What are some of the tips many of us non hose owners can give each other? What do you do about keeping your firearms safe and out of reach of others? What to do when you have a maitance call needing to be done, where to put the collection? Where do you stick crap when you live on top of yourself?
I was thinking of this just now cause I need to get the toilet repaird. First thing to come to mind was where would I stick my long arms and pistol while at work and I know someone will be in here without me. Yea I guess I could try my best to have them schedule it for when Im here, but thats nex to impossible for 2 weeks, and the toilet needs to be fixed and of course I cant do it myself despite the knowledge.
Also any creative ways of stowing your stuff would be helpful? Where do you clean also? And how do you breathe while all shut up in here?
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October 16, 2003, 12:35 AM
I lived in an extremely small apartment for quite awhile. All my guns were stashed all over the place, except for those that resided in bank boxes. I cleaned guns at the kitchen counter, (still do today, in fact,) and reloaded ammunition on a jury-rigged bench C-clamped to my postage stamp-sized dining table. Great place to store a gun: under a book case.
October 16, 2003, 12:36 AM
First off, make sure you have a list of all your guns and their S/N's. I would recommend putting your collection somewhere the maintanence guy shouldn't be, say a closet. And put them in all together. The point of this being you want to easily be able to see if anything is missing when you get home. If so the apartment manager should know who was there and who probably has any missing guns. A small gun "safe" from academy or walmart helps as well. The one that holds 8 long guns or so and has a shelf is under $100. While it isn't ideal it also won't fall through on your downstairs neighbor's head either and it will keep an honest man honest. Now if you REALLY don't trust the guy then schedule it for when your home. I'm sure some people have had problems with their maintenance guy, but so far I have found them to be pretty good guys.
As far as being cramped, that's just the way it is. It is worse when you have roommates. I can't wait to graduate and get my own place and not have to share with others.
October 16, 2003, 12:39 AM
I am temporarily living in a studio apartment after owning houses for the past 25 years. I bought a MultiVault for my handguns. I don't have any long guns with me so I can't offer any advice there. With respect to the maintenance people entering your apartment, if you are at all handy, I would do your own repairs to the greatest extent possible and, in general, avoid giving the staff any reason to enter the apartment. Also, I put away all gun stuff when I leave the apartment. Paranoid? Maybe, but if the staff does enter the apartment, I don't want them to see any hints that I am even interested in guns.
October 16, 2003, 12:43 AM
A couple of things I do.
1. Get a safe. You definitely need one. I had to compromise and get a Sentry 13gun model. It's too heavy to just carry out discreetly (living on the second floor has its advantages), but light enough to be able to move upstairs . I also have it bolted to the wall as well. What works for you in an apartment is that any seriously loud noises will definitely get the curiosity of the neighbors up. So if someone attempts to crack the safe they will most likely be heard.
2. Get a dog. Advertise it as a mean nasty dog. We have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Although small, she has a lot of heart and big teeth. We also tell the landlord that she will bite anyone who attempts to come in the house..so please notify us first.
3. Be very discreet about when you transport weapons. Pick times when both people and vehicle traffic will be at a minimum.
4. Put a timer on the porch light and leave the T.V. turned on. Also keep an answering machine hooked up. Calling a house and no one picking up for several minutes is a definite green light for crooks.
5. Get to know your neighbors. Oftentimes they are the very crooks that rob you. On the same note every apartment complex has a busy body who watches EVERYTHING.
6. If you are there for a short term and not enough time or don't have the money for a safe yet, then get creative. Just about every couch that doesn't have a sleeper will have a empty space. It only takes a bit of plywood to make a hidey hole. A sleeper is even better. Just stick em in there.
7. Eat Kimche. :D No one will want to go in your house..and definitely not in your bathroom!
October 16, 2003, 12:48 AM
This is the perfect place for one of those $100 Homak safes. Light enough for 2 to carry upstairs. Move it with you when you move. Not Fort Knox, but good enough to protect against all but the most serious theives.
Or for rapid access, a GunVault pistol safe.
