Is Plain Sight the Best Method of Gun Storage?

Home defense is one of the primary causes of firearm ownership among United States citizens. According to one source, 60% of those who own firearms list “Personal Safety / Protection” as their #1 reason for gun ownership.

Reasons Americans Own Guns

There’s a great many privately owned firearms in the United States. As a matter of fact, the U.S. ranks #1 in private gun ownership in the world. Consequently, there’s also a great many private firearm thefts in the U.S. – approximately 1,600 GUNS PER DAY or 600,000 GUNS PER YEAR to be exact.

Considering that the vast majority of these stolen firearms end up on the black market, this is a real problem.

If you’re a gun owner, maintaining your firearms is of the utmost importance. This includes keeping them in a safe and secure place. Gun safes are the most common method of firearm storage, but there are those who believe that gun safes are too large, too conspicuous and too expensive.

In response, some gun owners have decided to use hidden compartments around their home to store their guns.

Let’s Look at the Pro’s & Con’s of Hiding Your Guns in Plain Sight.


The Pro's of Hidden Gun Storage

#1. Accessibility 

Easy access to your firearms is probably the first benefit that comes to mind when pondering hidden compartment gun storage. In a high intensity situation in which you’re in your home and need to get to your firearms quickly, getting to your safe could take too much time.

Hidden compartment storage allows you to store your firearms in nearly any conceivable area. Keeping in mind that time is of the essence – especially during a home invasion – having your firearms readily accessible is the primary benefit of a hidden compartment storage.

#2. Reduced Space

Bulkier and more conventional gun safes are often placed in areas of your home that are not frequented – e.g. the basement, spare bedroom closet, the garage, etc. This is often due to their size and the ongoing battle of maintaining space in your home.

Coincidentally, the same reason you placed your gun safe in these relatively isolated areas is the reason it may cause drastic problems later on…IT’S COMPLETELY OUT OF THE WAY.

Small area space makes hidden compartment storage a viable option. Not only are you saving room, but you’re using the space strategically and efficiently.

#3. Hidden is the Operative Word 

If one’s intent is to steal a gun – and they break into a home to do so – what’s the first thing they’re most likely going to look for?

My money’s on…well…a gun safe.

As mentioned above, traditional gun safes are conspicuous. Even individuals who don’t own firearms themselves and who have no firearm experience know a gun safe when they see one. This could make them a likely target for home invasions.


The Con's of Hidden Gun Storage

#1. Accessibility 

That’s right, while accessibility was listed as the primary benefit of hidden compartment gun storage, it could also be considered it’s largest drawback.

When accessed and handled by properly trained individuals, firearms pose little threat to injury. However, when untrained individuals get their hands on a firearm, accidental fatal/nonfatal injury rates rise.

For example, from 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. In 2010 alone, 73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds and firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people.
Source: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

We can all agree that firearm deaths are unwanted, undesirable and tragic. Ensuring that unqualified individuals do not have access to firearms plays a tremendous role in reducing unintentional firearm deaths/injuries. Accidentally stumbling upon hidden compartment storage for firearms could result in objectionable gun access.

#2. Legality / Potential Legal Consequences

In the unfortunate event that your guns are stolen, the legal system will most likely come into play. Gun safes are often used as a counter to claims of negligence on behalf of the gun’s legal owner.

The penalties for allowing a child or an equally inadequate individual access to a gun varies by state, but you could possibly be charged with criminal liability for negligent storage if your firearm is used it to cause injury. Of course, firearm laws vary GREATLY by state and some state laws have harsher penalties than others. Every accident and injury is handled on a subjective basis and negligence may be found in some scenarios and not others.

That being said, hidden compartment gun storage may not fall under your state’s outlined firearm storage laws. Before opting for this method of gun storage this is an important aspect to research.

#3. Higher Vulnerability to Corrosion

While standard metal gun safes are NOT wholly immune to corrosion, they’ll more than likely provide better corrosion protection than a hidden compartment. This is primarily due to the the materials used to make hidden compartment gun storage devices…primarily wood.

We’ve seen a multitude of hidden compartment gun storage methods. We think it’s safe to say a large majority of them are not air-tight. This is crucial because it allows for the contact of your firearms with sulfuric gases and moisture: the two biggest catalysts of corrosion.

While we haven’t been able to find any studies done comparing corrosion rates of firearms within traditional gun safes v.s. hidden compartments, science says that corrosion rates would be lower within a traditional safe. What’s more, anti-corrosion gun bags would lower corrosion rates in both.


In conclusion, hidden compartment gun storage could serve you well. However, there’s pro’s and con’s to this method that should be looked into before committing to it over traditional gun safes.

5 Tips for Gun Maintenance & Upkeep

Firearm ownership is a responsibility that nobody should bear lightly. Whether you own them for hobby, sport or necessity, ensuring that your firearms are properly cared for is of the utmost importance.

In light of this, we’ve compiled 5 Tips for Gun Maintenance and Upkeep in an effort to keep your firearms in superior condition for many years to come!


