How do you store your firearms?

I’m guessing most everyone has a safe, so that’s not the pertinent question.

What I mean is, if a firearm isn’t going to be used for a month or six, what maintenance/lube precautions do you take?

I don’t have a lot of guns but some don’t get shot more than a couple times a year. After clean and lube I wipe them down in and out with Eezox, wipe them dry in and out then use a silicone rag over all exposed surfaces before putting them to bed. I keep the handguns in kydex holsters (probably shouldn’t) or pocket holsters.

Rifle and shotgun go back in their respective cases. I don’t have a large safe - no room - so the cased shotgun is bedside and the cased AK stays in me climate-controled basement. Small pistol safe is mounted in the closet.


If you wrap your firearms with a cloth or put them in a case you will likely trap moisture inside. This could be very bad. Locking steel cabinets are relatively inexpensive and can be used to create a low moisture environment. I use an electronic (rechargable heating element plus silicon pellets) dehumidifier and two rechargable fans (which I rotate regularly). I keep this cabinet in my clothes closet, which has an electric dehumidifier. The closet stays 10 pts or thereabouts below ambient humidity and the cabinet 10 pts below that. Overall I manage to keep cabinet humidity between 30 and 40 % relative humidity (and this is in N. Carolina. My total investment (cabinet plus everything else) was less than $300. I did manage to buy the cabinet used, which saved $150 or more. When I say cabinet think “utility” not “gun.” Did my own custom built in brackets and shelves. Biggest plus - it doesn’t look like a gun safe.


I put them in socks, handguns and long guns


If I’m going to store them for an extended amount of time, I put a little more care into cleaning them (I’m already pretty meticulous, but I go a tad bit further), then I use more lube on them. I do what many people would say is “over lubed”. I expect to wipe it down and relube after I get it out of the safe down the road. I just use Break Free CLP


If I am storing a gun for long term, I use a light grease and heavy oil. Ever since my uncle found a 30-30 in Alaska stored in a barrel of seal fat and then put it together and shot it, I know that a well-coated gun would last a long, long time, you would have to clean it well afterwards just like if you got it new. I hope you all clean your guns before you shoot them when they are new!


I do nothing. They’re built to be rough and tough, so I leave them alone. :slight_smile: i’ve read too much about socks containing moisture. I’d never use one.


Wood stove season less worried than the open window seasons as it’s real dry in my house, but still have a fairly fresh clp, lubriplate and/ or oil application. Summers, everything but edc/home defense goes in a dedicated room, dehumidifiers get turned on , and whatever fits in an oiled rifle sock goes in one. Most ammo is canned with dessicant packs, as well as the loaded mags. I managed to get some huge dessicant packs that came with my last shops new machine tool deliveries… I shoot weekly, usually 4-6 guns, and try to rotate through my collection so nobody feels neglected :sunglasses:


This is something I care about:

A 2022-01-31 18-35-48

Storing firearm for few months or more? Just good cleaning, lubrication and oiled cloth wrapped around. Then original case and room temperature.
It’s just a piece of metal. :man_shrugging:


I’m pretty sure he’s referring to silicone gun socks.


Silicone… that’s the word lol. I knew lanolin wasn’t right, so seeing the bruhaha about socks above my post, I used “oiled” :smirk:

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That’s why they hold moisture.

I have pistol racks in my safe & a de-humidifier, I just clean them & put them in the safe. That’s about it. Works for me & I have some old pistols that have no rust or damage from the environment in the safe. My home defense pistol stays outside of the safe most of the time as well as my EDC so I give them more attention as far as wiping them down & more frequent cleaning. My H&R Pardner $150 12ga. pump stays by the bed. It’s about 15 years old & I very rarely shoot it. I keep it lubed & clean & cover it with a gun sock. It has a surefire light & tritium front that replaced the bead along with a butt stock 5 shell holder. other than shooting 20 rounds thru it once a year, I just check it out every few months & make sure it still works.

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Cleaned, and oiled. Remove potential forms of corrosion, and then the oil protects against oxidation.

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That might not always be true. Some people have saved up for a long time to get their first pistol or shotgun, and they might be a long way from buying that gun safe. Other people I know prefer to leave their firearm on their bedstand or hanging above the mantle.

Along those lines: if you have an actual gun safe, it’s probably a good place for storage. It’s lined and meant to hold firearms. If you had to settle for something cheaper, I would just make sure your firearm isn’t making metal-on-metal contact. I’m not a gunsmith, but I used to be a repairman, and this was a big deal for us. Wooden toolboxes were the gold standard; wood will naturally regulate humidity and keep steel in good condition. You wouldn’t buy a wooden safe, but you can line your safe with natural materials that help keep it nice inside for your “tools.” I’m making an assumption there, so I’m willing to be corrected if this isn’t true for firearms.

Also, keep in mind that storage may not be as big a deal if your house is heated in the winter and air conditioned in the summer. Your firearms are probably already treated, unless you have some sort of antique revolver that’s just raw steel. So unless they’re just lying on a metal shelf in the shed, they’re probably doing pretty well no matter how you store them.

The only issues I’ve personally encountered come from the wrong kinds of oil that gum up the mechanics when they aren’t used for an extended period of time. Looks like we have some good opinions on that, already. I’d be curious to hear from any gunsmiths on this board, what kinds of issues they’ve seen from improper storage.

I’ve read where keeping them holstered in a leather holster is a bad idea as well due to the tanning process potentially affecting finishes.

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This partly applies to me. State laws forced me to buy one.
When I applied for a CCW permit, I recall signing a statement certifying that I own a safe.

I chose one that met the minimum requirements, a Stack-On GCB-8RTA. It’s cheap but I had to assemble it myself.

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I do have a large safe but it is located in the basement of my home. Being that moisture can be an issue I make sure to have a dehumidifier of some sort inside the safe. I have preferred the non-powered ones so I can keep the power port in tack and fully sealed. This gives the fire rating the best chance should it come to that.


Not much. Depending on the gun, its condition going into it, my plans vs what actually happens, etc, I do anything between “nothing”, wiping it down with CLP and a boresnake, or cleaning with a solvent, then applying a protectant (like Breakfree collector or Barricade or Rig grease).

For modern firearms not, like, rained on and put away wet, stored in a climate controlled home, I’m not really concerned with it


I try to cycle through firearms when hit the range and don’t have that many that everything gets used every 6-9 mos. Fired guns get cleaned right after or shortly after. If not actually used, then I will do a quick bore swab, wipe and lube in that timeframe. I also have a dehumidifier stick in my safe. So, not too worried about long term storage.


Range stuff stays in my range case, some of the rest stays in the gun safe. Except for the guns scattered around the house in case I need them.