Here are six tips on how you can safely preserve your guns.
Store Your Guns in a Safe
The first step to keeping your guns in good condition and safe is to keep them in a high-quality gun safe. This keeps your guns, especially your antiques or collectibles, out of the hands of curious children and would-be thieves. A gun safe will also help protect your guns from dust that can accelerate corrosion.
Keep Firearms Unloaded
This might sound a little counter-intuitive to some because one of the biggest reasons for owning a gun is to be able to use it to protect yourself and your family. But if you want to cut down on corrosion from the inside of your gun, you will want to remove your ammo before storing it. Loaded guns can corrode from the inside and cause the firing mechanism to get stuck, which could cause your gun to backfire. If you own multiple guns, it's a good idea to store them without ammo loaded, except for those you would use in an emergency.
Maintain Stable Humidity Levels
When choosing a location to store your guns, make sure that it is an area in your home that doesn’t experience dramatic swings in humidity or temperature. Keeping the relative humidity between 40 to 50 percent is more important than controlling the temperature. Fluctuating humidity levels can cause the wood on your guns to crack or split.
Always Store Upright
If you have large guns, they should always be stored upright with supports in your gun safe. Do not lean your guns against the walls of your safe because wooden barrels often curl over time. Avoid using narrow hooks or wire loops to support your guns because they will leave indentations on the wood. Instead, use broad, padded supports.
Wear Gloves When Handling
You should avoid handling your collectibles with bare hands. The oils on your hands can damage the wood, even if it's covered with a protective coating. When cleaning or coating your guns, wear gloves made from nitrile. After coating, wear plain white cotton gloves.
Be Careful When Cleaning Wood
If the exterior wood on your guns needs cleaning, make sure to remove any metal parts first. The wood and metal on your guns need to be cleaned differently to avoid damage. When cleaning wood, use a warm solution of a few drops of mild soap to one gallon of distilled water. Use a slightly damp soft cloth to clean and rinse with another cloth dampened with distilled water.