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Locking up your shotgun- thoughts?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Snowblind, Sep 2, 2013.

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  1. Snowblind

    Snowblind Member

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    Hello there!

    Wanted some input on an issue that's recently cropped up.

    For the last few years, I've kept my shotgun under my bed unloaded with a trigger lock, with ammo nearby. I felt no need to have it any more accessible since I had an alert and menacing 120-pound German Shepherd right outside my bedroom door, and was more comfortable leaving it locked up/unloaded so that I knew nobody would be messing with it.

    Sadly, my shepherd recently had an unexpected heart attack and died... so there went my intruder early-warning system and second layer of defense (the first being my front door.) Now I'm considering leaving the shotgun with a fully loaded magazine, but I still don't want any possibility of it being used without me.

    Obviously, with a loaded tube, the trigger lock is out. I want something that will prevent the action from being brought into battery, such as the LifeVault/BreechVault or GunJacket products, but it alarms me that those are primarily plastic. My first idea was to take a steel cable lock and put it through the loading port and out the ejection port.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Why is the trigger out because you have a loaded magazine? It will still work; however, if it is a gun I am relying on for HD/SD, it will be immediately ready with nothing to prevent me from putting it to use at once - but that's JMO
     
  3. smalls

    smalls Member

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    Do you have children to worry about?

    It would seem wiser to just unload it while you're not home, and load it when you are home. That way if the need for it should arise, you're not fumbling with keys locks and cables.

    In my opinion, it'll be too late by the time you get it unlocked and ready to go.

    Added time for fumbling for loose shells "somewhere nearby"? No way.
     
  4. zhyla

    zhyla Member

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    Smalls is right. If there's NO possibility of unsupervised children getting at it then I would just leave it loaded and not worry about it.
     
  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Small children are pretty easy to fool. I have a young son and I keep my "bedside" shotgun above my bed mounted to the wall with some hooks. Will work for now until he gets taller. Then I will have to come up with something else. If small children aren't an issue, leave it loaded, chamber filled, safety on. Whenever I go somewhere I place it in my safe, more of a theft measure.
     
  6. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

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    I keep mine in my safe, which is unlocked from the time I am home till the time I leave (hang my car keys on it so I can't walk out without locking it up). The safe is next to my bed.

    I keep the tube full and the chamber empty, safety is off. Unlike some others, I don't keep the hammer down, instead preferring to use the slide release to pump the gun. My personal reason for this is that I train using the slide release every time I reload the magazine at the range, but I have much less muscle memory built in at retrieving the firearm in the dark and being confident in not accidentally short-stroking it when I pick it up.

    I store the firearm muzzle down in the safe and pray that the padding on the bottom is sufficient for crown protection. I don't know how fragile a smoothbore with a screw-in choke is.
     
  7. Snowblind

    Snowblind Member

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    Thanks for the feedback

    Trigger lock is out on a loaded weapon because you are APPLYING A DEVICE TO THE TRIGGER OF A LOADED WEAPON. This should go without saying.

    Without a guard dog, I agree that ready-time would be an issue, and that having to both unlock and load the weapon wasn't going to fly. Hence why I'm looking to leave it loaded.

    That being said, I'd just prefer to have it loaded and locked up. This seems to be the best compromise for me between knowing that nobody's going to have unauthorized access, but still having it reasonably accessible for myself.

    I was really looking for recommendations on locking devices first, and opinions about how it should be kept as more of a secondary inquiry. Anybody try running a cable lock through the action on an 870? Are those BreechVault things worth anything?
     
  8. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Have you looked into something like the GunVault TacVault, or perhaps a Stack-on cabinet? I'm like 95% sure that they have a small single or double gun cabinet. Would allow you to lock it up until you go to sleep, at which point you could just unlock it and keep the door open.

    My LGS also has a breech lock thing for the 870 and 500, which seems like it'd fit your needs. Plastic oughta be fine. But when you take the lock off, you'll have to slide the action forward, back, then forward again (unless you can store it with a shell on the lifter, which I don't think you can do).

    Oh, and sorry for your loss. It's never good to lose a dog, but especially one as loyal as German Shepherds.
     
  9. Snowblind

    Snowblind Member

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    Thanks for the sentiments, he was a good dog.

    Racking the slide isn't really an issue- I'd have to do the same process for a cable lock since the carrier would have to be up to get the cable through the loading port.

    Are the BreechVaults really tough? The furniture on the gun is glass-filled nylon as well, so I suppose it'd have to be at least as strong as the gun's polymer parts.
     
  10. rugerman

    rugerman Member

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    Look for a lock that will allow you to lock it behind the trigger & in front of the trigger guard. It should prevent pulling the trigger. I would rather not have it in place if I needed it but if you have to for your own piece of mind do as you wish. Another option is to put some kind of hooks on the inside wall above the door in your closet for easy access and out of sight.
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If you have to finds the keys and get the lock off in the middle of the night half asleep??

    You would be better of with a giant economy size can of pepper spray near your bed.
    And a jiggle alarm on your door knob to wake you up.

    Otherwise, mag tube loaded, chamber empty, Safety ON, ready to pump a shell into it if needed.

    rc
     
  12. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    The way trigger locks are designed they are no risk of setting off the trigger.
    Get another dog. Can never have too many dogs.
     
  13. smalls

    smalls Member

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    You keep bringing it up, but haven't told us who you are you worried about gaining access to your shotgun?

