This is a discussion on Oil & Rust within the Maintenance forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I am having an occasional problem with little rust spots developing on certain firearms that are stored inside my safe and I'm looking for a ...
I am having an occasional problem with little rust spots developing on certain firearms that are stored inside my safe and I'm looking for a advice and solutions to fix this problem.
I never had such a problem at my previous residence where the safe was stored on concrete in the finished basement that was climate controlled.
The safe is a Ft. Knox model that weighs almost a ton and is located in my detached garage that is not climate controlled. The safe has a dehumidifier that is working and I've also placed the large model Eva-Dry inside to help out. Several firearms are stored in bags made by Sack-Ups that are silicone impregnated and are supposed to help eliminate rust problems.
I am very meticulous in maintaining my collection for firearms and I'm always looking for a better mousetrap to lubricate and protect them! I've been using Clenzoil to lubricate and protect my firearms for several years with good results up until this recent rust development. A gunsmith friend of mine really likes the Clenzoil product and it does seem to lubricate well, and leaves a lasting coating of oil that seems to stay where you out it.
I realize that when it comes to gun oils and their derivatives there is probably more solutions than there are problems, they all claim to be the best at everything and many claim that they are THE mil-spec official issued "Wonder Lube CLP" used over in the sand-box. I've never been a fan of the "CLP" products and their claims of do-it-all cleaning, lubrication, and protection. I've always felt that the individual products designed for each specific use were the way to go.
As is the case with the hype of advertising pitches for motor oil it is also the case with "gun oil" products...it is very, very difficult to test and evaluate these claims at the consumer level without sophisticated equipment.
I've seen dirty wet guns run just fine and clean dry guns not function at all! Lubrication for functionality is at least on a temporary basis is easily achieved. My dilemma is that I need something that is rock solid to protect against rust and corrosion short of dunking my collection in that pain in the butt to remove Cosmoline!
I've been scanning the net and looking for a better product and I've thought about trying a product called Eezox. I've seen some well done amateur tests that seem to indicate that Eezox does very well for anti-corrosion.
Ahhh, frequently asked, rarely answered, well, not with any real concord. Everyone has a favorite.
I've never been a fan of the "CLP" products and their claims of do-it-all cleaning, lubrication, and protection.
I agree. Generally when something tries to do a great job with 3 tasks, it ends up doing none of the tasks very well.
it is very, very difficult to test and evaluate these claims at the consumer level without sophisticated equipment.
Not too difficult, but the sophisticated equipment helps. I've done a controlled test of several different oils for rust prevention. I found that Slip 2000 worked the best. You can see the test details and results here... http://www.teslamap.com/shooting/oil.html
Another test... http://www.thegunzone.com/rust.html
I wouldn't rule out synthetic motor oil or plain old mineral oil. I've heard some good reviews.
It sounds like you've made every effort to reduce moisture. I use silica kitty litter. It's cheap. You may want to inspect or add a seal around the safe door.
There is nothing wrong with the products you are using! Here's something to consider; your problem is most likely the environment. You appear to be doing all the right things including quality oils, proper maintenance and desiccant in the safe but a garage is a hostile environment. You do not mention if your car or cars are in there as well but two concerns you may want to consider are as follows:
In uncontrolled environments that are in humid areas you will have more moisture than controlled ones. I am sure you have heard the term “relative humidity” and the best thing to remember there is that the relative humidity increases as the temperatures drop exposing your firearms to greater moisture concentrations and levels probably greater than the desiccant can handle. Oils can and often do leave voids that allow moisture to contact metal so high concentrations are hard on any protective finish.
More importantly, internal combustion engines (cars, lawn mowers, chain saws, and any ICE) has caustic emissions that contain sulfur products. These are called, in the Navy, stack gasses and are severe corrosion causing chemicals. Even fumes from engine oils, gasoline and automotive related chemicals can greatly increase the corrosive environment. The chemicals, exhausts, etc. contain a gas know as sulfur dioxide (SO2). Sulfur dioxide joins with moisture in the air and oxygen as follows:
2SO2 + 2H2O + O2 = 2H2SO4
In English - two parts sulfur dioxide plus two parts water (humidity) plus oxygen creates sulfuric acid.
This acid gas forms in the garage and the “acid rain” humidity will get into the safe and increase corrosion which, in your case, is rust. The safe acts as a concentrator for the chemicals if you’re wondering why this doesn’t happen to everything and safes are not water proof. Your best bet is to get the safe out of the garage.
I would never recommend automotive products for guns. They contain special formulas that may be fine for a car engine or transmission but not for guns. Besides rust prevention, you also DON'T want to damage bluing, grips, stocks, etc.
Brownell's (a very trusted source) sells all kinds of rust preventative products. They conducted a conclusive test will their products as well as motor oil and WD-40. Guess which one was the best? Yup, good old WD-40. Check this out: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=1..._Preventatives
Last edited by Iowegan; August 26th, 2009 at 04:08 PM.
