Kind of in a dilemma here. My safe might have to go in a garage or lets call it a shop for a while. Not much humidity but some real time heat. Outside temps run around 103-105 during the day and back down to upper 70's at night. I am not worried about the safe so much as the rifles and pistols if I decide to store them in it and it won't be climate controlled. I know some people have their gun safes in a garage or outbuilding but I never have done it. ?????
orkan last edited by
@bigfoot I have no experience with that. Might want to pack it with dehumidification stuff.
@orkan Definitely will put a dehumidifier in it for moisture if it stays out there it's the heat that bugs me as well. It's a Browning safe not Academy brand or hardware store if it counts for anything.
flyinphill last edited by
@bigfoot The temperature is not your biggest problem, at least not by itself. Humidity is the real problem, though humidity by itself is not a huge issue unless it is accompanied by large temperature changes.
Most storage damage to something like a gun occurs when whatever is being stored is at a low temperature (what constitutes "low" is relative), then a relatively quick change in conditions brings in warmer, humid air. Just like a glass with icewater, it will sweat due to condensation. That water vapor extracted from the air and turned onto liquid water is what does the damage, not the moisture bound in the air in the form of humidity.
The easiest way to prevent this is to not let the temperature of the stuff inside the safe ever be colder than the atmospheric air it comes in contact with. You can buy gun safe heaters, which are just thermal strips or other heating devices designed to heat the inside of the safe by a few degrees.
The inside of a safe is reasonably temperature-stable, with enough fire insulation and semi-airtight seals to prevent rapid changes inside the safe even when exposed to rapid temps outside. This alone minimizes the possibility of condensation damage. By adding heaters to bring the temperature up maybe 10-15F above ambient, it ensures that there can never, in reasonable circumstances, be a situation where the inside temp of the safe is below the outside. Thus there can never be condensation.
Desiccant packs only work if the safe/compartment is completely airtight. They work by pulling water vapor out of the air and binding it chemically. But if the safe is not 100% airtight, eventually enough air will transfer through the safe and saturate the desiccant material. Once saturated, they do nothing. They can actually be worse than nothing as they can release the locked moisture back into the compartment under some conditions.
Do you have a bunch of wood stock firearms?
@flyinphill Yes I have some wood stocked stuff. An over and under shotgun and a model 12 heirloom shotgun and a bunch of heirloom 22's and lever rifles. I have trouble now taking guns out of the safe to the outside air with sweating and scope fogging happening. I might invest in a plug in dehumidifier hopefully I won't have the safe out of the house too long. Like you said it's insulated so maybe it doesn't get all that hot inside I do know the metal building it's going in gets over 100 degrees when it's all closed up but the humidity is usually low out there in west Texas. The locksmith is coming today to move it for grins I might put a thermometer in it to see what it does once it's outside.
midwestside last edited by
I’ve been using a Boveda butler sensor to track temp and humidity to my mobile phone in a couple of things in my home. It is about the size of a pack of gum and uses a small battery that should last about a year. Multiple sensors can be logged in the app.
Similar concept to Mcmillan’s Reactor for the gun industry, but the boveda is around $30.
Might be worth a try for you.
flyinphill last edited by
@bigfoot Yeah, the wood stock stuff has its own set of issues. Wood is especially sensitive to big swings in temp and humidity. It likes to crack when it changes quickly. And it doesn't like to be too dry either, so be careful how good of a job you do drying things out.
Also realize that a "gun safe dehumidifier" is a fancy marketing name for a heater. By the name, it sounds like it is something of a higher design and function. But it is literally just a heater that reduces relative humidity by increasing temperature, as I described above. It does nothing to change the absolute humidity.
flyinphill last edited by flyinphill
And while we a gun safe thread going, what experience does anyone have with specific brands of gun safes? Any real lemons or bad experiences? I am looking to get one in the next few weeks, my collection is starting to get too big to hide in various places around the property.
rr2241tx last edited by
Since your surname isn’t Buffet, any gunsafe you’re likely to be able to afford is a Residential Security Container. The front door is the hardest point of entry. So look for heavier gauge welded steel on the 5 other walls. There will be holes in the back and bottom metal for securing the safe to the floor and a wall behind plus a hole for electric cord to run a heater, lights and perhaps a motion sensing alarm. Once a thief has access to the back, it’s game over. It opens like a sardine can starting with the power cord hole. Many times, the safe is simply tilted onto a dolly and wheeled away to be emptied at leisure. In general then it is best to get a heavier model and to fortify the bolts internally by running them through heavy gauge fender washers.
As far as keeping your guns from rusting, avoiding condensation is of utmost importance. A low wattage heater such as a Golden Rod will normally be far superior to desiccant cans. Understand that the fire rating is primarily based on the water of crystallization contained in the gypsum in the Sheetrock liner of the safe but gypsum also is highly hygroscopic, much more so than walnut so dehumidifiers dry and weaken stocks before they dry out gypsum. Nothing inhibits rust any better than a light film of grease on all metal surfaces.
All RSCs, gunsafes, are primarily useful to concentrate mass and slow down temperature change. ...and secondarily, lock you away from your own guns and important papers. A few minutes on YouTube will show you how to open any of the locking mechanisms nondestructively, so there is never any reason to drill the lock to open one. A thief will not care whether he causes a little damage turning the safe over, so he’ll go for the easy entry through the back. Battery locks are functionally as secure as mechanical combination locks and keyed locks.
I have been quite happy with a Winchester branded 5 foot high model that weighs about 900# empty. Taller models afford more volume for handguns, jewelry, and papers but are usually less efficiently configured for long gun storage.
There are really only a handful of manufacturers that OEM brand for the whole industry. The ID tag inside the door can guide you in comparing apples to apples as all models are built to a common set of standards. The name on the outside is really just a decal so don’t be misled by sales hype.