October 16, 2003, 02:28 AM
I don't think I'm adding anything new, but I thought I'd chime in... I'm a brand new homeowner - have lived in apartments of all sizes until now. I had a small safe (that was actually a regular fire-proof safe) that I found a good hiding spot for. My "bedside" gun stayed in my bedside table, unless I knew kids were coming over, or unless I was going to be gone. My other gun stayed locked up unless I was taking it somewhere. If the repairman came while I was there, I just made sure he only went into the room he was working in (gun or no gun, they don't need to be wandering around!). If for some reason I wasn't going to be there when someone came in, guns got locked up. I had a backpack that I put my pistol in box, ammo, targets, etc. in to go to the range. Basically, if no one was going to be home for a while, all doors and windows got locked and all valuable jewelry and guns got locked up.
October 16, 2003, 02:29 AM
Where do you stick crap when you live on top of yourself?
2. Garage sale
You'd be suprised how much "crap" you can live without. And the less "crap" you have, the more room you have for guns! :D
October 16, 2003, 03:05 AM
there are other THR members in Nashville. Ask if one of them would be so kind as to gun-sit them. Ask Tamara. Not like she needs more guns, however temorary it may be....:)
October 16, 2003, 03:45 AM
To borrow a technique from the old 20's and 30's gangsters, use a lockable guitar case. If you only have a couple of long guns, then you can use a good acoustic guitar cast for say 2 guns each. Put a lock on the case and stick it in your closet. It may not be practical, but it is creative. Otherwise, you can get a cheap safe/cabinet from Academy Sports for $80 that'll gold 7 long guns, and however many hanguns you want to put on its floor. Again, stick it in the closet if you can.
Or maybe use one of those car ceiling racks, and install it on the ceiling of your closet. There are many different solutions if you get creative.
October 16, 2003, 05:00 AM
Long-guns - Cable-locked to a lag-screw eyelet on the top of a wall unit / entertainment center.
Handguns - a Sentry fire-proof file safe. Doesn't shout 'Gun!'.
And READ the fine print of your rental agreement, you might be surprised to find out you are "forbidden" to have any firearms on the premises in the first place.
October 16, 2003, 08:22 AM
in another thread i posted some pictures of a sliding drawer Truck box
just the thing to keep under a bed in a small apartment
October 16, 2003, 08:35 AM
One thing I did when $ was a at a premium - replace the non-locking doorknob on one of your closets with one that locks. This is something that can be easily undone when you move. One added benefit: the master key to the apartment complex won't fit the lock. No, it's not as good as a safe, but it's one more little thing you can do to make it inconvenient for someone who might just be poking around.
October 16, 2003, 09:33 AM
I submitted a letter to management instructing them that no one is to enter the apartment unless myself or my partner are there. By law, as far as I know, they have to comply except in the event of an emergency situation. It's worked out well so far.
My firearms stay stashed out of sight except for an AR15 behind the computer room door and a Mossberg 9200-A1 in the bedroom corner. If I'm expecting "company", those get stashed, too.
October 16, 2003, 12:21 PM
I'm going to echo a couple of other suggestions here. When I lived in an apartment the bedroom had a walk-in closet. I had a Homak 12-gun steel cabinet in there. I installed locking doorknobs on the closet door and bedroom door, and locked both doors whenever I left.
October 16, 2003, 02:41 PM
I second replacing standard door knob on a closet with locking one. I did it for years. Hang a coat over the knob when your not home, to hide lock. S&W sells a line of cheap door guards in the form of a wireless alarm. You could get a cheap audio recorder with VOX and hide it. If alarm goes off it records the entry.
October 16, 2003, 03:02 PM
Make sure you have renters insurance. It's not that much and it is well worth the cost in case someone does come in and clean you out. It happened to me. Also make sure you have all the serial numbers of your guns and electronics as well. If you have a camcorder make a video of everything in your house and keep it somewhere else.
October 16, 2003, 03:28 PM
I'm also living in a very small apartment in a very large apartment complex. While it's not exactly the projects, there is some very interesting characters in the complex area.
The first thing I did when I moved in was to break out the Stanley Stud Finder and proceeded to mount my safe to a closet wall. I used lag bolts through mounting holes in the back of the safe to secure it to the wall. Also, I went to the computer store and bought one of those motion sensor alarms that are attached to a laptop. I don't know if you've seen one of these yet but they let out a very high pitch squeal when moved. I put it inside my safe on one of the shelves and even with the door shut and locked it's still pretty loud. Figure it might scare anyone trying to pry the safe from the wall or prying the door open some how. Once that thing starts to go off, it will keep going off until you punch in a key code. Figure if it's loud behind the door, once a BG gets the door open they will be deaf and hopefully one of my neighbors will hear it.
