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Corrosion Protection Products
How to Keep Your Rifle Rust-Free in Storage


How do you ensure your nice rifle won't pick up rust or pits during long-term storage? They say "rust never sleeps" but if you follow our advice, you can enjoy peace of mind when put your guns away for the season. First, coat your rifles with a proven corrosion-inhibitor, second use a good storage bag, and third keep moisture out of your safe with a warming device and dessicants. Do NOT store guns in foam hardcases. The foam attracts and retains moisture. If you must use a foam case, wrap the gun first in plastic or use Brownells' thin Vapor Lock bags. These have a 0% moisture transmission rating.

Through the efforts of Andy from South Carolina, we've tested some of the best anti-corrosion products on the market, together with some old standards like RemOil. The results may surprise you.

Bottom Line--Eezox and Corrosion-X Are Superior
Use Eezox or Corrosion-X to coat your firearms. Eezox has the advantage that it goes on wet, but protects dry. Corrosion-X works nearly as well, is easy to apply, and is widely available. BreakFree works very well but starts to fade after repeated extreme exposure. However, we still like BreakFree because it penetrates into recesses better than almost anything else, and it is a very effective lubricant, not just a rust preventitive. You can also use thicker coverings like Rig Grease, Military Cosmoline, or even Petroleum Jelly, but these are messy to apply and a pain to remove.

General Storage Advice
The first rule in storing guns is to keep them away from moisture/humidity, and keep them at a stable temperature. A Goldenrod warming unit will maintain constant temps and also help remove moisture from a safe. However, we've found that a simple lightbulb works nearly as well, and the new low-energy "curley fries" flourescents will run continuously for 10,000 hours with very low power consumption, just 15-25 watts. We've had one of these bulbs running in our safe for 2 years continuously. By contrast, 25-watt incandescents burned out after about two months, on average. You also want to make sure that your safe door has a good seal or gasket around the edge. A good seal is also very important for fire protection.

tyvek desiccant bag dessicant pack pakDessicants--Save a Bundle and Safeguard Your Guns
Use dessicant packs in your safe and tool kits. Packing supply stores sell them in bulk at a fraction of the cost of the shooting supply houses. We purchased 150 reusable 5"x5" Desi-Paks for $28.50 from Texas Technologies, part #3796. This was enough for 20 safes! We have enough spares to use one in every ammo box, and we put smaller ones in our die and tool cases. The white Tyvek bags are a bit more expensive, but they are better if they they may come in direct contact with metal. Another product that helps prevent rust are the small, inexpensive anti-rust Vapor Tabs. These provide a timed release of an anti-rust vapor. Brownells sells Rust-Blox tabs (item #084-058-012) that protect 300 cubic inches and MidwayUSA sells a small version good for 20 cubic inches (item # 154282). The Midway tabs are ideal for die cases and small tool kits.

borestore bore-store fleece silicone rifle bagBore-Stores -- Get Them, Use Them,
and Protect Your Investment

Once you ready your guns for storage, we recommend putting them in Bore-Store bags. These gray, synthetic fleece bags protect your guns against dings and scratches, and the breathable fabric wicks away moisture. The fabric is also coated with pure silicon and an extra rust-inhibiting chemical. BoreStores are relatively inexpensive and last forever. Unlike cotton, wool, leather or canvas bags, the fibers do not absorb and retain moisture. You really can't beat them for storage in a safe because they cushion the gun as well as fight rust and aluminum corrosion. Use these with Eezox, a product that sets up a "dry" barrier, and you get superior long-term rust protection without heavy greases or oils. We've also found that Eezox seems to offer a "harder" and more stable barrier to fingerprints than the more conventional oil-based preservatives.

Bore-Store Vendors:

Big Spring Enterprises
Phone: (870) 449-5297

(800) 741-0015
Very good "Dealer Discount" prices. For example, just $9.25 for 10"x46" scoped rifle bag item # 132-102-001. See also aluminum/polyethylene Vapor Lock bags, item 083-055-003, $11.88 (3-pak).


How the Test Was Run

We want to thank Andy of South Carolina for taking the time to conduct a very thorough test of products commonly used to protect firearms against corrosion. Andy writes: "In trying to find a good gun oil that will lube and protect my guns, I read a lot of hype on various oils so I decided to do my own test. Lubes tested were: Break-Free, Corrosion-X, Eezox, FP10, Rem-Oil, Slip2000, Strike-Hold, and Mobil 1 15W50.

I acquired some low alloy, low carbon steel from a guy I work with. This was sandblasted and degreased. All test pieces were cut from the same piece of steel, and after degreasing were put in to a plastic Zip-lock bag and not touched with bare hands. I used nitrile gloves when handling the steel, and changed gloves between oils to avoid any cross contamination. Notches were cut in the bottom edge of each piece so the piece could be identified. This way you can tell I wasn't moving the test pieces from photo to photo.