    I don't think you're going to find what you're looking for here. Any type of system I've seen for shotguns involve a key, and not many of us are going to tell you that's a good idea.

    If you need a gun, you need it NOW! There's no time to waste, and adding steps to get to it is inviting room for mistakes.

    I personally have a 2 year old. I keep my shotgun with a loaded mag, empty chamber, safety on. All I have to do is pump and knock the safety off. I keep it 5 feet away from me in my closet, which is open at night, and closed during the way. This is a happy medium between my shotgun being immediately available to me, yet safe for my daughter.
     
  14. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    When my kids aren't here (happens most of the time it seems), mine stays loaded, one chambered, with safety on. I treat every gun as if it's loaded, so therefore, they are all loaded.

    When the kids are over, it goes in the safe and the .44 goes beside the bed in the pistol safe. I prefer the shotty for HD though.
     
  15. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I’m a big believer in; “If it’s not on my person, it’s locked up” train of thought. I do have a 10 year old at home, and he is learning gun safety/responsibility. I also don’t like the idea of coming home and interrupting something, only to find that; “I’ve armed a previously unarmed thief” and now face one of my own HD guns. So I use several V-Line gun vaults, all set with the same combination for my HD guns and CCW pistol when not worn. They use mechanical locks that take a few seconds to open.

    I learned some time ago that a layered defense buys time.

    Chuck

    My M1S90 as it resides in my V-Line, loaded chamber, full magazine.

    X-Mas060958.jpg
     
  16. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    I agree with Smalls, any lock or cable is one more thing to worry about that you won't have time to fumble or mess with.
    Keep the weapon in an appropriate loaded state of readiness for your household safety needs. Me with kids, it's chamber empty but ready to rack forward and be loaded. For others, chamber loaded and safety on is the best.
     
  17. Snowblind

    Snowblind Member

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    There's no "particular" reason I want my guns locked up, I just don't want it accessible unless I'm accessing it. Would you all leave the keys in the ignition of your car, even if it was in the garage?

    Look, I wanna be able to just leave it in a semi-ready condition that I don't have to fiddle with every time I wanna leave the house.

    The odds of someone breaking into my home and making a beeline to my bedroom to murder me are pretty low. The odds of someone breaking into my house while I'm away are significantly higher, and I agree that a "layered defense" is the way to go.

    Does anybody know anything about the GunVault locks @[email protected]
     
  18. smalls

    smalls Member

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    Well like I said, you're probably not going to find what you're looking for here. 99% of us are going to tell you a gun locked away is almost useless.

    But you're certainly free to do as you wish, and to keep your weapons in a way that you're comfortable with.
     
  19. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

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    At work we had Mossberg 500 shotguns available for use. We had the same locks used in police cars mounted to a rack attached to the wall. We could use the momentary switch to release the lock or a handcuff key if the power went out. This arrangement did very well for us.
     
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I'd damn sure rather fiddle with it every time I wanna leave the house than have to fiddle with it when someone is breaking into my house.
    You shouldn't have to fiddle with it anyway. I have a 20 gauge right beside my bed with one in the pipe and the safety on. It hasn't been "fiddled with" or even touched in months.

    For something like this, the shotty isn't the best choice. Get a handgun, load it up full, and get one of those fancy fingerprint safes. Then only you can access it, but you can still do it in the dark and with minimal effort.
    If you ever have to fiddle with a freaking trigger lock at crunch time, you're gonna find yourself in a bad situation.
     
  21. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    I would get a safe or a locking gun cabinet. A thief has to be prepared to get into a well made gun cabinet. Tractor supply has the sentry 7 pin gun cabinets for under $200. A thief has to be superman to bust a sentry cabinet open with a lug wrench. If you put it in a small closet the thief needs to be very well prepared to get in a sentry cabinet.
     
  22. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    Do the same thing you've always done. There are plenty of good dogs out there needing a good home. I rely on my dogs to let me know when someone is on the property and I've not felt the need to have a gun beside my bed in years. I keep mine locked up, but I have yard dogs that alert the house dog when anything four or two legged is any where near the property...get another good dog.
     
  23. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    Dogs aren't that great until they are two. He might need a gun while the dog grows up. My dog is getting old. I am in search of puppy now. It's just a matter of time, I will look under a junk car or in an old barn and the perfect set of eyes will look into my eyes.
     
  24. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    http://www.amazon.com/Mossberg-Loc-Box-Gun-Lock-All/dp/B0000C52MU might be a possibility for you...

    So might http://www.amazon.com/Homak-In-Wall-Gun-Safe/dp/B0017KL254

    Put the key on your keyring, and get into the habit of unlocking the storage device and leaving your keys in the lock when you go to bed. With the keys in the lock, you won't leave the house without locking the storage device...

    I like the wall safe, hidden in a closet or behind a door between two studs on 16" centers. The LocBox works too, and it can be installed vertically or horizontally, which gives you more options for stashing the shotgun. The LocBox won't work if you have a Sidesaddle on your shotgun though.
     
  25. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Member

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    24 posts and no one has brought up the "Shotlock"?? I don't have a link right now but a 3 second Google search will show it.

    It's a "quick access" safe made specifically for your shotgun, mounts to the wall. You can keep it loaded, mounted to the wall right next to your bed and it takes 2 seconds to free your shotgun.
     
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