Saturday, October 23, 2010

Got over-crowded gun safe? Try this!

Ten years ago when I was a politics reporter in Virginia, if you told me that I'd have a whole safe full of guns in my house some day, I would've told you to put down the crack pipe.

But things change. Boyfriend came into my life. He started hunting. I inherited an heirloom rifle when my dad died. Then I started hunting. And this year, I won two shotguns at Cal Waterfowl dinners.

Suddenly, the roomy gun safe we bought a couple years ago was getting way too crowded.

I remembered reading something on Phillip's blog about some gadgets you could use to fit more guns into a safe without having to lean the guns against each other, which would lead to all sorts of unsightly scratching. They were called Rifle Rods, and they came from a company called Gun Storage Solutions. Read more...
Well, I got a set of Rifle Rods this week and I love them.

Here's how they work: Each rod is like a giant plastic pin, a long stick with a big flat head at the top, just as you see in the photo above. On top of the head is a circle of Velcro. You get a big sheet of the fuzzy stuff that Velcro sticks to, and you staple that to the underside of the top shelf of your gun safe.

Then, to put a gun in the safe, you stick the rod down the barrel of the gun, set the gun in the safe, butt down, then lift that pin until the Velcro-covered head sticks to the bottom of the shelf. It stands straight up, held vertical by the pin. And suddenly, since guns don't have to lean against a wall, you can use all that middle space that's been going to waste. Like this:

Our safe is supposed to be a 14-gun safe, but it was a struggle to cram nine into it, even with them all piled up against one another. I thought I was going to have to take out the shelving to accommodate all the guns, but now I don't need to. Pretty sweet.

The only question I had about this product was whether these rods might scratch the (hopefully) pristine bores of our long guns. Owner Kevin Kinsella said the exact content of the rods is proprietary, but he checked it out with gun manufacturers ahead of time, and with "tens of thousands" of Rifle Rods out there in circulation, he hasn't had a single complaint from a customer.

I've had these installed for just one day (and the installation was stupid-easy), so I can't tell you how they perform over the long term. I'm guessing that the Velcro could theoretically wear down at some point, but based on my experience with Velcro, I'm thinking that could easily take more than a decade.

For now, it's just such a relief every time I open the safe. We're in that time of year when we'll be alternating between duck hunting, upland hunting and deer or pig hunting, so we need easy access to four guns, and this has given it to us.

And oh yeah, if you've got handguns too, Kinsella makes a pretty nifty looking handgun storage device too. But I'm strictly a long-gun girl, so you'll have to try that one out on your own.

So, what will these things cost you? Forty bucks for a 10-rod kit, $75 for a 20-rod kit and $140 for a 40-rod kit.

Does that sound like a lot for some plastic rods and Velcro?

That's up to you to decide, but I make such decisions by asking myself two questions: How much time and money would it take me DIY it? And would my DIY version be as good as this?

My answer to the second question was "No," and my answer to the first was "Why bother? If I can expand the usefulness of an $800 safe for $40, isn't that good enough?"

© Holly A. Heyser 2010


David J Blackburn said...

Very timely, thank you! I was just pulling out the rifle for a day of deer chasing tomorrow thinking something had to be done! Something Wife would approve.

I left VA for Wife. I really loved Virginia. Still, it was a great trade.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Man, I loved Virginia too. We lived in Richmond - me on Church Hill, Boyfriend on Tobacco Row. I miss it. But California has treated us well - there's so much to forage, fish and hunt here.

Hope this gun safe solution works for you. This is one of those things I love about hunting - there are so many products out there that you can tell were invented by hunters and shooters like you who saw a problem and figured out a way to solve it. Lots of entrepreneurship in hunting - love it!

Barbara Baird said...

Thanks, Holly, for the tip. Also, I think you can still see my heel marks from where they had to drag me from Lexington, Va., to (gasp) southern California a few years ago. But then again, my heel marks are still in England and Florida, too. You're right, David B., sometimes you trade and it's for the better. Sometimes you know it beforehand and sometimes, you're just pleasantly surprised!

Josh said...

Cool product, almost as nifty as my new invention, the cordura tongue cozy for dogs working the star thistle.

Ghostrifle said...

Hi Holly

I started with a 5 gun safe, too big for my needs now of course I have two 5 gun safes. Golden rule more storage more guns.
Look after yourself your humble Ghostrifle is afer red deer tomorrow outing for the 7mm rem mag.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Babbs: Where are you from, anyway? ;-)

Josh: That is truly weird.

Ghostrifle: Hope your hunt went well! And I really hope I don't buy more guns to fill the new capacity of our safe - I have bills to pay!

SimplyOutdoors said...

They sound like a great item; however, I don't need to worry about this problem yet, considering I only own two guns.

I'm way too cheap. Someday, though, I hope to have such a problem :)

Best Military Surplus said...

What a novel idea. I suppose this is for those who have enough rifles to supply a militia unit.