Thinking about building a secret gun closet.


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Lex Luthier
May 3, 2011, 07:23 PM
Just wondering how you fellows with small houses and lots of toys do it.

I have had the good fortune to collect enough toys that the small safe is full and I am trying to find creative solutions for ammo storage. We try to not let our hobby's acoutrement within the boundaries of our studio doors. There are no kids to worry about, so it could be located almost anywhere in our story and a half bungalow. We entertain frequently, so our more sensitive artistic friends needn't catch on.

Am thinking: floor joist bays, false closet walls, under/ inside furniture etc.

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ColtPythonElite
May 3, 2011, 07:31 PM
Build a box/cabinet the same size as a box spring on your spare bed. You could even cover it with fabric like a box spring has to camo it. Use it under the mattress instead the box spring.

Owen Sparks
May 3, 2011, 08:11 PM
Your chances of having a fire are about as good as the chances of a break in. Get a safe if you can afford it and build it into the back of the closet where no thief will find it.

fallout mike
May 3, 2011, 08:15 PM
I done a false wall. It works great.

Slotback
May 3, 2011, 08:15 PM
A safe is a good investment. If you can cut out a space in a closet wall to park it, you might just be set.

RevDerb
May 3, 2011, 08:16 PM
Whichever you do, don't forget where you put it. :scrutiny:

G27RR
May 3, 2011, 08:34 PM
Build a box/cabinet the same size as a box spring on your spare bed. You could even cover it with fabric like a box spring has to camo it. Use it under the mattress instead the box spring.
Like the BedBunker (http://www.bedgunsafe.com/) but less expensive.

OP - if you want a concealed compartment/closet/whatever, go for it.

Good&Fruity
May 3, 2011, 08:39 PM
I presume you have insurance already, if not get it.

Toforo
May 3, 2011, 08:40 PM
Thinking about building a secret gun closet

You realize, of course, that it's no longer a secret, right?

Dnaltrop
May 3, 2011, 08:41 PM
False wall, and make sure you SPECIFY in your will where things are hidden.

Don't want your collection going to some Remodeler 80 years after it's been forgotten, do you?

Owen Sparks
May 3, 2011, 10:02 PM
The best safe is the one nobody can see. Put it in a recess in the wall behind the refrigirator or somewhere a thief will not look. No hiding place will do you any good in a fire. You need a safe and the safe needs to be out of sight where service people will not see it.

ColtPythonElite
May 3, 2011, 10:12 PM
Personally, I'm not too concerned with fire. My homeowner's insurance covers guns as personal property for fire loss. The only limit is for theft. I can see the reason to want to hide guns if you don't have space for a safe.

dirtykid
May 3, 2011, 10:25 PM
dead-spaces behind doors are Awesome places for false walls, hang an old bath-robe on the back of door, they wont look twice ;)

FROGO207
May 3, 2011, 10:53 PM
I have a 38 inch dead space between two rooms and there is enough room for 3 safes side by side. Behind bead board walls with strategically placed "hooks" to use to remove the tight fitting panels. Even if I told you there was a safe in the house, without first smashing the walls you probably could not find any one of them.:neener:

Remo223
May 3, 2011, 11:04 PM
just hide them under your bed, no one will look there!

heeler
May 3, 2011, 11:18 PM
First I whole heartily disagree that chances of you having a fire are about as good as you having a break in.
I know many people living here in Houston as well as other large cities that have had their home burglarized one,two,or like me three times.
I only know of a couple of instances of a home fire of someone I have known through out my entire life.
As far as having a discreet place to secure things can be a little tuff in a small house but with enough good thought is still doable.
All that being said my experiences with three home break ins is every closet,cabinet,drawer,mattress and seat cushion was gone through or over turned.
So it's going to be hard to mask an area large enough to store a collection of guns,ammo,optics,and other goods in a small home.
My suggestion is to buy a quality gun safe with a strong door and body and place it bolted down in a strategic strong point location.
That's what I did.
Good luck and let us know what you finally decide.

Ignition Override
May 4, 2011, 12:46 AM
Dnaltrop:

80 years before a remodeler sees something? Not down here. Maybe 80 years was not meant to be literal, or your building codes are much better.

You should see the flimsy homes built in the last few years around Memphis (by the best builders).
This is my first (new home).

Despite the need to make homes affordable, these will have parts rotting or coming loose in far less than even 20 years.

Tim the student
May 4, 2011, 12:48 AM
I'm thinking about storing some stuff in an old freezer. I've also thought about getting a junk water heater and "plumbing" it so it looks just like any other water heater. Unless someone knows stuff is in them, I can't imagine a thief knocking boxes off an old deep freeze to see what is in it, or seriously checking to see if a water heater is the real deal or not. I figure a cheap gun cabinet with a sacrifice gun or two in it should help too.

