prevent gun rust

Stop Gun Rust From Gaining Traction With VCI Vapor Capsules

Gun rust can prove problematic for pretty much any type of firearm. It occurs when the iron or steel elements are exposed to moisture and oxygen. Sweat/body oils, improper storage, lack of lubrication, neglected maintenance, and chemical exposure- all contribute to the further acceleration of gun rust and corrosion. Thankfully, VCI Vapor Capsules help significantly reduce the risk of gun rust while your firearms are in storage.

Which Parts Are Most Vulnerable to Gun Rust?

Any firearm component that is comprised of iron or steel can be susceptible to rust. Other metal elements in a piece might be at risk for different types of degradation (uniform corrosion, galvanic corrosion, crevice corrosion, pitting corrosion, selective corrosion, and stress corrosion). But the reason we talk the most about gun rust is because it’s perhaps the most common form, given that firearms tend to be made with many iron and steel components.

Several parts of a firearm are particularly vulnerable to rust and corrosion due to their exposure to moisture, contact with hands, or specific design features. Among those:

  • Barrel. The barrel is arguably one of the most critical parts of a firearm, and it’s commonly exposed to moisture and residue from firing. The interior of the barrel can accumulate moisture from condensation, which can lead to the formation of rust if it’s not properly cleaned and dried.
  • Bore and Chamber. The bore and chamber are at high rust risk because of their direct contact with propellant gases and residue from fired ammunition. If they aren’t cleaned and protected, these areas can potentially develop rust, which can adversely impact the accuracy and reliability of each shot.
  • Action Components. The bolt, slide, and action mechanisms have a lot of direct and frequent contact with hands while the gun is in use. This exposure to oil, salt, and sweat from the operator’s hands can easily contribute to the formation of gun rust if the piece isn’t properly cleaned, lubricated, and stored afterward.
  • Small Parts. Lots of little components can cause big problems if they start to rust or corrode. Pieces like pins, springs, triggers, and screws are often made of steel or other iron alloys, and are constructed with tiny recesses, crevices, and designs that are intricate – and can trap moisture.
  • Magazine. The magazine of a firearm is at risk of rust if it’s exposed to moisture without proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage.
  • Exterior Surfaces. These aren’t usually the most serious rust problems, but they’re often the first we notice – and unfortunately a clear indicator that there’s likely already rust on internal components. Exterior surfaces are the most frequently directly exposed to moisture, handling, and damaging environmental elements.

The extent to which a given firearm is susceptible to rust and corrosion depends a lot on the type of firearm, the material used to construct it, and other various environmental conditions. Getting into the habit of carefully cleaning and storing your gun is crucial to protecting it and ensuring long-term, reliable performance.VCI vapor capsules to prevent gun rust

How Does a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) Capsule Help?

VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor. It’s a patented corrosion prevention technology created by chemical engineers that involves release of a non-toxic gas compound into a sealed air space to effectively protect exposed metal surfaces from rust and other forms of corrosion. It can be woven into plastic bags, drawer liners, car cover cases – and into capsules of varying sizes affixed to enclosed spaces with adhesive backing.

Depending on their size and application, a single vapor capsule can provide 1-2 years of protection for a space of up to 12 feet. The exact number and size of vapor capsule you’ll need to keep your gun safe from corrosion will hinge on the type of firearm and the size of your storage space. A closet-sized storage unit will need a bit more protection than a small, single-gun safe.

VCI capsules are great for:

  • Keeping moisture at bay. The molecule-thin layer of corrosion protection that VCI affords to metal components actually repels moisture. This can help minimize the risk of the chemical reaction triggered by exposure to water/humidity.
  • Preventing corrosion. Not only do they repel moisture, VCI vapor halts the chemical reactions that cause corrosion. The barrier settles on metal surfaces, and blocks oxygen and moisture from settling in, neutralizing any corrosive elements that are present.
  • Non-invasive protection. Unlike other types of greases or oils, there’s no residue left behind with VCI capsules. You don’t have to wipe anything away when you remove your gun from storage. There’s no risk of oil gumming up the internal mechanisms. The non-toxic vapors simply dissipate harmlessly into the air once the sealed container is opened.

Customers love our VCI capsules because not only are they effective, they’re convenient, inexpensive, and easy-to-use.

It’s important to note that VCI capsules should be considered one layer of corrosion protection. It can’t wholly replace regular gun maintenance. Gun owners still need to carefully clean, lubricate, and store their firearm in a cool, dry environment. But used in conjunction with these other strategies, VCI capsules can keep your gun in great working condition for many years to come.

Questions about Zerust gun cleaner, gun oil, or gun storage solutions for rust prevention? We can help! Contact Zerust at 1-866-2-ZERUST (937878). 

Additional Resources:

Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor Technology (VCI), Zerust

More Blog Entries:

Picking the Best Gun Oil to Prevent Gun Rust, April 27, 2023, Zerust Rust Prevention