9 Steps to Prepare & Store Your Guns in a Gun Safe

Gn safe full of guns

The main reason to store guns in a safe is to keep your firearms from getting into unauthorized hands - people without training or those with ill intent. However, when you put the guns into the safe they can become damaged or corroded. We've put together some important tips to keep your guns in good condition and protect them should the worst happen.

A quality gun safe can help keep your guns in good condition by keeping out moisture and other substances and/or gases that may damage your guns over time.

Follow These 9-Steps for "Safe" Gun Safe Storage

  1. Store Your Guns Clean: Clean guns thoroughly inside and out. Copper, lead and even plastic can attract moisture. Store your guns dry. Clean out the bore as well. Leave a LIGHT layer of lubrication on all metal surfaces to create a thin coating to seal them. Always treat your wood stocks with wax inside and out. This will help prevent swelling or cracking of wood.
  2. Tip: The Cabela's Universal Rifle Cleaning Kit has the tools and accessories you need to keep the firearms you own in pristine condition without extra brushes and components you'll never use.

  3. Remove Fingerprints From Your Guns: Natural salts from your hands left in the form of fingerprints can be an entry point for rust. Wipe them away with an ammonia-free cleaner when storing.
  4. Don't Overcrowd Your Guns in a Safe: Guns often suffer nicks and dings when they are placed in and removed from a gun safe. Don't overload and plan the placement ahead of time.
  5. Shooting Accessories

    Remington Rem Oil

    Remington Rem Oil

    Remington's Rem Oil is the most versatile gun oil you can buy. It cleans dirt and grime from exposed metal surfaces, displaces invisible moisture from metal pores, and protects internal and external metal parts from rust and corrosion. Its exclusive formula provides a tough, thin, long-lasting lubricating film that keeps actions working smoothly by reducing metal-to-metal wear.

    Gun Storage

    Cabela's 52‘ Gun Sock

    Cabela's 52" Gun Sock

    Our Cabela's 52" Gun Sock protects your firearms from moisture, dirt, and other contaminants for dependable, rust-free storage in virtually any environment. Made of stretch-knit fabric, this gun sock fit over most long guns, with or without optics, and quickly ties shut with a drawstring closure.

  6. Limit Humidity Inside Your Gun Safe: The air inside a gun safe should be at 50 percent humidity or slightly drier year-round constant. Keep it there with a dehumidifier. Check your stored firearms periodically and more often if you live in a humid climate.
  7. Tip: Liberty Safe Hydrosorbent Silica Gel protects firearms from condensation, rust, and mildew by absorbing dampness from inside your gun safe or enclosed storage area.

  8. Bolt Your Gun Safe Down: A thief will have a tough time tipping the safe or removing it from your home or other location. Make sure your floor is able to support the weight of the safe. You might need to place additional joists to support the bolting system and weight of the gun safe.
  9. Follow the Rules of Firearm Safety: Securing guns in a safe does not free you from always following the ten rules of safe gun handling. View The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) 10 Rules of Firearms Safety and the first four are the big ones.
  10. Copy the Safes Combination: Make several copies of the combination of the safe and store them securely in a different location than the safe itself.
  11. Keep a List of Inventory: Keep an up-to-date inventory of guns, ammo and other items kept in your safe. Include serial numbers, descriptions, and pictures. Store the inventory list in another location like a safe deposit box.
  12. Don't Store Your Guns in Gun Cases: Silicone impregnated gun sock like Cabela's Silicone Treated Gun Sock are great for storage in a gun safe, but never store your firearm in a waterproof, fabric, leather or non-breathable case of any kind. Guns should be stored where dry air can circulate around them.

Additional Gun Safe Q&A

How many guns can a safe hold?

For gun owners looking to safeguard their firearms, the capacity of a gun safe is often a top priority, especially for those with growing collections or in need of additional storage. Generally, expect to pay more for a safe with a higher capacity. A safe's gun count, indicated by the number of gun rack slots, provides a baseline for how many firearms it can theoretically hold. However, this number might not be fully accurate in practice, since different guns and their attachments, such as scopes, require varying amounts of space. Therefore, it's important to consider both the safe's gun count and the physical space your specific firearms will need. For extensive collections, investing in a larger safe is the way to go, and it's beneficial to look for sales on the most spacious options available.

How much should I spend on a gun safe?

Gun safes run anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars, so it's important to determine what you want from your safe. Consider the level of security you require, fire safety rating, the size and number of firearms the safe can hold, insurance requirements, and your budget.

Are gun safes fireproof?

Gun safes cannot be guaranteed to be entirely fireproof. They are constructed to withstand fire to a certain extent, but prolonged exposure to intense heat and flames can still penetrate the safe. The level of fire resistance is indicated by the safe's fire rating—the higher this rating, the longer your belongings will be safeguarded in the event of a fire. For optimal protection, it's recommended to choose a safe with the highest possible fire rating that fits your financial means.

What are the benefits of a dehumidifier for a gun safe?

A dehumidifier in a gun safe offers crucial protection against moisture-related damage. Humid air inside a safe creates an environment conducive to rust, mildew, and corrosion, which can harm firearms, ammunition, and degrade important paper items like documents and currency. Dehumidifiers work to maintain a dry atmosphere, safeguarding your guns, jewelry, and other valuables from the irreversible damage caused by excess humidity.

Storing Guns Safely in a safe