How to Keep Guns From Rusting (6 Ways) in 2024

Let’s learn how to keep guns from rusting in this article.

A good firearm should provide decades of steady service, but only if maintained in good condition and kept. 

Pistols, rifles, and handguns all rely on metal parts to function correctly, making them vulnerable to rust and corrosion. 

The rusting process can swiftly set in without long-term storage, jeopardizing the weapon’s safety and effectiveness. In this article, you will learn how to keep guns from rusting.

Also check: Best Gun Cleaning Kit In the market

What causes your gun to rust?

Corrosive Ammunition

Some ammo types can leave corrosive residues in your gun’s bore, chamber, and/or trigger face. Essentially, the starter is toxic, not the ammo itself.

Potassium chlorate (KCIO3) is formed in combustion zones when corrosive ammunition is fired. These deposits dissolve into salt, causing the contact surface to oxidize.

Even though this type of ammunition is no longer manufactured, you can still obtain corrosive ammo in military surplus. In fact, millions of corrosively primed cartridges are still in existence today.

High Humidity

High humidity would be a recurring concern unless you reside in an extremely arid environment. 

Keeping your firearms out of damp environments will slow the oxidizing process and keep them from rusting. Over time, high levels of humidity timber stocks bend and crack.

Also check: How to Remove Gunshot Residue

Water Contact

Water is the most prevalent cause of rust, whether it contacts rain and mist or fails to wipe away extra moisture after aqueous cleaning. 

It’s an excellent opportunity for rust to build in if you don’t wash and dry the pistol and its systems correctly.

Also, keep in mind that subjecting your weapon to excessive cold might cause condensation to accumulate on all of your gun’s metal components.

6 Ways on How to Keep Guns from Rusting

#1 Use the Right Case

When considering a suitable rifle case or safe, keep in mind that it must keep out undesired people and environmental conditions.

A suitable casing will establish ideal circumstances for rust prevention by blocking out the factors that produce corrosion. It should be dustproof, watertight, and cushioned with foam on the interior.

Keep in mind that some gun case makers employ a form of adhesive to adhere the foam within the case, which progressively destroys the foam over time. 

The casing degrades and rusts as a result of this chemical process. Check with the maker of your gun safe to see if the glue used to adhere the foam to the box interior is foam-safe.

Finally, a word of caution about sheepskin-lined gun cases: while they look fantastic and have a historical feel to them, they are humidity magnets.

These cases do little to keep your rifle from rusting. They will oxidize your firearms considerably faster than a modern, standard gun safe if you use them.

#2 Keep the Case in the Right Place

It’s critical to consider where you’ll keep your gun safe. A space with a year-round temp of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 50 to 55 percent is good for weapons, as long as these circumstances are maintained. 

Wood and metals can expand or contract due to heating and cooling, as well as fast variations in humidity. This results in cracking.

#3 Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier maintains optimal moisture levels around our guns. The NRA museum, which houses precious vintage firearms, keeps a humidity level of 55%.

In an optimal condition, you’d acquire a silica gel gun-safe dehumidifier. Although the safe is shut, the silica gel beads capture any inside dampness. 

These gel beads must be replaced regularly. Certain types of silica gel could be revived in the oven. Cosmoline is a jelly-like material that can protect firearms against rust during prolonged storage. 

It resembles a thick molasses ooze at room temperature. Once heated at a high temperature, it turns into a highly runny liquid.

Coating any firearm with cosmoline provides the utmost protracted corrosion protection. However, take care while removing the handgun from safekeeping. 

Ensure that every last droplet of cosmoline is wiped from any crevice and corner of our firearm. This is a time-consuming exercise.

If visitors reside in an incredibly humid region, vacuum encapsulating any handgun is an excellent technique to keep moisture and oxygen out. 

Without oxygen, there is a significantly slighter possibility of rust forming on these firearms.

#4 Clean them Daily

Mostly on our weapon’s metal body, microscopic bits, dirt, saline, and vapor can build. If people do not maintain their guns frequently, they expose them to rust. 

The chemical event that occurs when someone fires their weapon draws a large amount of surrounding detritus into their rifle, which is why it is critical to maintain and oil their pistol frequently, as specified by the maker.

Since oil and water do not mix, oil coating will keep dampening out of our weapon’s different components. A rust-free firearm is a durable firearm.

#5 Don’t Take it out in Bad Weather.

Leaving any firearm exposed in the rain or snow doubles the likelihood of rusting. Among all others, one can always select the ideal settings for shooting, sporting, or when weapons are essential.

When transporting firearms into a damp, gusty, or stormy setting, always use transportable, waterproof gun bags and only carry your handgun when required.

If the above is not practicable, maintain a very absorbing cloth nearby to ensure that your pistol stays as dry as reasonably possible. 

Once you come home, thoroughly clean the firearm and preserve it in a decent gun case.

#6 Avoid Corrosive Ammunition

Potassium chlorate, present in earlier ammunition primers, decays into salt. Adding water to the mixture gives readers all the components for an oxidation reaction that will quickly rust any gun.

While there is a plethora of corrosive ammunition available from military surplus, it is recommended that you utilize contemporary shells. 

If someone needs to use corrosive ammunition, make sure to clean that weapon after each range visits thoroughly.

Also check: Can you use WD40 to clean your gun?


Will my gun rust in my garage gun case?

Assuming their storage is unheated or located in a high zone, or they do not have a desiccant or dehumidifier in their warehouse. Their gun is unlikely to last very long. 

Cold metal, resembling a cup of ice water, may pull humidity from the air. If it collects within the weapon’s functioning, you’re going to have rust-preventing concerns.

Is it harmful if a gun rusts?

It raises the level of wear between engagement sites, and rust deteriorates the mechanical components. 

When a magazine spring becomes rusty, it may cease to feed. Additionally, a rusty slide may be unable to remove, rotate, or release.

Will storing weapons in a vault keep them from rusting?

A vault will safeguard any firearm from the common elements, thieves, and small children’s access. 

Since placing any weapon in a vault is the first step in preventing rust, one must also analyze the environment’s temperature and relative humidity regulation. 

If possible, experts recommend preserving any firearm on one’s premises.

Is it true that rust ruins a gun?

Rust not only deteriorates your guns and makes them all look old and unsightly, but it also poses a variety of performance and safety concerns. 

Drag is created by roughed-up, corroded surfaces, generating friction and pressure.

What causes rust on firearms?

Rust eats away at weapon metals, creating discoloration and even pitting in what has become a solid surface. 

Rust on weapons is caused by the combination of oxygen and moisture on a metal surface, which results in oxidation.


Hope you learned How to Keep Guns From Rusting

Should users take adequate maintenance of their firearms, they will defend themselves and those they care about. 

Rust and corrosion will reduce the firearm’s dependability and even inflict serious injury to users.

Keep in mind that the ideal approach to conserve guns to avoid rust is to keep them away from dampness, humidity, and other circumstances that promote oxidation. 

That is why purchasing a high-quality gun safe – designed to provide the ideal environment for preserving and protecting our firearms is vital. is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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I'm an passionate gun cleaning expert from NY US. My goal is to save you time by doing the leg work for you and putting all the essential information in one location to be confident about the cleaning your gun.

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