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Results of 1st try long term storage...

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  • Results of 1st try long term storage...

    of a bug out/emergency weapon.
    Picking up some 155mm storage tubes from a good friend and fellow board member several years ago. Steel cased, with a heavy duty screw tight air-proof seal these appeared to be ideal storage containers. After doing a little experimenting I found that a dis-assembled SKS and 40rds of ammo on strippers fit rather nicely.
    One tube will hold two 200rd battle packs of .308 or 500rds of 7.62x39 in the box.
    After finding an appropriate candidate SKS, I asked myself what I wanted to do. I came to the conclusion that this would be a rifle that if needed, would be needed functioning ASAP after retrieval. This ruled out cosmoline dip in and out.
    Can Prep
    Would the tubes rust? The only weak (as far as possible rusting goes) points that I was concerned with were the seams. So, with that in mind I grabbed my can of bed-liner spray and hit all of the seams with a quick coat. I dropped a large bag of dessicant into the very bottom.
    Gun Prep
    I stripped the SKS down and although cosmoline was not going to be used, I needed some kind preservation coat just to make me feel better. I decided on white lithium grease. I put a visible coat of lithium on the exterior metal. I coated the outside of the mag assembly, trigger group, receiver cover also. I was a little concerned about the lithium grease maybe taking off of the bluing over time, but that wouldn’t matter if and when it was needed-so long as it functioned.
    I did not want to grease up the bore-I would not want to have to take time to clear it when re-assembling it for use.
    I did however oil it liberally with several oil-dripping patches. I then plugged both ends with cloth patches.
    Other than the grease coat on the metal, I did nothing with the gas piston and left it in place on the rifle.
    I wrapped the assembly in a plastic garbage bag, taking care to wrap the stock outside of the stripped action and barrel. I left the sling attached to both the barrel and stock. The greased parts went into a plastic storage bag and into the tube. Then the action and stock. Not wanting the bolt and firing pin to be gunky with grease either, I oiled them lightly and wrapped them in wax paper before sealing in a plastic storage bag.
    I fitted it into the tube along side of the action/stock. Up to this point this is great. Do I have a club or a rifle? Ammo, yea that would help. I did not want boxed ammo to have to fool with, so I went with 40rds on stripper clips-daisy chained together with small zip-ties. I also placed a cheap snipper in the tube to cut the zip ties later.
    The lid went on and was tightened down good before placing a zip tie on it. I use RED to designate weapon(s) and YELLOW for ammo. If misc gear is to be stored I put a GREEN tie on it. This does two things: it gives a fast ID if in a hurry; and it lets you know if someone has went into the tube.
    When all was done, I placed the tubes in their storage location. Atmosphere: damp, 40 degree high temp during the summer, very cold in winter. Damp year round.
    One year.
    Two years..
    Three years…
    I decided to remove the cache and inspect for condition. It is fairly warm above ground here now, so I removed the tubes and dropped them in the back yard last night for the temperature to gradually equalize overnight. This will prevent condensation, especially in southern climates with high humidity.
    (Lesson Learned: previously I cached some 8mm turk in small 80mm mortor tubes. I removed it from the cache and opened it on the spot. The moment outside air hit in the inside it was instant condensation. No problem if you are loading the rifle for imminent use, but I don’t like damp ammo that was made in 1939.)
    Opening the weapons tube I was glad to hear the welcome hiss and slurp as the seal was broken and the lid removed.
    I removed all of the parts from the rifle tube. I had previously went and grabbed a handful of rags, totally forgetting that I had tied the stock and action wrapping together with rag strips (for grease removal)
    Unwrapping the action and stock, the white grease was easily visible and that would aid in the removal.
    I wiped the grease off with the rag strips. It came off very easily. The other blued parts and trigger group followed. I inspected the bolt and bolt carrier-it was lightly oiled and looked good.
    I did remove the gas tube and inspect the gas piston-no rust-looked good.
    Conclusion: no rust anywhere, no harm to the blueing.
    I unplugged the bore and gave that a quick look. Shiney as a new dollar but no excessive oil—it would not need any cleaning or pass through of any kind.
    Re-assembly was quick and the rifle was ready for action.

    Summary: this rifle could have been unpacked, given a cursory wipe, assembled and ready to fire in less than five minutes.
    All in all I am very happy with the results. I think it would have kept for many years in good condition.

  • #2
    you have been officialy archived!!!!

    great information my friend and thank you!!!