In 1912, you could walk into any hardware store in the country and buy a maxim silencer. Manufacturers like Colt and Marlin sold fully automatic sustained fire machine guns to the public through mail order. During both world wars it was ok for returning GI's to bring back war trophy that included Spandau machine guns and the dreaded Schmeisser 9mm machine pistol. Firearms laws were very different back then.
Things change, just a hundred years later in 2012, any of the above would cause jaws to drop, federal agents to form task forces, and provide news stories for every media outlet. Moving forward you can be guaranteed that the gun laws of 2112 will likely be very much stricter. With that in mind, it is essential to preserve what you have on hand now, for both yourself and future generations.
There are several reasons to cache, or hide from plain view for future use, firearms. While nice wood-grain gun cabinets and gun racks display well, they are fast targets for intruders. If you are ever burglarized or the victim of a home invasion, these are neon signs to criminals. A thief cannot steal what he cannot find. Depending on the type of cache you use, it may also guarantee part of your collection from destruction in a natural disaster or fire.
How to cache
There are two basic places to hide firearms, inside the home and outside of the home.
- This storage place inside a working clock is common among designs for hiding firearms in plain site inside your home.
Storing firearms inside the home is preferred as it is climate controlled. The safest place of course, is to store them disassembled behind a locked steel safe with the ammunition in another. However, when speaking of a cache to outwit a burglar or intruder, many people like cereal boxes, fake potted plants or large containers such as gallon size coffee tins etc., protected by a sealed plastic bag. More high tech hiding spots are available using specially made picture frames, discreet wall safes, under-carpet floor safes and in attic crawl spaces. Any storage like this should be strongly discouraged if small children ever visit or live in your home.
- Attics, crawlspaces and other areas are also common
Storage outside the home is often subject to more extreme conditions and requires more preparation. Also storing firearms outside the home can make them unavailable when needed. However, should you suffer a catastrophic fire; storm, or flood, firearms stored outside the home may be all you have left. Options include off-site locations such as safely concealed inside rental storage units, and locked away in bank safety deposit boxes. More extreme examples are burying underground or secreting under concrete walkways on your property.
A number of purpose-built websites exist for weapons caching as well as specialized companies that produce gear to pull it off. One of these is Store Guns which make a line of O-ring sealed bury able dry boxes that can even be stored (using weights) at the bottom of wells and ponds.
- Burying firearms and other potential survival supplies is the far end of the spectrum but is very popular.
A story of caching firsthand
A good friend of mine was worried about Y2K, the possible meltdown of society due to a fault in banking software in 1999. He bought ten (10) M38 Turkish Mausers and three cases of military surplus 8mm Mauser ammunition on stripper clips and bandoliers. These rifles were accurate to long range, simple, and durable. They could be given to a novice who could fire it after about thirty minutes of guided instruction and expected to work. Total investment was about $700.
He took these rifles, left them coated in preservative cosmoline just as they came from the distributor, and made a cache of each one. Taking a piece of pvc sewer pipe just long and wide enough to fit each rifle, and adding a few desiccant packs top absorb moisture, he placed a rifle and a few bandoliers of ammo in each before sealing the pipe with pipe caps and copious amounts of PVC cement. He buried each lengthways with the aid of a posthole digger in ten different spots of his property over the course of a weekend.
Y2K came and went, but the Mausers are still planted there. To see how effective the caching process was, last year with his grandsons along for the lesson, he dug one up. Even after a dozen years under the wet soil of Alabama, the Mauser came up dry and preserved. After they cleaned the Cosmoline off, they took turns firing it with the stored ammo before cleaning and repacking it in a new tube. Today it is still out there with at least nine others. Just in case.
Who knows what the future holds, but having a few extra firearms put safely away cannot hurt.