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Hypothetical (or not) Situation: Guns After a Fire

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by cuervo, Sep 22, 2010.

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  1. cuervo

    cuervo Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    After reading another thread, here is a situation few of will ever have but some may have already.

    Say you have a house fire. Whether or not they're in a safe, your guns are soaked by the time you get to them, either from the fireman's hose or from the sheet rock in the safe. You know that you can't detail clean everything right away since you have higher priorities such as sifting through the remains for other things, finding a place to live, dealing with insurance, etc.

    What do you do to keep them from rusting before you have a chance to give everything a good cleaning? Spray down with WD40 or oil to displace the water, drop in a barrel of water to keep them from oxidizing, etc...

    Thoughts? Experiences?
  2. engineerbrian

    engineerbrian Member

    Aug 13, 2010
    my guns are really important to me, and since all of my friends and family love guns i think it would be an easy job to have a shooting buddy take care of for you. If it were my friends house that burned down and he asked me to deal with his water soaked guns, i'd be happy to help.
  3. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home of Heroes, Pueblo, CO, USA
    We actually lost a THR member back in 2004 in a house fire. His guns were in a safe, but the intense heat had rendered them all unsafe to use.

    I would probably hose them down with WD40 and get them to a gunsmith to be checked out.
  4. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Planet Earth
    I think I read a house fire can reach 1200 degrees. ANY firearm that was in there i would never trust. May be OK, may not, but count me out.
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    I agree with my friend Larry Ashcraft; but with one minor change.
    I don't think I would hose 'em down with WD-40; but rather synthetic
    Eezox~! During a recent comparison between several of the major
    guncare products; Eezox was deemed the winner, as it only only prevents
    moisture from reaching the firearm but provides a lubricant for internals
    as well. :scrutiny: ;) :cool:

    On a side note, I once had a customer thats house was torched all the
    way to the ground. In it, he had a Beretta 92FS Inox; that suffered what
    I would classify as "major damage". Well, he wanted it refurbished as he
    was a United States Marine; and he dearly loved this Beretta. I contacted
    the Beretta factory in Maryland; and they said, "send it in, and we will see
    what we can do"~! I did so, with a note attached and the name of whom
    I had spoken with. The weapon stayed gone approximately 6 weeks; then
    one day out of the blue, the U.S. Postal Service delivered the firearm back
    to me. I notified my customer, and once he was present in our store - he
    opened the package up. Upon both our suprise, the 92FS had been restored
    to LNIB. We were both shocked, as the packing list had "NO CHARGE" in bold
    red lettering. You talking 'bout a happy Marine; he was simply grateful for the
    excellent sevice that the Beretta company had shown. He now is stationed
    in another secret locale {Marine Recon); but still is in contact with me, even
    this day~!
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  6. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    all over Virginia
    Any firearm that was in a fully-engulfed room - safe or no safe - is ruined.

    If you got out of the fire with your life, how stupid would it be to give up your eyes and your face to naïveté in denying this fact?
  7. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

    Jan 4, 2010
    Collect the money from the insurance company, or if they are salvageable pass them off to a friend for cleaning and storage.
  8. Army

    Army Member

    Jun 13, 2005
    According to "theory": If the wood is intact, the metal has not been damaged.
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    My house burned in The Incident, Jan 30.
    Most of my handguns were in an old uninsulated Treadlock steel case and were fine.
    My rifles and shotguns, were in a rack in the closet and were steamed and smoked. No stock was charred and there was only a little scorching. Rust was light to heavy, stock finishes were done for. My friends oiled them down while I was in hospital but they were in pretty bad shape before they could be recovered. I am running them through the local shop a few at a time. The ones done this far look a lot better than I had expected.

    A couple of pistols looked pretty sad but when run through an ultrasonic cleaner and oiled, they did not look so bad as to demand refinishing.

    Scopes were hard hit, part of my Leupolds seem to have survived but not all. Other brands have had it.

    The rule of thumb I learned was that if the springs retain their tension, the structural steel has not likely been annealed to the danger point.

    I think if I had been there to manage them, I would have tried rinsing them in soda water to neutralize the hydrogen chloride evolved from burning PVC and then saturated them with Corrosion X.
  10. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Had a fellow fire fighter here loose his house to a fire about 2 years ago. His firearms were in the house and not protected. There was a bit of charring on the stocks but the metal was mostly OK looking when recovered that same day. Some were put in an oil mixture and some sprayed down with a penetrating oil. The oil soaked ones were still mostly rust free at a later date (2 weeks). The sprayed ones were balls of rust in about 24 hours. They all had been in the water under a lot of debris when found. IMHO keeping them in oil seemed to keep the corrosion at bay until they could be evaluated and dealt with.
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