Fixin’ Messes, Memories
& I Forget …

GD (Gun Dementia) is real!
16

The ugly truth: Tank’s rifles — stacked, packed, hung and strung! What a mess!

It’s early April as I write this and everyone’s donning surgical masks and gloves, bottles of hand-sanitizer holstered, ready for fast-drawing the Coronavirus. We’re under lockdown, allowed to venture to the grocery store, pharmacy, or getting carryout. Liquor stores are open, perhaps to aid in further numbing our restricted brains?

Businesses considered non-essential are closed, effectively crashing the economy. What hits hardest for me is the closure of my shooting range. What nincompoop decided ranges aren’t essential?

A Silver Lining?

Begrudgingly, the range closure provides the perfect opportunity for doing a much-needed project I’ve been avoiding for some time — the cleaning and organization of my gunroom.

Cause & Effect

The older I get the faster time goes by. To maximize time, I take shortcuts in my workshop. I think, “Why put it away? I’ll finish loading these cases tomorrow …” Ah, yes, tomorrow, the well-intentioned date of procrastinators.

As sincere as I am, other priorities get assigned — honey-do lists come to mind. Or, “better” ideas “pop” into my brain, side-tracking me. This reality is the lifeblood for handloaders! Welcome to my world. It’s how things get out of control — quickly!

Suddenly, my bench is piled high and deep, from various dies, bullets, primers and other paraphernalia, waiting patiently, screaming, “Load me!”

Simply drilling holes and screwing a piece of 1/8" steel bar behind the striker
plate of your door frame adds a lot of strength to keep guns in and trouble out.

Big Dig Search & Rescue

After six cups of coffee, I roll-up my sleeves and attack my benches. I start putting all dies away and throwing out empty powder bottles, primer boxes/trays and other debris. Long, lost tools start appearing, like my micrometer, calipers and chamfering tool.

My bench tops are almost visible. Wow! I pick-up discarded shipping boxes, plastic “parts” bags, bullets, primers and bullet cases, finding several more tools/parts I hadn’t seen in years.

Relief is on the way from gun-racks.com.

Juggling Cases

My safe was practically full the day I got it. I know — stupid. When the rifle slots filled-up, I started squeezing guns between the racked ones, barrel down. Sound familiar?

Next, I started hanging cased rifles from nails in the wall. Over time, they breed, voraciously. So much for “safe” sex?

I had so many cases piled-up and hanging around, it took forever trying to find the rifle I wanted. I was starting to show signs of (GD) “Gun Dementia.”

Unknowing people think GD is the lost, blank stare portrayed while feigning amnesia when caught by your wife with a new gun. It’s not. GD is caused by naively thinking you’ll remember the case you put a particular gun in. As cases multiply, it becomes a tortured memory game of sorts.

Severe bouts lead to not only the case being forgotten, but the gun itself. It’s happened several times to me! Don’t fret, finding “newly found” wonders are fun. One day you’re searching for a gun, and surprisingly gasp, “Hey, cool! Where’d this come from?”

Wow! Look at the difference the rack made!

There had to be a better way! Enter www.gun-racks.com to the rescue. Specializing in Lazy-Susan style rotating rifle racks, they’re just the ticket for people like you and me! I ordered a 22” circular base rack, having 17-rifle slots, and received it within a week. The top pedestal is magnetic, holding the rifle barrels in place.

The rack is easily assembled, looks great and utilizes the least amount of space. My rack miraculously fills up. I swore I only had seven to eight rifles hanging from the wall. Damn, did it again!

By simply spinning my Wheel-O-Fortune, I quickly grab the rifle I want. I’ll eventually build a cabinet, using marine-grade plywood, around the rack-o-plenty — one of these days …

A locking steel utility cabinet is perfect for safely storing ammunition.
Tank got this one from a large home improvement store.

Security!

I make my “gunroom” as difficult as possible for anyone to break into. Already having a steel, exterior door, complete with 3″ deadbolt, I reinforce the striker plates with a piece of 16″ steel plate. I use 3″ screws to secure the plate to the doorframe studs. I also replace the 1″ striker plate and hinge screws with 4″ screws.

Even Editor Brent, using his favorite “batting ram” from his SWAT days would have a difficult time breaching this door now.

The Armory

Lastly, I purchase a steel, lockable cabinet for my “test ammo.” I bolt the cabinet to the wall, so it can’t walk away. I made the most of my ceasefire. My guns are accessible, and my shop, clean and secure, for now …

Hopefully, we’ll never experience another pandemic lock-down — I’d much rather be shooting!

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