Caring for and Storage of Your Highly Finished Firearm
Maintaining a highly finished firearm requires that some extra attention be paid to it because simply storing it in a locked display cabinet or safe isn’t enough. This short article will help to guide you on how to keep your firearm scratch and rust free and provide some storage suggestions that will ensure the long-term value of your investment.
Never use a paper towel to wipe down a firearm. Paper towels are abrasive and will scratch metal surfaces. At Baron Engraving, we use a Kimberly-Clark product called WypAll. This non-abrasive paper-wipe is perfect for any kind of finish that might be on your firearm: nickel, stainless steel, blued, gold-plating, etc. If WypAlls aren’t accessible, a lint-free cotton cloth works just as well.
To avoid getting fingerprints, acidic oil from your hands or blood (blood rusts bluing) on your firearm’s finish, wear a pair of soft cotton, or latex, gloves. If your gun is very oily, the gloves will keep your hands clean, as well.
Rust from Moisture
Whether it is in the air (humidity) or in a damp basement (if guns are stored there), moisture is a real enemy of your gun. Dehumidifiers are a must for those damp basements, but you can help by keeping the firearm well oiled with a wax-based oil such as Boeshield T-9 or Brownells’ Cosmoline. When the oil eventually dries up, the wax portion will keep a coating on the metal surfaces. Also, place some gun grease on the inside’s functional parts that move against each other.
After you’ve properly oiled and greased your firearm, place it in the case or the box in which it came, along with a silica gel packet designed to absorb moisture, and lock it up in your gun safe or display case. If the case has a light, use a low wattage bulb and keep it on, whenever possible. The low heat will keep the case’s atmosphere dry. If your safe or case are in an unfinished basement, without environmental control, raise them off the floor.
Never store your firearms in a soft gun case. Surface rust can occur in just a matter of days.
Following these simple procedures will help to protect your highly finished firearm for years to come and allow you to pass it on to the next generation, as a treasured family heirloom that maintains and/or increases in value. It’s easy to prevent rust on a firearm; it just takes a little TLC on your part.