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vacuum sealing guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by kalash, Dec 30, 2007.

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  1. kalash

    kalash Member

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    ive got a bunch of pistols and ammo that are cluttering up my place. is vacume sealing advisable and or safe for guns and ammo for long peroids of time. so far ive sealed 450 rounds of 45 and a old sistema. i want to know if its safe for something as expensive as a remington rand.
     
  2. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I would give it a light oiling first, but I can't imagine anything that would work better for long term storage. maybe throw an oxygen absorber packet in before you seal it up.
     
  3. kd7nqb

    kd7nqb Member

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    I have one of those home vacuum units and have wondered about vac sealing guns. In my head I pictured that it would pull the oil out as is drew pressure out.
    So you might be better leaving it dry and oiling when you take it out. Hope somebody knows more than me on this one.
     
  4. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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  5. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't think you'd be able to get all the air out.

    The military used to (maybe they still do) store stuff like this in containers that had been purged of regular air and filled with nitrogen.

    I had an aircraft engine made in the 1950's sealed in a can like this (Wright R-3350).

    I opened it in 1989 and it was in absolutely perfect condition. It went on the aircraft and fired right up, factory new 30 years later.

    I'd love to find something similar. Maybe a way to do it with a Pelican case or something?
     
  6. Slugless

    Slugless Member

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    I've never used a vacuum bag & don't know how well it would work with all the protruding bits on a firearm. Keeping integrity of a vacuum sealed unit would be my concern. It won't physically pull oil out to any significant degree but any volatile components in the oil would tend to flash off.

    It may work just fine. You won't get all the air out, though.

    Thoughts -
    * Heavily oil the piece with a viscous oil. You'll want an oil or oil/wax mixture with corrosion inhibitor in it.
    * Use a vapor space corrosion inhibitor.
    * Use an inert gas purge like nitrogen or argon. A little positive pressure would help.
    * Use a desiccant.

    Vapor space corrosion inhibitors (VCI) are cool although you'll want to check the toxicity. I think modern ones are okay. My company developed the early modern VCIs during WWII. A jeep or aircraft engine packed in a crate might show up in New Guinea already rusted out. Volatile corrosion inhibitors were developed to put in machinery spaces & packing crates to prevent that problem.

    Personally if I stored firearms in individual bags I'd go with a VCI storage bag rather than a vacuum bag. In an enclosed space like a safe, I'd use the foam inserts.

    Cortec is a company we've had good dealings with although I don't think they do retail. They do give out nice samples. :) The foam samples stored in my attic disintegrated after about a decade, though. Go figure. Cortec sells products to the military including the Navy. Download their MilCorr brochure and check out page 3. There's a picture of guys putting rifles into VCI bags. For extra credit, ID those rifles. They make VCIs suitable for ammunition but I don't know where to get those retail.

    http://www.cortecvci.com/Products/products.php

    A retail option: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/23614-16922-2143.html
    Based on the tech specs I wouldn't use (No VCI):http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=685624&t=11082005

    I'd still drop a desiccant pack in the storage container (but not inside the VCI bag) although that's probably not necessary.

    If you do a nitrogen purge, I can provide instructions on how to efficiently get the oxygen out without long purge times. This technique requires a container that can take positive pressure, though.
     
  7. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

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    as far as the integrity

    that wouldn't be an issue- Vacuum seal bags are REALLY strong and flexible, i've sealed some things that were quite pointy and almost poked thru, they didn't.

    also you could wrap the really pointy parts (if there are any) with some paper.

    the action is NOT strong enough to pull off the oil, but even tightly sealed , especially because of the barrel, there may be some trapped oxygen or ,moisture.

    if ALL the air is out, a tiny moisture wont matter- it can't do its damage without the help of air so maybe a thorough drying is the best bet, or if possible seal the gun in a light layer of oil???

    can a pistol be submerged in oil without ? seems like it could...
     
  8. Diverdave

    Diverdave Member

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    "ive got a bunch of pistols and ammo that are cluttering up my place"
    If it is really that big of a problem, you could just send them to me. :)
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Do Not use oil for long-term storage.

    Use R.I.G. grease.
    There is nothing better.


