Keep your safes dry!!!

Keep your safes dry!!!

This is a discussion on Keep your safes dry!!! within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Well I learned a valuable lesson today. Hopefully it won't be more expensive than the expenditure of a little time. I have a small metal ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Keep your safes dry!!!

    Well I learned a valuable lesson today. Hopefully it won't be more expensive than the expenditure of a little time. I have a small metal gunsafe bolted into my bedroom closet to store my carry guns, a Smith 37 and a Colt Commander, both carbon steel. It's not a fire safe, just sheet metal with foam padding inside. I've been using it for nearly a year with no issues. Then today I pulled out my Colt and it was covered in rust! The Smith was even worse, it was so rusted the cylinder wouldn't turn. Thankfully it's a lightweight and so the frame didn't rust and the cylinder only did on the internal part where it spins on the rod. The Colt had surface rust on one side, but no pitting yet.

    I detail stripped the Colt and disassembled the Smith, then wiped them all down with lots of oil and have them soaking it now. They should be all right although I'm afraid my until-now pristine Colt will have a few marks when this is over. Apparently the safe is forming internal condensation, it sits near the radiator and the outside wall so it gets warm when the heat is running and cool when it's not. I never thought to put desiccants in there because it's right in my room, not the cool basement. Lesson learned. Anyone else who uses a small safe like that, get some desiccants for them! Not much sucks more than seeing rust on your favorite pistol.
    Last edited by Roadrunner; January 27th, 2008 at 03:26 PM.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
    Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array bluelineman's Avatar
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    That sucks. Try some desiccants or get a golden rod & plug it in.

  3. #3
    Member Array AUTOMAG's Avatar
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    I use a golden rod and it is great!!!

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I've got desiccant bags all over the place. Matter of fact, I just rejuvenated some in the past couple weeks. I do have a fire rated safe, but I also check in on my fellow soldiers every time I open the door (which is probably twice daily if not more). My safe is also lined with that corduroy looking carpet stuff. I used to have it bolted down in an interior closet against an internal wall. Now she's bolted in a closet against an exterior wall--(it needs a bit more care now as outside temperatures take their mood swings). I plan on getting more desiccants as I want the ones that have indicators on them so I can keep up even better when it comes time to keep them at their peak efficiency. 'Feeling the bags' and judging if it's time to change just don't cut it for me anymore.
    I believe you've pinpointed the problem with the exterior wall and the heat source. I might suggest moving that safe even if you get the suggested desiccants as they won't last long in that environment either. Any of my 'long-term' storage guns (through winter until spring or summer), get a liberal spraying of Shooter's Choice 'rust prevent' before they get a goodnight kiss. This stuff leaves a film that lasts a long time---it's actually a coating that I need to wipe off before heading to the range the next time they see daylight. Rust on my fellow comrades? I think not. I really don't know what sort of process I might have to employ to rid my guns of possible rust. Therefore, I'll do everything in my power to avoid that from ever happening, and even so far as to request a bit of attention from The Almighty powers that be. External rust would be one thing, but rust in the bore--I'd likely give myself a good caning over that. Sorry to hear you had to learn the lesson you did.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
    Apparently the safe is forming internal condensation, it sits near the radiator and the outside wall so it gets warm when the heat is running and cool when it's not. I never thought to put desiccants in there ...
    One lesson surely is to use dessicant. But the other lesson shouldn't be ignored: pick a location for the safe that's in a cool, dry place, instead of one near a specific point source of heat/cold, because that's going to drive condensation to a degree that's hard to control.

    I hope the guns get through this. You're right to be worried. The surface rusting you see means that all airborne moisture is causing the same thing on all surfaces. Definitely time for a full, detail strip of all of them.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; January 27th, 2008 at 08:41 AM. Reason: spelling
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array DrLewall's Avatar
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    That really sux! I have my safe bolted to the floor on an outside wall with abt 1 1/2 inch of space between the wall and the safe. I am home most of the time so while I am home, the safe is open. I think the longest my safe has ever been locked was maybe 36 hrs. I have a couple of desiccant bag in the safe and I reckon I need to replace them..Ramrod, where did you get yours and will you be able to find the ones that have the "indicators" on them? I'd be interested in that also!

