how to store a rifle long time - dry
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:07 AM   #1
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Default how to store a rifle long time - dry

Have a need to keep a rifle in/near my backwoods-type cabin.
Don't go there often.

I'd rather not keep it "locked in an obvious place" - waiting for someone to help their selves.

Prefer to keep it outside aways...perhaps even lightly buried?

I'm thinking of a PVC plastic pipe of sorts, but the size of the stock, plus the stocks' 17 degree bend from the barrel means the Pipe is getting to be bigger than the local hardware carries.

Then I thought; "FireArms talk"
Those boys'll solve my problem.

? how to I store my rifle safe & dry - for long periods unattended ?

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Old 02-23-2014, 01:32 PM   #2
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If you have a vacuum sealer you you could seal it up that way but not required. Most hardware stores carry 5 foot pieces of 6" round duct work and two six inch caps. Pretty cheap and available. Put gun inside and seal the ends and pipe seam with silicone caulk(like RTV). Done. Will eventually rust through but that would take quite awhile as all is galvanized.

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Old 02-23-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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And before you put it in dont forget to oil the heck out of it and add a couple packets of dessicant.
they will try the air inside and keep it dry as long as you dont get a leak.

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Old 02-23-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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I wouldn't ever use a piece of duct work, I don't care HOW much caulk you use. That silicone crap, and (caulk in general), is only a temporary band aid to a problem. If it were me, I'd build in a nice hiding space into the cabin. A creative person would easily be able to make a rife disappear. And you'd still have to oil the crap out of it.

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Old 02-23-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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Here we go.

So the parameters are:

1- Store it outside

2- Keep it dry

3- Easily accessible and loaded

4- Long term

First, I would consider the weapon type. Something with a stainless

coating, and a polymer stock would fare better, especially in temperature

extremes. As to wood furniture, heartbreak sucks, but trust me,

it's the worst of all when you break your own heart.

There are many coverings, but I would not seal it in, that invites

condensation. Ventilation at the bottom of the container would gravity

feed drainage of moisture.

I've seen Swiss Army Knives rust. So lubrication is still a good idea.

How often you return, and use the gun, does make a difference.

Take that same SAK, and don't use it for months. Notice how all the

flat springs and moving parts "stiffen up" ? The same is going to probably

happen with a firearm, which sits for long times, in the weather, unused.

So a simple rifle, like a bolt-action, would likely fare best.

So thin or thick oil will make a difference, depending on whether

or not "extended periods" turns out to be a couple weeks- or a few months.

A lot of research into lubricants would be a good idea. Certain popular light spray oils, for example,

"dry out" after a couple weeks, and cause more problems than they prevent.


Now to the gritty part. Try a piece of 6" PVC sewer line. If the rifle will

fit, cap one end, use a threaded fitting on the other. Put a couple

holes on the side of the pipe facing down, space it off the ground

with blocks, bricks, or bits of 2X. Find a spot which doesn't flood,

but is out of the way. It would look perfectly normal buried under the

leaves next to your well-pump housing, or outhouse.


Usually, guns stored long-term are packed in heavy waxy grease, to

combat rust, condensation, and general entropy. Cosmoline is a great example.

But if you go to the Mosin section of any gun forums, you know you can't use

storage packing, then use the gun, without extensive cleaning. Otherwise,

you wind up dealing with "The Mother OF All Jams".


As a side note, YES, Vacuum Packing will probably work, and a light oiling beforehand

would be all that would be needed. ARE you going to have vacuum packing equipment

and materials with you, every time you have to store the gun? Remember, if the seal

breaks, for any reason, you now have a gun mummified in the ultimate

rust-accelerator.



This rather expensive project will hopefully leave you with a functional

firearm when needed. Personally, I would keep expectations low, as

it's a little hard to combine long-term storage and immediate usage.

So I would expect this firearm not to fare well, in the long run.

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Old 02-23-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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Maybe we need to define what "Don't go there often" means. Why can't the gun just be taken there each time? Also, If I had to leave it, I might go for a stainless or coated model, with a synthetic stock. What if the stock was taken off the gun? Would it fit in that PVC tube then?

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Old 02-23-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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i have given this some thought and IMO, burying just doesn't seem like a good option in this situation.

my best idea is to build some sort of hidden storage within the cabin. out of sight, out of mind. a thief can't steal what they can't find. plus being inside the cabin eliminates a lot of the rusting problems associated with burying a firearm.

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Old 02-23-2014, 05:03 PM   #8
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Not saying this is the way to go but I can say I have done this with success.

I stored a 1911 for a little over 15 years totally immersed in diesel fuel in a glass jar. Pulled it out 15 years later; cleaned it with brake fluid; oiled it and it is in perfect condition. Cleaning took less than an hour; to include a complete detail strip.

EDIT: Guess I should clarify a little; I did remove the grips before storage.

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Old 02-23-2014, 05:37 PM   #9
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Interesting. Just out of curiosity, why diesel? The one thing you'd have to look out for it to make sure whatever fluid you used was not hygroscopic. Meaning, it pulls moisture out of the air. Alcohol will do this. Some things are, some not. You'd probably also have to be careful that your fluid wouldn't eat the finish over time. 15 years is a long time, even for a mild solvent to work on a finish. And nowadays, there seems to be more sprayed, finishes, and coatings, rather than bluing or parkerizing. (Which I think couldn't be dissolved off, yes?)

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Old 02-23-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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Google is your friend. Try hidden gun storage, and you can find some neat ideas, like this one: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/574279389956156266/

One of the best I have seen was a water heater. Door cut into back side. Plumbing stubs, wiring stub ran over behind. 4 low caster wheels tucked back under. To access guns, roll tank away from wall, open door.

Who looks at a water heater?

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