Apartments are not houses--what do you do different

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by CapnMac, Nov 13, 2016.

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  1. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    So many of us here live in houses, it sometimes feels like we fail to remember those here who live in apartments.

    Which has to be a unique experience.

    Simple things like having a reloading bench. Sure, you can bolt a press to a 2x and set it up in a folding workmate, but, do you then stash it so the maintenance guy does not fiddle with it? Do you use really anonymous cases so that the neighbors don't eyeball all your stuff as you leave for the range. Do you worry about the guy down the hall who is no sophisticated like we are, and openly brags about his shorty 12ga loaded with buck and slugs? Does that affect which apartments you choose? Do you worry about how you can lock your guns up? Or, did you pick a ground floor unit so you could bring a safe in?

    Tell us your tales, O brothers and systers.
     
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  2. AZAndy

    AZAndy Member

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    I live in a house, but my press is as you describe. It's a small house, so reloading happens on the back porch and I like to be able to fold it up during the off-season.

    Yes, I use a range bag when transporting firearms in case of passersby and neighbors I don't know well, which is all of them. (Bought a pistol yesterday that was surplus and didn't even come in a box, but I'd just been to the grocery store so I popped it into one of the bags.) This isn't a crime-ridden neighborhood, and I doubt anybody would be freaked out about guns, but I don't see the point in advertising one's possessions needlessly.

    I have a locking gun cabinet, although there's usually a couple handguns lying about somewhere, but my Killer Attack Cat guards the house (and my wife is retired and at home when I'm at work).
     
  3. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Member

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    In an apt. It sucks. Second story too.

    Got a safe bolted to the wall. I try to go shooting in the early morning to avoid people seeing me load up. My reloading bench is in the room.

    It sucks over all.
     
  4. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    I live in a house but I go to the range with my stuff in a Staples canvas bag, LOL. :)
     
  5. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    I buy that famous low penetration ammo that's being hyped on the back cover of every gun magazine and keep an unloaded shotgun so the perps can hear me rack it just before I shoot thru the door. :)

    The reality is that its really no different than living in a house, as the homeowners report above. At one time I lived in an older neighborhood of Greek Revival and bungalow homes - 1920's stuff - on narrow lots with less than 10 feet between. There was no such thing as a side yard and the windows often just looked into the other windows. Imagine having windows between apartments. You keep the curtains drawn on schedule. Some people just didn't understand that well.

    With that in mind you are living like you are in apartments, so you do the same things. Gun cases that don't have large Brand logos on them, storage and supplies kept out of sight, etc. Your lines of interior defense and potential shooting lanes aren't any different, you still need to know what is relatively safe and what isn't. For the most part what apartment dwellers get are more physical restrictions and a few less options. It doesn't mean home dwellers are much better off in every case.
     
  6. MADDOG

    MADDOG Member

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    Many years ago hunters and shooters were a proud bunch and well respected in the community. It is sad where we are today.
     
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  7. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I live in a ground floor apartment. I like it that way. Wouldn't go back to a house if someone paid me. I'm too old (and lazy to be honest) to take care of things, mow grass, shovel snow, etc. Neighbors mind their own business, I mind mine. It's actually pretty quiet around here even on holiday nights. A few kids running around in the daytime.

    I use a Lee hand press for reloading. Never felt I was limited at all. A little slow maybe, but not much worse than any single stage press. Powder measure is screwed to a board. Everything fits into a desk drawer. My safe is in a big walk in closet.

    I carry my guns in and out in a black C-pap bag, but then I've used that for years, even back when I did own a house. It was handy one day and worked just fine. I so seldom use a long gun, it's a non-issue.

    I don't wave a flag, or blow a bugle and scream..."Look at me...I have guns", but I don't really go out of my way to hide the fact either. Even at that, nobody has ever asked me about it.
     
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  8. blahpony

    blahpony Member

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    That's about what I do. Nobody really seem to care.
     
  9. cjwils

    cjwils Member

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    When I lived in an apartment, I carried my rifle to and from the car in a golf club bag. I put a sock over the protruding barrel so it looked like a golf club with a sock over it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    When I lived in an apartment I use to keep my guns and accessories locked up in my bedroom closet. Didn't do any reloading at the time and didn't leave any gun related things out (like reading material, ammunititon, and gun cases), so that guests or maintenance people were any the wiser. At night I kept a Beretta Model 84 on my nightstand with an open book on top of it so that I could reach under it and get it if need be.
     
