If you’re looking for reliable information on firearms, the internet is where it’s at. Gone are the days of hanging around in the local FFL dealer, picking the brains of a few fellow enthusiasts. Nowadays, we have access to forums, product reviews, and so much information that it can get a bit overwhelming.
At TheGunSafes, we love the Second Amendment, and we welcome gun owners of all stripes. Whether you carry a pistol for personal protection, stow an AR-15 under your bed for home defense, or keep a shotgun in your closet for deer season, we aim to provide information that helps you get the most out of your gun.
We love the outdoors, so we appreciate the importance of owning a firearm that can stand up to the rigors of foul weather, muddy blinds, and drops from deer stands. We also like to have fun on the range, so we understand why many gun owners are looking for more finely-tuned machines when they choose their weapon.
Since we aim to please all gun owners, we review guns and accessories with a particular purpose in view. For example, the best shotgun is going to be different for someone who wants to go duck hunting, as opposed to a homeowner looking for a tactical home defense shotgun.
We also aim to go beyond firearms, by reviewing the accessories to get the most out of your gun. For example, many states require a gun safe, and many gun owners in other states use them voluntarily. CCW carriers need holsters, and anyone who wants to hunt outside of close range is going to need a scope. Here, you’ll find our honest take on all of these things.
Not sure where to find what you’re looking for? Here’s an overview of what we do on our site.
Gun safes are mandatory in many states, especially in California, which requires proof of a qualified gun safe before you can take delivery of any new gun. But there are other good reasons to keep your guns locked up. For example, you want to protect them from burglars, and keep them out of the hands of small children.
Broadly speaking, gun safes fall into two categories: pistol safes and rifle safes. However, there are many other ways to classify them. The most important of these is the type of lock involved. RFID and biometric locks provide lightning-fast access, but are often unreliable, and require a backup key in case of emergency. Mechanical and electrical combination locks are more reliable, but take longer to open.
When you buy your gun safe, you’ll also want some accessories, such as a gun safe dehumidifier or additional internal storage. Depending on the safe, you may also want a door organizer to store pistols and extra ammunition.
No matter what you buy, you’ll need to make sure your safe is well-suited to your circumstances. Want to keep a safe in your nightstand drawer? Make sure it opens from the top. Want to store your collection of 20 long guns? Buy a large safe.
By taking these things into consideration, you’ll find a gun safe you’ll be happy with for years.
As recently as the turn of this century, air rifles and pellet pistols were classified somewhere between nerf guns and a swift kick in the shins. They were good for teaching basic target practice to kids, and for shooting small birds in an enclosed area like a barn.
But those days are long behind us. Now, you can buy an air rifle at Walmart that has a higher muzzle velocity than a .22 LR. That doesn’t mean it has more power – even a .22 caliber air rifle pellet is significantly smaller than a .22 LR bullet.
But it’s still impressive enough to get the attention who’s looking for a varmint gun that won’t wake the neighbors.
And let’s not forget how much fun air guns are for target shooting. You can spend a whole afternoon popping off hundreds of air gun pellets, and still come in well short of what you’d spend for a day of plinking with a .22.
The AR-15 is popular for three reasons: reliability, common ammunition, and customizability.
Let’s start with reliability. Simply put, the AR-15 has formed the basis of modern American military rifles like the M4. This alone should tell you that it can take some abuse.
The AR-15 also uses .223 Remington ammunition, one of the most popular calibers on the market. You’ll never have trouble finding yourself a box of ammo on your way to the range.
The most important benefit of the AR-15, though, is how easy it is to customize. Want a compact home defense rifle? You’ve got one. Want a 3 Gun rifle? Throw a reflex sight on your AR, and you’re in business. Want to hunt some whitetail? Add some traditional optics and an extended stock, and you’re ready to rock.
Shotguns have been around since the early 17th century, when soldiers first started using the blunderbuss to inflict maximum damage on enemy troops at short range. Hunters quickly caught onto the benefit of using shot for hunting small game, and the shotgun has been a staple of both civilian and military arsenals ever since.
Modern shotguns can fire two types of rounds. The first is a shot shell (either fine birdshot or heavy buckshot). The second is a slug, which is basically a very large bullet that doesn’t rifle, or spin. Slugs are ideal for hunting big game at short ranges, and even a small 20 gauge shell will drop a deer instantly at 75 yards.
Because of their ability to fire birdshot, which doesn’t penetrate through multiple walls, shotguns are also prized as home defense guns. You can stop an intruder in his tracks, without having to worry about the next-door neighbor.
There aren’t many things with as much old school appeal as shooting through iron sights. There also aren’t many things as frustrating. But why use old fashioned iron sights, when there’s a world of practical, modern choices right at your fingertips?
What type of sight you need depends on the type of shooting you’re doing. Using your gun for home defense or a 3 Gun competition? Use a red dot or reflex sight that will get you on target quickly.
