Gun Gear

Gun Vault: Tips For Long Term Gun Storage

GunVault Home diagram

The days of burying your guns are over my friends, hiding your firearms off-site is useless if there is an emergency and downgrades the quality of your gun. In this day and age, there are ways to store your guns that keep you and your family safe while maintaining the integrity of your firearms. When it comes to proper storage, the most important things is preparation and where you store it. There are three main reasons proper, long-term gun storage is important.

GunVault NanoVault
With the NanoVault, you can lock your handgun away and tether it with the security cable.
  1. Protecting family, keeping guns stored securely so children cannot access them.
  2. Protecting guns, keeping them top working order.
  3. Keeping them secure from thieves, but available, in case of emergency.

Pretreat your Firearms


  1. Break down your gun, as much as you can.
  2. Keep your firearm decocked. This relieves tension on the springs and other parts of the gun.
  3. Remove all fingerprints from the gun. No, this not some super secret squirrel stuff. The residue left behind from the oils on your hands and fingers can affect the gun’s finish over time.
  4. Clean your gun completely. Copper, lead and plastic will all attract moisture, so cleaning your gun with an ammonia-free cleaner will help keep it dry.
  5. Thoroughly clean the bore of your gun and then apply a very thin layer of lubrication. Also, apply a thin layer to other exposed metal on the gun. This creates a thin coating that protects and seals the surface while in storage.
  6. Treat wood stocks with wax to prevent any swelling or cracking from occurring. Don’t forget to wax the inside of the stock!

**Continue to check your stored firearms periodically, especially if living in a humid climate. Be sure to re-oil when necessary.

Pretreat your Storage Area

The first thing you need to do is ensure you have a safe and reliable storage area. A Gun Vault is a great storage option that will protect and secure your firearms. Here are storage tips to avoid and actions to take.


  1. Gun Safe This is the most secure option for storing your guns while keeping them readily accessible. Protected interior keeps your firearm from rust, dirt, and moisture if stored properly. Safe can be opened by key, code, or fingerprints.
  2. Use a Silicon-Treated Gun Sock – The silicon protects your firearm from rust and moisture getting in while the thick fabric protects against any scratches and dirt.
  3. Gun storage bags protect your gun from rust, dust and corrosion for years.
  4. Use desiccant or a dehumidifier inside of the gun storage location to prevent moisture from rusting and cracking your guns.
  5. Store your long guns, barrel down, so no oil can seep into the stock or other parts of the gun.


  1. Sheepskin-lined cases attract moisture which can cause the rusting process to begin within 24 hours. Not only does moisture create rust, but with too much exposure, it can cause your stock to crack.
  2. the firearm’s original box or any cardboard box can become very weak over time and alert anyone and everyone of what is being stored. Similar to the sheep-skin, these also attract moisture and threaten the longevity and quality of your firearm.

Do you have a time tested tip for storing a firearm? Share your tip in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog. "The Shooter's Log", is to provide information - not opinions - to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decicions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (23)

  1. Anybody try spraying Bloxagen (sp) lot a folks I know use it to seal off their paints, varnishes in cans so no skinning happens. Forces oxygen out. Since oxygen is part of culprit in the rust equation

  2. I use ‘Bull Frog’ rust inhibitors in an uninsulated safe at a rural cabin. I have guns and electronic equipment stored that way for years without rust or any problem. The sheets last a year. Good stuff.

  3. Question:will lithium or pump grease work for the bore and metal surfaces?
    methods for undergound storage?

  4. “Use a Silicon-Treated Gun Sock” should be “Silicone-Treated”. Silicon is an naturally occurring mineral. Silicone is a synthetic material that is silicon-based, and used to make lubricants, adhesives, synthetic rubber, and other beneficial products.
    If the product indicates “silicon” and is not a computer or solar component, avoid it, as the manufacturer is probably foreign (doesn’t speak or know English), and you are likely buying a counterfeit “knock-off” of a legitimate product. Buyer beware!

  5. I am keeping my best .308 bolt-action rifle in a Pelican heavy plastic travel case. Somewhere I read that this could damage the weapon. I sealed the rifle, disassembled, when the humidity was very low (especially for Louisiana!).

    Am I an idiot? Well, because of this, I mean.


    NRA Benefactor Life Member (I would not do this again if I had the choice)

  6. Has any one tried “hohoba” oil ; actually a liquid wax at room temmperature.
    It was used as a replacement for whale Sperm oil in mechanical clocks. Has long triglicerides; the longer the better.
    I have used in the long firing pin area with good success.

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