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Long term storage, undetermined conditions.

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by sota, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. sota

    sota Member

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    Has anyone given any thoughts on how to store a collection of firearms for an extended period of time (years potentially) without having access to the collection and without being able to potentially control the environment they'd be in? Would it be possible to vacuum seal/food saver bag style contain a firearm for long term storage? What kinds of pre-storage preparation would you do?
     
  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Sounds like the question that Militaries have been answering with hot-dip Cosmoline for over a century.

    Works pretty well if you can avoid submersion, and provides hours of entertainment when it's time to clean it off.
     
  3. sota

    sota Member

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    I had wondered that, but I'd prefer to find a solution that doesn't require another lifetime to "recondition" everything. :D

    Also, is cosmoline bad for plastic fantastic firearms?
     
  4. natman

    natman Member

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    I'd use one of these three to cover the metal:
    Rig grease, easy on, has to be cleaned off
    LPS3 oil, easy on, easier to clean off
    Breakfree COLLECTOR easy on, doesn't have to be cleaned off.

    Then store in VCI poly gun bags. The VCI vapors will inhibit rust and the bags will protect the guns.
     
    Scooter22, Walkalong and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  5. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Disassemble. Put all of the metal parts in a paint can filled with engine oil. Long barrels in a pvc tube of oil. Bury the plastic stocks, burn the wood ones.
     
  6. Labguy47

    Labguy47 Member

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    I’ve seen everything from safety deposit boxes at banks to underground storage bunkers. I even know a guy who took all of them, put them in a waterproof bag and threw them in the neighbors pond until after the divorce. The sheriff was put out when all he found was an antique NEF above the fireplace. My friend took inspiration from all the boating accident threads.
     
  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Deterioration is caused by exposure of the guns to air and moisture. One way to insulate the guns from air and moisture is to drench them in Cosmoline. (This is good unless the Cosmoline is mechanically disturbed, and it's messy.) Another way is to put them in containers that can maintain a perfect vacuum.

    There is (or was) an exhibit in the Springfield Armory Museum regarding a method that was experimentally tried in the 1950's. Aluminum canisters were devised that would each hold about a dozen M1 Garands, with their slings, bayonets, and other accessories, in a rack inside. The guns were left dry, with a desiccant powder. The canisters were hermetically sealed, and all the air was pumped out. After 20 years, some were opened, and the guns were in perfect condition.

    Such a method is expensive, and it requires an industrial installation to carry out. As long as Garands were useful in a reserve capacity, it made sense. However, after many years, they became totally obsolete, and it no longer made sense to try to preserve thousands of them in this way. At that point, it was better to just release them as surplus to civilian shooters.

    BTW, a similar idea was used more recently with the blow-molded Hardigg cases that will hold a dozen M16 rifles. Many of these were released as surplus, and were available for less than $300 (not including shipping). These have good gaskets and have fittings so that you can induce a vacuum if you have the right equipment. The downside is that these are pretty much specific to the M16/M4 rifles. It's also unclear for how long the vacuum inside can be maintained. The 1950's Springfield canisters were welded shut, while the Hardigg cases rely on gaskets.
     
  8. sota

    sota Member

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    how about looking at it from a practical and available standpoint.
    what about:
    a pelican (or other high quality) case
    partial vacuum pulling capability
    pure nitrogen
    desiccant packs

    I could fairly easily draw vacuum and refill with nitrogen a few times, to get the interior atmosphere as free of oxygen and moisture as possible. include some larger desiccant packs to soak up the remaining moisture. the valve on the case is designed to let gas out, but not in, so it'd make the case under partial vacuum at the end, but not too much. finally seal the seam with a tape to prevent any leakage, hopefully.

    I'd assume storage conditions would be such that the case is won't see water, but might see temperature swings of +/- 30*F over nominal.
     
  9. MI2600

    MI2600 Member

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    1. Liberal coating of RIG or some other gun grease,
    2. Silicone treated rifle "socks", resprayed with more silicone.
    3. Zerust bags.
     
  10. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    Appropriate size PVC pipe, with end caps. Coat the firearms with Rig grease, put them into the tubes with a few spare parts if desired, add desiccant packs, and thoroughly glue the end caps. That should hold them as long as you are around.
     
  11. Otto

    Otto Member

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    I live in rust country and fight it constantly, here's what I do...

    Step 1. Wipe down the gun with a oily cloth to remove fingerprints. Your skin contains acid and can be very corrosive.
    Step 2. Place the gun in a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor bag. A 12" x 54" bag costs around $2.
    Step 3. Insert a 10 gram silica gel packet into the bag, 28 cents.
    Step 4. Seal the bag with a 400mm impulse electric sealer, $26 on eBay
    Vacuuming the air out of the bag isn't required with VCI bags. The silica gel removes what little moisture that remains.
    VCI bags....https://www.zerustproducts.com/products/firearms-ammo-weapons/vci-gun-storage-bags/
    Silica gel...https://www.ebay.com/itm/10-gram-X-50-PK-Dry-Dry-Silica-Gel-Desiccant-Packets-Reusable-FDA-Compliant/271103927877?_trkparms=aid=555018&algo=PL.SIM&ao=1&asc=20131003132420&meid=f69b1d29a32f4978bbd2e4441b29d652&pid=100005&rk=1&rkt=10&sd=282755171512&itm=271103927877&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
    Impulse sealer 400mm/16"....https://www.ebay.com/itm/200-300-40...a0a53e88:m:mnpQsLLz5hz90T8OXnBFhQw:rk:36:pf:0
     
  12. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    ALL external metal, apply a nice coat of "Gun Brite" - made by IOSSO.

    Internal barrel, AFTER the best scrub you have ever completed, coat the bore with TETRA.

    As mentioned above, bag that can have the moisture removed AND is a barrier to moisture.
     
  13. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Remove the woodwork. Coat metal parts in synthetic grease, vacuum seal. The wood is more difficult, but really, the same deal. Get it well oiled, vacuum seal or gas flush and seal. Plastics will be fine as long as they’re protected from solvents.

    If you’re storing for decades, you MUST expect and accept the fact you’re going to have to do some cleaning when removed.
     
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    My method involves large amounts of whatever motor oil is on sale and a paint brush.
     
  15. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    http://www.nramuseum.org search at link.* Wax is used.Microcrystalline Wax Use & Tips, Condition Standards, and How to Clean Your Collectible Firearm)

    See link below for a $99 rifle case , today last day of sale.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  16. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I’ve had a number of firearms stored in VCI bags for almost two decades. I recently pulled a few of them out to inspect them, and they looked as pristine as they did when they went in the bag.

    The only preparation that I had conducted prior to bagging them was to conduct a normal cleaning and oiling.
     
  17. sota

    sota Member

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  18. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Yup - those are the ones. At the time, they were sold by Stack-on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  19. walker944

    walker944 Member

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    @Otto - Have you tried the zippered version of the VCI bags? Seems for $.50 more having the option to open/reclose & reuse would be advantageous. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  20. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Ideally you want an oxygen-deprived very-low moisture temperature-controlled environment. That is not meddled with.

    So, nitrogen displacement, to, say 1200 mBar, so as to maintain positive over-pressure could be an answer. So, a stout, sealed metal box with a gas fill and vent valve combo, stashed in a climate-controlled storage joint might be an answer. Harder part is finding a way to keep the rent paid (and coping with increases in same).
     
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