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May 31st, 2024

Be Safe, Not Sorry — Gun Storage Check Week June 1-7, 2024

nssf gun safe storage week promotion lock box

Gun Storage Check Week is the time to ensure your firearms are stored safely and securely. This week, make sure your guns are secure. NSSF, the Firearm Industry Trade Association, is promoting Gun Storage Check Week, June 1-7, 2024, to remind gun owners to review their storage practices to prevent accidents, suicides and thefts.

“Securely storing guns when they’re not in use can save lives. It’s really that simple,” said Joe Bartozzi, President and CEO of NSSF. “No one wants their gun in the hands of an unsupervised child, a person in crisis, someone who does not understand how to safely operate firearms, or a thief. If something bad happens because your gun isn’t stored securely, you’ll regret it, probably forever.”

This video covers gun safety rules and secure storage of firearms.

Gun Storage Check Week’s safety resources highlight many options to store firearms securely so that guns are off limits to unauthorized persons. Secure gun storage devices include:

Cable Locks — Available free of charge through NSSF’s Project ChildSafe® program
Lock Boxes — Secure storage solution for guns kept for home security and in vehicles
Lockable Gun Cases — for security, portability, and travel
Full-size Gun Safes — For owners with multiple firearms to protect against fire and theft.

nssf gun safe storage week promotion lock box

Win a FREE Lockbox and/or Get a FREE Cable lock

Lock boxes come in a range of models using keys, access codes or biometrics to open them. Go to gunstoragecheck.org to enter the Gun Storage Check Week Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 25 ShotLock Lock Boxes. To enter, CLICK HERE, then scroll down page and fill out the online entry form. Even if you don’t win, FREE cable gun locks are also available through NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

gun storage week lock box contest nssf

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May 26th, 2024

Freedom Wall Cabinets Offer Rapid Access Storage

Freedom Cabinet Wall Safe concealment System RFID Biometric

Everyone should have a heavy-duty, thick-walled steel gunsafe for their firearms and valuables. Ideally this should weigh 400+ pounds and offer fire protection for the contents. However, a gun owner may also want more rapid access to defensive arms and security items, in a different part of the home. That is where the “hidden in plain sight” concept comes into play. Metal Art of Wisconsin has some unique wall-hanging products that provide hidden storage.

Freedom Cabinet Holds Long Arms and Pistols — RFID Access

The unique Freedom Cabinet, shown above, is a patriotic, wall-mounted Stars & Stripes Flag-themed concealment unit, offered in three sizes starting at $294.95. Available in Wood, Steel, or Carbon Fiber, each secure Freedom Cabinet features inlaid steel with optional RFID ($29.95) or Biometric ($49.95) locking systems. There is also the Decor series of Freedom Cabinets with simpler, single flip-up covers. CLICK HERE to view all the Decor Freedom Flip-Up Cabinets, ranging from $224.95 for small size (23″x12″) to $424.95 for large size (41″x22″), with 7 different graphic styles. Along with Metal Art’s flip-up Freedom cabinets in various sizes, there is a “Slider” version priced at $294.95.

tactical walls shelf gun safe storage wall

CLICK HERE to see the full selection of Metal Art’s Concealment Cabinets. NOTE: For Memorial Day Weekend, Metal Art of Wisconsin is offering FREE SHIPPING.

Freedom Cabinet Wall Safe concealment System RFID Biometric

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
May 6th, 2024

BargainFinder 450: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. Palmetto State Armory — AR15 Lower Receiver, $49.99

AR-15 AR AR16 bargain discount stripped lower value price Palmetto armory
Amazing Deal on quality AR lower receiver

Do you need a quality, affordable lower for your next black gun build? Here’s a great deal. Palmetto State Armory (PSA) now has stripped AR15 lowers for just $49.99. With this lower as the core, you can build up your AR for any discipline you choose: 3-Gun rifle, competition service rifle competition, varmint rifle, or even “race gun” for the PRS Gas Gun Series. These PSA lowers are forged using 7075-T6 Aluminum and have a durable, mil-spec anodized hardcoat finish.

2. Sportsman’s WH — Rangefinders on Sale, Save up to 34%

lyman powder dispenser sale
Major discounts on Leupold, SIG Sauer, and Vortex Rangefinders

As part of its Outdoor Adventure Sale through 5/12/2024, Sportsman’s Warehouse has slashed prices on Leupold, SIG Sauer, and Vortex laser rangefinders. For example, you can get $120 OFF the SIG Sauer Kilo 2800 Rangefinder — a whopping 34% savings off the regular price. The excellent SIG Sauer Canyon Rangefinder Binoculars are also discounted $137.00, a 17% savings.

