Safe, secret long term gun storage


January 7, 2003, 04:32 AM
Any ideas or suggestions as to the best way to stash one or two guns and their ammo if things went to hell? I was thinking of burial, but how would you keep someone with a metal detector from finding said cache? Also what would be the best way to prevent corrosion? Any and all suggestions are welcome,

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January 7, 2003, 07:36 AM
if somebody is really wanting to find your stuff they will find it ,with ground penetrating radar and the ultralow sound wave devices they have now there are no true hiding places
as for very long term storage it is hard to beat cosmoline and cheese cloth and wax paper

January 7, 2003, 07:38 AM
They'll find it on your city lot, but not so likely to find it buried in some remote location.

Bottom Gun
January 7, 2003, 09:03 AM
Send them to me. I'll hide them for you and won't tell a soul.:D

Mark Tyson
January 7, 2003, 09:21 AM
An area whose ground is rich in natural metals could make radar detectors useless, but ground penetrating radar is hard to beat. Police have used it to find bodies buried under concrete or pavement. Your best hope is remoteness. Bury your goods in as distant a place as possible, preferably somewhere with a very low water table. Mark the location with GPS and map. There are plenty of books about underground storage available; there is also an army field manual concerning the subject, though I can't recall the name.

January 7, 2003, 09:23 AM
I read that you can put them in a large piece of PVC pipe with dessicant, and propery sealed. The trick is to bury them verticaly so they don't show up so easily to detectors.

January 7, 2003, 09:53 AM
Mark the location with GPS and map.

Don't just rely on GPS though. In a true SHTF scenario GPS is likely to be turned off for civilian use.

January 7, 2003, 10:09 AM
I just remember the adage "hide in plain site".
even now BG's find stuff with simple metal detectors in homes, often find the well hidden, overlook the obvious.
Just a thought, smarter not harder.
Mechanic had a can of hand cleaner-old never used sitting on a dusty shelf back of shop-did use the 38 to change a BG's mind once tho' occupying the can.

January 7, 2003, 12:22 PM
A friend of mine told me how he hid some stuff. It made sense to me so I'll pass it on.
First, make sure the gun is clean and lightly oiled. Pack it in an ABS plastic tube with whatever ammo you think you'll need and several oxygen absorbing packets.
ABS is better than PVC because it isn't so brittle and also because it's black.
The oxygen absorbing packets are vastly superior to dessicants if you intend to store the gun for an extended period of time, such as several years. They can be found on the web, sold by food preservation companies. The reason they're best is because they lock up 99.99% of the free oxygen in a package. No oxygen, no oxidation, no rust.
Once you get everything in the pipe, glue caps on both ends. Don't trust those more expensive screw-on plugs, in time, they'll leak.
Now, watch the local cemetery. As soon as a funeral is over and the tent is gone, leaving the flowers laying over the re-sodded grave, visit the "Dearly Departed" one more time, preferably in the middle of the night. Take your package, a black, plastic bucket, a folding shovel and some black plastic sheeting. Spread the plastic out around the grave to keep the newly turned dirt from showing and pull back some of the sod. Dig a trench in the soft dirt and bury your package. Cover everything up and make it look like you've_never been there. You'll have two to three buckets of dirt left over. Every cemetery has an area where they dispose of excess dirt, so you'll have to carry the dirt there. Fold up the plastic sheeting, put it in the bucket, grab your shovel and go have a beer. Oh yes, remember whose grave it is so you can go back there if you need to.

rock jock
January 7, 2003, 12:31 PM
ABS is better than PVC because it isn't so brittle and also because it's black.
What in the world does it matter what color it is if its not exposed to the sun? More tactical, I suppose?
Now, watch the local cemetery. As soon as a funeral is over and the tent is gone, leaving the flowers laying over the re-sodded grave, visit the "Dearly Departed" one more time, preferably in the middle of the night. Take your package, a black, plastic bucket, a folding shovel and some black plastic sheeting. Spread the plastic out around the grave to keep the newly turned dirt from showing and pull back some of the sod. Dig a trench in the soft dirt and bury your package. Cover everything up and make it look like you've_never been there.
Burying your guns in freshly dug graves? I'm sorry, this is ridiculous.

