Cold weather gun storage

NH Phantom

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I have a gun safe that is located in a non heated area. Any precautions I need to take? Or is it ok to leave them in there? Should I move the guns into a heated area? But that kind of defeats the purpose of the safe. Looking for recommendations
 

Bigfudge16

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I have a gun safe that is located in a non heated area. Any precautions I need to take? Or is it ok to leave them in there? Should I move the guns into a heated area? But that kind of defeats the purpose of the safe. Looking for recommendations
If you're cold they're cold, bring them inside!

Seriously though I think moisture would be my only concern
 

76Too

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Cold air doesn’t hold humidity like warm air. I had my whole collection in a safe that was in an off grid building out back of my dads house for 2 years and didn’t have a problem until the roof collapsed from snow load and the snow melted and flooded the building.
 

paul73

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I have a gun safe that is located in a non heated area. Any precautions I need to take? Or is it ok to leave them in there? Should I move the guns into a heated area? But that kind of defeats the purpose of the safe. Looking for recommendations
goldenrod is good, well, the issue is not the cold by itself, the issue is condensation when it gets warmer and cold metal gets moisture condensate on it, and, well, rusts.
 

E.Stoner

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goldenrod is good, well, the issue is not the cold by itself, the issue is condensation when it gets warmer and cold metal gets moisture condensate on it, and, well, rusts.
This. Seasonal change are the times when most corrosion damage is done for things that are being stored and not used. Rust never sleeps and when there is a shift in temperature, moisture in the air will condense on cooler surfaces. Before long term storage make sure that your guns are dry and have been sprayed and wiped down with oil. Desiccants and VCI paper are helpful. But de-humidification is essential and keeping the inside of your safe or storage container warmer than the ambient temperatures goes a long way.
Fun fact- my dad had a very nice old car that he was storing but not driving for about 10-20 years. It was flawless on the outside, but the entire engine and internals needed to be rebuild and cleaned because it had rusted from the inside out. The mechanic who did the work was a true believer in the regular "italian tune up" when you periodically start up/ drive a car that gets regularly stored. Get the engine good and up to temp and give it some time at relatively high-revs. It get all the oil moving and coating all the internals that have run dry over time. Do the same thing with your guns. [mg]
[mg][mg][mg]
 
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Some fun physics for ya to help you decide.

Air is gas. When gas heats up (by the sun in the case of air) the molecules start moving faster, running into each other and pushing each other away. As a result, the space between molecules increases allowing other molecules(such as water molecules) to get inside. This is why hot air is capable of holding a lot more moisture than cold air. when air cools, the opposite happens: molecules of air get closer to one another, leaving a lot less room for water molecules. As a result, water is expelled in the form of dew, rain, or snow.
A couple of conclusions can be derived from this:
  • Cold air is actually better for firearms since it acts as a moisture blocker. when given a choice, cold air is always better than warm air in terms of rust prevention.
  • Cooling is bad for firearms. As the air cools, the moisture that used to be suspended in the air settles on surfaces in the form of dew. This is why weather people use the term "dew point". The cooling of air through the dew point temperature will cause moisture to settle on gun surfaces.
It is the second reason that makes it a bad idea to keep firearms in unheated environments. Not all unheated environments though. If you can keep the temperature away from the dew point temp and cold enough that you don't get excess humidity, there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't keep the safe in an unheated area.

The reason why heating rods help is that it raises the air temperature of the safe, increasing the distance between the dew point temp and the air temp. the further they are apart, the less likely the moisture will form on a surface.
The reason desiccants sometimes work in safes is that desiccants use a chemical reaction to absorb moisture from the air. The less moisture in the air, the fewer water molecules there are to settle on the gun's metal surfaces. That said, desiccants only work if the safe is sealed from the air outside and only for a limited amount.
 

paul73

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This. Seasonal change are the times when most corrosion damage is done for things that are being stored and not used. Rust never sleeps and when there is a shift in temperature moisture in the air will condense on cooler surfaces. Before long term storage make sure that your guns are dry and have been sprayed and wiped down with oil. Desiccants and VCI paper are helpful. But de-humidification is essential and keeping the inside of your safe or storage container warmer than the ambient temperatures goes a long way.
Fun fact- my dad had a very nice old car that he was storing but not driving for about 10-20 years. It was flawless on the outside, but the entire engine and internals needed to be rebuild and cleaned because it had rusted from the inside out. The mechanic who did the work was a true believer in the regular "italian tune up" when you periodically start up/ drive a car that gets regularly stored. Get the engine good and up to temp and give it some time at relatively high-revs. It get all the oil moving and coating all the internals that have run dry over time. Do the same thing with your guns. [mg]
[mg][mg][mg]
it also worth to note - as many do not realize it - the stainless steel does rust very much just fine with moisture. and your barrels will rust inside as well. and triggers.
what said above is the key - as no one will be bathing guns in cosmoline anymore - but at least some oiling before storage is a must.

ps. triggers especially, and if you have a good stuff like a diamond triggertech worth $300+ - better make sure it lasts. as rust on its contact surfaces will pretty much render it garbage
 

E.Stoner

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it also worth to note - as many do not realize it - the stainless steel does rust very much just fine with moisture. and your barrels will rust inside as well. and triggers.
what said above is the key - as no one will be bathing guns in cosmoline anymore - but at least some oiling before storage is a must.
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MaverickNH

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It never hurts to give the little darlings a rub down with EezOx - one of the better anti-corrosion CLPs.

I have two folded steel Japanese swords and use the dulled one weekly for practice and the sharp one much less frequently for cutting. They are in ambient room air so see humidity changes. If I don’t give the sharp blade an EezOx rub every 3 mo, faint oxidation starts forming. Your guns should last 6mo+ between rubs. The parts touched may oxidize faster.
 
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I have a gun safe that is located in a non heated area. Any precautions I need to take? Or is it ok to leave them in there? Should I move the guns into a heated area? But that kind of defeats the purpose of the safe. Looking for recommendations
Break-Free gun collector solvent is something I'm trying for the same issue. Check it out on Amazon.
 

paul73

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Break-Free gun collector solvent is something I'm trying for the same issue. Check it out on Amazon.
hmm. wd40 or motor oil will do same thing, as long as it is petroleum based - who cares.
a rug moistened in kerosene and wrapped around an sks would keep it alive even buried into the ground. no need to overthink it that much, imho.

clean it, oil it, if you want - wrap it. if it will be in the gun case pressed around by foam - it will have less contact with air as well, than in the safe. less air contact - less moisture - less rust.
 
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Some fun physics for ya to help you decide.

Air is gas. When gas heats up (by the sun in the case of air) the molecules start moving faster, running into each other and pushing each other away. As a result, the space between molecules increases allowing other molecules(such as water molecules) to get inside
Oh cool, is this why beer appears and then disappears from my fridge in the summer, but in the winter, whiskey is on the shelf?
 

ParrytheWind

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WD40 evaporates and leaves a sticky film behind. Great for distributer caps and moisture,.. poor for lubricating firearms.
 

Mark from MA

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No issues with my cold weather storage. Wipe them down every once and a while with oil. Never an issue.

My better firearms are kept inside storage, but I've never seen any issues as long as you wipe them with oil occasionally.
 
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