You have a collection of antique guns, and you want to put them into a self storage container. To preserve your investment, you need to ensure the guns are as safe as possible from all kinds of threats. Here are some storage tips to keep in mind:
1. Look for a super secure facility.
Antique guns can be very valuable, and if well maintained, they hold their value. Because of that, you need to keep security in mind when searching for a self-storage facility. You want a place with individual locks on each storage unit, and you may want the ability to add your own padlock so you can ensure your unit is safe. You may also want features like a security guard on site or a security alarm.
2. Opt for consistent and relatively low humidity levels.
In addition to thieves, your antique guns need to be protected from humidity and moisture. Ideally, the storage facility should have humidity controls, and you want the relative humidity to be set between 40 and 50 percent. Also, ask the facility if its humidity levels are consistent.
If your gun is exposed to big changes in humidity, the cells in the wood can expand and contract, and this can lead to cracks. Some experts say consistent humidity levels are even more important that low humidity levels. Ideally, however, you want both.
3. Place your guns in padded cases or gun lockers.
If possible, don't store your antique guns in a fabric case, a cardboard box or even a leather case; the dyes and tannins in these cases can bleed onto your guns and discolor them or otherwise damage them. Instead, store your gun in a case lined with protective foam or in a gun safe.
If you store your guns in a gun safe, don't lean them against bare metal braces or the sides of your safe. This could scratch the gun. Additionally, if the aging wood on your gun is getting slightly soft, the constant pressure from resting on metal could cause indentations. Make sure that your gun safe is padded, and add padding to the hooks that support your gun in its safe as needed.
4. Clean your guns before putting them into storage.
Whether your store your guns in a padded case or a gun safe, you should clean them before putting them into storage. Dust them first -- if they are dusty while in storage, the layer of dust can trap moisture and lead to corrosion. Just use a soft cloth to dust them, and don't use any sprays.
If you typically oil your gun when you clean it, only oil the outside. This creates a slightly protective layer. Do not lubricate the working parts of the gun. Unfortunately, while in storage, oil can move from one part of your gun to another.
For example, if you apply lubricant near the bolt, it may wind its way into the stock of the gun or the fire-control system, and you don't want oil to migrate to unwanted places. Don't oil the working parts of your antique guns unless you take them out of storage and plan to use them.
5. Consult with the storage facility about their rules.
In most cases, storage lockers allow you to store guns in their facilities, but they do not allow you to store explosives, and this includes ammunition. Before putting your guns into storage, check with the facility and makes sure that you follow all the rules. If you fail to follow the rule of the facility, you risk breaching your contract and being forced to move your stuff to another facility. Ultimately, all that moving around can be hard for your guns.
If you want more tips on storing antique guns or anything else, contact a self storage facility like National Self Storage - Denver. They have the expertise you need.