7 Proper Firearm Care and Storage Tips

Posted by Moses Mandu on Sep 22nd 2023

Gun storage and care are crucial aspects that every gun owner must prioritize. Ensuring the safety and longevity of firearms not only protects the owner but also prevents potential accidents and unauthorized access.

A stack of rifles

In this guide, we will discuss the importance of proper gun storage and care techniques to guarantee optimal functionality and longevity.

What Is Gun Storage?

This is the practice of keeping firearms unloaded and locked up when not in use, preferably with the ammunition stored separately.

Gun storage prevents unauthorized access to firearms by children, potential thieves, or individuals who may harm themselves or others. Also, it protects firearms from damage, theft, or misuse.

Benefits of Proper Gun Storage

Proper gun storage can reduce injuries and deaths that result from a gunshot wound, an opinion held by researchers, healthcare professionals, and gun owners alike. Some of the benefits of proper gun storage are:

  • Preventing unintentional gun injuries, especially among children.

A Harvard publication cites an NVISS study on firearm suicides among youths ages 17 and under which reported that an estimated 82% of adolescent firearm suicides involve a gun belonging to a family member. This implies that 80% of school shooters under 18 access a firearm from their own home or that of a relative or friend. 

a child holding a rifle

    Image by Perlinator

  • Reducing the risk of suicide by firearm.

There’s a considerably low risk for suicide among adolescents when guns are stored safely. This can be demonstrated when you consider that States with child access prevention laws that require guns to be stored in a safe manner have lower rates of adolescent suicide.

  • Preventing gun theft and diversion into illegal markets.

You’ve seen cases where hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen from homes and cars each year, helping to fuel high rates of gun violence across the country. The responsibility of ensuring the safe storage of guns falls squarely on gun owners. Safe storage helps to prevent these thefts.

  • Preserving the quality and functionality of your firearms.

Proper gun storage can protect firearms from rust, corrosion, dust, moisture, pests, and other environmental factors that can impair their performance or appearance.

Gun Storage Tips

There are different ways you can store firearms safely and securely, depending on the type, number, and purpose of the guns. Some general tips for gun storage include:

  • Store guns while unloaded. 

    unloaded gun with bullets

Image by Brett Hondow

A gun is only safe when completely unloaded. This reduces the chance of accidental discharge or injury if someone accesses the firearm without permission or knowledge.

  • You should store guns in a locked container.

A locked container can be a gun safe, a lockbox, a gun cabinet, or a storage case. The container should be sturdy, durable, and tamper-resistant. The key or lock combination should only be accessible to authorized users.

  • Store ammunition separately from guns. 

    Rounds of ammunition

Image by Jessie Buss

Separating and storing ammo apart adds an extra layer of security and prevents unauthorized users from loading and firing the gun. You should also store ammunition in a locked container.

  • Use gun-locking devices.

Gun locking devices are ingenious pieces of equipment that render firearms inoperable by preventing the trigger from being pulled or the gun from being loaded. They include trigger locks and cable locks. These devices can be used as an additional precaution, but they are not substitutes for locking containers.

This prevents damage from humidity, temperature changes, or exposure to sunlight. Also, you should avoid storing guns near heat sources, water sources, or chemicals.

The following are some of the devices you can use for gun storage:

1. Gun Closets and Gun Rooms

Firearms hanging in a gun closet

Consider making an entire room or closet into a dedicated firearms storage space. If you can secure a whole room, you have many more options for displaying your collection.

2. Hidden Cabinet in the Wall

You can create a hidden cabinet behind a mirror, a painting, or a bookshelf that opens up to reveal your guns. This way, you can keep your guns out of sight but easily accessible.

3. Gun Rack Behind a Mirror

You can install a simple gun rack behind a full-length mirror that slides away to reveal your firearms. This is ideal for storing long guns like rifles and shotguns.

4. Picture Frame

You can use a picture frame as a cover for a small hidden compartment that holds your handgun. You can attach hinges or magnets to the frame to make it easy to open and close.

5. Floating Gun Shelf

You can build or buy a floating shelf that has a hidden drawer underneath that slides out to reveal your firearm. This is perfect for storing handguns or small items like magazines and accessories.

6. Coffee Table with Hidden Storage

You can make or buy a coffee table that has a secret compartment inside that lifts up to show your guns. You can also add locks or latches to secure the compartment.

7. Simple Gun Rack

You can make a simple wooden rack that holds your guns horizontally or vertically on the wall. You can add hooks, pegs, or brackets to secure your firearms. You can also paint or stain the rack to match your decor.

