Zerust Products for Rust Prevention and Protection of Firearms and Other Stuff
Eve Flanigan 09.03.19
Back in January 2017, a friend and I set out to do a serious product test of a product that promises to fight a primary destroyer of guns – rust. And while the best-laid plans sometimes go awry, as they did in our little experiment, the products are still noteworthy.
Zerust is the brand name for a series of patented rust prevention products. They’re made to store with a firearm or other products at risk of rust. The company states that Zerust products emit ions around them, in a volume of space commensurate with the product’s size. It comes in multiple forms including a pellet of several sizes and a ruler-like plastic tile.
This experiment was aided by the use of Flambeau’s double-walled, impact-resistant Safe Shot pistol cases. For storage or transportation, they proved to be not only sturdy and customizable but also spider-proof.
For this series of tests, we used Zerust VC-1 pellets, which are about the size and shape of a “fun size” candy bar. It is touted to prevent rust in a one-foot radius for one year. We also used a Zerust “Plastab,” a plastic panel impregnated with the company’s secret ionizing coating that prevents rust. The largest Plastab currently available is 3×1 inches, and protects a 0.3-foot radius around it for a period of at least two years. The one in this test is approximately 6×2 inches.
Here is a short description of the three tests run with Zerust products. In Test 3, the Flambeau Safe Shot pistol cases were also used.
Test 1: I sought to find out whether a Zerust VC-1 pellet would prevent tarnishing/corrosion on ammunition. Two rounds of .223 Remington were sealed in a Ziploc sandwich bag, along with the pellet. As a control, I placed two more rounds in an identical bag without Zerust. The bags were placed in on the floor on the outer wall of a lawn shed that takes on a bit of water during heavy rains.
After 19 months, and miraculously no destruction of the bags by rodents, the Zerust-protected ammo came out looking shiny and new as it did in January—but so did the ammo in the control bag.
Test 2: My friend put a VC-1 pellet into a padded, canvas gun bag along with a shotgun. That bag is stored in a locking truck bed toolbox. This test ended earlier than the others. Back in September 2018, a rare but severe desert downpour hit the area. No one thought anything of it at the time. But when the case was pulled out for practice in December, it was a dismaying sight. Turns out the toolbox isn’t waterproof as promised. The visible effects of soaking were ugly enough on a new bag. But the long gun inside was just sad. Every metal surface on the old Ithaca was pocked with rust. Okay, so this was a bit more demanding than the humble pellet promises to handle. So Test 2 was a flop, through no fault of the products of interest.
Test 3: Since I had a set of shiny horseshoes, a Zerust Plastab, and two Safe Shot pistol cases from Flambeau, what a natural experiment this was. The control shoe was placed into a Safe Shot case by itself. I resisted the temptation to carve out shoe-shaped niches for each subject. The thick, cushy foam lining of this TSA-compliant gun box is “pluck foam,” which is to say it’s cut into sections that can be plucked out to make a custom fit around a gun or other gear. I resisted the temptation to make a custom horseshoe case.
After 19 months in the shed, the Safe Shot cases looked like something from a horror movie, covered in spider webs and dust. The insides of each metal clasp housed a live spider—the first was a surprise; none are still around to tell the tale of my reaction to unexpected spider encounters. As I opened each box, it was obvious the cases seal very well. The metal clasps that secure the lid are rock-solid, and there was a quite obvious line around the edge of the open box where dirt just ended. The foam still had a fresh sparkle; the plastic on the interior was pristine. The shoes looked as fancy as pieces of jewelry in a presentation box—except for the rust. Yep, a light, freckly finish of reddish brown covered each one equally. The Safe Shot box had kept the shoes clean, but a Zerust 2-year Plastab had failed to protect the experimental shoe from oxidation.
Zerust surely does offer some protection from rust, however it is far from a complete solution on its own, especially in harsh environments. It’s inexpensive to try. The Safe Shot pistol cases ($40.49) by Flambeau offered fantastic protection against outside dust and critters.
Some spiders were harmed in the process of this gear review.