New to guns, figured this would be a good place to start.

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by mattsk8, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. mattsk8

    mattsk8 New Member

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    I inherited 2 handguns and a shotgun (a S&W 45, a 22, and a 12gauge shotgun) from my grandpa. He kept these guns in a wooden case in his basement, but I would like to keep them a bit more out of reach. That said, hopefully I'm posting this in the right spot; I just assumed this was part of gun safety.

    I have 4 kids and want to get the best handgun case I can find to make sure no one ever plays w/ these when I'm not around. My kids are good kids, but I don't even want to have to think about it.

    My first question is, which case would be best for the handguns? The S&W 45 I'll definitely keep. Its a D.A. 45 and it is a military issue (my grandpa used it in the war). The 22 is a High Standard Model "B", this one I might sell just to get a 22 that I like better. Based on that, should I get one case for both guns, or 2 individual cases? And regarding the cases, which are the best ones to get? I did a bit of searching and found one that recognized your fingerprints and I'm leading toward this one. Is this a decent option?

    For the shotgun, I'm not sure what to do. I don't see myself buying a bunch of guns, but who knows. So buying a huge gun safe just seems impractical. But I also don't want to leave the shotgun lying around either. I did consider just hanging it on a wall in my basement and getting a trigger lock. The shotgun isn't anything special to a gun collector, but it is to me because it was my grandpa's gun. Its an old bolt action Sears/Roebuck 12 gauge.

    Thanks for any input on this!!
     
  2. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

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    First off welcome to ftf. If it were me I would get a small handgun safe and 2 cable locks for the handguns and remove the bolt from the shotgun and lock it in the box with the pistols and just put it on a shelf that's probably the cheapest way. The handgun safes are good for the most part but a determined individual can get in any of them fairly easily sometimes by just slamming it on an edge on the ground or with a screwdriver and hammer so i suggest putting this out of reach of the kids too and also signing up for a firearms safety course for you and your family so the kids can learn proper safety and its also beneficial to you.
     

  3. mattsk8

    mattsk8 New Member

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    Thanks for the response! I like the idea of the family coarse, but my only concern is my 5 year old son. He loves guns (obviously, he's 5 ;)) and I'm debating whether or not I should keep these completely hidden from him (not even let him know I have them) or if I should get him involved and teach him all the dos and don'ts. He is a good kid, but I'm not sure how to handle that.

    What have you guys in similar situations done? Forge ahead and teach him every aspect of how dangerous a gun can be as well as the positive aspects of guns; or hide them from him until I think he's at an age where he might be able to handle the info better?

    I also have an 8 year old daughter, but she probably couldn't care less about guns. I would definitely take my 2 older kids as well as my wife (14 year old son and 12 year old daughter, I have 4 kids) to a safety coarse.
     
  4. jimogden1984

    jimogden1984 New Member

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    to me it seems it would be better they learn from you out a safety course than learn from who knows where when they get a Lil older
     
  5. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

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    Ignorance of guns is dangerous. Your kids are old enough to learn gun safety, and IMO the earlier the lessons the better it sticks. You might want to take a course first as a refresher.
     
  6. RichNH

    RichNH New Member Supporter

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    Ding ding ding ding! Give that man a cigar... oh, he's already got one. :D

    If your other kids know about the guns, the youngest will hear about them eventually, and that's asking for exactly the wrong kind of curiosity. Teach them all gun safety, the rules are few but critical. And for young ones, the "never touch a gun when they aren't being supervised by you" is the number one rule.
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Teach your kids- you really think you can hide ANYTHING where they will not find it? HAH !

    Now, not to be a wet blanket, but there was a safety recall on some of the Sears bolt action shotguns. I assume yours is marked J.C. Higgins, and has a 583 dot something model number. If you can give me the model number, I can let you know if yours is one of the recalled.

    The High Standards were EXCELLENT pistols- would not trade that one for anything.

    And the pistol vault (not case)- yes, there are print readers (rather pricey) and ones that use a push button combo (less $$$). Be sure that you put it somewhere that you can bolt it to something solid. Otherwise the whole thing walks off.
     
  8. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Training is the first thing I recommend. Check out this site to find training courses near you.

    http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx

    As for your youngest, there is no age that is the "right" age. My younger sister's kids, I wouldn't have had a problem shooting with them at 7 or 8. My older sister's kids, I'm still leery of them at 17.
     
