Gun storage vs. availability

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by flunky, May 9, 2008.

  1. flunky

    flunky Monkey++

    I was just searching the forums regarding the subject, but haven't found much, so I thought I'd just ask.

    How do you store your guns? Do you find having a dedicated gun safe the best way or do you prefer racks or some such?

    I'm just getting at the point where I've got to figure on a better way to store all of mine [shotgun, AK, Mauser, revolvers, and probably more coming] rather than just have 'em in a closet with trigger guards.

    Thing is, what's the best way? Securing them from thieving is an issue, but so is being able to get to what you need quickly.

    My dad just keeps a few guns behind or atop furniture and in his garage, but he lives alone....
  2. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    When we are home, we have a handgun available. When we are gone they are in the safe room. Fixing to put a ladder up the wall in that room into the attic, and a lockable door to get on the roof. Total access, when home, no access when gone.
  3. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    In safes for the most part. I keep a couple hidden "in plain sight."
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Me too
  5. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have safes for many of them, several wooden gun-cabinets with a piece of air-craft cable locked through the trigger guards to eye-bolts, and a bunch just lying around in cabinets, hanging on the wall, propped in corners, under beds, racked in my shop, in closets.....ah...[booze]
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I do not have "proper" storage for the time being, if "proper" means a safe or lockable storage that shows itself for what it is. Let it also be noted that I don't have to take very many steps (if any at all) to lay hands on something that will go bang.
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Personal situation is probably the single biggest factor on the 'best' way to store them IMO. If you have kids (and kids bring friends over) or if you have a bunch of folks over all the time to hang out and drink ber while watching the game or what ever then haveing them scattered around the house probably wouldnt be the best idea. Similarly if you are stuck in a high crime area where the place is likely to be broken into then haveing them in plain view or even locked up where a crow bar or some such could get to them isnt the best plan, and so on.

    For me, with a teen that dont have the best judgment in the house I tend to keep most of them in my bedroom or at least in controled areas (like the shotgun leaned behind my chair at the moment where it isnt noticeable and cant be gotten without notice). I have a sort of half closet in my room with a few drawer below it then it goes up from there and put a lock on it. I keep the less used guns in there like my the deer rifles and so on that dont get taken out and used/shot all the time. Then we have the everyday use guns like the 2 shotguns we use if we know theres a critter outside at night, the handguns, the .22 that gets used for most day light ridding of pests and a lot of slaughtering and my AK and the Mrs SKS. We usualy keep at least one of the shotguns in the front room so it can be grabbed readily if needed, a handgun is carried by both adults most all the time and the handguns live on the headboard when not carried so they are at hand in the middle of the night and the 7.62s are in the bedroom where they can be gotten easily if needed. Some of the long guns are just leaned in the corners in the bedroom but also have a rack where they can be hung in there by the doorand grabbed on the way out of the room. So basicly I tend to always be armed with my handgun (typeing this in gym shorts with my 9mm clipped to them) and can get to long arms in a few steps at most. All our guns other than the 2 black powder guns are also ALWAYS kept loaded and chambered, usualy with the safety on for long arms and anyone here knows it so no one gets stupid when handeling them and they are ready if needed.

    When I used to live in a bad area in the city I would generaly keep a handgun on the headboard or on me and a long gun proped beside the bed then would hide the rest of them. I learned a long time ago that if a thief knows where to find what they want locks and such wont kep them from it but if they cant find it they cant steal it. Some hideing places I have used in the past or known others to use are things like inside an unused wall heater, between studs behind a removable piece of paneling, under a tub accessed by a plumbing pannel, inside clearly marked containers no thief is likely to be interested in (handgun in the dog biscuit box or some such), inside of furniture and so on. Many of the places can be a lot quicker and easier to access than a safe AND a thief dont know where to find them. If they see a safe they know there must be something worth stealing in it and a lot of cheaper gun safes could be opened by a crowbar, if not bolted down they take safe and all, and knew a guy who after a cheap one was forced and a better safe was stolen with the guns inside got a good one and bolted it down so the thieves brought a tourch and opened it. Unless you build something at least like a bank vault then it will mostly keep guests out and at best may deture or frustrate a smash and grab thief just looking for quick drug money or some such and may not even work on them.

