Once you start down the trail of understanding the variety of gun safes it isn’t a big leap to start investigating the functionality and history of handgun holsters. (My logic is that both devices store and protect guns) Just like a good gun safe the holster protects the handgun, secures its retention, and provides ready access.
Holsters are classified in four different groups: 1. (law enforcement) Duty holsters 2. (military) Tactical holsters 3. Concealment holsters 4. Sporting holsters.
Next method of categorization comes from the method by which the holster is worn: Belt outside, Belt inside, Shoulder, Sling, Belly band, Pocket, Groin, Thigh, Ankle. Hopefully by this point you have recalled at least one example from a movie where each of these holster types is an element of the script. Example: Miami Vice / Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) carries a Detonics Combatmaster as a backup gun, in an ankle holster.
If you are considering purchasing a handgun holster, then you need to ask yourself a few of the following questions: 1. Your body type 2. Clothing 3. Weather 4. Activities while wearing the holster 5. Concealment level 6. Handgun type. You can see why these questions are so important as you can imagine how difficult it is to find a holster to conceal your Smith & Wesson Model 38 if you work as a lifeguard or prefer slim fitting clothing. Although you and I may find a few humorous aspects of choosing holster types, the Police Studies Council takes this task very serious and provides dozens of guidelines for selecting a duty holster.
We get this question a lot – what is the best way to store antique or collector’s firearms? Of course the most important thing to consider is to make sure that your firearms are out of reach and protected from the hands of curious children. This is where a good safe comes in handy – just because you don’t use a gun for target practice doesn’t mean that it’s safe to leave around the house. Secondly, it is important to be sure that they are stored somewhere safe, dry and cool. In addition, it is important to minimize hand contact with your antique gun because the oils from our fingers may damage the metal on the barrel. If you don’t care for antique firearms properly, especially considering the humidity levels of their storage container, the metal may start to corrode, leaving your gun pitted and rusty. When dealing with valuable collectibles, it is especially important to take good care so that they will retain their value.
Do you have any other tips for caring for valuable firearms? For example, we’ve heard that some people like to keep their collectibles in plexi-glass cases so they can be on display without falling prey to little fingers. This article has more information on the subject.
Can your gun safe be cracked open? If you walk into your house and your gun safe is open and all your guns are gone can you convince your insurance company that they were stolen? Just a few minutes of time and you can arm yourself with enough information to select a gun safe that provides the security you need and that can stand up to most insurance inquiries.
Gun safes are usually protected by two types of locks: electronic and mechanical combination
Mechanical Combination locks have four basic security groups:
Group 1: A UL rating given to a mechanical combination lock able to withstand 20 man-hours of expert manipulation as well as other specifications listed in UL 768
Group 1R: A UL rating given to a mechanical combination lock equal to a group 1 lock which has the added feature of being X-Ray resistant, and which meets other requirements listed in UL publication 768
Group 2: A UL rating given to a mechanical combination lock able to withstand reasonable expert manipulation as well as other specifications listed in UL 768
Group 2M A UL rating given to a mechanical combination lock able to withstand 2 man-hours of expert manipulation as well as other specifications listed in UL 768
An electronic locks may incorporate various digital access control features, such as biometrics. Electronic locks usually provide advanced auditing and key control capabilities, but generally are not any more secure than traditional locks.
Type 2: A Residential Security Container (RSC) rating of TL-15 or TL-30. The ‘TL’ rating means the safe has been tested for a net working time for a specific number of minutes using high speed drills, saws and other sophisticated penetrating equipment.
Type 1: U.L. defines Type 1 Electronic locks as highly resistant to expert manipulation. It should be noted that there really isn’t much “manipulating” you can do with an electronic lock. There are no tumblers or wheel packs that could betray the combination. There are no mechanical auto-dialers that can run through the many thousands of combinations in a matter of days. In fact, on most locks, if you enter the wrong combination too many times the lock will disable itself for several minutes, making any kind of guesswork or systematic dialing attacks somewhat cumbersome. In addition, electronic locks are completely radiological proof, making them much cheaper equivalents to a Group 1R Combination lock (x-raying a electronic lock will reveal a circuit board…not very helpful in determining the combination). Type 1 Electronic locks are suitable for just about any safe, from simple RSC containers up to the most expensive U.L.-TL Rated safes.
Come in to your local gun safe store and compare the selection and prices of safes and locks. You will be surprised at how little it cost to step up to a higher security rated safe.