Using your gun for longer range shooting, like dropping whitetail at 200 yards? Get yourself a more powerful optical sight for the most accurate performance. And don’t even get us started on the fun you can have with a well-designed night vision scope?
The point being, there’s no reason to limit yourself to your gun’s factory iron sights. For a surprisingly low price, you can make your gun more accurate than ever.
If you’re concealed carrying a handgun, there are two main factors to consider. The first is how well it carries; that is, how easily does it draw and holster, and how securely does it stay in place? The second factor is how well it conceals; basically, are you walking around with a big gun-shaped outline at the top of your pants?
But there’s more to holsters than just the basics. For example, are you looking for the perfect belly band holster for athletic activities? Or the best IWB holster for everyday use? Or maybe you want a rugged leather holster vest that will keep your pistol secure for years?
There’s a lot out there in the world of gun holsters, and we’ve reviewed many options. With this much selection, there’s no reason to buy anything other than your ideal choice. So check out our reviews, and see what holster grabs your attention!
Different gun owners need different types of clothing, which is why we’ve looked at a wide variety of gear. Maybe you need a tactical vest, with MOLLE webbing to carry emergency supplies like bear spray. Maybe you need a concealed carry vest, to keep your gun secure without attracting a lot of attention.
And many gun owners are hunters. If you’re going into the deep woods, you’re going to need durable hunting pants, hiking boots, and a camo jacket that’s appropriately designed for the type of game you’re trying to hunt. You may also need a blaze orange vest or hat, to alert other hunters to your presence.
But there’s more to clothing than just the basics. For example, if you’re shooting in cold weather, you may want a pair of tactical gloves to keep your fingers from going cold and stiff. And any cold weather hunter needs a reliable heavy duty hunting jacket.
There’s more to caring for your guns than proper storage and accessories. It’s also essential to keep them clean and well oiled, so they’re ready to work when you need them in an emergency. To do this, you’ll need to have a cleaning kit that’s designed for your gun.
Typically, cleaning kits are sized for a range of cartridges. For example, a .22 caliber cleaning kit is also compatible with a .223 Remington rifle, and vice-versa. Similarly, all .30 caliber and similar rounds will use the same size cleaning kit, whether your gun is a .30-06, a .300, a .308, or a 6.5 Creedmoor. Shotguns are often best served by a bore snake, which cleans your gun faster than any comparable option.
Cleaning is important for two reasons: first, smokeless powder is one of the most corrosive materials on Earth. When it vaporizes, then settles on the inside of your barrel, it can lead to rust and eventual pitting. Sweat is also corrosive, and can damage your gun’s outer surfaces. You need to scrub these materials clear in order to protect your investment.
Secondly, condensation can damage the finish on your gun. This is why it’s important to coat your gun with a light application of gun oil after each use. Even if you haven’t used your firearm, it’s a good idea to oil it inside and out at least once a year, to prevent corrosion due to everyday condensation.
Firearm maintenance can also include the cartridges themselves. If you shoot on a weekly basis, or even more often, ammunition can quickly become a major part of your weekly budget. A box of 20 high-powered cartridges can run you more than $20, over a dollar per shot.
If you’re running into this predicament, it may be time to invest in a reloading press. These machines are available with custom dyes to fit almost any caliber imaginable. Use them to install fresh primers, powder, and ammo in your old brass, and watch your weekly shooting budget drop to a level that even your spouse will approve of.
At the end of the day, guns are designed for one purpose: killing. This is reassuring if you’re trying to bag a 10-point buck, or stop a PCP-crazed home invader. It’s less comforting when you realize that you’re holding a killing machine in your hand, which is why it’s so important to follow all safety rules whenever you’re handling your firearm.
Now, the most important safety device on any gun is your trigger finger. But there are other ways to keep yourself safe while you’re shooting. This includes ensuring that your gun is accurate, and a good laser bore sight and bench rest can help you get your rifle or handgun zeroed in quickly.
Assuming you’re not going to accidentally shoot anyone, there are still inherent risks operating a gun. The most common of these risks is hearing damage.
Guns are loud. The higher caliber they are, the louder they are. And the movies are lying. The only appropriate response to any question after a shootout in a cavernous warehouse is “what?”, because you won’t hear anything for quite some time. That’s why it’s important to wear hearing protection when you’re shooting, particularly at a firing range where there are other guns going off all around you.
Another important consideration on the range or in the woods is eye protection. Hey, guns are machines, and accidents happen. Do you really want to lose your eyesight to a stray hot cartridge, or some shrapnel caused by a freak squib load? A good pair of safety glasses can help alleviate this risk.
Good safety also includes carrying your gun properly. If you’re hunting in the field, consider getting yourself a good quality gun sling, to keep your rifle from flapping around and potentially snagging on anything.
And whatever you do, make sure to watch out for what’s behind your target.