    BTW: I once knew a guy that would light a wooden kitchen match and throw it in his GI ammo cans, then slam the lid and lock it down.

    His theory was that the lit match would use up all the oxygen in the can.
    And without oxygen, the ammo couldn't oxidize! :what:

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  10. AirplaneDoc

    AirplaneDoc Member

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    Something about throwing lit matches into a can full of ammunition just kind of raises the bad idea flag.

    I am sure it is safe probably 99% of the time, but the idea of that 1%, does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling
     
  11. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Think cosmoline. Coat it in something like that to fill in all the air, and then vacuum it until it is just cosmoline.
    That first cleaning will be a pain, but it will last forever that way.

    If you created an airtight chamber with rubber to put your hands in like used in some labs you could light a flame to remove most of the oxygen in the enclosed space and then vacuum it in that. Not too hard to do, transparent airtight box, rubber seals, with two holes cut in the sides with something like the thick rubber cleaning gloves placed in the holes and the sleaves sealed to make an airtight seal.
    You could see what your doing, work with what is in the box, and can fill the box with any gas you want either from chemical reactions or compressed sources. Add some one way air valves and you can control the atmosphere.
    Sounds complex but would probably take all of an hour to make if you had a suitable container.
     
  12. hksw

    hksw Member

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    I had purchased a Foodsaver vacuum bagger mainly for firearm storage (but do use it for actual food some times).

    Concerning oxygen/oxidizing, oxygen itself is not enough to cause rust. I store the majority of my guns in safes. Most are in silicone impregnated gun socks, a few in old Bianchi Blue Bags, all were coated in oil or Boeshield T9. All were non-vacuum packed before the Foodsaver. I do have a few silca gel containers in a safe or two but haven't recharged them for years (they are pink). The safes are full of ambient oxygen and moisture as they are not fully sealed. I have not had any problems with rust in any of my guns that are stored in them where I live.

    With vacuum packing, although not all of the air/oxygen and moisture is pulled out of the bag, IMO, there is not enough to cause any harm/rust. A layer of oil or silicone would be an added barrier. Whenever I pack my guns in vacuum bags, I clean them, douse them with Boeshield, allow them to dry, place them in a gun sock, then vacuum pack them. The gun sock helps prevent any dings to the gun and to any other guns the gun lies up against. On some of the more collectable guns, after vacuum packing, I put then into another gun sock for added handling protection. Whenever I vacuum pack a gun, I leave at least 3" of extra length in case I take the gun out and have to re-vacuum pack it.
     
  13. AirplaneDoc

    AirplaneDoc Member

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    I just knew I would find a gun related use for that foodsaver I bought my GF. Thanks for the tips. Just got to get a cheap source for lots of the plastic, and I will be set.

    I already use it for sealing silica gel in bagies for storage.
     
  14. JimPGov

    JimPGov Member

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    Brownells

    Brownells Sells Bags For Gun Storage. It Has A Layer That Emits A Moisture Vapor Barrier. I Have Used Them A Lot. They Seal Well With A Food Saver. It Is The Way To Go. Jp
     
  15. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    Slugless, why wouldn't you advise putting a dessicant pack in the VCI bag? Would there be some kind of chemical reaction?

    Good thread, by the way!
     
  16. dralarms

    dralarms Member

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  17. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    I use vacuum bag storage all the time.

    Guns with sharp corners will create pin-prick holes in the bags very quickly if the firearm is placed in the bag directly. Everything will seem tight but after a few days the bag will go slack. All guns have sharp corners. Even if your gun doesn't have sharp corners, the grid pattern of the bag (which is necessary so the vacuum pump can draw all the air out) will create patterns in the oil on the surface of half the gun. These patterns disappear with a fresh coat of oil but if some impurity was in the bag it might leave a pattern you wouldn't want.
    Therefore...

    1) Put the gun in a silicone-oil impregnated gun sock first, then bag it.

    2) Toss in a descant pack if possible. Outside the sock, inside the vacuum bag. :) I've rarely done this and have seen no trace of moisture-induced issues.

