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Alternative to Gun Safe?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by RuAk, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. RuAk

    RuAk Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    I recently moved in a neighborhood where house robberies were kinda high. It's nowhere near being in the ghetto just to be clear.

    I do not have a gun safe nor do i have the money to purchase a nice vault type safe (really wish i had one).

    I have 9 guns altogether.

    3 AK47s and one of them is a collectors norinco preban 561.
    1 .270 winchester rifle
    4 hand guns.
    1 shotgun.

    These are my babies and i care dearly for them and it's my worst nightmare if i come home one day to them gone.

    The only thing i can think of as of now is to replace my closet door knob with a key lock door knob maybe 2 of them and put my guns in there.

    I still think they could kick down the closet door and if anyone would ever rob my house they would know i have valuable things in the closet since there is a key lock door knob on it.

    As of now the guns are spread out. I have some on top of the kitchen cabinets (not in the cabinets). You can't tell there is anything up there from looking up and others are hidden in my room.

    What do you think my best solution is? I'm open to any suggestions.


    Aug 14, 2010
    Keeping one or two on top of the kitchen cabinets is a good idea as long as nobody knows or sees them up there.

    Another technique is to find wall space (behind the drywall, between the studs), preferably behind an upright dresser or bookcase that can be somewhat easily moved in case you need them. Studs are 16 inches on center, so plenty enough room or a couple of rifles. Be sure to cut the sheetrock lines straight and mount a small piece of wood as a frame inside to hold it in place.

    Just an idea! Good luck!
  3. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    South Eastern Illinois
    you can buy steel gun lockers that screw to the studs and floor from the inside of the locker. they have good locks and would be fairly tough to get into/ pry loose from wall. cost is only like $125-150. not fireproof tho.
    I think Stack-on makes them....probably others too.
  4. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    St. Charles, MO (St. Louis)
    If you're only looking to protect items from smash and grab burglaries and/or children, you can reinforce a closet quite easily. A few sheets of plywoood and a dead bolt, and you're in business.
  5. Jimmy10mm

    Jimmy10mm Member

    Jul 19, 2010
    I posted a similar thread awhile back. I had a Weatherguard 9036 gang box in my van that didn't really need to be there. It is now in a bedroom anchored to the floor and with two York 45lb plates in the bottom and my guns on top of the plates. It isn't as good as a sure enough gun safe but it is comforting knowing I have something and would foil a smash and grab type.

    You can see one here at the very bottom of the page. Not exactly cheap but I already had it so it was a good option for me.
  6. heeler

    heeler Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    I also recommend the contractors job box.
    At one of the commercial building I operated a contractor had all their expensive power tools locked up inside one in plain sight inside the building and over night thieves broke the expensive plate glass and attempted to smash the thing open with a sledge hammer and failed.
    These things are generally made out of 16 gauge steel.
    And this also makes me realize how hard it would be to enter a gun safe made out of thicker steel.
    Doable yes, but not at all as easy as some would have you believe.
    You might find one at a good price at a pawn shop.
  7. Sgt_R

    Sgt_R Member

    Apr 12, 2010

    I'm going to put one of those in my basement this week. I plan to bolt it to the floor and wall, and put 100-200 lbs. of lead shot on the bottom shelf. It won't stop a determined thief with time and tools, but it should keep the opportunist smash-and-grab types out.

    Also, a little camoflage can't hurt:


  8. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

    May 6, 2008
    Someone once posted a great idea. Take a cover plate for a large electrical box and mount it between the studs of your closet. Put some "danger" stickers on it and it looks like a circuit breaker box. Most large ones also lock. Bugler might not pry it open thinking it's electrical. Store your stuff in the space between the studs.
  9. ArtP

    ArtP Member

    May 6, 2010
    Northern CA
    I was in the same situation a few years back and at one point was away from home for a month and very afraid of coming home to them missing.

    I bought a heavy duty chain, quality locks, and bolted two large eye bolts into studs, in the closet. The eye bolts were padlocked together with a long shank lock to prevent unscrewing them. I chained around pistol grip of the stock and locked to the trgger guard. I kept handguns in a medium sized firesafe ($200) bolted to the floor. The chain could also be used to wrap around a gun case. It all depends on how much chain and how creative you want to get.

    None of it was bullet proof, but would definetly be an obstacle to their theft.
  10. Nimble1

    Nimble1 Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Pine Island, Fla.
    Before I bought a RSC , in my previous home, I did as a1abdj recommended and reinforced a closet with 2x4's bolted to the sides and a door made from 3/4 plywood that was screwed and glued together. I used very large strap hinges and 2 deadbolt locks. Because it was in such a tight area it made it very difficult to break into.
    I did have one attempt and although it was damaged, they gave up before they got in. Obviously with proper tools they could have gotten in but it did stop them.
  11. content

    content Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    South Carolina, born in Valley Forge Pa.
    Secure Pantry

    Hello friends and neighbors // I have used the pantry and a false wall panel.

