Rust is a pretty big concern for guns that aren’t taken out and used as often as other hunters use them. The less a gun is used, the more likely rust will occur. The constant exposure to humid temperatures and body oils equally increase the likelihood of rust forming on the gun. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this from happening.
First thing’s first; it’s very important to clean and oil the gun every night. This should be done whether the gun has been used the whole day or not at all. Products such as Break-Free CLP or Marine TUF-CLOTH are products that are designed to fight against rust on metals. To be safe, it may be wise to clean and oil before taking the gun out for usage as well.
When coating firearms, Eezox and Corrosion-X are two of the best, top of the line products out there. Eezox goes on the gun wet and protects dry, while Corrosion-X works nearly as well. Both have the advantages of being easy to apply and widely found in stores. An alternative to these two is a product called BreakFree. While it has a tendency to fade after repeated exposure, it’s still the easiest to apply and has the added feature of being a useful, good lubricant in addition to being a rust preventative.
Holsters are a common culprit for causing perspiration due to creating a very humid temperature inside of it. Look into investing in a perspiration-resistant holster. There are many that are designed for different sorts of weapons. Of course, if the hunting weapon of choice is a rifle, this isn’t going to be a very helpful tip; this is aimed more for those who carry a concealed weapon, such as a handgun, instead of packing a big one. Perspiration-resistant holsters can come with a soft lining, which soaks up any potential sweat and body oils, or it can come hard-lined, which are designed to keep the weapon clean and dry. These sorts of holsters can be found at a local gun shop or sporting store.
Another tip for the ones with a smaller variety of gun should keep in mind there are also vests and bags made by Humvee aimed at keeping guns clean. Other accessories designed for this purpose are found in the form of purses, fanny packs, and tote-bags.
Not everyone uses a small, concealed weapon in hunting, though. For those with larger guns, such as rifles, dessicant packs can be a new best friend. Often found inside packaging when we purchase something, warehouses will sell these packs in bulk for a low price; there might be enough to put inside the gun safe and in each ammo box!
When it’s time to store the guns, Bore-Store bags come highly recommended. They are grey, synthetic bags protect guns from dings and scratches while the breathable fabric does away with moisture damage as well. Wherever guns are stored, do not store guns in foam hardcases–the foam attracts and retains moisture. If the only case available is a foam case, wrap the gun first in plastic or, if this is not available either, use Brownells’ thin vapor lock bags. This should help keep most of the moisture off of the metal.
Higher quality cases for gun storage are made out of aluminum or hard plastic, which should be kept in mind when traveling with a gun. This would work well on flights, for example. ICC makes very good aluminum cases with varying sizes; a 4x16x36 case will hold a rifle that has been taken part with ease.
All in all, there are a few different ways to ensure guns don’t develop rust, but the main idea is to treat it like a child–with lots of love and plenty of care.