  9. jord1985

    jord1985 New Member

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    You can get a small safe pretty cheap that would fit on the floor of your closet for example, for the handguns. As for the shotgun depends on the model but lookup the "gun vault breech lock" it's a lot more secure than a cable lock and a lot more difficult to defeat, it fits most shotgun models. Beyond that you can get a long gun hard case at any dicks or bass pro shops - a 2 gun long gun case will easily fit the shotgun and pistols and should have a way to put a basic master lock on it.

    Also local PD/LE will usually give you a basic cable lock for free.

    As others have said education is never a bad idea
     
  10. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    This is the best advice than can be given to you.

    My grandpa taught me about g s when I was around five. Consequently I have always been perfectly safe around them. Teach them about it completely (don't leave anything out) and it will take the curiosity out of it, and thus the danger.

    Take them to a field or an outdoor range and show them the destructive power of guns by shooting a watermelon. Then tell them that guns are not for hurting people, but for saving lives. Teach them that, let them get hands-on experience (holding, shooting when they've proven they can be safe handling an n loaded firearm, eventually cleaning), and you will be fine.

    The reason for a gun safe / vault is less for keeping it away from kids (especially kids who are old enough to understand - every single one of yours is old enough, btw), and more about making it slightly less difficult for a bad guy to steal it. This hinges on proper firearm instruction and safety taught to the kids.

    Don't even CONSIDER hiding the guns. It will cause definite problems. I can promise you that.
     
  11. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I waited until my boys were around 8 or 9 and introduced them to safe shooting with an inexpensive bb gun. We had very strict rules. They had to demostrate safe gun handling to me for at least a year before they were allowed to step up to .22s.

    But if I were you, OP, since you are new to guns, educate yourself first, take some gun-handling and shooting courses, get yourself qualified before you even think about introducing kids. Until then, follow the other advice on here about locks, etc. And you can always start teaching gun safety to kids with a toy gun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  12. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    welcome to firearms ownership. Keep that .45 whatever else you do!

    I keep my rifles and handguns under lock and key. Suggest that anyone with kids in the house (including grandkids on occasion) secure their firearms

    +1 on firearms safety training, you and the kids can take it together.
     
  13. mattsk8

    mattsk8 New Member

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    Thanks for all the answers. I'll definitely teach all the kids about gun safety, and per the advice here I'll include my 5 year old son.

    This is the gun vault I was considering. Is this a decent one and will it hold both my 22 and my 45?

    Gunvault MVB500 on Amazon

    Right now I borrowed a locking aluminum gun case from my bro in law, but the locks are cheesy (I could easily get into this thing).
     
  14. mattsk8

    mattsk8 New Member

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    I'm pretty sure my shotgun is that one w/ the recall. I did some research and found out the bolt only comes out (and consequently hits you in the face) if the set screw isn't tight. From what I've read, these are OK shotguns as long as you keep after maintenance. Locktite on the set screw should eliminate the bolt issue.

    As far as the 22, I think I may have fixed the reason I was considering getting rid of it, but I won't know for sure until I get more info either here (I started a thread in semi-auto section) or I may take it to a gun shop near me. Just have to find someone that's familiar w/ these.

    I love the 45, this one isn't going anywhere :)
     
  15. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Its a perfectly satisfactory vault, but it will only hold one handgun. I use this one:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/58...lt-personal-electronic-safe-10-x-8-x-14-black
     
  16. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    I have something similar. It is definitely child-proof
     
  17. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    Welcome and congrats on receiving such mementos of your grandfather.

    You have not mentioned in this thread whether or not you plan to shoot your late grandfather's pistols and shotgun. Also, whether or not you have any other guns in the house, and whether or not you are comfortable and familiar with guns.

    Depending on your situation, not bringing any ammunition into the house is a safety measure that, although not foolproof, goes a long way toward avoiding any mishaps.

    My hope is that you do have a certain amount of knowledge and familiarity with firearms, and that you will expand your firearms knowledge through training and experience at the range. This includes your family and their future well being.

    Unfortunately, we don't live in that world I grew up in where I never had a house key, the doors were never locked and the keys were just left in the car/truck overnight.

