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Thread: Storage of Lee Enfields / Milsurps

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    Legacy Member newcastle's Avatar
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    Storage of Lee Enfields / Milsurps

    Folks, I am slowly managing to build up a humble collection of LEs and a couple of other US milsurps (garand, 03-A3 and M1917 as I live here). Presently my rifles, due to children, have been consigned to the garage area in a locked room and in turn, in the safe. The garage is cold, and there is some moisture in the air - foggy area. Inside the safe I have one of those silicon dehumidifying bags which periodically (when the markers turn red) I put in the oven to dry out and then put back to continue taking the moisture out of the air in the safe. It generally lasts about 4 - 6 weeks before it needs to be recooked.

    Question: Is it possible to have the stock dry out too much if in a constantly dehumidified atmosphere?? Would that affect accuracy and the integrity of the stocks so they split? And is the annual BLOicon / Turps 50/50 wipe down enough to counter that?
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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

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    Legacy Member bearhunter's Avatar
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    My lathes and milling machine, as well as other power equipment, are stored in a locked garage. I had a lathe, in an uninsulated/unheated shop. Needless to say, humidity and sweating were a huge problem. Since I moved all of the equipment into the insulated/heated garage, no problems.
    I tried dessicant, around the machinery, it did nothing. I had to make sure, there was decent coat of fluid film on every surface, that could rust.
    Even in the insulated/heated shop, the surfaces must be coated. There are several coatings that you can get, to stop rust. With milsurps, you need to be careful, because many of the coatings, will stain the wood and may even be slightly corrosive themselves.
    Birchwood Casey, has a very good product, "polarized Sheath". It is great stuff. I use it on all of my firearms and a can, goes a long way. I coat every firearm, before putting it away or displaying at a gun show. Since I've been using it, about 10 years, not one rusty fingerprint has appeared.
    It even works well on shop equipment. I've tried to find out what the formula for this stuff is. I know, it contains free silicone and of course a carrier. The nice thing about it is that it doesn't leave any stains. Repeated coats of BLOicon/turpentine, will darken the wood.

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    Banned Edward Horton's Avatar
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    During the American Civil War the mixture of 1/3 raw linseed oilicon, 1/3 bees wax and 1/3 turpentine was used as a pre-petroleum age cosmolineicon.

    This 1/3 mixture was also used by our forefathers to protect their firearms from the elements when in use. (They borrowed it from their wife's, who used this 1/3 mixture to protect "her" wooden furniture)

    In a museum the metal parts of firearms are not oiled, they are given a coat of neutral PH wax to keep the moist air off the metal metal parts.

    If air can't get to the metal parts, it can't rust...............








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    Legacy Member newcastle's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    I've had a few of these rifles in the unheated garage (bear in mind I'm in California so when I say un-heated, it still never drops down to freezing or anything nuts like that) and it's effectively underground having two sides of it into a hillsiee os the temperature, while cold does not vary from the hottest days to teh coldest days. What I am worried about was if it is possible to have air too dry and hence dry the woodwork out and effect the rifle in a negative way.

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    Damp and humidity........... As well as the usual oil regime, just hang a 60w light bulb close to the bottom of the safe and that will give off JUST enough circulatory heat to keep any damp at bay. And pretty cheap to run too. I suppose you could try first with a 40w bulb..............

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    To elaborate on Peter's idea; there are electric dehumidifier sticks, (like Goldenrod), available that are specifically designed for gun safes.

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    The safe and driest "hangout" at my place is the basement ceiling.

    Right above the reloading bench..............




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    I've ALWAYS wanted a suspended ceiling just like that! Home Despot?

    lol, its a bit like a mirror on the ceiling, ...

    Seriously tho, good subject I've been too shy to ask about, I mean, everyone seems to know but me ...
    Short term storage no problem, guns in safe with silicone bags, wipe with oil, keep it dry etc. but ... I have a spell coming up that might see me out of country for a year. No one in this house is a gun person, so the option of asking for hands on help is not available.
    What can I do about longer term storage, particularly the bore? lets say 12 months worth of protection, but not decades like a museum.