January 7, 2003, 12:39 PM
I believe the black is to make it less obvious if it gets uncovered due to a mudslide or something. I've heard of people painting white pipe brown for the sasme reason.

January 7, 2003, 12:40 PM
In meow opinion, if the time comes when we need to bury guns, we oughta be using 'em.

Remember the Russians - they had some problems with some villages that had buried arms - They relocated the people, then brought in bulldozers and leveled the whole area. No landmarks (then - pre-gps) meant no recovery of buried stuff.

January 7, 2003, 12:41 PM
rock jock
I like the grave idea.

Well i got 15 acres and my freind has 40 .How well do you guy think the leo are going to look. I can see them look around the houses . But i can't see them walking around the hole 40 acres look for a hiding cache.

I'm wrong ?:confused:

January 7, 2003, 12:54 PM
Go search TFL. Someone asked this question before and a link was posted. The link will take you to a web site where some guy took great pains to plan and hide his cache.

January 7, 2003, 02:40 PM
Thanks for all the info. I'll go back and check on the TFL. Nice to know there are such knowledgeable and helpful people here!

January 7, 2003, 02:46 PM
if the time comes when we need to bury guns, we oughta be using 'em.

I think Bogie hit the nail on the head.

January 7, 2003, 02:50 PM
Yep, lots of family burial plots.
Infastructure probably won't get leveled, especially some types.
just saying, by the time need arises, you should have already in hand. Some areas will continue reverence and respect--some won't--notice what you DON'T notice, is all I'm suggesting.

Someone did bury using pvc(thread somewhere) went back to check and under a lot of dirt...50' IIRC.

January 7, 2003, 03:07 PM
didn't they find a pilgram era matchlock behind some paneling in an olde New England home in the late 90s?

January 7, 2003, 03:35 PM
Burying your guns in freshly dug graves? I'm sorry, this is ridiculous. Ridiculous? I think oldfart's post is the best thing I've read all week! :D

January 7, 2003, 03:44 PM
Or graves as Edgar Allan Poe wrote about;)

January 7, 2003, 03:54 PM
Let's desecrate a grave.

How about stashing em under the butts of handicapped in wheel chairs?

Or...CHURCH?...hide em behind all the purty statchoos.

Can always tape em under the life support monitors in local hospitals.

................. :cuss:


INSIDE your METAL ducting in your heating system. Protected and sealed of course.

Inside housings of electronic audio equipment or speaker boxes.

Inside an high up UNDER your bathroom sink. Burglars seldom steal the towels except if they need em to wrap goodies, but they don't spend a lot of time looking UP while under the sink.

BUT....they CAN find em ANYWHERE.

January 7, 2003, 04:14 PM
Cast them in blocks of leaded glass and drill deep in some geologically verified bedrock? :p

January 7, 2003, 04:18 PM
The link will take you to a web site where some guy took great pains to plan and hide his cache.

And then promptly posted it on the internet :rolleyes: :D

Uncle Ethan
January 7, 2003, 04:53 PM
Clean and lightly oil weapon- seal in long term storage bags and put into ABS tubing along with ammo and magazines- use oxygen absorbers and dessicant and glue caps on both ends. Bury vertically and use a nail gun in wet weather to cover the property with magnetic signatures, including concentrations that will alert to different areas. Assemble a motarless brick bar-b-que over the site. Had a weapon stored this way 4 years with absolutely no damage. Just managed to remember to dig it up before the cement truck arrived to pour a slab.:rolleyes:

WR Olsen
January 7, 2003, 05:14 PM
Forget burial......That's a sure way to rust out everything. What you want to consider is hiding it where no one thingks of looking.

