The Toll Hurricane Sandy Took On One Man’s Gun Collection

A guest post by Jesse Ingall from the blog Ideas, Thoughts and Happenings.

These firearms were brought in to be completely cleaned of rust and salt. They were flooded when the tide rose during Hurricane Sandy. They sat in salt water for a week or so.


I ran a steel brush through the barrels a bunch. Then I attempted to run a patch through one of the barrels and the pitting shredded the patch. Butt plate of a Mauser. Before and after:



You can really see the difference on the Enfield butt plate:


I sanded, sand blasted and blued this 1911. The pitting was so bad that I had to sand the frame and slide. Turned out great I think.


A rusted out side by side shotgun:




This is the entire collection of 74 guns once I finished cleaning them all:


I learned so much from cleaning these guns. I’ve mastered the Mauser, Enfield and Carcano bolt. I hope I don’t see guns in this condition again for a really long time. Luckily most cleaned up great after some elbow grease. All the bolts of the bolt guns had to be cleaned up with some buffing. The best way to learn about a gun is to take it apart about 10 times and put it back together. I’m really glad I cleaned these guns. It was a perfect opportunity to learn these guns inside and out.

Not one of these guns is that impressive or noteworthy in itself but this is a customers collection of guns. This process was a huge job that took a couple months to accomplish but in the end it was worth it. I certainly don’t own this many guns but I would certainly be devastated if I lost my entire very small collection of guns. The cost to do this Restoration was probably far more than the worth but it is better than losing a collection of rifles that are important to the customer.

The real moral of this job was to take care of your guns no matter the value. We saw a huge natural disaster but you should really think twice about where you store your guns.

I want to thank Everyday, No Days Off for inviting me to write a guest post.

Thank YOU Jesse.  Make sure to check out his blog Ideas, Thoughts and Happenings for interesting original gun and hunting related content.

Thoughts?  Do any of you guys have a plan for your gun collection when it comes to a natural disaster? Or is there a good chance it will end up rusted like this collection was?



Church January 7, 2013 at 01:02 am

Too bad there is no before pic of the 1911.


ENDO-Mike January 7, 2013 at 01:02 am

haha yea, that’s the first thing I asked him too.


hnl.flyboy January 7, 2013 at 01:23 am

I wanna say thanks to him for not giving up on the firearms. Beautiful pieces, and it would be terrible to see them go to waste!


RWC January 7, 2013 at 08:47 am

Gawd, that had to be a pain in the ass. But great job on restoring them.


PAPAG30RG10 January 7, 2013 at 09:03 am

What an undertaking… great job on restoring them! Especially the 1911.


A2 January 7, 2013 at 09:04 am



dave w January 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

Tornado is probably the only natural disaster that could hit me, and that would probably just throw my guns god knows where. If i ever finish finishing the basement room my guns are in i will raise them off the floor by a foot in case a pipe bursts and so i can see into the cabinet and get stuff easier.


Jesse Ingall January 8, 2013 at 06:31 am

Thank you everyone. I had a lot of fun cleaning these guns and learned so much in the process.


matt January 8, 2013 at 04:12 pm

I wonder if the Pelican case protected whatever was in it. Too bad this guy didnt have the foresight to cover everything in grease before the hurricane hit.


Jesse Ingall January 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Those rifles weren’t in that Pelican. That actually is my case haha.


M January 12, 2013 at 12:15 am

I think a good question is, “What can we do to protect our guns better from natural disasters?”

Having your safe at least a foot off the ground is a great idea, and one that i plan to implement next time that i buy one. My only concern would be securing the thing against theft and earthquakes. Usually they are bolted to the floor for those reasons. Hate to have the damn thing fall on me…

In the case of an emergency evacuation what would you do? If you are going to a public shelter you cannot take them with you. Seal the door with silicone perhaps? A $5 tube of silicone caulking seems like a cheap way to prevent water ingress, most varieties are water proof before they even dry. Gorilla tape might work, be easier to remove at least, but i don’t know how much pressure it would take or if seepage might be a problem.

Those long clear plastic bags are awfully cheap. Although they probably won’t stop humidity unless sealed with a heat gun, they could keep the stocks from getting soaked even if in standing water. seems like it would be easy to put each gun into one before putting them into the safe.

cosmoline would probably be best for long term storage, anyone know a cheap source?



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