Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guns + Humidity: Protecting Your Gun Against Dampness

Modern guns and rifles have an impressive ability to withstand the stresses of being fired hundreds to thousands of times and they handle the thousands of pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure that is generated when the gun powder burns but they are still at risk for humid environments and dampness.

Humidity can cause rust and other damages to guns and rifles, including malfunctioning equipment. Rust can occur inside gun barrels and elsewhere on metal portions of the gun or rifle (depending on the model). Although some modern models include stainless steel pieces, older vintage and classic guns may feature iron accents. Iron and any ferrous alloy are prone to rusting so it is necessary to take steps to avoid this.

Once rust has occurred it renders the gun or rifle essentially unusable so it is important to take precautions to avoid storing your guns and other arms in areas that are likely to increase in warmth and/or humidity – such as a laundry room or any area near or adjacent to a kitchen or bathroom. For those living in particularly hot, humid states – such as Texas, Georgia, Louisiana and other Southern states – it may be beneficial to purchase a gun closet or vault for storage.

Consider purchasing some of these tools and products to decrease the potentially hazardous impact of humidity on your gun collection!

1. Dehumidifier: Best placed in the room or closet wherein your guns are stored. If you live in a particularly humid climate and have a walk in gun safe then this option may be better for you.

2. Desiccant Devices: These are the small pouches of silica gel found in new shoes and clothes, which absorb moisture. Larger versions are available for about $3 and are specifically designed for guns and gun storage. They last for several months during the summer (depending on environmental humidity). Include some of these in the gun safe or wherever you store ammunition.

3. Dehumidifying Wands: Under $50, these items are basically small heaters designed to be mounted near the bottom of a gun safe to keep moisture from building up inside the safe. Place one inside your gun safe or closet.

4. Temperature-Controlled Safes/Vaults: This is the most expensive, but most effective, options. Temperature-controlled safes offer not only the option to set your humidity and temperature levels, but combine it with the safety and security of having a locked storage location for your arms.

The optimal atmospheric condition for most guns and rifles is 70 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity levels around or below 50%. Implementing humidity reducing products in your gun storage and maintaining a steady, cool temperature will ensure that your guns and rifles remain in good condition and function well for a long time!

Tony Autry is the owner of Del-Ton, Inc., and online purveyor of gun and rifle models, parts and supplies. Browse our wide array of rifle kits, barrel assemblies and more and contact us with any questions!