3. Stocky’s Stocks — Quality Carbon Fiber Stocks on Sale

rifle stock sale
Excellent stocks for varmint and hunting rifles — strong and light

Would you like a modern, high-tech carbon fiber stock for your next hunting or varmint rifle project? Stocky’s Stocks is running a major sale on UltraLite Carbon Fiber VG2 Rem 700 Stocks, UltraLite Carbon Fiber Hunter Rem 700 Stocks and UltraLite Carbon Fiber M50 Rem 700 Stocks. With a selection this big you’re bound to find one that fits your needs. These stocks are strong, light, and durable.

4. Palmetto SA — SIG 3-9x50mm Scope + Laser RF, $179.99

sig sauer buckmasters scope laser rangefinder combo
Scope and rangefinder for hunting — combo for under $200

Here’s a good, ultra-affordable scope/LRF combo for a hunter on a tight budget. The Buckmasters Scope and Rangefinder Combo offers advanced SIG Sauer electro-optics for just $179.99. The 3-9x50mm scope has a Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) reticle with holdover dots. The SIG Sauer LRF 1500 Laser Rangefinder offers fast-ranging performance with red illuminated display for low light hunting. If you don’t need a scope, you can get the Buckmasters 1500 Laser Rangefinder for just $119.99, an amazing deal.

5. Walmart — Fingerprint Access Gun Safe, $149.99

gun safe sale finger touch
50% Off price on Rapid Access Gun Safe (fingerprint, keypad, key)

Need to store a few rifles or shotguns with secure yet rapid access? Consider this 5-Gun Safe with Fingerprint Access. With a $299.99 MSRP, it is now just $149.99 on sale. It has five locking bolts on the door sides plus an internal locking compartment. Sized 13.8″W x 11.8″D x 57″T, this 74-lb safe can hold multiple long guns and pistols, along with other valuables. The main door can be opened instantly with fingerprint recognition, or use the digital keypad (there is also an emergency keyhole). The interior has foam barrel holder and carpeted floor, plus three pistol pouches on the door. NOTE: We do NOT recommend this as a primary gun safe, but it can be a good secondary safe.

6. Palmetto SA, Blackhawk Shooting Mat/Rifle Case, $49.99

blackhawk shooting mat ground rifle carry case drag bag
Multi-Function Shooting Mat/Rifle Case now $100 Off

Here’s a great deal on a multi-function Mat/carry case. The Blackhawk Stalker Drag Mat Carry Case functions as a nice padded shooting mat, AND it serves as a rifle carry case and drag bag. Length is 50.5″ and width (in rifle case mode) is 9″. This mat/case is made from durable 1000 denier nylon and closed-cell foam. It has carry straps plus a shoulder strap.

7. Powder Valley — 2500 RUAG SmR Primers, $177.99

ruag mil-spec #4033 small rifle primers
Great price on high-quality primers

If you shoot benchrest rigs, varmint rifles, or ARs, you need small rifle (SR) primers. Now you can get some very high-quality German-made RUAG SR Primers for a mere $177.99 for 2500. That’s the equivalent of $71.20 per thousand. These RUAG #4033 primers have earned positive user reviews: “Excellent quality… they performed very well… would recommend these to anyone”. NOTE: These are mil-spec primers with a fairly hard cup.

8. Midsouth — Poly-Tipped Bullet Sale, 17 to 23 Cents Each

midsouth hornady nosler poly-tip bullet sale
Good, budget-priced bullets for varminters, AR15 Shooters, and hunters

If you need good bullets for your .223 Rem, 22 BR, or 22-250 varmint rig, here is a great opportunity. Get 55gr or 75gr polymer-tipped bullets at super-low prices, starting at just $41.99 for 250 — just 17 cents each. There are also 110gr .30 caliber bullets at $56.99/250 that can work for small game, or even local club matches. These deals are all on 250-count lots. CLICK HERE for Poly-tip Bullet Sale at Midsouth.

9. Amazon — Dragon AR500 Steel Targets, $16.99 and Up

Dragon Gong AR500 steel plate sale
Good prices on strong versatile AR500 steel gongs, 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″.