8. Reclaimed Gun Rack

You can repurpose an old pallet, crate, or barrel into a rustic gun rack that adds some character to your room. You can cut, sand, and drill holes to fit your guns. You can also add some nails or screws to hang your accessories.

Gun Care Tips

In addition to proper storage, firearms also require regular care and maintenance to ensure their optimal performance and safety. Some gun care tips are:


You should clean firearms after every use or at least once a month to remove dirt, residue, fouling, or rust. This answers the question of how often you should clean guns. Cleaning involves disassembling the firearm, wiping down the parts with a cloth or brush, applying solvent to remove deposits, and lubricating the moving parts.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure for cleaning your firearms:

  1. Start by spraying the entire gun and parts with cleaner fluid to loosen debris and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes then wipe down entirely. 
  2. Use a cleaning rag to clean the chamber, trigger group of the weapon, and/or dust cover.
  3. Attach a bore brush to a cleaning rod and apply some solvent to it. Push the rod through the barrel from the breech end (the end closest to the chamber) to the muzzle end (the end where the bullet exits). Do not pull the rod back through the barrel, as this will redeposit the fouling you just removed. Instead, unscrew the brush from the rod and pull the rod out of the barrel. Repeat this process several times until the brush comes out clean.
  4. Attach a patch holder or jag to the cleaning rod and insert a patch soaked with solvent into it. Push the patch through the barrel in the same manner as the bore brush. Use a new patch for each pass until the patch comes out clean. You may need to use several patches depending on how dirty your barrel is.
  5. Attach a dry patch to the patch holder or jag and push it through the barrel to remove any excess solvent. Repeat with another dry patch if necessary.
  6. Apply some lubricant to a patch and push it through the barrel to coat it with a thin layer of oil. This will protect your barrel from rust and corrosion.
  7. Reassemble your firearm and wipe down any excess oil or solvent from the exterior with a microfiber cloth. 

    wiping a gun with cloth

Gun cleaning products on the market are varied. As we mentioned above, you’ll need a solvent, oil, and a patch. Here are some products that will do the work for you.


These are products that help you dissolve and remove the carbon, lead, and copper deposits that accumulate in your firearm’s bore and action. Some of the best solvents on the market based on gun cleaning kit reviews include:

  1. BreakFree GC-16 Gun Cleaner

    This is a powerful and high-pressure solvent gun cleaner that blasts away powder residue, grease, oil, and other contaminants from your firearm. It works by drying and evaporating the dirt, leaving no residue or unpleasant odor. It can clean any firearm from .17 to .50 caliber, and it does not require disassembly, making it one of the best tactical gun cleaning kits. It comes with an extender tube that provides easy access to hard-to-reach areas. It also contains citrus oil, which is a natural degreaser and deodorizer.

  2. Cedar Mill Fine Firearms® Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

    cedar mill fine firearms universal gun cleaning kit

    This is a versatile and comprehensive kit that can clean any firearm from .17 to .50 caliber. It comes with a durable aluminum case, brass rods, brushes, jags, patches, mops, and a cleaning mat. It also includes a bore snake for quick and easy cleaning. This kit is ideal for beginners and experts alike, as it has everything you need to keep your firearms in top condition.

  3. Cedar Mill Fine Firearms® AR-15 Cleaning Kit

    Cedar mill fine firearms AR15 cleaning kit

    This is a specialized AR-15 cleaning kit, rifles known for their high performance and accuracy. It comes with a sturdy nylon case, brass rods, brushes, jags, patches, mops, chamber brush, bore guide, and a cleaning mat. It also includes a multi-tool that can help you disassemble and reassemble your AR-15. This kit is designed to help you maintain your rifle’s reliability and functionality.

  4. Cedar Mill Fine Firearms® Pistol Cleaning Kit

    cedar mill firearms pistol cleaning kit

    This is a compact and portable kit for pistols of various calibers. It comes with a zippered pouch, brass rods, brushes, jags, patches, mops, and a cleaning mat. It also includes a bore snake for fast and easy cleaning. This kit is perfect for travelers and concealed carriers, as it can fit in your backpack or range bag.