    You've found a great fountain of knowledge here at FirearmsTalk that can be used as a foundation for improving your firearms experiences and safety.
     
  18. mattsk8

    mattsk8 New Member

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    Thanks for the info and questions.

    I grew up w/ a mom that hated guns so we never had any, but I grew up in a rural area and everyone I know had a stockpile of guns. I have been skeet shooting once w/ a 12 gauge, and I've only fired a gun a few times at targets. Both of my brother in laws are hunters and each have a few guns of their own (including some handguns), and many good friends of mine have guns and they all hunt. One of my best friends is very much a gun collector. My uncle owned a gun store.

    A few years ago I was looking into getting a gun just for target practice and protection and decided on a .38. Unfortunately my wife wasn't comfortable w/ me having it in the house, or w/ me spending the money on it. She's good now w/ me inheriting the guns from my grandpa, so I think it was more about the money ;). She is still a bit uncomfortable w/ them in the house, but I think that's a good thing just because she keeps safety first.

    As far as shooting them goes, I plan on using the shotgun and the 22 a lot. One of my friends has a very nice shooting area he set up in his yard, while a lot of other friends have land they shoot on (I live in a fairly rural area). I will also shoot the .45, but not much just because of what it is. But I will definitely have rounds for all 3.

    So, based on all that the short version is these are my very first guns and, aside from being around my good friends who own guns, I have no real experience w/ owning a firearm.

    As far as being familiar w/ them goes, just enough to know how to use one. But this is definitely new to me.

    As far as comfortable, I am a bit uncomfortable right now just because this is all new to me and I know the possibilities and dangers involved. When I was about 10 years old (28 years ago) some teenagers in my neighborhood were messing around w/ their dad's 22 rifle and it went off and killed the kid who's dad owned the gun. I need to make sure this is never a possibility in my house.

    All that said, maybe a better way to explain it is this way. When I wanted to buy the .38 my wife asked me why. The best answer I can give is that I want to go shooting w/ my buddies, and for protection. I think going to target practice w/ my kids would be fun (or even w/ my wife for that matter). And, God forbid, if the bottom ever fell out of our economy or our left wing, crazy gov, at this point I'm left depending on my buddies. That's not to say I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I am a realist.
     
  19. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    So you're pretty new to guns, which is what I figured from the title of your thread. So, take some courses. First you and your wife, together preferably. Get some for your kids too.

    You can start finding classes here:
    http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx

    Don't be scared of the guns. Respect the weapons. They won't hurt you or anyone else if there isn't a person there to manipulate the weapon. In other words, someone has to pick the weapon up for it to be dangerous.

    If the person who picks up the weapon is familiar with it, and practices safe weapons handling, and has a little bit of good training, the weapon is not dangerous.

    The danger lies in people handling the weapon who are unfamiliar with it.

    Here's some safety rules to always follow and enforce:

    1) Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
    2) Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you're ready to fire.
    3) Keep your weapon on safe until you're ready to fire.
    4) Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

    Whenever you pick up the weapon, even if you know for a FACT its unloaded, clear it and make sure its unloaded. When you hand the weapon to someone else, teach them to always do the same.

    When you're cleaning the weapons, don't even have ammo anywhere nearby.

    Until everyone in the house is familiar with all the weapons intimately and are 100% safe at all times when handling the weapons, do not even store the ammo with the weapon (unless you plan on using it in a home defense role, such as the shotgun or .45. If that's the case, buy a vault and keep it locked up in it).

    Again, weapons are not dangerous. People who use weapons inappropriately are dangerous.

    There are other safety procedures to follow, I'm sure someone will be along shortly to add to this list.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  20. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    If you plan on using the .45 for home defense then it would make sense to buy a good quality handgun safe. There are several brands that will hold both guns. My preference is ones that use the very reliable and durable push button mechanical locks. Some people have problems with the fingerprint scanners reading their prints and I hear a lot of people complain about battery life on electronic ones in general. I would do some more research on the ones that interest you.

    If theft is a concern and you leave your gun in it when you are not home, then buy one that is made a little heavier than the more common 16ga steel that is used on most electronic ones. Be sure to bolt it down to something solid.

    Something like this will present your holstered HD gun when opened automatically and have room for your .22 laying in the bottom right side. These are 7ga steel (3/16").

    [​IMG]