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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many gun collectors store pistols in the leather holsters, others indicate the leather will eventually cause problems, damaging the pistol.

I have met collectors who clean/lubricate with expensive protectants and store their pistols separate from the holster - in plastic bags. I have met others who don't think twice to lubricate with WD40 and store in the original holster.

Obviously it is personal preference, but I am very interested to see if I could get some feedback from the more experienced collectors in what they would recommend for storage and lubrication. The more valuable "rigs" for example, do you store the pistol separate, or just holster the pistol in original leather and put in the safe?

I am luck enough to live in a relatively dry climate. I typically use a thin film of "Break-free CLP" for moisture protection, and currently store most my pistols in leather holsters. Some others I put in cloth cases. All in a safe (no dehumidifier). I store extra rock salt next to the safe to (hopefully) further lower the humidity.

I haven’t had problems up to now - but thought it best to ask and get more information - and avoid potential problems down the road.

Thanks in advance! Scott
 

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quote:Originally posted by Scott Thompson

Many gun collectors store pistols in the leather holsters, others indicate the leather will eventually cause problems, damaging the pistol.

I have met collectors who clean/lubricate with expensive protectants and store their pistols separate from the holster - in plastic bags. I have met others who don't think twice to lubricate with WD40 and store in the original holster.

Obviously it is personal preference, but I am very interested to see if I could get some feedback from the more experienced collectors in what they would recommend for storage and lubrication. The more valuable "rigs" for example, do you store the pistol separate, or just holster the pistol in original leather and put in the safe?

I am luck enough to live in a relatively dry climate. I typically use a thin film of "Break-free CLP" for moisture protection, and currently store most my pistols in leather holsters. Some others I put in cloth cases. All in a safe (no dehumidifier). I store extra rock salt next to the safe to (hopefully) further lower the humidity.

I haven’t had problems up to now - but thought it best to ask and get more information - and avoid potential problems down the road.

Thanks in advance! Scott
This is an excellent question, Scott. I don't know too many collectors who store their pistols in the original holsters or lubricate their pistols with WD40 and then store in the holster. I met one young 25 yr old collector in the mid-90s who did so and that is the only person in my decade of collecting. His holsters were oil-soaked and had nominal value and the grip panels on his pistols were oil-soaked as well. It seems he was obsessive about the potential for rusting his pistols and made sure all of them were covered liberally in oil. This was not a bad idea considering the location (Virginia-hot and humid in summer) but had ruined some nice original holsters. The processes used to tan your holster leather probably leave acids in the leather. The acid, combined with moisture in the air, could lead to gradual attack on the metal and would probably weaken the bluing relatively quickly. Not all loss of bluing is due to friction but may be due to contact with acidic leather at contact points with the leather. This is not a big concern for military use when these pistols were in official service but would be a concern for us collectors over the course of many years of storage in our collections. Also, because leather is porous and retains the oil from the gun, the holster will darken or show stains. Most of the military holsters I see are darkened from oil. This was fine for service but greatly diminishes the condition, and thus value, of holsters for those of use wishing to preserve examples of high quality holsters in our collections.

I do not store guns in holsters so that the holsters are not stained and are not stressed (pulling stitching or stretching and cracking belt loops and other fine structures). I also do not want to take the chance that contact with the holster will wear or remove the gun finish.

I put holsters and guns together only for specific showings then return them to separate storage. In this way, I have nothing to worry about.

I hope that helps.
Dave
 

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Scott, David gave you good advice. I would not store my holsters with the pistol inside as it would tend to crush delicate belt loops etc.

Break free is my preference for pistol protection. WD40 is not an oil at all but a water displacer. It leaves a varnish after drying and I do not recommend it's use to preserve pistols. Jerry Burney
 

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I have been told that a lot of the "blood pitting" that one sees on lugers is actually a result of rusting from storage in holsters.

I, too, like Break-Free for most of my guns. Has anyone else tried their "Weapon Wipes?" Just like baby wipes for your gun...sweet!

Of course, there are those that say Break-Free is bad for bluing, or WD-40 is bad for the steel (metallurgically), etc., just what is a collector to do?

I recently heard about waxing with Renaissance Wax. I bought a small can of it and tried it out on a 45...my first impression is positive. It says in their literature that you can wax just about anything with it, even leather. I tried it out on an old holster and it seems to work. Has anyone else had any experience with it? I wonder if Turtle Wax would do a comparable job?

Oil? Wax? Who knows? But I have heard not to use shoe polish on that holster!

