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How to Store Guns & Ammunition

80 Percent Arms   |   May 14th 2021

As gun owners, our guns are prized (and valuable) possessions. We've spent a lot of time and work building up our collection, and we want to protect it from everything we can. From protecting your gun from rust, to stopping thieves, we want to take a look at all the best options for keeping your guns safe, whether you're at home, or on the road.

Keep Your Guns Safe At Home

My dad used to say, "If you ain't shootin' 'em, you're lookin' at 'em", anytime I wanted to buy a composite stocked duck gun, because they just aren't as pretty as a wood-stocked gun. And while that may be true when you live out in the country and don't have to worry about hanging a gun on your wall (or in a truck, more on that later), it isn't how it works in most areas of the country. For many reasons, it's best to store your guns in a safe, and most of the time, that's where they'll be. 

Gun Cabinet

We're gunna keep this section short, because there isn't a whole lot to say. We don't recommend them, because they offer no more protection than leaving your guns out in the open. Whether it's an ornate wood and glass cabinet to display your guns, or a flimsy metal locker, gun cabinets are about as hard to get into as a childproof cabinet for a thief, and they advertise exactly where the guns are. Firearms would be better off stashed in the attic where at least they'd be hidden.

They do however, make great storage spots for ammunition, cleaning kits, and other general gun-related items you may have. 

Gun Safe

gun safe

I think we all aspire to fill a safe this large...

A must for every gun-owner. In fact, in California, it's actually legally a must. One of the largest misconceptions about gun safes is that they are only to protect from thieves, and that you may not need one because you live in a crime-free area. In fact, this author thought the safe. The truth, however, is that a safe will keep your guns safe from more than just a common crook. Ever thought about what would happen if your house caught fire? Most safe's are rated to protect it's contents for at least 30 minutes, and the average house-fire lasts only about 20 minutes.

What about the other side of the coin? Excessive moisture is public enemy #1 when it comes to firearms. Anyone who lives along the southern coast can tell you what humidity will do to firearms in a hurry. A safe allows you to have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, keeping guns cool and dry. 

Ultimately, spending $700-$1000 on a safe that will last a lifetime is one of the soundest investments you can make. If it protects even one gun from theft or ruin, it's already paid for itself.

Keeping Your Guns Safe On The Road

Where are most guns stolen? Out of vehicles. It happens in your neighborhood, when you're parked downtown, it even happens at the range. And if your guns are stolen, you have less than a 20% chance of getting them back according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. And no matter how vigilant and careful you are, at some point, your guns are going to be left alone in the car at some point.

Truck Safes

truck safe
A slide-out safe for your truck by Boss Strong Box, featuring a few 80% builds

There's only one name in the truck-safe game, and that's Strong Box. Designed to be discreet, yet extremely secure, they give you ample storage to feel confident about leaving a rifle or shotgun in your truck unattended. In the above photo, you can see a rifle and two handguns, but what you can't see is another two handguns and a medical kit, all fitting under the seat of an F150. Or more practically, a rifle, body armor, gun belt, medical, and the rest of your kit, which can ride with you wherever you need to go. 

The only downside here is that you might find yourself at the range more than your wallet wants you to be once you always have an excuse to drop on in. The larger safe's fit under the seat, so a thief doesn't even realize that there is anything potentially valuable in the car. Even if they do though, Boss Strong Box is tough enough truck safe that they won't be able to get in without some heavy tools, which quite frankly, car thieves don't carry. The best reason last though: Who doesn't want to brag to their buddies about their truck having its own gun cabinet? 

Mobile Safes

mobile vehicle safe

Maybe a whole gun cabinet is too much, or, maybe you don't drive a truck. Don't worry, there's still some great solutions out there. More compact safe's are able to lock themselves to a seat, in a trunk, or any other hard-point in your vehicle. 

Maybe you're spending the day at the beach, going to a courthouse for a speeding ticket, or you don't want to explain to the doctor why you have a gun in your pants. There's plenty of times you might need to leave your EDC in your car, because it's just not possible to bring it with you. Smaller safe's that can fit your EDC gear are the perfect solution. Here in sunny southern-California I spend a lot of time diving, where I don't want to bring any of the items pictured above. A set-up like that, and a car with touch-pad unlock, allows you to leave virtually everything safe and secure, and only have to worry about a key.

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