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Old December 27, 2018, 09:45 PM   #1
M88
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Does anybody else make pic inventory of their guns?



Don't want to get way to anal retentive here, but always thinking of what might happen if my guns are ever stolen, get destroyed in a fire, or even if I just somehow lost one. How do I prove to the insurance agent that yes I had xzy gun worth $xyz? There may well be other reasons why I at some point may want to prove I had xyz gun. As most of us do, I keep the receipt of every gun purchase, but that can be lost in a fire also. So I photocopy all gun receipts to a file, which then gets put in a folder in the cloud. I also take several pics of each gun, including one of the serial number, and store them in the cloud also. The pic above is an example. Does anybody else go to this extreme? Are there other gun nuts like myself that want to cover as many bases as I can think of?
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Old December 27, 2018, 10:21 PM   #2
Eddietruett
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I do a picture inventory as well as serial numbers and keep a disc as well as a hard copy of the serial numbers in 2 different places. Maybe a little over cautious but I just went through a mess with the insurance company with a break in and without documentation, they won't pay squat
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Old December 27, 2018, 10:34 PM   #3
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Yep, records of everything. Even started logging pictures of range outings so I can go back and see results over time or vs other guns or bad days vs good etc.
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Old December 27, 2018, 11:52 PM   #4
Roamin_Wade
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I’ve never taken pics like that for that reason but I could probably produce a pic every gun I own just because I’ve taken pics to discuss about them over time. I’ve got all SN’s saved several ways as well as the SN’s of my fathers guns. He is also the only other person that knows the combination to my safe.
Eddietruett, what about Guns that were handed down as heirlooms and no receipts were handed down with them but the steel frame is found in the ashes of a burned house? Would insurance pay on that condition?
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Old December 27, 2018, 11:59 PM   #5
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+1 @ Eddie
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Old December 28, 2018, 09:09 AM   #6
grinner
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Taking pictures like that for insurance purposes is a great idea. My pictures include gun along with the sales receipt that shows the serial number and my name. I store it on my computers, iPhone, and in the cloud. I do the same for all my expensive items (watches, electronics, bicycles). I’ve never had to file an insurance claim, but I’m prepared if I have to.
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Old December 28, 2018, 09:48 AM   #7
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My policy requires pics so yes, not artsy pics though.


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Old December 28, 2018, 03:23 PM   #8
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Yep. Photos, serial numbers, when and for how much it was purchased, or from whom it was inherited if applicable. Insurance companies, law enforcement, and heirs could all find it useful in different situations.
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Old December 28, 2018, 03:27 PM   #9
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I keep a list of SN's. I have pics of many of my guns, but not all. But thanks for the idea. I'll take good photos of all of them and save them. Hadn't thought of that.
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Old December 28, 2018, 04:07 PM   #10
mgulino
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Great idea. I have a serial number list and description stored electronically in two locations. Will have to add pictures now.
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Old December 28, 2018, 09:07 PM   #11
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Oh yes. Excel database with linked pictures of the firearm from both sides, scans of receipts, details about any modifications, etc.
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Old December 29, 2018, 04:34 AM   #12
AzShooter
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I have pictures of each of my guns and the serial numbers are logged in two different books just in case.
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Old December 30, 2018, 04:37 AM   #13
J.G. Terry
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Have Numbers Run

I use an Excel spread sheet with two back up's. My FFL will run numbers for me to make the "title" is clear on my fire arms. The deal is the firearm has to in at his business. The understanding is the firearm has to be turned over to authorities if stolen. He continued that few people appear to keep numbers on long guns.

I need to do pictures since there are several custom muzzle loaders included in my assortment.
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Old December 30, 2018, 01:44 PM   #14
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Remember when video cameras first came out people who owned them made a little extra money by videoing a families valuables and giving them the video tape.
Several of you said for insurance purposes, do you have a special rider covering them? My standard homeowners policy will only pay a max of $2500. You should check out your coverage.
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Old December 30, 2018, 01:55 PM   #15
peterg7
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^ yes Collectible Insured doesn’t require info on file but does need pics and serial # for claim filed.