    So my basic things are to store them ready to use or they are useless and then just decide if they need to be kept to a restricted area of the house and find good hideing spots if needed in an area with restricted access.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Hm. Wonder why that grandfather's clock isn't quite back against the wall --
  9. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Right now my revolver is in my stockings (as in stockings and garters) drawer ;).

    Rifles are next to the bed, relatively easily in reach. Shotgun is upstairs in the boy's room in its case.

    No small children and even if there were, they'd be hard pressed to access the guns with no one noticing.
  10. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Locked and loaded next to me as I sleep... My biggest issue is deciding at a moments notice what to use...
  11. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I'm Concerned about storing my brand new .45mags loaded,( springs taking a set and all)Never worried about the revolver, guess I've gotta buy,more mags...
    The 870(unloadedinthecloset) is quick enough to grab a shell from the butt stock carrier, open the action , drop a shell in the ejection port,close it, load the rest at my leisure....
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I've depended for so long on a six shooter that I sorta automatically count shots subconsciously. So once I have functionally proven all mags for the 1911, they are loaded for six only rather than full for household duty. Reasoning may be faulty, someone can sort me out there, but with the mags not full, the springs are less likely to take a set, and I'll be thinking reload at six squeezes. And, if I need to reload under a home invasion situation, something has gone further wrong than I can handle readily anyhow. Now, on the street and in the field, the mags are full. Also, they get rotated and cycled often enough that a set is very unlikely.
  13. CBMS

    CBMS Looking for a safe place

    You ever read the Asops fable where the cat and the fox are being chased by hounds?

    Dont be like the Fox.

    Pick the tool that'll work right EVERY time. For me its a .45 under the bed, and a rifle behind my door. In my brothers room its 4-5 pistols scattered about and 2 rifles in the closet.

    I think we're ready for any home invasion...
  14. flunky

    flunky Monkey++

    So, a variety of approaches, really. :D I was thinking of getting one of those wall-mounted metal racks, but the construction of the model was bothering me since it looked like it could just get yanked out whole.

    One quibble:
    The first part doesn't bother me, but the second - "a thief don't know where to find them" - that's problematic.

    Thieves go looking for guns in particular and they're the 'professionals' at looking for them, in a way. I know that in certain areas if you've got an NRA sticker your car is more likely to get broken into and torn up.

    Similarly, any thief will have favorite places to check, closets being one and tops of cabinets or in clothing drawers being others.
    Some reading, not related to guns, but with a burglar
  15. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Load the mags full Ghrit, in a high stress situation like a shooting you will have no idea how many rounds you fired. Everyone that I have talked to or read about had no idea how many rounds were fired until the casings were counted. Also, a friend of mine was a former DEA Agent and Firearms instructor, he told me that when he was sitting in front of the jury and they asked him why he shot the perpetrator six time, his answer was "because that was how many rounds my pistol held." Needless to say he was no-billed. You never can tell when that extra bullet or two will save your life. Load the mags to their capacity, good quality magazines will stand the test of time. I highly recommend the Les Baer and Wilson 47D mags. I would rather have too many rounds than not enough. Besides, springs are cheaper to replace than buying a new headstone.
  16. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    As we are in the process of building a home and the one we are in now is temporary, I didn't want to get too involved with a built in safe.I am working on a walk-in safe at the new house location.

    But for now I have two of these metal gun lockers that mount to the wall. I mounted them in closets and the bolts that secure them to the wall are 5/8 X 4" !!

    I mounted one in the master bedroom closet and the bolt came out of the wall on the other side! Completely through the stud. It would take a lot of work with a sledgehammer to ever get that thing off the wall. Very secure. But I also camoflauge them. The one in the master bedroom walk-in coset has a short chest-of-drawers in front of it and clothes hanging from a rack above it. It is completely concealed from view and it would take some searching and rifling through the hanging clothes to reveal it.

