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 8th, 2017

Guns and Ammo After a Flood — Here’s What to Do…

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage
NOAA photo of flooding after Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The Colt Python Revolver once belonged to Elvis Presley (Rock Island Auction).

Firearms owners who have seen their guns and stored ammunition submerged by flood waters in storm-wracked areas are probably wondering if their firearms and ammunition can be salvaged and safely used. To answer these questions, the NSSF and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI®) created two documents outlining the proper response to submersion of guns and ammo. If you’ve got wet guns and/or ammo, download these two PDF files and read them carefully.

SAAMI Guidance 1: What to Do About Firearms That Have Been Submerged in Water

SAAMI Guidance 2: What to Do About Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water

Dealing with Firearms That Were Submerged

The SAAMI document “Guidance on Firearms That Have Been Submerged or Exposed to Extensive Amounts of Water” points out two major concerns about firearms that have been exposed to water: parts susceptible to moisture and rust damage such as metal parts, wood stocks and grips, and optics; and, secondly, infiltration of the action, barrel and safety systems by grit, silt and other foreign debris.

#1 Always unload firearms before beginning any treatment process.

It’s important to limit moisture and corrosion damage to the component parts of the firearm. This can be accomplished by disassembling the component parts and using up to two coats of a moisture-displacing lubricant such as Hoppes #9 MDL or WD-40 to clean and stabilize the parts while, importantly, following the product’s directions so as not to damage, for instance, plastic or synthetic parts. Another tip is to allow wood stocks and grips to air-dry and not be force dried by exposure to heat.

The document emphasizes that once the firearm has been thoroughly dried, consideration must be given to having the firearm inspected and serviced by the manufacturer, an authorized service center, or a qualified gunsmith before putting the firearm back in service.

Dealing with Ammunition That Was Submerged

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage

Bottom Line, if your ammo has been submerged — DON’T USE IT. SAAMI explains why…

To help firearms owners determine what to do with ammunition that has been affected by water and moisture, SAAMI offers another helpful document, “Guidance on Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water.” This document covers differences in moisture resistance between centerfire, rimfire and shotshell ammunition, and potential hazards associated with “drying out” cartridges, including possible deterioration and damage to cartridges due to drying methods.

Another serious hazard that could result from using compromised ammunition is the potential for a bore obstruction due to partial ignition of either the priming compound or the propellant powder charge, or both. Firing a subsequent round through an obstructed barrel can result in bodily injury, death and property damage.

SAAMI provides the following cautionary conclusion: “It would be impossible to ascertain for certain the extent of the deteriorating affect, if any, the water may have had on each individual cartridge. Therefore, the safe answer is that no attempt be made to salvage or use submerged ammunition. The ammunition should be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. Contact your local law enforcement agency for disposal instructions in your area.”

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September 11th, 2016

Video Guide to Rust Removal from Brownell’s

Brownell’s has prepared a useful video showing how to remove light rust from a firearm. This shows how to use soft cloths, polishes, and 0000 steel wool to eliminate light surface rust. CAUTION — if you have a very high gloss blued finish, ANY abrasive and even the finest grade of oiled steel wool can scratch or alter the finish. With something like a $1200.00 “Royal Blue” Colt Python, it may be better to tolerate a few small pits than to work it over with steel wool.

Watch Brownell’s Video on Rust Removal

Brownell’s technician, Steve Ostrem, notes that many things can promote rust — some you might not expect. In addition to moisture in the air, rust can be caused by the salts and oils from your hands, sweat, blood, or even insect repellent. Ostrem also observes that temperature changes can produce condensation which may lead to rust inside the gun that you don’t even notice: “In the real world we know that if you take the gun outside, sooner or later, it’s going to rust. When you come inside, wipe the gun down the first opportunity you get. If you bring a cold gun into a warm, humid house, you’re going to have an instant coating of moisture… make sure you get the gun dried off and you’ll avoid a lot of problems.”

Rust Prevention
We’ve conducted a comprehensive test of corrosion-fighters. Among the best products to prevent rust are Boeshield T-9, Corrosion-X, and Eezox. Break-Free also works well, but it leaves a somewhat greasy residue, and it did not perform as well during long-term salt exposure as did the other three products.

Corrosion rust block oil cosmoline

For long-term storage, nothing beats a coating of Cosmoline, Rig or similar grease. This provides a barrier layer that blocks the oxidation process, which is how rust forms. These greases performed extremely well in a comparison test of Rust Preventative Products performed by Brownell’s. CLICK HERE for Comparison Test.

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December 15th, 2014

Protect Guns with Rust-Fighters and Vapor-Barrier Storage Bags

Eezox rust protectantWe’re well into December, and that means many readers will be putting guns in storage for a few months. It also means the weather is cold and damp — conditions that encourage corrosion. To ensure your rifles remain rust-free over the winter, we recommend some preventative measures. First clean the bore thoroughly, and remove carbon and gunk from the action areas. Slide a couple oiled patches down the bore and make sure that any bare metal parts (including sights, trigger guard, action, and bolt) are coated with some protective oil. We recommend Eezox, Boeshield T9, or CorrosionX. Eezox leaves a glossy dry film shield with excellent rust resistance. CorrosionX is more like a conventional oil, but with special anti-rust additives. Boeshield T9 leaves a slightly thicker, wax-like coating that blocks all kinds of oxidation, even on aluminum parts.