First I whole heartily disagree that chances of you having a fire are about as good as you having a break in.
I know many people living here in Houston as well as other large cities that have had their home burglarized one,two,or like me three times.

Funny, because I have had a fire in my house when I was a kid growing up, but know no one that has been burgled. Guess that stat greatly depends on your area.

heeler
May 4, 2011, 12:55 AM
Tim one of the persons I personally know whose home was burglarized in 2008 not only had most of her clothing stolen but they also went into the garage where her Kenmore freezer was placed and stole all the meat out of it.
Once you get out of Iowa and into the modern big cities of todays new America you will see clearly what I speak of here.

hermannr
May 4, 2011, 01:16 AM
Where I live, (forest) fire is much more likely than theft, however, that does not mean you cannot "fireproof" you storage area as well as any safe. I also live in a smaller 1 1/2 story "cabin" It's only 1800 square feet.

My first idea would be a waterbed frame for your spare bed...Make the bed a tip-up like in a motorhome. Line with steel and concrete based waterproof fireboard (like gyprock, except most if the gypson is replaced with concrete, normally used in a bathroom). Make sure you put enough gel in it to absorb the moisture or you will just rust whatever you have stored.

The second place would be under the stairs to the second floor. In my house this area is a closet. The back part could easily be converted to a fire safe for weapons the same way as with your water bed frame. If you use the back of the understair closet, make sure it looks finished (the "door" should look like finished wall.)

If you have a basement and do not have water problems, that would also work. If you don't have a basement you could build into the floor and use a trapdoor (unless you are old like me)

Tim the student
May 4, 2011, 01:21 AM
Tim one of the persons I personally know whose home was burglarized in 2008 not only had most of her clothing stolen but they also went into the garage where her Kenmore freezer was placed and stole all the meat out of it.
Once you get out of Iowa and into the modern big cities of todays new America you will see clearly what I speak of here.

Bummer to get your meat stolen. That sure sucks.

I'm pretty sure I'll never live in a "big city". If I do, I'll make sure to see if burglaries in my new town match up with burglaries that my wife experienced in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and in Manhattan - which was zero in more than a decade of living there. We actually have an apartment in Brooklyn that we sublet out to a friend. No burglaries since she has been there, or to the woman that lived there before her. I'll be looking forward to this experience in more modern big cities, should I ever live in one.

Dan Bear
May 4, 2011, 02:49 AM
When I finished the interior of a house once, there was a useless area that went behind the stairs. There were no utilities and so there was no reason to access the area. Rather than just putting an access door to the dead space for storage or whatever, we came up with a great idea. We decided to make a "closet" out of the entrance. On the back wall of the closet (sheetrock) I installed a magnet to keep the wall in place. It was a strong magnet so you had to really push on the rear wall to get it to open into a relitively large secret area. Because I obviously couldn't tape and mud the seams of the rear wall, I just used some window casing to trim out the entire closet. When I finally build my own home, I will definitely use this experience to my advantage. If you saw it, you would do the same.

Tim the student
May 4, 2011, 03:10 AM
Dan Bear, that is pretty ingenious. What kind of magnet did you use, and how did you attach it?

parsimonious_instead
May 4, 2011, 05:48 AM
How about a fake metal or metal clad utility box, with warning stickers indicating fiber optic lines (nothing valuable) or high voltage (dangerous).
Add some "tamper tags" and a sturdy padlock to complete the illusion.

fallout mike
May 4, 2011, 07:20 AM
Your chances of a breakin are MUCH greater than a fire. I've been in the security business for 15 years and have put in roughly 1000 security systems per year. Of those , roughly half of them got the security system because they were broken into. Of the 15000 that I've put in personally I've only had to put in a new one or replace parts due to a fire a grand total of 3 times. My house has burned to the ground years ago and I barely made it out as I was asleep in bed with a bad headache and the fire started on the other end of the house. It was started by a 13 year old kid that later said he did it bc he wanted to see the fire trucks. Anyway, I know firsthand what it is like but it just isn't as likely as a breakin.

Lex Luthier
May 4, 2011, 07:39 AM
@ Everybody: Good ideas.

Earth magnets are very strong, and would work for that false panel. Great idea for the "plumbed" water heater.

Really like the false box spring.

fallout mike
May 4, 2011, 08:27 AM
I had never thought of the hot water heater. That would be really fast access. Nobody pays any attention at all to those things. You could have the top just sitting on it loosely and you would be safe from all burglars with the exception of the ones that may read these posts.