#1. WD40 Is Not Good To Use On Firearms

No WD40 for Firearm Maintenance

WD40 has an unprecedented presence in various industrial marketplaces. As a matter of fact, it’s often the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of lubricant.

An acronym for “Water Displacement Formula 40”, WD40 can be found in almost any industry and people always seem to find new uses for it.

But is it good to use on your guns? The answer – it seems – is No.

Contrary to the statements made on their website, many gun experts will insist that you keep WD40 away from your firearms, except in rare instances (e.g., you drop your gun in a lake and need to get the water removed fast, you’re using your gun during a rain storm and have no way of avoiding excessive amounts of water, etc.).

The reasoning for not using WD40 on your firearms comes from an intimate knowledge of how it actually works. First and foremost, that distinctive blue and yellow can is a water displacer and not a true lubricant. It works as a solvent and its lubricating properties are short-lived.

While it’s efficient at breaking up rust, once the hydrocarbons it contains dissolve they leave behind a low concentration of petroleum oil; that’s the slick film you feel after using WD40. Its formula (as referenced by its Material Safety Data Sheet) contains less than 25% petroleum oil.

This is why anything with moving parts seems to operate like grease lightning after applying WD40 to it. Not long after its initial application, however, the use of WD40 causes issues

Gunking up triggers, hammers or any other moving parts on your gun is bad news. After WD40’s initial front of lubrication fades away, the rest of its ingredients simply hang around collecting dirt, grime and grit. WD40 essentially achieves the opposite effect you were looking for.


#2. Do Not Use Silicone Sprays On Your Guns

No Silicone Spray for Gun Maintenance

Silicone can make a good lubricant, but there are some instances where it can cause problems as well. Silicone-based lubricants are extremely difficult to remove from surfaces. While longevity is generally a positive trait for a lubricant, there are some situations in which it can be a negative.

Due to its retardant qualities, silicone based lubricants can and will interfere with the adherence of fluids onto the surface of your guns. With regards to bluing and re-finishing, this can prove a major issue.

Silicone will remain on the surface of your firearms for years. While ideal for water repellency, if you ever need to implement a new plating or coating, silicone’s unyielding tendency to stick around may cause unwanted and unneeded resistance.

Another major downside to the use of silicone-based lubricants is its thinness. Normal usage of your firearms over time will lead to wear. Certain areas of the gun’s silicon coatings can be worn down and eradicated, leaving penetrable areas of exposed metal.

Pair this with oil’s tendency to ball and disperse unevenly and you have a firearm that’s now extremely vulnerable to corrosion.

Much like WD40, silicone sprays might work for a small window of time on your firearms. However, after their cursory preliminary effects fade, both you and your firearm may have more problems than you initially started with.


#3. Pennies Remove Gun Rust

Penny's are Beneficial for Gun Maintenance

Yeah! Believe it or not, the gun maintenance tip that seems most likely to be a hoax is completely true!

Apply some 3-In-One oil to a rusty firearm, rub it with a copper penny and the rust will be no more. Pretty neat, right?

This gun maintenance tip may seem more like a novelty than an actual utility, but you should be keeping an eye out for copper pennies. Check that the penny was made before 1982 to ensure that it’s made of copper.

When used in conjunction with oil and a (relatively) non-abrasive steel wool pad, removing rust off the barrel of a gun is a breeze.


#4. Desiccants May Not Be The Best Option

No Desiccants for Gun MaintenanceOne popular corrosion prevention method for firearms is as follows:

  • Place the firearm in a large plastic bag.
  • Toss in some desiccants.
  • Seal the bag as best you can.
  • Leave the bag in a relatively dry area
  • Hope for the best.

The largest variable in this equation is your geographic location and relative levels of humidity. To be honest, you may be able to get away with storing your firearms during dry seasons using this method. In wet areas with high humidity levels though, you desicCAN’T (Sorry – we had to).

The most important thing to know about desiccants such as silica gels is that they have a saturation point. A desiccant placed in a humid area will inevitably reach its absorption limit after a certain period of time. Once this happens, the desiccant essentially becomes a bag of humidity.

As you might guess, storing a metal firearm with a damp or soggy bag isn’t an ideal solution. Absorbing the moisture out of the air is one thing, but eliminating it from the atmosphere altogether is another.

If the moisture is never removed from the immediate area surrounding the firearm, it’s simply hanging around and waiting to start the oxidation process. This is an important thing to consider, especially within gun safes…


#5. Gun Bags Should Be Used (Even In Safes)

Gun Storage Bags are Beneficial for Gun Maintenance

It goes without saying that if you own firearms; you’re going to want a gun safe as well. Gun safes not only keep your guns secure and out of reach from those unqualified to handle them, but they also provide much needed storage space.

Moisture often gets trapped in gun safes. As covered in tip #4, adding desiccants to a safe won’t truly solve this problem.

Some gun safes come installed with dehumidifiers in an effort to expel the present moisture altogether. While these dehumidifiers are a much more effective method of corrosion prevention for your firearms, it’s still a great idea to use gun bags – even within safes.

