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Old October 6, 2008, 08:09 AM   #1
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Pelican Case Suitable for Long-Term Storage?

I have some guns that I don't use very often, and I was wondering whether a Pelican case with the foam inside is suitable for storage of guns that may only come out every 5 years or so. I don't have a gun safe or a place to put one, so I am forced to store my guns in a secure basement room that is cool but has relatively high humidity. Any thoughts?
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Old October 6, 2008, 08:14 AM   #2
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That's actually a very, very bad idea. The foam inside those cases attracts dampness and subject it to the firearm.

If you have some firearms that you care about and need to store them for 5 years, my first suggestion would be to find someone you know well and trust even better with more suitable storage and ask them to keep 'em safe for you. If you don't have that option, I'd buy one of those locking gun security cabinet (one of those sheet metal "wish it was a safe" cabinets) and mount it to the wall and/or floor and add an electric dehumidifying rod inside. You'll drop a hundo or more, but I'd say that's better than rust.

While on the subject, those fire proof lockable document boxes are just as bad for firearms.
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Old October 6, 2008, 09:28 AM   #3
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That's actually a very, very bad idea. The foam inside those cases attracts dampness and subject it to the firearm.
Very sage advice. Get yourself some silicone-treated gun socks. Then buy a cheapo $99 gun locker at Wally-World and stick your guns in there. If you cant run a dry-rod, be sure to put in a container of "damp-rid" in the locker. That stuff works very well.
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Old October 6, 2008, 09:34 AM   #4
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+1 on what's been said. Foam + Long-Term Storage = Bad. A colleague of mine ruined a perfectly good broadcast video camera storing it long-term in a foam case without dessicant.

Damp Rid is great stuff. I have the big jug in my firearms closet. Brought down the moisture considerably during the muggy NE summer.
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Old October 6, 2008, 09:45 AM   #5
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I use Damp Rid exclusively. Its cheap and it doesn't require electricity. I just have to physically dump the moisture collected in the container every couple of months or so.

Anyway, if one must absolutely have a dry rod, don't bother spending the dough on the actual thing. A simple 4 or 7 watt incandescent bulb nightlight does the exact same job. And it is far cheaper and the bulbs are easily replaceable.
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Old October 6, 2008, 09:47 AM   #6
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MAYBE you could solve the problem if you oiled your gun real well, wrapped it in cloth, and then put it in a plastic bag with dessicant before putting it in the foam box.

A big heavy gun safe is always the best as someone can carry away anything smaller.
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Old October 6, 2008, 02:57 PM   #7
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I've had good results when storing long-term in foam lined cases by doing the following:
Using regular kitchen-type wax paper, I lay a down one layer where the gun will rest. Place the gun (wiped down with your choice of oil) on that. Then, one additional layer over the gun. Arrange a few (4-6) small dessicant packs throughout the case. Never had a problem doing this, even in warm, muggy Eastern NC.
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Old October 6, 2008, 04:36 PM   #8
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Anybody have experience with ZCorr FSP Bags?

I guess these are supposed to be the high-tech equivalent of the wax paper treatment. Does anyone know about these?
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Old October 6, 2008, 07:52 PM   #9
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I've learned a lot about moisture ingress because of my work over the last several years. For long term exposure, it turns out that there are only two classes of materials:

Class 1. glass & metals
Class 2. everything else (dirt, wood, rubber, high tech plastics ... blah, blah, blah)

The first class will actually stop moisture ingress for most practical purposes, the second class will only slow it down.

If you want to store them for years on end, a good quality ammo can would be a good choice. It is made of steel and only has one leak point - the o-ring. That o-ring WILL leak (it is a "class 2 material after all ... see above), but a relatively small amount of desiccant will handle the small quantity of water that makes it in. I have used desiccant in plastic "cans" and it works fine, but I have to change it pretty frequently (every 6 months or so). For long term storage, I'd feel comfortable going GI with the ammo can ... but I'd pay a little more to get one in excellent condition, and I'd use the silicone impregnated sacks to add some scratch & bruise protection.

Hope this helps,

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Old October 6, 2008, 09:54 PM   #10
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I have two 3'x5'x3' fireproof safes still in boxes in garage. Until I get those heavy sombichs inside, what would be the best course of action? Keep oiling/cleaning guns(in foam cases) every week?
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Old October 7, 2008, 10:00 AM   #11
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Soak it in cosmoline

No, if you can afford Pelican cases and safe-queen guns, you can hopefully afford at least a cheap storage unit. I use Rem-Dry in my RSC, they're nice because you can plug them into a socket once a month to dry 'em out. The plastic on mine's finally starting to warp but it's been in fairly high use for several years.
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Old October 7, 2008, 11:09 AM   #12
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Yes the foam disintegrates over time and turns into crud that is a real mess to clean out.

Interesting though, I once designed a case for the survival / SHTF market with the idea of marketing it. Eventually decided I didn’t want to deal with the inherent QC issues other such stuff.

The case I thought was a good idea though. It was made of aluminum, had silicone gaskets, a valve where the atmosphere inside could be purged and replaced with nitrogen, and Included the option of a GPS. The idea was that the whole thing could be buried virtually anywhere, say the middle of the desert somewhere or maybe a swamp, it would keep your firearms dry, secure, and guarantee that they would be there when you really needed them. I did a little cost analysis and came up with a retail price of around $5000 if I remember right, and that made a profit of about $1000.

You know if Obama gets elected it might be worth revisiting the idea.
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