EmGeeGeorge
May 4, 2011, 08:46 AM
behind the fridge...

ultradoc
May 4, 2011, 08:53 AM
I too have thought of the water heater. But some earth magnets under the sink work well

USAF_Vet
May 4, 2011, 09:40 AM
I've got a trap door in my laundry room. No basement, sad to say, but I've thought about secret compartments in my house/ vehicle and how accessible they would be.

I'm more worried about fire than a break in. My wife almost set the garage on fire last week when a heating lamp fell. Burned a hole in the steps and my garage now smells like smoke.
The area we live in is fairly rural, miles away from what you would consider a city. I live on an acre and a half surrounded by forest and farms on two sides, friendly gun toting neighbors on the others. Still, I'm probably more prepared to deal with a break in than I am a fire. gotta work on that.

Tim the student
May 4, 2011, 10:35 AM
OP, I think a big trash can with some phony trash (like some wood scraps or crumpled up newspapers) on top of your ammo stash down in the basement might fit your needs.

heeler
May 4, 2011, 11:00 AM
Good one Tim.
Before I bought my Amsec BF I used to take the two Sentry fire boxes I put important documents in and put them under a stack of old newspapers in the garage right next to the trash can when I was going to be away from home for a day or more.

teumessian_fox
May 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
My buddy sells gun safes. He insists that (in he area) nearly 100% of gun thefts are committed by friends and acquaintences of the victim. He also says no gun safe is theft proof, but that if the thief has enough time, can be broken into with a circular saw and box of masonry blades.

A hidden closet won't prevent our "friends w/loose lips" from seeing the guns we show them.

natman
May 4, 2011, 12:48 PM
My buddy sells gun safes. He insists that (in he area) nearly 100% of gun thefts are committed by friends and acquaintences of the victim. He also says no gun safe is theft proof, but that if the thief has enough time, can be broken into with a circular saw and box of masonry blades.

A hidden closet won't prevent our "friends w/loose lips" from seeing the guns we show them.
That's why the operative word in "secret gun closet" is secret.

WhistlinDixie
May 4, 2011, 02:22 PM
My father has one built into a wall. Its never been noticed once.

teumessian_fox
May 4, 2011, 05:55 PM
That's why the operative word in "secret gun closet" is secret.

If the guns are secret, then there's no need for a "secret" gun closet. Duh.

SwampWolf
May 6, 2011, 03:22 PM
Only your contractor will know for sure-and whoever he knows...:(

Joistman
May 6, 2011, 06:29 PM
Tim - I like your idea of the "unused" water heater. Very creative

.45acp7.62x54r
May 6, 2011, 08:17 PM
Now I'm upset for giving away that old broken water heater to some dude for scrap. I could have used that

Cob
May 6, 2011, 10:29 PM
I have a friend that built his own gun safe/room. He built a small (8' x 10') room out of steel rebar reinforced concrete, formed his opening, then purchased and bolted on a steel "safe door" for access. It is just like an oversized gunsafe, and he was able to build it fireproof & very secure. you can walk inside of it, and he has several smaller gun safes inside of it for even further security.

http://safeathomeusa.com/default.aspx?cid=FHlhzR/Qrvo=

heeler
May 6, 2011, 10:44 PM
If you own your own place you can line a small closet with 3/4 inch plywood or even better double the plywood up and have the door jamb and frame replaced with a commercial grade frame and steel door and add a good Medeco dead bolt a guy could make himself a pretty good and reasonably secure gun closet for a fair amount less than what some Chinese made gun safes cost and to some extent be just as secure.
And if a guy was willing to cut out the sheetrock on the walls outside the closet he could reinforce the studs with 4x4's and really make a statement.
Of course new sheetrock would have to be put back up and taped and floated and painted but it would be reasonably stout after that,especially for some jack a$$ smash and grab punk looking for a down payment for his next high.
And with homes that have central air and heat it would be quite easy to run a small 4 to 6 inch flex duct off of a main duct to keep air and heat in the space and there by controlling humidity.

MOBoyNoMo
May 6, 2011, 11:27 PM
Here's my question are you more interested in somethin that will simply get the job done (a safe) or do you want somethin cool and intersting that ya don't see a whole lot (like a secret room with a hidden door)?

JTHunter
May 7, 2011, 01:11 AM
G27RR mentioned the safes at "BedBunker" but in reading their specs, no metion was made about a "fire rating". Makes me wonder how they would do in a fire, as they are only 10 guage steel walls.

Shadow 7D
May 7, 2011, 01:28 AM
When I was a kid, our house had a hidden (actually two) cubby. The person who owned it before us was a cop, and when he did the addition, he used a dead area behind a built-in shelving unit in the upstairs bathroom, the back of the lowest shelf (about 24) was hinged and opened to a rather spacious area.

teumessian_fox
May 7, 2011, 08:38 PM
I had a buddy build his guns into the wall, accessable only by a massive bookshelf. He was bragging about his guns and I asked to see them.