    The other is in the hall closet and mounted on the side wall. The long winter coats are hung in front of it and it is completely hidden from sight. Again, only revealed by a rifling of hanging clothes. Not something a crook would likely be doing.

    When home we have several hand guns hidden in plain sight and a 12 ga. pump behind a closet door. When we leave home I always leave out a few cheap (unloaded) guns that would not hurt my feelings too bad to have stolen. We were also in the habit of leaving our bedside guns and the shotty out (but concealed) when we were only going to be gone a short while.

    We had an eye opening experience last week. We returned home after taking our daughter to school and there was a pick-up parked on the road in front of our house. The road is entirely on my property and over 200 yards from the county road and my gate, with the "No Trespassing" signs.

    So needless to say we were instantly on high alert. My wife and I were both armed but the driver of the truck was nowhere to be seen. I drove around the property to see if it was someone looking to poach deer or something and saw no one. The only place left was in the house.
    I had the wife stay in the car with the cell phone while I went inside, I got to practice my room clearing techniques.

    No one was in the house. The truck belonged to a guy that had been hired by the oil company to repair the road. It is a lease road that leads back into a oil well location.The guy had left his truck parked while he went back to get his dump truck and back hoe.

    But it made me think about the possible dangers. I had two loaded pistols and a shotgun in the house. If there had of been a crook inside he may not have been armed when he went in but it was possible that he had found the weapons inside and would have been armed then.

    The only thing worse than getting shot would be getting shot with your own gun. Damn, that would suck.

    So I have modified our SOP. If we are going to be gone all day or overnight, the guns (except for the cheap grab and go ones) all get locked up, or taken with us. If we are only going to be gone for a short time I unoad the shotty and remove the clips from the pistols and take them with us. I don't want to have to search a house again knowing that someone inside could have my gun loaded and aimed at me.

    Here is the link to sportsman guide for the wall mount gun lockers. I recommend them if you have no other option. They are very sturdy. But of course a safe bolted to the floor would be better. But these beat hiding them under the bed.
  17. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

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    Or a couple of these over the inside of the closet door that your shotgun/rifle hangs in.

    Ted Cash Gun Hangers
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  18. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I have got 10-15 year old 1911 mags Caspian and combat Wilson's that have been loaded full for years and they function just fine every time i use them.
  19. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    So far as places where thieves wont know where they are, the main thing is going outside the box. Most anyone knows if you are looking for a gun in a house the first places to check are the night stand, under the bed, in the closet, the sock drawer, behind the doors and obviously if there is a tall safe or locked up locker then it is VERY likely full of guns that may well be above the cheapies. Folks dont tend to store their jewlery in the freezer so thieves dont tend to look there. If there are unusual architectural features to the home then they can be used, I had an apartment where in an out of the way hard to see spot there was an opening about 6"x6" and it led to a spot that ran all the way above the kitchen cabnets so I stored a couple long guns there. I also used to have a water bed with what appeared to be a solid base and I had the board at the bottom removable so could remove it and store guns under it. Knew one guy that had a dummy hot water heater he used for storage, another used his furnace, one bachlor friend who dont cook uses his oven for a rack of handguns.

    Its basicly a matter of being creative and avoiding the obvious. MOST thieves wont have studied a place and ocupants to a point of knowing how long you will be gone so they tend to not want to spend hours searching and risk being caught, they want to get the jewlery, electronics ang guns and such quickly and go. So the basic test is it isnt a spot where you would be shocked to find the item (or other valuables) then it isnt a good hideing spot. A large trash can might also be a spot to hold little intrest for a thief since few are going to be considerate enouph to take the trash out for you. Carved out books on a shelf for handguns, in the spice rack or with the pots and pans, there are lots of places in the house one would not expect to find goods easy to sell for good money.
  20. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Thanks Quigley...[beer]
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