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Topic author: Erock Steady
Subject: Silica Gel packets: bad idea?
Posted on: 06/06/2006 10:53:31 PM
Message:

Hey all,

A while ago, I bought a whole bunch of little silica gel packets (drying agent, same stuff you find in shoe boxes) for storing some old electronics equipment. I had a bunch left over, so I dropped a couple in with my Mak, and the box that I keep my Mosin bolt in, thinking it would just help keep out moisture: a good thing, right? Now I'm not sure I did the right thing. The metal on my Mak and Mosin bolt seem bone-dry now, as if the silica gel wicked the gun oil away! It's very possible I'm just imagining it...

Does anyone else store their firearms with silica gel, or some other dessicant drying agent?

Replies:


Reply author: GreatDane
Replied on: 06/06/2006 11:46:23 PM
Message:

I've got five pounds of silica beads that I keep in the bottom of my safe...


Reply author: tooltown
Replied on: 06/07/2006 01:51:01 AM
Message:

I use the Driz air along with 1000 or so silica packets in my safes. I also have a golden rod in each safe. I do a wipe down once a month with an oily rag. 5 years and never hade one drop of rust!


Reply author: Dreamer
Replied on: 06/07/2006 09:30:19 AM
Message:

quote:Originally posted by Erock Steady



It's very possible I'm just imagining it...


Reply author: jimmy2
Replied on: 06/07/2006 09:45:05 AM
Message:

Most of my guns are protected from rust with silica gel, though I still keep them oiled. This has worked well for me. AFAIK, silica gel does not affect oil (unless maybe a pack in direct contact with the gun wicks the oil away at the point of contact--but that's a different concept).

When silica gel becomes saturated it needs to be "recharged" to drive the moisture out and make it absorbent again. This is accomplished by placing it in an oven at the appropriate temperature. I do this with my silica gel every year, but probably should do it more often.


Reply author: Enfield4Mk1
Replied on: 06/07/2006 09:51:23 AM
Message:

It's a good idea, just don't have the gel packets touching the metal surfaces. I use several pounds of silica gel in my gun cabinet, and smaller containers are in my ammo cans and storage boxes. At least once a year (or more often) I take it all out and reactivate it in the oven (low temp for many hours). It does a great job. Down here in Alabama the humidity is a real problem and the gel does a good job of keeping it in check.


Reply author: Erock Steady
Replied on: 06/07/2006 2:21:56 PM
Message:

Thanks guys! You give me peace of mind...


Reply author: criticalbass
Replied on: 06/08/2006 12:09:32 AM
Message:

Seems there is a product which changes color when it has absorbed all the moisture it can. Can't remember a generic name or a brand. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

My main objection to silica gel is that stated above. It's easy to let it go, and you can't really tell if it's still active. I wonder if weighing a standard volume of the stuff dry, and then wet would tell us anything? I would use a powder scale which is quite accurate. CB


Reply author: tooltown
Replied on: 06/08/2006 02:05:59 AM
Message:

Brownells has silaca with the meter, Pink to blue means recharge. I get them from work and just rotate them as needed. Walmart uses them in everything. Find a buddy that works there and you will have a lifetime supply like me!!


Reply author: Enfield4Mk1
Replied on: 06/08/2006 09:33:26 AM
Message:

"Pink to blue means recharge" I think he meant blue to pink means time to recharge(at least with mine). Blue=dry and pink=damp. I have the colored type and a larger quantity of the uncolored white stuff. I mixed all the loose stuff together and so now each container has some of the colored indicator beads to show it's humidity or lack thereof. I didn't open the big cloth sealed bags or the one sealed aluminum canister, but all the smaller paper bags I emptied and mixed. I recharge that stuff loose in a baking pan and when finished I fill up plastic containers punched all over with an icepick to hold the stuff. 35mm film canisters work well for smaller containers like ammo boxes. I use at least one of the indicator types in the gun cabinet to know if I need to recharge the larger cloth bags in there. It may seem like overkill, but I haven't had any rust or mildew problems and the ammo in the cans stays bone dry.


Reply author: tooltown
Replied on: 06/09/2006 12:40:34 AM
Message:

sorry, I mean blue to pink! lol sorry. You can never have to much!!! Thank you for the correction. I never have it go pink because of the golden rods.
 
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