How to Properly Store Your Guns and Ammo in a Gun Safe

How to Properly Store Your Guns and Ammo in a Gun Safe


Tips and Tricks for Protecting Your Firearms and Ammo

Properly storing your guns and ammo isn’t only about keeping them out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. It’s also about keeping them in excellent condition.

Whether you’re storing a custom $5,000 rifle or a $500 pistol, these tips are invaluable in keeping your prized possessions safe and in top condition for your next trip to the range or hunting trip.

Let’s get started!

Use A High-Quality Gun Safe 

I used to store my guns and ammo in a gun cabinet, which was a terrible mistake. It had a glass door and a cheap wooden drawer that had to be adjusted to close it.

The two biggest reasons why gun cabinets like the one I previously used are some of the worst places to keep firearms and ammo are that it’s easy to break the glass and grab the guns, and it’s not a climate-controlled box. (We’ll dive deeper into these reasons in the next couple of tips.)

Now, most of my pistols, shotguns, and rifles are stored in a high-quality gun safe to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands and protect them from a house fire. However, I still have some ready to defend my family if anyone ever unlawfully enters my house and threatens them.

Bolt The Safe To The Floor

I’ll never forget knowing that someone had broken into our house, even though it happened over 20 years ago. Thankfully, they didn’t get any of our firearms, but my in-laws weren’t so lucky when their house was broken into.

They’ve told me the story about someone breaking in and carrying my father-in-law's gun safe out the door. Sadly, he had several guns and some ammo in it that he lost forever. This could have been avoided had he anchored the safe to the floor. 

Yes, big gun safes are heavy and difficult to move, but they'll figure out how if someone wants it bad enough. Anchoring the gun safe to the floor is another way to slow them down. If you happen to live in an area that frequently has tornadoes, then you’ll also be doing yourself a big favor if, God forbid, your house is ever struck by a tornado.

Keep Your Gun Safe In An Accessible Location

One of the biggest mistakes people make when storing their guns and ammo in a safe is keeping the safe in an area that’s difficult to access. It might make sense at the time to put the safe in a back closet that no one will ever see, but if you’re like most people, you’ll fill that closet up with stuff and have to take it all out to grab your guns and ammo.

I’m also not a fan of leaving it in plain sight, as it makes it an obvious target if anyone ever breaks into your home. This is why I recommend compromising by keeping the gun safe in an accessible location that’s out of immediate eyesight.

Use A Dehumidifier 

I love to duck hunt, but duck hunting is tough on equipment, especially a shotgun.

One year, I made the mistake of putting my shotgun in the safe with my dirty choke tube stuck in the barrel. I also didn’t have a dehumidifier. The next time I grabbed my shotgun, I wanted to switch choke tubes but couldn’t get it to budge. I tried everything I could think of, and nothing worked… I still have that shotgun with the choke tube stuck in the barrel! Luckily, it’s one that I can still take duck hunting.

I say all that to bring up how destructive water and humidity are to firearms. My choke tube is still stuck because it rusted in place and locked up the threads, despite me using gun oil the last time I screwed it into the barrel.

Getting a dehumidifier for your safe won’t prevent your guns and ammo from corroding, but it drastically reduces the risk of corrosion forming and saves you lots of money in the long run.

Correctly Label Your Ammo

Despite us always having firearms when I was growing up, my mom is clueless about much of it, including which ammo is safe in what gun. I’m sure she could get close, but close isn’t good enough when discussing putting the wrong ammo in a gun. Putting 9mm ammo into a 45 ACP would be easy and end in disaster.

This is why my dad and I still label our ammo when we plan to store it for an extended period. It also helps with sorting and quickly grabbing a box as we head out to the gun range.

I prefer to keep the ammo in the original boxes, so I know which brand, caliber, bullet weight, and any other information I might need from the manufacturer on the ammo I’m shooting. However, most factory ammo boxes are cardboard that deteriorates, especially if you don’t have a dehumidifier for your safe.

Parting Shots 

Cleaning your firearms before storing them, ensuring you use a high-quality safe with a dehumidifier, and following the other tips listed above will help you pass them down as family heirlooms!

Don’t risk losing a bunch of money and ruining your favorite firearms when it’s so simple to prevent it!

Post Written by Sam Jacobs

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