Shooting steel is fun — you get instant gratification from hearing the “clang” and seeing the gong swing. Shooting steel is also good practice for PRS/NRL events and ground-hog matches. Right now, you can get some great deals on quality AR500 steel targets. These Dragon Target Gongs (#ad) start at just $16.99 for a 4″-diameter, 3/8″-thick gong. Larger 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ gongs are offered in 3/8″ and 1/2″ thicknesses, and a 3-pack of 8″ gongs is available. A 6″-diameter gong is $26.99 (3/8″ thick) or $32.99 (1/2″ thick). The largest 12″-diameter gong in the heavy 1/2″ thickness is $76.99. NOTE: All these Dragon gongs have a center hole allowing more hanging options.

10. Amazon — BTMETER BT-100 Handheld Anemometer, $30.99

wind meter sale
Sophisticated wind speed meter at a super-affordable price

Knowing wind speed is critical to making accurate ballistic adjustments both on the line or in the field. If you need a reliable yet affordable wind speed meter, consider the BTMETER BT-100 Handheld Anemometer (#ad). The BT-100’s multi-function capabilities include Wind Speed, Wind Temperature, and Wind Chill factor. The BT-100 portable wind speed gauge can accurately measure wind velocity in 5 units: m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph. The unit also records air temperatures in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.

As an Amazon affiliate, this site can earn revenues through sales commissions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
May 5th, 2024

Gun Safes: Key Things to Consider — Size, Locks, Steel Thickness

gun safe lock

There is a good article on gun safes in SHOT Business, a publication for the NSSF SHOT Show audience. Written by Christopher Cogley, this Safe Spaces Article offers some very important things to consider when purchasing a gun safe. Here are key points from that article:

Safe Security — The security of a gun safe comes down to two main factors: the thickness of the steel and the construction of the safe. When it comes to construction, look for a safe that has continuous welded construction instead of bolts or spot-welding, which are easier for trained gun thieves to cut through with torches or high-power saws.

Lock Options — Traditional combination locks are arguably the simplest choice. The downside, though, is they don’t provide quick access to firearms in an emergency. Electronic and biometric keypads provide quicker access — but be sure to replace the batteries every year.

gun safe lock

Fireproof Rating — Aside from theft, the biggest threat to your firearms is fire. Unfortunately, the fireproof rating on gun safes can be confusing because there is no single, “standard” fireproof rating. As a general rule, the fireproof rating states how long a safe can be exposed to a fire of a particular temperature and maintain a temperature inside the safe of no more than 350 degrees F. To put this in context, the average house fire creates temperatures between 800 and 1,200 degrees F.

Where to Place a Gun Safe in Your Home
The Safe Spaces article includes advice from Stephen Hall, CEO of Lock It Up Safes. Hall addressed the question: “Where should I put my safe?”

Hall states: “Ease of installation should NOT be the foremost consideration when making this decision. Putting a safe in the garage has both pros and cons. We see some retailers recommend the garage solely because they don’t have the right team on board to install safes in other locations, and wheeling one into the garage is the easy way out.

Putting a safe in the garage is fine if that is the only place you an put it, but most want the safe in the home, where they can get to it quickly. Temperature and humidity are important considerations as well, and both are more easily controlled in a house rather than in the garage.

One advantage to garage installation is the concrete floor provides a solid base for safe installation. Houses built on concrete slabs also offer a solid anchor on the first level. If the safe needs to go to an upper floor, the weight of the safe and its contents need to be factored in.”

Place Safe Against Outside Wall
Hall recommends placing your gun safe against an outside wall: “In case of fire, the safe will typically last longer as there is not a lot that can burn on one side of the safe, thus keeping it cooler.”

gun safe vault lock shot business

Don’t Make the Mistake of Buying an Undersized Safe

The most common mistake people make when buying a gun safe is getting a safe that’s too small. This video explains why you should probably invest in a bigger safe. First, the rated gun capacity is exaggerated — rifles with mounted optics, long barrels, wide forearms and/or pistol grips take up considerably more space than a small rimfire rifle or a lever gun with iron sights. Second, your gun collection will likely grow in years to come. Third, you may want to store other valuables in the safe — such as vital documents, jewelry, watches, and pricey electronics. In this video the host notes: “Get a much larger safe than you think you’ll need at first. This will guarantee that you will have enough room for future purchases and all the guns and equipment you currently have.”

