaned maybe 3 times.

Result: Not a spec of rust anywhere, and the blueing is perfect. Shoots great too!

This in a continental climate, with cold rainy snowy winters and hot humid summers.

I think where folk get rust damage in foam-lined cases is when they put a gun in a case that had a tiny bit of rain fall into it, or where the end-of-day dew got absorbed into the foam. I keep my case closed when the gun is in use, to ensure the foam stays bone dry.

September 19, 2009, 01:46 PM
Just about any firearm owners manual will say to avoid storing the firearm in "anything that will attract or hold moisture".

Does anyone else think "sponge" when foam is mentioned?

And FWIW, any material with a high surface area (like open-cell foam) will adsorb moisture from ambient air. If the case is later closed up and stored below the dew point, there's bound to be trouble.

September 20, 2009, 09:16 PM
I will admit that I am not too got at math...

You're not too "got" at English, either.... :)

September 20, 2009, 11:30 PM
I've got several pistols stored in the corrosion resisitant zip lock type bags in foam lined cases/boxes. I think I got them form Dillon or Midway back in the early '90's. Wipe them down with a lightly oiled rag(I keep several of them in a zip loc bag in my range bag, more in an old coffee can on my bench) before I put them up. Never had a bit of rust on any of them, and this is in Missouri - not exactly known for low humidity...

September 21, 2009, 07:07 AM
I've kept mine in those foam lined cases before, but I admit that I take them out and wipe them down every few weeks...ok...days...maybe hours.

No problems at all.

Peter M. Eick
September 25, 2009, 03:27 PM
The foam of the original 44 automags is known for etching the guns. My 44 automag has just a touch of speckling from this, but I was lucky and caught it.

I would never store a gun in foam.

September 26, 2009, 01:57 AM
The bore store products I love, when I give rifles out, I include a couple of boxes of ammo and the correct length bore store. Now in the years I have been in Iraq, no one was around to check on my rifles. When I went home for christmas I checked them all and they look great!!

Sig 556
September 27, 2009, 12:42 PM
I use Flambeau Zerust in all my ammo boxes, gun cases, lockers, etc.

from cabelas

September 27, 2009, 09:01 PM

September 27, 2009, 11:18 PM
Just a note on the silica gel packets.

They absorb moisture but only up to a point. Once saturated you may as well have a patch of toilet paper in there for all the good it does. The silica gel packs need to be used inside of a sealed container so they draw in the TRAPPED moisture and dry the air. None of the foam gun cases I've seen qualify as sealable other than things like Pelican cases or other gasketed containers. So the way to use them is to put the gun and the fresh pack into a plastic bag and then put it away in the foam lined case. The plastic should be sealed but for short duration folding it over to cut any air transfer is OK.

To "dry" the SG packs so they'll suck up moisture you need to bake them at around 150F for 15 or 20 minutes. The heat lets the moisture in the SG pass back to the air in the oven. Once "dried" store the packs in a sealed jar until you transfer them to where you want to use them. Letting them sit out for a couple of days renders them useless and you'll need to bake them dry again before use.

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