In 2008, the Bureau of Justice sent out a survey to Americans to discover how many people owned guns. Did you know that 42 percent of people reported having a gun in their home? Among those people, 58% own pistols, 63% own shotguns, and 59% own rifles. That’s a pretty astounding number…considering there are over 300 million people in the US, that’s about 126 million people with guns in their home.
We know a fair bit about gun ownership in American but I was still curious to learn about the most popular guns in America. What do you think they are? Do you have a favorite gun among your friends or shooting buddies?
5: Thompson/Center Arms Encore Muzzleloading Rifle. We’ve talked a bit about the different kinds of rifles around on this blog before. The muzzleloading rifle was the earliest of modern firearms – such as those used in the American Civil War. These rifles were eventually made obsolete in warfare around the time of WWI with the introduction of bolt-action rifles. Even though these guns have not been used frequently for quite some time, there has been a renewed interest in them recently – with the resurgence of primitive weapons only hunting seasons.
Thompson/Center Arms offers a complete line of inline muzzleloaders and accessories. Hunters consider the Encore 209x.50 Magnum to be the best muzzleloader available today.
4: Remington Model 870 Pump-Action Shotgun. Shotguns are smoothbore firearms, this means that it is possible to shoot multiple projectiles (birdshot or buckshot) in a single shot. Pump-action shotguns have a magazine under the barrel that holds six or seven rounds. The user simply slides the forestock to chamber a new round. Since 1950 when Remington introduced the Model 870 shotgun, it has been the best selling shotgun in history. More than 10 million of them have been produced and found their way into the hands of hunters, sportsmen and law enforcement officials since then.
3: Bushmaster AR-15 Semiautomatic Rifle. The AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle — this means it fires one round with each trigger pull. It is not a fully-automatic rifle like a machine gun. The “AR” stands for “ArmaLite rifle,” the company that invented it in the 1950s. Today, Bushmaster is one of the top sellers of rifles based on the AR-15 platform.
2: Smith & Wesson Model 10 Revolver. Since the 1800s, millions of these easy-to-use weapons have been bought by all sorts of people. Revolvers have a fairly simple design – a cylinder containing multiple chambers, each holding a round. When the trigger is pulled, the cylinder rotates and a new chamber lines up with the barrel. Smith & Wesson, though not the first to produce mass-market revolvers, changed the game in 1857 when it first rolled off the assembly line. The Model 10 has been the anchor of the S&W product line since 1899.
1: Colt M1911. A pistol is a semiautomatic handgun with a magazine that slides into the grip. It is usually lighter and more compact than a revolver. The M1911 is the most popular firearm of all time, especially with civilians who participate in competitive shooting.
What did you think of our list? Did anything surprise you? There may be different lists floating around the internet – this one comes courtesy of How Stuff Works.
Have you ever opened your winter clothes closet after everything has been bundled up for the past six months? The last time I did that, a whiff of mildew and musk hit me like a ton of bricks. I was even unfortunate enough to have to clean off spots of mildew from my coats and winter boots. This is a fairly normal occurrence when you live in a more humid climate. Even though the amount of moisture in your closet might be sparse, because the closet is closed up without a good source of airflow, the air gets trapped in small pockets between clothing. When the temperature drops and these air pockets condense, tiny dewdrops can form and help facilitate the growth of mold and mildew.
Moisture isn’t just a bane for winter clothes but can cause the same issue with all sort of things—including in gun safes. If you are a gun collector, you likely know something about keeping your firearms safe and sound. A good gun safe is an obvious way to do this, but what happens once the firearms are inside the safe? What happens if there is moisture in your safe? In the same way that tiny bits of air can eventually condense into dewdrops in a closet, you may find that even in a relatively dry climate that you have a problem with the levels of moisture in your gun safe. And moisture can wreck havoc on precision instruments like firearms – it can cause gun barrels to rust or become pitted. Guns are, afterall, made of metal and metal corrodes in water. It can make a modern mechanical modern into something fit for a junk heap. Keeping your gun safe dry is very important, so it’s prudent for serious gun collectors or lovers to think about owning a good dehumidifier to avoid something like this happening.
We have a great dehumidifier at SafeGunSafes.com – a Dri-Rod dehumidified with a detachable plug. The Dri-Rod helps lower humidity levels by warming the air. This increase in temperature will cause the air to circulate within the safe, helping to prevent damage by moisture. These sorts of devices are a great way to ensure that your firearms are kept safe and moisture free.
