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Old 11-01-2010, 11:56   #1
COM165
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Guns in a Fire

A buddy asked me to clean some guns that were in a fire. The damage isn't too bad. Some are rusted up pretty good. Photos aren't possible at this time unfortunately. They all seem to function as far as the internal springs are concerned. They were in a safe which I do not believe was fire proof.

I don't think that they were water damaged either. It seems that the outside heat coupled w/ the interior moisture caused the rusting. Some of the rust came off with a good cleaning.

He is most concerned w/ the very strong smell from the fire. I got some of it out, but it still smells.

Guns in quesiton; AR15, 30-06 w/ synthetic stock, Rem 870 w/ synthetic stock, Sig 229, Glock 17, .22 with sythetic stock, .22 w/ wood stock.

Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2010, 17:36   #2
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Fire damaged guns are not something for which there is an easy solution. On one hand, the metal can be refinished and the wood or plastic replaced, but there may be safety concerns depending on just how hot the guns got. Aluminumm components are a particular concern as they can be affected at lower temeratures than steel parts. We are asked to look at guns that have been in fires now and again, and while there are no hard and fast rules, generally if the plastic has melted/burned or the wood has burned we tend to be very leary of the integrity of the gun. Often it just turns out not to be economically feasible to repair a fire damaged gun. In any case, smoke smell can be very difficult to eliminate, and I am not aware of any good way to get rid of it other than just letting the itmes "air out" over time.
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Old 11-02-2010, 18:37   #3
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An ionizer may be able to remove some of the smoke smell
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Old 11-02-2010, 19:28   #4
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Fire damaged guns are not something for which there is an easy solution. On one hand, the metal can be refinished and the wood or plastic replaced, but there may be safety concerns depending on just how hot the guns got. Aluminumm components are a particular concern as they can be affected at lower temeratures than steel parts. We are asked to look at guns that have been in fires now and again, and while there are no hard and fast rules, generally if the plastic has melted/burned or the wood has burned we tend to be very leary of the integrity of the gun. Often it just turns out not to be economically feasible to repair a fire damaged gun. In any case, smoke smell can be very difficult to eliminate, and I am not aware of any good way to get rid of it other than just letting the itmes "air out" over time.
Thanks for your response. I don't believe that it was hot enough to compromise the integrity of the weapons. They function test ok as far as slide, bolt work and dry firing. The damage seems to just be rust and smell.

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An ionizer may be able to remove some of the smoke smell
Thanks for your response. Do you mean that I should let an ionizer blow onto them? How long would you figure to do the trick? Some smell more than others.
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Old 11-02-2010, 19:49   #5
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Thanks for your response. I don't believe that it was hot enough to compromise the integrity of the weapons. They function test ok as far as slide, bolt work and dry firing. The damage seems to just be rust and smell.



Thanks for your response. Do you mean that I should let an ionizer blow onto them? How long would you figure to do the trick? Some smell more than others.
Contact a local fire remediation company; they should have a ionizer that the guns can be put inside of for a day or two - they might let you rent one.
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Old 11-02-2010, 20:27   #6
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Contact a local fire remediation company; they should have a ionizer that the guns can be put inside of for a day or two - they might let you rent one.
I ran work for a nationwide fire restoration company. We used ozone generators (not ionizers) to rid problem smoke odors in items like yours. It will rid them of the smell. His insurance should cover the cost. Doesn't he have a fire restoration company involved?
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Old 11-02-2010, 20:30   #7
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Damn- you're right- that's the term I was looking for
Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2010, 21:02   #8
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I ran work for a nationwide fire restoration company. We used ozone generators (not ionizers) to rid problem smoke odors in items like yours. It will rid them of the smell. His insurance should cover the cost. Doesn't he have a fire restoration company involved?
He does have a cleaning company that is taking care of all personal items, "except" for the guns. They said that they cannot touch them. This is why he asked me for help. I'll see if they can rent him an ionizer.
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Old 11-03-2010, 21:16   #9
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He does have a cleaning company that is taking care of all personal items, "except" for the guns. They said that they cannot touch them. This is why he asked me for help. I'll see if they can rent him an ionizer.
An ionizer is not the same as a ozone generator. Tell the company to get him an ozone generator. Place the guns in a closed up room with the generator for 24 hours. Also, tell the cleaning company they will provide it for free. If they want money, tell them you'll turn the whole thing over to a public adjuster.
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Old 04-14-2013, 19:41   #10
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Great answers, and clarification of ozone vs ionization. Perfect and right on. THIS is why Glock Talk works. Glad I joined it.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:36   #11
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Sorry to dredge this up 6 months later, but...

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Originally Posted by COM165 View Post
A buddy asked me to clean some guns that were in a fire. The damage isn't too bad. Some are rusted up pretty good. Photos aren't possible at this time unfortunately. They all seem to function as far as the internal springs are concerned. They were in a safe which I do not believe was fire proof..
I know the owner is worried about the smoke smell more than how damaged the firearms were... but even though you *think* there was no structural damage, unless you know exactly how hot those firearms got, and for how long, it's like assuming that firearm brought into your gun shop is unloaded because someone said so... It doesn't take much to pull the temper out of steel... and the rust is a darned good indication...

I know thats not what the owner wants to hear, but without knowing how hot those arms got (which is a darned good rason to get a fire-rated safe, and KNOW its ratings) you're literally playing with fire...

Me? Just me? Unless I knew they were going to be wall hangers, had them metalauragically tested, or replaced the framework, I don't think in good conscience I could work on them. Just because they appear to function, the first time the owner uses them to protect his life may be his last. When you see a picture of someone permanently planted because his "supposed safe" firearm blew up or sent the slide into his occular cavity it changes what you want to "assume" about arms.

Last edited by Lassen Forge; 11-03-2013 at 08:37.. Reason: Time Factor
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