For responsible gun owners, a key to safety is proper storage. Make sure you get a gun locker that is secure and is right for your style of firearm.
Being a legal gun owner means being a responsible gun owner. And that means that you need to understand that your gun is not simply a tool but also a weapon. And because it’s a weapon, you need to treat it with respect and caution.
It’s imperative that you keep your gun stored away in a safe space like a gun locker. Once the gun locker is in your home, it’s there for good. And you should move the locker from one part of the house to another, either.
Just like how you need to put a lot of thought and consideration into what gun you’re going to buy, the same can be said about what gun locker you’re going to buy. Nobody who isn’t supposed to have access to your gun should ever be able to do so.
And purchasing the right kind of gun locker will ensure just that.
Are you interested in learning more? If so, then continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!
1. Know the Threat
There are a variety of reasons for you gun owners should purchase a gun safe. The first reason is usually to stop children who are too young to understand gun safety from getting access to the gun. And even if you have responsible and well-educated children, that doesn’t mean that their friends are.
A gun locker can also protect your guns from fire damage. Lastly, a gun locker keeps your guns safe from burglars.
In order to properly protect your home and your family, you don’t even want thieves and burglars to know there are guns in your home at all. And you especially don’t want them to easily take the guns from you.
The most likely threat to the contents of your gun locker is a house fire. Even if you take great care of your house, you can’t stop your neighbor’s house from catching fire or a lightning strike from hitting your home.
Unless you have a special insurance rider, then you could end up losing a bunch of valuables. This is why it’s so important to consider the lining when you’re buying a gun locker.
Look for the kind of insulation and its thickness. See if there are any gaps in the lining and also how that lining is attached to the walls of the safe.
A standard house fire usually lasts around an hour. The coolest room tends to be the basement or garage while the hottest is usually the master closet.
A house fire can burn as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Safes tend to be rated to maintain an internal temperature of no more than 350F for a certain number of minutes.
Paper starts to char at around 420F while polymer guns start to melt at around 480F. Try to look for a locker that uses gypsum in its insulation.
When gypsum gets hot, it gives off steam that helps to cool internal temperatures. This makes overpressure which is actually able to keep outside temperatures from affecting the internal temperature.
When you’re looking for fire resistance, you also want to consider the weight of the locker. A heavier locker tends to use thicker steel panels and/or more layers. This can help to better insulate your guns from the fire that’s burning outside.
2. Floor Attachment
If you were able to carry your gun locker into your home, then a burglar will be able to carry it out.
Don’t let a burglar roll your gun locker out the door with a basic hand truck. You should plant to bolt the locker to the floor by buying a locker that allows for this.
3. Box First, Then the Hardware
You should allow yourself to get distracted by marketing emphasis on locks, hinges, and bolts when the box structure of the safe appears weak. First, you want to look for a locker that has insulation and walls designed to withstand a beating from an ax and high-temperature fire.
If a fire gets hot enough, your gun might actually go off or bullets themselves might just start shooting out of their boxes.
If the walls and insulation seem strong, then you can start looking at the locks, hinges, and bolts.
One of the biggest factors is going to be how the door is built. You want the locker to have a door that’s rigid and has structural support around the edges. This way, it won’t give in to stress.
You also want to see how the door jamb is built. Some locker doors can be flexed by just using your hands.
Secondly, you want to see how much of the door makes contact behind the jamb. A safe that has forty one-inch bolts looks big but will only provide forty inches of contact. A safe that has five one-inch bolts with a jeweler’s lug that goes from top to bottom on the hinge side will give you 59 inches of support on a 5-foot-tall safe.
4. The Lock
A combination lock is good because there are no batteries required and it’s low maintenance. It’s also more difficult for someone to observe the combination sequence. The downside is that it can be slow to unlock, they don’t always work, and poorly made ones are easy to break into.
An electronic lock is cost-effective and easy to use. High-end electronic locks can even integrate with your home’s security systems. And these locks offer more features, such as penalty lockouts and multiple user combinations.
You also don’t need a locksmith if you want to change the combination.
The downside to an electronic lock is that you have to change batteries for it. And if you forget the combination, it can be very difficult and time-consuming to eventually open it.
A biometric lock is also easy to use and quick to unlock. And you can usually allow multiple fingerprints to access it. Unfortunately, these locks aren’t completely reliable and if your finger is dirty or sweaty, the lock might not give access.
Oftentimes, consumers will buy a gun locker only to lament later that they should have bought a bigger one. After you get a gun locker, you start to realize just how many things you’d like to keep safe in there.
Because of this, it’s best to buy a gun locker that’s bigger than you think you need. Understand that you might very well decide to grow your gun collection as time goes on. And it’s much more cost-effective to buy one large gun locker rather than multiple smaller ones.
And because your gun locker is fireproof, you also might want to store other sensitive materials in there, like documents and jewelry. You can also store your gun accessories, whether it’s an expensive scope or even just an AR 15 handguard.
6. Corrosion Control
The best way to protect your guns from corrosion is to have a layer of preservative on your firearms and dry air. Weirdly enough, closed gun cases can actually become problematic when it comes to storage.
This is because moisture can become trapped inside the case and ventilation can be difficult in fireproof cases.
You can use intercept products to keep your guns in good condition. These products are copper-colored sheets and are referred to as “sacrificial anodes.” That’s because they end up getting corroded instead of your firearms.
When two different metals are in close contact with one another, it just takes a little bit of moisture to make a wet cell battery that will decay metal. A heating bar can help if your locker is built for one, either with a fire-protected hole or an electrical outlet designed for this purpose.
It’s important to notes that heating bars simply minimize the possibility of condensation by maintaining a constant temperature, instead of actually stopping rust.
Hopefully, by this point, you’re already considering getting a big and heavy gun locker to keep your firearms protected. Because of how large these lockers can get, you also want to think about professional installation.
Safes can weigh hundreds of pounds and can even rip the gates off of pickup trucks if you’re not careful with them.
Thankfully, many high-quality safe manufacturers also include or at least offer professional installation with purchase.
The Importance of Knowing Tips for Choosing the Right Gun Locker
As we can see, finding the right gun locker can be just as important as finding the right kind of gun. But by following the tips above, you should be able to make more confident and educated decisions about the storage of your firearms.
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