Precautions to Take Against Gun Safe Corrosion

Apart from thefts and legal difficulties, rust is every gun owner’s bane. It is an enemy that never sleeps. It can eat away your gun’s essential metal components resulting in pits, discoloration, and potentially malfunctioning. 

Rusting is a chemical reaction through which metals like iron corrode and become flakey, caused by contact with moisture and oxygen. Not only are these conditions problematic for your firearm metal, but they can also create pesky cracks in woody grips.

Many gun owners invest in gun safes to protect their weapons from rusting and corrosion. Although the chances are low, your gun and gun safe both may corrode within one as well. So how does it happen, and what precautions should you take? Let’s get started!

How do Gun Safes Corrode?

It is essential to be aware of how gun safes corrode to know what precautions to take. Modern gun vaults consist of thin steel sheets lined with drywall (gypsum board). This carpeted drywall may contain chemicals or elements that lead to gun vault corrosions. The following are some common gun safe materials you need to look out for:


Formaldehyde is a dispersive chemical agent used in the manufacturing of drywall. This chemical may vaporize in your safe, creating a humid environment for wood and metal. Many museums ban the use of it where artifacts are stored.


Drywall manufactured in China often has traces of sulfur. This sulfur reacts with moisture to form sulfuric acids and hydrogen sulfides that corrode your safes. 


Pyrite is a common mineral present in gypsum to make drywalls. Chemically, pyrite is an iron sulfide and is also called fool’s gold. It reacts with moisture and oxygen to form sulfuric acids and rusts. Samples of gypsum mined in the US contain small amounts of pyrite, while its concentration is much higher in China. 

While these chemicals do cause corrosion, sometimes gun safes have metal-eating bacteria. They consume metals, including your firearms. These bacteria are known as Ferrooxidan bacterium. Gun Vaults also corrode when they come into contact with incompatible metals.

Precautions to Take Against Gun Safe Corrosion


With the problem lying in drywall, many of you may think of going for gun safes that do not have it. Brands like Ft. Knox, Browning, American Security, and a few boutique producers offer safe models with the Herring double-walled steel design. They can cost anything between $10,000 – $15000, going up to $20,000+. As steel does not rust, these gun safes provide good corrosion protection. However, not everyone can afford this. Furthermore, these models are lightweight and are also not available with ease. Even though drywalls are essentially corrosive, they have several benefits and are the new norm in modern gun safes.  

Therefore, it is essential to know how to put up with a modern gun safe. 


There are several simple precautions to take against gun-safe corrosion. Not only will they help you preserve your possessions, but they also prevent a toll on your pocket. Our tips below are valid if you store your firearms in a gun safe or a long-term storage vault.

  • Replace or Coat Corrosive Interiors. You can replace or coat the interior of your gun safe. We recommend products like SBI Micore-300. However, replacing your gypsum board is one extensive modification. Not only will it take time, but it would require some skill as you will have to fit and install your new fireboard with precision and accuracy.
  • Use a Desiccant or a Dehumidifier regularly. Invest in a dehumidifier to prevent corrosion of your gun safes. You can spend as little as $30 and free your firearm storage of moisture. Dehumidifying will prevent your firearms from rusting and cracking. There is an ideal 50-55% humidity benchmark for the perfect preservation of your weapon.
  • Put Your Gun in A Silicone-Treated Gun Sock. Storing your gun in gun safes with a silicone-treated gun sock can do wonders when it comes to protection from corrosion. The silicon protects your firearm from moisture, dirt, and scratches because of this thick fabric.
  • Clean Your Firearms and Gun Safe with Oil Before Storage. Properly clean your weapon before storing it in a gun safe. We recommend using specially formulated gun oils that also protect and lubricate your firearms. The oil prevents moisture and gases from coming in contact with metals. Make sure to clean your gun safe as well. Wear gloves while you use gun oils for this purpose. It is essential to prevent the transfer of skin oils to your weapon. Make sure to use white gloves as it allows you to see if your safe and firearm are truly clean. 
  • Try Vapor Capsules. Vapor capsules with adhesive backing stick to the surface and can prevent corrosion for up to two years.
  • Use Multi-purpose Poly Bags. With an offering of protecting up to five years, multi-purpose poly bags prevent corrosion of firearms and gun safes. 
  • Store Barrels of Long Guns Down. Do this to prevent oil seeping into other parts of your firearm or stocks. 
  • Avoid Sheep-Skin Lined Cases. The Fur attracts moisture and can cause easy rusting within 24 hours. Too much exposure can also cause your stock to crack.
  • Store Your Gun Safes in Dry Areas. Do not open your gun safe with wet hands. Always dry it if you clean with water. 
  • Make Sure To Keep Your Gun Safe Temperatures Controlled. Do not let the temperature of your gun safe rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Essential Products For Prevention of Gun Safe Maintenance

The following are some essentials we recommend for the prevention of gun-safe corrosion. Invest in them to protect yourself from hefty losses! 


Dehumidifiers help lower the contents of moisture in your surroundings. It also helps keep a temperature check indirectly. Use them once in a while for an ideal 50-55% humidity.

Vapor Capsules

Vapor Capsules form a protective layer on the exterior of your firearms and the interior of your gun vaults. They do not allow moisture, oxygen, or rust to corrode your possessions. With a reasonable price, they can be functional for up to years.

Gun Oil

A specially formulated gun oil helps keep your heritage old guns functional. It prevents friction and rusting. 

The Takeaway

With our complete guide on how to prevent gun-safe corrosion, invest in the correct items and precautions. Make sure to check why you need to invest in a gun safe, and head over to our blog for more on the topic!