Chuck
 

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Chuck, You have heard right. I do not recommend shoe polish. It is full of smelly oils and waxes meant to repell water and the dyes are particulates which are ingrained into the pourous parts of the leather and thread. Storage is much more important than what we dream up to treat the leather with. Keep leather dry, cool even temperature and out of the sunlight. No weight on it and rolled up acid free paper under the top of the belt loops to sustain their shape. Acid free paper can also be gently stuffed into the body to keep the body in shape. Be carefull hers so as not to stuff the paper in and pull too hard on the pull-up strap. This can break it if it is weak. I use plastic containers with lids that can be stacked to keep the weight off. Jerry Burney
 
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To protect my Lugers (for long term storage), I use Universal Rig Grease with a Rig sheep-skin applicator, while avoiding grease on the grips. For best possible protection, I store the pistol a high quality fleece pistol pouch made by Koplin or The Allen Co. (the latter preferred). I once stored a pistol for five years using this method without observing any negative results. For your Information, Rig Grease is a light grease which can be removed with a light gun oil when necessary.

I hope this advice is helpgul to you.

Happy collecting,
Albert
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chuck, Dave Albert Jerry-

Thanks for the comments and ideas. I will make some changes especially in storage of my "better" leather.

Good to see some others using the Break Free...A while back I saw a independent(unsponsored) rating completed on 20+ lubricants/protectants - It was in the top few. I know in the Marines we used it for about everything - from the pistols and heavier crew weapons, all the way up to the 155 mm Howitizer barrels/bore and firing assembly. I had never heard of it being bad for bluing, but who knows.

Albert,I can imagine your more humid environment is tough on weapons - the rig grease makes sense especially for longer term storage.

I have seen open racks for safes that allow for upright storage of multiple pistols, without a case. I have thought that might be a good call, has anyone used or seen one of those in use?

Thanks,Scott
 

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I always used break-free. I find that after a bit, the break-free forms a solid coating and protects well.

I recently noticed that break-free has a "collectors" oil. Supposed to have been designed for collectables. I recently purchased a bottle. I have used it twive. I noticed that it is a lot thicker. Harder to get out of the bottle because of the thickness. I am guessing that it may be similiar to the light rig product.
 

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I have been using Renaissance wax for many years; it is a wonderful product that will protect both the metal and wood as well as leather. A side benefit is that one can handle a piece that has been waxed with out having to re-wax immediately (a simple wipe off suffices after even prolonged handling) and you don't get greasy fingers.

Tom A.
 

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Scott,

You've already received some very good advice, but I'll add my two cents. Also, what works in the extremely dry climate in my area,(the New Mexico desert), might not work for you. About twenty years ago, I began brushing the metal surfaces of the pistols and rifles in my collection, inside and out, with a very thin coating of Hoppe's No. 9 Powder Solvent, being careful to avoid the wood of the grips, or stock as much as possible. I use a new shaving brush to do this, and use this brush for nothing else. Over the years I have noticed no problems with preservation, using this method. I would never store a pistol or revolver in a leather holster, although I have stored some pieces in pistol "rugs" for considerable lengths of time, being sure to never completely close the zipper, so that some air may circulate.

For holster preservation I use a product called Picard Antique Leather Dressing. I apply this in an extremely thin coat, rubbed into the leather in a circular motion, (much like spit-shining a pair of shoes), and then brushed off with a new shoe brush. The holster is then stored in a cool dry area out of the sunshine.

I'm always willing to try something new though, if it might work better. I'm going to see if I can find any "Break-Free" in my area, and try it out.

These methods have worked for me, I hope they will be of some help to you.

Charles
 

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Storage is a very serious subject, we don't want out investments rusting away in the back or the safe. My pre-retirement work experience involved relialibity of electrical devices and the service life that is mostly limited by corrosion. Controlled environmental studies are routinly specified to define performance.
Several years ago I applied this in a half assed fashion to corrosion on blued gun steel. I had an 18 inch long piece of a Winchester Mod. 52 barrel with about 98% blue on it. I sanded a bare stripe along the length of the barrel. After De-greasing, I then applied 3 diffrent lubricants / preservatives to zones along the barrel length The piece was suspended horizontally under my deck in Humid Southern Pa. from about March through July. I rotated it every once in a while to eliminate top - bottom differences. I started this little experiment as a casual thing one evening and admit that its far from scientific but the results surprised me.
Best Protection = Rem Oil from an arisol can, very little corrosion.
Fair-Poor Protection = Heavy coat of RIG, finger applied. Corrosion
Fair-Poor Protection = Heavy coat of Carnuba wax. Corrosion
The Rig and the Wax worked about the same with both far worse than the lighter RemOil. I would have BET that RIG would be best.
This exercise conducted in a broader scale with more scientific standards would be very benificial to collectors. It needs to be done by an independant source, not by an Oil Mfg'r.
So....I use Rem Oil.
Best of luck
 

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quote:Originally posted by Grunt

Where can one obtain Acid Free Paper?I have tried Art Frame Shops',
Craft Shops,but to no avail!Thank You in advance.
Tom
Try at a professional graphic arts supply house, or a professional photographic supply store. You might also call the curator at your local art museum and pose the question to them.

