Hide ’em, move ’em, keep ’em safe!
Safety and security just ain’t as much fun or intrinsically interesting as guns and shooting, so most folks don’t pay as much attention to it. However, if you want to go on shooting—with both eyes, working ears, a full complement of fingers and guns to do it with—well, you might wanta check out these products I’ve rooted out for you. Let’s go from light to heavy to power-tools-required, OK?
Eyes, Ears & Muzzles
I’m an admitted fanatic about quality eye protection, and by “quality” I mean ballistic ratings, which meet or exceed ANSI and military specifications, comfortable yet secure frames, and sharp, shatterproof, distortion-free lenses with great resistance to scratches and abrasion. If they have changeable lenses, they’ve got to be quick and easy to swap out, and stay put despite rough handling and violent action. I’ve been using the Wiley X VALOR 3-lens set for months now, on the range and off, and I give ’em 5 stars.
The set designated CHVAL06 includes smoke-grey lenses for sun, light rust for sharp definition in pre-dawn and twilight, and clear lenses with glare reduction. A detachable leash, cleaning cloth and a partitioned, zippered case complete the package, with a retail of $95.
If any company could be expected to produce superior hearing protection, it would be the inventors of “insert earphones,” pioneers in auditory and acoustic technology—and they have done that. Etymotic Research Inc. (etymotic means “true to the ear”) has been a top research, development and manufacturing company in a field you might call “sound management” for 30 years. Among their current contributions to the shooting sports is the GunSport-PRO GSP-15 hearing protection kit. The in-ear inserts have two selectable modes. One allows a natural hearing level and gunshot blast protection when background noise is absent, automatically and gradually increasing in suppression as loud continuous noise from vehicles, machinery or repeated nearby gunfire occurs. With the flip of a switch, ambient sound is amplified up to 5X, with gunshots suppressed to a Noise Reduction Rating of 25dB.
The GSP-15 kit contains a protective case, one pair of high-definition electronic earplugs, an assortment of different ACCU-fit eartips in varying sizes and shapes, a filter tool and ACCU-filters, cleaning tool, No. 312 zinc batteries, a neck cord and user’s manual. It retails for $499. See more details and options on their website.
If you want low-profile hearing protection without batteries to die or electronics to fry, check out EarPro EP4 Plus Sonic Defenders by SureFire.
They’ve been refining and improving the design for years. I use them and can tell you they’re comfortable for prolonged wear, and so well ergonomically shaped they stay put through any activity. With their little filter caps open, you can hear normal conversations while gunshots are reduced to below damaging levels. If hearing ambient sound isn’t critical, or if background noise is too high, just push the filter caps on for a full 24dB of noise reduction and suppression of gunshots. One pair, with detachable lanyard, lists for $14.95, and they’ll last me for five to six months of frequent use.
A good muzzle cover can protect against crown damage and possibly lethal accidental bore obstructions, as well as just keeping your barrel dust-free and dry. There are lots of cheap plastic muzzle caps made to fit carbines with mil-spec flash suppressors available, but to my knowledge, Bore Tex is the only outfit offering durable, long-lasting, properly fitting muzzle covers for a wide array of rifles and shotguns. Bore Tex caps are made from a specialized flexible PVC, with a smooth inner surface and matte textured outer surface, with an integrated grab tag so you can yank ’em off in an instant. But if you forget or you’ve got a 1-second window for the shot of a lifetime, you can shoot right through them with virtually no loss of accuracy. The interior surface is even treated to inhibit corrosion.
Offered in three sizes, in bright orange or black, a 3-pack lists for only $9.99. Bore Tex products and packaging is all USA made. Check info on the website to select the right sizes for your guns.
Moving & Drawer
Imagine a “bank bag,” used to transport cash in armored cars, and add steroids. That’s the Operator High Security Case by Safe Direction. Previously restricted to government agency sales, it’s now available to consumers. The Operator HSC features a unique double-layer slash resistant bag body, a heavy-duty zippered top secured by a high-quality 7-pin keylock, and a grommet made for attaching the case to car seat frames, structural hardware or any other immovable objects using handcuffs or an optional woven steel cable and padlock set. The handles are wraparound heavy webbing, and there are three interior magazine sleeves. A medium-size HSC measures 13×11 inches.
