prevent rust on guns

Prevent Rust With Top 4 Gun Storage Tips

It’s estimated that about 40 percent of Americans live in a household with a firearm. But it’s fair to say a much smaller percent understand how to properly care for their firearm to prevent rust and corrosion of their gun.

Smart gun storage is an important consideration for any firearm owner. The way you store your gun is important not only to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, but also to prevent rust and general wear-and-tear.

As our gun rust prevention experts can explain, rust is a specific form of oxidation wherein moisture and oxygen meet iron alloys. (Other types of corrosion can have similar effects on other types of metal.) Rust can render a firearm non-operational fairly quickly, and poor maintenance is a top cause.

Gun rust can appear as dust-like particles, which may be fairly easily wiped from the surface. However, severe corrosion can set in without much warning, and the firearm could be difficult to restore.

Rust isn’t something you can afford to ignore when it comes to guns and ammunition. Rust in the barrel could result in a pressure explosion. Moving parts could be impacted if there is rust anywhere on the points of contact inside the gun. A magazine spring that’s rusted will give you trouble with the feed. If the slide is rusted, there could be failure in cycling, extracting or ejecting.

To keep your firearms functioning reliably, corrosion and rust should be addressed promptly. Ideally, you’ll prevent rust from forming on your gun in the first place with smart storage solutions designed specifically to block corrosive elements. This is especially true if you live in a coastal community somewhere with fluctuating temperatures or if you plan to store your piece in the basement, garage or other location with high humidity.

  1. Reduce humidity. It doesn’t take much moisture to kick off the rusting process. Just a bit of water vapor in the air is enough. The National Firearms Museum puts the ideal year-round temperature for gun storage at 70 degrees, noting that variations in temperature can result in expansion and contraction of wood stocks, which can cause permanent cracks. Rubber and plastic components can become brittle with temperature swings. With respect to humidity, about 50 percent humidity is ideal, given that more than that will result in rapid corrosion and less than that may result in cracking stocks. Keeping the environment stable is key. Zerust has several products that block corrosive elements while your firearm is being stored. These include rust prevention vapor capsules, VCI firearm storage bags and a VCI rifle bag. Ammo can be stored in Multipurpose VCI poly bags, which come in numerous sizes.
  2. Protect your firearm from the elements. Ideally, it’s best if you can avoid exposure of your firearm to elements like rain, snow and other outdoor moisture. It can tarnish quickly if you don’t. But target practice and hunting isn’t only for sunny days. If you can keep your gun covered and dry, this is best. If it does get wet, it should be cleaned and dried thoroughly as soon as possible. Keep in mind that if you’re using it in wet or humid conditions, there may be internal moisture that you aren’t seeing. After you’ve cleaned your piece, consider storing it with a VCI tube and barrel strip to protect those inner components.
  3. Clean your gun frequently – and fastidiously. Key to a properly-functioning firearm is proper cleaning. You need to remove any debris or burnt gunpowder that might trap moisture, leading to rust. Zerust offers a superior gun cleaner product that will help you prevent rust on your firearm.
  4. Use a high-quality gun lubricant. Cleaning your gun is essential, but so too is a light application of a high-quality rust inhibiting oil spray. It protects the metal elements of your firearm and won’t damage the wood or other components.

Note that the foam-lined cases that many guns originally come in are not storage containers. In fact, the foam is going to absorb moisture in the air and then keep it right next to your gun. That is not good. They may be great for short-term travel, but you shouldn’t rely on them as a stable storage solution. It’s a good idea to invest in a top quality firearm case for long-term storing. Combined with the other Zerust products designed to prevent rust and corrosion, you will maintain the safety and functionality of your weapon.

Contact Zerust for information on how to prevent gun rust and corrosion by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.
Additional Resources:
8 Ways to Keep Your Guns From Getting Rusty, March 31, 2021, By Joseph Albanese, Field & Stream
More Blog Entries: