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Will Guns Rust in a Gun Safe? Prevent Gun Storage Rusting

Many gun owners may consider their guns secure once they’re placed in a gun safe, but there are still environmental factors to consider.

Guns will rust in a gun safe if they aren’t regularly cleaned and condensation isn’t controlled with a dehumidifier. Condensation and rust can ruin your guns even if they’re locked up. Guns should be cleaned after every use to prevent the build-up of dirt and condensation that contribute to rust.

Buying the right dehumidifier is only one part of preventing rust in your gun safe. Keep reading to learn more about how rust affects your firearms and how you can prevent it.

Why Do Guns Rust in a Safe?

Guns rust in a gun safe from a combination of moisture and oxygen that are present inside of the safe.

Even though the humidity levels in most homes are lower than the humidity outdoors, it’s still moist enough in many places to damage your firearms.

Any time the metal surface of your guns is exposed to the open air inside your gun safe, they’re at risk of rusting. The dirtier you allow your guns to become, the more likely rust will accumulate.

This threat of rust is why proactive preventative measures must be taken to protect your guns when you have them in safe storage. Once rusted, a firearm is more likely to jam or misfire.

Are Gun Safes Worth the Rust?

So if gun safes rust your guns over time, why are they still the number one recommended method of storage for guns?

Despite the drawbacks surrounding humidity in a gun safe, there are several advantages of storing your guns in a gun safe anyway.

Here are the main reasons why you want to invest in a gun safe despite the risk of rust (Source: American Rebel):

  • Wards off would-be thieves: While your average gun cabinet is not secure enough to deter robbers from stealing your firearms, a gun safe definitely is.
  • Keep your guns away from children: Whether you have kids living with you or just as occasional visitors, it is an unacceptable risk to leave your guns unsecured around them.
  • Protects your guns and ammo from fire: Your guns are an expensive investment to protect, but any ammo you have stored is also a potential explosive in a fire.

Even though keeping guns in a safe can cause rust, guns are just as vulnerable to rust if left unprotected in your home.

At least in an enclosed space like a gun safe, measures can be taken to reduce the humidity in your gun storage and keep your guns in good condition.

You can find Quality Gun Safes Here on Amazon or check out my other favorite places like Brownells or OpticsPlanet for good deals on gun safes.

Clean and Oil Guns to Prevent Rusting

The biggest solution to preventing your guns from rusting in your gun safe is to take the guns out periodically to clean and oil them.

Oil creates a hydrophobic covering on the surface of your guns, preventing moisture and oxygen from making direct contact with the metal.

Regular cleaning is one of the easiest ways you can prevent the accumulation of rust and debris on your weapons.

Take out your guns and clean them every 6 months to prevent rusted guns in your gun safe. Along with preventing rust, this can also help you identify any corrosion, cracks, or damage.

Expert Tips to Prevent Gun Safe Rusting

Preventing rust in your gun safe is a crucial part of firearms maintenance, but there are a few hacks you can use to make the process easier and more effective.

Here’s a great video about preventing gun rust, with more tips and supplies needed below:

Follow these expert tips to prevent rust from accumulating in your gun safe (Source: NRA Family):

  • Track moisture and temperature levels. To get an idea how much humidity is present in your gun safe, use a hygrometer to track humidity levels once a day for a month.
  • Use a gun safe dehumidifier. Placing a dehumidifier in your gun safe can help prevent the accumulation of condensation in the safe that causes rusting.
  • Wear white gloves. Dirt from use is one of the biggest contributors to gun rust. To get an idea how clean your guns are, handle them with white gloves to see the dirt.
  • Place your gun safe on an interior wall. Interior walls experience less fluctuations in temperature and humidity than exterior walls, preventing rust from forming.
  • Keep guns on a cleaning schedule. Since guns that aren’t in use only need to be cleaned once every few months, writing it on a schedule can help you keep track.
  • Use wax on your guns as well as oil. Keeping your guns oiled and cleaned helps prevent rust, but using a thin protective layer of wax can provide additional protection.

If you don’t use your guns regularly, it can be easy to forget about them until they reach a state of neglect. At this point, they aren’t effective firearms in an emergency.

It’s a lot harder to keep rust under control once it starts than it is to prevent it in the first place, so take your gun safe maintenance seriously.

What Supplies Are Needed to Prevent Gun Safe Rust?

When you buy your gun safe, it’s a good idea to buy several supplies you’ll need to keep your guns from rusting.

Make sure you pick up these accessories when you purchase a gun or gun safe to keep your guns in good working order:

Hygrometer To Measure Humidity

A hygrometer is a specialized piece of equipment that can measure the moisture and temperature levels in your gun safe. 

After taking measurements with a hygrometer, you’ll know whether your gun safe is maintaining an ideal level of humidity or not to prevent rusting.

Gun Wax To Prevent Gun Rust

Gun wax provides an extra layer of protection after oiling and cleaning your weapons that can prevent moisture and oxygen from attacking the surface of the gun.

Another use for protective gun wax is that it can provide a buffer between the surface of the gun and potential damage.

Small scrapes and scratches on the surface of the gun give rust a foothold, and a wax covering helps prevent them.

Gun Cleaning To Prevent Gun Rust

Along with protective wax, you’ll also need to use rags and gun oil to thoroughly disassemble, clean, and reassemble your weapons after every use.

Check out our article on Our Favorite Cleaning Gear to see what we’ve found works after decades of trying everything they make to clean a weapon.

Even just one shooting session without cleaning afterwards can leave your guns susceptible to the environmental factors that cause rust build-up.

Dehumidifier To Prevent Gun Rust

Gun safe dehumidifiers come in two major categories: desiccant and electric. Desiccant dehumidifiers depend on chemical reactions to reduce the amount of moisture in the safe.

Electric dehumidifiers use mechanical action to remove excess moisture from the air, keeping the interior of the gun safe dry and rust-free.

Like this GoldenRod Gun Safe Dehumidifier Here from Amazon.

No matter which dehumidifier type you go with, buying a dehumidifier for your gun safe is a crucial part of preventing rust from taking a foothold in your firearms.

Gun Rust Prevention Is Down to Maintenance

While a gun safe will protect your firearms from theft, fire, and misuse, they can pose a problem with condensation and humidity that leads to rusting.

Thankfully, all it takes is a little regular maintenance and moisture maintenance to prevent your guns from being damaged by rust in storage.