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Old July 5, 2012, 03:06 AM   #1
Rorge Retson
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Handguns "sweating" and oxidizing in safe. Dehumidier? Dessicant?

Being in Southern California (a desert, essentially), I did not expect this issue; but, here it is.

After cleaning all of my handguns last month, I recently checked on them in the safe and found that the areas where part meets part or where there is movement (i.e. slide, slide lock, safeties), there was "sweat" or something... maybe oil? But that would be weird, because I am careful to put on only a thin coat.

The only thing I can think of is that it is humidity. The outside of my new Marlin 795 .22LR semi-auto rifle's barrel seems to confirm this - I've only had it for a month, and yet it already shows signs of oxidation. I grabbed a cotton swatch and rubbed a very slight film of oil over it.

So, my question is this - presuming that the issue is, in fact, humidity, what is the best way to deal with it? Dessicant? If so, which kind, how much, etc. A dehumidifier? I checked them out and they all look so cheap.

What to do?
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Old July 5, 2012, 04:01 AM   #2
testuser
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My safe is in a humid climate located in my garage, so I've looked at this very closely.

The best way is a safe dehumidifer, these usually take the form of a small heater. The hot air forces it's way our of your safe preventing the accumulationg of humidity. It doesn't take much, either, we're only talking a few degrees warmer than the outside air, in fact, the element won't even burn your hand.

Golden Rod is popular and my safe has a Dri-rod. Installation is easy, as most manufacturers have a small hole in the safe to allow for an electrical chord. I also use a dessicant in the safe and a dehumidifer in the garage, which is probably overkill.

I also use a cheap, mechanical humidor hygrometer to keep an eye on humidity level in the safe.

http://www.libertysafe.com/electroni...m-9-p-116.html

http://www.libertysafe.com/desiccant...m-9-p-119.html

http://www.amazon.com/Cheaphumidors-...ometer+humidor

Last edited by testuser; July 5, 2012 at 04:13 AM.
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Old July 5, 2012, 09:29 AM   #3
g.willikers
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While popular opinion is to never put guns in a soft case, the opposite might be true.
We live in a very humid area and for protection liberally lube the guns, and put them in a silicone treated soft case.
Just spray the inside of the case with a can of silicone, from the local hardware store, and wait for the propellent to evaporate.
So far a redo once every six months or so seems to be all that is needed to prevent any kind of damage.
Just be sure to store them upright, so the metal is not laying hard against the fabric of the case.
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Old July 5, 2012, 11:13 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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I have the simple Dri-Rod in my safe. All it does is warm the air a little and reduce the RELATIVE humidity enough to prevent condensation.

If you need more, dessicant is inexpensive but you have to monitor it and bake it out periodically. One guy had cheap dessicant, probably calcium chloride based, never checked it, and found his guns standing in salt water after a long absence.

A friend found a very small actual dehumidifier, about the size of a lunchbox, for his safe. He still has to dump the condensate occasionally. He said when he first put it in, the pan filled about twice a week. Now everything is dried out, he only has to empty it about every other month.

You can take dehumidification too far and dry out wood gunstocks and cause shrinkage and checking. I think somebody said 70% RH was good.
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Old July 5, 2012, 12:09 PM   #5
Te Anau
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+1 on the Dri-rods
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Old July 5, 2012, 12:50 PM   #6
tipoc
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I find that a few of these in a safe work well in Ca.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/799...-feet-canister



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Old July 5, 2012, 12:58 PM   #7
Olympus
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Golden Rod plugged in and sitting at the bottom of the safe. Plug in and forget. Been using mine for several years in a very humid climate and never had any problems.
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Old July 5, 2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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When stationed on the tropical island of Guam in the early sixties, the Air Force's solution was to have a 60 watt bulb located in our lockers to thwart the negative effects posed by high humidity. Accordingly, I've always kept a 100 watt bulb burning in my gun safe. Though mine is situated high in the safe, it's best to locate it in the lowest area for optimum results.
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Old July 5, 2012, 03:10 PM   #9
Mobuck
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If it's a desert that means low humidity, right?
Leave the safe open 1-2 days per week and let the air dry out the interior.
Heck It's 90% humidity in my gunroom at least 70% of the time and that kind of thing doesn't happen.
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Old July 5, 2012, 04:30 PM   #10
jmr40
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^^^

