Ok, so you’ve begun to corner the market on rare and collectible Glocks; A 1st series 17, 1st Gen 17L Ported WITH the tupperware to match, and each of the RTF2 variants–including the 22C! Congrats, you’re a lucky lucky bastard! But now what do you do with them all?
Over the next twenty to fifty years, these guns are going to continue to skyrocket in value and if they keep up their current pace, they very well could outstrip even the stock market as a long term investment (and we all know it’s much more gratifying to hold a historic Glock in your hand vs a crummy old stock certificate). Even with Glock’s ground breaking use of ferritic nitrocarburizing, fifty years is a long time for things to degrade. What can we do to give them the best chance of evading corrosion and degradation?
Funny sidebar: a friend of mine tested Glock’s natural rust deterrence by leaving his used G22 in his shower to see how long it could go without cleaning. And I don’t mean, just in the bathroom where the shower was, I mean that he left it, fully loaded, IN his shower–exposed to the water and steam. He said it took about 18 months before rust became noticeable on the slide. And it wasn’t long after that it was sufficiently rusted as to lock up the slide. However, after a quick disassembly and cleaning, the gun was right back to regular function with no sign of prior abuse. I DON’T recommend this treatment for your collectible Glock, but it really goes to show just how tough the tennifer finish really is.
As my collection expanded, the first thing that I was worried about was theft deterrence. I also had in mind that this would become a side business–dealing guns–so people would be aware that I had an inventory on hand, even if they didn’t know about my collection. The first purchase I made aside from guns was a large safe. At the time, I didn’t have a place to store things in my house, so it had to go in the garage. And as I began my Glock collection, it quickly took up one of the shelves in the safe (seen above).
I knew that humidity was a factor when it comes to rust prevention, so the next thing I purchased was a large silica package to put in the safe and try to maintain a lower humidity level than a typical Kansas summer. I also bought a cheap hygrometer to help gauge when I needed to recharge the silica. However, as I began researching more, I realized that temperature control is equally important and the next big decision was to bring the safe into the house to narrow that temperature range and combat 100 degree temperature swings within a calendar year. With temperature, the most important factor is consistency–large fluctuations in temperature cause materials (like Glock polymer) to expand and contract which cause wear and degradation.
Fast forward several years and my collection has continued to grow, and with it has grown my concern for preservation. When I moved to my new house, I dedicated one of the bedrooms to be my gun room and moved the safe and new storage racks into it. I also purchased a new home humidifier as fall was already approaching and I noticed humidity levels were below 40%. Once spring rolled around, I had to purchase a dehumidifier as Oklahoma is even more hot/humid than Kansas had been. The humidifier will work for the whole house, but the dehumidier has a much harder time keeping up, so I usually keep the door closed so that it only has to work on the one room.
For storage in the safe, I’ve purchased these 6-gun rack and stacked them into the shelves of my safe. The thermostat stays between 65-75 year round and I keep humidity levels in that room at 45-50%. Long term, this is the best preservation that can be done as the air is too try for rust, but not so dry as to cause cracking (I’m more concerned with that on my S&W revolver stocks than with the Glock polymer, but the same principle applies) and the temperature stays relatively consistent save for the three weeks when the AC was out this summer–EEEK!
The guns can be placed upside down or right side up (or you might have to alternate if your safe is cramped for space). In truth, I only have the Gen 1s and 2s in separate racks like this and then have one shelf with all my Gen 3s and 4s stacked side by side as I’m less concerned with their preservation (save for the RTF2s).
You can also see that, because of the way I’ve got them stacked in there, it leaves gaps on the ends and I’ve picked up some of the handy safe-shelf mounts to hang ones and twos off to the sides. I have also kept VCI blocks of one type or another in the safe as a further layer of insulation. I clean them using CLP if it’s just light work, but usually detail strip and flitz the full guns when I first purchase them to try to get a protective layer around them.
If you’ve been keeping up with the Glock hobby these days, you’ll understand that the guns themselves aren’t the only thing that’s valuable! Early manuals have sold for as much as $1500 and the early tupperware boxes are climbing steadily above $500. All of my manuals, Glock Annuals, and Glock Autopistols magazines are stored in comic book sleeves with hard backers, and then labeled with contents and what gun they match to. The sleeves are stored in a hard plastic container to keep them out of the light (and all of that goes on the shelves in the gun room to take advantage of the full climate control).
And finally, for the tupperware: The main goal here is to preserve any paper labels on the outside of the boxes as the tupperware itself is made of Glock polymer and isn’t too vulnerable to atmospheric fluctuations for its preservation.
I’ve found rare book boxes to be an excellent place to store tupperware. They come with unbuffered tissue paper sheets that can be wrapped around the paper labels to further insulate them from the box and keep moisture away. This tupperware happens to be from a 17L and still fits perfectly in a standard 6.75″x10.25″ box.
The bonus of these boxes is that they will sit evenly, 2×5 into a standard size milk crate that you can stack neatly out of the way. As you can see, I usually store magazines, loader, and cleaning rod and brush inside the tupperware and label everything on the outside so I don’t have to go digging to see what is what.
You might notice that I did not post actual brand names for anything I have used as this is just a hobby blog and I’m not an affiliate marketer. If you have trouble finding anything that I discussed, shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to discuss what I use specifically. Thanks for reading!