I then applied oil to each piece, using a clean paper towel and new pair of gloves for each piece. I tried to leave a coating that would be somewhat heavy. There was also an un-oiled piece of bare steel left as a control piece. Since my test bin had limited size, I did two sets of tests, listed below as Test A and Test B.

I mixed up a spray bottle of 8 oz. hot water and a teaspoon of salt. That is roughly a 2% saltwater mixture, with seawater being about 2.5%. I heavily misted the pieces of steel from above and set them aside to rust.

It didn't take long! I was really surprised by how quickly they rusted. Within an hour rust was forming. Here are the results after a 3 hour wait in Test B.

Top row, left to right. Control Piece, Break-Free, Strike-Hold Bottom row, left to right, Rem-Oil, Slip2000, Mobil 1 (15W50)

The real interesting results are what followed. I then took the pieces and wiped them all down with a clean cotton rag. I didn't use any chemicals, just wiped them off so they wouldn't be so oily, since I usually don't leave a ton of oil on my guns. I then re-sprayed the pieces and let them rust overnight. To summarize, in Test A, all worked pretty well, but both Eezox and Breakfree were clearly better than FP10. After 43 hours, the Break-free sample was rusting and the Eezox sample was still essentially rust-free. The discoloration at the bottom is mostly salt crystals. One interesting thing I noted about the Eezox sample was that the salt spray did not bead on the metal.

In Test B all but the Break-Free developed a lot of rust. I really thought that Break-Free would be a marginal performer, and personally thought that strike hold and Slip 2000 would be the best, but I was wrong. The Stike-Hold piece had rust within an hour. The Rem-Oil and Slip 2000 piece did very well in the first portion when a good amount of oil was left on the piece, but after wiping them down with a rag they rusted quite quickly as well.

After the first overnight exposure, four out of five test pieces in group B were rusted heavily. The only piece that was not rusted was the Break-Free sample, and since it was also included in test group B I decided that at this point testing on group B would stop. Group A was then resprayed with the saltwater solution to increase the difficulty of the test, and the testing continued.

I am not paid by any of these lube manufacturers, and bought every lube at full price from a retail establishment, with the exception of Eezox, FP10, and Militec. I received small samples of those products on request." -- Andy from SC.

Test Group A
Samples Tested: Control Piece, FP10, Corrosion-X, Eezox, BreakFree

1. Initial Spray

Top Row: Left to right. Control, FP10, Corrosion-X | Bottom Row: Left to right. Eezox, Breakfree.

2. After Three (3) Hours

Top Row: Left to right. Control, FP10, Corrosion-X | Bottom Row: Left to right. Eezox, Breakfree.

3. After Seven (7) Hours

Top Row: Left to right. Control, FP10, Corrosion-X | Bottom Row: Left to right. Eezox, Breakfree.

4. After Nineteen (19) Hours

Top Row: Left to right. Control, FP10, Corrosion-X | Bottom Row: Left to right. Eezox, Breakfree.

5. After Forty-Three (43) Hours

Top Row: Left to right. Control, FP10, Corrosion-X | Bottom Row: Left to right. Eezox, Breakfree.

Test Group B
Samples Tested: Control, Break-Free, Strike-Hold, Left to right. Rem-Oil, Slip2000, Mobil-1 15W50

1. Initial Spray

Top Row: Left to right. Control, Break-Free, Strike-Hold | Bottom Row: Left to right. Rem-Oil, Slip2000, Mobil-1 15W50

2. After Three (3) Hours

Top Row: Left to right. Control, Break-Free, Strike-Hold | Bottom Row: Left to right. Rem-Oil, Slip2000, Mobil-1 15W50

3. After Fifteen (15) hours (overnight)

Top Row: Left to right. Control, Break-Free, Strike-Hold | Bottom Row: Left to right. Rem-Oil, Slip2000, Mobil-1 15W50

LONG-TERM Exposure Test

Here is another photo of a test performed in 2004 by Jeff Johnson. As you can see, Eezox and BreakFree CLP performed the best, among the items tested. Click here for full-size photo.

Jeff explains his testing process: "The steel panels were 4"x12" cold-rolled steel test panels, made by ACT corporation. They were degreased with MEK and paper towels, then one drop (or drop-sized blob for the RIG grease) of the various lubes were applied. Lubes were smeared around semi-evenly by my Mark-1 uncalibrated right-hand index finger. The panel holders were 15-year-old pine 2"x4" boards, with slots cut in them to hold test panels. After application of the various lubes, the panels were put in a '100/100' chamber (100 °F, 100% humidity). We used that chamber for testing automotive adhesives & sealants (at my former employer). Semi-high-tech, but it worked!"

Products Tested Front Row: Militec (applied with heat), Control, Eezox, CLP-Old, CLP-New, Militec Back Row: Tetra Oil, Control 2, FP10, Rig

Copyright © 2005, 6mmBR.com, All Rights Reserved. Test photos and description Copyright © 2004, Andy SC, All Rights Reserved, used by permission. Long-Term Exposure test and photos by Jeff Johnson, used by permission.

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