That Rust Thing

Cemetery comes across a problem we’ve all dealt with at one time or another.  Rust.  There’s three ways you can deal with rust.  One is to keep a coat of oil on your guns, and make sure you wipe them down before you put them away.  The other is to keep moisture away from the gun. There are a few ways to do that.

Even thought I love the fact that, as a cowboy shooter that goes by the name of Cemetery, his pistol case is a little coffin, the first piece of advice is not to keep them in the case unless you’re transporting them.  This is a surefire way to promote rust.  Cases are magnets for moisture.

The second way to prevent rust is to decrease relative humidity.  One way you can do that is to increase the temperature within a confined space, thus reducing the relative humidity.  This is how a Golden Rod works within the confines of a safe or gun cabinet.  Generally speaking, a Golden Rod is the easiest and most maintenance free way to combat rust.

The third way is to actually remove water from air within a confined, largely airtight space.  This is what dessicants do.  This is the solution I use, because the safe I got a good deal on didn’t have the electrical hookup, and I didn’t have an outlet near where I wanted to put it.  Desiccants are effective, but you have to watch them, and they need to be reactivated.  Get one that had an indicator compound in them, usually cobalt chloride, which is deep blue when dry, but turns pink as it becomes saturated with water.  You can reactivate desiccants by increasing their temperature to 250 degrees.  I do my two canisters in the toaster oven at 325 degrees for a few hours.  You typically have to recharge once a month in the winter, and once every two weeks or so in the summer.  The great thing about desiccants is that you don’t even really need a safe.  Any closed, airtight container with a desiccant thrown in will put a stop to rust.

6 thoughts on “That Rust Thing”

  1. I live in Oregon at the foothills of the temperate rain forest. It can rust just about anything and has. I’ve tried all of these with “oil” the only success. I’m also a Sig armorer locally, and I’ve seen the nitron go south. The only factory finish I haven’t seen rust here is the Glock Tenifer finish, which is illegal to make/use (in the manufacturer sense) in the US.

    As a fourth option way I’ve generally started using Birdsong Black-T or CCR cerahide on my guns. It’s not perfect but it works pretty we’ll with the oil option.

  2. Another good trick are vapor-phase corrosion inhibitors. You can purchase cans of them which gradually release the inhibitor into a closed space (like a gun safe or locker).

    “Zerust” is one brand-name of plastic bags which are coated with the inhibitor. Place the (cleaned, oiled, unloaded) firearm in the bag, seal it, and it’s fairly well proofed against moisture, let alone rust. You can find them at Creedmoor Sports:

    The rifle-size ones will take a full-size match rifle like an M1A or M1 Garand.

  3. Get a large airtight container (gun sized) and add an air fitting to it. Raise a corner so the lid won’t pop off, fill the container with nitrogen (available at a welding gas suppy). No O2 = no rust!

  4. Rust….

    Just started dealing with it. Not on any of my guns as of yet, praise God. But my Mini14 magazines have started rusting. Brand new OEM mags too. And my Rock Mount bipod rusted in like 2 weeks.

    I just picked up a couple of those dessicators from Cabela’s. Hopefully that’ll help.

  5. Great post! Rust is one of the things we deal with from time to time but good pointers on how to prevent it. Keep up the good work.

Comments are closed.