A gun is a prized possession for most owners, which is why they go to great lengths to keep their gun neat, safe, and in top condition always. The most common method of securing a gun that is not in use is through a gun safe.
Regardless of the type of safe you use, including a manual safe, biometric safe, or traditional gun safe, one common factor that must be considered is moisture.
Moisture is damaging to guns. They can cause rust and irreparable or severe damage to some gun parts. Preventing humidity is an essential task if you own a gun safe. This is why we have created this guide to show you how to keep moisture out of a gun safe.
What Is a Dew Point?
Ensuring that the dew point of a gun safe is at the lowest possible level is one effective way of controlling the moisture level in your gun safe.
In simple terms, a dew point is the temperature at which air is filled or soaked with moisture. Measuring the dew point is related to the humidity level in that area. The higher the humidity, the higher the dew point.
If you live in high humidity areas, you must pay extra attention to your gun safe, as warmer air has been known to contain more moisture than colder air.
Several instruments available on the market are suitable for accurately measuring the dew point level within your gun safe. According to the NRA, your gun safe should be stored at a room temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or between 30-50% humidity.
How Does Moisture Get In a Gun Safe?
Moisture and humidity are always present in the air, so by default, every time you open and close your gun safe to take out or replace your gun, you trap in some moisture.
Trapped air within the gun safe becomes very warm quickly, leading to more moisture that spreads quicker. In lower areas or areas with high humidity, there is a higher risk of increased safe humidity.
How to Keep Moisture Out of a Gun Safe
There are several methods to keep moisture out of a gun safe, including traditional methods, DIY methods, and modern methods. Each of these effective methods can help you reduce the levels of moisture.
Gun Safe Dehumidifiers
A dehumidifier is a device for air conditioning that effectively reduces and maintains the humidity level within a contained or given area. There are two types of dehumidifiers: the desiccant dehumidifier and the electric dehumidifier.
Gun safe electric dehumidifiers are devices that come in the shape of a golden rod. They are built to fit easily inside a gun safe without taking too much space. Using this type of device requires some extra effort because they need to be plugged into a power outlet.
This would require drilling a hole into the side of the safe to pass the dehumidifier wire through it. However, there are battery-powered dehumidifiers that eliminate the need for drilling and plugging. This type of dehumidifier is also the best option to absorb excessive moisture.
There are also desiccant dehumidifiers. These models don’t require electricity and use highly absorbent materials to soak up the moisture within a contained or given area. Using desiccant dehumidifiers is a great option for gun owners on a budget.
Silica Gel Pack
The silica gel pack is a cheap but effective method to absorb moisture in a gun safe. Silica gel packs are commonly found in jewelry boxes, medicine bottles, and clothes boxes.
Each silica pack contains silica beads that absorb the moisture up to a particular level before requiring a recharge. Recharging silica packs is as easy as leaving them in an oven or microwave for several hours to dry the soaked moisture and make them reusable.
The only downside to this method is you have to change out the packs after two to three weeks of use. You also have to be extremely careful to ensure the actual beads don’t come in contact with the gun, as they can damage metal surfaces.
Built-in Sealant System
Some safes have a built-in sealant system to effectively keep out moisture. This sealant design can be made out of foam, caulking, or silicone. This design is commonly found around the door area to keep unwanted humidity and moisture out.
If your gun safe does not come with a sealant system, you can easily build your own sealant system with foam or other absorbent materials such as silicone.
The Lightbulb Method
This method is relatively simple and effective. Similar to the electric dehumidifier, this method requires you to put a light bulb inside your safe and run electricity through it. When sufficiently powered, a light bulb will easily heat its surroundings and dry the moisture and humidity in the air.
This method also means you have to drill a hole in your safe to pass a wire from the power outlet to the bulb. You must use a light bulb that is the right size for your gun safe, as using a small lightbulb for a big safe won’t have any effect.
MothBall or Damp Rid
Mothballs are effective in absorbing moisture. A damp rid also is a good option for moisture absorption as it contains calcium chloride. However, you should be very careful during application, especially when handling mothballs, as they can be toxic to humans and harmful for the gun.
The most common traditional method of sucking moisture out of a device is submerging it in dry rice. This method can also be effective for your gun safe.
Place a cup or more of rice in your gun safe and change it after three months. This method is also extremely effective and is best used for small gun safes.
Sodium bicarbonate is an important ingredient in baking soda that effectively deals with moisture absorption and control. For this method, simply place a cup of baking soda in the gun safe while allowing some distance between the cup and the gun. Change the cup as soon as you notice a change in effectiveness level.
This method is effective only for those who live in areas with dry weather. You can place your gun safe opposite an air conditioner or heater. These air conditioning devices help suck out excess moisture in the air and subsequently within the gun safe.
Dry air means reduced humidity, which lowers the amount of moisture trapped within the safe when the door is opened. The amount of wet air around the gun safe is also greatly reduced.
Why You Should Keep Moisture Out of Your Gun Safe
Keeping your firearm in optimal condition is always a priority when you own one. Ensuring your gun safe is dry and moisture-free is important in preventing your guns from damage and rust.
Increased humidity can also allow microbes and germs to breed in and around the gun. This is a significant disadvantage because it can cause some parts of the gun to stick together, leading to a potential misfire, gun jamming, or other severe implications.
Besides following the methods outlined above to keep moisture out of your gun safe, you should regularly check the humidity level within the gun safe and its surroundings with a hygrometer device.
The hygrometer displays a percentage that represents the humidity level. Anything from 50% downwards is considered safe. If the hygrometer displays a high percentage, your humidity level is high, which can pose a risk to both your gun safe and the gun.
You should immediately choose a suitable method to keep moisture out of your gun safe. Try to keep the gun safe environment dry or heated, as this helps keep the moisture at bay.
The first step in protecting your gun is understanding how to keep moisture out of a gun safe.
Firstly, the climate around your house plays an important factor. Increased humidity means you must opt for stronger and more lasting methods, such as a dehumidifier. Another important factor is your safe location, as lower areas are known to contain more moisture.
Regardless of your moisture absorption method, you should always open your gun safe regularly to check your firearms for signs of moisture or rust. You should also check your guns periodically for signs of corrosion and rust.
Finally, you should disassemble your gun parts and clean them thoroughly with a clean microfiber cloth and gun cleaning oil regularly to prevent moisture from forming within the gun.