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Old December 22, 2012, 06:14 PM   #1
brokenanew
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Storing reloaded ammo and firearms?

I keep my ammo and weapons in a good safe bolted to the foundation and concrete wall of a full concrete shed out back. No place to keep them safe in my small unfoundated house for now.

Anyways, while there is a/c in the shed, there is no heat. Is it ok that they are stored out in that cold? It rarely gets below 20 degrees here.
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Old December 22, 2012, 06:45 PM   #2
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I wouldn't worry much about the ammo, I would worry a great deal about the weapons. My concern is rapid rise in temperature that results in condensation forming on the weapons.

When I lived in WV, I had a 30 X 50 pole building with a concrete floor. When the temperature would warm up after a cold spell, the slab would get a layer of condensation on it due to "sweating". Anything that could rust - i.e. table saw, would rust. I hope your firearms have a good coating of rust preventative on the, having them in gun cases will slow the temperature change and help. Having a means to lower the humidity in the gun safe will also help. I use a Goldenrod dehumidifier link that I use in my indoor safe. I don't know that I would trust it for an outdoor safe.

An incandescent light bulb can create an amazing amount of heat in a confined space. Heat will help keep things dry.

I would also worry about having weapons stored outside my residence where I might not be aware of someone trying to steal them.
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Old December 22, 2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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Condensation occurs when the weapon is cold and you bring it into a warm environment with a humidity content. Like when you're hunting in the cold and come back home and bring it into a warm house. A weapon stored in the cold will not have condensation form on it just from being in the cold.

Think of your windows in winter. It is cold outside, and warm and moist inside, so condensation forms on the window. Yet your car windows do not get condensation on them because it gets cold through and through.
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Old December 22, 2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Think of your windows in winter. It is cold outside, and warm and moist inside, so condensation forms on the window. Yet your car windows do not get condensation on them because it gets cold through and through.
So you are saying the layer of water on top the concrete slab didn't occur because I didn't bring it inside, and the cast table on my table saw didn't rust?

You do realize not everyone lives where the humidity is as low as you and I experience? I can show you pictures of my rusted dies from being stored in a Delaware basement.
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Old December 22, 2012, 09:10 PM   #5
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward429451
Condensation occurs when the weapon is cold and you bring it into a warm environment with a humidity content. Like when you're hunting in the cold and come back home and bring it into a warm house. A weapon stored in the cold will not have condensation form on it just from being in the cold.

Think of your windows in winter. It is cold outside, and warm and moist inside, so condensation forms on the window. Yet your car windows do not get condensation on them because it gets cold through and through.
Think again. What you described is only one way to get condensation. There are others.

Condensation forms when the dew point is reached. It does not matter how it got there.

So, if your gun is cooler than the dew point of the surrounding air, it will get moist.

The o.p.'s concrete slab is cold from the nighttime temperatures and, being a substance with a high specific heat, and also in contact with the earth whose temperature lags the air temperature by several hours, remains cold even while the air in the building (and outside, too) warms up and picks up moisture. When that warm, wet air comes in contact with the concrete (or table saw or gun), the moisture condenses.

On some days I have to scrape frost from the OUTSIDE AND FROM THE INSIDE of my car windows.

If a gun is inside a closed case and is put away when the temperature of the gun, case, storage shed and air inside and outside the case is warm and the humidity is high, everything is dry, right? Night comes. The air inside the case cools. The water in the air condenses when the dew point is reached. It condenses on the inside of the gun case as much as it dies on the inside of the shed. And on the gun. Of course, in a sealed gun case there is only a little water available to condense. But it does not take much to rust a gun.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; December 22, 2012 at 09:22 PM.
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Old December 22, 2012, 09:55 PM   #6
Sport45
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Quote:
So you are saying the layer of water on top the concrete slab didn't occur because I didn't bring it inside, and the cast table on my table saw didn't rust?
Both of those things happened because warm, humid air came in contact with the cold surfaces and water condensed from it. I see the same thing happen in Houston.

On the other hand, the tools that are put away in drawers or cabinets don't rust. That is because no water will condense from the cold, dry air trapped inside as it warms up.

You can bring a cold, cased gun into a warm humid house and no water will condense on it as long as you leave it in the case until everything warms up. If you open the case while the gun is still cold you will expose it to the humid air and condensation will immediatly form.

So it's okay (from a condensation perspective) to keep guns and ammunition in an unheated area as long as they are reasonably well enclosed.
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Old December 22, 2012, 10:16 PM   #7
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But it does not take much to rust a gun.
Now this is something we can all agree on. Guns attract rust like you know what attract flies.
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Old December 22, 2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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My stuff is indoors but if I had to go outdoors like yourself I would look into getting a golden rod for in your safe, I havnt personally used one but have heard a lot of good about them.
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Old December 24, 2012, 06:26 PM   #9
Slamfire
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Cold is great for storing ammunition. Cold and dry. Heat ages ammunition, the stuff has a 20 year shelf life for double based powders, 45 years for single based. At least that is the design life in nice 70 F weather. The Military has stock pile programs where they check the stuff out to recertify, sometimes it is cheaper just to dump. Heat, and I am talking about 100 F, gunpowder deteriorates rapidly.

You can see data on this in a UN manual on ammunition inspection, section 7.3

Surveillance and in-service proof - the United Nations

http://www.un.org/disarmament/convar...Proof(V.1).pdf


Water is bad but if the ammunition is waterproof, it has all the humidity it is going to get when it was made at the factory.

The best storage conditions are arctic. Unchanging cold and bone dry. I think I saw pictures of freeze dried plants in Antarctica that were hundreds of thousands of years old.
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Old December 25, 2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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The amount of humidity is relative...../ when air cools from 35 degrees down to 20 degrees ....it will still lose some moisture - even though 35 degree air doesn't have much moisture in it ( 35 degree air is not zero humidity either ).

When air gives off its moisture - it will always condense on the coldest items in the are...( cast iron tool table tops, guns, etc...)....so warming the air up is your best defense. A low watt light bulb is the same as a golden rod...a good coat of oil - and frequent inspection ...are the only way you're going to keep serious rust off of those guns ....
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Old December 25, 2012, 01:25 PM   #11
Okcafe86
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Meh, when I put my guns up for storage ill put a thick coat of clp on them, put a gun sock on it and store it stock up barrel down to keep the clp from impregnating the wood.
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:31 PM   #12
Sport45
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... store it stock up barrel down to keep the clp from impregnating the wood.
What? You're missing out on a chance to get free stocks!

I wonder how long it takes for them to grow up?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Merry Christmas y'all!
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Old December 25, 2012, 11:14 PM   #13
Okcafe86
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Lol
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Old December 26, 2012, 05:59 PM   #14
Edward429451
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I stand slightly corrected, tis true. The most important thing for storing wepaons outside would be sealing it up as in a pvc pipe with a threaded plug that has grease or at least pipe dope on it. Dessicant inside to absorb what moisture is in the air inside the tube. A pvc tube with a schrader valve installed in the plug allowing it to be pulled into a vacuum before storage would be best.
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