It was funny because when I had the cable guy come in they couldn't find where it came in from. Before I knew it I had the cable guy and maintenence guy going through the apartment. Before I realized the maintenance guy opened the closed and stoped dead. He just looked at me and closed the door. He didn't say a word, which I guess was good. I would second getting a lock for the closet door as well.
I try to leave the apartment pretty early on range days so not everyone will see me carrying things out. Unfortunately this doesn't always work, especially when you walk out a few seconds before one of your neighbors comes out there door. Kinda hard to hid the fact that I have a rifle or two in bags over my shoulder. Not to mention the ammo can and range bag are a dead givaway. That makes me nervous, but so far no one has messed with me.
October 16, 2003, 03:55 PM
Lots of darn good advice here, but I'm impressed with
Redlg 155's reply. Some definite answers can be
found in his post.:D :uhoh:
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
October 16, 2003, 04:13 PM
I'm of the opinion that in your situation hiding them is more important than locking them.
Sure get a cheap gun cabinet or use a cable lock, but also hide it. All but the better safes can be broken into by just about anyone with some degree of ability, tools, and the time to do it. If the maintenance men see that you own guns they have all of that. They have tools, they know how to use them and they have easy access to your apartment because they have the keys. By watching your apartment a few days they can learn your work schedule and know how much time you have. They even have time to wait so you don't suspect them. Most apartment complexes require 1-2months notice to move out so they have some idea when you will be leaving. All that adds up to the fact that these guys can bide their time, enter when they want, take their time, and take your guns.
For pistols a cheap ($40 at Walmart) Sentry lockable security box will work. Mine is a file box/safe that also has a "loop" for either an additional lock (padlock) or a cable to lock it down. If you hide it in the closest (instead of locking it down) and don't padlock it the thing is pretty low profile. Unless you look pretty closely most people would assume it was just a regular old file box. In soft cases it can hold half a dozen or so handguns.
For long guns you can just hide them (like in a sofa). However, what happens if they accidentally stumble upon them. You can put a good lockable front door knob on your closet. However, that might just raise suspicions and the mainenance guys may have the tools and ability to break in. My solution would be a storage unit in one of the self-storage type facilities. The smaller ones (and you only need the smallest for up to quite a few rifles and shotguns) aren't very expensive. Also, if it is just for now when you know the mainenance guys will be there many have specials where the first month rent is highly discounted (often just $1) and they rarely have a minimum contract. You could, theoretically, rent it at the $1 for the first month special rate and then cancel it before the second month rent is due. Second choice is a combination of locking them and hiding them. Maybe one of the cheap gun cabinets and hide it behind boxes or clothing in your closet.
October 16, 2003, 04:16 PM
"...lockable guitar case..." Geez, you never been in a pawn shop? All kinds of guitars. A heavy guitar case means there's something in it. If the maintenance guy is a thief, it'll be gone. The only place for your firearms is in a gun safe. 6 or 8 gun safe is $150Cdn up here. Plan 'B' is under the bed. Out of sight is out of mind.
October 16, 2003, 04:17 PM
I have a renting question too. I live in a house at school that I rent with a few friends and the landlord's son. I have my own room. Can the landlord forbid me from keeping guns in my room? Specifically, a loaded shotgun, not that he knows about it as it's out of sight.
October 16, 2003, 04:20 PM
Ukraine - yes, he CAN forbit you if he wants. It's his property.
Make sure you have renters insurance.
I forgot about that -- definately worth it!! We paid about $30 a month for $38,000 worth of coverage, plus extra coverage for computers, jewelry, guns -- with no deductible.
October 16, 2003, 04:40 PM
not cheap, but stealthy under bed secure storage
I've just got them laying around, I've got the whole place wired up with cameras and even if the computers they're connected to get stolen it all gets uploaded to my webserver in another state.
October 16, 2003, 07:01 PM
Good input. Ideas on the best place to look for a cheap gun safe? Since I'm in the Seattle area, I guess something from a national chain or something local.
I'm moving to a new apartment at the end of this month, and that's a good idea.
October 16, 2003, 07:19 PM
Homak 8-gun locking sheet-steel cabinet is ~$80, check Walmart or local sporting goods stores. Weighs ~75lbs, fits in the end of a standard closet (used to hang a 2-suit garment bag in front of mine), and is enough to stop the smash and grab or the simply nosy. But it's an obvious "Gun!" locker.