Recommended Safe Features for Long-Gun Storage
Editor’s Recommendation:

Budget $1200-1500 for a safe from a major maker, with external hinges, and an interior at least 58″ high. That gives you room for 30″-barreled rifles with a top shelf for handguns and other valuables. A rotary rack and slide-out drawers are great additions.

Keypad or Dial? We favor rotary dial locks. With minimal maintenance they will function flawlessly for decades. But the digital locks offer quick-access and convenience. If you go digital, get a commercial-grade unit.

Fire-lining is worth getting, but a thin layer of sheet-rock doesn’t make a safe truly “fire-proof”.

Interior at least 58″ High and 30″ wide
Overall Weight 750+ Pounds
8 Gauge or Heavier Wall Thickness
Double-Wall, Composite Door with Relockers
Minimum UL RSC Rated. TL-15 or TL-30 Rating is Desirable
External Hinges

Mechanical UL Group II (or better) Lock with Standard Dial
Or UL Type 1 Commercial-Grade Electronic Lock

Custom Interior Suitable for Scoped Guns with Long Barrels
On-Door Storage System for Non-scoped Long Guns OR
Rotary Gun Rack for Scoped Rifles and ARs

Internal (sandwiched) Insulator, Reinforced if Sheet-rock
Palusol? Heat-Activated Expanding Door Seals

Slide-out Drawers for Handguns
Fire-lined Inner Safe for Paper and Media

Low Gloss, Rust-resistant External Finish
Pre-Drilled holes for Lag Bolts and in Rear for Electric Cord
Overhead Fluorescent Lamp and/or LED Mini-lights on Strings

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March 26th, 2024

Concealed Carry Items and Gun Accessories for Ladies

GunGoddess.com shooting apparel and accessories

Shooters cuff-links cufflinksGunGoddess.com features a variety of products and shooting accessories especially chosen for lady shooters. You’ll find colorful apparel, carry purses, holsters, and even jewelry crafted from bullet castings.

GunGoddess.com was started by Athena Means, an active IDPA and USPSA pistol shooter. Athena, whose husband Mike served 20 years in the military, was inspired to create the site after searching in vain for shooting apparel and accessories in colors other than black, green, and tan. Athena wanted something with more appeal to the feminine eye: “I set out to find fabulous products that women shooters would love, and bring them all together here. Ladies who love to shoot will find all the traditional gear they need, but in neon pink and leopard print instead of traditional black!”

GunGoddess.com shooting apparel and accessories
GunGoddess.com shooting apparel and accessories

GunGoddess.com Has Gift Items for All Members of the Family
Though it specializes in products for women, GunGoddess.com also offers gift selections that will work for gun guys as well. If you’re looking for a gift for a guy, you’ll find unisex holsters, range bags (for pistols), compact gun safes, ear muffs, shooting glasses, indoor concealment furniture, and more. There are many unique items on the GunGoddess webstore that will make great holiday gifts.

GunGoddess.com shooting apparel and accessories

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March 18th, 2024

Store Handguns Efficiently in Your Safe with Handgun Hangers

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

If you’re looking for a space-saving handgun storage system, consider the Easy Use Gun Hangers from USA GunClub, sold on Amazon. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelves in your gunsafe, freeing up storage space above the shelves. To use the handgun hangers, simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $8.99 on Amazon. This product has been an Amazon Best Seller among handgun storage accessories.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireUSA GunClub also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $9.99 on Amazon. This may be a good solution for you. This Editor personally prefers the standard model, so I can use the upper surface of the shelf to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

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February 5th, 2024

Bore-Stores and Multi-Layer Bags for Winter Gun Storage

Bore-Store Gun Sacks fleece

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

Winter’s here, with rain and snow in much of the country. We known readers will have their guns in the safe for long periods. For winter storage, we recommend Bore-Stores. These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean and its salty air.

Bore-Stores are offered in a range of sizes to fit everything from a snub-nosed revolver to a 33″-barrelled Black Powder Rifle. Bore-Stores can be purchased for $9.99 – $28.99 from Borestores.com. For most scoped rifles, we recommend the 10″x46″ SCR-1 case ($25.99). The Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises will also craft custom sizes on request. For a long-barreled F-Class or ELR rig you may need a custom length. Or you can remove the scope and use the 7″x60″ MUS-1 Musket Bore-Store ($28.99).

