Silica Gel or other dessicants in gun safes


December 19, 2003, 10:36 AM
I just got my first gun safe, and after putting the sucker in place I noticed that it came with two pouches of silica gel inside it to keep the internal carpeting dry. I was about to toss them out when I realized that maybe leaving them inside was not a bad idea.
Would leaving a dessicant such as silica gel inside a gun safe help to keep wooden stocks in good condition after long term storage? Normally firearms are stored in cosmoline or other oily preservatives, but maybe keeping a gun safe low in moisture is a good idea.
Any thoughts?

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December 19, 2003, 10:46 AM
It depends on where the safe is located. If it's indoors, in a climate-controlled atmosphere, it's less of a problem. If it's in a non-ventilated or stuffy or humid area (e.g. a garage or attic), then you need something extra in the way of protection.

Silica gel is fine, although I'd get a couple of industrial-size packets, rather than rely on the smaller ones (which are only designed to keep the carpet in good condition). Dry them out every two or three months in the oven or microwave, and they should help.

In a more humid climate, it's worth investing in a Goldenrod attachment. This heats up the air in the safe to a few degrees above ambient temperature, thus preventing condensation of moisture on your guns, and avoiding rust problems. Most safes have a socket in the lower rear to accommodate the wiring for a Goldenrod.

December 19, 2003, 11:40 AM
I have both a Golden-rod and Silica gel in my safe - garage kept - no problems (Eastern PA).

Here's the low cost version - go to a Michaels/Franks craft supply - buy the 1-pound can of "Flower Drying Crystals" {SILICA GEL} pour into a clean/old Gym-sock - stockings work too.
Hang in safe - bake as needed to regenerate!!!!!

MUCH MUCH less than the army surp/gun supply Sil Gel cans and fancy holders.

December 19, 2003, 12:12 PM
Here's what I use in my safes.

December 19, 2003, 12:25 PM
I keep a couple of containers of silica gel in my gun safe - have for about 10 years now. There's a "window" in the cap that shows the crystals (normally purple) which have an indicator chemical that turns them pink when they've absorbed a significant amount of moisture. When the crystals no longer look deep purple in color, I bake them in the oven for a while to drive off the moisture.

December 19, 2003, 03:49 PM
SJG26 - I did exactly that - bought a big ol' tub of the flower drying crystals at the craft shop. Also bought a box of the stuff made for gun safes.

They filled up in 3 or 4 days in my basement. Too, too, too much trouble.

Long live Golden Rods.


December 19, 2003, 04:04 PM
Only 3 or 4 days!:what: That ain`t good. I have the goldenrods. At least they never have to be checked and re-generated.:)

Tropical Z
December 19, 2003, 09:06 PM
Get the 12 gauge plug.

December 21, 2003, 06:21 AM
Do you guys think a couple gel packs in a gun rug would help?

December 21, 2003, 09:10 AM
I use two of those cannisters per safe.

That Inhibtor looks interesting. I think I'll buy some of those to see how well they work (Ted can't be wrong).

The other product line I've been meaning to try out is Drierite (

Kentucky Rifle
December 21, 2003, 09:51 AM
While I was over at Kiesler's a couple of days ago buying ammo, I saw a guy buy an interesting one. It was some dessicant in what looked to be a 5 lb bag. Maybe a little bigger than a 5 lb bag of sugar.
Anyway, it had three quarter sized indicator circles on the front. They turned color when the dessicant was full of moisture. Hummm. They weren't very expensive. Maybe I should go back over and buy a couple of them today. Anybody else ever seen something like that?
Hey. There's a sale going on at Kiesler's now. Ammo, belts, a few holsters, etc...


December 21, 2003, 11:08 AM
Just read a review in a gun rag on a product from Bullfrog. It comes in a cup that's placed inside your gunsafe. In the closed environment of a safe, it releases a corrosion inhibiting vapor that adheres to metal preventing rust. The product lasts for up to a year before requiring replacement. Bullfrog also has what they call strips that are designed for placing inside gun cases. Might be worth looking into further.

December 21, 2003, 06:12 PM
Brownell's, and others, sell Rust Blox tabs. I use them in tool boxes, tackle boxes, gun cases. You get IIRC 50 for $5 or so. John

"Rust Blox tabs are small squares of vapor-emitting cardboard, effective for at least a year in a sealed environment."

December 22, 2003, 08:10 PM
This is a little unconventional but a KNOWN working solution to removing moisture inside a gunsafe. I hae a friend with a SWEET $1000+ safe full of many guns in his basement. He had these desicant bags you mention. After awhile his guns started rusting in his safe. I gave him one of the commerical refrigeration filter cores I sell at work and he has been fine ever since. It is used commercially to remove moisture from refrigerant in BIG refrigeration systems. It works real well in a closed environment like a safe to absorb air-born moisture. After a few months and it becomes TOTALLY full and doesn't absorb any more, all you have to do is pop it in the oven for an hour or so to dry it back out and you're good to go again. They are sold in EVERY major city in HVAC/R wholesale houses. The main supplier we have is Sporlan and the part number is RC4864 or RCW48. They are about $15 bucks or so and will last forever in a gun safe environment. Just one of those FYI things

December 22, 2003, 10:44 PM
I think it's a given that you want to put a pack of silica gel (is it really called "gel," it looks like little tiny pearls?) in your safe. And, yes, you want something that's the size of a can of Coke, not one of those little stamp-sized packets.

SJG26, thanks for the heads-up on the craft store option, it sounds like a winner.

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