It was about a 50 minute project unloading/loading the books, swinging out the bookshelf, and pulling out the guns.

He hadn't even looked in there for 3 years.

I mean, if he's that paranoid, what's the use? Sell the guns and buy a fishtank.

zoom6zoom
May 7, 2011, 09:12 PM
Only your contractor will know for sure-and whoever he knows...
Which explains the Pharaoh's Solution.

I think a big trash can with some phony trash (like some wood scraps or crumpled up newspapers) on top of your ammo stash down in the basement might fit your needs.
This could also be a very BAD idea if your housemates aren't clued in on it.

Dan Bear
May 8, 2011, 01:52 AM
Tim, what I did was cut a notch out of the false door and screwed the magnet flush with the door. On the jamb I screwed a 1/8" steel plate. The magnet I used was just the most powerful cabinet magnet I could find at the hardware store. It was relatively small but since the door fit so flush, it was no prob.

Steel Talon
May 8, 2011, 02:03 AM
If you have a deep enough closet build a false wall in the back of it so that it can swing away open for your access. secure it with a simple blind bolt slide when you are away from home hang clothes in front of it Or create cubby holes for shoes caps etc.

lonegunman
May 8, 2011, 02:19 AM
Building something discreet and secure is the best thing you can do to protect your toys. One of my friends had a house with a double deep closet and built a sliding wall in the rear of the closet.

What you do depends on the house and the budget. I was in a custom home that has an extra 10 foot width of basement, making the basement far wider than the original plans. The home owner had the contractor build the walls where they were planned and then went back and hardened the existing wall with expanded steel sheets covered in plywood. He then installed a vault door behind a swing out book case and created a true hidden room. It was the perfect hideout.

My house does not have a single extra space of any real size to do anything like that.:(

Sunliner
May 8, 2011, 04:50 AM
I wonder why nobody makes a high quality safe that is a bed (box spring). King size would hold 100+ long guns and be very discreet. The door of course would have to have very heavy duty hydraulic lifting and the handle and lock would have to be recessed. If it were built like a Cannon or Liberty or something it would be hard to defeat, fire proof, and use space that would normally go unused. The trick would be getting it in the house; maybe two safe side by side like most king size box springs. If the safe went to the floor it would be 30 inches deep and over 6 feet long and 6 feet wide. Another thing I always wonder why safe makers don't do and it has kept me from buying a large safe. No safes have an internal escape handle. I worry someone may lock me or my family in the safe. I think I may be the only one who worries about that but fireproof safes are airtight.

Rembrandt
May 8, 2011, 09:05 AM
Saved these pics.....seemed like a pretty neat way to hide them.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/hiddenwall1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/hiddenwall2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/reload%20room/hiddenroom2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/reload%20room/hiddenroom.jpg

Jolly Rogers
May 8, 2011, 09:09 AM
Like the first photo a ton. Wish I had the house to do it!
Joe

Usmc-1
May 8, 2011, 09:28 AM
false walls are easy to build as long as you have enough of the wall material , dont use sheetrock , the best thing is to have a wall panel , make sure to cut away on the inside room for the hinges , you dont want anything showing , on the latch (i dont know what the latch/spring is called) but when you push agaisnt the wall the door opens , otherwise the door looks like a wall and no one else will no the difference, unless of course you tell them , on the inside you can outfit it anyway you like , it could be a walk in or just big enough for several rifles and pistols , good luck, it wont take more than 2 hours to complete!

ATBackPackin
May 8, 2011, 12:04 PM
That top pic is beautiful, but also at least $20,000 "safe" unless you are an experienced woodworker or cabinetmaker.

Ramone
May 9, 2011, 01:57 PM
Using Cheap (slightly better than IKEA grade) flat-pack bookshelves, and making the originally 12.5 inch shelves eight inches deep, I made a pair of matching bookshelves with a four inch hollow back. Carpet glides made them easy enough to move to get to the backs, where my guns stayed out of sight and out of mind.

Keeping it a secret is key- my ex lived there with me for about six months before she knew where they were. That apartment, and those shelves are long gone.

oneounceload
May 9, 2011, 03:05 PM
Sometimes the best place to hide things is right out in the open - friend built a series of floor to wall cabinets in his garage. All had metal bottom-vent doors that locked. He put his RSC in one (actually built the walls around the RSC, and applied some very official-looking "DANGER, HIGH VOLTAGE" signs on the door. he even had something inside that "hummed" like HV boxes do.

Another had an underground shooting area built into his new home, accessed similar to Rembrandt's in the study - if you didn't know where the release was, you wouldn't know it opened

gym
May 10, 2011, 10:07 AM
Don't forget to tell us all where you put it.

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