Image from here
I have friends who survived a massive wildfire and tell stories of returning home to nothing more than a pile of ash. Wikipedia states the following information about wildfires: “Even before the flames of a wildfire arrive at a particular location, heat transfer from the wildfire front warms the air to 800 °C (1,470 °F), which pre-heats and dries flammable materials, causing materials to ignite faster and allowing the fire to spread faster.” The 2007 California wildfires were reported reaching temperatures of 2000°F. In the case of the wildfire my friends survived, they reported that their guns were destroyed or never found.
How do you determine the fire rating that you want your gun safe to provide? Who conducts these fire rating tests? We come back to our friends at Underwriters Laboratories who provide testing for safes and different fire scenarios. Here is a small excerpt from the ul.com website: “Clad head-to-toe in protective gear, the professional technicians at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) place a personal safe – that could contain irreplaceable documents, cash and personal records – into a furnace chamber for 30 minutes to evaluate if the assets within the safe would get damaged. If nothing is damaged, the technicians increase both the temperature and humidity in the furnace and heat the safe.” Normally, UL continues to increase the amount of time the test was conducted for: “a one-hour rating means that the safe can withstand 1,300-degree Fahrenheit heat for an hour while still protecting the contents of the safe.”
Another cool test UL runs on safes is an impact test. This test simulates a safe falling though multiple stories of a building — resulting from a fire that has weakened the structure. After the safe is heated to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in a furnace, it’s raised three stories and dropped onto a pile of bricks. In order to meet the requirement, the safe can’t pop open.
You can purchase gun safes which are rated for 2.5 hours @ 1200-1400°F and I have found stories of gun safes surviving wildfires. It is up to you to determine what degree of fire protection you want your gun safe to provide. Talk to one of our experts and let us match a gun safe to your requirements.
When you start contemplating the purchase of your first gun safe you will shocked about all the security concepts that previously never crossed your mind. Are you protecting your guns from theft, fire, water, or children? How valuable are your guns? What measures would a thief utilize to gain access to your gun collection?
You can always talk to us about your security needs and you can do a drop of fun research on the Underwriters Laboratories website (www.ul.com). When you first get to the ul.com website, utilize the “Search UL” box on the left. Type in “gun safes” and click on the “Magnifying Glass”. My favorite article is “Ten things you did not know about UL’s safe testing”. In this article the UL team talks about using chisels, wenches, screwdrivers, power saws, cutting torches, crowbars, abrasive cutting wheels, jackhammers, even specified amounts of nitroglycerin” to simulate a safe attack. (note: I think I want a job at UL). The results of this specific range of tests are noted on some safes as the “Attack Resistance”. For example, a safe that bears a Class TRTL-15×6 rating should resist a hand tool and torch attack for a minimum of 15 minutes. A TRTL-30×6-rated safe, which would protect important documents or store money, should withstand an attack for 30 minutes. The ultimate safe rating — a TXTL60 — should withstand an hour’s worth of attack that includes the use of 8 ounces of nitroglycerin. (I like this test the best.)
I don’t think you need to withstand a nitroglycerin attack with your gun safe… but perhaps? In my next blog we can talk more about fire testing and rating standards.
One of the most important parts of being a responsible gun owner is not only teaching your family about gun safety but also making sure that there are no accidents b y properly childproofing your firearms. Whether or not you have children, you should be prepared for the possibility of a friend’s, neighbor’s or relative’s child to be in your home.
You should ALWAYS:
- Store your firearm unloaded
- Use a firearms safety device AND store the firearm in a gun safe
- Store the ammunition in a separate locked container.
Making sure that a gun is put away in a secure and safe manner is the number one way to childproof your firearm. But there are additional steps that you can take to further childproof your firearms – this centers on the idea of finding the best possible gun safe and ammunition storage available.
- Do not store your firearm where it is visible
- Do not store your firearm in a bedside table, under your mattress or pillow, or on a closet shelf. These are places that children could stumble upon.
- Consider storing firearms not possessed for self-defense in a safe and secure manner away from the home.
The best thing you can do for the safety of your family is to invest in a solid gun safe – a good gun safe is going to be impenetrable to children (make sure they don’t have access to a key or the code) and will ensure that they are kept out of harm’s way. We also suggest that you do not make your gun a topic of interest to your children – it is best if they do not know that you own a gun. Children are curious and when they know there is something around the house they’re not to play with, they’re more likely to try to find a way to gain access to it.