prevent gun safe rust

Tips to Avoid Gun Safe Rust & Corrosion

Whether your firearm is for safety, sport, or service, keeping it stored securely is important. So too is ensuring your firearm storage solution doesn’t cause unexpected damage. Gun safe rust and corrosion can cause unpleasant surprises next time you go to reach for your piece.

Firearms that have been impacted by rust and corrosion may have unsightly surface damage, but it’s the potential for internal deterioration that is the most concerning – and possibly dangerous.

As our anti-corrosion experts can explain, rust is a form of corrosion specific to iron (or alloys like steel). The chemical reaction that occurs when those ferrous metals come in contact with water (or humidity) and oxygen s rust. Other elements like oil, salt, sand, or debris can exacerbate the situation. Other types of metals may be subject to their own forms of corrosion when exposed to moisture and air. There’s also galvanic corrosion, which happens when dissimilar metals are placed or stored in close proximity to each other.

To prevent gun safe rust and corrosion, our team has four tips for firearm owners.

Be Choosy About Your Gun Safe

You may buy lots of guns in your life, but will probably only purchase a few gun safes. Choosing the right one is important.

Any decent gun safe is going to keep your firearm out of hands they shouldn’t be in. But the material with which your safe is made can potentially cause or accelerate corrosion to the metal components stored inside.

For example, a fair number of gun safes are made with drywall, which is often made with materials like formaldehyde, sulfur, and pyrite. Over time, these chemicals (pyrite especially) can have a corrosive effect on the metal components stored therein.

On top of that, unless a gun safe is airtight, the potential for air and moisture to get trapped inside can cause corrosion as well.

Outdoor Life magazine has several suggestions – including several models with built-in dehumidifiers. You may also want to consider purchasing a small dehumidifier that can be used to help control the moisture levels inside. Those that control temperature (to avoid fluctuations that can result in a build up of condensation on the body, barrel, or receiver) can also be a good investment.

If you plan on continuing to use the gun safe you have and/or aren’t sure what it’s made of, there are still several ways you can preserve your pieces while they’re stored.

Keep Your Firearms Clean and Well-Oiled

Regularly cleaning your firearm helps keep it free of corrosive dirt, debris, and hand oils.

Any sort of excessive mud or dirt in the barrel is going to cause a dangerous pressure build up that could be a very serious problem for the shooter. But more subtle are the contaminants that create friction between parts over time. You might not be able to clearly see it, but the end result will be reliability issues.

There’s also the issue of fouling, which is when metal bullet residue builds up in the barrel. If it’s not regularly cleaned, it can cause a buildup that can impact the accuracy of each shot.

Failure to clean a gun regularly or properly can also result in corrosion.

Our Zerust Consumer Products offers top shelf gun cleaner and gun oil to ensure lasting reliability of your firearm. Frequency of cleaning & oiling will depend on what type of firearm it is, what it’s made of, how often it’s used, and how it’s stored. Older models, those made with more metal components, those used often, and those not stored in an airtight gun safe should probably be cleaned more often.

Use VCI Solutions to Guard Against Gun Safe Rust

Zerust has a number of vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) solutions that can be incorporated into whatever your current gun storage situation is.

VCI offers slow release of an environmentally-friendly corrosion prevention compound that protects metal components in sealed spaces – ultimately preventing rust and other forms of corrosion from forming on exposed metal surfaces. The odorless compound doesn’t impact metal functionality in any way, and provides protection even on metal surfaces that aren’t perfectly clean or in spaces that aren’t airtight.

Among the Zerust Consumer Products that will keep gun safe rust at bay:

  • VCI vapor capsules. These capsules can be easily affixed into an enclosed surface. They can provide gun safe rust & corrosion protection for up to two years.
  • VCI poly bag. Smaller guns, components, and ammo can be stored in our smaller-sized, multi-purpose VCI bags, while larger guns can be put inside our VCI firearm bags or in a fleece-lined rifle bag.
  • Tube & barrel strip. These strips can be cut to size and inserted into gun barrels, rifle barrels, etc. Cap the end shut, and the inside components of the firearm will be protected against rust and corrosion. When you open the cap, the vapor dissipates harmlessly into the air. Tube & barrel strip protection lasts up to five years.

If you have questions about which Zerust protects may be best for protecting your firearm from rust and corrosion while in storage, we can help.

Contact Zerust for information on rust protection for firearms by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Top 6 Expert Tips to Prevent Gun Rust, Sept. 9, 2022, NRA

More Blog Entries:

Proper Ammo Storage Solutions Include Corrosion Prevention, July 15, 2022, Zerust Firearm Rust & Corrosion Protection Blog