This is what I do. I have 3 safes in 1 room in our house. My loading bench and computer is on one wall, my wifes sewing bench on the other with an elliptical trainer in the middle. Whenever possible I open all 3 safe's for at least a few hours ever few days. The only time I don't is if we are out of town and I've never had a problem.
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Old July 5, 2012, 04:33 PM   #11
tekarra
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I have a 40 watt light bulb in my safe and it works well.
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:30 PM   #12
Zhillsauditor
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Quote:
After cleaning all of my handguns last month, I recently checked on them in the safe and found that the areas where part meets part or where there is movement (i.e. slide, slide lock, safeties), there was "sweat" or something... maybe oil?
I would look closely to make sure it isn't oil. Even a thin coat of oil will gather at seams and be drawn out of a gun due to capillary action. I use grease on some of my rails even it does the same thing.

I re-oil all my guns at least once a year when not used. I probably should do it more often, but . . .
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:37 PM   #13
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
I would look closely to make sure it isn't oil. Even a thin coat of oil will gather at seams and be drawn out of a gun due to capillary action. I use grease on some of my rails even it does the same thing.
This was my thought, too. No matter how judiciously I apply gun oil or slide grease, I always get a little bit that "wicks out" at the seams over the course of the next few days.
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Old July 5, 2012, 06:05 PM   #14
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Lightly oil. While off excess. Use the packs that come in shoes, electronics and such. Also the sell the canister of pellets at Walmart in the laundry isle for 3$ or so. If you have a dollar tree local they can be had for a buck. They last app 2 mos.
This is what I do and no problems since I've been doing it.
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Old July 6, 2012, 07:27 AM   #15
Skans
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I have had a Goldenrod in my safe for over 15 years now. No rust - ever. I'm actually surprised the thing has worked as long as it has.
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Old July 6, 2012, 07:52 AM   #16
Skadoosh
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Quote:
I have a 40 watt light bulb in my safe and it works well.
This.

I only use a 15 watt bulb in my safe. Raises the temp inside about five degrees above ambient and does so in less than an hour. Much less expensive and just as energy efficient as an 18 inch Golden Rod...and I get the added benifit of seeing everything in my safe!
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Old July 6, 2012, 08:08 AM   #17
Tony615
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I have a 750 grams silica gel can in my safe. I check it monthly and when beads are dark I put in the oven to recharge.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004QU...1580002&sr=8-1
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Old July 6, 2012, 09:24 AM   #18
BRE346
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Skadoosh has the right answer. A fifteen watt bulb is plenty for even a large safe. Just a few degrees warmer will keep the safe dry. In case there is no power a bag of dessicant will work for months.
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Old July 6, 2012, 09:33 AM   #19
Rorge Retson
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Excellent suggestions - now I have some options. Thank you!
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:50 AM   #20
Mikey Idaho
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In addition to the dehumidifying rods you might try replacing the oil with a dedicated rest prevention product. I use Barricade by Birchwood-Casey to wipe by guns down with and love it for any long term storage but there are many similar products out there.

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Old July 7, 2012, 11:11 AM   #21
Ozzieman
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I use one of the following that you can find at midway. It’s basically desiccant but in housing that has a humidity indicator on the face. When it turns pink you remove it from the safe and plug it into the wall and let it heat up for several hours. As it heats up the window will fill with moisture and when the window clears its good for another couple of months.
In both of my safes here in Indiana (HUMID) they are good for several months in the summer and 3 or 4 in the winter.
I also have a Golden Rod dehumidifier but when I purchased my new safes neither have holes in them to run a cord since both are fire rated safes and I didn’t want to put a hole in them. So it’s setting in a box.
I will agree a heater like the Golden Rod is better but the AC issue takes away from their advantage.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/141...bic-feet-white.

.One other thing, if you’re safe is setting on concrete, even if there is carpet between them put 2x4’s under the safe to get them off the floor and allow air space between.
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