View Full Version : Long term rifle storage procedures

April 30, 2009, 02:55 PM
I have the need to put some long guns in long term storage due to the high price of ammo, I do not reload. I was looking at using Zcorr FSP bags. They cost $13.00 for each bag. What would be to proper way to prepare these long guns for extended storage? They will all be cleaned prior to storage. I will keep them in a unheated summer home in northern Wisconsin where it gets 35 below zero in the winter. I assume that the scopes have to come off the scoped rifles. One of the rifles is an M1 Garrand with a walnut stock, the rest of the stocks are synthetic. What products should i use, and should i grease the inside of the barrels?

April 30, 2009, 07:48 PM
If you care enough to pose the question I'd highly recommend against unheated storage in northern Wis. I grew up there. Everything exposed to those temperatures is affected negatively IMO. The steel could be preserved easily but not wood.

April 30, 2009, 09:34 PM
cosmoline. lots and lots of cosmoline. option #2 a good heavy coat of lps3
hot and cold won't harm them,but humidity will heavy grease will protect the weapons from that.

May 2, 2009, 10:19 AM
Use caution when greasing up your firearms for storage. The problem is that grease can trap moisture underneath it. Cosmolene goes on very thin and will penetrate/cover all surfaces. Then it thickens into the slime that we all know and love. Cosmolene will actually displace moisture as it's being applied. You can get a gallon of it for less than a hundred $.

If you store your firearms with any kind of "slime" on them, be sure to store a few supplies with them for cleaning them up at a later date. (Rags, Mineral Spirits, bore brush, etc)

Personally, if I needed to store firearms long term, I would use a different method. After a good cleaning and lube, I would vacum seal them inside a couple of heavy plastic bags and then put them in a case. Use a bore dessicant tube ( http://www.barrelguard.com/ ) and another 1/4 pound of dessicant in the bag with each one. If you wanted to go really crazy, seal each bagged firearm in a PVC tube filled with nitrogen. You could bury that and it would be fine for a few hundred years! Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
Mac's Shootin' Irons

May 2, 2009, 10:39 AM
I'd wax every surface (inside and out) with Johnson's paste or other no abrasive wax, then rewax at least once more. I'd use vacuum sealed bags with a couple packets of moisture absorbing silica in each bag near but not touching the open action.

May 2, 2009, 08:00 PM
Don't use ordinary plastic to attempt to preserve guns.
Standard plastic will pass moisture and air, allowing them to rust.

The military and industry no longer slather guns with grease for long term storage.
These days they use vapor-barrier paper and bags made of a special "hard" plastic that won't pass moisture or air, and prevents the vapor from escaping.
This vapor barrier system, when used with the special impermeable bags will prevent rust for at least 10 years.

To store, wipe the metal with a thin coat of something like CLP Breakfree to neutralize fingerprints, wrap in several sheets of the paper, then seal tightly in the bag.
For really harsh conditions, (like a cold area) I'd use more paper to wrap around the bag, then seal in ANOTHER bag.

Vapor paper.

The special impermeable bags.

Best of all, when you want to use the gun, all you have to do is take it out of the bag. No degreasing necessary.

May 5, 2009, 11:48 AM
Don't use ordinary plastic to attempt to preserve guns.
Standard plastic will pass moisture and air, allowing them to rust.

Great advice. I worked in the plastics industry for 23 years. We used drying ovens to prep plastic sheet for forming operations. It can take up to a week at 200 degrees for all the water to be released from a sheet of plastic.

May 6, 2009, 04:00 PM
Use "Food Saver Bags" they suck the air out of the bag and seal it

If you can find Cosmoline try beeswax and crisco melted together to form a grease.

July 27, 2010, 07:05 AM
I am what you could call a bit late to this conversation as I'm new to this forum but I can give you a little more info about the ZCORR Bags. A simple cleaning of your guns will do if you do / did store them in the ZCORR bags. The VpCI molecules cling only to the metal and provide a barrier which protects all metal parts of your firearm. With that said, they do not have any effect on wood or even optics that may still be attached. Once the firearm is removed from the bag the VpCI molecules disperse into the atmosphere and your ready to shoot.

The bags are better than regular plastic bags because they have a foil barrier layer which prevents elements from outside the bag migrating into the bag and vise versa.

Hope this helps.

Andy Griffith
July 29, 2010, 05:24 PM
I recommend the wax method. I use Renaissance Wax, but any good wax without abrasive will work.

August 1, 2010, 04:39 PM
I have used the two Brownell's products together for years, before I had a safe. I now use the bags and corrosion prevention paper in safe with a "heater rod" in SE North Carolina (hot, humid). The ZCORR bags also look great, anything mil-spec will always preform in its intended application.

Be aware that going form cold (airconditioned) to hot/humid (outside anywhere these days) will accumilate moisture on every surface. Keeping guns cased until they warm up will prevent this. Same thing in reverse in winter, although it is not 95% humidity in most folks house.

Keep them clean, and lightly oiled with a quality product. I have put a S&W 1950 era K-frame 22 and a single barrel shotgun back to working lately just by cleaning the gunk (powder residue and WD-40) out of them with Brake-Clean, Simple Green, and boiling water. Once clean, lube, reassemble and shoot away. For years many, myself included used WD for everything, but it leaves a residue that is tough. It still is great for that event that involves a wet gun and you need to get the water off quick. Just get it out of the internals, it traps dirt and sticks up everything.

Get a disassembly guide and clean that gun in the back of the safe. It may only need cleaning.

Pray and Shoot Daily.
Lee Jones(Celtgun

"You have enemies ? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life" Winston Churchill

August 2, 2010, 10:48 AM
Just ship them to me ,,I'll keep'em in top shape.;););)For the sake of those guns I seriously wish you the best..

Thanks for coming!:cool: