Purchasing a new firearm is an investment, so you want to do whatever you can to protect it. Gun storage plays a big part in protecting your firearms. Locking them up in a safe is an excellent start, but there’s more to it than that. Here are some of the best practices for gun storage that first-time gun owners should know.
Protect Your Gun from Humidity
Because firearms have metal components, they are prone to rust and corrosion. While your guns may not be in direct contact with water, they can be exposed to humidity. The ideal humidity for gun storage is 50%. If you live in a part of the country where humidity is over 50%, rust can form on your firearms.
Even if you store your firearms in a gun safe, humidity can seep inside. To prevent this, you need a dehumidifier that will dry and circulate the air. A desiccant can also absorb extra moisture. Having a humidity and temperature monitor can help you keep an eye on the conditions inside your gun safe.
If your gun is exposed to water during outdoor use, dry it thoroughly as soon as possible. Rust and tarnish can form quickly. Once home, clean your gun right away.
Keep Your Gun Clean
Keeping your gun clean protects it from rust or corrosion and is essential for maximum performance. Your new firearm should be cleaned after each use, even if you fire it only once. Any buildup of burnt gunpowder or other elements, including oil from your fingerprints or hand, can attract and retain moisture, which can lead to rust.
Check your owner’s manual. It will explain how to clean and oil your firearm. You can also ask your gun shop what type of oil they recommend for your new gun. If you won't be using your firearm for an extended period, give it an extensive cleaning to protect it from damage, including:
- Applying wax to the gun’s wooden stock to prevent cracking or swelling
- Breaking down your gun as much as possible
- Checking your firearm periodically, especially if you live in a humid climate
- Cleaning and removing all residue, including fingerprints
- Keeping the gun uncocked to relieve tension on its springs
- Thoroughly cleaning the gun’s bore and applying a thin layer of lubricant
If you need help finding a dehumidifier for your gun safe, check out our dehumidifiers and desiccants for humidity-free gun storage. If you're looking for compact handgun storage, consider one of our handgun vaults.