Depending on which type you purchase, these gun bags can provide a multitude of benefits, including:

  • Prevention of scratches.
  • Prevention of contact with moisture.
  • Prevention of contact with reactive gases.
  • Improved organization.

Additionally, individual gun bags take up significantly less space than other forms of corrosion protection for firearms. This is crucial – because as we all know – space in a gun safe is a limited commodity!

There’s a wide selection of gun bags to choose from. Some are “impregnated” with different coatings and gels that are meant to transfer onto the surface of your gun, but these are ones you may want to avoid (see tip #2).

However, there are certain gun bags that stop corrosion, oxidation and mold for up to 10 years – all without the use of coatings or volatile chemicals!

Worries of Firearm Storage

Firearm Storage

Firearm storage is a worrisome endeavor for many gun owners. In theory, when you store something it should put your mind at ease – there’s a sense of security to it.

When you get home from your nightly commute, you park the car in the garage. When you’ve finished reading a book, you close it and put it on the shelf. You know these things will be there tomorrow, unharmed.

There’s a myriad of factors that come into play when deciding how to storage something, among them are:

Where am I going to store X?
How long will I need to store X?
Will X be safe in storage?

For us, this is especially true with firearms. Perhaps more so than any other possession, guns inspire a sense of responsibility. Not only because of their immense power but also because of their delicate intricacies.

Storing firearms requires foresight and planning.

HERE ARE THE COMMON WORRIES OF FIREARM STORAGE:

 


Space (or Lack Thereof)

Lack of Space for Firearm Storage
Lack of Space for Firearm Storage

One common complaint you hear amongst hunters and gun collectors is NEVER HAVING ENOUGH SPACE IN THEIR GUN SAFES.

It’s also the reason why seasoned veterans or anyone in the industry will implore you to go bigger rather than smaller when choosing your gun safe- The amount of guns you have will most likely increase, the amount of space you have to store them will not.

A limited amount of space often requires maximum efficiency, and so compartmentalizing your firearms and other accessories is important. Using smaller cases inside gun safes is a common strategy, not only does a case keep everything organized; it protects your firearms too, right?…

Not necessarily.

Using a gun case inside a gun safe actually takes up more space then you need it to. Remember, every inch of space inside your gun safe is precious.

Gun cases can be bulky and take up to 3x the amount of space that the firearms itself would.

Additionally, gun cases could lead to more…

 


Moisture

Moisture Can Occur in a Variety of Ways
Moisture Can Occur in a Variety of Ways

Gun cases can be lined with sheepskin, cardboard or foam – and depending on the other materials they contain, gun cases could actually increase the likelihood that your firearms will be exposed to moisture while in storage.

This is because the materials used in many cases actually attract moisture rather than prevent it.

That’s a major dilemma, when you consider that rust is more than likely the number one reaction you’re trying to avoid on your guns.

Moisture leads to rust on metals and rust on your guns can lead to fail-to-fires as well as other degradations.

The fear of moisture in your gun safe is a valid one, and it’s arguably the most prominent of all firearm storage worries.

Often times, people will use a desiccant such as silica gel packs in their safe in order to counteract moisture. But contrary to popular belief, silica gels draw more moisture into the safe itself, not dispell it.

Moisture, in addition to the type of climate you’re storing your guns in, can lead to…

 


Mildew

Mildew is a Common Worry When Storing Firearms
Mildew is a Common Worry When Storing Firearms

Mildew is especially common in fireproof and fire-resistant gun safes. Due to the retardant nature of the materials used in fireproof and fire-resistant safes and the lack of light present inside them, the inside of fireproof and fire resistant safes are often times a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

This can have especially negative effects on collectable firearms, antiques or any other firearms with wooden stocks. Non-synthetic firearms, accessories and components stored in a gun safe that contains mold or mildew is a major worry, as organic materials are more apt to degrade.

Climate and humidity play a pivotal role in whether or not your gun safe will begin producing mildew and mold, however, this can be a problem even in dry areas of the globe.

 


The Simple Solution

PreservAll Ends Firearm Storage Worry1. Gun safes are tight on space.
2. Compartmentalization can be inefficient.
3. Certain cases and desiccants lead to MORE moisture.
4. Gun safes often produce mold and mildew.

These are the plight of the firearm owner. All these factors add up to the overwhelming feeling of the inability to combat agents of corrosion and it seems like there’s no viable option to maintain the integrity of your firearmsbut there is!

The 4 problems listed above are easily solved with PreservAll’s firearm protection bags. Thoroughly tested and verified in extreme environments like Singapore, Japan, Australia, and far northern climates, PreservAll protects against mold, mildew, corrosion, rust, and tarnish.

With the exception of fire, PreservAll covers all the bases when considering which gun storage options are the most efficient. By using a more effective technology in a slimmer and sleeker format, PreservAll provides more protection than gun cases while still allowing for organization.

So when it comes to firearm storage anxiety, get rid of the nerves and put your mind at ease by using PreservAll.