View Full Version : Is long term storage in plastic cases OK?

October 5, 2012, 04:58 PM
I have accumulated several plastic rifle/shotgun storage cases recently. Some are single and others are double. These are the ones that are under $50 with the foam cusion inside.

Are these OK for long term storage and will they impede rust formation or is it better to let air circulate around guns for rust prevention?


October 5, 2012, 06:56 PM
I don't care for the foam lined plastic cases for long term storage. Many oils tend to break down or melt the foam after while. IMO, keeping guns in these plastic cases does not impede rust but could cause rust by trapping moisture.

October 5, 2012, 06:58 PM
Its always better to let air circulate....but none of those cases are air tight either.

No, they aren't great long term storage systems.../ but they're better than some things that might absorb moisture ( like a cardboard box ) ...

Humid warm air holds a lot of moisture ...as it cools / the air will always give off moisture as it cools - and it will condense on the coldest thing in the area ( like a gun, or a cast iron table on a saw, steel tools in a garage, etc ....)...

so you have to keep a gun, in a relatively warm, and dry, area...and a light coat of oil on it - is the best defense.

October 6, 2012, 10:43 AM
Does it make a difference if you keep your gun in something like a gun-sock or other layer of defense? I've had two shotguns in these types of cases that have developed small rust spots. There was nothing that a little oil and scrubbing couldn't take care of, but under the exact same storage conditions, no other style of case has produced this effect. I see some people with long plastic cases however, using a gun sock.

October 6, 2012, 10:52 AM
Gun socks can trap moisture and make it worse..../ just depends on the environment more than anything ( humidity / how warm it is / how cold it gets at nite ).....

Its the simple things....like putting a gun safe on an external wall of your home - where the wall gets colder than an internal wall...can make a really big difference.

Its kind of like - where will mold grow.../ air circulation ...all that stuff matters. It isn't inherent that plastic cases are bad ...with or without a sock may not matter ...may make it worse ...may make it better....just depends....

October 7, 2012, 08:52 PM
I would never store any firearm in an airtight case with any kind of foam or fabric in there with it. If it is opened for even a short time on a humid day moisture will be absorbed and trapped in the case. Storing a firearm in a safe with dessicant or a dehumidifier is the way to go. If you can't afford that setup yet keep them in something that will allow air to circulate and keep them well oiled. Check on them every 2 weeks or so. I have seen more guns than you would believe that were horribly rusted from storage in fabric or foam cases. I used a closet with a fake back wall in it to store guns in for a few years and never had any problems. (be sure you don't use an extrerior wall or any wall containing pipes or drains). For ventilation you can install a "fake" cold air return grille in the wall. Use your imagination but store your guns where they are in 60 to 70 degree dry air and air can circulate.

October 7, 2012, 10:08 PM
Did the same thing drail and it worked out nicely.

October 7, 2012, 10:56 PM
Are these OK for long term storage?

Ahh, NO!

I've store some long guns for 25yrs in a closet. Once a year, I pulled them out and applied a new coat of "RIG" inside and out. The stuff is just bulletproof.

October 8, 2012, 02:06 AM
I learned a long time ago about storing in a foam lined plastic case. Unexpected rusting until I realized foam traps moisture in my climate. Bought a gun cabinet then a safe. Won't keep any long time again in the plastic cases.

October 8, 2012, 04:14 PM
Oiling it well, putting a gun in a silicone impregnated sock and then in the hard case should be ok for quite awhile.
Depends on what you mean by long term.
From my own experience, up to a year, even in a humid part of the country, will be agreeable this way.