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    A judge stated in open court that one of my family members had an "absolute right" under the state constitution and state law to have a gun for self-defense at her home -- which was a rented house at that time. I know you are on firmer ground to have private arms in a house that you own as your home, but different jurisdictions have different laws and case law on what constitutes your home or place of residence when it comes to ownership of arms.
     
  12. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...which apartments you choose..." Nope. How much is the rent? Don't care about anything else. Whether I have firearms or not is nobody's business, including the landlord.
    "...a safe..." Is a relative term. Usually unnecessary when you're 40 feet up. Ground floor apartments can be easily broken into. Mind you, people think that nobody can see in a 12th floor window. Ain't quite so if there are other buildings across a parking lot.
    "...Neighbors mind their own business..." Happens more in an apartment building than a house. The nosy, opinionated, old woman across the street was my Ma. Still laugh about some of the stupid stuff she'd come out with. That she did, but nobody else was allowed to.
     
  13. JB357MAG

    JB357MAG Member

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    I am in an apt 2nd floor, have guns hidden in different places. No land lord interference.

    Thankfully I am buying a house within a few months and cant wait.

    No loading equipment.

    Jimmy
     
  14. JJE

    JJE Member

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    I've always lived in apartments since moving out of my parents' house over 30 years ago - always 2nd or 3rd story. My wife and I have a 2 bed-2 bath on the second floor now, with a small deck that faces out over the Columbia river and isn't visible to any other tenants. I haven't loaded any ammo since moving here, but my last setup involved bolting my press and powder measure to a corner of my wife's sewing table which worked great since I could always squeeze in between her projects. I may do that again (I just always left the press up - I don't care if the manager sees it since it isn't against the rules) or I may set up a little sawhorse or other small work surface to put out on the deck to bolt the press onto. I mostly shoot handguns so they go to the car in a briefcase of some kind. When I do take a rifle out, it's in a case, and I don't take any special precautions to disguise it. I've always paid a bit more to be in a better-than-average building or complex where everybody seems like a law-abiding sort.

    It would be great to have a garage though, and we may actually buy a small house if rents look like they are going to be climbing steadily (we're just outside Portland OR in Vancouver WA). But at this point, I'm so used to apartments that I wouldn't mind renting forever if rents stay reasonable.
     
  15. doctorjohn

    doctorjohn Member

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    When I lived in an apartment, my reloading bench was a 2 x 10 C-clamped to my desk. All reloading equipment stashed after each session. Guns locked away except for my carry weapon. Since my long guns were stored at my permanent home, range trips consisted on handguns only. I carried guns and ammo out to the vehicle in Wal-Mart bags. I had a portable target stand that dismantled so that it didn't appear to be a target stand. My apartment was very near work and wasn't in the high-rent district. I was very careful not to let anyone in the complex know that I had firearms or reloading equipment. I'm retired now and back at the permanent residence. What a relief!
     
  16. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    I've been a renter since 2010 when I lost everything in the financial meltdown. And honestly, I'm not upset with being a renter. As somebody else pointed out in this thread, no snow to shovel (although we don't get much in Dallas) and no grass to mow. Sink breaks, hey apt manager, send somebody to fix it! I too am getting lazy as I age.

    It does have it's downside. Small space. I live in ~600 sq/ft. I do have a nice sized reloading bench and storage shelves. They get covered up when I expect maintenance work. I do worry about what's loaded in my "Cave Defense" shotty.

    As for carry to my car... I park almost directly in front of my apt door. (Ground floor! YAY!) My neighbors are pretty good about keeping to themselves. The only time I get funny looks is when I've got a table set up in front of my door casting boolits. One feature I love about this apt is the giant walk in closet. Dang thing is almost big enough to be a small bedroom! I have my big safe in there bolted to the floor and wall.
     
  17. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    I've found that it can be wise to keep certain affairs to myself and be careful in who I tell and how. Gun ownership is one of those. That was just as true in a house as it has been in an apartment.

    What do I do? Don't open carry. Use a range bag. Keep the safe out of immediate sight. Normal, easy precautions.
     
