How to Store Guns to Prevent Rust: The Ultimate Guide

Guns are like anything in life; they must be maintained if you want them to last longer than a couple of years.

There are many different contributions to the degradation of a gun, but the most common issue is gun rust.

Many factors can lead to a rusted gun, but the most common are improper storage, scrapes, scratches from trees, and lack of lubrication.

How to Prevent Your Guns From Rusting Inside Your Gun Safe

With this blog, I’m going to give you 5 products that will ensure you don’t ever have to worry about your gun rusting.

The Best Way To Store Guns To Prevent Rust

1. Lockdown Silica Gel 750g

Silica is a material made from Silicon Dioxide that absorbs moisture in the air around the gel, preventing moisture from getting on other products in the vicinity of the silica. The 750g canister from Lockdown is the largest silica container Lockdown has and works for the largest gun safes.

Silica is said to absorb 40% of its weight in water, which allows you to remove up to 40% moisture inside your gun vault with one low-profile product. The 750g canister for only $16.99 is one of those must-buy scenarios. Very rarely does this product fall below $20.00, and you can get two for under $40.00 to cover your entire gun safe.

What Stands Out With Lockdown Silica?

You can find silica gel packets in everything from shoe boxes and appliance boxes to clothing and weapon cases. The biggest difference between the silica you find in a Nike shoebox versus the Lockdown canister is the ability to reuse the Lockdown silica. The 750g silica canister is rated to absorb 26 ounces (0.2 Gallons) of water before it will change color and become saturated.

For a single can, this is a tremendous opportunity to save room in your gun safe and remove moisture before it ruins your weapons or other valuables. What’s even more awesome about the Lockdown silica is that it can be recharged up to 500 times and still work (although it will be less effective after 100 or so uses). I recommend combining this 750g silica gel with the products listed below for optimal protection against humidity.

How Do I Recharge Lockdown Silica Gel?

Once your silica starts to change color, but since silica is white, it’s easy to identify when your gel is saturated and needs to be recharged. The process of recharging your silica gel is so easy that anyone can do it without any kind of previous knowledge or know-how.

I’ve included the step-by-step process below to make it easier to follow and read. Placing the silica in the oven is to dry out the silicon dioxide, so it will take time. The biggest concerns you must worry about are burning the silica and heating it too long. Follow this guide and you won’t have any problems at all.

  1. Remove the silica bag from the container by simply turning it until the lid comes off. 
  2. Remove the indicator card that’s also inside the container
  3. Place the silica bag on a cookie sheet (center of pan)
  4. Do not preheat the oven
  5. Turn the oven on between 220-240 degrees
  6. Heat for 3-4 hours
  7. Take the bag out and let cool
  8. Once the bag is cool, place the bag into a container and you’re all set for another round of moisture absorbing 

Lockdown Silica Gel 750g

at Lockdown
Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Lockdown Digital Hygrometer

I chose the Digital Hygrometer because it will make your life much easier and provide real-time moisture readings inside your gun vault. It works by placing the remote sensor inside your vault and the digital screen outside the vault in a convenient place.

Most people like to either install the digital screen on their safe or just place it on top of the safe so it can be easily read at any time without opening the safe. You don’t have to worry about screws or bolts because the Golden Rod Wireless Hygrometer features a magnetic backing that secures to any metal safe you have.

The digital hygrometer from Lockdown is designed to display humidity settings from 20% up to 90% while simultaneously recording minimum and maximum readings. It’s well known that most metals will start to degrade around 86° Fahrenheit.

If your vault reaches humidity ratings above 70%, your guns will start to rust and degrade within 7-10 days and be completely destroyed within weeks. The digital hygrometer will allow you to monitor the actual humidity inside your gun safe so you can ensure your guns are protected from moisture-causing degradation.

Lockdown Golden Rod Wireless Hygrometer

at Lockdown
Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Golden Rod Dehumidifier Rod

Anytime we talk about the Golden Rod Dehumidifier Rod from Lockdown, we always get questions about how it works. Once the rod is plugged into a 110-120 volt AC power source, it slowly and slightly raises the temperature inside the gun safe.

As the warm air circulates around the gun safe, the hot air eliminates any moisture, mildew, or condensation inside the safe. My favorite feature of the humidifier rod is the fact that it’s incredibly low profile and the 36" model covers up to 500 cubic feet to accommodate any gun safe you could possibly own.

The Golden Rod Dehumidifier comes in 4 sizes, from  12", 18", 24", and 36" to offer unprecedented versatility in a dehumidifier. The Golden Rod is filled with a particulate, called Vermiculite to help circulation.  Always measure the width and length of your gun safe before deciding on which length of Golden Rod to get.

The only difference is the amount of coverage it will get you, so if your safe is smaller, it won’t diminish the effectiveness. I love the Golden Rod because it constantly circulates that air around, preventing stagnant air from smelling up your safe.

