Long Term Gun Storage Tips

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Long Term Gun Storage Tips

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It’s that time again: Time to put away a hunting rifle until next season, or time to store the vintage revolver you scored at an antique show. Whatever the reason, many gun owners put the guns they don’t use for regular concealed carry or home defense away for long periods.

However, putting the gun back in its box, tossing it in the basement or attic and calling it a day isn’t good enough. Long-term gun storage requires planning, maintenance and specific conditions. 

If you’re looking to keep your firearm in excellent shape while you stow it, check out some of our long term gun storage tips.

Three Basic Principles of Long Term Gun Storage

Here are three actions you should take when you put your weapon away for the foreseeable future:

  1. Keep it clean
  2. Manage storage conditions
  3. Get it out for inspection and maintenance

Make sure you follow manufacturer cleaning instructions and consult your firearm dealer or an expert if you have any questions about long term gun storage for your specific gun.

Tip #1: Keep Your Gun Clean

When you decide to store a firearm for several weeks or months, you have to make sure you oil and clean it. While cleaning methods differ based on the type of gun and your preferences, here are a few basic precautions you should take:

  • Wipe down your gun before putting it away. Oils and sweat can corrode a firearm. This action may seem obvious, but wiping down your gun is the most basic way to combat corrosion. Make sure to wipe down the firearm and handle it with gloves or a rag whenever you store it. 
  • Clean fouling or any other debris in the barrel. If you’ve recently taken your firearm to the range or out hunting, you should clear any fouling that may have occurred. Fouling can corrode the interior of your barrel if left after an extended period. 

Generally, you will use a gun cleaning solvent, a barrel brush and then a gun cleaning pad and applicator. After brushing the barrel with solvent, a wipe down with a cleaning pad can remove the debris. Here is an introductory video tutorial for handgun cleaning.

  • Break down your gun as much as possible. If you plan to store your gun for an extended period, you’ll need to clear as much debris out of the firearm as possible. Cotton swabs and a microfiber cloth can help you clean most dirt before applying any solvents or oil.
  • Apply final treatments to the exterior of the gun. Whether you apply a light coat of oil to the metal finish or apply a rust prevention spray, there are several treatments you can use to protect your gun. A rust-proof bag or gun sock lined with silicone can help ward off moisture and other corrosive agents.

Tip #2: Manage Storage Conditions

Once you’ve cleaned the gun you plan to store, it’s essential to place it in conditions to prevent damage. Temperature, moisture level and position of the firearm are critical to long term gun storage success.

  • Temperature of the storage area: Heat invites humidity. Make sure the storage area is cool or around room temperature. The temperature of the area also affects any ammunition you plan to store too.
  • Moisture in the storage area: Humidity can corrode your gun. Desiccants, dehumidifying rods and gun bags help keep moisture at bay. If you plan to store a firearm for an extended period, you want to make sure the area has as little humidity as possible. 

If you bring your gun in from the cold, make sure you wipe down any condensation that may occur.

  • Position of the gun. You want to store your firearm horizontally or with the muzzle pointing down. If the muzzle is facing upward, gravity can pull gun oils toward the action and stock of the gun, which don’t need oil.
  • Use cable and trigger locks to prevent unauthorized access. If you need to store your firearm in a temperature-controlled area in your home, they may be in a space where children can find them. Lock up the closet or gun safe of your choice and add a gun lock for an extra layer of protection.

While storing all of your weapons in one area may be the most convenient, a decentralized approach may help keep your firearms away from unauthorized users. 

Learn more about safe gun storage in our blogs “7 Tips for Safe Gun Storage” and “Avoid Gun Accidents with These Gun Storage Safety Tips.”

Tip #3: Returning for Inspection and Maintenance

You can’t leave a car in a garage for months on end and expect it to run when you start it, so you shouldn’t leave your gun in storage for several months and expect it to work automatically. 

Even if you don’t plan on using this firearm for an extended period, you should inspect your gun monthly or bi-monthly to check for signs of corrosion and ensure its functionality. 

Storage Solutions for your Everyday Carry and Home Defense Firearms

While you may have a gun or two in storage, you’ll want to have your primary carry or home defense firearm in a place that’s accessible in case of an emergency. 

Check out Liberty Home Concealment’s full lineup of concealment wall art and flag storage solutions. Our concealment products make your firearms accessible to you but secure from unauthorized users. Visit our products page to browse our full selection.

Have a question about which firearm solution is right for you? Fill out a contact form today to get in touch with a team member.


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