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Old December 30, 2018, 02:31 PM   #16
M88
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Downside to keeping an inventory?

I'm sure there are many reasons other than insurance for making a video or pic of your collection. I just can't think of something off hand. Probably something related to them being stolen and used in a crime or something along those lines. Yes, depending on your house or rental insurance, especially if it only covers a few thousands dollars, having proof of your gun collection that would cost significantly more than your coverage dictates to replace them would be a mute point. I would suspect just from the responses in this forum that most of us could not replace our guns for just a few thousand dollars. For many of us it would be a serious expense should we have to. Haven't thought of this, but would there ever be a downside to having all that detailed information in one spot? For me personally, the pic inventory is as much a peace of mind thing than anything else. I'm one of those "just in case" folks, even if some would say I go to far with that.
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Old December 30, 2018, 02:40 PM   #17
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Great resource to get you started. Bought one and like it
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Old December 30, 2018, 04:24 PM   #18
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2wheelwander-I'm hitting the old fogey button here...that "Personal Firearms Record Book" looks VERY nice but the $24 price tag has my inner Scrooge cringing. "Why when I was young $24 would buy you..." you get the idea.

Quote:
My standard homeowners policy will only pay a max of $2500. You should check out your coverage.
This is something I've been "meaning to get around to" and maybe I'll make it a New Year's resolution or maybe I'll just DO IT Monday morning and be done with it. Thanks for the reminder.

Quote:
I'll take good photos of all of them [the guns] and save them.
I am constantly amazed at the number of folk here on this site that take marvelous pictures of their guns. It's not as easy as it looks. I have a lot of respect for their skill. For anybody trying to do this they have shared their techniques of using light boxes, macro settings, f-stops and shutter speeds in several posts over the years. The search function might unearth these threads.

Quote:
Remember when video cameras first came out people who owned them made a little extra money by videoing a families valuables and giving them the video tape.
A lunch buddy of mine wanted to get into this business. Tongue in cheek he said we'd not waste time and money video taping our clients possessions, we'd wait until they had their disaster and then we'd go to stores and video tape the stuff they wanted.
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Old December 30, 2018, 04:37 PM   #19
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It is a bit pricey DaleA, but its a quality binder. Not saying its not overpriced, but it is decent and a well thought out design.

My homeowners covers $5k. Anything more than that and I need a separate policy, which IIRC is 2% cost of the coverage I want. IOW, a $20k policy would run me $400/year.