Golden Rod Dehumidifier Rod

at Lockdown
Prices accurate at time of writing

4. Lockdown Rechargeable Dehumidifier

The rechargeable dehumidifier is perfect for the inside of a gun safe because it’s small and compact and will undoubtedly cover the entirety of any safe you have. The Lockdown Rechargeable Dehumidifier works with the water glass crystals absorbing any moisture that could be left after your Golden Rod and Silica gel cleans up most of it.

The best part is that it’s completely odorless and will never release moisture back into the air. I appreciate the fact that it’s also non-toxic, so I don’t have to worry about anything leaking on my gun and getting on my skin. It’s incredibly easy to use with an indicator window showing you exactly when it’s time to charge. When you need to charge the dehumidifier, it will only take 12 hours, so I normally throw it on the charger before bed and take it off around lunch.

Lockdown Rechargeable Dehumidifier

at Lockdown
Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Lockdown Silicon Gun Sock

The Lockdown Silica Gun sock is one of the most affordable and practical ways to reduce the rust that may form on your gun. I use the Lockdown gun sock on literally every weapon I have, from my Bergara Premier 7mm Mag with my Vortex scope, to my Springfield 1911. All you have to do is place your gun in the sock and it will cut prevent any mildew, rust, or mold from ruining your gun.

For less than $10.00, this is also one of the smartest investments you could ever make in protecting your gun. Another great use of the Lockdown Silica Gun Sock is creating a barrier between weapons if you don’t have a gun safe. For example, before I moved into my house, I lived in a condo and had no room for a gun safe.

I place all my weapons inside the Lockdown gun sock and put them in their cases (for the guns with a case). I used the gun sock for my shotguns and other rifles to prevent any marring, scratching, or abrasions from the guns sliding into each other. In my opinion, if there was anyone product that I’d recommend for those with or without a gun safe, it would be the gun sock.

Lockdown Silicone Gun Sock

at Lockdown
Prices accurate at time of writing

What Will All 5 of These Products Do For Your Gun Safe?

Any one of the items listed above will help you keep your guns safe, but no one product can assure 100% coverage.

However, using the combination of the 5 items I listed above will ensure that you can keep your guns as clean, safe, and rust-free as possible. I’ll go over all the items I bought for my safe in another blog, but I can assure you that I’ve had these items in my safe for over 2 years and I never had a rust or mildew issue.

Monitoring the humidity inside your vault is a game-changer that every company has thought of and been able to produce a capable product. As you look through the prices of these items, you’re talking about spending less than $100! There is no other company that I’ve found that you can protect your entire arsenal for this price.

What Can I Put On My Gun To Keep It From Rusting

Everybody is always looking for that one magic solution to keeping their guns from rusting, whether in storage, during a hunt, or when carried concealed.

Many things come into play such as ambient temperature, humidity levels, and body perspiration. The obvious answer is to keep your gun oiled.

Why Is My Gun Rusting in My Safe? Understanding and Preventing Internal Corrosion

Many gun owners are puzzled by the question, “Why is my gun rusting in my safe?" Despite taking proactive steps to store their firearms securely, rust can still occur, leading to potential damage and degradation of performance. The key to addressing this issue lies in understanding the environmental factors within your gun safe that contribute to corrosion.

Excess humidity is the primary cause of rust in gun safes. Metal objects, like guns, are particularly susceptible to rust when exposed to moisture, which can accumulate inside a sealed safe due to temperature fluctuations and ambient humidity. This moisture condenses on the cooler surfaces of the firearms, providing the perfect conditions for rust to form.

To prevent this unwelcome scenario, it’s important to control the climate within your gun safe. Here are several effective strategies:

  • Use Dehumidifiers: Installing a dehumidifier in your gun safe actively reduces moisture levels, making the environment less hospitable for rust. Various types, including electric and renewable dehumidifiers, are available, tailored to fit different safe sizes and needs.
  • Silica Gel Desiccants: These moisture-absorbing packets can be placed inside the safe for added protection against humidity. They are inexpensive, easy to replace, and keep the interior dry.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensuring your safe has adequate airflow can help prevent moisture buildup. This might involve repositioning the safe in a less humid area or using ventilation tools for safes.
  • Regular Maintenance: Frequently inspect your firearms and the interior of your safe. Cleaning your guns regularly and checking for signs of moisture or mildew can help catch rust before it becomes a severe problem.

Here is an out-of-the-box tip for keeping the exposed tip of your barrel from rusting. It is something you can do before putting your gun back into the gun safe for the night.

Table of Contents

  • The Best Way To Store Guns To Prevent Rust
  • 1. Lockdown Silica Gel 750g
  • What Stands Out With Lockdown Silica?
  • How Do I Recharge Lockdown Silica Gel?
  • 2. Lockdown Digital Hygrometer
  • 3. Golden Rod Dehumidifier Rod
  • 4. Lockdown Rechargeable Dehumidifier
  • 5. Lockdown Silicon Gun Sock
  • What Will All 5 of These Products Do For Your Gun Safe?
  • What Can I Put On My Gun To Keep It From Rusting
  • Why Is My Gun Rusting in My Safe? Understanding and Preventing Internal Corrosion

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