prevent rifle rust

Prevent Rifle Rust and Corrosion During Long-Term Storage

Hunting seasons vary from state-to-state, but even the most avid hunters usually place their rifles in storage at least for a time. To prevent rifle rust and corrosion during long-term storage, it’s important to keep your weapon cleaned, oiled and shielded from the elements.

Proper storage of your rifle and other hunting gear is essential if you want to ensure its extended life. Many hunters store their weapons in padded or hard foam cases. This might prevent excessive scratching, but it won’t shield your weapon from the corrosive effects of moisture – especially if the rifle isn’t first carefully cleaned and oiled.

Rust is a chemical reaction that occurs anytime ferrous metal (those containing iron) comes into contact with oxygen and water or humidity. The combined effect is something called oxidation, a corrosive process that attacks the metal surface, dissolving it into that chalky, reddish-brown substance known as rust.

Keeping metal surfaces dry is the best way to prevent rifle rust and corrosion. But sometimes sources of moisture aren’t openly obvious.

For example, some models of gun safes are constructed in such a way that moisture seeps in and is trapped. If your firearm isn’t doesn’t have the additional protection of a VCI rifle bag, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise the next time you open your open your gun safe.

Prevent Rifle Rust: Step 1

Cleaning your rifle is an essential first step. Even clean metal that is exposed to humidity will be vulnerable to micro-thin layers of flash rust (some call this “peppering”). Responsible gun owners must also take care not to neglect the internal components. Zerust’s gun bore cleaner is safe, environmentally-friendly/bio-degradable and effective at helping firearm owners remove fingerprints, clean and condition and prevent rifle rust.

Most avid hunters get ample use of their rifles during season. However, consider that even using it once can cause fouling, which draws and traps moisture inside the barrel. Barrel rust and corrosion has the potential to make a firearm unsafe. Those who neglect to clean their rifles before putting them in storage for any length of time do so at their own risk.

Prevent Rifle Rust: Step 2

The next step to prepare your rifle for storage is oiling. Lubrication helps reduce friction, keeps gun components from degradation from corrosion. Zerust Gun Oil is applied in the form of a thin spray that helps shields the metal surfaces from grime and moisture. Oiling helps to reduce damage from routine wear-and-tear and the friction that can occur while the weapon is in storage. Unlike some other gun oils, Zerust doesn’t leave an oily film and is safe for optics, grips, stocks and ammunition.

Prevent Rifle Rust: Step 3

Finally, a VCI rifle bag is an imperative for long-term storage to prevent rifle rust and corrosion. Recently featured in American Shooting Journal, the bag is durable, lined with fleece and designed to release non-toxic, anti-rust vapors on all exposed metal surfaces contained therein. These bags are ideal for long-term storage because they offer up to five years of corrosion protection.

Contact Zerust for information on preventing gun rust and corrosion by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Do Gun Safes Cause Corrosion? By Eric Wilkens,

More Blog Entries:

Searching the Best Gun Rust Prevention Products for Firearm Storage, Nov. 15, 2019, Zerust Rifle Storage Blog