View Full Version : Long Term Storage?

Gary O
09-10-2015, 01:42 PM
Looks like I may need to store a rimfire rifle for 7 or 8 years. What is the best method to use? Thanks...

09-10-2015, 03:44 PM
Complete wipedown, uncocked, clean bore then oiled. A light coating of something like Rig goes a long way. Ideally in a safe with a goldenrod, if not someplace not subject to major humidity swings.

09-11-2015, 09:36 AM
I read something years ago about certain canned stuff that would mix with moisture and rust the metal. Do a little looking before you rub it down with something and put it away. A vacuum bagger for food stuff might be good if you bought a long roll of bag material.

Andy Cross
09-11-2015, 08:01 PM
Moisture and oxygen are the enemy for many things in storage not just metal objects either. If you can isolate the rifle from both those elements even without a wipe down with a rust preventive oil it will preserve it much longer. I wouldn't store the scope with it. Use one of those humidity controlled dye boxes for that and periodically expose the scope to UV. Any fungal spores that may have invaded it need humidity, warmth and low levels of UV to grow.

09-12-2015, 12:54 AM

If it's an original 52C Sporter, send it to me and I'll take care of it for you.

Hey...I'm just trying to help a brother out!


09-13-2015, 08:24 AM
When I went to the Southeast Asian War Games I took the stocks off my guns and poured automotive motor oil on the metal and wrapped in newspaper with motor oil.

They and I both were no worse for the time away from each other.

Greg Langelius
09-13-2015, 12:02 PM
Before I put away my sidelock muzzleloader, I gave it the customary cleaning with hot water and detergent. This was followed up with a light/uniform coating of everything with Bore Butter. That spring, our zone was finally approved for centerfire rifle hunting of deer, and muzzleloader languished for about 8 years.

With much trepidation, I exhumed the rifle and gave it a nervous peek. To my amazement, the rifle was spotless and pristine.

Bore Butter, smells like wintergreen, preserves well, including the wood.


brian roberts
09-14-2015, 06:55 PM
Like Wintergreen, but it sure looks like Ben-Gay.

I'm going to give it a serious inspection soon, it'd be some joke if Ben-Gay was some expensive use for muzzleloaders, or vice versa.

All that aside, one of my friends is a hunter that hunts ALL seasons, and he complained of Bore Butter not stopping rust after cleaning and storing over

the summer.

L. E. Hanson
09-14-2015, 11:49 PM
I moved from an arid to a humid climate over a year ago. Prior to moving, I coated all of my guns with RIG grease. I coated much of my other stuff, dies, reamers, tools, etc… in heavy automotive grease. Slick 50. The guns went into climate controlled storage in their gun cases wrapped in cellophane plastic inside their gun cases. I opened them up just recently, no rust, no stains, and perfect finish just as I had preserved them over a year previously. All the other stuff was perfect too.

Now then, the rig grease is easy to remove. The automotive grease is not. That’s the point I would like to make. The automotive grease is some Slick 50 Synthetic grease I had left over. It is heavy viscous grease, and it does not want to come off. Wish I had used RIG on everything. Lesson learned. End of story.

09-15-2015, 10:12 AM
Look up MilSpec long term storage of weapons/rifles.


09-24-2015, 03:11 PM
Get you one of the vegetable sealers you see adv. on TV, get a roll of the eleven inch bags, be sure you cut it long enough (5-6 in.) to spare. seal one end insert your rifle(etc) put it on the machine vaccum and then seal. Not long ago I did a 1890wrf, 62, and a 61 Win. and then put them in my safe for the four grandchildren. I have primers sealed 8-9 yrs. ago, powder in 1, 2, and 5lb containers, these are stored in a old refrigerator within a small 12x12 room inside large metal building. You may think about doing the same with your handguns you're not handling regulary, I wipe mine dry of any oil, keeps it out of the wood!

09-25-2015, 01:28 PM
Cosmoline (really just less refined Vaseline) has been used since before WWII to store weapons for extended periods, and it works very well, but it hardens after a few years and is a pain to remove.

Non-viscous oils keep spreading out and eventually leave the metal because of gravity (the reason they use a viscous one). That takes years, but it happens. If you're talking about a few years then there's nothing wrong with petroleum based products, or even motor oil. As long as it creates a film, long enough, it certainly won't damage the metal, though it can break down wood over time.

If you want to store for longer periods you may want to look at Renaissance Wax. It isn't specifically a "gun product", but it's been around the museum community for decades. It's crystalline based and 100% non-reactive. It's so gentle they even use it on wood and old photographs to preserve them. Most paste wax was has chemicals in it that are reactive, but this one doesn't. It's on most of the firearms in museum collections (including the Smithsonian's firearm collection), and I've read more than one article written by firearms curators extoling it's virtues and lack of maintenance. It goes on in a paste (just like car wax) and buffs to perfectly clear coating and creates an invisible barrier that you don't need to ever take off or worry about. Once it's on it never comes off unless it's rubbed off. It's better not to excessively handle the firearms once you've applied it, but you wouldn't even know it's on there.

My father used it on our collection, and I'm using the same can of the stuff decades later. One little can of it will coat hundreds of guns and probably last your lifetime. Unless you are storing specifically in a zero humidity, climate controlled environment, or only temporarily, I highly recommend trying this stuff. You will not be disappointed, and when you're ready to use your guns again just hit them with whatever lube you want and shoot. It may work too well in certain circumstances, as I've heard it completely arrests the patina forming on old Colts and Winchesters. Once coated they look like they are stuck in time.

09-29-2015, 11:41 AM
There is a line of lubricant/preservatives called LPS in a blue spray can at many hardware and automotive supply places...

I started using these after learning about them from 30's and 40's airplane restoration projects. The metal in these planes (old Cubs) is highly susceptible to internal corrosion. The LPS formulas creep, replace moisture, and provide a dry-film layer that does not attract dust.

LPS 1 is a grease-less dry film -- very light -- kinda like a spray Kroil.
LPS 2 is a wet film oily lubricant -- like a thick WD-40 that actually works
LPS 3 is their top-of-the-line rust inhibitor -- thick, gooey, long-polymer chain, cosmoline in a spray can. For tube-and fabric airplanes, we poked a small hole in each tube and sprayed in a shot of this stuff. Years later you can dissect the tube and see that it has crept to cover the entire interior of the tubing.

I've used LPS3 to store machinery (lathes, mills, table saws, etc) in a non-temperature controlled storage unit in Colorado for years. Granted, it was a relatively dry climate, but no ill effects at all from the condensation of season changes.