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Long term storage - desiccant or oxygen absorbers?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by coloradokevin, Apr 13, 2019.

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  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I have a few guns in my collection that I won't part with for sentimental reasons, but also want to be able to pack up for longer term storage without fear of corrosion.

    A few friends have mentioned simply vacuum bagging the well-oiled gun to preserve its condition, and this seems like a very viable option to me (since I have a vacuum sealer and bags that would fit these firearms).

    I think it would also be prudent to add either some desiccant packs or oxygen absorbers (since both are cheap, readily available, and might give an added layer of protection). But, which would you use, and why? Have you had success or failure with either method?

    Obviously one removes moisture and one removes oxygen, which allows both to prevent corrosion in different ways...
     
  2. EO1

    EO1 Member

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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  3. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Moisture is your enemy.

    Why do you think the Air Force and Airlines store their old airplanes in the Mojave Desert and Arizona? Plenty of oxygen in the desert.
     
  4. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I have rifles i havent touched in 10 years, but cant part with- i've tried.
    I just clean and oil put in a silicone gun sock and store at the back of the safe, muzzle down. I would imagine a vacuum bag with desicant would be ideal, if you live in a humid area. If you dont, i wouldnt stress too much about it. But always store long guns muzzle down, keeps oil from seeping into the stock and hardening in the action.
     
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  5. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Both couldn’t hurt. But moisture is the real key. Having said that a vacuum bag won’t really need any help.
     
  6. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Of course, it's kind of hard to put an airplane in an oxygen free environment here on Earth!

    Knowing that rust requires moisture and oxygen, you should theoretically be able to prevent rust by removing either. I just kind of wonder which one would be more practical to remove. But, a point in favor of the removing moisture logic: a vacuum bag should already have very low levels of oxygen from the vacuum process, so perhaps removing additional oxygen isn't as important as removing moisture.
     
  7. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    But you could say the same about moisture already being low in the vacuum bag.
     
  8. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Simple test.

    Put a nail in a airtight bag with a desiccant.

    Put another nail in a sealed bag filled full of fresh water.

    Care to guess which one is going to rust first?
     
  9. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    True.

    Honestly, my initial thought was to use both, as neither are very expensive. But, I've heard people claim that they don't work as well together as they do apart... I doubt that's true, but it's a rumor (like so many other things related to firearms).

    I'm just looking to pack up a couple of guns that are ultimately intended for my children (one is a family heirloom, the other is new for my kid), which I'm not intending to shoot until they're of shooting age (and my oldest child is 5 months old right now). Since I have no use for these guns for at least the next 5-8 years or so, I just wanted to make sure I had them stored in a manner that wouldn't require me to remember to take a look at them every few months for signs of corrosion.
     
  10. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Actually oil is all you need
     
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  11. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    IMO RIG Grease is better.

    I have guns that I have kept unused in the original box for 35+ years with no problems whatsoever. Be sure to take the grips off and coat the inside of the frame well and then cover the rest of the gun. I use a heavy coat of CLP inside the barrel and chamber.
     
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  12. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    If they are in a climate controlled environment, it doesn't take much to preserve them....A good oil or grease is all you need.
     
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  13. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Worked for me.

    My guns were sometimes untouched for two or three years while i worked overseas. Nothing ever rusted.
     
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  14. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    While that's true to an extent, I've found that some items I've coated in light oil have shown signs of corrosion down the road if I haven't looked in on them (ex: outside of reloading dies, etc.). Heavy oils and greases seem to work, but they're messy as could be. I was just trying to think of a way to simplify storage for something I'm putting on the shelf for the next generation :)
     
  15. Catcar67

    Catcar67 Member

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    Military grade cosmoline is available in aerosol cans.
     
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  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Some oils are very poor at stopping rust long term, heck, some even short term, especially with moisture present.
     
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  17. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Just make sure to keep the fingerprints wiped off!! Those are the killers!
     
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  18. mag1911

    mag1911 Member

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  19. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    How old is your youngest?!:what:

    I am in a very similar situation, my oldest will be 2 is may and my youngest will be born at the end of may. Im also storing firearms that will likely not be used until they are responsible and coordinated enough to shoot.

    Do you think the stock will shrink/crack/loosen if in a near zero humidity situation? I know wood likes some moisture and with none at all could possibly be worse for it than being at even 5-10% humidity. That i dont know, but it would be terrible to have to do something about the furniture when they do come out again.
    Im interested in what this thread concludes. But ive only had 2 guns ever get rust, a taurus revolver i left in a leather holster in a sock drawer for a couple years (100% my fault), and an early sig 1911 (stainless) that would freckle up in a week or two if not oiled completely- never figured that one out as i have blued guns that get treated worse but have no rust ever, must have been the alloy i guess.
     
  20. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I wonder about the stocks in very dry conditions as well- let alone sealed in zero moisture( less than zero really, considering the desiccant will draw any existing moisture out of the stock too).

    I think museums keep the mummies and artifacts at 50%. I could be wrong on that one...
     
  21. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Wood stocks and the like can be treated with something like Renaissance wax as can the barrel and metal parts. Rig works even better and if you combine RIG plus those Zerust bags sealed, you should be set. So far, that combo has protected some rifles for month in a toxic gun safe (Chinese drywall problem). Cosmolene works and Brownells has the modern version but it is a PITA to remove when it hardens. There is a reason the U.S. military got away from the stuff. On a lesser note, CLP Collector is also rated for five years and I believe it uses some sort of Teflon coating.
     
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  22. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 Member

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    OP you didn't say how you planned to store your collection. I keep my guns, well lubed all over, in heated safes. When I say heated I'm referring to those bars sold for the inside of safes that get warm. This prevents any kind of condensation on the metal which is what would cause rust. Right?
    The wooden stocks I'm not so sure of - would long term storage in a safe with heater bars hurt stocks?
     
  23. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Grease.

    The armed forces use cosmoline for a reason.

    Just enough to coat the surface is enough. No need to go overboard.

    Do not be afraid of lubricants.
     
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  24. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    The wood stock in a very dry environment is a potential concern that I'll have to think about. Only one of the three guns has any wood, but for that one I should think about wood preservation, too.
     
  25. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I put a pail of "DampRid" in the safe room every 6 months or so.
    IMG_1880.JPG
    I also keep my guns well oiled, mostly with Mobil 1 / Dextron.
    For guns I use less frequently, Shooters Choice Rust Prevent works well and is very convenient.
    IMG_1881.JPG
     
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