I don't pretend to know which is "best" as everybody seems to have their own story about the stuff they use.
I have found WD-40 to be an excellent protectant. I spray it on all the tools that are stored in the detached garage, and after cleaning under the mower deck and sharpening the blades, I hose that entire area down with WD-40 and have seen no rust formation. I believe it would work on the metal portion of guns as well, but don't think it would be good for the wood, and it does accumulate and get gummy. Fortunately, the next application seems to dissolve the gummy. I use WD-40 as a first-step cleaner on really nasty guns. Kerosene works just as well, and is cheaper.
I admit to "over-oiling" my guns for storage. I use the Hoppe's oil mentioned in IOWEGAN's link, and like it a lot. I oil the mechanisms, chambers and bores, and wipe down the outside with an oily rag, then store the guns in a safe, in cases with soft surfaces against the guns. I have no rust problems, and don't take extra measures to prevent it other than what I have just mentioned. I do check my guns periodically, and "replenish" the treatment as seems appropriate.
I wipe down the guns and swab the chambers & bores with dry cloths before use to remove any excess lube present.
I've used Eezox on all my guns for several years. I store them in a steel safe with no dehumidifier or anything to absorb moisture, and anyone that has lived in eastern Oklahoma knows what kind of humidity we have. I coat my safe firearms quarterly, and my CCW once a month. I coat the inside of the bore as well as the outside. After I shoot them I just drag a Boresnake through them. I don't have any rust problem. This works fine for me.
I completely agree with BronxBoy! Get the safe or guns out of the garage. That "is" your problem. We have had a real humid summer here in Maine and my wife and I recently purchased a new home and all of my tools and equipment are setting in my basement while I put a new workshop together and even with a Humidex unit in the basement I have had to clean rust off my tools and equipment repeatedly. I would suggest "downsizing" to a safe you can put in a closet or such. L.L. Bean has a nice Stack-On safe for $500 plus shipping you can order on line. With a little ingenuity you can get a lot of guns into it! You definitely need to get those guns into a "controlled" environment. Nature will eventually win out over just about any anti-rust products there are out there!........................Dick
In my initial post I forgot to mention that the safe is elevated four inches from the floor for better ventilation. At my current residence the only real option for storing the safe is on the concrete floor of the detached garage. Inside the house would be much better but impossible because of the house layout.
The safe is a Ft. Knox Titan model that is 5 years old and when purchased I thought it to be the best quality built safe on the market. The seal on the door is in excellent shape.
Also I forgot to mention in my previous post that inside the safe I've always had a sacrificial piece bare metal to serve as an alert indicator to tip me off about any rust occurring. Oddly that piece of metal has never shown any signs of rust or corrosion at all. This early rust problem was only discovered during the obligatory and routine maintenance inspection wipe-down.
I realize that a metal box stored on a concrete floor subjected to the temperature fluctuations of a non climate controlled environment is a perfect place for rust to occur. I thought I had taken the appropriate measures to avoid this but clearly I need to make changes.
I've read the comments posted with people's thoughts, opinions, experiences with great interest and I really appreciate each of you taking the time and interest to share them!
I want to avoid if at all possible taking the Cosmoline route...it is such bear to remove! Johnson's paste wax will work too if left in the rubbed on NOT rubbed in polished state!
Here's my new plan of action designed to thwart the dastardly rust problem. I will replace the current dehumidifier with a newer and larger model, add a low watt light bulb, add a VCI plug protector, and get rid of the gun sack protector bags. Based upon what I have read elsewhere, and your comments, I will be trying some Eezox for it's anti-corrosion protection. I'm hoping that making these few small changes will be in the right direction!!! Otherwise I will have to down size to smaller safe or a smaller gun collection
Oddly that (sacrificial piece bare metal) has never shown any signs of rust or corrosion at all.
This seems very significant to me. I don't think the garage location is causing the problem because the safe is sealed and full of moisture absorption. Humidity and engine exhaust should also rust the bare metal if they are the problem. Are you touching the guns after oiling them? You might have high levels of salt and acid on your skin which would cause the rust.
I see a couple problems with the Brownells test. First, he used some really low quality steel, guns are made of different steel. Second, he tested the oils by leaving them out in the rain and sun. I don't know about you, but I don't store my guns on my back yard! WD-40 may prevent rust, but it dries and turns gummy. Theres more than rust prevention to consider when choosing a good gun oil.
My guns are in a safe in unheated garage, no golden rod or desiccant. Never store anything in any kind of a case,as they absorb moisture from the atmosphere.
I have been using G96 for 20+ years and have never had any rust issues at all.It was made for the Aerospace industry and is effective at a wide range of temperatures.I have several tack rags hosed down for wiping prints off before I tuck them in the safe.
The WD40 is for sharpening knifes on my bench stone. It is more of a light solvent. Water Displacement # 40