November 14th, 2017

Consider Bore-Stores for Winter Storage of Fine Firearms

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Wintertime, the season of cold and damp, is right around the corner. There’s already snow on the ground in some parts of the country. If you want your fine firearms to remain pristine and rust-free through the winter months, it’s wise to protect then while they are stored in a safe. You should protect blued surfaces with a rust-blocker. In addition, we recommend storing guns in protective sleeves. Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $22.99 — under eight bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

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September 7th, 2017

Six Great Gear Items for Shooters — All Under Twenty Bucks

cheap tricks under $20 gear

Some top-flight components for a great-shooting rifle surely aren’t cheap — like a custom action ($1200 and up). And a premium, match-grade scope could set you back two grand or more. But there are still some great items that cost under $20.00 that can benefit any gun-owner. Here are our selection of six great shooting accessories under twenty bucks. Many of these are top-selling items on Amazon. The first item, a motion-sensitive light for your gun safe, has been a big hit with our readers.

1. Amazon — Motion-Sensitive Interior Light for Gun Safes, $9.95

gun safe light vault cabinet motion sensor light motion sensing LED magnet lamp

Let there be light. Here’s a great accessory for your Gun Safe. This “smart” LED lamp turns itself on when you open the door, and off when you close the door. There’s a built-in magnet so you can easily attach the light to the inner walls or “ceiling” of your gun safe. It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $9.99 with free shipping for Prime members (or otherwise free shipping for $25+ orders). We bought two for our own firearms vault. This can provide 14 hours of light with three AA batteries (not included). Very versatile, these motion-sensor lamps can also be used in closets. NOTE: This item has been very popular with our readers, who have purchase six dozen already.

2. Amazon — Discovery Scope Level, $8.99 (30mm)

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This Discovery scope level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with inner diameters to fit scopes with either 1″ or 30mm main tubes. The popular 30mm version is now on sale for just $8.99 while the 1″ model is $9.99. (That’s right, the bigger version is cheaper right now). You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 84% of verified buyers rated this four or five stars.

3. Amazon — 34 dB Noise Rating Ear Muffs, $17.45

34dB NRR 32 hearing protection earmuffs

These 34 dB NRR earmuffs provide excellent sound protection without being too heavy and bulky. At at $17.45, they are a great bargain. The lower section of the muff is trimmed for a narrower profile — that helps with rifle and shotgun stocks. The headband is adjustable and has comfortable padding. Select from ten color options: black (above), grey, pink, purple, teal, white, green, blue, red, and Coyote Brown (our favorite). These Pro For Sho Muffs have earned a 4 1/2 star consumer rating, with over 1,600 Amazon customer reviews. NOTE: These fit pretty tight. If you have a very large hat size you might want a different brand.

4. Midsouth — Lee Universal Decapping Die, $10.95

Lee Universal Decapping die

Midsouth sells the Lee Universal Decapping Die for just $10.95 (item 006-90292), a very good deal. There are many situations when you may want to remove primers from fired brass as a separate operation (prior to case sizing). For example, if your rifle brass is dirty, you may want to de-cap before sizing. Or, if you load on a progressive press, things will run much more smoothly if you decap you brass first, in a separate operation. The Lee Universal Decapping Die will work with cartridges from 17 Fireball all the way up to 45-70. However, NOTE that the decapping pin supplied with this Lee die is TOO LARGE for LAPUA 6.5×47, 6BR, 220 Russian, and Norma 6 PPC flash holes. Because the pin diameter is too large for these brass types, you must either turn down the pin, or decap with a different tool for cases with .059″ flash-holes. Otherwise, the Lee Decapping Die works well and it’s a bargain.

5. Amazon — Bore Stores Rifle Cases Starting at $14.99

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $14.99 – $23.00 from Amazon.com. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ SSG Scoped Shotgun Bag. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

6. Midsouth — Lyman Bleacher Loading Blocks, $6.14

Max NRR 33 db ear plugs

Lyman’s new Bleacher Block stepped cartridge holders are great. Use the different levels for sorting brass. Or, migrate the brass from top to bottom as you proceed through case prep stages. Made of durable polymer, Bleacher Blocks are molded in three sizes. The smallest size (with 0.388″-diam holes) fits .223 Rem-size case heads. The middle size (with 0.485″-diam holes) fits .308 Win-size case heads. The biggest Bleacher Block has 0.565″-diameter recesses for magnum-size cases. All three cartridge block sizes hold fifty (50) rounds. Purchase any size for just $6.14 per Block at Midsouth.