    The pantry is more permant but comes out looking fairly normal.

    1)Remove the sheetrock from the inside walls and ceiling.

    2)If there is not an existing light or power outlet put wiring for one in, if there is a light get a plug/bulb base for continous use or bulb/plug adapter for intermintant use when the humidity is high.The bulb will keep things dry and you can plug in a small oscillating fan.

    3)Cover the inside 2X4s ,walls and ceiling (floor if you want),with as thick a gauge wire you can afford or work with. Chain link is about tops IMHO.

    4)Cover the wire with 1/2" ,or more, paintable plywood.

    5)Reinforce door frame( some good examples already), making sure hinges are inside, put in a steel door with the appropriate locks.

    There is a door lock out now that has a keyed knob and/or a push button code. You could use this when you are home and set a dead bolt or two in addition for when you are gone.

    5) In addition to this I use,as thick as possible, plastic coated cables through the trigger guards. Some have locks and others are loops for use with master locks.

    Alarms are good idea too.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  12. kidcoltoutlaw

    kidcoltoutlaw Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Rig an O.C gas bomb so when they open the door that get a face full of pepper gas. Then hide the bolts or trigger groups some were else ,

  13. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

    May 28, 2006
    Before I bought my safe I used a closet. The door was very heavy mahogany so I used two "long throw" deadbolts...one halfway between the door knob and top...the other the same below. Because the hinges were on the outside I bought some cold rolled steel rod, removed a center screw from each hinge bracket on the door and frame...drilling a hole just slightly larger than the steel rod. I measured and cut the rod so it fit well into the door side and would close with the rod protruding out and engage the hole in the frame deep enough to go into the door molding and wood behind it. When I got it the right length I epoxied the rod into the door. Did the same for the bottom hinge. This way I had four "locking bars" like in a safe!!! (2 deadbolts + 2 steel rods)
    My home was burglarized after I did all this but they never bothered to try and open that closet for some unknown reason but I sure was glad I did the small amount of work to secure those guns!!!
  14. sig220mw

    sig220mw Member

    Jan 12, 2008
    I know a guy that built a gun closet in his living room wall. The wall is covered in paneling and is actually a swinging door which is quite big for a door probably about 5 feet wide. He has it behind his entertainment center and he has to open it only wide enough for him to slip into it behind the center. Inside he has fashioned a simple open gun cabinet with the guns sitting on the wooden bottom which runs most of the length of the closet with wooden notches secured to the wall for the barrels to rest in. The remaining space is a couple of shelves on which he places his handguns.

    You sit in his living room and never see it since it closes flush with the rest of the wall and looks solid.
  15. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

    Jul 2, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    In addition to securing your guns, leave a couple hundred bucks sitting somewhere that is easy to find and most robbers looking for something to sell for drug money will grab it and go.
  16. Sky

    Sky Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    A plasma cutter from home depot ($300 ish) will probably afford access to any safe around if the BG(s) are a professional and determined and have time.

    The hidden storage idea and not having anyone tell how many or where your guns are is probably the best set up for thieves.

    Smash and dash or a home with kids a safe I would think would be adequate.
  17. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    St. Charles, MO (St. Louis)
    I have a circular saw with a carbide blade that could cut most 10/11/12 gauge gun safes in half in just under a minute.

    Your average RSC is only tested for brute force against a small hammer and a large screw driver, not against prybars, saws, or slege hammers. Although they will prevent theft during most home burglaries, they will only slow down somebody who wants what's inside.
  18. nyresq

    nyresq Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    if you dont have the means to afford a proper RSC or the space and means to build a hardened closet, you best option is hiding them and not giving your neighbors any clue you have guns in the house.

    This also includes when you take them out to the range, the blackhawk tactical drag bag and the .50 cal ammo cans to carry your ammo are a sure sign to those watching, you must have guns... Something like a backpack for your ammo and muffs and an old beat up guitar case keeps everyone in the dark if you need to be that careful. For the lightweight metal cabinets the best thing you can do is put them someplace out of sight and bolt them to the wall behind it and the floor as well. This keeps someone from using the length of the cabinet as leverage to rip the bolts out of the floor.