A nice safe then pays for itself in a few years
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Old December 30, 2018, 04:38 PM   #20
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I make pics of all mine and keep the info & pics even after I let them go.
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Old December 30, 2018, 06:30 PM   #21
M88
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2wheelwander, that's a pretty nifty comprehensive book. Looks like it holds all the data you would need etc. Ten years ago I would have gotten something like that. As I got pulled into the electronic digital world (kicking and screaming) I did eventually realize the value of having something in the cloud, or at least on several hard drives somewhere, instead of on one physical book that could burn in a fire, and is only accessible wherever it physically is. The added benefit of being able to pull that phone from my pocket and pull up any information about my guns, serial numbers, pics, range data.. anything, was pretty appealing. Even more so being able to ADD to that digital file from that phone or laptop anywhere there was cell service or WiFi. If I really need a hard paper copy I just print it out. I suppose you could put those printouts in a notebook and still have a physical file you can hold and page through, but personally I don't bother with that. Anyway, I fully understand that approach is not for everybody. For me the ability to access and add to my gun file from anywhere was pretty appealing and that's what I now do. In fact, not just guns, but all data or info about everything from my car maintenance to health information is now digital, in an iPhone Note or WORD file, in the cloud (DropBox etc) so it's accessible from my phone or laptop from anywhere.
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Old December 30, 2018, 06:41 PM   #22
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DaleA you are very correct, taking quality pics of guns is not as simple as it seems. Lighting, shadows, glare from lights, shadows from you hovering over the gun to take the picture... it isn't seamless. I spent several hours experimenting with lighting, where to place the gun, where to stand to take the picture, how many lights around it etc. Actually taking pics outside using natural light works well if it's an overcast day without the Sun glaring from one angle. I'm sure on a forum like this somebody has posted info about that. I kinda learned by making a thousand mistakes, seeing what works and what doesn't. Another thing I learned is having a fairly decent camera that can take pics in relatively low light without a flash (very high ASA). A flash simply reflects off of any shiny part of the gun and you get a gun with lots of bright spots. Experiment and try not to get frustrated like I do! Also, when it comes to taking pics of the serial number, again you need a good auto-focusing camera that can either zoom in close, or has a high enough pixel count that you can take a pic from several feet away and when you crop that s/n out and enlarge it still looks good. Obviously this subject can't be covered in a little post, whole books have been written about how to photograph objects.
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Old December 30, 2018, 08:32 PM   #23
kenny53
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Does anybody else make pic inventory of their guns?
No I haven't but I think it is a good idea. I have a list of S/N's
but I have done that so the kids know where I want to guns to go when I tip over.
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Old December 31, 2018, 09:35 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jag2 View Post
Remember when video cameras first came out people who owned them made a little extra money by videoing a families valuables and giving them the video tape.
Several of you said for insurance purposes, do you have a special rider covering them? My standard homeowners policy will only pay a max of $2500. You should check out your coverage.
Read your insurance policy again regarding the limit on firearms. I handled large claims for fires, arson and theft for many years and I cheated a lot of people because I didn't read the policy properly. On most policies, the $2,500 limit on firearms applies only to theft. You have coverage up the policy limit on fire and other types of losses.

When I had a questionable fire loss, the first thing I looked for was the remains of the policy holder's firearms. I also looked for the remains of jewelry and family photos. I don't recall ever having an intentional fire where the firearms, jewelry and personal photos were destroyed. With legitimate fires, if they had guns, I was always able to find the barrels with serial numbers in the debris.

It's also a good idea, in addition to taking photos of your guns and receipts, to walk through your house and record the contents in general (open the drawers, closets, etc) . In addition to providing the insurance company evidence of what you have, it will help you remember what you own if you have a total loss. Put the information on a thumb drive and keep a copy in your car or another place separate from your house so it will not be damaged.

Last edited by osbornk; December 31, 2018 at 09:41 AM.
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Old December 31, 2018, 11:54 AM   #25
M88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osbornk
Put the information on a thumb drive and keep a copy in your car or another place separate from your house so it will not be damaged.
Agree that it's always a good idea to put a COPY of your vid, pic or Word file containing your gun information (or any other important info) in whatever media, be it portable hard drive, thumb drive or even a little SD card... in another place other than your house. Personally I don't like the idea of keeping it in my car because a brick through a window and they potentially have all my info. Even if it's encrypted, that has proven to not be foolproof protection. A buddy of mine put all his gun information and house contents on a thumb drive, wrapped it it plastic sealed against water, put that in a small jar and sealed that with wax, and buried it in his back yard. THAT would work but sheeeesh, why go to all that trouble? At least until the apocalypse (oh NO!) an easy very reliable place is the cloud. Many are free for the first couple GB of storage, which is way plenty for storing gun info, even if it's a short vid of the contents of your house. Dropbox is one that I use, 2GB are free. You can then access all your gun info and everything else from any computer or smartphone anywhere there is WiFi or cell service. I still do keep a physical copy of it on a thumb drive in one of my my gun safes where it's protected by fire to a point. I update it every month or so, or when I have a large purchase or new gun. Yup that can be little hassle, but for me it's peace of mind. As per my original post, I was wondering how many gun owners do this or something similar.
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