Bore-Store fleece storage Gun Sacks

Bore-Store Handgun Cases | Bore-Store Rifle Cases | Bore-Store Shotgun Cases

Bore-Store fleece scoped rifle Gun Sacks

Triple-Layer Sealed Bags — Affordable and Effective

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pack of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs $20.99 — seven bucks a gun. That’s certainly cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost many thousands of dollars.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do for long-term storage (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust. Even in warm summer months, humid air can leave moisture in the foam.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 12th, 2024

How Safe is Your Gun Storage? Try This Storage Quiz

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Do you have a friend or family member who is a first-time gun owner? Then show them this article. It provides important guidelines for new gun owners. There’s an Infographic printed below. And, there’s a helpful Firearm Storage and Safety Assessment Quiz. This walks gun owners through questions related to safe handling and storage of firearms. Here is Part One of the Quiz. If you click on this part, you can complete the entire Quiz and see how you score.

Take Gun Storage and Safety Quiz »

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Firearms Safe Storage Video

Safe Gun Storage/Transport in Vehicles | Ten Tips for Firearms Safety at Home

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner
home gun storage table

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November 14th, 2023

Store Cleaning Rods Conveniently with Fishing Rod Racks

Fishing Rod Rack Cleaning RodsForum member Nodak7mm has discovered an ideal way to store your rifle cleaning rods in your garage or loading room. Using inexpensive Berkley Horizontal Fishing Rod Racks, Nodak7mm has secured a half-dozen Dewey rods on the back of a door. You could also mount the racks along a wall or on the side of a storage cabinet. This installation takes up minimal space and the Berkley Racks cost $16.59 at Amazon (select “6 Rod Rack”). There is also a similar Mezoom 6-Rod Rack Pair for just $10.99 at Walmart. If you prefer wood, Amazon also sells a pine 6-rod wall rack for $29.51.

Nodak7mm explains: “I was moving some fishing poles around and ended up with an extra pair of Fishing Rod wall racks. I said to myself, ‘I bet this would hold my Dewey cleaning rods’. I mounted the pair on the inside of a closet door in my man cave and put my cleaning rods in it. It works like a charm and is far cheaper than a specially-made rack that only lets the rods hang. One can even slam the door with the rods mounted and they stay put. This rod rack set… is made by a nationally recognized name and does a great job of holding the cleaning rods securely and safely.” These are inexpensive and are easy to mount to a door or wood cabinet.

Stow Your Cleaning Rods on Your Gun Safe
Another option is to make a rod set with a magnetic backing strip. This can be affixed to the sides of your gun safe or steel storage cabinet. Here is a home-made, magnet-affixed cleaning rod holder made by Forum Member “BobM”. This smart installation works great. CLICK HERE for more information.

magnetic rack gun cleaning rod gun safe

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November 5th, 2023

Replace Gun Safe Batteries Every Year — Don’t Get Locked Out!

If the battery on your safe’s electronic lock is
more than a year old, or if it is not giving you the
right voltage, replace it today!

safe battery gunsafe sargent greenleaf

Gunsafe safe keypad control battery batteriesThis time of year, many readers are putting their guns away in a safe for the winter. It’s easy to just tuck the guns away and forget about them. But there’s something you should do before you shut the safe door.

If you have a safe with an electronic keypad, you should replace the battery every year as a precautionary measure. Trust us, you don’t want to come back in a few months and find that the keypad memory is kaput, and you’re locked out. That can lead to an expensive locksmith visit.

Low Voltage Battery? You May Be Locked Out…
Here’s a true story. I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. A couple years back, in early December, I went to get into the safe. I punched in the correct combination, but all I got was a rapid “beep, beep, beep, beep” after I finished the last combination entry. I tried again to ensure I entered the combination correctly (I did). But again, the locking system responded with multiple rapid beeps indicating something was wrong. And the safe would not open. Now I was worried….

I popped out the battery holder (which slides in from the bottom of the keypad housing on the door). I removed the battery and tested it with a volt-meter. The 12-month-old Duracell 9-volt battery only registered 6.1 volts.

Low voltage was the problem. I went down to the store and got a couple new 9V batteries. I tested the new batteries and both measured 9.4 volts output. I slipped one of the new 9V batteries into the keypad housing, punched in the combination and everything worked OK again. Eureka.

