Long term gun storage


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Albatross
March 8, 2010, 08:23 PM
I searched the forums and didn't find answers specific enough for my circumstances. Here they are:

The guns will be in a safe, which will be in a cargo trailer covered by a tarp (a bunch of household goods are in the trailer also). The trailer will be parked in the open in the pacific northwest for approximately 1 year.

The guns are a mixture of handguns (1911, Keltec, Colt mustang) and rifles (.308 Winchester, AR15, shotguns, Ruger .22). Some of them have scopes/optics.

How should I prep the guns/optics so they survive the storage? All ideas, opinions, tips, advice appreciated.

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KBintheSLC
March 8, 2010, 08:30 PM
Clean them up really good and coat them with a heavy layer of oil inside and out (including the bore/mags/actions). Also, you can soak some newspaper in oil and wrap the guns tightly with that before you put them in the safe. Then toss some desiccant packets in the safe before you close it to absorb moisture.

Jorg Nysgerrig
March 8, 2010, 08:40 PM
I certainly wouldn't wrap any wood stocked guns in oil soaked newspapers. Likewise, stored outside in the pacific northwest, a few desiccant packets aren't going to cut it either.

The catch with your setup is going to be the fact there is no climate control. You're going to have issues with humidity and condensation that wouldn't normally be encountered in a home. Hopefully someone with experience in that area can provide you some tips. Also, make sure you get a coupler lock or something to make it more difficult for someone to drive off with your trailer.

erichtmobile
March 8, 2010, 09:00 PM
Weather proof airtight gun storage bags are available, one company is "aloksak"....I've seen them on cheaperthandirt.com and other places. Might be over kill depending on the quality of the trailer

oneounceload
March 8, 2010, 09:24 PM
Your safe will be at as much danger as your guns in that climate. Cosmoline comes to mind for the guns.

You don't have someone you can leave your safe with (without giving him the combination?)

paradox998
March 8, 2010, 09:52 PM
Use the gunbags previously mentioned. They are made with a treated plastic than creates a vapor in the bag that inhibits corrosion. Any of the major websites have them and they are reusable and supposed to be good for several years storage.

jnyork
March 8, 2010, 10:12 PM
This sounds like a really bad deal to me, regardless of what you do. Your safe is going to be ruined with rust, I fear, at least you have the chance of your lock getting rusted shut. Your scopes will be in danger of damage. Breaking into a trailer like that is a piece of cake for burglars. The combination of the very high humidity and changing temperatures is going to be extremely difficult to deal with.

Do you have anyone with a house that would rent you some space where you can plug in a Goldenrod? Is there a storage facility around there with climate controlled inside storage?

Meaning no disrespect whatsoever, but you really need to rethink this whole project, IMHO.

mikewayde
March 8, 2010, 11:30 PM
A cargo trailer would be easy pickins in my area even behind a fence or with a neck lock, I would find a friend or mabye a climate controlled garage or shop building...

Oro
March 9, 2010, 03:32 AM
I'm in the PNW and sometimes even indoor storage gives me fits. The tarp is going to be the killer on bulk storage - it will retain a lot of moisture underneath it.

As has been mentioned, individually cleaned and prepped, then in air-tight storage bags with dessicant in each. THEN put the individually protected/sealed guns in the safe. After that, I would have no worries.

Albatross
March 9, 2010, 03:40 AM
The trailer will be immobilized by a hitch lock and blocked in by a large truck. Someone towing the trailer away is possible, but unlikely. Other expensive items have been stored on this property for years without being stolen (jet ski, boat, a 6500$ dump trailer).

Heated storage places like uhaul want approximately 280 bucks a month for ground level storage large enough to fit the trailer into, that isn't a realistic alternative. A year of 280$ months is 3360$. Not too much more money and I could just replace all my stuff brand new.

Plugging in a heater/dehumidifier is a realistic possibility (a 36inch golden rod heats 500sq ft about the square footage of the trailer), but I am concerned that the property owners (grandparents) could inadvertently unplug the power and not notice for quite some time.

I can't be the first person in the world who wants to store a bunch of metal stuff and household goods (television, couch, furniture) in a trailer from August to July.

Oro, do you think leaving the tarp off is a good idea? The trailer is 2009 and designed for NW use (read doesn't leak). If it will do more harm the good I won't bother to tie it down.

natman
March 9, 2010, 04:59 AM
Get some of these:

www.polygunbag.com

and coat the guns in RIG grease or Breakfree Collector

http://www.break-free.com/?location=/products/index.asp

otblue
March 9, 2010, 07:38 AM
Wipe your guns down thoroughly bore included with any good gun CLP type product or a RIG type grease, even a silicone spray. Wrap in a clean dry cotton material, place in a mylar (Sorbentsystems) or polybag or even a foodsaver plastic bag off a roll, add some dessicant bags (you know, those little bags you saved over the years from all your purchases and then reactivated in the oven) and vacuum seal using your wifes kitchen vacuum sealer. If you haven't got one of those use a vacuum refrigeration pump and an iron.