  18. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    I should have commented on this... I too keep what I have and what I do to myself. Nobody needs to know what I've got.
     
  19. RoscoeBryant

    RoscoeBryant Member

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    I live in an apartment, 3rd floor. When I moved in, I put in a safe for hand- and longguns and store them in there - except for the nightstand gun of course. I am not required to by any law or policy, I just like it that way. The apartment regulations say nothing about firearms, explosives or anything else related, so I'm good on that side. Landlords in my country actually are prohibited from forbidding you to keep a firearm in your home.
    I do not own reloading equipment (except if you count cap&ball or flintlock stuff), but a complete reloading bench would certainly be a problem with the space available.

    As for someone seeing me with a gun bag - i could not care less. I often carry my guns to and from the range by public transport in the middle of the city in an obvious gun case (but it has no markings or labels on it) and it has never been an issue, though firearms are not a very usual "public appearance" in my country. I have been asked by a few people in my building about the ccontents of the case, and no one acted frightened or averse when I answered truthfully.
     
  20. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I'm not sure I understand this thread. Who are you hiding your firearms from again? Nosey neighbors? They aren't an apartment only thing.

    As far as the maintenance man, if he's looking at anything in your house (closets/drawers/cabinets etc) other than what he's there to fix that needs reported to the complex management.
     
  21. Bbear

    Bbear Member

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    Back in the day, my apartment had my bench in the 2nd bedroom next to a window. The only thing left out was the press and the balance beam scale. One evening I hear a knock on the door and I answer to find a sheriff's deputy. He apologizes and asks what I had in my front bedroom as someone had called in that I had a scale to cut heroin. I laughed (I knew him) and showed him my reloading bench. He just shook his head and went on his way. After that, I through a towel over it.
     
  22. stompah

    stompah Member

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    If my apartment manager didn't know I had firearms she sure did when I had to pick up a case or ten of ammo at the office. Last time I picked up some .22 they commented on it being ammo.

    Other than that I haven't reloaded much since I moved here. Losing the garage space was a big loss to my ability to reload.
     
  23. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    There are some pretty big downsides to apartment living though. Such as close proximity to neighbors, noise issues, lack of your own yard, lack of garage, pet restrictions, etc. An apartment would be my last resort if I couldn't find a house or townhome to rent/buy.

    You can rent/own a house/townhouse/condo for about the same price as an apartment and get a garage for reloading if you choose. Some communities also have the yard maintenance included in the rental or HOA cost if that is an issue for you. The last 2 townhomes I've lived in both had a garage, a yard, and lawn care included in the monthly costs. You also get a little more privacy and space than a typical apartment (some apartments do have attached garages).

    But if apartment living works for you, its all good.
     
  24. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    My Dillon 550B and my RCBS Rockchucker are mounted to a Black & Decker Workmate. It's set up in a large closet, just deep enough so that the closet doors can be closed on it. I have a large fireproof filing cabinet for primers and powder. Guns not being carried or immediately available for home defense are locked in a concealed safe.

    I don't bother with long guns for defense, although I have a shotgun and an AR carbine.

    I plan for an active defense using handguns. Waiting for the police isn't an option. Any intruder would be on me before I could even call. A five year old with muscular dystrophy could kick in my bedroom door.

    I don't socialize with anybody in the apartment. Nobody knows me or whether I own guns. I don't have a place to shoot rifles anymore. When I did, I carried them in large two gun hard cases, which most people wouldn't recognize. Pistols not on my body are in a large pistol competitor's box. Casual observers wouldn't know whether I was carrying guns or a sewing machine.
     
  25. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    We've lived in an apartment for almost two years now as we sold our house in preparation for retirement. All access points to the building require a key fob but that hasn't stopped the occasional miscreant from getting in. My door is always locked, and dead-bolted when we're home. The safes are in a dedicated closet, bolted down as best as possible. The closet door is locked and the bedroom leading to the closet is locked.

    This is more of a working persons apartment complex, I rarely encounter anyone when I'm heading to the range or back. Only one person ever asked me about the rifle bag on my shoulder, he's retired military and wanted to tag along for some shooting.

    Shotguns are first line of defense followed by 38 special handguns. Two dogs are the early warning system.
     
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