prevent gun rust

How to Prevent Gun Rust

Most of us know the feeling; we grab our trusty duck hunting shotgun, or even our favorite tactical AR15, and spot some discoloration on the barrel.

After a closer look, our heart sinks and we realize the gun has some rust on it.

Rust is not limited to rifles, but can occur in pistols, shotguns, or any other piece of tactical gear with steel on it.

In a tactical situation, there is no room for corrosion in our protective equipment or firearms. There just cannot be any chance of a mechanical issue in a life or death scenario. This is why the military is so meticulous and on top of their cleaning processes.

Rusting guns are extremely common and fortunately there are simple methods to clean off the rust, as we outline here in this article. But how do we prevent our guns from rusting in the first place? Below are a few things to consider, along with some handy tips.

Rust Prevention Immediately After Shooting

As soon are you are finished shooting your gun, or as soon as you get home, give it a wipe down with some cloths. You want to make sure any condensation or dirt, grime, etc. does not get a chance to settle on to the barrel or mechanics of the firearm.

I would also recommend a light coating of lubricant on the exterior as well after the wiping.

Now, some people are more meticulous than others. For many, this is their only rust prevention strategy and they will just continue with the shooting and wiping down for the season.

This is really the bare minimum and if you live in a humid, salty environment or get the gun wet, it likely will not be enough.

prevent gun rust

Proper Gun Cleaning

Ideally, you are properly field stripping, cleaning, and lubricating your guns after each use.

While this might not be completely necessary for everyone, that is what myself and many other gun, tactical, and hunting hobbyists do.

This is going to be a very strong defense against rust as you typically are able to get all the moisture and dirt off the guns, while giving them a fresh protective layer of oil.

To give you an example of a detailed cleaning process, my Glock 19 article outlines the detailed cleaning process I go through just for my Glock handguns.

If you take care of your gear, it will take care of you.

Does Oil Prevent Rust?

Yes, not only will oil properly lubricate your firearm and its mechanics – allowing it to function properly, but a coating of oil will also help form a protective coating which will shield from rust. Essentially the oil slows moisture penetration.

Proper Gun Storage will Prevent Rust

Another extremely important thing to do is to store your guns properly.

Make sure to keep your gun in a case, stored in a dry, cool, shaded environment. This will ensure it is protected from the elements and any salt or humidity in the air. 

Goes without saying, but make sure guns are clean and oiled before storing.

The absolute last thing you want to do is leave your guns sitting outside unprotected.

Not only is doing sot unsafe, but that is a recipe for rust to form.

If you have children in the home, this is not even a discussion. Store them locked away in a safe.

Tools of the Trade

There are a few items I recommend to make life easier when trying to keep your guns rust free.

G96 Gun Oil and Lubricant

G96 is a great lubricant and cleaner. I would actually recommend putting a light layer on your gun if you are going to be in the elements such as a hunting or marine tactical scenario.

Not only is G96 good for prevention but it will also help you clean traces of corrosion of your gun. It also works in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Not only do they offer products for the average civilian user, but they also have a full military approved line.

Barricade Rust Protection

Another good product is called barricade. Barricade is a thin liquid, and will help to prevent rust. Because it is so thin, it works well on blued guns. I do want to note it will still work well on steel.

They also make single use wipes which are amazing in the field. Just grab a wipe and give it a quick wipe down with the cloth, and you are good to go!

The wipes are also great to use when you get home from a hunting trip, I know I for one am exhausted and I usually leave the cleaning for the next day.

In that case I just give the gun a wipe down with the Barricade cloths.

Industrial and Powder Coatings

If you are looking to take your rust prevention game to the next level, consider powder coating your firearm.

Powder coating is a dry finishing process that has become extremely popular since its introduction in North America over in the 1960s. Representing over 15% of the total industrial finishing market, powder is used on a wide array of products. More and more companies specify powder coatings for a high-quality, durable finish, allowing for maximized production, improved efficiencies, and simplified environmental compliance. Used as functional (protective) and decorative finishes, powder coatings are available in an almost limitless range of colors and textures, and technological advancements have resulted in excellent performance properties.

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Powder coating your firearm will make it almost completely rust proof.

Some of the more popular brands in the gun world for industrial coatings are Cerakote and DuraCoat.

I hope this article was helpful. Keeping these simple strategies in mind will keep your gun in tip top shape, it will hold its value, and you can pass it on for generations to come.

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