A firearm can be an expensive purchase. Maintenance and attention are required. Neglecting to maintain them properly can result in dire consequences.
One way to ensure the investments remain protected is to keep them in a gun safe. Is gun-safe corrosion inevitable?
Basically, yes. It is very likely that your bedroom gun safe is corroding because of the materials used to make its interior.
A gun safe can still be protected against corrosion, however. Continue reading if you are interested. When using a gun safe, some elements need to be considered, even though they are considered protective.
The purpose of this is to ensure that your firearms remain protected. To learn more about corrosion caused by gun safes, keep reading.
Why is there such a huge number of products on the market designed to prevent or slow corrosion in gun safes?
A properly cleaned and oiled gun shouldn’t rust if it has been properly cleaned and oiled. It sells millions of dollars of products designed to stop corrosion in safes, but corrosion is still a major issue.
How Come Guns Rust So Fast In Gun Safes?
In modern gun safes, layers of drywall (gypsum board) are layered over a steel shell and then carpeted. Corrosion problems are caused by chemical interactions in these materials.
Elemental Sulfur: It is common to find sulfur in drywall from China. In the presence of moisture (humidity), sulfur reacts to form hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid.
Formaldehyde: In the manufacture of drywall, formaldehyde is used. A dispersant is a component of drywall slurry. Sulfonated naphthalene-formaldehyde condensates are these dispersing agents.
Formaldehyde and naphthalene are combined in these formulations, as the name implies. Metal and wood are exposed to a potentially caustic environment when the agents vaporize in your safe.
For example, artifacts stored in museums cannot be exposed to formaldehyde. In most safes, the carpet interior is attached with an adhesive that contains formaldehyde.
Pyrite: In addition to being very common, Pyrite (iron sulfide) is also known as “fool’s gold”. Gypsum is used to make drywall contains it. Gypsum in the United States contains very small amounts, but gypsum mined in China contains much larger quantities.
The pyrite ends up in the drywall. While this is not a big deal when it comes to home construction, you do not want it in your pistol gun safe. Pyrite (Iron sulfide) reacts with oxygen and water to form iron and sulfur in the forms of iron oxide-hydroxide (rust) and sulfuric acids.
Ferrooxidans: Metal-eating bacteria are present in this environment. In drywall, it feeds on pyrite. Pyrite is broken down by this bacterium into iron hydroxide and sulfur-based acids.
That’s not all, though. Among the metals ferrooxidans consume are many others. In mining operations, ferroxidase bacteria are used to strip metals from low-grade ore.
Pro Tip: Dehumidifiers are the best way to prevent corrosion. Unless you have a rechargeable dehumidifier, I recommend the Golden Rod brand (which needs to be plugged in).
Do Gun Safes Cause Corrosion To Your Guns?
If you want to know whether corrosion is occurring both within your car gun safe and the firearm itself, you need to check whether your safe or potential safe is corrosive. Modern-day gun safes are made out of drywall, which is specifically designed for making gun safes.
Gun safes contain drywall interiors covered with a variety of chemicals and other byproducts that react caustically with each other and with the weapon inside. Formaldehyde, sulfur, pyrite, and ferroxyan compounds form these chemicals.
Making your safe’s interior is made possible by the use of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used as the glue to fasten the carpet over the drywall in your safe, as well as for the drywall itself.
Chemically, the chemical evaporates and eats away at the steel that is within the safe at a rate of one millimeter a year.
There is a possibility that the drywall in your safe contains sulfur. Sulfur will be present in drywall from China if the manufacturer specifies it was made in China.
When there is humidity in the air, sulfur reacts with water, forming hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid. Corrosion can be caused by either of these chemical reactions.
Does Your Gun Safe Ever Smell Like Sulfur?
Check your safe next time you open it to see if there is a slight sulfurous or earthy smell. If the door is shut too long, it gets stronger and stronger. Some sports discount stores have cheap safes on the sales floor. I noticed it, particularly in cheap safes.
This smell is caused by the processes mentioned above, which will cause gun rust very quickly. In the safe industry, all corrosion control products serve a very good purpose, as you can see. Modern gun safes made of gypsum (drywall) are corrosive.
What are the benefits of drywall? There are many good things about it, including its low price and easy operation. It is important to consider the weight. Heavy safes are the goal of the gun safe industry. A heavy safe is viewed as safer by many people.
The industry is attempting to hide the fact that it has shifted away from traditional safe designs with smoke and mirrors. The UL class RSC standard is the minimum for modern firearms safe and is not the same as a true safe as defined by UL.
How To Prevent Rusting In A Gun Safe?
Your safe will not rust if you replace its interior if it is made of corrosion-causing materials. However, replacement is a very time- and money-consuming option and should only be undertaken if it is feasible for you.
For those who are unable or unwilling to replace the interior of their safe, there are some simpler and more cost-effective options available. Safes can be monitored for temperature and moisture levels, firearms can be coated with wax, safes can be placed against a wall, or a humidifier can be purchased.
It is crucial that you diligently check the moisture and temperature of your safe’s interior every day for a year when tracking the interior’s temperature and humidity.
To ensure consistency, we review these levels periodically. The interior of your safe may have changed if too much humidity has entered it or it has become too hot, so you can fix it if necessary.
Make sure you have disassembled and cleaned your guns before you apply a fine layer of wax. Finish by coating the gun with wax. Protect your firearm by covering the steel parts with wax to prevent corrosive agents from reaching them.
Avoid placing a safe on the exterior walls of a building when deciding where to place it.Changes in temperature outside affect these exterior walls, thus affecting the safe against them. The temperature will be kept constant in the safes with interior walls because walls maintain a constant temperature more often.
Lastly, a dehumidifier would guarantee that your gun safe stays structurally sound. As the name implies, a dehumidifier keeps the environment inside the gun safe dry by preventing humidity from accumulating.
As long as you buy a quality dehumidifier, this is the easiest and most effective of the four options.
Do Gun Safes Need a Dehumidifier?
If you’re wondering if you need a dehumidifier, it depends on the situation. In determining whether a dehumidifier is ideal for your gun safe, the humidity level is the most important factor to consider.
The temperature, how often the safe is used, and where the safe is located determine humidity levels in the gun safe. Dehumidifiers might not be necessary for dry regions like deserts or places with similarly arid climates.
You should however consider buying a dehumidifier if you live in a humid environment or if your relative humidity fluctuates a lot.
When the outside weather is not stable, the dehumidifier keeps the air moisture in a safe range. Dehumidifiers may not be necessary if your gun safe is used regularly, often here meaning once or twice a week.
Your gun safe may not be getting a consistent airflow if you are not using it frequently. Because still air increases humidity, a dehumidifier is most likely needed to maintain airflow in still air. Learn how to install a dehumidifier here, and what size dehumidifier you need here.
Where you keep your gun safe is crucial, as we discussed in the previous section. Make sure the container is placed along an interior wall, as well as in a temperature-controlled room where it will remain dry.
Putting the safe against a wall will lead to changes in humidity within the safe due to conditions outside. Dehumidifiers probably aren’t needed if your gun safe does not have any of these factors.
You should buy a dehumidifier for your gun safe if it is susceptible to moisture damage. There can be corrosion in the safe and the weapon, no matter how well they are cleaned, which affects the weapon’s quality and accuracy.