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Cleaning guns for medium/long term storage in a safe

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Anna's Dad, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Central Florida
    I have a few of guns that I don't shoot often and some that I don't shoot at all. Those that I shoot regularly get cleaned and oiled so I'm not concerned about them.

    The guns that aren't fired or, at least not often, are all kept in a safe in an airconditioned room so humidity shouldn't be a big problem. I also use anti-corrosive and anti-humidity products (although I don't change them as often as recommended).

    I'd like recommendations on cleaning and maintaining both the finish and internals of these guns.

    As far as finish, I have the following:
    1) Blue (some are highly polished, some appear more dull)
    2) Stainless
    3) Parkerized (both black and gray)
    4) Melonite/Tennifer

    Some are older guns where the finish is partially worn and/or scratched.

    Is there a one-size-fits-all product that would be good for all of these finishes? If not, I would appreciate recommendations for each.

    Also, are any of these products safe if they contact the grips (plastic, wood or rubber)? If not, should I just try to avoid them or should the grips actually be removed when the product is applied?

    For the internals, I'm thinking that cleaning should be unnecessary or very, very infrequent. Once cleaned and oiled, I wouldn't expect the oil to breakdown significantly until the gun is fired again. I would appreciate any thoughts on this, however.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Participating Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    I wouldn't do anything different from the guns you shoot/clean on a regular basis. Just take the ones that aren't being used, out of the safe once a year or so, and wipe them down with a bit of good gun oil.

  3. New_geezer

    New_geezer Member

    Jun 22, 2005
    High Desert, California
    Hey can't go wrong with a big can of WD-40.

    (just kidding)

    I certainly wouldn't over oil any internals, the oil can pool up and can get a bit gummy over a long time. Personally I've had good luck using a thin application of Tetra Gun Grease (avail @ Wal-Mart) on all the sliding parts and even down the barrel. Maybe a drop of Rem Oil on the pivoting parts. Don't overdue either as too much oil or grease tends to attract and hold the inevitable grit. I know others have used other products that work well.

    For the outside, honestly ordinary Johnson's paste wax or the like is a good rust preventative that won't harm either the wood or the metal. Again there's no reason to go wild with the stuff but a thin coating seems to work really well in my experience.
  4. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 22, 2002
    Kampong Cham, Cambodia
    RIG, Rust Inhibiting Grease.
    Get a nice lamb's wool pad and work some RIG into it and rub on each gun you are storing.
  5. Siderite

    Siderite New Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I keep hearing RIG mentioned, but haven't been able to find it at any of the hardware stores (Ace, Menards, Lowes). Does anyone have suggestions as to where I might find some?
  6. CWL

    CWL Mentor

    Jan 6, 2003
    Grease is your friend. Dont forget a thin coat inside the barrel.

    You can also buy anti-corosion paper to wrap your clean guns in. Brownells has them I think.

    I personally like using paste wax on exposed metal to protect & waterproof. Hey, it works on cars, but I don't know how it lasts long-term v. grease. Renaisance Wax is used in museums to preserve and protect weapons and armour.
  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    My friend Brian hit the nail on its head- RIG is the only product I
    recommend for long term storage~! :scrutiny:;):D
  8. 45shooter

    45shooter Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    My father has a large collection of Colt Pythons, Diamondback, Dick Special, etc. and he keeps them sprayed inside and out with Eezzox (sp?) and wood grips removed. They sit in the safe upright position on a plastic display rack (I think each rack hold 4 handguns). Some of those revolvers don't get touched for years but when they are wiped down they all still have that deep blued finish like it just came out of the factory. He's been using it for about 20 years or so.
  9. JohnBT

    JohnBT Elder

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
    Eezox works. Birchwood-Casey Sheath (now Barricade) works, but I like using RIG. I'm lazy, I'll spray some Sheath down in the guts, hang the gun up to drip dry and then wipe it down with RIG. A RIG RAG makes it simple to get in the nooks and crannies, or lettering. I use it for everyday wipe downs. It can be cleaned with a dab of Woolite when it gets dirty. A guy at the gun show sells seconds for $6 instead of the usual $10.

    RIG is available from Brownell's, Midway, most gun shops and at gun shows.

    RIG Rag - www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=10076&title=RIG+RAG

    RENAISSANCE Wax will protect almost anything, including leather and paper, but it's a matter of how you're going to get it down into the guts of the guns without disassembling them.

    "The British Museum approved manufacture for its own use and for distribution to the public. That "perfect wax" is now available internationally under the name RENAISSANCE WAX."


    "Who Uses RENAISSANCE Wax-Polish:
    UK: British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum. Royal Armories (Tower of London , London & Leeds, National Army Museum, Imperial War Museum, the Wallace Collection, H.M. the Queen's Royal Armorer (at Marlborough House), the Guards Museum (Wellington Barracks), the Gurkha Museum (Winchester), the Military Museums at Aldershot, Royal Green Jackets Regimental Museum, the Gunsmith at Chatham Historic Dockyard (Kent), the Johnny Armstrong Gallery, and Museum of Border Arms & Armor (Scotland), National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. Belgium: Musee Royal de l'Armee et d'Histoire Militaire-Brussels. USA: Gunsmith at Colonial Williamsburg, the Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Academy of Art-Honolulu, Texarcana College-Bladesmithing & Metallurgy, Rockfeller Restorations, and many many more institutions around the world.

    Available sizes:
    200ml tin @ ...... 25.00
    65 ml tin @ ....... 15.00
    2.5 Litre @ ......189.00"
  10. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Central Florida
    Thanks for all of the suggestions! I'll definately look into some of these options and will get my hands on some RIG just due to the number of recommendations.
  11. Blueridge

    Blueridge New Member

    Jun 30, 2007
    Silica Gel Packs

    You might want to toss in a few Silica Gel packs. My pharmacy safes them for me. Shoe stores are another source of these. That will absorb any moisture and keep it dry. I would seal it in plastic freezer bags.
  12. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Brian, JohnBT speak true .

    I finally checked on some things that are not in a temperature controlled environment per se' after over a year. Everything is fine.

    RIG, Johnson's Paste Wax and Ballistol are proven, along with what JohnBT posted.

    In a "tight" or "field expedient" , Petroleum Jelly works. We call it "poor mans cosmoline".
    It does not have to be Vaseline brand , generic works.
    Dexcron automatic transmission fluid for internals works too.

    There have been times during an emergency, these two products were all one had, and the guns were fine for some time.
  13. kymarkh

    kymarkh Member

    Sep 26, 2003
    Northern Kentucky

    I have a small container of RIG that has been sitting in my gun box for years - I used it back when I was into shotguns and it worked great for long-term storage. If you would PM me with your address I'll send it to you free of charge.

  14. silverlance

    silverlance Senior Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    In my Foxhole
    you can still get cosmoline. worked real well for most of my rifles... kept them good for well over fifty years.
  15. Vegaslaith

    Vegaslaith Member

    May 4, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    Where would you buy cosmoline?

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