I have a chimney flue that is unused since we changed the heating system. Package the items you want to store, go to the roof and lower the package down the flue. Tie a piece of metal securely to the cord and drop the line into the flue.

When you want to retreive the pacage just drop a magnet down the flue, capture the cord and pull everything up. The lasst thing to be destroyed in a house is the chimney so with luck your goodies will survive just about anything.

An alternative is to use the space between the wall boards as a hidey hole. If you can get to it from the top (like through a drop ceiling) you can use the same technique.

January 7, 2003, 06:15 PM
Rock Jock, from the tone of your post I'd guess you probably aren't interested in burying guns. But for a moment, try to put yourself in the mind of someone who has to do it. Tell me, if you had to go out into a cemetery in the middle of the night and you didn't want to draw attention, would you rather be carrying a 5-foot long piece of black ABS or light green PVC?

As for grave desecration-- you could pick the grave of a Democrat gun-grabber. That would be poetic justice to the nth degree!

January 7, 2003, 07:31 PM
Here's a true story. One of the guys at work decided it would be a fine idea to bury some weapons. Sealed them up in PVC and buried them out in the desert.

A few months went by and he decided to either bring them home or check on them, can't recall which. At any rate he goes out to the site and couldn't find them. Needless to say, co-workers are falling on the floor when they hear this. "Ah, they were following the implant when you buried them and got 'em anyway. We told you not to get that flu shot!".

Poor guy spent three months with a metal detector before he finally found them.

I really wonder how much stuff has been buried over the years and never found?

January 7, 2003, 07:46 PM
I suggest you read Poe's The Cask of Amontillado
Public forum, we don't know whom is reading. WR Olsen, betcha you read Poe, and his definiton. I'm just suggesting using discretion and recall of History and Literature. I mean I'm sure not going to give out my CC#'s and stuff here on a forum.

"Three may keep a secret--if two of them are dead."

Richard Saunders
AKA Ben Franklin
Poor Richard's Almanac

Uncle Ethan
January 7, 2003, 07:51 PM
The only weapon dug up [ to my knowledge] in the Mohave where Patton trained his troops was a Thompson that was dug up when they were putting in a power relay station in the flats by I-10- but the running joke is that anywhere you put in a shovel, you'll find a weapon now that the Libs have banned so many.:rolleyes:

Brett Bellmore
January 7, 2003, 07:55 PM
Get "The Big Book of Secret Hiding Places" from Palidin Press, and then make sure not to use any of those hiding places! The police have read it, too. Be sure to buy it cash, and get rid of it after reading it; If they police search your home, and find a copy, they might just tear your house apart down to the footings looking for hidden junk. :D

There's hiding it from the storm troopers, there's hiding it from a burglar, and there's hiding it from the neighbors dropping by for tea. They all have different demands.

January 7, 2003, 10:42 PM
After a bit of searching I located the link I was referencing in my post above. The link was found on GT (not TFL); I guess that's what ya get with my flaky memory.

Here it is:

January 7, 2003, 11:10 PM
If remote cache is not feasable you still have options near to you. Modern sensing equipment should have trouble sorting out underground water lines from underground metal so use existing metal or running water utilites to shield from such. If you've got a well, or water supplied out buildings, you should have plenty of footage to lay sealed PVC storage in the same trench as the water line. If particularly cautious you might put the storage container under the water line and then run metalic marker tape the length of the line to "make finding the line easier to protect it". Or place such storage upright around your well head a foot below the surface or under the mains supply shutoff.

January 7, 2003, 11:36 PM
Old Fart's great instructions gave me an Idea: stash an assault rifle and ammo using those vacuum sealed bag kits(I,ve got guns in safe deposit box vacuum sealed) inside a piece of ABS and stick it in a crypt that you pre buy. That way you have "final arrangements" covered and a place to stash your SHTF stuff!:D

January 8, 2003, 01:19 AM
I have thought about burying guns but don't have any that I would want out of sight that long. IMO if you do first clean them and then get storage unit figured out. Then a few days later clean them again and oil them. If more then a yr grease/cosomoline in sealed plastic with O2 absorb stuff. If you really want to bury some and are in central MN let me know. I have some land you can dig them down in. :)

January 8, 2003, 01:36 AM
Best thing to do..if you are going to bury bury it off of your property in an remote area.

