Winter has passed taking it snows with it, or should I say leaving them in the form of melted run off. All that water has filled the reservoir and eventually will be recycled through evaporation and wind up in the atmosphere until it once again turns into precipitation and rains or snows down on us. Spring has sprung, as a matter of fact it is well sprung and getting warm. as usual, in many places in the USA, Spring is a rainy season. With the added warmth of its lengthening days you can bet those days will be more humid than even the most snow covered days of the harshest winter. That humidity has a way of gathering and remaining in certain parts of our homes like basements. I don't know if you realize it but something else also gathers in basements and that something else would be guns. Sure, plenty of folks who keep guns do not keep em the basement but many do. The combination of blued steel and humidity in a basement, or in any other room where you get both at the same time, can become a nightmare for the firearms enthusiast. Not only will the higher humidity of he spring and summer seasons lead to the potential for gun metal rusting but it also can lead to the distinct possibility of your ammo stores being effected.
There is a simple preventative/cure for this and I make sure to utilize it in addition to regularly cleaning and oiling my firearms. I store all my firearms with a desiccant like silica gel. It is relatively inexpensive, does a great job of wicking up humidity and keeping it away from your firearms, and works for years and years if you care for it properly. If you are like me and depend on silica type products to keep your firearms in good condition by preventing rust, now is the time to make sure that your desiccant packs are ready to absorb as much moisture as possible. If you have the type I do, with a small color coded indicator, then you can tell if they contain too much moisture and require to be heated in order to get them working to full capacity again. On the type I have, if the indicator turns from blue to pink it means that the absorption limit has been reached and the silica packs need to go in an oven at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 to 3 hours. If you have the same type of desiccant but do not have a color coded indicator tab you may want to heat your desiccant packs about once every 2 or 3 months (make sure to follow manufacturers instructions).
I have three desiccant packs in my oven right now. One has an indicator tab with three dots that are blue if at full potential to absorb, to 1, 2 or all 3 turning pink dependent upon how much moisture has already been absorbed. Another has a single dot that also turns from blue to pink as above. The other does not have an indicator tab at all. After about 3 hours or so, I will carefully remove the desiccant packs from the oven. Note I said carefully. They claim it is non-toxic but I am not about to take chances. So when I place them into the oven, I put them atop some aluminum foil. When I take them out I grab the foil and take them out on it. I am careful not to let any silica dust, that may have worked its way out of the packs, fall into the oven. Then after they are out of the oven, I let the oven cool then sponge it clean just to make sure. never had a problem with it, just being cautious.
Once the packs are out of the oven, I let them cool off. Then I place them into the containers where I store my guns or ammo. I keep one in my gun locker, one in my ammo locker and have one that I keep in an aluminum carrying gun case. Note I said I have the stuff inside the containers in which I store ammo and guns. You could probably use this stuff to try to keep a whole room less humid but would need a lot of it and it would not work as well as it does inside an enclosed container like a gun locker. You need X amount to dehumidify or absorb moisture from Y-cubic feet. It is sold in various sizes and when sold there is usually an indication given as to in how many square feet each size will be effective.
Does it work - really? This stuff works, I would swear by it it works that well. One year that I forgotten to rejuvenate it in the oven. I had about three guns rust somewhat, and the wood stocks on two or three rifles get moldy. It was a humid year. After I cleaned all the firearms and rejuvenated the desiccant by heating it, the problem did not recur. In years when I have not forgotten to rejuvenate it I have never had any such problems. I don't forget anymore, once was enough. If by chance you use this stuff, and you have forgotten to recharge it by heating it - now is the time to get it done. If you do not use this stuff in storage with your firearms and ammo, and live in a humid area, then now may also be the time for you to buy some. It is readily available at guns shops, probably at places like Home Depot (I'll have to try them someday they may have a good deal on it), and online. Some places you can get it online are:
All the best,
I Love My Job...
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