Most electronic locks for safes WILL “remember” the combination for a period of time even when the battery is low (and the keypad’s “brain” should retain the combination when you remove the battery for replacement). However, a dead battery, or extended periods of low voltage can give you problems. Don’t rely on wishful thinking…

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October 14th, 2023

Saturday at the Movies: Gun Safes — What You Need to Know

gun safe buyers review fire proofing guide features videos saturday

Introduction — What You Need in a Security Gun Safe
If you own firearms, you need a gun safe. In some states, such as California, if you don’t own a safe, you face potential liability if your firearms are stolen. Purchasing a safe is no easy decision however. There are dozens of safe manufacturers and countless design options. Sorting out the facts from the marketing claims can be difficult.

Today’s seven Saturday Showcase videos explain the most important qualities you should look for in a safe, and help you with the tough decisions, such as “Should I get a digital lock or a dial lock?”, “What kind of fire-proofing is most effective?”, “How big a safe do I really need?”, and “What interior works best with long-barreled scoped rifles?” You’ll find reviews of full-size safes, modular safes, and smaller handgun safes. Plus you’ll find expert advice on how to install your safe in your home and how to keep the contents free from rust.

READ Full AccurateShooter.com Gun Safe Buyers Guide »

Recommended Safe Features for Long-Gun Storage
Editor’s Recommendation:

Budget $1200-1500 for a safe from a major maker, with external hinges, and an interior at least 58″ high. That gives you room for 30″-barreled rifles with a top shelf for handguns and other valuables. A rotary rack and slide-out drawers are great additions.

Keypad or Dial? We favor rotary dial locks. With minimal maintenance they will function flawlessly for decades. But the digital locks offer quick-access and convenience. If you go digital, get a commercial-grade unit.

Fire-lining is worth getting, but a thin layer of sheet-rock doesn’t make a safe truly “fire-proof”.

Interior at least 58″ High and 30″ wide
Overall Weight 750+ Pounds
8 Gauge or Heavier Wall Thickness
Double-Wall, Composite Door with Relockers
Minimum UL RSC Rated. TL-15 or TL-30 Rating is Desirable
External Hinges

Mechanical UL Group II (or better) Lock with Standard Dial
Or UL Type 1 Commercial-Grade Electronic Lock

Custom Interior Suitable for Scoped Guns with Long Barrels
On-Door Storage System for Non-scoped Long Guns OR
Rotary Gun Rack for Scoped Rifles and ARs

Internal (sandwiched) Insulator, Reinforced if Sheet-rock
Palusol? Heat-Activated Expanding Door Seals

Slide-out Drawers for Handguns
Fire-lined Inner Safe for Paper and Media

Low Gloss, Rust-resistant External Finish
Pre-Drilled holes for Lag Bolts and in Rear for Electric Cord
Overhead Fluorescent Lamp and/or LED Mini-lights on Strings

Advice for Gun Safe Buyers — Seven Key Things to Consider

This video covers key gun safe features — Seven Things to Consider Before Buying a Gun Safe. Not all gun safes are created equal. There are many variables — fire ratings, burglar ratings, colors, lock choices, internal capacity, door storage, and more. And with the recent controversy involving Liberty Safes, you should check the safe-maker’s policies regarding digital passcodes — you don’t want your passcode revealed without a warrant and/or without your consent.

DOs and DON’Ts of Safe Buying

DO purchase a safe that is bigger than you think you need.
Your gun collection is bound to grow over time. A good safe is more than just a gun locker–it becomes a secure storage device for your family’s other valuables as well. You’ll find you quickly fill up even a large safe. Spend the money for the size, protection, and features you want. Your gun collection may be worth many tens of thousands of dollars. Some people who visit this site wouldn’t hesitate to spend $1300 for a custom action or $1800+ for a competition scope, yet they don’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a safe. That’s not common sense. If you’re on a tight budget, consider a used safe. Unlike many other products, safes don’t really wear out over time. When businesses change locations, you can get a very high quality commercial safe for little more than the cost of removing it.

DO spend more for a safe that offers fire-resistance.
But you have to do your homework–you can spend a lot of money for “fire-proofing” that actually is not very effective. Make sure if sheet-rock is used that it is properly installed. If you have valuable documents and media files, it’s not a bad idea to purchase a smaller, commercial-grade fire safe to put inside the gun safe. This gives you double protection.

