The best practices for storing guns and ammunition in the winter are similar to those for storing them at any other time. The only difference is mitigating the conditions of winters in areas where the extreme cold or excessive dampness can damage and even ruin guns and the ammo being stored for them. This is usually fairly simple and often doesn’t require much more than you’re already doing. However, depending on the storage situation and environmental conditions, it can require making some chances and sometimes, a considerable investment. Either way, if you take care of your shooting gear, it will take care of you.
Whether it’s your Glock and 9mm ammo, or an old 30.06, the most important features of their safe storage are: Keep them in a cool, dry place, preferably out of direct light, and with a temperature that remains basically stable. It’s not the low temperatures alone that can damage gunmetal, but the fluctuations of expanding and contracting metal due to freezing that can make components stiff and prone to breakage.
For either handguns or long guns, the first step is to be sure your firearm has been thoroughly cleaned and oiled. Leaving a gun grimy, especially in more extreme temperatures, can lead to corrosion. Grime, particularly the remnants left by exploding powder, can also attract and retain moisture. And that corrosion taking place is then immediately vulnerable to rust. All of this can ruin an otherwise good firearm. So, after cleaning, be sure to oil your gun liberally. Gun oil both lubricates and protects the metal from moisture accumulation, rust, and corrosion.
For guns with wooden stocks or grips, particularly rifles, the wood is particularly vulnerable to extreme winter temperatures. Freezing can warp and split wood and those splits allow for the introduction of moisture, which then freezes, splitting the wood even more. When storing long guns in a gun cabinet or safe, oil them well. And, especially for those with wood stocks, flip them upside down so that the barrel of the rifle or shotgun is resting on something like a disposable plastic plate. If you store them butt-down, that gun oil is going to seep into the wood, which can also result in warping and damage.
As for ammunition, the same expansion and contraction of the metal can very easily change the ballistic performance of a bullet, which kills accuracy. The best storage conditions for ammo are comparable to those of guns: a cool, dry place, out of direct light if possible, with as few temperature fluctuations as possible. Keeping moisture away from ammunition is crucially important. Moisture working its way into ammunition ruins it.
When you’ve found your cool, dry place with a stable temperature for that bulk 9mm ammo you’re saving for warm weather, invest in some desiccants to put with them. The most common are silica packs, but any big box grocery store should also stock a number of different kinds of chemical desiccants. Likewise, it’s worth looking into ammo boxes or cans for ammo storage. Some of the most dependable are those with a sealing O-ring. Storing your ammunition inside one of these with a number of desiccant packs thrown in to keep them dry and then kept in the earlier-mentioned cool, dry place should keep your ammunition in shooting-shape for the coming season.
About Ammunition Depot
Ammunition Depot is the best place to purchase ammunition online, bar none. If you need ammunition for a firearm, chances are excellent they have it, from .22 LR to .454 Casull, and everything in-between. As for long guns, whether you’re looking for rifle ammo in bulk or 9mm ammo for sale by the box, they’ve got you covered. As firearm enthusiasts and advocates, they are proud to support the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, charities for our troops and law enforcement, and shooting sports. And they’re committed to continuing to create jobs in their home state of Florida, with an emphasis on hiring vets.
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