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August 24th, 2017

Protect Your Guns with Plush, Corrosion-Fighting Bore-Stores

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
For long-term storage, just about the worst thing you can do (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some very badly.

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January 29th, 2016

TECH Tip: Protect Blades and Tools with Sack-Ups

Sack-ups Knife Pouch

Any blade-aholics out there? Here’s a handy product we recommend for anyone with a sizeable collection of quality knives. The Sack-Ups Knife Protector roll-up pouch is made from silicone-treated synthetic fabric. The pouch protects blades and tools while helping to prevent rust. (Since leather retains moisture, you don’t want to leave blades in leather sheaths.) While Sack-Ups roll pouches were designed for knives, they can be used to hold other shooting items, such as bolts, loading dies, or expensive tools. The synthetic fabric wicks away moisture. (Nonetheless, we recommend that steel items receive a light coat of a good corrosion-inhibiting oil before long-term storage.)

TIP: You Can Use Sack-Ups to Store Loading Dies, Spare Gun Parts, and Steel Tools

The protective pouch has a flap over the top and tie cords to secure the pouch when it is rolled up. Available from Amazon.com (and other online vendors), the model 802 6-slot Sack-Ups Knife Pouch retails for about $15.00, while the 10-slot knife pouch costs $18.30 on Amazon.com. Larger 12-, and 18-slot Sack-Ups Roll-up Knife Pouches are also offered. For example, the model 801, shown below, holds a dozen knives or tools up to 5″ in length.

Sack-ups Knife Pouch

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January 20th, 2016

Is “Stainless Steel” Really Rust-Proof?

Some folks feel that they don’t have to worry about rust and corrosion on stainless steel barrels, actions, and other components. That’s not really true. “Stainless” is a bit of a misnomer. First, there are different types of stainless steel alloys, with different degrees of rust resistance. 300 series stainless is more corrosion resistant than the 416 stainless commonly used in barrels. The composition (by percentage weight) of 416 stainless is 0.15% carbon, 12-14% chromium and the rest iron. 416 stainless steel lacks the roughly 10% nickel content that makes the 300 series more corrosion resistant in atmospheric conditions. But because 416 handles pressure better and is easier to machine (than 300 series steel), 416 stainless remains the better choice for barrels.

stainless steel barrel Techshooter

Though some grades of stainless are more corrosion-resistent, ALL varieties of stainless steel can rust if they are not handled and stored properly. Forum reader Kells81 observed: “Wanna see some rusted stainless? Go to the big “C” brand store in Ft. Worth. Every stainless gun they have on the used gun rack is rusted.” Tom Easly of TRE Custom explains: “Sweat is very corrosive. Sweat and blood will rust many stainless steels. I hate to handle my guns or drip on them when I sweat. It really helps to just wipe them good with a wet rag, dry and wipe on a light coating of gun oil. I think most stainless barrels are made from type 416 stainless, and it is generally pretty corrosion resistant, but not when exposed to sweat, blood, or chlorates (corrosive priming), and some other electrolytes.”

Forum member Jacob, who is studying materials science at LSU, provides this technical information: “The basic resistance of stainless steel occurs because of its ability to form a protective coating on the metal surface. This coating is a ‘passive’ film which resists further ‘oxidation’ or rusting. The formation of this film is instantaneous in an oxidizing atmosphere such as air, water, or other fluids that contain oxygen. Once the layer has formed, we say that the metal has become ‘passivated’ and the oxidation or ‘rusting’ rate will slow down to less than 0.002″ per year (0.05 mm per year).

Unlike aluminum or silver, this passive film is invisible in stainless steel. It’s created when oxygen combines with the chrome in the stainless to form chrome oxide which is more commonly called ‘ceramic’. This protective oxide or ceramic coating is common to most corrosion resistant materials.

Halogen salts, especially chlorides, easily penetrate this passive film and will allow corrosive attack to occur. The halogens are easy to recognize because they end in the letters ‘ine’. Listed in order of their activity they are: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, astatine.

These are the same chemicals that will penetrate Teflon and cause trouble with Teflon coated or encapsulated o-rings and/ or similar coated materials. Chlorides are one of the most common elements in nature and if that isn’t bad enough, they’re also soluble, active ions. These provide the basis for electrolytes. The presence of electrolytic solutions can accelerate corrosion or chemical attack.”

