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Old December 8, 2012, 07:20 AM   #1
bfskinnerpunk
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storing a rifle OUTSIDE! (questions)

Having a safe signals that you have massively valuable stuff in the house.

I have some land and would like to store my ammo and my few weapons outside under cover or somewhat covered underground.

What are some ideas on how to do this without allowing them to rust or otherwise degrade..... and economically.

I am considering a sealed rifle case with sort of dehumidifying stuff in there, but perhaps I can just get a good sealed, generic storage box that will contain a couple small rifles.

Regardless, I'm seeking ideas on how to keep weapons in good shape while stored outdoors.

Thanks
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Old December 8, 2012, 07:48 AM   #2
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...and I am thinking that I might just bury the firearm accessory/stuff and not the actual firearm.

Perhaps sealed ammo and such will fare better outdoors. Then, I can focus on finding good hiding places for weapons inside.

If a common burglary occurs, and the bad guy notices even one small firearm item/accessory, I can imagine that he'll start pillaging the place even more vigorously in the hunt for the much coveted gun.... he knows it's in the house, now, SOMEWHERE
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Old December 8, 2012, 08:20 AM   #3
45_auto
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Quote:
Having a safe signals that you have massively valuable stuff in the house.
Funny, I would think that it signals that you have your massively valuable stuff in the SAFE!

Get a good safe, bolt it down so that it can't be moved, and call it a day.

If you have to store them outside, most economical way that I've seen it done is in big PVC pipe with lots of dessicant inside and the end caps glued on well. Kind of a pain to get to when you want to go shooting, though.

This guy buried his for 15 years then dug it up:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/wood115.html

Last edited by 45_auto; December 8, 2012 at 08:28 AM.
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Old December 8, 2012, 08:25 AM   #4
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Think about large diameter pvc pipes. Sealed caps on the ends, desiccants inside.

I think most anything else will fail underground.

And don't forget to leave a secret map behind, in case you get run over by a bus.
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Old December 8, 2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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I really never could understand the logic behind burying a gun or ammo. If you need access to it in a hurry, you’re screwed.

There are plans out there on the internet for building storage areas into the walls of a home that maintain the solid appearance of the wall. To me that makes more sense. This way you can still gain access to your guns in a hurry if need be, and you can still easily do periodic inspections for maintenance.
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Old December 8, 2012, 08:49 AM   #6
specs
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Sportsman's Guide sells "vaults" suitable for burial in various sizes. They look like pvc, but appear to be better in construction, although pricey. If you are looking to store for an extended period, remove the grips/stock and fill the pvc with new oil to store actions. If the action is submerged in oil it will not rust. Grips and stocks could just go into a watertight PVC setup, no oil.

I would use the PVC and PVC cement to make it waterproof. Of course, this would not be practical for short term, but the PVC with threaded caps and dessicant would work.
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Old December 8, 2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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I will keep hidden, easily accessed small handguns ready to rock.

The ammo and accessories (and possibly the rifles) need to disappear entirely though.

Even if the bad guy notices a couple bullets or a holster sitting out, he would be well advised to start ransacking the place (if he wants to find high value, yet portable items... such as guns!)

Fully burying the cache may not be necessary. Just large rubbermade burried just to the point that the lid is at the surface might work... just not sure if exposure to the changing temps is an issue.... and then also finding a way to seal the stuff while in there.

Also, what about hiding smartly in a nasty old storage shed way out back? Is that any better? Or are there still associated problems in a shed?

In the mean time, I'm certainly happy to entertain clever indoor solutions...maybe I can put the ammo in military ammo cans (sealed) and place those in the rubbermaid type boxes sitting just at lid-level in the ground.
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Old December 8, 2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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A vacuum sealer like a food saver might work to seal out the elements. I personally have no reason to bury anything but if I was going to bury a rifle or similar object I'd oil the heck out of it seal it in a vacuum bag with some silica gel and then seal it up in a PVC pipe with caps and PVC cement. If your house is anything like mine there's no way to remove all evidence of firearms ownership. Got gun books, hunting books, trophies, antlers, game calls, etc. in the house? Do what you can to prevent them from getting the guns and put a rider on your insurance for them. I think the NRA offers supplemental insurance for firearms also. I would think burying the guns would be very inconvenient even if they were just below the surface. Dave P. is right leave a map for your family so they can find the guns in case anything ever happens to you.

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Old December 8, 2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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Simply putting them in the wall and putting up drywall over them would leave them easier to get to than putting them in pipe and burying them.

In a pinch you'd need only a few seconds to tear out the wall and access your firearms.
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Old December 8, 2012, 06:32 PM   #10
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Thanks 45_Auto. That was a good read.
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Old December 8, 2012, 06:35 PM   #11
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Relatively small safes which would fit at the ends of a closet and are lag-screwed to a stud keep the smash-and-grab types from stealing. It's not all that difficult to build an easily removable false wall to conceal it or them.
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Old December 8, 2012, 07:55 PM   #12
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Why don't you just invest in a nice gun safe (sure they seem like a lot... but one firearm in my safe is worth about as much as the safe itself....) and insure them?

Seems to me like you are just getting a little too paranoid. People breaking into your home.. unless your a multi-millionaire... are your common smash and grab crew.... they will not access a quality gun safe. They will most likely try... then worry its taking too long and move on.
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Old December 8, 2012, 08:05 PM   #13
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Yes, I know it sounds paranoid.

Among other problems with a burglarized, gun home, is that not only are the weapons stolen (financial loss), but you have now ARMED A BAD GUY!