There are entire books devoted to safely caching Weapons and Ammo.

Basically break down the firearm..and liberally coat all metal surfaces with cosmoline (you can buy this stuff..). Then seal it in a thick plastic bag. Remove as much air as you can out of the bag.
Then take the bag and seal it in a larger bag with some dessicant packages.

Then seal this bagged stuff in a surplus Naval Sono Buoy Tube or some large Sewage PVC pipeing and cap and seal the ends.

Store the Ammo in a separate container the same way but without the cosmoline.

Also store a cleaning kit, a first aid kit, and some type of solvant that will help clean off the cosmoline (I like WD 40), some gun grease and some lubricant.

Since you are going to Cache this stuff you might as well cache a little money, a map, compass, some MRE's in other containers, some clothing, in a "bug out" pack.

IF the SHTF really happens...imagine if you had to bug out so fast all you could take without were the clothes on your back and food in your belly.

Take careful note of the cache location. Mark it down on a map with GPS coordinates and how deep it is.

On your property....get some rebar and drive it in the ground all over the back yard..this will keep metal detecting JBT's very busy digging in all of the wrong places.

Another way to cache objects is to put them inside of a wall and seal them up with drywall..and paint over it.

For Cached guns..use some cheap rifles..such as a Lee Enfield. This way you can have several caches...if one is discovered or for some can't get to it..(maybe some JBT's are hanging out in the area and you have to go the other way..) can head off to another location.

Make sure that your CACHE locations are only known to yourself! Don't leave a map hanging around the house with their locations..

January 8, 2003, 02:26 AM
Take a metal detector into an old dirt floored barn sometime. It will register all over the place. Comes from the excreted iron in animal urine over long years of saturation of the dirt. You can't detect anything under that dirt.
I think that if I were to bury something, I'd go over to the neighbors place and do it there, not on my own property.

January 8, 2003, 02:29 AM
Have/has a bud who stashed stuff every 50 miles from "here to there" - is (still) a ways.

I have never cached a single thing.

The phrase of "when it's time to bury 'em, it's time to dig 'em up" & "I have a lifetime supply of ammo" go hand-in-hand. IMNSHO - although, never hurts for a rainy day.

Beats me for penetrating radar-stuff, so have no clue, but septic tanks can't be something many would want to dumpster-dive in - "tags" or not.

Remote works. Be sure you can find it again. I wouldn't make it such a "remote area" like your Forest Service Campground. You may want to actually go "into the woods." .... Couple threads from TFL of folks who would - in the SHTF event - "take their family to the nearest campground & "forage for food." (sigh)

I'd stash the stuff together. If they find yer shooter, the ammo's fairly worthless.

I'd like to say booby-trap it, but that'd be fairly irresponsible for some innocent coming along with a 'detector, finding "a stash" blowing his arms off, no? 'Sides, that's agin the law ....

Anything close you've read, so have they. Remote works, but really make it remote.

January 8, 2003, 06:14 AM
Topgun wrote:

How about stashing em under the butts of handicapped in wheel chairs?

Hey, good timing -- I'm working with a disabled friend of mine to figure out how to attach a holster to his chair.


January 8, 2003, 11:01 AM
Stuff does get buried and then lost. Does anyone remember the .50 cal rifle that was found all rusted out in the hills near Salt Lake City? It was just before the Winter Olympics and caused a bit of a stir.

On another note.

Some of you still believe in using cosmoline rather than anything else. Cosmo is good. It's worked for years and will continue to work long after this discussion is finished. But it does take time to clean it off a gun. The oxygen absorbers do just as well but have the added advantage of leaving the gun clean. You can open up the container, load the gun and shoot it as soon as it hits daylight. That might be important.

