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Old January 25, 2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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Storing guns and ammo in a safe???

I recently bought a gun safe.I want to know if it's neccesary to use a dehumidifier inside the safe?I don't want to store my guns inside it until I know they won't be rusty when I take them out.What are you guys using inside your safes to keep your guns "safe"?
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Old January 25, 2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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Lot of variables to consider...

I'd say yes on the dehumidifier, though I use desiccant cans (2) for my safe (these actually pull the water out of the airspace and hold it in suspension--to be removed in a hot oven). I also use a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) from BullFrog (might be a gimmick, but I'm not taking any chances). As far as ammo--never, ever, never in a safe. Any safe's internal temp. can eventually get hot enough to cook off the ammo--destroying/damaging guns. Though--at the temperatures wherein ammo cooks off--guns start to suffer damage anyway.
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Old January 25, 2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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I don't use anything but I'm in a very dry state--humidity often gets down to the 3% range.
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Old January 25, 2010, 03:04 PM   #4
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HA! 3%? I get a nosebleed when it gets down to 30% or 40% around here. That's why Virginia is so green and my sinuses are killing me today - it's 64*F here and the humidity is only 51%.

A Golden Rod and some vci product is all it takes. If you have a safe in a damp non-AC basement like I do then you might want to keep the valuable guns that aren't shot often wiped down with a light coating of RIG grease - it's not messy.


Last edited by johnbt; January 25, 2010 at 03:18 PM.
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Old January 25, 2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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if the safe is in the climate controlled house, you should be ok.
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Old January 26, 2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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Climate controlled house negates the need for dehumidification?

Not necessarily. Depends on where you and the safe live, how tight your safe is, average local humidity (inside and out), the state of moisture control in the house (relatively constant or fluctuating), how constant is the temperature in an around the safe (is the safe against an interior or exterior wall?), etc. Also, how often will you open the safe? As I said, lots of variables, and, as someone who's had a gun rust in a safe in the past, trust me when I say that overkill (prevention) is cheaper than fixing a rusted gun...
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Old January 26, 2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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Even if the safe is in a climate controlled area... Don't risk it. If you have 30 guns in the safe and you open it one day to find RUST on several guns, what's the cost (or damage)?

I have a Golden Rod that's been working for 20+ years, I don't remember the cost but I've never had a problem and my safe is not in a climate controlled area.

If you're like the rest of us, sometimes you might not open the safe for months. To begin with I tired desiccate but it's too much of a PIA if you have to pull it and bake it once a month (and I had several 1 lb bags).

I store powder in mine for two reasons. 1. It's dry. 2. There's a sign on the side of the Safe, "Warning... DO NOT USE A TORCH TO OPEN, #'s OF GUN POWDER INSIDE."
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Old January 26, 2010, 09:26 AM   #8
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I use a 40 watt light bulb in my safe. It seems to be doing the job and I have had to replace it once in two years.

I do not store ammo in my safe, just because I was always taught not to store guns/money/classified information and ammo all in one place. If someone breaks into my safe, they are going to have to break into something else to get the ammo for it.

Most safes already have holes in them for bolting it to the floor or wall. I just ran my power cord through the pre-existing hole.
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Old January 26, 2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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Where would ammo be more secure than in a safe . Every thing you may need in an emergency in one place . A novel idea me thinks !
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Old January 26, 2010, 02:47 PM   #10
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Where would ammo be more secure than in a safe . Every thing you may need in an emergency in one place . A novel idea me thinks !
i think the same way and so do criminals. thats why i dont do it. at the very least your guns wont be used against you if they get in the safe. i keep ammo and mags in a different local.
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Old January 26, 2010, 05:42 PM   #11
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i keep ammo and mags in a different local.
That's one way to do it... but I prefer my guns LOADED. They are a bit more usefull that way

As far as dehumidifiers go... everytime I buy a new pair of shoes, I toss those little silicone packages into my safe. Lol, no rusty guns so far!
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Old January 26, 2010, 09:06 PM   #12
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Yes, I heard that "rule" and used to do the "keep ammo and guns separate" thing also, but that's mainly for keeping your younger KIDS from finding them, not thieves.

Thieves are another story, so stop kidding yourself: They'll find your guns and ammo regardless of where you "hide" them separately. And quickly. That's their job, and they know all your "hiding" places because most other people do the same thing -- "hide" stuff (rather than lock it up/bolt it down). ;-)

Put the guns AND ammo in the safe/RSC. It'll be safe from your kids (unless they know the combination) and not as easy for thieves to just walk off with. Win-win.

