Whether you’re a hunter, gun collector, or military enthusiast, knowing how to store guns and ammunition is an essential skill. Here are some pro tips you should know.

Fighting the Elements

Humidity: Moisture is the greatest threat. Micro-condensation can build up even in dry climates to cause rust in barrels, firing pins, and triggers.

Temperature changes: Temperature fluctuations degrade the plastic and rubber components like grips, magazines, and hand guards. These changes also corrode and will eventually ruin your ammunition.

Sunlight: UV light from the sun causes guns and ammo to degrade much more quickly. Constant exposure can even destroy ammunition in a few weeks.

Oxidation: If left in the open air long enough, the oxidation will rust and corrode your guns and ammo.

Gun Storage

Long-Term Storage: A lockbox, locking security cabinet, or gun safe are all good options for long-term storage. Although a gun safe has the highest price tag, nothing beats a full-sized safe for the best protection of your equipment from fire and the elements.

Gun cabinet
(Source: Mitch Barrie/Wikimedia Commons)

Short-Term Storage: Portable lock boxes, nylon soft gun cases, or a high-quality polymer hard case are all great options, depending on your firearm, for short-term storage or transportation.

Storing for Self-Defense: Your designated self-defense guns should have a loaded magazine ready, but should be locked in a box or cabinet (one stored in the master bedroom). This is part of the essential job of keeping guns out of reach of children. High-up shelves or closets where they can’t reach, but you can.