A few years ago (remember Y2K?) I decided to sock something away-- just in case. I sealed an SKS and a couple of hundred rounds of ammo into an ABS tube with some oxygen absorbers and squirreled it away for a bit over a year. I must admit I was a bit worried about whether it would survive, but when I began sawing the tube open there was a "hissss" of air going into the tube.

Our atmosphere is only about 16% oxygen, with most of the rest nitrogen, which is nearly inert, at least as far as we're concerned. The oxygen absorbers locked up that 16% and left a partial vacuum in the tube.

More important, the SKS was in perfect condition! No rust anywhere and completely functional. The ammo shot just fine-- or at least as well as any SKS and ammo shoots. As near as I could see, there were NO disadvantages to the oxygen absorbers other than having to buy them from a food storage company in New York.

Another point on another idea: Locating your cache by GPS coordinates sounds good, but the GPS sattelites are owned and operated by the U.S. government. We all recognize the possibility that we may someday have to forcibly oppose that government. Even the dullest knife in the government drawer could see the advantage of re-programming the sattelites to throw off everybody but them.

January 8, 2003, 11:12 AM

Uncle Ethan
January 8, 2003, 11:33 AM
Two points- behind wallboard doesn't work- from the outside by the street there are thermal imaging equipment that can "see" through your walls just from the different heat signatures - studs, wiring, and anything that is dissimilar to the surrounding area shows up- many times it can be identified by shape alone. Also there is a new product out there in a spray can that does what Cosmoline does, but is easier to apply and removes easier too. As for rifles ready to store, just buy some SMLE Ishapores in .308 still in the cosmoline and storage paper and put them in your containers. They have already survived 30 years of storage.

January 8, 2003, 11:46 AM
Wallboard could be a good idea, but do it right...

Instead of gypsum board, use styrofoam. Just remember not to bang into that wall. Make it a location that's hard to screw up.

Use a stainless gun, and lightly oil the moving parts with a non-penetrating oil. Wrap it in a plastic bag (loose fitting), stick it un the hole, the patch with the styrofoam and a thin layer of drywall mud.

If you need it in a hurry, all you gotta do is punch the wall and grab.

January 8, 2003, 12:05 PM
You don't have to stash them if ...
you never give them up in the first place!

January 8, 2003, 12:19 PM
Here's my opinion.

If you have a SHTF rally point, such as a vacation cabin, bury there. If you have some abundance of firearms and alot of property, bury a couple.
If not, then crawl up into your attic. Bury the packaged firearms and ammo under insulation. You don't want to have to take the time to go dig up firearms if you really need them quick!!

January 8, 2003, 01:26 PM
I realize that this discussion should be labled "to be used for educational and recreational purposes only," but to play the game a bit further: Who here believes that those forces that would confiscate our guns would announce-- in advance-- that 'police units will be in such-and-such neighborhood on this-and-that date and all citizens are expected to turn in their guns at that time?'

Nobody, right? If gun confiscation were to happen, it would be as completely without warning as the authorities could manage. The police would have lists of specific addresses and the guns to be found there. If SKS #XXXXX wasn't found at Joe Blow's house, there'd be a number of questions Mr. Blow had better be prepared to answer. So, buying guns 'off_paper' is going to give you (if not the previous owner) some breathing room.

But, there's another thing to think about now. Remember a recent story about police using the tips generated during the D.C. sniper saga to catch illegal gun owners? Well, now Oregon, and soon other states, wants to track vehicular milage (for tax purposes, of course) using the GPS locator beacons in cars. Who's to say they won't be able to find the general location of the cache you've driven to?

Too much trouble, you say? We're talking about government here, and if the government should become totally tyranical, nothing would be too much trouble if they could find a gun or two, especially if the owner could be publicly executed as a deterrant to others. That was the way Hitler did it, as did Stalin and Pol Pot and... etc., ad infinitum.

