Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gun Safe Discssion: Options I Have Used

TEOTWAWKI Blog asked about gun safes in a recent bleg. I thought it would be a good bridge to discussing different options for securing firearms (or I suppose other valuables). To keep the discussion more bout my personal experiences than something conceptual we will discuss mostly options I have used.

Before we start it is important to have a common foundation. In no particular order here we go:

-There are many reasons for wanting to lock up/ secure guns. The most common are to prevent them from being accessed by unauthorized users such as young children, preventing theft and protection from fire and or water damage.

-The reason you are looking to secure guns matters considerably in the methods and type of containers that make sense.

Case in point; when Walker was a tiny baby we went on a family vacation. Naturally a pistol, in this case my trusty Glock 19 came along. I needed a way to keep him from potentially getting his hands on my pistol while I was not wearing it when in the place we were staying. I purchased a small plastic case that closed tightly with two zippers you could slip a small lock through. Simply placed my (unloaded) pistol in this case, locked it and put it on top of a tall piece of furniture. A fine and very affordable solution for that specific situation. Honestly just putting my pistol 4 feet off the ground would very arguably be sufficient but I wanted an additional barrier in case say I took my pistol off and set it on a bed while changing and forgot to move it.

[Furthermore fundamentally in houses with small kids my fundamental belief is that guns need to be under the control of an adult or secured to prevent children from inadvertently accessing them. I know there are a multitude of viewpoints on this topic and what exactly constitutes 'small kids'. There are certainly a range of reasonable viewpoints. This is really all I plan to say specifically on this topic.]

However a couple years later with kids who can walk and get into all manner of stuff that option would obviously not work.

The solution for preventing unauthorized access may be entirely insufficient for preventing theft.  A solution that prevents theft might not work for fire.

You get the idea.

-In securing anything there is a give and take relationship between accessibility and security. More accessibility means less security and visa versa. This has to be balanced depending on your needs. In my mind this relationship leads itself to a split between primary defensive and very regularly used sporting firearms and whatever else may be in your collection.

-The hard truth is in the vast majority of violent crimes around the home you are not going to have time to go to the big ole gun safe, open the combination lock you probably mess up about half the time (when not under pressure), get a gun and load that gun. This already unlikely scenario is even less likely if your safe is in a less trafficked part of the home like a basement or garage and even worse if all ammo is stored separately. More on this later.

-When it comes to criminals of the burglar type or whatever. Typically they are not in a house for very long. If they can't carry it off strait away the odds they will bother are minimal. Of course sometimes they know you are gone for a week and the house is secluded or they know something particularly valuable is present at which point they will break into safe's, tear up walls and floors, etc all. Along these lines it is important to remember that people can break into anything if given sufficient motivation. Crooks regularly break into jewelry stores and bank vaults which have far better security than any normal person can afford.

- A sense of proportion both to what you want to secure in a safe and your overall financial situation is important. An average guy getting a several hundred dollar gun safe to secure several thousand dollars combined value in guns, jewelry, precious metals and cash makes sense. A well off enthusiast twenty thousand dollar safe to secure a high 5 to low 6 figure Class III collection makes sense. A twenty thousand dollar gun safe to secure Joe Everyday's 7-10k in stuff fails the common sense test.

- As a general rule it is smart to buy a bigger gun safe than you currently need or anticipate needing in the immediate future. The reason for this is many, if not all, gun collections grow over time and you cannot really add more capacity to a safe once it is full. Many people end up selling a smaller safe to fund a larger one or picking up an additional safe to close the gap.

I use the 'buying beer to take to a party' rule. If you(r group) want a 6 pack bring a 12, if you want a 12 bring an 18 or a case, you get the idea.

-Generally speaking I dislike electronic locks. The exception is if the speed of access they offer is needed for defensive weapons. Don't buy electronic locks from cheap manufacturers. Make sure there is a back up combo or key.

-The biometric (finger print) safe's are a nice idea but I dislike depending on a fairly cheap electronic device to read a finger print AND myself to present my finger print onto the scanner the same way as I entered it at 3am when men are talking in the living room. I'd rather have a combo type electronic lock. 

Now that we have that stuff out of the way lets get to some specific products.

For readily accessible defensive use:
-The GunVault NV200 NanoVault with Key Lock, Fits Full Size 1911 Style Pistols as well as many similar products is a little locking metal box that holds a handgun and some stuff like a light and a mag or two smaller handguns.

My GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock (several manufacturers make very similar products) opens with a 3 number dial combination lock akin to a bike lock. This is handy to me because it avoids the 'where is that #*$*#*' key' problem which could be devastating in a crisis.  Access is fairly quick. Security is good for small children and keeping from getting shot with your own gun though a crook would likely take the whole thing and sort it out later. I find these quite handy for traveling. Their affordable cost and compact nature makes these ideal to securely stash in a hall closet, behind some books on a shelf or in a drawer. A couple of these paired with your back up .45 and the J frame you got for a great deal are an excellent way to have some defensive options around the home.

In our bedroom we keep a Sentry Safe HDC11E Home Defense Center 2.1 Cubic Feet with my 870P and Glock 19 with a light as well as Wifey's revolver. This is an excellent product that lets you have a long gun and a pistol (or two) very quickly accessible. The downside is it's expensive. If a long gun  being secure AND very accessible is not a deal maker for you the expense would be hard to justify.


There are lots of small quick access type pistol sized gun safe's like the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe that can be mounted by the bed or whatever. These can often be mounted to a floor or piece of furniture. These can be easily concealed or obscured due to their small size. If money was less of an object I would have one in every room of our house.

There are other products available but these  are generally representative of  the general types of containers I like for securing primary (grab at 3AM, etc) type weapons.

For a more bulk storage of guns you do not need to access immediately a larger container is the answer.

For smaller collections and budgets a 'gun cabinet' is a good option. These are basically steel cabinets (think industrial filing cabinets) with a lock that can be screwed/ bolted in place.

In college I purchased a Stack-On GCG-910 Steel 10-Gun Security Cabinet, Green when I lived with a couple guys and there were often people over. These are a good option to keep several guns locked up away from unauthorized users and have some theft deterrent, A normal sized guy can carry one, even full of guns, but especially if secured to the wall/ floor, it is a lot harder than shoving a handgun in your pants or a few handguns in a pillow case and wrapping a couple long guns in a blanket. Still I would say the primary benefit of these is security from unauthorized users with theft a distant second.

The biggest benefit of these is cost. As a broke college kid when the local 'Mart had em on sale for $88 I crapped up the cash. Today at $130ish to secure a few long guns and as many pistols as you can shove in these are a smoking deal. With a little bit of prioritization anybody can afford one of these. cabinets and prevent small kids from accessing their guns while also deterring theft.Also being (relatively) small and light these can fit discretely in a normal sized closet and are easy to move which is handy for young people as well as folks who are semi nomadic or in transition.

For a bigger and more expensive collection a real safe makes sense.

It is worth mentioning a gem I found on ARF.

Safe threads are always fun, I'll give you the cliffs notes for the next twelve pages:

1> Someone will post that you need to spend $25k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
2> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
3> Then someone will post a video of that $25k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
4> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
5> Someone will post that you need to spend $50k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
6> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
7> Then someone will post a video of that $50k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
8> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
9> Someone will post that you need to spend $75k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
10> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
11> Then someone will post a video of that $75k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
12> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
13> ...

End quote

I ended up with a few hundred dollar  Field and Stream 24 gun safe. It has a manual lock and a 30 minute fire rating. This safe is big enough to hold a pretty decent stash of guns, especially if you really organize it well. I will get a few G.P.S. Pistol Soft Foam Cradle Holder to help with that as the safe fills up. Beyond that when the safe gets full I will likely set up another cache someplace.

You can certainly spend more money on larger and fancier safes. Personally the 500 pound range is about the top limit I am going to be able to move with a good dolly and a buddy so I do not want a larger one. At that point I would likely just get another safe.

The last option if you are pretty permanently settled is to build a gun room. If you are going to have 2-3 big heavy duty gun safe's the cost is not really that different. 

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Steelbringer Indie Go Go

Steelbringer is a pretty cool Indie Go Go Campaign. I think it has a lot of promise. Also the idea of aesthetically pleasing yet durable and functional knives really appeals to me. I think that is something our contemporary machine made kydex handled nylon sheath knife market has lost. Hope this campaign goes well and am looking forward to seeing more from these folks in the future.

This Scandinavian/ Bushcraft type knife is probably my favorite. The metal butt cap is a nice touch both for aesthetics and durability. The gimping is a nice touch also. I would love to get one like it with a full tang and a 5 in blade.


 A good all purpose/ fighting type design with a beautiful Damask blade.

This hunting/ skinning knife seems like a really good design and is very pretty to boot.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Front Loading Medical Stuff

Food for thought. One of the less 'sexy' parts of preparedness is medical and dental stuff. Right now you can wait until a potential problem turns into a real problem and get it fixed in short order. So on one hand the incentive to get that tooth fixed or have the surgery done before absolutely necessary is minimal. However, especially for a survivalist or person who could get caught up in some sort of war or conflict that option will almost certainly go away.

