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May 21, 2019

How To Choose the Perfect Gun Cabinet

By Joel R Kolander

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There comes a time when one realizes their current method of gun storage is, shall we say, inadequate. Maybe that pile of filled long gun sleeves is becoming precarious, or maybe those school lockers you bought at an estate sale don’t quite make the right impression in your lodge-themed gun room. Whatever the reasoning, you’ve decided it’s time to invest in a gun cabinet, but where do you begin? Many of the choices involved in new firearms storage solution are based solely on personal preference and your particular needs. Some folks might value security overall, while others may choose ease of access, style, or even something that doesn’t look like a gun cabinet at all. Let’s take a look at some of the primary considerations one should make when choosing the perfect gun cabinet.

Location of your Gun Storage

In some ways, the location of your gun storage pre-determines many other factors. If you are going to keep your guns in your den or game room, you may want something more aesthetically pleasing than a large metal gun safe. If you are going to store them in a basement area, you may not need storage made from exotic wood with glass panes for viewing. If it’s going in your home office, you may want to be able to easily reposition the gun cabinet, and so on.  Once you have the location set, a lot of other things start to take shape rather quickly.

Can You Move Your Gun Cabinet?

One of the first considerations to make is whether you want your gun storage to be movable or not. If you are keeping your collector firearms in an area that doesn’t a lot of use, your storage probably won’t move much, and it might be OK to consider less mobile options like a large gun safe. On the other hand, if you keep your guns in a higher traffic area you may need a solution that doesn’t require a pallet jack to relocate in the event that you need to refloor, buy new furniture, or simply rearrange the room (but let’s be honest, it’s probably because you filled it and need to buy a new one). If you have a dedicated room, you may wish to go with built-in storage solutions such as gun racks, pistol drawers, modular “gun wall” storage, and even standard and concealed vault doors.

This gun vault door by Creative Home Engineering is disguised as a stone wall.

Security, Aesthetics, and Access

If security is your primary objective, then at minimum you will need locking glass doors of some sort to keep away wandering hands. However, not only does this put a layer of glass between you and your property, it’s also another step (however small) before you can handle your firearms. Some people don’t want that in their own house. Other people absolutely require that for any number of reasons. Of course, this is at the low end of the security spectrum. The higher up you go, the less accessible your firearms become, which may be a deterrent for those who desire ease of access.

Safes also make several other sacrifices in the name of security. While many attractive gun safes can be found on the market today, they are still a large metal box one must attempt to make work in a given space. When buying a safe, one generally forfeits the option of a handsome hardwood display. Also, safes can be extremely large, quickly dominating the space and perhaps taking the attention from an otherwise carefully designed gun room.

However, for all this they have several benefits. The most obvious is that they are harder to access than any other storage solution. Many are also fire-resistant or have a fire rating, making them an excellent option for also storing other valuables. Environmental controls can be added, making sure your collectibles stay in a space where they can be best preserved. Gun safes also protect better than other options such as an open gun rack, where environmental controls may not be as tight and the items are more susceptible to the nicks, dings, and scratches of casual handling.

Keep in mind, these are all benefits of traditional safes.  Today, many locked enclosures can be hidden in plain sight such as in floating shelves, framed art, bookshelves and more. These often lack the storage space of traditional safes, but can be placed seamlessly in almost any room.

Also, many safes and alternative lock boxes are becoming quicker to access than ever before.  One’s options used to be a combination lock or a keyed lock. However, modern gun cabinets can be quickly accessed by fingerprint scanners, RFID chips, keypads, and more. All of these options are important to consider when deciding both the level of security and ease of access desired.

Many gun storage solutions take the shape of every day objects and can open with a simple RFID chip. This version comes from Liberty Home Concealment.

Off-The-Shelf or Custom Built Gun Cabinets?

By now you’ve read many of the options available in selecting a gun cabinet. The question now is, “is there someone who already makes a gun cabinet with the options I want?” If the answer is yes, you’re in luck! You can buy right off the shelf, though as with most things the more options required, the higher the price tag. If this cost is high enough, you may just wish to go with a custom built gun storage solution. The cost of having a custom made piece will always be higher than a mass-produced gun cabinet, but the benefit is you get a gun cabinet that potentially fits your needs for mobility, security, accessibility, space, protection, and style. You can have all the options you can afford.

Going custom can definitely have its perks.

Be Deliberate When Choosing a Gun Cabinet

From their ability to provide security and their potential to change an entire room of a home, gun cabinets deserve more than just a passing thought. Besides, the more consideration you put into these options and configurations prior to purchase, the less likely you’ll find yourself dissatisfied with your gun cabinet in the future and wishing you had gone another route.

Gun safes, gun racks, display cases, original shipping crates and more come up for sale regularly at Rock Island Auction Company. Some of which not only provide storage, but can also be a fascinating, unique, and appropriate addition to a collection that perfectly sets off your gun room. Whether you collect modern or antique guns, the right presentation can make all the difference. Search our catalog today and you just might find the perfect gun cabinet.

A section of the room that housed portions of the Von Norden Collection, sold by RIAC in 2014.

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