--Dwight
 
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I know this is only my second posting to this forum, but reading this thread, I want to reply.

I own a business that deals specifically with corrosion control. We have 2 offices, one in our home, and the other at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. We treat all the Army tactical equipment for corrosion control. We use CarWell CP-90/T/32, or consumer name Rust COP.

We distribute CarWell and also CORTEC Products.

I have found that combined, with CarWell and Rust COP makes a very "bullet-proof" system for corrosion control on firearms.

Our system is this, clean with CORTEC VpCI (vapor phase corrosion inhibitors) BULLFROG Gun Wipes, treat with CarWell CP-90 as you would with break free, and store weapons in a gun box (used to carry the firemarms to the range) using CORTEC/BULLFROG VpCI inhibitor emitters.
These emitters are big enough to put into a firearms safe, and the smallest inhibitor emitter is for 1 cubic foot, up to 400 cubic foot. They can be introduced as more than 1 to build up on the cubic foot area to protect. To give you an idea, these products are used to protect the voids in double hulled ships, so if you are htinking about the size of an area, the emitters can protect whatever you may have.



I have been doing 2 gun shows in Honolulu a year for the past 6 years, and selling this approach to collector and wepaon owners. We guarantee this system, thta if ANY corrosion appears on their firearms, we will buy the weapon at full market value, no questions asked. We have never had a claim to date, and I think 5 years into it, in Hawaii, where we explain to take your dehumidifiers and dessicants and throw them away, we would have had claims if this system did not work.

Please understand, I am not selling this to anyone here, as no offers to do so will be made, but simply to explain the system. If you are interested in these products, you can do a keyword search on the web to find these products. The CORTEC web site is very informative about how their products work. With users like the US Military, NATO, Israeli Military, CocaCola, Skorsky, Boeing, NASA, SONY, GM, Harley Davidson, to name a few using CORTEC, and the testing by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderrock Division and US Army TACOM (tank and automotive command) with CarWell, the evidence is that this stuff works.

Break Free or CLP has problems in tropical environs. It breaks down into 2 components, and can cause gumming issues. I found out from Hawaii National Guard the issues they have with their weapons with CLP/Break Free. Their problem is compounded further in that they have to live with a bad system as to try to introduce change into the military with anything else has certain manufactures in a tail spin. I can't go further into this, as those that are familiar with how things work within the "System" I think will understand what I mean.

Reports from South West Asia on CLP is not very good, as problems with grit and adherence to the firemarms occurs. The fine grit works like valve lapping compounds, and with firearms, who wants to seat their recievers, over and over again?

CarWell is a thin film, single component inhibitor. CarWell does not break down, and saturates into the metals. Any excess can be wiped away, but the inhibitor lies between the anode and cathode of the metal, thus shutting off the flow of electrons across the pole, or in regular words, stopping the active corrosion cell.

Applying CarWell to my firemarms, S/42, P38, 1991A1 .45, and High Standard Match 22, has had no ill effect in performing over as many and more years thta we have been doing gun shows. I shoot maybe 3 to 4,000 rounds a year through these weapons. No not much maybe, but enough to see what could be problems or non-issues.

Lastly, CORTEC manufactures what is know as the "blue bag (TM)" for storage of metals up to 2 years. These are efficent, effective and reasonablly priced. Simply open the zip lock bag, drop your firearm into it (by the way, you could store an uncleaned firearm in this bag for up to 2 years with no ill effect)and purge the air by simply pressing the bag as flat as possible around the firearm, and zip closed. In minutes the VpCI inhibitors scavage and eliminate the oxygen, release inhibitors that are charged positive/negative in crystal form ( + - means these will attach to the opposite poles of the metal, the anode and cathode or + - of the metals) and rest on all the metal surfaces.

The best part is, these inhibitors get to all the metals, wherever oxygen was, these inhibitors can go.

If condensation should develop because of a partial seal, the VpCI crystal converts to a film, and will not allow the moisture to lie on the metal surface. The more humidity, the better the product performs.

These blue bags are not the Italian Bianchi or what ever they called them, as those bags are junk. The CORTEC bags are the true inhibiting bags, and they work wonderfully.

My 2 cents
 

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I've been using Break Free Collector for about 4 years. Store pistols in a big safe with dehumidifying rod, on vinyl coated wire racks that hold the pistols in a vertical upside down position, suspended with only two small points of contact. Also have a double layered alarm system. I don't shoot my collectibles, so I'm not concerned about any gumming. The collector coats well, and seems to stay in place. I keep an oil soaked felt polishing cloth hanging on the inside of the safe door, and give the pistols a wipe down after I handle them. Haven't had a problem, yet.
 
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