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Avoiding Gun Corrosion

Few sights can make a gun owner cringe more than seeing a sleek firearm covered in rust spores. Gun corrosion is a constant battle with hunters, concealed carriers, and collectors, especially those who live in humid climates. The problem is that rust occurs naturally on most metal surfaces and can spread quickly.

To avoid seeing corrosion take hold of your prized firearm, check out some tips on preventing gun rust.

How Do Guns Rust?

Guns form rust, also known as iron oxide, whenever the metal parts of the firearm are exposed to moisture for long periods without cleaning or maintenance. As water sits on a metal surface, it combines with CO2 to form a weak carbonic acid. This acid begins to dissolve the metal surface and release oxygen. As oxygen is released, it combines with the dissolved iron bond to create the rust that we know and despise. 

What Conditions Cause Gun Corrosion?

Gun rust comes from exposure to humid environments with a high-temperature variation. Temperature variations can cause condensation, leaving moisture on the body, barrel or receiver. Places like your garage, shed or vehicle are prime locations for corrosion if your gun isn’t stored properly. If you are a concealed carrier, sweat and oils from your body can make their way to the firearm and cause rust if left over time. 

Internally, your gun can corrode from moisture or fouling from firing your weapon. Copper can be especially bad for your weapon’s barrel if left over time, as it tends to make your firearm more inaccurate. 

Best Way to Store Guns to Prevent Rust

First and foremost, you always want to put your firearm in a secure and discreet storage option like a concealed gun safe. A safe will give your gun a layer of protection from the elements, theft and little ones’ hands. 

Storing your gun in a safe is the first step to prevent rust, but you also need to consider the temperature and moisture control of the environment around the safe. We suggest storing your firearm in your home if you can. Storing ammunition indoors also helps to keep it from warping or becoming ineffective. Your home’s air conditioning will do the heavy lifting with dehumidifying and controlling the temperature that your gun is stored. 

According to curators at the NRA National Firearms Museum, their preferred temperature and humidity to store firearms are 70°F at 50% humidity. Other experts have developed the “65/65” rule for temperature and humidity. You will need to determine your preferred temperature and humidity level depending on the type of firearm and it’s composure. Having a humidity sensor to check your weapon’s storage space can help you determine if it is ideal for preventing rust.


If you store a gun in your home, make sure it is away from moisture-producing areas, like your kitchen or bathroom. Make sure to place your firearm on an interior wall. Interior walls are less affected by outdoor temperature fluctuations. 

Once you’ve established your gun’s storage location, you can determine the rest of the necessary equipment to keep your firearm in shape. If you decide to store your firearm in a garage or shed space without heating, you will need dehumidifying agents to prevent moisture from affecting your gun.

What Items Do I Need to Prevent Gun Corrosion?

Even if you store your gun in an ideal climate for preventing rust, your weapon will still need some maintenance and upkeep to ensure that it remains pristine.

Some of the items you will need to ensure its condition are:

  • Standard cleaning items: In our earlier blog, “Why you should regularly clean your firearm,” why cleaning your gun regularly is essential. There are a few items that every gun owner should have to keep their weapon in top shape. Bore snakes, cleaning rods, gun cleaner and cleaning rags are just a few of the things every gun owner needs.
  • High-quality gun oil or wax: Oil and wax are imperative for protecting your gun’s exterior from the elements. Apply oil to a rag before wiping down the firearm; this allows for a more even distribution of the oil across the gun’s surface.
  • Dehumidifiers: As we mentioned earlier, if you have to store your gun in less than ideal environments, like the garage, a dehumidifier will go a long way to protecting your firearm from rust. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and levels of power, so there is most likely a choice for your storage needs.
  • Antirust bags: The final storage level that can keep moisture away from a firearm is an airtight gun bag. These usually used for long-term gun storage and can also be used regularly as an added layer of rust protection.

  • If you are looking for a discreet and secure way to store your firearm at home, without giving up your style, check out our line of concealment furniture, flags, decor and more. Have a question about gun storage or concealment furniture? Contact us today to get in touch with a friendly team member who can answer your questions.

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