Proper Gun Storage Temperature and Humidity


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Theearl
December 12, 2009, 12:12 AM
I was trying to figure out what the proper temperature and humidity to store guns at. Currently I keep them in a closet that has been weathered sealed and around the door and a towel stuffed under the door. The closet is about 6x2x8. I have a dehumidfying rod, a 25 wat bulb and a 40 watt, plus descinet. The temperature of the closet ranges from 68-73 degree with the outside temperature usually plus or minus a degree of that. The humidity ranges from 38-41%. Over a 24 hour period it will stay at this range, is this good? Also, I think my biggest concern is that there is a drastic increase on the inside of the closet in the evening, because the people I live with turn the heat up during a 6 hour period and then it drops back down? Any suggestions or am I doing this right?

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Drail
December 12, 2009, 12:36 AM
At about 35% (or less) humidity you shouldn't have any problems. The temp is not really as important as long as it doesn't change rapidly up or down. Keep a thin coat of oil on them and you'll be OK. Just be careful of any activity that suddenly increases the humidity like carpet cleaning or painting or several people taking hot showers in a short time space. Inspect them frequently to make sure they are oiled. Oil will evaporate over time and leave the steel naked and defenseless. If you could make the closet fairly airtight place some dessicant packs in with the guns. Watch the humidity gauge. If there is clothing or carpeting or anything that can absorb moisture from the air on a humid day you may have problems. Make sure the guns are not in a fabric case or pistol rug.

Theearl
December 12, 2009, 12:16 PM
What do you consider a rapid temperature change. THe closet goes up 5 degrees over a 4-5 hour time frame in the eveing when the heat is own.

harmonic
December 12, 2009, 01:02 PM
I'm no physicist, but metal attracts condensation when it's temperature is drastically different from the air. Picture a glass of water at room temperature. Now picture the same glass with ice water.

As long as the temperature is rising gradually (which sounds like the case), there shouldn't be any condensation on your guns. The temperature of the metal is changing gradually along with the temperature of the room.

If you're storing these guns long term, maybe you should use some long term protectant.

rcmodel
December 12, 2009, 01:20 PM
According to the NRA:
50% humidity at 70 degrees is considered ideal "Arms Museum" storage conditions.

Any dryer then that, and you will have problems with wood stocks drying out and shrinking / checking.

Rust is unlikely to form below 65% humidity unless salt is present, so that would be the upper limit.

Actually, if you don't have wide daily temperature swings in your house to cause condensation on the metal, whatever the humidity is, is probably just fine. (Unless you live on a sea-coast with salt-spray air.)

I have had a bunch of nice guns stored in cabinets without any humidity control here in Kansas for years without any rust problems at all.
In spring & fall when the A/C is off, indoor humidity may reach 60% or more.
In winter, we run a furnace humidifier to raise the humidity in the house.

But my guns are wiped down with R.I.G. after every handling, and my home is heated and air conditioned mostly year around, at a constant temperature, so condensation is just never going to happen.

In winter, when I bring a gun indoors, I just leave it out in open air with a ceiling fan running until it has reached room temperature, wipe it down with a Rig-Rag, and put it away.
I've never had a rusty gun in over 55 years of storing them this way!

Last, never ever leave a gun in a padded gun case for storage, as the padding is likely to hold mosture against the steel and cause rust. Guns are far less likely to rust if air is allowed to circulate freely around them.

rc

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