    As was mentioned, I will bet that you will have to move your cabinet away from the heat source..good luck!

  7. #7
    Member Array halfcrazy's Avatar
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    Can anyone give a link or more insight to the "golden rod" is it electric? i use the desiccant bags with the indicators but they are 20 bucks and i change mine every 4 months? i should save them and cook a bunch at once just could never see 3 hours cooking one? and does anyone now if you can cook them in a propane fired oven?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array bluelineman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfcrazy View Post
    Can anyone give a link or more insight to the "golden rod" is it electric? i use the desiccant bags with the indicators but they are 20 bucks and i change mine every 4 months? i should save them and cook a bunch at once just could never see 3 hours cooking one? and does anyone now if you can cook them in a propane fired oven?
    Here's a link from Midway USA. Get the right one for your size safe. Yes, they plug in. Basically they are like a heating pad.

    MidwayUSA - Golden Rod

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array glock21guy's Avatar
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    You can also rejuvenate desiccant in the oven. If you are using Tyvek set the oven to 245 Deg F. Silica gel, or bentonite clay an be set as low as 220 Deg F. The time rages from 2-3 hours all the way to 24 hours in the oven. 2-3 would be my suggestion.
    Aaron

    If you don't protect your self, who will?

  11. #11
    Member Array halfcrazy's Avatar
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    Thanks for that link RamRod my local dealer is getting 19.99 guess i know where to buy them now

  12. #12
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    I use the Remington mini-dehumidifier. Recharges overnight by plugging into a standard wall outlet. Works great, costs $24.99 from Cabelas.

  13. #13
    Member Array chuck brick's Avatar
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    I'm cheap.
    I collect the assorted dessicant pillows from electronics, at work, kids toys, etc., that are normally discarded, and put them under the false floor of my safe. A regular food dehydrater can recharge them overnight, and they last a long time. Central Texas is more humid than most people think, but nothing like Florida or SE Texas/Louisiana, or I'd recharge them at least every couple of months or so.
    Also, a trick I learned from my Grandfather (fascinating man...): I took the inside panel off my safe door, and put a Spam can filled about half-way with light oil (Kerosene or penetrating oil works, Low-Odor Mineral Spirits - paint thinner - is best) with a lightly crumpled paper towel to keep it from sloshing, in the bottom of the door then replaced the panel. Oil vapor will help displace moisture and keep the lock lubricated, but the dessicant won't be affected by it as long as there is no contact between them. Check the oil level in the can about once a year, or as often deemed necessary once you figure out the evaporation rate. You may even want to put another such can on the top shelf of your safe, depending on how severe your situation is.

    Stay safe,

    Chuck Brick.
    Why do I use 230 gr. for my .45acp?
    Because I can't find a source of 250 gr!
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    I don't keep any rest preventitive in my vaults and I've kept guns in them since 1983. They are in my living room and never rusted any of my guns. I keep the house about the same temperature year round and never put the safes in our below ground tornado shelter because of the chance of mosture. Are you not keeping the safe in your living quarters? If it's in a place that can change temperature quickly your guns will sweat.
    Life member NRA since 1983
    I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II in a Crossbreed SuperTuck. My wife carries a Walther PPS .40 w/Crossbreed holster.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    The thing is that this is a small safe (about the size of a shoebox) with no fireproofing capability. It's in my room so I can keep my two daily carry weapons in there, easy to access. The rest of the herd lives in a bigger firesafe in the basement that doesn't seem to have this trouble (I checked yesterday). This is the first trouble I've had with the little safe since I put it in nearly a year ago, so I'm still not quite sure of the cause. All I know is it got wet inside and I sure didn't spill anything on it. The safe might just have to move, which sucks because this location works very well for hiding it. Thanks for the suggestions on desiccants.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
    Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V

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