Mar 29, 2010

Marlin is dead, long live Marlin

The Gun Shots blog is reporting, "[W]hile the North Haven, Connecticut, plant is going to be shut down, they will continue to produce Marlin guns in the future."

Apparently looking for a new base of operations, and probably trimming some dead weight here and there. This is mostly-good news. Certainly not good for the 250+ employees who are still making Made In America guns there, although they will be allowed to re-apply for their jobs if they want to.

I am happy that they will be continuing to produce their guns, but I will be somewhat leery of the first few runs from the new plant, wherever that may be. Those will be the ones most likely to have issues, as minor bugs get worked out and new employees get up to speed on manufacturing. I'm still going to be looking for a .45-70 lever gun, though. For anyone who's shot a slug shotgun, many of these really are in the same ballpark as a stout 20ga slug - entirely manageable recoil, just stiff.

Currently investigating a possible trade deal with a fellow for a single-action wheelie. Nothing definite, but we're in the right ballpark.

Aside from that potential trade, I think the next major gun purchase in the 'Cool house will be a safe. Oh, don't worry, the guns are locked up already, but a fire safe is in order. When one runs down his inventory sheet and the sum at the bottom of the "value" column would buy a decent used car, it's a strong hint that upgraded security is a good idea.

That brings up a pet peeve of mine... people who won't blink at spending well north of a grand on a rifle or handgun or scope (!) will bitch endlessly about spending a thousand dollars on a large fire-water safe to protect that investment.

There's a few options for securing guns, and NONE of them are trigger/action locks. A trigger or action lock, or a decorative cabinet, only protects a gun from curious fingers.

The first step, for many of us, is the generic lightweight sheet-steel cabinet. Stack-On is one of the major makers for this type of cabinet, and for someone who only has a couple inexpensive guns in a low-risk area, they're a fine option. I know of some owners who will put one out as a "decoy" with a couple beater guns that may or may not work, in the hopes of distracting a burglar from the real meat. It can be bolted to the floor and/or wall fairly easily, but a few minutes with a crowbar will still get a motivated burglar in.

Step two is a real "safe". It probably weighs more than you do (maybe two or three times as much) and is probably fire rated. Someone in the industry will tell you it's a "residential security container", but the truth of the matter is it's going to deter all but the most determined thief. Again, make sure it's bolted to the floor (and properly supported underneath!).

The last option, which most of us can't afford but wish we could, is a vault. An honest-to-god walk-in vault. If you're building a house, this is absolutely the way to go. A vault door is a several-thousand-dollar investment, and the reinforced slab walls to put it in aren't cheap, but the only way someone is going get to your collection is with a demolition saw or dynamite - and a fair bit of time.

So, where to put this new safe? Clearly, the easiest way to keep your guns protected is to keep them from being found. There's a million ways to do this. I've seen safes put behind false walls or cabinets, tucked into the back of a closet, put in a garage with a few big wires and a "DANGER - HIGH VOLTAGE" sign... Anything to distract or mislead! A decoy safe/cabinet in an obvious place isn't a bad idea either. If none of these things are an option, the only thing to do is make sure it's well-secured. Bolted down into something solid, if at all possible.

Keep the weight of a safe in mind when you're placing it. Empty, it may weight 500lb. Full, it will likely be 700-800lb or more. Most floors can handle that kind of load on a temporary basis (e.g., a bathtub or jacuzzi), but long-term stress can lead to bowing of joists. If you're putting it on the first floor, a cellar jack or two underneath it will keep the floor well-supported. Better yet, put it on a piece of floor that has no basement - right over dirt and slab.

So, gunnies... what do you have for safes? Pros/cons?

Aside: This entry is worth a read.
"News flash. I am not a Democrat.

Nor am I a Republican.

I am me. A single entity with a brain- a brain that allows ME to chose what I believe in."

1 comment:

Julie said...

We have legislated guidelines for safes (as you would imagine) and they have to be bolted on two faces.

Ammo (& ammo components) has to be stored in a separate safe (or separately locked box in the safe) ... I have long dreamed of having a 'walk-in strong room'instead of a series of safes, but even with that the ammo has to be separately locked ....