You’ve probably heard news about accidents happening because of unattended firearms. Especially with children and their inquisitive playmates. The way you store your guns properly not only eliminates chances of such imminent danger but also protects them from being stolen or mishandled.
There are a few tips to be kept in mind if you have firearms under your possession. Here, we’ll learn about the best methods to store guns safely and the precautions one must take while planning such a task. Keeping your weapons secure at home is not only important, but it also ensures peace of mind.
Qualities To Look For In a Great Gun Safe
Perhaps there are other methods to secure guns, like trigger locks, bolt locks, cables etc., but here we are discussing gun safes because they offer the ultimate safety to your firearms. They are heavy, inaccessible by unauthorized users, and have several other invincible features we will look at now.
A good gun safe must have a thick enough construction (a.k.a gauge) to prevent cutting or tampering. Additionally, features such as a drill-resistant lock plate, multiple door-locking lugs, and security alarms are also the desirable features to look for in a gun safe.
Fireproof and Waterproof
Choosing a fireproof safe is always a better decision than choosing a simple one since such a safe protects your guns and other valuables in event of a fire. Waterproof safes are a bit rare and expensive but they are still a necessity if you live in low lying flood prone areas.
A safe should have adjustable shelves and compartments so you can store all your weapons and valuables easily. It is also important to consider the size of a gun safe since you’ll only be adding contents in the near future, so try to buy a safe which suits your future needs. Additionally, a gun safe must have some sort of protective inner lining to protect your guns from scratches.
Gun safes offer electronic, combination, and biometric locking mechanisms, each of which has its own place. However, electronic-based locks offer quick access compared to combination locks. Also, ensure that your gun safe has a backup key for emergencies.
Tips For Long Term Gun Storage
Some people love to shoot their weapons regularly, while some only touch them once or twice a year during hunting seasons. If you are not a regular range-goer, it is difficult to predict your next interaction with your weapons. Guns can be kept stored for days, weeks, or even months. But every time you put a gun inside your safe, you must consider it to be for long term storage. That’s because such storage requires some basic service and maintenance for your guns, which ultimately is good for their service life. Other than that, it is a good practice to always keep your guns locked inside a gun safe, especially if you have kids in your house.
How to Prepare Your Guns For Storage
The first step for safe storage is to prepare your guns. There are certain aspects or necessities, you must consider for proper long term storage of your weapons.
Note: Follow the firearm safety rules before handling your weapon. Make sure the magazine is pulled out and the chamber is clear. Always treat a firearm as if it’s loaded.
Break Down Your Guns
Always disassemble your weapon before storing it inside the gun safe. Disassembling doesn’t mean that you field strip the guns down to bolts and springs. It simply means that you must decock your weapon to release any pressure on the spring, so it doesn’t get compressed over the long term. Plus, you can also remove the firing pin or the bolt of your weapon and store them in sealed plastic bags. Always make sure to store ammunition separately or at least on a different rack if you don’t have another storage safe. Do not leave any leather or nylon-based slings on the weapon as they may contain or attract moisture.
You must properly clean your weapon prior to storage. This includes the bore, receiver, trigger, and every other part of the gun. Proper cleaning ensures that there’s no dirt, grime, or moisture left on your weapon, which may act as contaminants over the long run. Using an ammonia-based cleaner will keep all the parts dry. Cleaning is not only essential for storage, but it also keeps your weapon in good condition.
Lubrication and Maintenance
After cleaning the weapon thoroughly, apply a fine layer of lubricant on all the moving parts of the weapon, such as the bolt, lugs, receiver, trigger mechanism, and any other part that might require lubrication. If the weapon has a wooden stock, consider applying some wax to maintain its finish. Polymer stocks don’t require any waxing or lube, but they can be wiped with a cleaner. Once you’re done cleaning and lubricating your weapon, wipe off all the fingerprint marks with a clean cloth. It’s better to wear a pair of gloves while cleaning and lubricating the weapon.
How To Prepare Your Storage Space/Safes
Preparing your storage space/gun safe is as important as preparing your guns. Keep these aspects into mind before you store your weapons.
Dessicate Your Gun Safe
Removing moisture from your gun safe is of prime importance. Since moisture is the biggest enemy of guns inside storage space. If your gun safe allows you to install a dehumidifier, consider buying one as soon as possible. Most gun safes either have internal power outlets, or a hole to pass through a power cable for dehumidifiers. If your safe doesn’t have such a setup, you can use desiccants like silica gel. If you have weapons and ammo stored in small boxes, consider adding packets of silica gel inside them as well.
Note: Properly clean your gun safe on the inside with a clean cloth, to remove any dirt, chippings, moisture, and other contaminants.
Ensure that the interior of the gun safe is properly lined with some sort of soft material like nylon. The interior lining delivers a soft surface for storing your weapons and protects them from scratches. Additionally, consider replacing your valuable weapons inside silicon-treated socks for added protection against dirt and moisture. You can also use separate plastic bags to get extra protection against moisture.
Ensure that the gun safe is properly anchored to the floor (if it has anchor holes). A safe must be placed in a somewhat concealed position and have a strong locking mechanism to resist any attacks. Also, store the firearms with any locking devices such as trigger locks or bolt locks, so they are rendered useless even if an unauthorized person gains access to them.
Always keeps your long guns in a barrel-down position so the extra lube oil does not sweep down to the stock and other parts of the weapons. It also keeps the oil from spreading out on the safe’s inner surface.
Things to Avoid
Avoid sheepskin-lined cases as they attract moisture and may cause damage to your weapon. Similarly, avoid using cardboard boxes of guns and ammo inside the gun safe, since they also attract moisture and can cause damage to your weapons in the long run. This extra moisture not only affects the metal but can also cause wooden stocks to crack, not to mention the marring of finish.
Do not give your password to anyone else, unless they are a trusted user. If you have a biometric-based gun safe, make sure to grant authorized access to only responsible adults. Keep the backup key away from the reach of children to prevent loss of the key you need to access your safe if you forget the password.
Do not store weapons and ammunition together. Also, avoid keeping any sort of flammable or inflammable liquid or fuel inside the gun safe.
Benefits of Quick Access Gun Safes
A quick access gun safe is safe which allows you to access its contents quickly. Such safes can be large or small. However, they are generally small in size and used for handguns. Such safes feature a code-based or biometric-based electronic lock, which is the prime reason for their quick access capabilities.
Such safes can be mounted in numerous locations, most of which are concealed, such as under the desk, beside the sofa, on the nightstand, on the wall, bedside and many more. These quick access gun safes allow you to stay ready for any imminent danger. These safes give you an advantage over intruders as you can instantly access your weapon and ammunition to counter them. Many quick access gun safes feature a silent opening mechanism, which allows you to quickly and silently draw your weapon when needed.
A gun safe is the best place to store your guns inside the household. A good gun safe must be durable, safe, and resistant to water, fire, and intrusion attempts. You must properly clean and lubricate your weapons before storing them inside the gun safe. Plus, you must ensure not to include any moisture retaining items inside the safe. Adding dehumidifiers and desiccants greatly reduces the chance of any damage to the weapons inside a gun safe. Furthermore, for quick access to weapons in an emergency situation, you can also consider buying one or more quick access gun safes.