I also agree with the other poster -- in a climate-controlled house, you're fine. I live on an island and within seeing/hearing distance of the Gulf of Mexico (it's across the street). Water is EVERYWHERE here, and salt air with very high humidity. Sure, OUTSIDE, everything rusts/corrodes -- cars, motorcycles, building hardware, BBQ grill, wiring, fencing (you name it) -- but INSIDE, the stuff in my 2 safes is dessicant and no Goldenrod used. Yes, if I leave the door/windows open for long periods of time, salt air and humidty can enter my living space do their damage, but I don't leave them open (I don't need to leave the AC on 24/7, either, just now and then to cool down the place/remove any humidity inside, then fans are used mostly). The MAIN thing is to keep the doors and windows closed! Yeah, I go out on my balcony whenever I want, but I close the door to keep the high humidty/salt air out (which will be good experience for when I move to Hawaii -- same salt air/humidity and rusting/corrosion issue there).

Ammo is in GI-issue ammo cans and guns are put in the safe as they are. You could use chemically-treated gunsocks if you wanted the added protection, and put a small pkg. of dessicant in the ammo cans if you wanted, but I don't do that myself.

No problems and I've been here 2 years now (including Hurricane Ike), and the guns WERE just in my closet before I got the safes. But even when they were in the closet, they didn't rust in a climate-controlled's just that "hiding them" in the closet made it too easy for thieves. ;-)

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Last edited by cloudcroft; January 26, 2010 at 10:09 PM.
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Old January 26, 2010, 09:19 PM   #13
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actually...VCI is Volitile Corrosion Inhibitor.Just a tid bit of info for post 2....

I would get a couple water sucker cans and stick in there.Remove the moisture not just lower the relative humidity(Water still there but heat goes up).
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Old January 27, 2010, 01:26 AM   #14
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so far so good

Bama is a plenty humid state. I have multiple guns in a 45 gun safe. The den has central heat and air. There are 3, one lb bags of the desiccant stuff, as well as a bunch of little ones I've just tossed in over the years. I've had no overall rust problems, though I have had a finger print rust now and again in the heat of summer. As a general rule, I keep up w/ inspecting and try to wipe down any firearm handled anytime of year.

Also in there are loaded mags and some loose ammo for various guns of interest at the time. But there is not enough room for guns and ammo both.

I traded a smaller safe for this one, made $ sense at the time. Now I wish I'd kept it for ammo, with price and value so high.
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Old February 4, 2010, 07:36 PM   #15
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I keep a few of the dehumidifer packs in them. The kind when they turn a certain color you can put them in the oven, and dry them out. Half the time I forget to check them anyways. I just wipe them off with Rem oil, when I think about it, and of course clean them good when you use one, then wipe them all off. I try to wipe them all down about three times a year making sure there are no finger prints etc. on them. I never had a problem they all look brand new.
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Old February 4, 2010, 09:21 PM   #16
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Since my safe is in my basement, I prefer to err on the side of caution and use a GoldenRod dehumidifier in my safe (two in fact). No rust or pitting has shown up on any of my guns.
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Old February 4, 2010, 09:58 PM   #17
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A chunk of cheap steel, or better, if you know someone with a mill or lathe, a small bucket of turnings make an excellent dehumidifier for a safe.
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Old February 5, 2010, 06:50 PM   #18
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Mine are also stored in the basement.
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Old February 16, 2010, 01:46 AM   #19
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Have an old 4X4X6 Fort Knox. 2 goldenrods that have been working for over twenty years. Live on the beach in North Florida. Also have the bake it dry stuff in there. Does the job.
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Old February 22, 2010, 03:07 PM   #20
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actually...VCI is Volitile Corrosion Inhibitor.Just a tid bit of info for post 2...
Actually... It depends on the manufacturer and what they call it and advertise it as. In post #2's case, its a Bullfrog product and they refer to it as VPCI (Vapor Phase Corrison Inhibitor). Other manufactures such as Zrust calls it VCI (Volitile Corrosion Inhibitor). Post #13's case. Honestly, I'm not sure if its voodoo science or not, its cheap enough to use as extra insurance and doesn't take up any space in the safe. I do carry the Bullfrog product at my business and I use it in my safe. I've never had any problems since. But, I also use a rechargeable dehumidifier and humidity monitor in the safe, and the safe is kept in an air conditioned house. So I like to think all three is working. I also keep my ammo in the bottom of the safe.
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Old February 22, 2010, 05:41 PM   #21
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I use a can of hyskore gun vault dessicant as well as a dehumidifier.
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