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Keeping all your firearms dry and away from moisture when not in use is critical if you want to win the battle against rust. Here are some tips for keeping moisture from causing rust on your firearms.
Wipe down all exposed metal on your gun after every use with a lightly oiled cloth. This will remove skin oil and fingerprints, which can react with the metal and give rust a place to start and it will put a thin layer of oil on the metal to keep moisture away. If the gun has been used in cold weather let it come up to room temperature before wiping it down to avoid the formation of condensation. Remember to go easy on the oil and avoid getting oil on the wood especially in areas where the wood contacts the metal.
When cleaning your firearms the last step is always to pass a lightly oiled patch through the bore as well as wiping down the exterior finish.  
If the gun has been exposed to heavy rain or snowfall or, Heaven forbid, fallen in a stream or puddle, it may need to be disassembled for a thorough drying, cleaning, relubrication and re-oiling. If you are the least bit unsure how to disassemble your gun, get it to a Gander Mountain gunsmith as quickly as possible. If you are able the remove the action and barrel from the stock a heat gun or hair dryer can be used to force hot/warm air into the small parts of the gun. Parts small enough to fit can be dried thoroughly in an over set for very low heat. Be sure to use a small amount of good oil or grease where needed after this is done.
If a gun has been thoroughly soaked, it is best to leave it out of a case on the trip home. In addition, if a ‘damp’ gun has been put into a gun case take care to leave the case open to dry thoroughly before using it again.  
For storage at home, a gun safe or locked gun cabinet is best. Portable gun cases, both the hard sided and soft types are best used just to transport firearms. The padding and lining in these cases can attract and/or retain moisture and hold it close to the firearm causing rust to form.
Moisture protection for stored firearms can be increased by the use of an electric heating rod inside a gun safe or cabinet (“Golden Rod” is one brand of heating element). Even a low wattage light bulb will generate sufficient heat to keep the moisture level inside a safe in check. All the better gun safes have an access hole in the back where the electric cord can pass inside the safe. Metal canisters of silica gel desiccant in various sizes are also available to control moisture inside fairly airtight safes and gun cases. The color of the silica gel will change as it absorbs moisture. The canisters can be “recycled” again and again in a warm oven to drive out the absorbed moisture.

Gander Mountain Pro Staff
Geneva, Illinois