It's just a bad thing all around. And as I have said, any clue that there might be weapons in the house (and empty holster is seen) could easily lead to massive damage to the home's interior as the guys ransack the place to find them.

I am beginning to consider a narrow, tall safe for one of the closets, though. Advantage: they are convenient and fairly inexpensive....and I can deliver and move them myself.

It is has to be VERY difficult to remove though. Small safes don't have the massive weight to deter them from carrying it away.... so the safe will need to be bolted into the wall AND nearly impossible to tug and pry away from the wall.

If I were to buy a big heavy safe, then there is the extra issue of hauling that SOB around when I move!
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:27 PM   #14
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Again.... massive interior damage.... you can have it all covered under insurance.

I understand your concerned about arming a criminal... but I highly doubt a professional safe cracker is gonna be kicking your front door in when you are at work (I know anything is possible) but chances are its going to be your local crack head (happened to me at 3am... luckily I happened to awake and watching a movie on my couch, had a Kahr PM-9 tucked in my waist band from being out that night... luckily he didn't go any further than the front door.)

I would make the investment in a GOOD safe... not a cheap one. Update your insurance.. and you should be good, no need to go digging shallow graves for your firearms.
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:40 PM   #15
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And don't forget to leave a secret map behind, in case you get run over by a bus.
Now lets see, was that stagger stagger stagger crawl crawl, or was it stagger stagger crawl crawl crawl?
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:57 PM   #16
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Burring guns? Dumb idea. Hiding them in a shed? Dumb idea.

Get a safe. Attach it to the building in some way.

Also, keeping ammo outside where it is subject to more extreme temperature changes is not good for it.
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
I am beginning to consider a narrow, tall safe for one of the closets, though. Advantage: they are convenient and fairly inexpensive....and I can deliver and move them myself.

It is has to be VERY difficult to remove though. Small safes don't have the massive weight to deter them from carrying it away.... so the safe will need to be bolted into the wall AND nearly impossible to tug and pry away from the wall.

If I were to buy a big heavy safe, then there is the extra issue of hauling that SOB around when I move!
If you have a closet large enough for a safe to fit why don't you install a heavy solid core door with three dead bolt locks.

When I out grew my third safe I had to do something and I converted a walk in closet to a walk in gun safe. It's going to stop the smash and grab thieves.

If a professional thief knows what you have and wants it, there's not a safe made that well protect you.

You need to stop the smash and grab guys and have a monitored alarm system for good protection. Draw back of my walk in is zero fire protection. If my house burns the gun collection would be a terrible loss. That's why I have insurance.
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:27 AM   #18
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I say build a bed frame that can hold the weapons you want to hide, if done properly only you would know it was there.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Having a safe signals that you have massively valuable stuff in the house.
Hide the safe and problem solved.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:54 PM   #20
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They do already make safes that fit and hide under your bed mattress.
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:22 AM   #21
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Your safe should be VERY difficult to move. Why? Because if you can move it easily, so can someone else. And if it can be moved, you've just packaged up all your stuff into an easy to steal package.

Your safe also should be not visible to anyone you don't want to see it. Yes, some safes have very nice outer finishes. Why? You're not buying it for looks, but for function.

You'll want active bolts on all four sides of the door, as well.

Aso, get more safe than you think you'll need. You'll grow into it. Trust me on this one.

I suggest the manual combination ones, as well. Yes, there are battery backups. Yes, the electronic ones might be easier to open. But why take the chance? I can get either one of my safes open in 15 seconds with the combination lock.

Finally--buy quality ONCE. No safe is absolutely burglar proof--but your average burglar isn't going to spend the time trying to get into a good safe unless they can smash it in quickly. Make it big, heavy and of good quality.
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:52 AM   #22
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I realize my sample size is small, but when my house was burglarized they looked under the mattress and box springs. Those particular thieves must have thought I'd hide something under there.

I've always thought a safe in a closet would be smart. If it's tight in the closet and bolted to the floor and walls then they can't get enough leverage in there to turn it over and if they did then it'd be laid down with the door on the floor. Of course then they could cut into it or then stand it up and wiggle it out of the closet but that would take some time. I believe most thieves are the smash and grab type that don't bring cutting tools.
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Old December 10, 2012, 01:15 AM   #23
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^^I have my safe in my closet, was a bitch to get in there, had to tackle/kick it in, it is pretty heavy so I have not bolted it in but am gonna
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Old December 10, 2012, 08:01 PM   #24
bfskinnerpunk
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The closet that I have in mind is actually very narrow... but like 8+ feet deep.

So, the safe would need to be narrow.... like maybe two feet wide... and height isn't terribly important.

Maybe I could build a false wall in front of it. Way back in there, you'd have to really search the place to notice that the wall isn't really wall.
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Old December 11, 2012, 12:21 AM   #25
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It is has to be VERY difficult to remove though. Small safes don't have the massive weight to deter them from carrying it away.... so the safe will need to be bolted into the wall AND nearly impossible to tug and pry away from the wall.
If you don't bolt it in it doesn't matter how heavy it is. The thieves ARE NOT worried about tering up your step and drywall. They will attach it to a truck and pull it right out of your house, load it on the truck and drive away. They will tear out the closet doorway. Don't think about how YOU got the safe in, think about how the THIEF will get the safe out. Have you seen how scrappers tear through a vacant house for copper wiring?

Quote:
I have my safe in my closet, was a bitch to get in there, had to tackle/kick it in, it is pretty heavy so I have not bolted it in but am gonna
Like almost every gun owner I know.

In my opinion, a stack-on cabinet bolted in is better than a safe unbolted.
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