CONCLUSION: Stainless steel barrels and components won’t rust nearly as fast as blued steel, but you still have to take precautions — particularly removing sweat and corrosive salts from the barrel. Also, don’t let moisture build up inside or outside of the barrel. We recommend wiping your barrels and actions with Eezox, or Corrosion-X after each use. These are both extremely effective rust-fighters that go on thin, without leaving a greasy residue. (Eezox leaves a clear finish, while Corrosion-X has a slightly waxy finish.) Also store your guns in Bore-Store bags when the guns go in the safe. Bore-Stores wick away moisture, and the synthetic fleece inner surface is treated with rust-fighting chemicals. Bore-Stores also protect your guns against dings and scratches.

Permalink Gunsmithing 14 Comments »
October 22nd, 2014

Storage Sacks for Firearms in Your Safe

Bore-Store Gun SacksOur take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $22.99 — under eight bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 9 Comments »
October 9th, 2011

Combat Corrosion with Rust-Fighting Products

Winter is coming and that means cold temps and wet weather. Heck it’s even raining in California this week. When it’s cold and damp out, you need to pro-actively guard against rust and corrosion on your valuable tools and firearms. As temperatures drop, moisture can condense from the air, causing guns to rust, even if they are stored in a safe.

We recommend that you use a proven corrosion inhibitor to protect your firearms during winter storage. We did extensive testing and recommend three products to combat rust: BoeShield T-9, Corrosion-X, and Eezox. These are all excellent products, but this Editor’s first choice is Eezox, because it cleans as well as protects, and because Eezox does not leave a sticky or waxy coating on your arms. Eezox is also ideal for fine, blued firearms. After 2-3 light applications it provides a dry protective finish that allows high polish blueing to shine through.

CLICK HERE for Anti-Corrosion Product Test Results

Eezox is available in small drip bottles, 4-oz. cans, and 4-, 6-, and 18-oz. aerosol spray cans. We typically apply Eezox to a patch from an aerosol can, then wipe down the firearm. Let the Eezox dry, then reapply. This will give you outstanding protection. Just make sure you wipe down ALL the metal surfaces, which may require removing the barreled action from the stock. We’ve seen examples of guns that rusted on the underside of the action because the owner had only bothered to wipe down the barrel and exposed section of the action. You can purchase Eezox from gun stores ($8.99 for 7 oz. can average price), or Warren Custom Outdoor.

Eezox Gun Care

Foam Cases Are Rust Magnets — Use Bore Stores
Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.

Bore Store BagsThose plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded plastic cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

For storing long guns in your safe, we strongly recommend Bore Stores. These synthetic fleece gun sacks are coated with silicone and corrosion inhibitors. The thick fleece also protects your guns from nicks and scratches. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $13.00 – $18.00 from Brownell’s, or MidwayUSA, or direct from the manufacturer Big Spring Enterprises, which can also craft custom sizes on request.

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July 15th, 2011

Bore-Store Gun Storage Bags 10% Off on Updated Website

Big Spring Enterprises, the Arkansas-based maker of Bore-Store gun sacks, has completely updated the www.borestores.com website. You’ll now find a modern, easy-to-use online shopping cart system with decent-sized product photos. To mark the new website’s “grand opening”, the Bore-Store folks are offering a 10% discount on all online orders. Everything in the webstore is now 10% off. With the discount, handgun cases start at $4.95 and the smaller rifle cases are just $14.40. And there are also knife pouches and multi-pocket magazine stores starting at $450.00.

On the updated website, it’s easier than ever to select the right size and shape for your particular firearms — from pocket pistols, to long-barreled Palma rifles. If you don’t know which size Bore-Store to order, the handy “Case Finder” tool will steer you to the appropriate product after your enter your firearm’s height (with scope) and length. For most scoped rifles, you’ll want either the 10″ x 46″ scoped rifle bag or the 10 x 52″ scoped shotgun bag (this works great for long-barreled target rifles).

Bore-Stores Protect Your Guns in Many Ways
We recommend Bore-Stores and we use them. Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms. These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coated with corrosion inhibitors. This Editor personally uses Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $17.00 – $21.00 from Brownells or MidwayUSA. Of course, you can also order direct from Big Spring Enterprises at www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom large or unusual sizes on request.

Story idea from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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