Our firearms are prized possessions, so we always have to be on the lookout for the eternal foe: rust! But aside from just scrubbing away rust when it shows up, you should also practice proper gun rust prevention.
Here are the best ways you can do just that.
Gun Rust Prevention Tips
Why Does Rust Accrue?
Rust is a variation of iron oxide that accumulates on metal components that contain some level of iron.
Over time, and if left unchecked, rust will eventually spread through a metal object like a gun by “consuming” the iron and transforming the metallic components to rusted, irreparable parts.
Iron oxide piles on top of your weapons and other metal tools because of oxidation, which is a chemical process that occurs when water mixes with oxygen and iron.
Without getting too technical, water can combine with carbon dioxide in the air and create a weak carbonic acid that dissolves iron over time.
You’ll most likely start to see rust accrue on your weapons if you store them or other metal parts, like brass casings, in wet or humid environments.
However, there’s no fully escaping rust, as even dry air still contains trace amounts of ambient moisture.
So you have to take other proactive steps to reduce how much rust affects your day-to-day weapon quality.
1. Check Moisture and Temperature Levels
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First off, you should periodically check the moisture and temperature levels of whatever container or area you store your guns and other metal components in.
For instance, if you have a gun safe, you should be checking that safe to make sure that it’s not very humid or warm inside most of the time.
If things are bad, you can move the container or try to alter the environment.
2. Reduce Ambient Moisture if Necessary
As an example, if you store your weapons in your garage, you might be able to get a dehumidifier machine to lower the ambient humidity in the area without having to move all your guns.
You can also simply move your weapons from a humid environment to a dry environment.
Basements are a much better choice than attics for this reason, as underground environments have much less humidity than higher areas (at least to a certain point).
You should also look into purchasing airtight containers for your brass casings and other metal parts.
These can save you a lot of elbow grease and headache if you store your brass casings inside, as rust will accumulate less quickly over time or (if you’re lucky) not at all.
3. Use Gun Oil or Wax on Your Weapons
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However, you may still need to apply gun oil or wax to your weapons. In fact, we’d recommend this even if you have a perfectly dry environment to store your firearms in.
Gun oil and wax provide a protective layer of non-rustable material that prevents oxygen and ambient moisture from contacting the iron molecules in your firearms’ steel in the first place.
If the contact never happens, oxidation can’t occur.
We’d recommend coating all new firearms with a thin layer of gun oil once you purchase them and test them out for the first time.
Then, periodically check your weapons for rust and re-coat them if you start to see small rust spots crop up over time.
Original Gun Oil is a great example of an anti-rust oil that also provides ancillary benefits like cleaning and lubrication.
Make It Part of Your Gun Maintenance Routine
Stopping your guns from rusting in the first place is always better than the alternative.
Plus, it saves you time in the long run, even if it means a little more time spent upfront prepping your weapons and organizing things. Good luck!
How do you prevent your guns from rusting? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!