The subdued logo is your muzzle-contact point for clearing your firearm. If there’s a surprise in store for you—an accidental discharge—the built-in Ballistic-Seal system, rated NIJ IIIA, will stop a standard duty/defensive handgun round up to .45 ACP. Does it work? Ballistic-Seal has been saving lives, jobs, badges, marriages, appliances and fine furnishings since 2004!
For protection like walkin’ your fine guns into a bunker, check out the line of extraordinarily heavy-duty, precision-made gun cases by Americase. Using thick, tough extruded aluminum, high-density cushioning and the finest hardware, they’ll shrug off abuse. To give you an idea of their heavy-duty creds, shown is their Ultra-Lite Series 8-pistol case, much lighter than their standard case. Yeah, “ultra-light”: it weighs 9 pounds. Features include comfy handles on the top and the case front, two loop latches for padlocking, and tight weather sealing to keep out dust, dirt and moisture.
The full line includes rifle, shotgun, handgun and accessory cases in all sizes from 1-hand carry to rolling multigun monsters. They build ’em tough down in Waxahachie, Texas, pardners!
There’s no “press, hold and wait” to the fingerprint recognition system built into LockSAF’s latest personal gunvault. As the name implies, with the PBS-DigiSWIPE, thanks to next-generation digital technology, it takes just one quick swipe of your registered fingerprint and it pops open, the lid swinging upward for fast access to your handgun. The safe features a 9-gauge tamper-proof box with four pilot holes for easy installation on any flat surface—including inside a stout drawer—or securing with a cable. As a backup, it also comes with two mechanical keys.
The interior dimensions will accommodate guns up to 12 inches in length, with room for extra ammo and a tactical light if you wish. The system runs on one 9-volt battery, but up to 10 registered fingerprints are stored in non-volatile memory. The DigiSWIPE weighs 22 pounds and lists for $349.95. I’ve tested both LockSAF’s PBS-001 and the DigiSWIPE, and they’re excellent products.
On Floor, In Walls
On a gunsafe, the speed and convenience of an electronic push-button lock is nice, but a dead battery—or an EMP (electromagnetic pulse)—can render both it and you non-functional. Until now, you’ve had to choose between an electronic lock and a less convenient but more certain mechanical combination lock. Cannon Safe’s new EMP Lock solves that problem, offering you both systems in the same dual-function dial. It’s a Type 1 high security lock with the highest UL Type 1 rating, and of course, like all other Cannon Safes, it comes with Cannon’s lifetime, zero cost warranty which covers loss from fire, natural flood or burglary, including all repair or replacement costs, even if the owner is not the original purchaser. The EMP Lock now comes standard on all Armory, Cannon and Commander Series safes from 2013 on.
If you have standard 16-inch on center 2×4 stud walls—and the termites haven’t dined on ’em—take a look at the cool wall inserts from Tactical Walls. Basically, you make the appropriate size cuts in your wall, and mount their precision-molded ABS plastic inserts. The flanges or “lips” cover up the cut edges, and you have handy gun storage, which takes up zero floor space. They make sizes for one or two mid-length rifles plus magazines and a handgun or two, and a smaller one to accommodate a handgun. One gives you 14×10 inches of usable interior space, and the other provides 14×40 inches.
The inserts look nice enough that if you don’t mind having your guns visible, the insert alone looks fine. But they also offer some really nice mirror-frame exterior covers, including key-lockable versions, in drop-dead gorgeous wood finishes like Cherry, Dutch Walnut and Early American in addition to black, white, and raw unfinished. Available accessories include handgun hangers, flashlight holders, shelves and shotshell holders. Individual components and complete bundle deals are offered too. If you’re concerned about security and speed, Tactical Walls are well worth your attention! Happy hunting! Connor OUT
By John Connor
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1610 E. Main St., Waxahachie, TX 75165
PRO-TEX Outdoors, LLC
6515 Fyler Ave., St. Louis, MO 63139
Cannon Safe, Inc.
19949 Kendall Dr.
San Bernardino, CA 92047
61 Martin Ln.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
710 S. Myrtle Ave., Ste. 305
Monrovia, CA 91016
Ravelin Group LLC
426 S. Westgate, Ste. S-1, Addison, IL 60101
18300 Mount Baldy Cir.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Tactical Walls LLC
18655 Mount Pleasant Rd.
Elkton, VA 22827
7800 Patterson Pass Rd.
Livermore, CA 94550