DO look at many different brands of safes before you buy.
There ARE significant differences among brands. For example, Browning offers a unique (patent-pending) door-mounted rifle rack. Zanotti offers slide-out drawers and a modular design that is much easier for an owner to move. Ft. Knox uses an advanced method to secure and stabilize its fire-proofing layers within the safe. Brown offers custom exotic wood interior shelving and safes with commercial-grade burglary protection (much thicker steel with heavy composite doors and walls). Amsec offers a proprietary “DryLight” poured concrete-type fire insulation with greater structural strength than typical sheet-rock panels.

DO investigate the safe’s specifications.
Just because a safe is big and heavy doesn’t mean it’s particularly secure. Heavy-gauge steel is much more resistant to cutting and drilling than light 12- or 14-gauge steel. Some safes on the market have walls so thin they can be penetrated with a fire ax. We recommend 10-gauge steel at a minimum, and 8 gauge is much better. The safe should carry a UL RSC (Underwriters Laboratories “Residential Security Container”) or better rating.

DO ask about the safe’s safeguards against tampering.
A quality safe will feature extra armor or devices to defeat drilling. Low-grade safes can be opened in a few minutes with simple, battery-powered hand tools. All safes should have relockers to help ensure the safe remains locked in the case of a burglary. Relockers are hardened pins that are triggered during an attack, and cannot be retracted without hours of drilling. The number of relockers on a safe ranges from 2-10+ depending on the safe’s size and burglary grade.

DON’T store powder in your safe. A tightly-sealed metal box with a large quantity of powder inside is a bomb. Store powder in a separate, lightly-constructed cabinet or plastic box. The main thing for powder is to keep it dry and away from moisture and light.

Don’t Make the Mistake of Buying an Undersized Safe

The most common mistake people make when buying a gun safe is getting a safe that’s too small. This video explains why you should probably invest in a bigger safe. First, the rated gun capacity is exaggerated — rifles with mounted optics, long barrels, wide forearms and/or pistol grips take up considerably more space than a small rimfire rifle or a lever gun with iron sights. Second, your gun collection will likely grow in years to come. Third, you may want to store other valuables in the safe — such as vital documents, jewelry, watches, and pricey electronics. In this video the host notes: “Get a much larger safe than you think you’ll need at first. This will guarantee that you will have enough room for future purchases and all the guns and equipment you currently have.”

What Happens in a Fire and Deluxe Features

This video shows what can happen INSIDE a gun safe during a fire. This Winchester safe did not fare well during a major hourse. That’s why you want to buy a safe with a good fire rating.

This video shows the features of a large Superior Safe Co. gunsafe with internal organizers and door storage for handguns and accessories.

Modular Safes — Smart Option for Easier Moving

This article features a great video showing how to assemble a modular safe in under 30 minutes. This article also explains the benefits of modular gunsafes — primarily easier transport and installation. “Modular safes have been around for a few years now and are becoming more popular. Here’s why: The safe comes delivered to you in panels, so you can bring them into your home one at a time and put it together anywhere you like. This makes it easy to carry up and down stairs, onto elevators or anywhere! Security — Is it as secure as one that comes pre-assembled? The answer is, absolutely.” READ FULL ARTICLE on NRAWomen.com.

Five Good Gun Safes Under $500

We know some readers have a tight budget. This video looks at some recommended lower-cost safes under $500.00 list price. Note, however, that this video was produced in 2022. Now in 2023, with Bidenflation, the actual gun safe prices may be higher. For a full-size safe, we do recommend you spend quite a bit more — the investment in a higher quality safe, with better fire rating, is worth it.

Locking Device–Mechanical Dial vs. Digital Locks
Recommendation: UL Group II mechanical dial lock or commercial-grade electronic.

For gun safes, we prefer rotary-combination dial locks, although commercial-grade electronic locks are now very good. While less convenient, and slower to open than electronic locks, combination locks are still more durable and trouble-free than the digital locks found on many low- to medium-cost gun safes. Among the combination locks, the Sargent & Greenleaf model 6730 (UL Group II) remains an industry standard. The director of Sturdy Safes noted: “An S&G 6730 will be working fine when your grandchildren have grandchildren.” For home use, we also recommend the standard, high-visibility “front-read” white on black dial.

