Dear Bruce,

I truly enjoy your responses and I believe you know your stuff, but I disagree about using the Golden Rod or any heating element in a gun safe. True it dissipates moisture, but it acts as a mini oven and “cooks” the wood on the guns; in addition, I think it dries gun grease and other lubricants quicker. The bags of silica serve the same purpose without harm to your guns, plus you can use them in a fire safe without compromising the integrity the way a hole for a power cord does.

Again, thanks for all your great advice.


Dear Neil,

Point well taken about the “mini oven” and silica dessicate. The success or failure of the method may depend on the environment. The dessicant cannisters I have tried, even the industrial size, load up very quickly and I forget to keep baking them. The Golden Rods have proven effective in this environment and I have noticed no change in point of impact in the two very accurate wood stocked rifles I have.

I have no doubt that a good silica dessicant regimen might be superior, but considering my general sloth and lack of attention to detail, I just plain forget to keep changing them. The Golden Rod doesn’t need any attention. Plug it in and forget it. Also, I haven’t noticed any gumming of grease or lubricant on my guns. I don’t really have that many and I use them all, so that may be the reason.

I use my Golden Rod in conjunction with a good wipe down with Birchwood Casey’s “Sheath” rust preventer. I also pull the stocks off my more actives guns every now and then and sloosh down the insides with Sheath. I have a lot of Belgian Brownings, the fastest rusting guns in the world, and have not had any trouble, so something must be working.

As to the tiny electrical cord hole compromising the integrity of a firesafe, perhaps, but mine aren’t fire safes. I find the hole an advantage as I also run an electric light off the Golden Rod cord so that I can see into the nooks and crannies of the safe and pluck out some neglected gun that is due for its exercise.

Your points are well taken though and I am going to publish your letter so that SR readers know that there are at least two ways of keeping things dry and can pick what suits them the best. Perhaps someone out there will have an even better approach that we both can benefit from.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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1 Response to Desiccants

  1. Steve Slawson says:

    Interesting take on techniques for gun storage in safes. it would be helpful if your general locations were shared with us.

    I never miss SR and tell everyone that will listen to regularly check your site.



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