There are no perfect hiding places. If one person can think of a place to hide something, another can think of the same place to find it. The worst places are close to home. If the police come for you, they'll do it in the middle of the night and use the next three days to search every square foot of your home and property. They can be very thorough.

If you choose to bury something, give the idea a lot of thought before you ever buy a piece of pipe. You'll need to know exactly what to bury, how to bury it, how to get it there without being seen or traced and how to retrieve it when you decide you need it. None of those steps can be left out. There are no shortcuts to survival.

January 8, 2003, 01:51 PM
While certainly not *MUCH* is too much trouble for the government to do if they really want to get you, using the GPS in your car probably is.

Remember, GPS is not a symmetric system. The equipment in your car has no transmitter, only a receiver. They sure as heck can't track you in real time using it. Now, whether or not your car keeps track of where you've been is another issue, but I'm fairly comfortable believing that at least the GPS on my car (Audi) doesn't seem to store this information (unless, of course, you tell it to store it).

In the end, I tend to believe that if the government has decided that you, individually, John C. Public, are to be put against the wall, there's pretty much nothing you'll be able to do to stop them. The key is to both avoid that much individual attention and be able to defend against the generalized attention everyone is/will be getting. I wonder if anyone's travelling through CA airports and declaring CA-banned-and-unregistered weapons these days?

As for the lack of paperwork when they come to take your gun -- I've often wondered about that. I wonder if they'd have to prove that you didn't lawfully sell it to someone else. In other words, if I understand "innocent until proven guilty" correctly, couldn't you always claim you shipped it to an FFL whose name you didn't remember to be sold? If they can't find the paper trail, this seems their problem, not yours. I have no idea whether this would work.

January 8, 2003, 02:10 PM

Keep in mind that the difficulty with finding a "needle in a hay stack" has as much to do with the needle being a lot like hay straws. What's my point? Try to think of cacheing things amongst similar items. If there's an old trash dump on your property (plenty of those here in the south) make sure that there's a couple of rusty old refrigerators there. Put up a bird house - with a concrete pier footer and a metal 6X6 post base to hold up the 6X6 supporting your birdhouse. If the pier is hollow it could be a good cache place. If there is any ductile iron pipe in any of your utilities take advantage of that. Old water heater just waiting to go to the dump. Be creative, but remember that you want to confuse detectors used by thieves that might come looking for valuables by cacheing near power feeds, running water, metal pipe that they would expect to be present.

January 8, 2003, 02:40 PM
On Firearm Confiscations:
(1.) their are approximately over 80 million households (according to BATF estimates) in the United States which have firearms.
(2.) There exists no National Registry which includes all of these firearms. The closest thing to a National Registry is the Database that is used in the NICS, of which the FBI is making illegal "back up" copies. But curiously is denying the BATF access to..(must be a turf war thing between "F-Troop" and the "Feebs").
(3.) Since the number of households which have firearms is HUGE and unknown...the sheer operation of conducting house to house searches (ie. RAIDS) will overwhelm all of the combined Law Enforcement Agencies.
(4.) because of this...Raids could take place on a nightly basis for YEARS and still not be able to confiscate even a small fraction of the firearms in private hands.

(5.) So...what is my point? The odds are overwhelmingly in our favor of getting ADVANCED NOTICE that firearms confiscation raids are taking place. We will get this notice from the "News" organizations.

(6.) BECAUSE this task of conduction Confiscation Raids is so would require the military. Because only the Military has enough manpower to pull it off..but NOT overnight!!!! It would still take a LONG time.
This would require more weakening of the Posse Commitatus Act (something which is still occuring) OR the usage of US Marines in the Raids since the Marines and Navy Personnel are NOT covered by the Posse Commitatus Act and are exempt from its restrictions.

Such an involvement would create an even BIGGER News Story.

So..we WILL have Advance Warning.

It's is just those of us who are already on a list (such as owners of NFA weapons, CCW permit holders, or registered owners of "Assault Weapons") who will probably get raided first and thus will have little notice (for some people..none).

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