Avoid the cheap, imported electronic locks. These are known for failing relatively quickly–the keypad internals just wear out. With some of these designs, if the lock fails while the door is closed, you’ll have to employ a professional gunsmith to drill your safe and replace the locking assembly and keypad. With any electronic lock, re-program your combination now and then so that keypad wear patterns don’t reveal the numbers you push to open the safe. But when you change the combination, be sure to record the new setting.

With a dial lock, choose a design that meets UL Group II (or better) certification. If you choose a digital lock, we strongly recommend that you select a UL Type I, Commercial Grade lock from LaGard, Sargent & Greenleaf, or Kaba Mas. Commercial-grade locks, such as the S&G Comptronic” 6120 or LaGard “SafeGard” are much more robust and are designed to be used 20 times a day or more in retail and banking environments. A good commercial digital keypad lock should give 10 years or more of continuous use before replacement is required. With any digital lock, however, you should replace the battery at least once a year. Normally this can be done without professional assistance.

Quick-Access Handgun Safes — Pew Pew Tactical Reviews

A rapid-access bedside safe is a great way to keep your pistol secure, but also readily available, close at hand. Not all rapid-access pistol safes are created equal, however. In this video, John of Pew Pew Tactical explains what to look for in a small pistol safe, and points out the pros and cons of the four safes tested:

Fort Knox FTK-PB Simplex Pistol Box
Strong case, reliable no-battery locking system. Very good safe, but expensive ($299.00 on Amazon).

Vaultek Electronic Pistol Safes
Multiple styles, thin profile, 5-button electronic ($159.99 on Amazon), or Biometric VT10i + 5-button ($269.99 on Amazon), both with rechargeable batteries.

GunVault SpeedVault Handgun Safe
Designed for vertical mount under desk on vehicle, One gun only, requires batteries, $142.00 on Amazon.

Top photo from Sportsman Steel Safes. Read many informative articles on the Sportsman Steel Blog.

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August 17th, 2023

Firearms Storage Options — Hidden in Plain Sight

hidden gun safe Tactical Walls concealment

When you want a firearm for home defense instantly available, you don’t necessarily want it buried in a large gun safe in a remote section of your house. There are reasons you may want a rifle, pistol, or shotgun ready to be deployed quickly. One solution for this is the “hidden in plain sight” option. Using common household furniture or house features (such as vents and mirrors), you can stash a firearms where it can be quickly accessed, but no unwelcome visitor will suspect it is stored. This article presents some popular gun storage options.

Virginia-based Tactical Walls is a leader is specialized gun storage/concealment systems. This company offers a variety of USA-made furniture/decorative options for gun storage. There are mirror assemblies, sliding wooden flags, tables with hidden storage, bookcases, shelving units, and more. The General Manager of Tactical Walls is Dennis DeMille, formerly GM of Creedmoor Sports, and a talented marksman.

Creedmoor sports Tactical Walls Dennis Demille GM General Manager concealment

Dennis tells us: “Tactical Walls was the pioneer in concealing firearms in plain sight”. He says this company has great creativity and impressive production capabilities. View all Tactical Walls concealment gun storage options at TacticalWalls.com.

Fine Firearms Furniture with Slide-Open Table Top
Here’s something that will teach unwanted guests some “table manners”. We’ve seen handguns hidden in books, and stowed behind faux baseboard vents, but this hand-crafted, slide-open table takes the cake. We doubt that anyone could sit down at this table and suspect that a shotgun, scoped rifle, two pistols and a knife were stored securely inside. There’s an arsenal hiding in there!

furniture table top sliding concealment gun safe vault secure

To access the guns under the sliding table-top, first you flip down a wood trap-door on the side. That exposes a key-lock which unlatches the interleaved left and right table segments. These slide open horizontally on metal tracks, exposing the full arsenal underneath. This “table vault” is a very clever design, built with fine craftsmanship. You can purchase this table from the maker for $1899.00.

Hidden in Plain Sight — Guide Gear Vent Pistol Locker

hidden gun safe Tactical Walls concealment

This clever “imposter vent” should fool any unwanted visitors. This Guide Gear Hide-A-Gun vent storage unit is just $34.99 on Amazon. NOTE: This will require installation in the wall, with attachment to studs.

Decorative Storage — Patriot Flag Concealment Unit

hidden gun safe Tactical Walls concealment

This handsome triangular wood box has hidden storage for a firearm and/or valuables. It currently costs $71.99 on Amazon. You may want to bolt this down to a shelf for extra security.

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