Not everyone does a great job keeping their guns in good working order while storing them for future use.

Check out this real-life occurrence: Steve Schultz, Shooting Sports Editor for Texas Fish & Game magazine, was working in his garden late one fall, and he absent-mindedly left one of his firearms resting in the garden bed. The following spring he was horrified to find his missing piece resting in the dirt under some decaying foliage.

gun laying in pile of leaves

What happened next amazed him. Instead of finding a rusted out pistol unable to fire, his gun worked just fine…like he had cleaned and lubed that week.

The key learning: what you use to clean, lubricate and protect your firearms in your gun cleaning work makes a big difference in how well your firearms will store.

Schultz happened to have lubricated his missing gun with a non-petroleum based synthetic lubricant from MIL-COMM PRODUCTS COMPANY – the somewhat legendary TW25B® synthetic grease. Because the grease is blended with micro-particles that set up in the actual pores of the metal (if seen under a microscope), water and condensation were blocked penetrating the metal – kept out of the pores where rust first forms.

When you know you’re going to put your firearms away for extended periods of time, months or even years, the trick is to apply a slightly thicker coat of gun grease on all the wear parts. You want to see an actual white haze on the surface of the gun parts for optimal storage (versus a polished-in finish or very slight haze for normal firing conditions).

Remember that the enemy of successful long-term storage of weapons is corrosion. Since synthetic greases like TW25B do not gum up, only a moderately thick coating is necessary – and the stored firearm should be immediately capable of being fired if necessary.

IMPORTANT! Cleaning a gun well before applying lubricant for protection is an important first-step for long-term storage. Cleaners have different pH chemistry levels and residues which can negatively effect, and even encourage, corrosion and rust on metal parts.

Citrus type cleaners are very acidic (low pH) and many others are highly alkaline (high pH), both of which can be corrosive by themselves.

Use of an Isopropyl (91%) alcohol wiping, with its relatively middle pH range, is a very beneficial action to further discourage corrosion over time.

For best results, use pH-buffered cleaners, like the NRA Licensed GUN CARE SYSTEM’s MC25 double-acting detergent-enzymatic, biodegradable cleaner.

Once the gun cleaning is complete, add the synthetic gun grease coating in a moderate coat for long-lasting storage protection.