STORAGE & TRANSPORT
Irrespective of any legislative requirements, as a responsible person ensure that for other than removal from secure storage for transfer to the range, cleaning/maintenance or supervised dry-firing[i] ALWAYS store your firearm/s in a secure place. This includes:
· At home
· In transit
· At the venue
ALWAYS wipe over the exterior surfaces with an oily (your preferred brand of general gun oil*) cloth after every session – including taking the pistol out of the security cabinet just to look at it.
*I have not used silicone oils or silicone-impregnated cleaning cloths on my firearms since the early 1960s - I am not stating that you should not, only that I don’t…
· The storage area should be dry and if possible away from large temperature variations: the metal parts of firearms can get condensation if there is a large drop in temperature
· An old trick for storage of any steel equipment is to have some open camphor wax inside the storage container (works for firearms, tools, reloading dies…)
· Another is to put a cheap crystal-based drying unit (local supermarket) in your storage
· Always store with the hammer lowered
· I have found Lanox® an excellent long-term storage treatment: get some at your local hardware or automotive supplier. Another great is Ed’s Red (search for ‘Ed’s Red’ on Homemade Firearm Cleaners & Lubricants)
· When using Lanox or any other reputable storage treatment:
o A light uniform and complete coating will work as well as a thick coating - a light uniform coating definitely will work better than a patchy thick coating
o Don’t forget the bore
o Thoroughly clean and lubricate the pistol before subsequent use.
· Remove timber grip and (lightly!) wipe over with a quality non-silicone timber oil (e.g. tung oil, walnut oil) – replace grip
· Stack such that removal of the pistol, or other pistols, from the secure storage will not damage exteriors of the pistols.
· See notes in previous item re dry storage
· Always store with the hammer lowered
High temperatures WILL affect ammunition!
· Temperatures above about 40°C (104°F for the deprived) can affect the lubricant on the exposed surface of the projectile to the stage where it may ‘gravitate’ (which could explain the sometimes ‘odd’ lumps of wax on some brands…). The storage conditions of supplies of ammunition before you get it from the supplier are beyond your control, but if on inspection immediately on delivery you find that there are ‘lumps’ of lube on projectile/s, whinge loud and long!
· Step 2 is to ensure that the after you have received it the ammunition is not exposed to temperatures above 40°C
Irrespective of any legislative requirements, store ammunition in a cool (not cold!), dry location:
· Accuracy will suffer if the ammunition is subjected to excessive and/or repeated temperature changes.
· Moisture will set up corrosion
Over and above any legislative requirements in the applicable jurisdiction, often overlooked is the affect of vibration and temperature changes on ammunition:
· Transport ammunition in a well insulated, sponge-lined container
· Keep the container:
o out of direct sunlight and other sources of excessive heat, and
o away from excess cold
· Limit (at least try…) the amount of ammunition to be transported. Taking 500 rounds backwards and forwards from home/range/home when you are only going to fire 70 rounds in a session means that some of the ammunition has been transported at least 7 times more than needed, with 7 times more vibration, etc.
· Take ammunition out of the car when you get home from the range rather than subject it to a week or more of unnecessary vibration and temperature changes.
When flying with firearms and/or ammunition:
o IATA and domestic regulations limit you to a maximum 5kg of ammunition in your booked luggage. Many airlines insist that the ammunition is in a separate locked container.
o Take a copy of the airline/s’ firearms and ammunition policy documents with you to book-in – these can usually be downloaded from the airline’s website
o Take a copy of YOUR current permit to transport firearms and ammunition on the airline/s
o If your trip involves change of carrier, make sure that all the carriers involved will transport firearms and ammunition – finding out at book-in (or worse, transit!) is too late.
o If transiting through Singapore, be aware that they have strict procedures for transit of firearms and ammunition
o Allow extra time for book-in. For international travel at least an extra hour…
[i] Supervised dry firing – no ammunition in the area and an adult to verify that the pistol and magazine/s are empty – always keep the pistol pointed in a safe direction, even when you know it is unloaded.