Zcorr bagsLaminated Long-Term Storage Bags
Before you put your guns away for the winter, you may want to pack them in long-term storage bags. You can get superior protection with ZCORR long-term storage bags. Used by the USMC for arsenal storage, ZCORR bags are like the ultimate zip-lock baggie. They keep air and moisture out, and the interior is impregnated with corrosion inhibitors that block rust. The basic long-gun bags cost $12-$16, and have a velcro closure. The “Collectors Series” storage bags ($22-$30 for long-guns) feature a foil-adhesive closure that is 100% air and water tight. The deluxe preservation-grade ZCORRs, priced at $32-$39, can be vacuum-sealed for maximum protection — just hook up a vacuum cleaner to the special one-way valve. See photo below of rifle in ZCORR Vacuum storage bag.

ZCORR vacuum long term storage bags

Our friend Jim Sheppard of the Shooting Wire, has used ZCORR bags for years. He writes: “I’ve used ZCORR bags in the past, but the latest firearms versions are reusable, equally durable (they’re far tougher than a plastic bag) and available in sizes that will protect pistols, carbines and long rifles. Their Collector Series storage bags and Ammunition and Parts Pouches use zip closures to protect a variety of sizes of parts, ammo or whatever.”

Zcorr bagsHow ZCORR Bags Work
The laminated material used in ZCORR bags is puncture-resistant, tear-resistant, and will not harm any non-metal surfaces. Two key elements in bag’s laminate construction allow ZCORRs to block corrosion: 1) the foil barrier layer; and; 2) the VpCI-impreg-nated sealant layer.

The foil layer in ZCORR FSP Bags™ performs two tasks simultaneously; it keeps harmful corrosion causing elements out of the bag and keeps the corrosion inhibiting VpCI chemistry in the bag

The VpCI-impregnated inner layer provides the anti-corrosive properties. The VpCI chemistry impregnated in the interior layer migrates out of the plastic and forms an invisible gas inside of the bag. This gas is made up of VpCI molecules that are attracted to the interior and exterior metal surfaces of your firearm. The gas coats these metal surfaces with a one-molecule-thick layer of VpCI chemistry that stops corrosion before it can begin. This one-molecule-thick layer of VpCI chemistry dissipates off of the firearm when it is removed from the bag.

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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.

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June 14th, 2014

Wireless Sensor Measures Temp and Humidity Inside Gun Safe

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensorHere’s a smart new product that monitors the temperature and humidity inside your gun safe — with a convenient LCD display unit located on the outside of the safe. You don’t need to string wires or cut a small hole in your safe — there are two separate components, one inside and one outside. The sensor unit (on the inside) communicates wirelessly with the display unit (on the outside).

The new GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer was designed to display the temp/humidity in your safe without the need to open the safe. NOTE: the wireless LCD display can show BOTH in-vault AND in-room humidity and temperature levels. You can attach the display to the vault door with its built-in magnet, or simply place the display unit on top of the safe using the handy flip-out kickstand. The unit costs just $20.89 at Amazon.com.

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor
Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer Specifications and Features:

  • Measures In-Vault and In-Room humidity from 20% to 95%.
  • Measures In-Vault temperature range from 14°F to 122°F.
  • Measures In-Room temperature range from -4°F to 158°F.
  • Records Min/Max temperature and humidity history.
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 30th, 2014

Anti-Corrosion Products Test — Video Reveals Best Rust Blockers

See Results of Anti-Corrosion Product Test in Video

YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/uOB5eCReAQY

What anti-corrosion products really fight rust effectively? You’ll hear many opinions, but what do actual field tests reveal? One rifle shooter, who posts on YouTube as BlueonGoldZ, wanted to separate myth (and marketing claims) from reality, so he completed his own long-term rust test using metal samples. First he used ordinary tap water spray, and then he did a second, longer-duration test with a salt-spray solution. Nine different products were tested: Break Free CLP, Corrosion-X, Frog Lube, M-Pro 7, Outers, Pro-Shot Zero Friction, Rem Oil, Slip 2000, and Tetra Gun Triple Action CLP.

Rust Corrosion test video

BlueonGoldZ initially examined each product for its “beading” properties with a normal tap water spray. But the main test involved many multiple weeks of exposure after a “dense” salt-water spray. (No rust formed after two weeks tap water exposure, so the test was accelerated with salt-water exposure).

Rust Corrosion test video

The clear winners in the test, as shown by the screen shot above, were Corrosion-X (Best), and Frog-Lube (Second Best). The photo shows the test samples two weeks after being sprayed with salt water. The results are pretty dramatic — you can see with your own eyes what happened. We think this is a very useful bit of real-world research.

Results from Similar Long-Term Salt Exposure Test
Unfortunately, BlueonGoldZ’s test did NOT include Eezox, which we have found to be extremely effective (on a par with Corrosion-X). In another long-term test of corrosion preventatives, the two best rust fighters were Eezox and Corrosion-X in that order. Since that test was completed, Corrosion-X, already an excellent product, has been enhanced. CLICK HERE for Long-Term Salt Exposure Test Report.

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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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August 25th, 2008

'Stainless' Steel — How Rust-Proof in Fact?

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.

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 synthetic 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. To discuss rust formation on stainless steel, visit this FORUM Thread.

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