These are products that help you with various tasks related to your firearm’s maintenance, such as disassembling, reassembling, adjusting, and repairing. Multi-tools can save you time and space when you need to work on your firearm. Some of the best multi-tools on the market are:

  1. Real Avid Gun Tool Pro

    Real Avid Gun Tool Pro

    This is a 30-in-1 multi-tool that is designed for rifles and shotguns. It has a variety of tools, such as bits, drivers, files, knife, hammer, punch, scraper, and wrench, that can help you with the maintenance, repair, and adjustment of your firearms. It also has a universal choke wrench that fits different gauges of shotgun chokes. It comes with a durable aluminum case and a cleaning mat. This multi-tool is ideal for gun owners who want a versatile and comprehensive tool kit for their firearms.

  2. Gerber MP600 Sight Tool

    Gerber MP600

    This is a 14-in-1 multi-tool that is designed for military use. It has a sight adjustment tool that can work with M4 and M16 front sights. It also has other tools, such as pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, hook, crimper, and screwdrivers, that can help you with various tasks. It has a one-handed opening mechanism and a Saf.T.Plus locking system. It comes with a ballistic nylon sheath and a scope adjustment tool. This multi-tool is ideal for military personnel who need a reliable and tactical tool for their weapons.

  3. Leatherman MUT

    Leatherman MUT

    This is a 16-in-1 multi-tool that is designed for military gear maintenance. It has a bronze carbon scraper, a disassembly punch, and a bolt override tool that can help you clean and fix your firearms. It also has other tools, such as pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, hammer, wrench, and drivers, that can help you with general tasks. It has multiple areas for attaching cleaning rods and brushes. It comes with a MOLLE sheath and a scope adjustment tool. This multi-tool is ideal for military gear enthusiasts who want a practical and functional tool for their equipment


Firearms should be lubricated with oil or grease to reduce friction, wear, and tear on the metal parts. Lubricating parts prevents rust and corrosion and ensures smooth operation. Too much or too little gun lubrication can cause problems, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Here are some tips you can consider:

  • Use a high-quality lubricant that is specifically designed for firearms. Do not use household oils or products that may contain harmful additives or solvents.
  • Apply lubricant sparingly and only to the parts that need it. A little goes a long way. Too much lubricant can attract dirt and dust, cause malfunctions, or leak onto your hands or clothing.
  • Lubricate only the metal-to-metal contact points of your firearm, such as the slide rails, bolt carrier group, trigger group, hammer, sear, etc. Do not lubricate plastic, rubber, or wood parts, as this may damage them or affect their function.
  • Use a needle applicator, syringe, or dropper to apply lubricant precisely and avoid over-lubricating. You can also use a cotton swab or patch to spread the lubricant evenly over the surface.
  • Wipe off any excess lubricant with a clean cloth or patch. Check for any drips or leaks and remove them as well.

Here are some of the best gun oils on the market:

  1. Break-Free CLP-4 Cleaner Lubricant Preservative

    Break=free CLP

    This is an all-in-one product that cleans, lubricates, and protects your firearm from corrosion and wear. It has a synthetic oil base that penetrates deep into metal surfaces and forms a protective barrier against moisture and contaminants. It also reduces friction and prevents metal-to-metal contact that can cause damage.

  2. Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil:

    Hoppe's No. 9 Lubricating oil

    This is a classic gun oil that has been trusted by shooters for over 100 years. It is made from highly refined mineral oils that provide superior lubrication and protection for your firearm. It also prevents rust and corrosion and reduces wear on moving parts.

  3. Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil

    Ballistol multipurpose

    This is a versatile product that can be used on firearms as well as leather, wood, metal, plastic, rubber, and more. It is biodegradable and environmentally friendly and has a mild alkaline formula that neutralizes acidic residues from gunpowder and sweat. It also cleans, lubricates, preserves, and protects your firearm from rust and corrosion.

Storage temperature.

You should store firearms at room temperature or slightly below to prevent condensation, rusting, or expansion and contraction of metal parts. Extreme heat or cold can damage firearms or affect their accuracy. use Lockdown Digital Wireless Hygrometer to regulate humidity in the gun room.

Lockdown digital wireless hygrometer


You need to have your firearms inspected regularly for signs of damage, wear, or malfunction. Any defects or problems should be repaired by a qualified gunsmith as soon as possible. Do not attempt to modify or alter your firearm without proper training and authorization.


Keeping your firearms safe and secure is an important part of responsible gun ownership. By following the tips above, you can protect yourself, your family, your community, and your firearms from harm. Remember to always practice safe and secure firearm storage when not in use and to care for your firearms regularly.

Hope this has been enlightening for you. Leave us a comment below with a product you enjoy using.