Done right you are now good for decades.

Ed Harris
March 9, 2010, 12:48 PM
Clean all metal parts very well. Then coat all metal parts with Break Free Collector http://break-free.com/?location=/products/index.asp which is intended exactly for these types of long term storage uses. Seal each gun in an Alosak bag, then place the bag in a watertight Pelican case. DO NOT use any oil soaked rags, newspapers or whatever. Anything porous in contact with metal will rust.

If you cannot find Break Free Collector, buy some Lee Liquid Alox bullet lube. This lube is 55% solids of calcium soap in a mineral spirit carrier and is chemically very similar to the stuff Ziebart uses in rust proofing automobiles. Cut the Lee Liquid Alox 50-50 by liquid volume with a high quality light preservative oil such as VV-L-800, or Mil-L-63460 to ease application.

If you don't have waterproof Pelican boxes, pack the guns wrapped in the Alosak bags, in sturdy double-wall corrugated containers which should then be securely wrapped in plastic sheeting, all seams taped, then place the whole thing in a sturdy wooden box.

Cover the wooden boxes with a good tarpaulin and you should be good for ten years.

oneounceload
March 9, 2010, 01:54 PM
I can't be the first person in the world who wants to store a bunch of metal stuff and household goods (television, couch, furniture) in a trailer from August to July.

Nope, I stored goods in a friends cattle trailer with a a tarp over it - however, the time frame was about a month and it was in northern NV with a humidity level of 7%.

You said your grandparents house - can you not at least put your safe and tv in the garage, covered by a blanket and put a goldenrod in the safe?

CWL
March 9, 2010, 02:01 PM
I'd disassemble the guns and use cosmoline on all the metal.

jnyork
March 9, 2010, 03:53 PM
[QUOTE][You said your grandparents house - can you not at least put your safe and tv in the garage, covered by a blanket and put a goldenrod in the safe?
/QUOTE]

That?

smokin hot AR10
March 9, 2010, 05:13 PM
Usually whenever I know that I am not going to use a certain firearm, Carbon Steel knife or camping equipment for a while I like to spray them down with Remington DriLube. When it dries, it turns into a white coating. I have never had a problem with it yet. I store my camping equipment in the basement and none of it has any rust on it. ;)

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10151&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&partNumber=67642&hvarTarget=search&cmCat=SearchResults

Albatross
March 9, 2010, 09:44 PM
Moving the safe into the house isn't a option for a number of good reasons.

Seagoing
March 9, 2010, 11:42 PM
What about PVC pipe ?
Seems that a length of pipe, with endcaps glued on, would be pretty much
watertight, airtight, vapor-proof, etc.

btg3
March 9, 2010, 11:53 PM
What about PVC pipe ?
Seems that a length of pipe, with endcaps glued on, would be pretty much
watertight, airtight, vapor-proof, etc.
Not a good idea unless it's kept above the dewpoint.

paintballdude902
March 10, 2010, 12:18 AM
when i left for college i knew it would be a few months before i was home again and i was only taking a few of my guns so storage was goin to be an issue for me


i got some cheap sheets and cut them so i could warp them around my guns. first i coated every inch both internal and external with 20w50 motor oil then wrapped them up. the sheets absorbed the oil keeping it against the metal and also kept dust from gathering on the metal. worked good i went from august till december without looking at them and they were fine. then in december i gave them another good rubdown with oil and put the sheet back no. theyve been fine so far

What about PVC pipe ?
Seems that a length of pipe, with endcaps glued on, would be pretty much
watertight, airtight, vapor-proof, etc.
all the moisture in the air at the time would be trapped in and then condense on the metal when it got cold. it would work if you filled the base with desiccant then oiled the guns really well

Leafy Cronmer
March 10, 2010, 01:15 AM
I am no expert, but I would suggest using gun specific dry storage bags. Also some dehumidifying material like silica gel in the storage unit wont hurt.

otblue
March 10, 2010, 07:43 AM
I have just unwrapped some collector rifles I put away 20 years ago. They are still in pristine condition.

They were cleaned and coated with BreakFree CLP, wrapped in thin cotton T shirt type material and then placed in thick plastic bags with dessicant packets and as much air as possible just squeezed out. The bags were then just duct taped closed.

As mentioned in my ealier post, if you also vacuum seal them instead of just closing them, you will be good for decades probably indefinately if you add oxygen absorber bags as well.

Ed Harris is right about the Lee Alox, best rust preventative I've ever used, but I disagree about not placing "porous" material next to the firearm. I prefer thin cotton because I don't like bare metal against flexible plastics and foams though the new mylar or gun specific films are probably OK.

Materials like cotton are not a problem if the atmosphere is controlled. Rust cannot form in the absence of oxygen and moisture.

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