    3) The outer bag is still vulnerable to punctures during handling. Another gun sock or similar slid over the bag will keep it from perforating due to minor accidents and will add a bit more padding for the gun as well.

    I usually bag sporting long guns off their stocks because the package winds up being shorter. I use the long silicone gun socks and give them a twist and fold them back. A Savage 340 becomes a log a little over 2 feet long. Military/full stock guns tend to go in entire because the length savings isn't that significant. I write the model/serial number/caliber on the outside of the bag if there is room for confusion and then slip a cover over the whole thing. That gets stored long term.

    I didn't want to unbag these too far so the pictures are incomplete, but here goes: TOP is the vacuum bagged guns. BOTTOM is the same guns inside the outer sock I store them in. They all got flipped around when I unsocked them. I use standard gun socks because I have piles of them but you can use anything.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those three have been bagged for between a month or two and almost a year. I've done the same with other guns for several years and no rust or other blemishes have developed so far. The guns have always come out of the bags ready to load and fire.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  18. kalash

    kalash Member

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    i did some of mine today, a couple of .45s and some nagant revolvers with about 600 rounds of 45 and some nagant ammo i even made some 50 round battle packs with colt mags.

    ive never had a problem with rust before. i dont own a safe and guns are laying on shelves in the basement in every thing between cmp shipping boxes to bed sheets. i pull them all out about once a year and oil them im just verry partial to my old 45s.
     

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  19. Slugless

    Slugless Member

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    Robert,

    Silica gel is used in the oil industry to both adsorb water and to adsorb heavy hydrocarbons.

    The gel in my gun safe turns yellowish from absorbing the volatiles off gun oil.

    I'd be concerned that the silica gel would adsorb the volatile corrosion inhibiting molecules. I'm pretty sure it would. I think a better desiccant for inside the bag would be molecular sieve, not sure where you get that retail.

    VCI is cool stuff. Cortec makes vacuum bags that have desiccating and VCI properties. They make a mil-spec fingerprint remover, too. Just when you thought you had everything you need and along comes military grade fingerprint remover....

    If you have a vacuum unit, Ed's solution looks great.

    Wipe off fingerprints regardless.
     
  20. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    Thank you for the explanation, Slugless.
     
  21. average_shooter

    average_shooter Member

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    Ok, so I didn't read through all the posts yet, but in a quick perusal I did not see mention of using dry ice. Actually, I saw this technique on a cooking show applied to keeping fruit from oxidizing. Admittedly I have no experience with trying it, it's just a thought:

    Basically, take a high-walled semi-airtight container (like a cooler) and put the firearm/ammo in the bottom along with the container you want to put them in. Next, put a good size chunk of dry ice on a grate or screen over the container and allow it to dissipate. The CO2 will fall into the container displacing the oxygen. Then you can put your gun or whatever in your airtight container you placed next to it to also have the O2 purged from it.

    Might work, might not. But I thought I'd mention it.
     
  22. novaDAK

    novaDAK Member

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    my father has kept his firearms in a safe for the last 20 years until I got him back into shooting in the early 2000s. He simply sprayed the guns with a can of WD40, and put them in old socks or wrapped them in old t-shirts. Worked very well, when he took them out for the first time in 20 years, they were still in the same condition as when they were put away...absolutely perfect, no rust, no corrosion. The safe is in a dehumidified basement which I'm sure helped.
    Now we keep the guns (including the 9 I have bought over the past couple years) in zippered soft gun cases after cleaning them with Breakfree CLP. Works just as great, and it also allows neat organization in the safe on the shelf :)
     
  23. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    If you dont manage to get some inert gas in the wrap its just a totaly stupid idea. Works well with jerked meat but jerked meat does not rust too. Change of temps or humidity it will condence water in the wrap and rust the guns to all heck.
     
  24. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    In the land of make believe.
    Just get a Glock... ;)
     
  25. PTK

    PTK Member

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    Ed Ames has the right idea. I've stored pistols and rifles like that (gunsock, desiccant, vacuum bag) for years at a time without problems. One has been from the New England area, to the southeastern states, to Ohio, and now to the midwest all without a problem being bagged since 2001. No rust when I opened it this November.
     
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