Firearm rust is a reality with which many gun owners must grapple – particularly with older models. Sometimes they’re passed down in less-than-ideal condition or perhaps purchased with the intention of cleanup and resale. But even newer guns aren’t immune, particularly if they aren’t taken care of.
Of course, as any responsible gun owner will tell you, it’s much easier to prevent firearm rust than it is to treat it after the fact. The good news is there are three simple ways to do that:
- Thoroughly clean your gun after every use with the proper gun cleaner.
- Oil your gun with the right kind of gun oil.
- Properly store your gun with vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) technology.
Any one of these three methods will go a long way toward preventing rust on your firearm. Combining all three is the best way to ensure the metal components of your gun remain in ready condition.
1. Thoroughly Clean Your Gun After Each Use.
Cleaning your gun properly – and thoroughly – after each use can go a long way to helping prevent firearm rust. A grimy gun is a potentially dangerous one. The risk is that dust or debris might cause inaccuracy or even failure when you need it most. Make sure when you clean your gun that you start by reading the manual. This might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. This is going to tell you how to correctly arm and disarm the gun. If you bought your gun used, you can probably still find the manual in a simple Google search. Once you’ve read through that, unload the gun. (Again – important but frequently ignored.) Then you’ll want to carefully remove any debris from the gun. This might take a bit of elbow grease, but it’s easier when you’re working with the right cleaning solution. Making your own isn’t a good idea. There are countless DIY recipes, but truly, the best materials are going to be those that were especially made for the purpose of protecting your firearm. Remember, you’re demanding that this machine perform with precision in seconds – under extreme forces of friction and heat. Trust the products you know are going to clean it correctly. Our gun cleaner is expressly made specifically for this purpose.
2. Prevent Firearm Rust With the Right Gun Oil.
Even if you take great care to clean your gun, failure to oil it can cause you headaches. You might know that the military goes to great lengths to shield their firearms from rust and corrosion. They are fastidious in cleaning AND oiling in order to keep each piece working optimally under a broad range of conditions. Guns are often going to be used outdoors, sometimes in harsh environments with conditions like rain, dust, dirt, debris, mud, and humidity. Applying gun oil after a good cleaning puts an additional barrier between the metal parts of the gun and those corrosive elements. Plus, greater lubricity can help control carbon buildup (common in more modern guns) and enhance a gun’s performance. Using the wrong gun oil, though, can have the opposite effect, causing dirt and debris to stick to the surface. Choosing gun oil that has been battle-tested is essential.
3. Properly Store Your Gun With VCI.
VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor. Here again, the military leads by example, using VCI technology to protect everything from handguns to extra large equipment. What we do is make similar products for everyday consumers who want the best protection from corrosion for their tools, vehicles, and other valuables. We do this in a variety of ways, depending on the type and size of item you’re trying to preserve. For firearms, we have lots of options, such as VCI firearm protection bags, VCI fleece-lined firearm bag, or rust prevention vapor capsules that can be simply latched onto the inside of a gun safe, cabinet, shed, or closet. There are also tube and barrel strips that can be cut to size to protect the internal components of your firearm.
When you take proper care of your firearm, you protect your investment and ensure that it lasts for many more years to come.
Contact Zerust for information on rust protection for firearms by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.
8 Ways to Keep Your Guns From Getting Rusty, March 21, 2021, By Joseph Albanese, Field and Stream
More Blog Entries:
Keeping Your New Gun Rust-Free, Dec. 15, 2021, Prevent Gun Rust Blog
Hammer or hand saw, screwdriver or square – the tools in your toolbox have a broad range of uses, but all share a single foe: Rust. Prevention of corroded tools can be as simple as tossing in a tiny, thin rectangle of polyethylene in your toolbox.
Large companies have long trusted Zerust Plastabs to protect the metal contents of their shipments from corrosion and rust while packed away for long journeys across air, land, and sea. Individuals can now do the same for the the tools in which they’ve invested – whether you store them in a toolbox, closet, cabinet, or drawer.
Corroded Tools are Compromised Tools
As you may know, rust is a chemical reaction compound that results when oxygen reacts with iron (or its alloys) in the presence of water or moisture. Not all metals are iron or iron alloys, but they may still be susceptible to similar types of corrosion when exposed to water, moisture, and oxygen – as well as proximity to other types of metal.
As noted by the Electrochemical Society, corrosion is the same force that costs billions of dollars in damages every year – from building collapses to oil pipeline breaks, chemical plant leaks to ships sinking, floods to fires. The fact that these occurrences continue even when we clearly know the cause is a testament to how quickly the damage can be done if preventative measures are undertaken.
With tools, rust and other forms of corrosion can decimate effectiveness, causing them to dull, weaken, malfunction, or even break entirely. That can be incredibly dangerous when you’re working on a job that requires great caution and precision.
Beyond that, there’s the risk of tetanus. Metal tools like nails, knives, and gardening sheers that are left to rust in their natural environments are going to be prone to attracting the bacteria that causes tetanus. (Note: Rust itself doesn’t cause tetanus, but it’s a good indicator that the environment is ripe for Clostridia bacteria growth.)
While there are ways to rescue some rust-bitten devices, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to stop the spread once it’s started. It’s expensive to discard and replace rusty tools, and it’s dangerous if one breaks or malfunctions mid-use.
Proper cleaning and storage of your tools is compulsory.
Proper Cleaning & Storage of Hand Tools
Hand tools are a necessity for most home projects, yardwork, etc. To keep them in great shape, proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage are key.
To properly clean hand tools:
- Wipe down. Take an old towel or rag, wipe off any debris, dust, or grease left over from the previous use.
- Spot check for damage. After wiping down the tool, give it a once-over for any signs of damage. You’re specifically looking for cracks, breaks, splinters, or corrosion that may cause harm during use or diminish the tool’s effectiveness. If you notice any of these indicators, set the tool aside until you can repair or replace it.
- Use a grinder for striking tools. Any striking tool with a metal head is going to eventually form a ridge that will spread and form a thin ridge at the edge. Over time, this ridge can become susceptible to breakage. Use a grinder to grind off any edges.
- Lubricate tools. Once all your tools have been cleaned, dried, and checked for damage, it’s not a bad idea to lubricate the tools with an all-purpose oil (avoid getting any on the handle). This is one way to help prevent tool rust and corrosion.
It’s important not to stop there. Storing your tools right will keep them functional for the long-haul. This goes for all hand tools, but garden tools especially seen to be prone to rust and corrosion because they are often digging in dirt, debris, and moisture and then sometimes left on the ground.
Once you clean and lubricate your tools, you’ll probably be tossing them back in a toolbox. Plastabs are great for this scenario because they’re nearly paper-thin, small rectangles that can simply be tossed into the top and bottom compartments. They’re made with a special vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) formula that releases a molecular layer of protection against corrosion for as long as the box is closed. The VCI protectant is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and harmless. Open the toolbox, and the VCI simply dissipates harmlessly into the air – while your tools are kept in top shape.
(In addition to tool boxes, plastabs can be used in tackle boxes, pistol cases, ammo boxes, control boxes, and enclosure cabinets – providing up to two years of protection against rust and corrosion.)
How to Remove Rust From Tools, HomeDepot.com
More Blog Entries:
Preventing Electronics Corrosion on Computers, Integrated Circuits, and Microchips, Jan. 21, 2022, Tool Rust Prevention Blog