The idea of a friend pulling a rotten or broken tooth out with pliers is far less than appealing. Ditto for having an existing but not urgent knee/ shoulder/ back problem flair up when I cannot get it fixed and really need to be able to perform.

The same could be said about 'family planning'. If you and the spouse positively do not want more children consider a permanent procedure to help avoid unplanned surprises at a time when picking up a 12 pack of Trojans is not an option.

Anyway this is your periodic reminder to get yourself physically squared away.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Music-Meanwhile Back at Moma's




I am not especially a Tim McGraw fan but this is a pretty good song.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Huge News: PRK Eye Surgery Complete!

I have been wanting this for awhile and things finally came together. Didn't want to say anything beforehand because I could have been disqualified for one reason or the other up until the day of the surgery. Anyway my eyes are pretty sore and vision is a bit blurry. They say pain should subside over the next couple days and vision should continually improve over 3-4 months.

Anyway right now my  vision is infinitely better than my previous uncorrected (no glasses) vision so it is definitely a huge improvement.

The next couple of days posts are scheduled. I won't be around much because 'screen tie' honestly hurts my eyes.


Last Dictator Standing: Hillarious Chicken Commercial


I do not know what made a chicken restaurant come up with this but it was hilarious.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Note: Correspondences and Due Out's

Over the next few days I may be slow about responding to emails and completing various due out's. Please bear with me.

Tacticool Magazine

Max Velocity brought to my awareness 'Tacticool Magazine'. I am not quite sure what to think of that. However Matt of MBest11X who is simultaneously a real deal Ranger Regiment vet and a hilarious youtuber is on the front page.
 
Matt's video on pre workout is awesome though rated R for language

Their hilarious video on "How to be a Man" is arguably offensive to women, gays, people who do not like profanity or sexual references and probably some other groups. It is however really funny. You have been warned. Link here.

If I see a copy of this magazine at a store I'll buy this edition though I'm not willing to seek it out. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things On My Mind

1) Adjusting my systems to factor in both rural and urban type considerations. Having system(s) that will work if I get stuck in the woods or have to crash land in a city. Obviously regional considerations apply. Zero in Montana does not need subway tokens in his bag and a guy in Arizona probably does not need snow shoes. However to say that everything is situational and individually dependent is a cop out. That is the 'everyone is great' of preparedness.

There are certainly right as well as wrong answers. The real question is how to balance competing demands to fit the various scenarios you may face.

2) Toying with getting some sort of a .40 S&W probably a Glock to beef up the Operational Cache. While the .38/.357 DA revolver is the standard for one group of people I am in at home my friends there seem to have unintentionally standardized to .40 S&W, specifically Glocks. Not high on the list bit it is something on my radar if a deal pops up.

3) Got my hands on some Brad Thor adventure/ spy type books at a garage sale for .50c a piece and am working through them. Enjoyable stuff for sure. Some reviews and thoughts will follow in due time.

4) Think we are taking the first real (not just Walker and I in the back yard) family camping trip next month. Should be an excellent forcing function to get some of our stuff relooked and then test it out.

5) The AR Folding Stock Adapter has intriguing possibilities, especially for a shorter AR. You do have to open it to fire more than 1 shot but still being able to get an AR into a (fairly) normal sized backpack opens up a range of possibilities.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Admin Note- Save It If You Want It

Hey, I am going to be doing some more admin and formatting type stuff on the blog in the near future. If there are older articles (say past a year) that you want I would recommend saving them in the next few days. Cannot promise much on availability after that.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Train With Max Velocity This Fall: 28 SEP 6 Day Course

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 02:37 PM PDT
I have four spaces available on the September 28 – October 3 6 day combined CRCD / Combat Patrol Class.

This class is also running Combat Lifesaver (TC3) on September 27, due to most of the class having signed up for it.

Chainsaw Bleg

So I need a chain saw. The concept of use is to do occasional yard stuff, cut firewood in modest quantities (say a couple cords a year) and potentially be used to clear down trees after storms. I am not looking to get one with gold plated diamonds but do not want some crap made brand as my patience and mechanical skills are not up for it.

Since it is almost a sure thing I will use it out in the woods at some point electric is out.

The folks I know who are knowledgable about these things recommend Stihl. I have to dig into model numbers and such to see what makes sense for me.

Any thoughts or recommendations you might have are welcome. 

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