    I've once bought a JC with a bore that had been carefully stuffed with car grease, is that a reasonable method? In this case the bore was badly corroded before it reached me, and the grease was an attempt to hide it.
    What about plugging the barrel at each end and filling it with oil, ie empty brass in the breach, fill ' er up, rag in top.
    Or, soaking a strip of oil soaked cloth down the full length of the bore.
    Modern; is there a modern product, ie teflon or silicone, that can coat a bore or external surface and remain free of do overs for 12 months? The problem with this one is that these products can be available at every gunshow in the US but haven't been heard of down under, so ideally a modern product should be something commonly and locally available. Alternately, available online, thinking on it I would buy online if I was serious about leaving the toys for a year.

    My favorite, any homespun ways to do this, easy, simple, reliable? vegemiteicon probably doesn't count.

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    Banned Edward Horton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJW NZicon View Post
    I've ALWAYS wanted a suspended ceiling just like that! Home Despot?

    lol, its a bit like a mirror on the ceiling, ...

    Seriously tho, good subject I've been too shy to ask about, I mean, everyone seems to know but me ...
    Short term storage no problem, guns in safe with silicone bags, wipe with oil, keep it dry etc. but ... I have a spell coming up that might see me out of country for a year. No one in this house is a gun person, so the option of asking for hands on help is not available.
    What can I do about longer term storage, particularly the bore? lets say 12 months worth of protection, but not decades like a museum.

    I've once bought a JC with a bore that had been carefully stuffed with car grease, is that a reasonable method? In this case the bore was badly corroded before it reached me, and the grease was an attempt to hide it.
    What about plugging the barrel at each end and filling it with oil, ie empty brass in the breach, fill ' er up, rag in top.
    Or, soaking a strip of oil soaked cloth down the full length of the bore.
    Modern; is there a modern product, ie teflon or silicone, that can coat a bore or external surface and remain free of do overs for 12 months? The problem with this one is that these products can be available at every gunshow in the US but haven't been heard of down under, so ideally a modern product should be something commonly and locally available. Alternately, available online, thinking on it I would buy online if I was serious about leaving the toys for a year.

    My favorite, any homespun ways to do this, easy, simple, reliable? vegemiteicon probably doesn't count.
    I have used RIG (rust inhibiting grease) for years but it is very hard to find now, below is a link for the latest and greatest corrosion protection products.

    Corrosion Protection Products for Rifles, Shooting, Benchrest Competition, Varminting and Firearms Storage

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    For the benefit of those in the UK and maybe Europe, at Warminster for long term preservation, we use a spray can of a stuff called SUPERTROL 001 It's a black grease stuff that sprays out as a vapour and just spreads by capilliary action like there's no tomorrow, all over the steel. It's got fantastic penetration properties, flexible and water repellent. All of our barrels are coated internally and everything is sprayed with it under the wood etc after stripping and prior to assembly.

    Just as a little aside, as I'm prone to do, about 10 years ago I bought a brand new 'old - original' style mini. One of the last 500 from the production line. As you're well aware, Britishicon cars, especially Rover, were made from water soluble steel that appears to rot out before your very eyes. I had it in my garage for 6 months or so, unregistered and during that time, virtually stripped the car, less the engine of course. I 'liberated' 12 or so cans of this stuff, acquired some 3' long lengths of the plastic flexible nozzles and set about spraying deep into EVERY internal surface of the car, box sections, both inside and outside. Behind and into every nook and cranny, behind every seam.............. you get my drift ........?

    For a year or so, some of this stuff was dripping from the seams and spot welded joints onto my immaculate garage floor but while there was this grease there, it wasn't rusty. I repeated the process after about 7 years and just treat it to a quick blow job with the cans every so often. It is still absolutely rust free.

    If you need some, I don't think it's generally supplied except to the trade and big organisations, here's the address, taken off one of the now empty 'liberated' tins.
    SUPERTROL 001. Action Can Ltd, Old Boston Trading Estate, Haydock, Merseyside WA11 9SF. Tel: 01942 - 713667 And it's called old Boston trading estate because it's where they assembled the Boston aeroplanes that came over on the ships to Liverpool docks

    The RAF also use this stuff to protect some of their old aircraft

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