How-To

DIY Gun Storage

Part of being a responsible gun owner is securing your firearms from people who are not authorized to use them, criminals and children being your top priorities. A biometric safe is nearly a foolproof way to prevent children from accessing your firearm. However, they can be costly and easily removed from your home. Biometric safes look like safes and burglars know valuables of some kind are stored in them.

Burglars also know typical hiding places—lingerie drawer, under the mattress and the bedside table. Gun case manufacturers understand that some of us wish to be more discreet. For example, PS Products makes gun storage items that appear to be regular items, like books and a clock.

Another way to stash your handguns is to repurpose items found at the big box stores, many pieces of furniture or decorative items have storage. Stand-alone and wall-mounted mirrors with storage are easy to find. Do a Google search for mirror with jewelry storage and plenty of options will come up. Some look so decorative you would never assume it opened up to reveal storage.

A family with a very active, curious and wandering toddler did just that. Not having the money to invest in a quality biometric safe, an unused photo frame jewelry box became storage for their handguns and ammo. Purchased from Wal-Mart, this particular jewelry box came with an affordable price tag and wall-mount hardware. (The exact model is no longer available.)

This particular jewelry box fits a Glock 34, four loaded magazines, a loaded Armscor model M200 revolver, extra ammunition and other accessories. With the included hardware, the extra weight—at least three pounds—has been no big deal for the box. It has stayed tight on the wall. I’m sure you could even fashion a lock on the door if you were handy. This affordable photo frame jewelry box hangs high enough so the kid cannot get it and you get the added bonus of it being unsuspecting from burglars. Hanging one in the bedroom, kitchen and living room means you have access to your self-defense weapons quickly. This method may not be ideal as the child gets older, but for households without children, you have a permanent hiding space for your most valuable items! Before purchasing a mirror or jewelry box for yourself, measure the dimensions to make sure whatever gun you want to keep in there will fit.

Do you have an alternative way to store your guns? Do you think your secret hiding place is best? Tell us about it in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (17)

  1. The large air intake for our heat pump is located under the stairs to our second floor. There is a coat closet that faces a short hall on the other side of the stairs, which is completely cloed in with no way to get to the stairs. But on each side, beneath the stairs is
    the opening for the air filters. The grills covering the filters look completely innocent. By removing 1 of the grills and filter, is
    an area that will hold several rifles and a lot of pistols, plus ammo and other items. I have placed hooks for my pistols, and short
    dowels to stand my rifles upright. I have more room than firearms, so if you want to help you can send all your guns to so it will not be so empty in my hiding place.

  2. This is in response to the few who posted warnings against storing loaded firearms.First of all, what good is an unloaded firearm?All my firearms are stored in locked gunsafes and most of them are loaded.Everyone who has access, knows that they are loaded.In my opinion, there is no such thing as an accidental discharge. My Father & Grandfather taught me that an unloaded gun is useless and in my 50-plus years on this planet,I have never experienced a “accidental discharge”.Modern firearms are inherently safe, irresponsible humans are the only thing unsafe about firearms.

  3. For those of you without kids in the house, a gun magnet is ideal. For home protection at night, mount the gun magnet in your nightstand. The best type is a nightstand that has a drawer and an open space below the drawer, with a hard, solid stationary panel beneath the drawer. The magnet screws to the center of the bottom of this panel with two 1/2″ screws.

    If you’re right handed, hold the gun in your right hand (palm up) and reach under the drawer and stick the pistol in place. It will be right there when you reach for it. Anyone ransacking your house will open the drawer but won’t find the gun, unless they lay on the floor and look around, which they’re not going to do.

  4. If you have a extra bedroom that you don’t
    use you can build book shelving or a fake
    fire place over the door to have a
    hidden door and access your valuables
    with ease it would just look like an option
    When building the house for inset book shelving
    or fire place.(out of sight out of mind) you
    can’t steal something that isn’t there!

  5. I am always interested in clever ways to secure and yet access my weapons. In many 2-story homes there is sealed off access space under the stairs which is usually partially converted into a coat closet.
    I opened up the back of ours to reveal the area under the landing and lower portion of the stairs and then built in shelving which slides on a rolling frame to reveal a ton of space for safes and other valuables. We store blankets on the shelving and when you look into the closet it looks like a completely natural end to the space.
    A simple push to the side and the shelves roll out of the way and you have access to all your items. I also added battery operated lights that stick into place so you can see everything easily.
    It’s an easy project and a great use for empty and useable space.

  6. I looked at the price for safes – some that would hold my current collection and some that would hold my entire intended collection.

    For the cost of a safe that would only hold the guns I currently own (about $300 for a budget safe of sufficient size), I was able to take an unfinished closet, close it in, and turn it into a gun closet.

    NO safe will stop a criminal with a prybar and all day to while you are at work – he doesn’t have to defeat your safe – he only has to defeat your floor. Unless your bolts are pour-set into the foundation, a thief and his buddy WILL take out your safe in an hour or so.

    So, you want something that will keep out the kids – which any lock will do. Then you want something that will (1) make the criminal miss your guns and (2) slow him down as much as you can.

    If you have an out of the way closet (like a coat closet), it normally holds nothing but tennis rackets and Christmas trees – putting your safe in the back of that closet or putting a subtle key lock on the door will send most theives looking for places that normally hold actual valuables.

    As for home defense – your home defense weapons should be ON you. If it is on the nightstand, it is because you are in the bed. If you need a larger weapon by your bed, simply pull it out each night and put it away each morning.

  7. You should never store a loaded weapon, it makes it too easy to accidentally have it discharge. In some states you can be charged if you improperly store your weapon and it discharges and someone gets hurt, even if it is the guy trying to steal the weapon. Negligence is your fault.

  8. I recently found a compnay online called “Q-Line Design” that has some interesting furniture. Check them out on YouTube. Be ready for stickershock

  9. I found my safe on a very nice sale on Black Friday and am very happy with it. While not quite as large as I intended to purchase, the deal was too good to pass up. All mine (and ammo) fit but one that is with me during the night and concealed on me during the day. I do believe in having at least one accessible in the home to ‘deal with’ those who may want to ‘invade my home’.

  10. “I’m sure you could even fashion a lock on the door if you were handy.” I would add that it is IMPERATIVE that you fashion a lock on it. Guns and ammo need to be locked away when not in use. I’m not real keen on the ‘hanging by the trigger guard’ either. There’s got to be a better way to hang them.

  11. My friend, a local businessman and a talented craftsman makes this stuff. Super cool! Check it outhttp://www.incognitoo7.com/.

  12. I don’t think there’s a dependable replacement for a full size gun safe. Crooks are getting hip the the clocks and such that you see sold at gun shows for hiding firearms. I knew a guy who bought a little one about 2′ by 2′ by 2′ and when they robbed his house they tore it off the wall. what scares me is that if your firearms are stolen in operable condition in California and if they fall into the wrong hands I think you’re still responsible. I was as concerned about losing our arsenal but more afraid of some kid getting their hands on one of our firearms so I sprung for a full size Winchester gun safe from Costco. Now the only thing I worry about is accidentally leaving it open when I leave home but the signs I put above the dead bolts at the exits have saved my bacon so far. We looked at the little ones but I couldn’t figure how to get my shot gun and rifles in them. Hank

  13. VERY DANGEROUS! Don’t ever hang a loaded firearm by the trigger guard! It is too easy to accidentally discharge. An old anecdote related the story of a semi-auto that emptied a whole magazine in a man’s safe — the recoil kept bouncing the hook against the trigger again and again.

    If ya gotta hang it by a hook, ya gotta unload it!

  14. Very informative article with excellent ideas. Burying a weapon in your back yard is another option for long term storage or hiding. Burying a weapon beneath your chain-link (or other metal) fence will usually fool most metal detectors.
    Cheaper Than Dirt sells containers specifically made for weapon burial (or for other valuables).
    Also look for “fake” cans that have an exact copy of a commercial label (such as a can of vegetables or coffee). These cans have a screw on bottom that can be easily and quickly removed. The larger sizes are adequate for storing a handgun. Store the cans on a pantry shelf along with your canned food. Stores specializing in security products will usually carry these cans.

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