Safely Storing Guns and Ammo
As the season winds down, it’s time to turn your thoughts to the safe storage and protection of your guns and ammo. According to Off the Grid News, there are several major things you need to keep in mind, especially depending on what kind of guns you own. The storage process varies greatly between long guns, handguns, and even between a wood laminate and synthetic stock.
One of the largest enemies of guns is rust as it destroys bluing and corrodes the inner workings. Even though there are many safes that will be able to house both rifles and pistols, you should probably get yourself a small safe just for pistols. Here’s why:
- A smaller safe is easier to keep dry.
- Sapping away moisture is much easier to accomplish in a smaller safe.
- If you use a lot of oil on your handguns before storing them, that oil will drip down onto the wooden stocks of your rifles.
Rifles with synthetic and polymer stocks are quite simple and easy to store. That is actually the nature of rifles with synthetic stocks: they are almost always completely waterproof and will not be affected by moisture. However, there are a few things you will want to do before putting them away:
- Make sure they are clean! Dirt or grime on your rifles can be corrosive.
- Properly oil your rifles and use a lot of it. Gun oil has several interesting properties that will keep your gun protected.
- Keep them in “gunsocks.” This will add just another layer of protection.
All the same rules apply as the synthetic stock rifles, however there is one extra thing you need to do - store your wooden stock rifles upside-down, with the barrels on the floor. While this may seem strange, the reason is that oil will seep into the wood if you do not.
When the oil gets into the wood, it has the tendency to swell, causing your round trajectories to change. This will also loosen the tolerances over time, damaging your prized hunting rifle.
One last thought about gun storage
It is crucial that you store your guns in the “safe” position, especially if you have children. Yes, they’re in the safe, but it is always best to limit liabilities when possible. If you have trigger or bolt locks, then you should use them.
You might be tempted to store them in an open facility or a gun rack, but this is not the best option. Not only are they not in the “safe” position, but they are also exposed to every element in the room including moisture, chemicals, and other corrosive materials.
What about ammo?
Winchester offers a few key tips to keep in mind when storing your ammunition for the off-season.
Keep it dry. Humidity or seeping water, such as in some garages or basements, can be a real problem, particularly when moisture is allowed to soak into boxes and hold water against primers, cartridges and the shotgun shell brass.
Store ammunition in its original packaging and stack it off the ground on a shelf or inside plastic ammo boxes. If you store your ammo in a garage or basement where humidity is an issue, you may also want to try using a dehumidifier or refillable moisture-absorbing products.
Keep it away from heat. Heat above 150 to 160 degrees can begin to break down the potency of gunpowder. Avoid widely fluctuating temperatures as well. The best option is keeping your ammo in a climate-controlled environment (i.e. inside your house).
Keep it organized. If not storing ammunition in its original packaging, store it in plastic ammo boxes made for this purpose and be sure to label it properly. Don’t leave ammo piled in a jacket pocket or backpack during the offseason.