October 16, 2003, 07:42 PM
I'd bite the bullet and get the big 500+ lb safe. I don't like the lighter safes as if it's light enough for my wimpy 115lb frame to move it in, it's light enough for two 200lb BGs to move it out.
The moving costs are expensive, but I think it's worth it. I think of it as cheap insurance.
October 16, 2003, 08:04 PM
Just being creative man. Its not like there are tons of guns at pawn shops across the country too. :rolleyes:
October 16, 2003, 08:15 PM
I live in an apartment and all my guns are in a safe thats bolted to the concrete slab. I am sure they know I have guns, seeing about 2 months ago the complex was sold and just before the sale the new owners representives took a full tour of the complex including every apartment. The safe plus the hard cases for the long guns, the gun vise and ammo probably gave it away. I never heard a word about it. Of course it is against the law to discriminate against tenets for owning firearms in NY.
The only problem I have had was a few strange looks from people seeing me carry out my gun cases and range bag and the shot gun on my shoulder during hunting season. Even stranger look when I wave to those same people as I let there kid off the school bus:D.
I clean my guns usually on my computer desk and just open a window or sometimes on my porch.
October 16, 2003, 08:19 PM
I got a 16 gun model at Home Depot last year just after Xmas for like 330. Nothing great but it keeps honest people honest.
October 16, 2003, 08:34 PM
Well glad this is helping others. I wanted to get some new discussion going on thats for sure.
I do intend to get a halfway decent safe here soon. One bad thing, no real doors in this place. Closets, even walk in one, has loover bi folds. But seeing how many long arms I now have, and a couple of them are ones Id never want to loose Im going to get something. After getting all my stuff stolen this time last year, then getting it all back I moved to a nicer area. But can you immagine that, the system worked. They caught the dude before I reported it, and once I did the serial numbers of the stuff I had and the description, and within a week or so I had all my stuff back. But that was before I had any guns in the place.
Luckly none of the neighbors know I have them, as I always am very descreete about it. Well one knows....she happened to be on the steps when I was going in, and had the HiPoint carbine slung over my shoulder. Wouldnt ya know it tho, Ive not heard much out of them above me in a while :evil: . But I now leave the tv on and a light or two when I leave. I am just trying to think of different ways of securing things. I do like that Knnack thing...now to get it in the door easily :D
October 17, 2003, 10:48 PM
Turning a closet into a secure gun cabinet is a good idea, However.....
1. Closet doors usually open out, and the hinges are on the outside.
If the hinges are not secured, the door can still be removed. Go to
hardware store and buy the security hing/screw studs. They replace
the middle screw in each hing, and make it more difficult to pry the
door out after the hing pins have been removed.
2. Replace the door knob with a standard 1" throw deadbolt. That will
make it more difficult for someone to spread the door edge and frame,
and pop the door open. Note: you may have to deepen the strike
hole for the deadbolt to fully extend.
October 17, 2003, 11:01 PM
That's good advice. But I don't know how well the apartment owners would like to see those mods when you move out. I guess the holes can be filled and painted over, so no one would know. Since I've been reading this thread I've also been thinking of doing some mods to make my guns more secure when I leave.
When I can afford a good gun safe that I can bolt to the slab, or walls, I'll fell a lot better. So how does one go about drilling through concrete without alerting everyone in the neighborhood you are doing so? Securing to a stud would be a lot eaiser I guess in that regard.
October 18, 2003, 12:07 AM
Thanks. As to the mods:
1. If the origonal knob is replaced, no new holes have to be made on the door. Most knobs use a 2 1/8" bore through the door (main hole), and a 7/8", or 1" cross bore (hole through edge of door for the bolt). Most deadbolts should retro fit without modification. At most you may have to enlarge the cross bore from 7/8" to 1", not a big deal. You will have to deepen the strike (hole in frame of door) to accept the 1" bolt. Those mods will not be noticed. Keep the origonal knob, and re-install it when you move out.
2. There is no way to quietly drill concrete, except to wear your range muffs:D . Seriously, most people are gone at work during the day, so that would be the best time to do it. Oh, hire that guy from the old IM Force (Barney?). His drills never made any noise:D .
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