    One of the things I learned a long time ago is if someone knows its there, they will find a way to steal it, but if they never know it exists, they will never even try.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  19. millertyme

    millertyme Member

    May 22, 2009
    Right...I've been a welder half my life. The only safe a $300 plasma would get through is a cheap/inexpensive one, not to mention the quality of the plasma cutter, and not including the power supply for it and the air compressor needed to operate it. And if you keep all 4-8 of your guns in a $100-250 safe, they probably aren't worth that much to begin with (couple mosins, a hi-point, a single-shot 20 ga, maybe a couple 22's). If you're buying a safe to keep your guns from your kids, then the Stack-on ones will suffice. If you're that out of touch to believe that professional air compressor and plasma cutter-wielding thieves are after your cache, get a real safe and reinforce your house.

    I think obscuring the storage for your weapons is a big factor as well. A wall safe set up between studs and hid behind a mirror or inside a false electrical box seems like a decent idea. I built a cedar-lined chest with false bottom for a friend. You could only store 3 long guns and a few handguns in it, but even with everything removed from the chest you couldn't tell the bottom was false unless you got down underneath it. Then behind the headboard of his bed we hung a couple more and pushed the bed all the way against the wall.

    Buddy of mine took an old, non-functioning 60 gallon water heater and set it up in his garage next to the other one with fake pipes and all. It would turn around to reveal the 8" wide opening which was reinforced from the inside. Someone broke into his garage and stole a bunch of tools that were right next to the "safe" but it had no evidence of being touched.
  20. gunemdown34

    gunemdown34 Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    I know this is kinda a late post, but I ran across this website (www.storemoreguns.com) that sells a sort of gun rack that can be used in a closet. From what I gather from the product descriptions they are a plastic rod that slides down the barrel of our gun and has velcro on the top. Then all you need is a shelf to put this corresponding fabric on the bottom and then the rod attaches to it. I guess this just stabilizes the gun so it doesn't tip over. This would be a nice alternative to having to build your own gun rack!
  21. ejfalvo

    ejfalvo Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    I had to rent an apartment for a few months during a relo. Couldn't drag the safe so what I did was buy a few heavy duty motorcycle/bike cable locks with looped ends, ran them thru the trigger guards ( 4 handguns, two rifles and a shotgun) and padlocked them to the fixed part of my metal bed frame. Not the best set-up but it was inexpensive and prevented a smash and grab - unless the jerk wanted to carry a bed frame around.
  22. FriedRice

    FriedRice Member

    Sep 18, 2010
    A horizontal file cabinet, locking, maybe off Craigslist? Bolt it to the floor, put weapons on the bottom and then cover over the top with piled papers, books, junk. It's not fireproof but if it looks unattractive and not like something valuable might be inside (with chains, etc) maybe they'll just go on by. It's not the best solution but is cheap and could work.
  23. ReloaderEd

    ReloaderEd Member

    Aug 31, 2010
    washington state
    Firearm security

    :)I agree with finding or building a place in your house to basically hide your firearms although most professional burglars could probably quickly find it.
    There are cheap safes of thiner wall steel bolted in a closet that don't protect from crowbars and cutting torches. However, they do protect young children such as grand children from getting to a loaded gun whiich is more important than losing all you precious weapons.
    I had a close friend who had a vault type safe secured in the concrete floor of his garage. He was confident no one would be able to enter the safe.
    Six months later thieves broke into his house he was right, they could not crack his secure gun safe. SO THEY POURED GASOLINE ON TOP OF IT AND BURNED DOWN MOST OF HIS HOUSE AND THE HEAT ALL BUT DESTROYED HIS PRECIOUS GUNS. Its like having a safe room upstairs in your house if you get my drift. I keep a loaded gun locked in a steel box with bottons. My other firearms are locked up out of sight and hopefully out of mind. I depend on my neighbors to watch our house when we are gone. However, I do keep a secure list of serial numbers and an accurate description NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN YOU WILL RECOVER MOST OF YOUR FIREARMS, IT MIGHT TAKE SOME TIME HOWEVER. Also, adequately insure you guns. ALL BIG HEAVY SAFES DO IS MAKE THE OWNER COMFORTABLE BUT REALLY DO NOTHING TO PROTECT YOUR GUNS. iF YOU HAVE 30 FIREARMS WORTH 500 DOLLARS EACH THAT IS 15000 DOLLARS, BIG DEAL. Be safe and stay healthy.
  24. NMPOPS

    NMPOPS Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Michigan & New Mexico
    Get a safe! Sell something if you have to but get a safe. 6 years ago I had my guns in a "secure closet" and I was cleaned out! Came home ffom work to find the front door kicked in and my house ransacked. Most burglars are smash & grab guys and won't mess with a safe. Insurance didn't cover all my loss but the first thing a bought was a safe. Took me two years to replace the guns. Luckily I had three with me when this happened.
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